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New LEAD Opportunities

Elaine Loft
The Athletic and Wellness department opened the 2021-2022 academic year with a sense of excitement inspired by our state-of-the-art facilities, programming changes that made LEAD part of the curricula, and the creation of two new positions in the department.  

Embracing the LEAD tenets of “fostering each student’s social, emotional, physical, and ethical growth” and “supporting a healthy school and community culture,” middle school students will now take a full trimester of LEAD each year. Grade six classes are taught by School Counselor Mary Perkins and Wellness Director Courtney Cheetham. The focus in sixth grade is on “Understanding the Community” and includes topics such as managing conflict, making friends, and self-regulation. In grade seven, the emphasis is on “Working Together in the Community,”  including character-building and healthy lifestyle choices. Head of Middle School Mark Blaisdell and School Nurse Lainee Shaughnessy comprise the teaching team. Athletic activities include strength and cardio training with Fitness Director Kelsey Federico and an introduction to the Derryfield ropes course. Eighth grade students concentrate on “Leading in their Community,” with self-advocacy underscored. Director of Athletics Chris Hettler and Courtney Cheetham introduce topics that support social and emotional learning and highlight characteristics such as teamwork, grit, and perseverance.  

The fall of 2021 also introduced a wealth of new options for upper school students. With the entire Athletic and Wellness Center now fully available throughout the day, students can navigate a plethora of options during their free blocks, ranging from shooting hoops to strength and conditioning training to ping pong, foosball, and putting practice. Yard games are also on offer, and a monthly, friendly competition (including the awarding of a ceremonial trophy) will contribute to culture-building. On any given day, the Athletic & Wellness Center is filled with students exercising their bodies (and their voices) in the joyful pursuit of mind and body wellness.
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The Derryfield School

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