Just after I first moved to Darien, I attended a BOE meeting. There was a discussion about reducing the number of elementary schools in Darien from five to four. I stood up and pointed out that, given the numbers before me, closing a school would leave very little room for error. Enrollment had been dropping and it would be time for another wave of young parents to settle in Darien. This would cause enrollment to start rising again.
BOE Chairman Amy Squyres was dismissive of me and my ideas. The only Board member who listened was David Barrett. The Squyres plan was a disaster. It split the town and led to the closing of Holmes School and the end to Darien’s neighborhood school system.
David Barrett stood out in his opposition to this failed plan. Eventually David and I and a small band of diehards proved to be right. Holmes was reopened and the neighborhood school system was restored to Darien.
It was with real sadness that I learned of David’s passing. Darien has needed more David Barretts. Alas, that has not been the case.