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BUILDING INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS Global trips and exchange programs are not new; Derryfield students have been venturing abroad since the early days of the school’s history. But it is only within the past decade that Derryfield has really started to build its program of international resident students, and it continues to be a focus today. In an effort to strengthen the sense of belonging with our international students and their families, Head of School Mary Carter and Associate Head of School Susan Grodman took a trip to China over spring break this year. While there, they met with families of both current Derryfield students and graduates. The goal was to build relationships, so that when families send their children around the world to attend school, they are familiar and comfortable with the school and its people.

Zhang ‘17, at Johnny’s father’s Mongolian restaurant, and, in another culinary adventure, enjoyed a private “feast” arranged by Selina Zhu’s ‘18 father, where they ate “the best Peking duck in all of Beijing.” Other trip highlights included touring the Forbidden City with Amery Jiang’s ‘16 mother. They also saw Tiananmen Square and the National Museum, and shared additional meals with the families of Kate Jiang ‘18 and Zoey Guo ‘17. Ms. Grodman and Dr. Carter returned full of positive thoughts about the growth of Derryfield’s international student program, and that one day there will be a regular exchange, with students from both countries visiting and learning about each other from the perspective of home.

Since our international students step into such a foreign environment when they arrive at Derryfield, another goal of this trip was to get a sense of what they are leaving behind culturally and figure out how to help them feel more at home. To achieve this, a more vibrant liaison program is planned, one that will help these new students better incorporate into the Derryfield community. In China, the School hopes to build a network of contact families in different cities, to be a resource for interested students, and to host events similar to the local meet and greets held here. Building connections and extending community is a long term goal. Of the trip itself, Ms. Grodman noted the graciousness of the families they visited, and how excited all of them were to share their culture. They spent time with the family of Charles (Zichong) Li ‘14, had a “magnificent” dinner with the family of Johnny (Chengyu) B e l o n g i n g : W i n t e r 2 0 17

Susan Grodman and Mary Carter with Hong Huo in the Forbidden City (top) and Lixin Zhang and Xiaoping Xi in Shanghai (above).

The Drowsy Chaperone In March, The Derryfield Players produced The Drowsy Chaperone, a meta-musical about the narrator’s love of a Vaudevillian musical by the same name. Man in Chair leads the audience through the show as he plays the record, commenting on its stars, plotline, and the satisfaction we get from the escapism theater provides. Like its 1920s source material, this show is riddled with stereotypes—the grumpy producer, the best friend sidekick who can’t quite get it right, the poised butler, and lots of flighty women. While the theater has grown into a place that accepts artists and audiences from all walks of life, the show provided an opportunity to discuss how the celebration of diversity we now expect in contemporary theatre was not commonplace in 1928.

Peter Philbin ’18 as Man in Chair.


A cast, crew, and orchestra of nearly 50 student performers brought the 1920s play-within-a-play to life with “rousing anthems,” carefully rehearsed dances, and intentional character movements. New to the technical process this year was the introduction of student-headed teams for props and costumes, who gathered materials under the direction of an adult. This model allowed crew members a chance to hone their design, organizational, and leadership skills. Even in the face of snow days, cast members spent a considerable amount of time in dance rehearsals and turned out a handful of showstopping numbers. Humorous characterizations and line studies were perfected throughout the creative process to bring the world of 1920s drama to life on the Derryfield stage.

Derryfield’s four-member girls’ varsity swim team kicked off the Division II State Championships by winning the 200 yard medley relay, breaking the state record by two seconds in 1:49.62. After a day of other strong individual accomplishments, Derryfield swimmers surprised the powerhouses of Oyster River and St. Thomas by winning the final girls relay of the meet (400 yard freestyle), propelling them into a tie for first place with St. Thomas for the team title and snapping Oyster River’s long winning streak. They crushed this race, setting a new state record by 9.51 seconds in a time of 3:33.96. It was a historic moment for the girls’ swim team of four members, coached by Derryfield alumnus Jon Steer ’72, to beat a perennial powerhouse and share the team state title.

DERRYFIELD GIRLS’ VARSITY SWIMMING DII state swimming champions 200 yard medley relay champions 400 yard freestyle champions Kyra Chen ’20 Lindsey Wagner ’19 Emma Wagner ’17 Natalie Young ’20

B e l o n g i n g : W i n t e r 2 0 17

SAVE THE DATE: REUNION 2017 We look forward to welcoming you home to Derryfield the weekend of Friday, May 19. Reunions are specifically for classes ending in 2 and 7, but all alumni are welcome to join us. If you are interested in helping out with planning, please contact Alice Handwerk to get involved. Don’t miss this weekend of festivities!

WWW.DERRYFIELD.ORG/REUNION BOSTON ALUMNI EVENT It was a dark and stormy night when over 50 alumni, alumni parents, and current and former faculty braved a Boston downpour and came out to celebrate the careers of Jennifer Melkonian and Bruce Berk. The weather may have been frightful, but the party was nothing short of delightful; held at the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown, MA, speeches were given, toasts made, and laughter shared in abundance.

NATIONAL ART AWARDS Earlier this year, Derryfield was proud to announce that 13 students had received recognition for their artwork by the New Hampshire Scholastic Art Awards. A competitive juried art competition, the work of these students was considered next to the artwork of hundreds of student artists from across the state. Two of our Gold Key recipients, Ada Hu ’19 and Brooke Northrup ’17, had their work recognized by creative professionals as some of the most accomplished in the nation, receiving Silver Keys in the national competition. Of the 330,000 works of art and writing submitted nationally, less than 1% were recognized at the national level. New Hampshire Gold Key National Silver Key Ada Hu ’19 Hong Village (Printmaking)

New Hampshire Gold Key National Silver Key Brooke Northrup ’17 Inner Demons (Digital Photo)

Breakthrough Manchester BACK TO SUMMER BREAKFAST Please join us for our “Back to Summer” breakfast on Wednesday, May 17 at Southern NH University from 7:309:00 a.m. Thanks to major sponsors Cityside Management Corp. and Southern New Hampshire University, there is no cost to attend the breakfast, and you will have a chance to meet and speak with some of the students and the college-age Teaching Fellows in the program. Please feel free to share this information with anyone else who is interested in college access, closing the opportunity gap for kids, or college and career readiness. We hope to see you there! TOP TO BOTTOM: A large crowd gathered to celebrate Bruce Berk and Jennifer Melkonian. Bruce with a group of his former tennis players. Jennifer with Xxxxx Xxxxxxx ’XX and Xxxxx Xxxxxxx ’XX. B e l o n g i n g : W i n t e r 2 0 17


A PROGRESS REPORT PFA IS SPRINGING FORWARD! Longing for a weekend away? Red Sox-Yankees tickets? Just the right spa treatment? Or maybe a unique and irreplaceable Derryfield gift? You’ll be able to find all this, and more, at the Derryfield Parent/Faculty Association’s spring benefit, Spring Fling, on Saturday, May 13, at LaBelle Winery in Amherst. Let your competitive streak run wild by outbidding your friends for some fabulous items in the live and silent auction, or just relax with great food, drink and camaraderie. Whichever you choose, it’s an evening not to be missed!

goal 1: belonging

“ Build a sense of belonging and identity within the Derryfield family.” morning flight to the New England destination of your choice for breakfast. Champagne mimosas on Lake Champlain, perhaps? Another completely unique and beautiful gift is a replica of the Derryfield shield handcrafted on a thick pine disc. A perfect college dorm or family room decoration!

We have some fantastic items lined up already. How about a plane flight to breakfast—your own private pilot will take you on a

If you don’t have your tickets yet, there’s still time; just visit www. and click on the PFA Benefit Registration button on the right side of the screen. We hope to see you there!


goal 2: leading

For many years now New Hampshire’s Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) and Athletic Directors Association (NHADA) have been getting student athletes together to talk, learn, and experience leadership. Over 250 students from around the state, including six from Derryfield, gathered at the Grappone Center in Concord on the morning of March 16 for a two day exploration of the meaning and practice of leadership, especially as it applies to athletics. They spent the day in sessions that covered topics like Team Dynamics (presented by two Navy SEALs), Overcoming Obstacles, and Sticking to Your Moral Compass. The day ended after dinner with a Color Challenge, when students were divided up into five teams and competed against each other in various mental and physical challenges.

“ Cultivate inspired, effective, and compassionate student leaders committed to enriching their wider communities.

Attendee Sydney Socha ’19 had a great time, and learned a lot. “The conference was really fun and exciting, and it was also very useful,” she said, “It made me think more about the leadership at Derryfield and how we students can make a positive change to help the leadership become stronger at Derryfield.” Chaperone and Director of Student Leadership Danielle Llewelyn agrees, saying it got everyone thinking about how to apply what they learned back here at Derryfield. One idea, given the focus on athletics, is to send team coaches to the conference with their team captains, so they all absorb the same message, and can work together to create a unified approach to leadership on their teams. Other ideas are being considered, so stay tuned for more leadership initiatives coming soon! B e l o n g i n g : W i n t e r 2 0 17

Students do group exercises at the 2017 NHIAA Leadership Retreat.


“ Invest in a sequence of multiple physical plant upgrades by following a traditional master planning, campaign, and construction cycle.”

TENNIS ON THE MOVE If you’ve been on campus recently, you may have noticed that the parcel of land on the corner of Bicentennial and River Road that was for sale, now has a sold sign on it. Well, we’re excited to announce that Derryfield was the buyer! As part of the School’s strategic plan, this land gives us the opportunity to meet some needs for our campus as we prepare for future capital improvements. The plan is to relocate the tennis courts and make the current tennis court land available for future development. Knowing that we needed to relocate the courts, Derryfield’s Board of Trustees looked at various options. When this opportunity presented itself, it turned out to be easily the most cost effective and convenient option. The land is flat, has easy access, and gives us a wonderful presence on River Road. Our neighbors continue to be supportive of our campus improvements, and look forward to this corner adding value to the neighborhood. If you have questions, or would like to learn more, please contact Anna Moskov at 603.669.4524, ext. 6302 or

goal 4: elevating

“Expand program and marketing to attract more families and retain current families.”

What’s Camp Got to Do With it? Let’s get right to the heart of it: in the last three years, Derryfield’s summer camps have generated at least 30 admission applications and 20 new enrollments. That’s not “small fry” here in a total population of approximately 400 students. From Derryfield Repertory Theatre Camp to LEtGO Your Mind STEM camps to sports camps, summer programming is an effective way to showcase Derryfield’s facilities, expertise, and positive vibe to southern NH families. Help us spread the word by sharing information at and boost Derryfield’s exposure! B e l o n g i n g : W i n t e r 2 0 17




Where in the World? Derryfield’s global program continues to grow, providing our students with unique opportunities both near and far. Ninety-one students, almost 23% of our student body, participated in global programs this year. Where did they go? Middle School students had the opportunity to explore arts and culture in New York City. This trip included a Broadway theater workshop and an exploration of America’s rich immigrant and refugee history at Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, and the Tenement Museum. Another group went to Utah, where they participated in outdoor adventure activities and service projects on a Native American reservation. Twelve years and counting for our upper school Habitat for Humanity trip; this year with 28 students and six chaperones! On the international front, upper school students went to China, visiting schools, meeting local people, and volunteering at a Panda reserve. Last but not least, twelve students participated in a trekking and service program in Nepal, continuing our support of retired faculty member Candy Chaplin’s long-time commitment to education and health care in two Nepalese villages. Parents of Alumni: If your child no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify the Advancement Office of the correct mailing address at 603.669.4524 or email B e l o n g i n g : W i n t e r 2 0 17

Stay tuned for next year...

Maggie Cissel ’19 during a ceremony in Nepal.

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Belonging, Winter 2017  

Derryfield’s semi-annual newsletter with updates on campus events and strategic plan progress.

Belonging, Winter 2017  

Derryfield’s semi-annual newsletter with updates on campus events and strategic plan progress.

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