Long-serving activities director Chris Daren said goodbye to that role in favor of one as a full-time faculty member teaching journalism. Daren has been running the upper school journalism program of four classes per year for seven years now; as it expanded under his direction, he found he could no longer do justice to both programs.
Daren started with Harker 14 years ago, spending the first two years as a coach, study skills teacher and substitute. He transitioned to the upper school when it opened and has now been advising the yearbook for 12 and the newspaper for seven years, along with a decade as activities director.
In his several roles, Daren has led scores of student trips, near and far. One of the more memorable events during his early tenure was watching Howard and Diana Nichols lead 150-plus students around San Francisco, from dinner to a play to the first spring formal dance, in the second year of the upper school. Daren has particularly enjoyed watching students throughout the years as they grew from quiet and reserved to spirited and boisterous members of their classes.
Daren will be succeeded by current community service director Kerry Enzensperger, who will add these duties to her current role under the title activities coordinator.
The activities director comes in contact with every upper school student sooner or later and, in managing the journalism program, Daren had an impact on the entire community. While advisor to the Winged Post student newspaper, Talon yearbook and TALONWP Online, the publications, and Daren himself, won a number of prestigious awards.
The Winged Post received the National Scholastic Press Associations Pacemaker award for excellence in 2008. In March 2009, Daren received a Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Gold Key award for excellence in teaching journalism and in advising student publications at a special luncheon at Columbia University.
In August 2009, at a CSPA camp in New York, Talon staff earned top honors in the Achievement in Theme category, and numerous individual awards were earned by Talon and Winged Post staffers. Just this year, in March, the Winged Post and the site www.talonwp.com won Crown Awards; the website took a Gold Crown, the highest recognition given annually by the CSPA for excellence in writing, coverage and content, and the Winged Post student newspaper received a Silver Crown for its efforts.
Daren’s change-over was celebrated by administrators and students alike during a special ceremony during the spring spirit week rally in April.