Darien High welcomes parents back for first open house since 2019

DARIEN — For the first time since 2019, parents returned to classrooms in person last week for Darien High School’s annual open house.

Principal Ellen Dunn said she was “delighted and proud” to welcome parents as they walked through the school hallway.

“This is a wonderful night for us because it is our chance to invite you into our classrooms,” she said to the adults. “You will get a glimpse tonight of the passion with which our teachers approach their work.

“We thank you for sharing your children with us on this high school journey,” she added. “We are grateful for their curiosity, enthusiasm for learning, willingness to work hard and boundless energy. They make DHS an amazing school.”

After two years of feeling like she was “missing” a formative time in her younger child's education, parent Lori Olson said she was excited to finally get a glimpse into her junior’s class time the same way she had for her two oldest children, both DHS graduates.

“It’s good to be back and see what they’ve been doing for the past two years,” she said.

Parents Association co-chair Antoinette Cowles said it felt great to be back meeting with other parents after so many years of calling in remotely.

“It’s just nice to be back in the building and see faces not on a computer screen,” she said. 

Several parents stopped by the spirit wear table where Cowles was volunteering, eager to celebrate her daughter’s recent qualification for the 2023 National Merit Scholarship semifinals, one of the four seniors from Darien who made the cut.

Superintendent Alan Addley said he was glad to see parents re-engaging with teachers in the classroom, what he called “the ingredient to success” for connecting families and the school system.

“There’s no greater relationship than that between parents and teachers,” he said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify when the last DHS open house was.