Derryfield commemorated Veterans Day during a Community Meeting held on Monday, November 7. After an opening choral performance of “The Storm is Passing Over,” Head of School Andy Chappell gave the history of Veterans Day, noting that Derryfield graduates have served in various capacities in nearly every major military campaign since the Vietnam War, including most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Anna Moskov, Director of Philanthropy and Engagement, then welcomed Derryfield parent, Gray Chynoweth, as the keynote speaker. Each year Derryfield chooses someone in the community who is a current or former member of the armed forces to share what service means to them.
Chynoweth, an intelligence officer in the US Naval Reserves, is a New Hampshire native who grew up in Canterbury and graduated from Bishop Brady High School. He went on to study political science at UC Berkeley, and public policy and law at Duke University. His career path commenced at Sheehan Phinney in Manchester, where he was assigned to Dyn, then a tech start-up. After Dyn, he worked at other Manchester-based tech companies, including SilverTEch, DEKA, ARMI, and most recently Minim. In 2020, he made the decision to offer his expertise to his country, via service in the US Naval Reserves.
Chynoweth recounted how he chose this new career path.
“I did not have a direct path to the Navy. There were not a lot of people in the technology community, in which I work, that served. But several years ago I got involved with a non-profit, Swim with a Mission, which supports Navy Seals who are transitioning into business. For the first time in my life, I got to work with Navy people–and they were really awesome. Then, through my work at DEKA with the advanced regenerative technology manufacturing group, I got to meet people who were part of the Department of Defense. They were creating unbelievable technology, and I thought those people were really cool too.”
After sharing his personal story, Chynoweth concluded by encouraging the Derryfield student body to give their time and talents to the community.
“You can serve too. You have a skill that will make a difference. There are lots of ways you can join. There is no better way to honor the sacrifice of all those people we have talked about than by working to enrich the community they worked so hard–and in some cases died for. So think about that opportunity of service in your own life.”Watch the choral performance here.Watch the speeches from the community meeting here.