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Campus News

List of 25 news stories.

  • The College Admission Blind Taste Test

    I grew up in the 1970s and '80s in what was a war-torn America. Cola wars that is. I was from a Pepsi family and though I had friends from Coke families, that doesn’t mean I understood their misguided preferences. To be honest, I don’t know why we were a Pepsi family, it was just always how it had been. It was what we knew and we were loyal to our brand. Then came the Pepsi Challenge where representatives from the cola company would set up a table in a public location and administer a blind taste test to passers-by. After sampling both brands without the label, one was asked to choose the soda that tasted the best. Convinced that I was uninfluenced by marketing, tradition or peer pressure, I accepted the challenge....
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  • The Perfectionist's Guide to the College Essay

    The glow from the laptop reflects off his forehead as he stares at the screen, paralyzed by panicked perfectionism. The Common Application essay prompts are neatly copied onto the blank document, taunting him with possibility. His young mind races from topic to topic, each of which he dismisses immediately. The championship soccer game…cliché. His meaningful relationship with his deceased grandfather…overdone. The first time he received a grade below an “A” on an English paper...trite....
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  • 2018 ISP Participation Breaks Records

    The numbers say it all: when the ISP program was conceived by Bruce Berk and Sandy Townsend in 1985 as an opportunity for seniors to explore life outside of school before graduating, less than half of the senior class took part. This trend continued up until 2016, when the numbers began to skyrocket. And now, thanks to years of hard work, planning, outreach, and networking by the ISP Committee, over 90% of the class of 2018 took advantage of the program and spent their final six weeks of high school exploring their various interests beyond the classroom....
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  • Education's Opiates: Prescribing Selective Colleges

    Parents, high schools and colleges are feeding an addiction of sorts— abetting an epidemic of perfectionism and expectation while promoting a “high” of status and prestige. After two decades of working with young people in college admission, it is increasingly apparent that driven by fear and uncertainty, we are “overprescribing” achievement and ambition while jeopardizing the health and wellness of our children. The parallels between selective college admission and the drug crisis are frightening and though not as immediate or severe, the impact of resume building—doing more and being more—is serious all the same....
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  • Parenting the College Applicant as an Admission Dean

    How do dentists feel when they are at the dentist? Is it as miserable as it is for the rest of us, or is it easier because they know the routine? I wonder about this phenomenon more generally, including my own profession, college admission counseling. What is it like to relinquish one’s role as the expert—comfortable, or will I squirm like every other parent? Is it enlightening to see one’s profession from another perspective or terrifying?...
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  • A College Admission Revolution

    Independence Day—it is a day on which we celebrate freedom from tyranny and oppression. It is an opportunity to commemorate a successful revolution and recall the importance of self-rule. It has also become a chance to take a mid-summer break and enjoy festive connection, appreciating good food and good friends. Unless of course, you are a rising high school senior, in which case, you now must confront the growing threat of college admission creep....
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  • College Admission Has the Cultural Capital to Drive Suicide Prevention

    I am dying—bit-by-bit, teardrop-by-teardrop, person-by-person, soul-by-soul.  An energetic teacher, a gentle high school student, a soft-spoken police officer, a hilarious counselor, a giving salesman, a conscientious young adult, and an invested coach—united in their pain and divided by their death. As a career educator, a father, a brother, a son, and a human, a part of me dies with every suicide. They are connections lost, friends missing and lives forsaken....
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  • College Summer Reading List

    Each summer, Brennan Barnard compiles a summer reading list of recommendations from college admissions counselors and deans for the Answer Sheet blog in The Washington Post. Here is his 2018 list of nearly 40 fiction and nonfiction books, with some titles that can appeal to just about everybody....
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  • The Royal 'We' In College Admission

    If there is one grammatical gaffe—perhaps a Freudian slip—that elicits the most consistent eye-rolling among college admission professionals, it is when students and parents use the royal "we” to refer to the child’s experience. "We are taking the SAT this weekend.”....
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  • Ask These Questions Before Starting The College Search

    “Do you want to go to college?” This is the first question I ask students beginning the college search and it is inevitably met with startled, suspicious looks. For many students, questioning the desire to attend college goes to the heart of unconscious assumptions and unspoken expectations, a hidden force field that encourages passivity and resignation. With the perfunctory “yes I want to go to college” out of the way, we can move to the more critical question that challenges most high school students, as they fumble for the “right” answers....
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  • College Admission Recruiting: Biased Or Broken?

    Are recruiting practices fundamentally biased? “Yes,” say higher education researchers Ozan Jaquette at the University of California Los Angeles and Karina Salazar at The University of Arizona. Unlike most other countries where college is almost entirely funded by taxpayers, in the United States schools rely on tuition dollars, or in a few cases healthy endowments—a fact that has a number of implications, including how colleges seek out and admit students....
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  • Four Generations of Impact

    In the world of independent schools, Derryfield is young. In fact, this May, Derryfield celebrates its first 50th reunion with the class of 1968 returning to campus! Our relatively short history makes this story unique: in 54 years, the Keller family has had four generations of impact on the School.... 
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  • College Admissions Counselors: From Gatekeepers To Caseworkers

    College has long been touted as, “the best four years of your life!” Actually earning a college degree in four years, however, is something of an aberration—more the exception than the rule. Research from the National Center for Education Statistics finds that just over half of all students who begin at four-year colleges complete a degree in six years. This does not bode well for an endeavor that comes at great costs to students, their families and the institutions that seek to educate them....
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  • Senioritis: College Acceptances In Jeopardy

    May 1: The unofficial end of high school for many college-bound seniors. Otherwise known as the National Candidate Reply Date, the first of May is the deadline for students to submit an enrollment deposit confirming their college choice.  For students who have obsessed over being admitted to college for months (if not years), it feels like the finish line, a time to collapse with exhaustion from a race well run.  Not so quickly!  There are still important details to attend to—maintaining good grades, staying out of trouble and actually graduating....
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  • College Admission Fairs: Do They Matter?

    The roar of voices in the cavernous convention hall is deafening and the combination of anxiety, excitement and body heat contribute to the thick air and complicated teenage odor. “A meat market” is how one student describes this ritual of a college admission fair--hundreds of tables set uniformly side-by-side, with vendors hawking their goods.  To the casual observer, it is unclear how this exchange works. Colleges and universities are arranged alphabetically, dangling colorful banners, glossy brochures, free pens, broad smiles and inviting faces, to better entice the “customer.” Meanwhile, students and parents move nervously through the crowd, both gathering information and putting themselves on display—trying to impress admission officers.  It is an interesting dance and one that is overwhelming for high school juniors beginning their college search....
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  • Student Leaders Host GEQual Conference

    On April 13-14, Derryfield's GQual Club (focused on issues of Gender Equity) hosted a conference in order to start a conversation about how everyone, no matter your age, race, sexual orientation, or gender, can work together to create a more equitable and compassionate society....
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  • Cruess '97 Named to 40 Under 40

    Congratulations to Derryfield alumnus Dylan Cruess '97, who was chosen for the Union Leader's 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty. The Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty program recognizes some of the state’s brightest young achievers who have a record of professional and volunteer accomplishments in New Hampshire. Those selected were honored at a reception at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord on March 14. Dylan was interviewed by the Union Leader about his experiences and had a photo shoot with his daughter....
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  • Alumni Authors

    Congratulations to a number of Derryfield alumni have had books published recently. Compiled below is a list of recent works alumni have had published along with brief summaries and reviews from various publications....
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  • Investigating College Admission

    Despite the considerable turbulence in the Department of Justice (DOJ), one might wonder how the admission practices of a small number of America's colleges have come under scrutiny. In 2018, the DOJ has reportedly launched multiple investigations and it is only April—at this rate, it promises to be a long year for college deans and their attorneys.  The first inquiry in January by the Department’s Antitrust Division focused on the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) for potentially “restraining trade” by asking member institutions to adhere to the Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP), the Association’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices....
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  • Two Fencers Compete at Jr. Nationals

    Two Derryfield freshmen, Samantha Induni and William Hadley, had the exciting opportunity to participate in the junior olympic fencing competition held in Memphis in February. Will started fencing because of an Instagram post from his older brother’s lacrosse team, and found he enjoyed it enough to keep practicing. Will intends to stay with fencing and see where it takes him. Samantha has a real enthusiasm for the sport of fencing and shared the following about her experience and future hopes for the sport...
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  • Harry Burnham ’11

    New Faces for 2018-2019

    As we plan for 2018 - 2019 we are excited to have hired some very strong new members to our faculty. They will bring a range of experience, energy, and expertise to our programs. We are all excited as we are already starting to collaborate with them on the courses and programs with which they will be involved....
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  • Remembering Jan Steele

    Members of the Derryfield community remember retired art teacher Jan Steele as a kind and inspirational treasure who encouraged all students to pursue art. The school learned of her passing recently, and several former students shared fond memories of their time with her. Read on for her obituary and share your memories, as well. She will be remembered for her inspired creativity, zany personality, and devotion to teaching....
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  • When Choosing Classes, There’s No One Answer

    The line forming outside my high school counseling office and the backlog in my email inbox suggest that it is course selection season, quite possibly my least favorite time of the year. Underclass students – of all grade levels – want me, as the college counselor, to “bless” their proposed course program. While I share the “truth as I know it” from two decades working in the admission profession, undoubtedly they leave my office frustrated that either I will not make their decision for them or I am unable to give the answer they are mining for....
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  • Math Team Champions Again

    Derryfield Mathletes participated in their last competition on February 7 and came away state champions! According to their coach, Mr. Induni, “we won the SMASH State championship for the S (small) division. Kedai Wei placed first among all freshmen in New Hampshire and Kate Jiang placed third among all seniors in New Hampshire....
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  • Theatre Camp Continues to Grow

    Derryfield Repertory Theatre (DRT) Summer Camp was founded in 2006 by former Derryfield choral director Laurel Devino. What started out as an extra opportunity for teenagers to get experience in the theatre has grown to a standard summer experience for many kids. The first DRT staff was comprised of twelve young adults, half of whom were Derryfield seniors, studying or planning to study theater in college. The idea was not only to give these older students the opportunity to perform, but also to extend that experience to kids ages eight through fourteen through sessions in acting, voice, dance, improvisation, and audition techniques....
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