New Teachers: 2010
A big surprise in the DHS ranks: 11 new teachers are joining the fold. The surprise is that in a tight economy Darien - unlike many schools in the area and nation- actually added staff. Former math intern Lauren DiStefano is one of the newest hires, but is actually a bit of a veteran among this group. She was the math intern last year. Miss DiStefano will teach Algebra I, Geometry, and College Math Topics. Here's a look at the some other fresh faces that will brighten the classrooms this year.
NEIRAD Enilno edition
By Jay Alter, Claire Dickson, Parker Lange, Ian Sullivan, Kevin Cassidy, Lisa Randall, Katie Grozier, and Ryan Barthold- 10/09
As the school year gets started many students will notice a new person in the Special Education Department: Mr. Gabriel Morrow.
Undergrad— Milligan College
Mr Morrow has an 8-year-old named Claire and a two-month-old Lydia. His wife, Jennifer, is the pastor at the Rowayton United Methodist Church.
Morrow acted for many years in Louisville KY. Afterwards, he taught in the Bronx.
“My plans for this year are to get to know the student body well, and participate in many extracurricular activities at the high school. I also love tennis and hope to help out with the squad this year. In addition, I would love to help out with Theatre 308.”
On top of being an actor, Mr. Morrow is also an EMT for the Stamford Ambulance.
“The little things do count: homework, being on time, and organization are all very important for success.”
Louise Dobson is a familiar face in the English Department: she was a student teacher last spring and completed her internship here in 2009. The DHS community is excited to welcome back this friendly Brit as a leave replacement for Francis Janosco. She will teach American Literature and AP Language and Composition.
Two sons. Chris is a freshman at University of Colorado at Boulder and Edward is a junior at The Hotchkiss School.
Undergrad— Fairfield University
Grad- Ms Dobson has master's degrees from Columbia in journalism and Fairfield in teaching.
Journalist, wrote for Psychology Today and grant writer for AmeriCares
Cycling, running, watching independent films, reading (“I’m an English teacher, I have to say that!”)
“Only connect!...Only connect the prose to the passion.” EM Foster “Howard’s End”
Ms. Dobson is eager to get to know her students and wants to be sure that everyone has a great year.
Mr Cabrera is a new faculty member to students, but a familiar face for many DHS faculty. He was a teacher here before leaving in 2006 to take an exciting professional opportunity in Southeast Asia. Now that Mr Cabrera has returned he is ready to enrich his classes with this international experience.
Married. His wife is a teacher in Rye, N.Y.
Four years at DHS, two years the Ruamrudee International School, a middle school in Bangkok, Thailand.
Undergrad: New School for Social Research in New York City
Grad: Harvard University
Love history even more!
"Ultimately, you are responsible for your own education."
Long distance running
Mr. Cabrera is fluent in Thai
Denise Massari enters her first year at Darien High School with optimism and energy. You can look for her on the third floor in the foreign language department, where she will be teaching Spanish.
Hamilton Square, NJ, although she grew up mostly in Monroe, Conn
Undergrad – Dartmouth College
Grad - Yale University
Taught in Stamford, New Canaan, Greenwich, and New Haven.
Ms. Massari found out about the job after talking with some former colleagues who work at DHS. She then spoke to foreign language coordinator, Dr. Derek Taylor who was her professor in a Connecticut teacher certfication training program. This paved the way for Ms Massari to join DHS.
running, and fishing. She is also interested in resuming her coaching career in the sports of field hockey, basketball and softball for the Blue Wave.
Has a cat named Kinuko.
"Prioritize education because it is very important, but also, treat others the way that you want to be treated."
In a year where DHS received more than 200 applications for this single English teacher position, one candidate stood out among the stacks of resumes: Elizabeth Wenzel. Not a surprise since Ms Wentzel was also a standout at Fairfield University in her master’s teaching program and during her student teaching at Staples High School in Westport last spring. DHS is proud to have signed this teaching all star to its team.
Undergrad – College of the Holy Cross
Grad - Fairfield University
Swimming teacher during college, student teaching and internship in the Westport schools.
hiking, water skiing, wake boarding, and skiing
Mac and Cheese
Ms Wenzel lives a vegetarian lifestyle and has a little Shih Tzu named Sevi.
The Math Department will welcome Ms. Jen Chirles to teach Algebra 2, Geometry, and Applied Math. This multifaceted teacher is sure to enrich the lives of all of her students.
Long Island, NY
Married and have one dog. (more on Piper below)
Taught math in Long Island and was a quality engineer
"Do your homework and read the ENTIRE problem!”
“I do community theatre. And I love my dog Piper, she’s a Golden Retriever- really an outstanding dog.”
“The Kite Runner”, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Ms. Chirles was on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”! (joining her colleague, Kathy Kenny, who also had game show stardom on “Jeopardy” earlier this year)
Mr. Youker is a passionate physics teacher who will bring a lot of energy to the C-wing, whether it is with teaching physics or maybe even enlivening up the institutional hallways with an unexpected mode of transport.
Glen Falls, NY
Mr Youker has been married 10 years. They have a 7-year-old boy and a 16-year-old stepdaughter.
Undergrad – Dartmouth
Grad – Wesleyan
14 years at Choate-Rosemary Hall and four years at Fairfield Warde.
Mr. Youker likes the new building and science facilities.
"For every student one of his students to LOVE Physics."
“Get enough sleep!
Mr. Youker has the ability to get around on a unicycle.
The Science faculty is excited to welcome a new teacher to take on one of the more strenuous subjects in its department. Richard Heberton will join the DHS community to teach 300 and 400-level chemistry.
Newtown Square, PA, outside of Philadelphia
Mr Heberton’s son, Eric, graduated from DHS in 2009 and his daughter Jen graduated in 2006. Both were captains of their volleyball teams. His wife Pam graduated from DHS in 1976 and currently operates the pottery and beading store, Art & Soul, in New Canaan. The Herbertons have lived in Darien since 1992.
Colgate, Indiana U, and UCLA
Taught at Ridgefield High School
“Try and keep up! It’s a tough subject.”
“I like all kinds of outdoor sports- hiking and baseball.”
"Lord of the Rings Trilogy"
Mr. Heberton lives in Darien and his children went through the Darien Public School system.
Band members of all grades mourn the retirement of Carolyn Whinnem but will be delighted after meeting her replacement. The newest member of the band has a lot of experience and shares a strong passion for music.
Western Connecticut State University
Teaching music in Derby, CT for two years and in New Milford, CT for eight years
Mr. Grauer views DHS as a “new challenge” and “something different” after teaching in New Milford for eight years. He has also heard that Darien is a “wonderful district.”
He just recently ran a marathon, which was the “worst four hours” of his life. However, Mr. Grauer ran and raised a lot of money for leukemia and lymphoma research.
Miles Davis (“I’m a big jazz guy”) and Dave Matthews Band
Mr. Grauer wants to “motivate the band to become more of a part in the community”. He wants community members to see the band as “more of a source of pride.” Mr. Grauer summed up his goal by saying he wants the band to be “bigger and better!”