This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Upper School

Independent Senior Projects

Small enough and smart enough to truly personalize each learning experience.
Since 1985, Derryfield seniors have been offered the opportunity to spend the last five weeks of their academic study pursuing an outside interest as part of an Independent Senior Project (ISP). The number of seniors participating in the program fluctuated until 2019, when ISPs became a feature of every senior’s Derryfield experience. A unique feature of the program is that seniors may continue to participate in spring sports while completing their ISPs.

ISPs, particularly internships or mentoring within a field of interest, often lead to either summer jobs or future internships. This is due to the large, diverse, and engaged Derryfield alumni base, who enthusiastically support the work of current Derryfield students. Students sometimes opt for  internships in areas of vocational interest, but also dig into “passion projects.” Recent ISPs have delved into the arts, STEM, medicine, finance, and outdoor pursuits.

The School believes this culminating experience is a valuable and logical conclusion to a Derryfield education, and in many cases, the project proves to be equally or more impactful than in-class learning. The hope is that seniors will gain a deeper appreciation of their own talents, and of the importance of serving and learning from others.

ISP Stories

List of 4 news stories.

  • Board Games with a Purpose ISP

    Jordan Cady
    Will Ryan decided to do his Independent Senior Project (ISP) on developing board games called “Fire Bingo” and the “Chatter Wheel.” These board games are meant to help either raise awareness or help others in a particular way. The Fire Bingo game is meant to teach children about fire dangers and what to do when a fire arises, whereas the Chatter Wheel game is meant to combat loneliness for the elderly and to help them start a conversation with others....
    Read More
  • EduTech and App Development ISP

    Jordan Cady
    Aaron Agulnick decided to do his Independent Senior Project (ISP) on developing educational apps for teaching Afghan elementary students how to read and write in Pashto. Pashto is a minority language in Afghanistan. His app will show flashcards of all the letters in the Pashto alphabet for students to utilize plus learn from and much more. Aaron partnered with a little Norweigan-based company called Brighter Tomorrow, to help create this groundbreaking app....
    Read More
  • Kids Kitchen ISP

    Jordan Cady
    Caroline Hines decided to do her Independent Senior Project (ISP) on creating a digital cookbook for people under the age of 18, called “Kids Kitchen.” She wanted to create a cookbook so she could share her recipes with others but also be able to add to it throughout her life as she experiences different cultures and new places. Her cookbook includes family recipes passed down from generations, new recipes and Caroline’s own recipes she has created herself....
    Read More
  • Large-Scale Mural ISP

    Anna Welch
    Jake and Josh Ehret decided to do their Independent Senior Project (ISP) on creating three large-scale murals to be placed throughout the Derryfield campus. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Jake and Josh had planned to paint a series of five murals across the city of Manchester, but they pivoted due to safety and business closure. The twins changed plans and decided to paint murals of Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper to hang up on the walls of the Science and Innovation Center. Their third mural was of a cougar, which will be placed outside of the middle school....
    Read More

ISP Videos

Prior Projects

List of 18 items.

  • 2017

    Stew Arend and Miles Fey: Worked at Concord Hospital, shadowed Dr. Lynch, and read Healing America.

    Julia Hillsgrove: Worked at Lahey Medical Center with a nurse practitioner and CRNA.

    Katherine Kittler, Sam Smiley, Richie Tarpey, Isaias De Los Santos, Brooke Northrup, Ethan Chen, Connor Huftalen, Alex Labonte, Jacob Miron, Ryan Quinlan (Team ISP): Worked with Charlie Northrup on multi-dimensional (possibly multi-year) project related to artificial intelligence. The group worked in focused teams, which included engineering, programming, media, music, ethics, and law.  

    Andrea Mello: Learned about project management with North Point Construction.

    Chloe Smith: Worked with general and vascular surgeon Dr. Clutterbuck at CMC.

    Anja Stadelmann: Traveled to Iceland to work on a farm/B&B, led tours on horseback, and did general farm work. https://www.instagram.com/ice.pony.isp/

    Chris Benson: Worked with a physical therapist, learned how to run a small business as well as gained experience with PT.

    Tommy Cissel: Worked at YMCA Camp Belknap helped with digitizing artifacts, alumni network, and general preparation for upcoming season.

    Kassidy Ford: Worked at Let’s Play Music, supervised private lessons, advised and led band rehearsals, and coordinated performances.

    Madison Kochanek and Tyler Crews: Worked to further develop their product, the Lily Pod (a discreet device to alleviate menstrual cramps). Madison also worked with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (planning and communication). Tyler also worked on social media and event planning with the NH Women’s Foundation.

    Sam Muskat: Interned at Reaching Higher NH, built social media platforms and assisted with legislative monitoring.

    Aman Patel, Ben Garfield, and Phoebe Socha (Team ISP): Worked alongside Yvonne Simon to develop a product that will help College for America further its mission to allow more students access to a college education.

    Julia Perkins: Worked with the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Manchester, assisted with communication and helped plan an annual fundraising event.

    Gabi Brummett: Worked at Erdinger’s Edge to develop and test a series of workouts and nutritional plans, specifically designed for female athletes.

    Kelly Collins: Worked with local elementary schools on their music programs.

    Annalise Groves: Traveled to Utah to pursue her passion for rock climbing and to raise awareness about the importance of keeping public lands conserved. https://www.instagram.com/appreciateadventure/

    Nick LeClerc: Worked at Common Earth Farms, participated in all farm-related activities.

    Nicole Mayer: Worked at Elliot Hospital, shadowing several different doctors.

    Lauren Rohlfs: Worked at Aissa Sweets, helped with retail, production, packaging, and shipping operations.

    Lee Sipes: Worked at Mercedes Benz in Manchester, learned how a car dealership operates and assisted with all aspects of the business.

    Sam Anderson: Worked with the Seacoast Regional Energy Hub to assist in community outreach events.

    Max Curtin: Worked at Pax World Management in the investment department, where he learned about investment processes.

    Melissa Skaluba: Worked at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, shadowed a range of doctors and surgeons.

    Naomi Durand: Worked at Concord Community Music School, focused on music therapy.

    Richard Eng: Worked at DEKA on their bioengineering project.

    Madeline Kasten: Worked at Rocking Horse Studio, where she learned about the general operations of a music studio, in addition to assisting with the marketing and promotion of a local musician.

    Krystyna Keller: Worked with a marketing firm to develop the profiles of several local cafes.

    Victor Li: Worked at Argo Cycles and Auto, where he learned about all aspects of running a salvage yard and vehicle repair shop.

    Tucker Ormiston: Built the rolling chassis of a Lotus 7 replica car.

    Spencer Neville: Worked at Big Brick, an advertising company within GYK antler, assisted in all levels of production, pre-production, planning/coordinating, on set production needs, and post-production workflows.

    Christina Smith: Worked at The Drift Collection, a small clothing company in Portsmouth, where she created and re-purposed clothes.

    Talia Sperduto: Worked at Tamarac Farm, designed and built a cross-country riding course.

    Addie Stevens: Worked at Pellettieri Associates, where she was introduced to all of the important facets of a successful design/build landscape architecture firm.

    Sophia Tarpey: Worked with a local ROTC group (Salem HS), developed skills related to this program. She also explored the possibility of establishing an ROTC program at Derryfield.

    Cecelia Templeton: Worked at St. Anselm’s College, where she played a significant role in data collection and analysis of several projects related around the central theme of the physics and chemistry of fire development and arson investigation.
  • 2016

    Joe Costa and Matt Dubreuil: marketing interns with NH Fisher Cats.
    Sarah Wilson teaching a drama class at Mills Falls Charter School and working as an assistant at the Palace Theater
    Sammie Smith: teaching a drama class at Mills Falls Charter School and working as an assistant for the Bedford Youth Performing Company
    Polly Carter: working with a small business, Company C
    FrankieDeIeso-Frechette: shadowing a pediatrician and nurse practitioner at Child Health Services
    Julianna Muise: classroom assistant at Webster School
    Eric Anthony: antique dealing (buying and selling)
    Victoria Bemis: interning at Sports Medicine North and doing research about sports medicine.
    Liz Krogman: working with authors on literary creations and teaching children
    Emma Mannion: working towards being a motivational speaker in local schools/teaching dance classes
    Burton Owen: working with an architect
    Parker Blaisdell: working with the Department of Environmental Services
    Jesse Bryan: working at Common Earth Farm.
    Luke Chapdelaine: biology lab assistant at St Anselm’s College
    Robby Cordova and Phil Tatro: working at Rocking Horse Studio
    Scooty Devine: working at a sustainable horticulture shop
    Gavin Faulkner: working in a large animal vet clinic
    Noah Doherty and Owen Leonard: working at a major theater company in DC
    Alex Kaufman and Danielle Gale: exploring each facet of the photography business
    Brock Higley: radio station intern
    Amery Jiang: working for DYN in Manchester
    Hannah Kelsey: working at TFM Structural Engineers
    Peter Lehmann: reorganizing music library and teaching students at Concord Music School
    Charlotte Leyden: working at A Market
    Madeline Pierson: working at Nanocomp
    Ryan Stagg: working with a medical partnership focusing on oncology
    Cynthia Teng: working in the fifth grade at the Webster School
    Emily Van Duren: working in a horse barn to learn the business side of riding

    Angela Xu: interning in an optometrist’s office
  • 2015

    Sandy Lockwood interned with The Hotel Portsmouth.

    Grant Glosner interned with the Human Resources group at Fidelity Investments in Merrimack.

    Tess Regan createed art around campus.

    Elizabeth Ludwig worked with the architectural firm Lavallee Brensinger.

    Brittany Northrup divided her time, first acting as a marketing intern for a start-up yoga studio in Bedford and taking an eight-week mindfulness course and overhauling the Middle School’s “World of Difference” program.

    Steph Tonneson dove into music, with a focus on writing and recording her own songs. She also performed some of her newly written pieces live at local venues.

    Katelyn Mullikin shadowed three different types of surgeons. 

    Sam Fogel interned at New Hampshire Public Radio.

    Alex Campbell-Diehl did social media consulting for New Hampshire’s Small Business Development Center.
  • 2014

    Leah Holden
    Leah pursued her passion in science and engineering, and obtained an internship at BAE Systems where she is involved in projects with F-35 planes.

    Maddie White
    Maddie worked at the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), assuming major social media responsibitities to promote PMCs mission to support cancer research.

    Jon Lenki
    Jon worked with a local artist, who is a designer and metal fabricator, and taught Jon how to weld.

    Grant Smith
    Grant was a campaign staffer for First Congressional District Candidate Dan Innis. The range of work Grant has done includes creating a financial database of and then making cold calls to potential donors, making political calls to state representatives and business leaders to try to get their support or endorsement, and just getting a lot of one-on-one time with the candidate.

    Griffin Paneuf
    Griffin worked at m5, a marketing and communications firm in Manchester.

    Yana Holden
    Yana shadowed Sharon Livingston, Ph.D., president and founder of the The Livingston Group, a company specializing in all phases of motivational research, and “discovering precious hidden gems of knowledge lurking beneath the surface that can propel your business to new heights.”

    Neil McCalmont
    Neil worked with Derryfield trustee and faculty emeritus Charles Sanborn as a “school historian” in preparation for the fiftieth anniversary celebration.

    Jordyn Arzilli
    Jordyn went to Rome and study the evolution of sculpture and architecture from the empire and the republic through the Renaissance to the Baroque period.

    Peter Briccetti and Michael Collins
    These two friends are working on a joint ISP at a local recording studio, Rocking Horse Studio, . As a part of this ISP they not only learned the workings of a real recording studio, they also worked on writing and producing their own material.
  • 2013

    Everett Baker - worked at Vertical Dreams’ indoor rock climbing gyms in Manchester and Nashua. It was a chance to pursue an interest in climbing that was triggered for Everett in his eighth grade gym class with Jeff Hastings.
    Jason Berk - shadowed Dr. Alexandra Kuftinec, a psychiatrist at the Concord Family Medical Center. He was allowed to sit in on sessions with adolescent, adult and senior patients suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression.

    Lulu Carter - spent her six weeks at the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice in Concord. The only survivor of the Holocaust ever elected to Congress, Tom Lantos was in his 14th term when he died in February, 2008. Subsequently his daughter Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett established the foundation to honor the work of her father.
    Eli Groves - shadowed doctors and met some of the patients at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, but it had not been an easy connection to establish. “I sent emails to several hospitals and finally got a response from St. Joseph’s,” he recalled.
    Keegan Westbrook - worked “24 hours a day” at the Owen Farm in Hopkinton. He showed slides of the vegetables and animals on the Owen Farm, and many of the structures that he helped build.

    Mike Stone - has been able to experience German culture and family traditions while staying with relatives in Germany, and learn about the individual histories of many of his ancestors. “This has definitely solidified my intention to take German in college and to have a more international focus in my pursuit of political science and law,” he wrote. He also acknowledged that being away from Derryfield during the final weeks of his senior year has had him often feeling “disconnected from DS.”
  • 2012

    Elizabeth Aliotta - shadowed and worked with a psychologist in Methuen, MA whose clients are K-2 emotionally disabled children. Elizabeth says that all children deserve a quality education, and these individuals cannot conquer the academics until they have mastered social skills.

    Sarah Blaisdell, a talented singer and actor, served an internship in musical education. She shadowed a music teacher at Beaver Meadow School in Concord, NH and helped him direct a musical at Concord High School, laying the ground work for a career in music education.

    Kerri Falkenham - began her dream to work with animals serving an internship at North Side Animal Hospital in Hooksett, NH. She worked directly for the hospital manager, focusing on the work of technicians and veterinarians. She observed many surgeries, clipped thousands of nails, took hundreds of temperatures, and even was allowed to perform minor procedures. This ISP has reinforced Kerri's desire to become a veterinarian.

    Cait Gillett - visited various schools studying how they assist students with learning disabilities. Her focus was on dyslexic children, a subject close to her heart. Visiting schools in Europe, North Carolina, and New England, Cait gathered a sense of what is being done so that she can continue work on what else can be done in the future.

    Rachel McCoy - served an internship working for the Ann McLane Kuster campaign for Congress. Rachel would like a career in politics and, through this ISP, has gained experience and made contacts for her future. Rachel missed her initial all-school ISP presentation date because she had to attend a breakfast featuring Vice President Joe Biden with the opportunity to meet and have her picture taken with him. I guess that's a good excuse!
  • 2011

    Alex Jenney: Internship at 92.5 The River radio station
    Max Nagel: Rebuild and refurbish 1967 Ford Mustang Coupe
    Aseeb Niazi: Internship in international relations at World Affairs Council of NH
    Erica Raff: Internship in oncology at Parkland Hospital
    Jackie Snyder: Work with all aspects of raising and training horses at Senator Bell Farm in Chester, NH
    Tayla Satkwich: Teach and study languages in The Netherlands, specifically the differences in how and how early languages taught there vs. in the United States
  • 2010

    Grigoriy Androsov: Trainer/support at Daghir's Gym.

    Aerial Berk: Assist Derryfield director of communications with all aspects of computer design and website maintenance.

    Steve Burke and Brandan Rivard: Produce a Derryfield sports magazine called "DSPN."

    Ben Calegari: Apprentice with the IT Director at Spectrum Marketing.

    Kelsey Durant: Student teach at Webster Elementary School, working with ELL students.

    Ali Geffner-Smith: Internship at doctor's office.

    Jacob Harwood: Work with art teacher and a professional wood turner learning how to use a wood lathe. Present creations at assembly.

    C.J. Keyes: Learn Ableton Live computer software and create three hybrid songs using pieces from existing songs.

    Sofia Kouninis: Internship at Rocking Horse (Recording) Studio.

    Cam Lencki: Student teach in The Derryfield Middle School: 7th grade science, 6th grade geography, and 7th grade civics.

    Jennifer Mandelbaum: Internship as an EMT support person with Rockingham Ambulance.

    Philip Melanson: Read 16 books, watch cinematic adaptations, and compare them via a blog.

    Heather Monty: Internship at New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR).

    Matt Porat: Work with mentor to provide educational and medical relief to the children of Nepal.

    Elise Shattuck: Write and edit a young adult novel of at least 60,000 words creating a manuscript at the end of the project.

    Alex Seiger: Build an electric bicycle.


  • 2009

    Colette Chretien: Designing and Making Shoes

    Arianna Enos: Working with Cats at the Manchester Animal Shelter

    Sadie Fowler: EMT Internship with Rockingham Ambulance

    Bonnie Frieden: Teaching ELL Class at Webster School and Tutoring

    Rose King: Internship at the Currier Museum of Art

    Spencer McCormick: Laboratory Internship at EPIX Pharmaceuticals

    Bianca Nicolosi: Internship in Broadcasting at Radio Station in Dover, NH

    Aimee Valliere: Learning Adult Care Business and Conducting Alzheimer's Research at Sarahcare Adult Day Care Center

  • 2008

    Liz Dirth: Learning the horse business at Cater Stables

    Danielle Potter: Physical therapy internship and work with Derryfield Athletic Trainer, Derek Lautieri

    Bekah Volinsky: Created, wrote and illustrated a comic book

    Audrey Morgan: Internship as chef at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nashua, NH

    Akash Vadalia: Internship in family physician’s office

  • 2007

    -Sculpture project
    -Pottery project
    -Small Business Internship
    -Law Firm Internship (3)
    -Sports Writer - Eagle Tribune
    -Communications Intern - The Derryfield School
    -Music Recording - Rocking Horse Studio
    -Technical Crew - Palace Theatre
    -Inern - Animal Rescue League
    -Environmental Monitoring - Public Works
    -Intern - Elliot Hospital
  • 2006

    -Intern - The Jimmy Kimmel Show; Los Angeles, CA 
    -Direct Middle School Play
  • 2005

    -Restore 1976 Triumph Spitfire
    -Record original compositions for CD
    -Construction management project
    -Intern - Puffin Interiors design firm
    -Write original screenplay
  • 2004

    -Equestrian internship
    -Intern - Concord Feminist Center
    -Record original compositions for CD
    -Intern - Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
    -Create counselor program manual for Sentinel Baptist Camp
  • 2003

    -Pre-school teacher's aide - Jewish Federation
    -Intern - United Airlines
    -Photography/Philosophy project
  • 2002

    -Volunteer at orphanage in Nicaragua
    -Direct and produce play
    -Intern - Raytheon, Brazil
    -Intern - architectural firm
    -Intern - interior design
    -Record vocal selections for CD
    -Intern - Fidelity Investments
    -Intern - Sununu Campaign
  • 2001

    -Volunteer - NH Hospital Children's Center
    -Art teacher's aide - Hopkinton Elementary Schools
    -Intern - airport and flight school
    -Intern - Lavallee/Brensinger architectural firm
    -Restore and upgrade a 1985 Jeep
    -Research Pablo Neruda and study Spanish in Chile
    -Internship in business and management at CR Sparks
    -Intern - McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton law firm
    -Intern and office manager - Hippopress
    -Teacher's aide - Shaker Road School
  • 2000

    -Computer project with Granite State Company
    -Restore and study mechanics of vintage motorcycles
    -Student teaching - Amherst Middle School 7th grade
    -Education programs and animal care at Audubon Society
    -Hospital training program at CMC
    -Apprentice to master carpenter and builder
    -Help to place and equip children for summer camp programs at Child and Health Services
    -Intern - Florentine Films (Ken Burns' film project)
    -Work at Manchester Animal Shelter
    -Work in philanthropy office, Concord Hospital, planning a fundraising event
    -Teaching assistant - Beaver Meadow School theatre program
    -Intern - O'Neil Griffin and Bodi design firm
    -Intern - Manchester city government
    -Intern - Manchester Animal Hospital
    -Intern - Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Wachs
    -Work in orphanage in Boliva for three weeks, then Headstart
    -Teaching assistant - Montessori School, Manchester
    -Management training program at CR Spark's
    -Photography project, focusing on the work of granite cutter Chance Anderson
    -First-grade teaching assistant - Bakersville School
    -Restore jeep and apprentice with master auto mechanic and restorer
    -Photography and exhibit of work
    -Design training program and help plan Summer Games for Special Olympics
    -Intern - Bedford Granite Group advertising agency

The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715