Article: Darien High School Oval Road To Be Renamed 'Wave Strong Way
Darien High School Oval Road To Be Renamed 'Wave Strong Way
The name change will serve as a reminder of strength and unity for the Darien High School Blue Wave community.
Richard Kaufman, Patch Staff
Posted Tue, Jun 13, 2023 at 3:35 pm ET | Updated Tue, Jun 13, 2023 at 4:06 pm ET
Darien High School Principal Ellen Dunn and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Allan Addley (center, standing next to sign) surrounded by DHS students at the site of the future Wave Strong Way. (Courtesy of Laura Bremer)
DARIEN, CT — The oval roadway surrounding Darien High School's athletic fields will now be named "Wave Strong Way," and school officials, students and staff hope it will be a symbol of strength and unity for years to come.
The Darien Board of Education on Monday night unanimously endorsed the installation of three road signs at all entrances to the oval, which previously did not have a formal name.
Wave Strong, a grassroots organization made up of students, parents, athletes and coaches originally put forward the idea. The group came together following the unexpected deaths of several DHS students last year.
In late March, near the anniversaries of the students who were lost a year ago, Wave Strong reminded the school community that they are loved and that they are not alone by placing more
than 100 blue hearts in the chain link fence surrounding the oval fields.
In May, volunteers added temporary words of support and kindness to the oval payment.
"It dawned on us that the road that surrounds the oval fields didn't have a name," said Amy Oefinger, a Darien resident, DHS parent and Wave Strong supporter, in an announcement Tuesday afternoon.
"In just a few short months, the Oval as we knew it transformed into something so much more than just a road around sports fields. It’s become a place to remind students, teachers, administrators and visitors that this is a place where they belong, where they are supported and where they are loved," Oefinger added. "We knew it was time for an official name, and that name needed to be Wave Strong Way."
The blue Wave Strong Way street signs will be donated to the school and placed at all three entrances to the oval at High School Lane, Noroton Avenue and Nutmeg Lane. It will also be added to Google maps for directional purposes for all visitors.
On Monday night during a special Board of Education meeting, Superintendent of Darien Public Schools Dr. Alan Addley said the signs wil be dedicated to all students at DHS.
He praised Wave Strong for their continued support to the school community.
"This organization, as you know, has been instrumental in supporting our students, collaborating with our administrators and our high school in particular, through the last couple of years and the challenges we've faced," Addley said.
Wave Strong has organized fundraising teams for both the October and April American Foundation For Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Out of the Darkness walks. They've also spearheaded holiday sock sales at the Darien Sport Shop to support the town's mental health task force, and supported several varsity sports teams in raising mental health awareness.
Board of Education Chair David Dineen said Monday he reached out to First Selectman Monica McNally, Darien Police Chief Donald Anderson and Darien Planning & Zoning Chair Stephen Olvany about the name change idea.
All officials are "very supportive," said Dineen, who noted that a process must be followed first before the signs can be installed.
"The chief [of police] stressed that the roads are under our care, control and custody," Dineen said.
McNally endorsed the name change Tuesday afternoon.
"I fully support the proposed name change as a demonstration of the community’s commitment to our students’ mental health and well-being," she told Patch.
Dineen noted that the address will not be changed for mailing or emergency services purposes.
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Darien High School Oval Road To Be Renamed 'Wave Strong Way'. The name change will serve as a reminder of strength and unity for the Darien High School Blue Wave community.Read more