Ria Dhull, the Darien High School Class of 2019’s valedictorian, spoke with The Darien Times about her future and graduation. Dhull will be attending Harvard University in the fall and will be majoring in applied mathematics and following an economics and cs track within that major.
Dhull said, “DHS was a place where I could grow and thrive and make mistakes with a little safety net underneath me. It was a place I could explore every subject I've ever had an interest in, from music theory to European history.”
But she is now ready for what this next stage in her life will offer her. “I'm excited for the opportunity to fully discover who I am and what I'm truly passionate about. In high school, my choice of classes was fairly limited, but at college I'll have access to hundreds of clubs and different opportunities.”
On being her classes valedictorian, Dhulls joyously said, “Being valedictorian is an incredible honor, especially in a school like Darien High School, where every student strives to do their best both inside and outside of the classroom. I am excited to be given the opportunity to represent my class at graduation, and share some of the knowledge I've gained over my four years in high school.”

Salutatorian Aram Russell also spoke about his high school experience and what’s to come. Russell said, “I struggled to survive the sudden and rigorous workload at Darien High School. But so did my peers, so we struggled together and formed deeper friendships because of it. My friends and teachers and the school administration offered constant, sincere encouragement and support.”
He continued, “I was able to grow and explore passions in music and the humanities I never knew I had because of the kind people I was surrounded with. It was an honor to spend high school with them.”
With positive words of encouragement, Russell spoke about being the class of 2019’s salutatorian. “Being honored salutatorian means I have been trusted to reflect with my peers on what these past four years have meant to us. Each one of them has gotten something different out of high school, but together we have all grown.”
Next year Russell will be studying philosophy at Yale University. “In this next stage of my life I am excited to live and to learn. I hope to go for long walks and every day to learn something new about myself. Most of all, I can't wait to spend time talking with the people I will meet.”
Graduation is Tuesday, June 18, at 5 p.m. on the Darien High School Stadium Field, weather permitting.
No tickets are needed if the ceremony is held outdoors, and seating is unlimited. Seniors should arrive by 4 p.m. and report to the South Gym for robing and final preparations. Gates open at 4 p.m. and seats are first-come, first-served. There will be folding chair seats on the field, as well as the entire home side bleachers.
More information on graduation can be found here.