Meet your neighbor...Avery Brook
DARIEN — During her freshman year at Darien High School, Avery Brook loved dressing up and cheering with her field hockey team during homecoming. It wasn’t until the following year, when Brook stopped doing track and field hockey, that she realized that homecoming wasn’t as fun when you weren’t part of a sports team being celebrated.
Through other activities she enjoyed, such as singing and service work, she was exposed to an array of other skills in Darien students.
“It’s incredible to see how much talent there is in this school and people have no idea because there’s so much focus on sports,” she said. “I think it’s just really important that we try to embrace everyone’s talents and all the achievements that are being pushed under the rug, because there’s so much emphasis on the athletics here.”
Over the next three years, Brook herself shined through other activities. She’s the president of the Community Council, which presides over the entire student body, as well as the president of Tudor Singers, the honors chamber choir. For three years, she’s acted in the musicals and one act plays with Theater 308, Darien High School’s theater company, and helped write and compose music for their production of “Eurydice.” She also does service projects as the vice president of the student governing board of the Darien Depot, in addition to being the head tutor at the ABC House.
When it came time for planning homecoming for her senior year, Brook decided to get creative in her role as community council president. At the suggestion of one of her advisors, Brook decided to plan an activity to get everyone involved: a lip dub. The result is a live lip dub to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” to be put on by seniors on a sport team in any season or part of a major club before the homecoming pep rally on Sept. 23. The lip dub, done without any rehearsals, is meant to be a fun way to get everyone involved in homecoming, regardless of whether they’re on a sports team.
“I think it’ll just be a really great to unite everyone, have everyone working towards one common goal and really create a positive atmosphere and a more positive outlook going forward with the school year,” said Brook.
Initially, Brook was nervous about her plan. But so far, in the week before it’s supposed to be set in motion, she said she’s had positive feedback. After speaking at a faculty meeting before school started, she had many teacher’s supports and she said her peers have been receptive so far.
“I kept getting teachers that I didn’t even know and who don’t know me coming up to me and saying like “That’s such a good idea, I’m really excited for it,” she said. “I’m really excited to see how it turns out and even if it’s not an incredible production, that’s not the point. It’s the fact that we’re doing and we’re creating something together.”
While Brook said she’s excited to add to Darien’s unique approach to homecoming, she said the lip dub is just that: an addition.
“I’m not someone who wants to change tradition,” she said. “I want to make sure that we’re maintaining the things that we’ve done for so many years, but I want to add things...I want to make sure we keep the old, but come in with new ideas and adding things, getting more things in the school to get more people involved.”
These additions are part of the overall legacy that Brook wants to leave on the school once she graduates this upcoming June.
In addition to creating a new take on homecoming, Brook said she and the community council hope to initiate more service projects for the school as the year goes on. The school already holds several projects, such as a silent auction to raise money for gift cards to food places to give to teens in need. Brook hopes to add more projects like this, potentially some involving other area high schools. This type of giving back is important to her.
It’s this sort of attitude that drove Brook to her position in the first place. While some teens pack on activities for the sake of padding their college resumes, Brook is more concerned with giving back to the school that’s given to her for the past three years.
“I don’t think I’d be this stressed out just to get into college,” she said. “For me, it was really important to be a representative for my class, because this school has given so much to me that I wanted to be able to give back a little bit.”