Diplomats From Spanish-Speaking Countries Visit Darien High School

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After studying how to compose a formal letter in Spanish, Darien High School students Emily Knapp and Hayden Edwards wrote to the Consulate of El Salvador to invite the consul to personally visit DHS. To the students’ surprise, Consul Pedro Sánchez and his associate, Julia Rodríguez Acosta, accepted. Other consulates in Spanish-speaking countries have followed. The two guests from El Salvador journeyed to Darien to address a large group of students last week. DHS junior Caroline Lui sang the national anthem of El Salvador to welcome them, said DHS World Language teacher Jonathan Smith.

Mark Cappelli Bryan Wallman 02-21-17

What Happens When Darien Police Visit an Under-Age Party with Alcohol

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When police are alerted to a teenage drinking party in Darien, most of what they do revolves around the safety of the under-age drinkers there and the safety of other people who might be on the road when intoxicated drivers from the party go home. That was one of the themes brought up by two Darien police officers involved with youths in town when the officers spoke recently at a meeting for parents at Darien High School. Detective Mark Cappelli, who works on cases involving youths in town, and Officer Bryan Wallman, who had just been named (two days before the meeting) as school resource officer for Darien High School, replacing James Palmieri, who had just been named a detective. Cappelli, who grew up in town and lives here with his wife and daughter, has been on the Darien police force for 21 years, and on the Youth Bureau for the past nine years. Wallman has been a police officer in town for the past decade and previously was school resource officer at Hindley School.

Ellen Dunn Darien High School Teen Drinking Substance Abuse 02-12-17

DHS Principal Ellen Dunn on Drugs, Drinking, Disciplining Students and What Parents Can Do

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Even when Darien High School administrators are dropping the proverbial hammer down on your child in high school, the hammer is only proverbial, Principal Ellen Dunn told parents at a recent meeting — administrators are trying to help, and discipline can be a turning point for your kid. Or, as she put it: “The lucky ones get caught.” That was among the observations and advice Dunn had for parents at the “Truth and Consequences” panel presentation last Tuesday night in Darien High School Auditorium. Dunn, in fact, had so much to say from a perspective that few people in town have, that Darienite.com is publishing a near transcript of what she said. Among the points she made:

“We do not report disciplinary actions to schools.”

Darien High School entrance

After School ‘Lock In’ Last Week, Police Issue Citation to Hunter in Camouflage

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Police have issued a citation to a man whose hunting trip in camouflage near Darien High School on Thursday led to emergency conditions going into place in the school and an email about it going to parents. The hunter, Andrew Ham, 52, of Wilton, told police he had a longstanding verbal agreement with the owner of property near the school to allow him to hunt in the woods on the owner’s land, according to a Darien police announcement issued Wednesday. Darien police issued Ham an infraction ticket for trespassing. ____________

Here’s Darienite.com’s original article (as updated) on the day of the incident:

UPDATE: New Twist: Man in Camouflage Near High School Found After Earlier ‘Lock In’ at School (Nov. 17)


But, according to police, the owner said he hadn’t given permission, and the hunter didn’t have it in writing, as he was required to by state regulation, according to police.

Darien High School DHS 9-13-16

UPDATE: New Twist: Man in Camouflage Near High School Found After Earlier ‘Lock In’ at School

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Update, 1:22 p.m.:

A man wearing camouflage when he was bow hunting near the high school has been found, Darien police announced, and they say he was hunting not on school grounds, but in the woods nearby, where he was authorized to do so. The man was seen when he was returning to his vehicle in a parking lot at the Darien United Methodist Church, 345 Middlesex Road after hunting, not to hunt in an unauthorized area, police said. Here’s the police news release, emailed at 1:13 p.m.:
On November 17, 2016 at approximately 8:30 am, the Darien Police Department received a report of a white male dressed in full camouflage in the woods within close proximity to Darien High School. Based on the report, the Darien High School and two nearby nursery schools were alerted and took precautionary measures until the Darien Police determined that there wasn’t a danger.  Officers remained in the area for the next several hours. At approximately 12:30 pm, officers were able to identify the subject as a local hunter who was hunting in a nearby area he had authorization to be in.  When he was observed this morning, the subject was simply returning to his vehicle which was parked in the parking lot of 345 Middlesex Rd.

Cerebral Palsy DHS CCSU GoBabyGo! 5-13-16

DHS Engineering Students Customize Vehicles for Kids with Cerebral Palsy

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Five youngsters got to take home a new customized car recently courtesy of a unique collaborative between Darien High School (DHS), Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), and the organization GoBabyGo! The cars — retrofitted Toys R Us vehicles — were modified for the children, all of whom have Cerebral Palsy which affects body movement and muscle coordination. The new customized rides now serve as a tool for mobility and as a form of physical therapy. They are also meant to be fun to drive — something the youngsters got to try out on the DHS track recently with their families. “This is giving high school students the unique opportunity to learn from and connect with these amazing and strong kids, and empower them to be their best and most confident selves,” said DHS teacher Jeromy Nelson, coordinator for Technology Education.

Darien High School entrance

Darien High School Guidance Dept Named State’s Outstanding Comprehensive Program of the Year

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Darien High School’s guidance department has been recognized as “The Outstanding Comprehensive School Counseling Program for 2016″ by the Connecticut School Counselor Association, the high school announced. “I am honored to accept this award from the Connecticut School Counselor Association,” said Paul Ribeiro, co-ordinator of the department, said in the announcement. The award given based on the department’s Guidance Seminar Program in which school counselors meet with students in different grade levels each quarter. In the program, first fully implemented in the 2014-2015 school year, counselors work through key skills with small groups of students, to improve their experience in school. Counselors work with different grade levels each quarter.

Markus Zusak 3-12-16

Markus Zusak, Author of ‘The Book Thief’ Visits Darien on Monday

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Barrett Bookstore is pleased to welcome Markus Zusak to Darien on Monday, March 14, as part of his ten city tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of The Book Thief, the international bestseller that has reached over 10 million readers.  

Mr. Zusak will address the students at Darien High School.  The book has been a staple, both in the Darien school curriculum and on summer reading recommended lists. “Darien High School is thrilled that our students will have the opportunity to meet such a popular and highly acclaimed author,” says Jackie Bennett, librarian at the school. Following this event, Zusak will sign copies of the special hardcover 10thAnniversary edition at Barrett Bookstore, 314 Heights Road, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
This keepsake version contains 14 pages of bonus content including marked-up manuscript pages, original sketches and pages from Zusak’s writing notebook, as well as a letter from the author and a new jacket. The public is welcome and copies of the new edition are available for pre-order at Barrett Bookstore.


Tokeneke Aces Health Inspection ‘Retest’ & All Public Schools Now Inspected

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Tokeneke School cafeteria received a perfect score of 100 in its most recent inspection on Jan. 22 after the school received an uncharacteristic “Poor” rating on Jan. 12, when a health inspector found food not being kept at the proper temperatures. Health Director David Knauf later said an item of equipment wasn’t keeping food at the right temperature, so the equipment was relpaced. Darienite.com previously reported on that inspection:

“Hamburgers and tater tots weren’t hot enough at the Tokeneke School cafeteria on Tuesday when a Darien Health Department sanitarian showed up for an inspection, according to the department.

Upper Crust

Darien High School Students’ Artwork Displayed at Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe

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A downtown eatery is offering more than something good to eat during the holiday season. Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe (UCBC), 980 Boston Post Road, has been hosting a first-of-its kind public art showing of student artwork from the Darien Public Schools. Whether you enter from the street or through the rear hallway from the parking lot, UCBC patrons will be able to see 71 pieces of art  from elementary, middle, and high school students. None of the artwork, however, is for sale, according to the organizer Jaclyn Sammis, K-12 Art Coordinator for the district. “Many students get their work hung around their schools, but this is a time to elevate their experience to being artists in a public show,” said Sammis.

North Korean Defector

North Korea Escapee Talks to Darien High School Students

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Jinhye Jo’s harrowing escape from North Korea at age of 13, and ultimate arrival in the United States brought a personal viewpoint to history for Darien High School (DHS) sophomores. This month, Jo shared her story of tragedy, abuse, and torture along her journey, which included spending time in a Chinese prison, during four assemblies with 10th graders. The DHS History Department sponsored Jo’s visit in connection to the study of Southeast Asia – Korea, in particular- and the World Studies curriculum. Beyond her story of escape, Jo answered student questions about North Korean history and life, including questions about the Korean Conflict and use of propaganda. History teacher Chris Buckley, who coordinated the event, said the students gained some new perspectives.

Ties to Both Darien & New Canaan: Who These Poor, Conflicted Souls Will Root For

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NewCanaanite.com published this article on those unfortunates among us who have divided loyalties, with a little guy with (ram) horns whispering in one ear that they should root for the red team and an angel on their other shoulder recommending they stay true blue:

By Michael Dinan

New Canaan’s rivalry with next-door neighbor Darien finds perhaps its rawest form of expression in the Turkey Bowl, the annual Thanksgiving morning football game between two ultra-competitive and athletic high schools. Set for 10:30 am. this Thursday, at Stamford High School’s Boyle Stadium, the 2015 Turkey Bowl again doubles as the FCIAC championship game (both teams are undefeated this season) and follows a shocking comeback victory for the Blue Wave one year ago. The Rams would regroup and post their own late-game win vs. Darien in the 2014 state final, though many would say there’s something extra-special about the Turkey Bowl itself—a local tradition that sees thousands of NCHS and DHS alumni gather during the family holiday.

Turkey Bowl pre thumbnail

The Turkey Bowl Cometh: Get Your Tickets, See the Video

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Tickets have gone on sale for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Bowl football game between Darien and New Canaan high schools, and the Darien Athletic Foundation has a video out for Blue Wave Fans. The “Turkey Bowl hype video” (posted on YouTube and shown just below) by DHS Senior Jack Book shows glorious scenes from Darien’s victorious Turkey Bowls to get you ready for next week’s game, to be held at 10:30 a.m. at Boyle Stadium at Stamford High School. Pre-sale tickets are on sale at the Darien High School main entrance until 12:30 p.m. Friday as well as Monday and Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m, according to the announcement on the Darien High School website. Tickets cost $8 each. You can also buy tickets at the gate on Thanksgiving Day for $10.

Darien High School Bus Routes: 2015-2016 School Year

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Update 5:28 p.m., Monday: 

The school district has made some changes to the bus route schedules by adding back some stops that had been removed in a new scheduling system. Superintendent of Schools Dan Brenner says the changes are “very limited.” The school district website will have updated information, he said, although as of this point the information on changes to bus route schedules is difficult to find on the website. (We just looked, and we couldn’t find it.) The information should be easier to find starting Tuesday, Brenner said. Original article:

Here’s the 2015-2016 Darien High School bus route schedule from the school district:
“Route times are estimated and will vary particularly in the beginning of the school year, during inclement weather and traffic congestion on I-95.”