Danbury High School Through The Eyes of Mr. Holmes

Hope Thomas, Staff Writer

     In 1906, Danbury High School was created for students all around Danbury to connect and learn. Over the years, the school has gone through various changes including a location change, new buildings, and population increases. While Danbury has gone through many different seasons, some specific teachers and administrators have seen the school develop. One of the most “iconic” and faithful teachers at Danbury High School is the one and only, Mr. Holmes.

     Mr. Holmes is a United States History, AP United States History, and AP European History, teacher. Any student who has had his class knows the passion and extensive knowledge he has about history. While he began teaching in 1979, Mr. Holmes began his journey at Danbury High School in 1993. Twenty-nine years later at Danbury, when asking about how the student population has changed over time, he explains “students, youngsters, don’t really change that much. There were people with no respect 40 years ago, and people who were diligent.” Holmes noted how the culture of social media has hardened many hearts as people are more hesitant to show respect toward one another. Still, there is a strong appreciation he has for Danbury High School students with their inspiring work ethic and down-to-earth demeanor.

     Mr. Holmes recounts how the world for high schoolers in the past could seem so different, as he went to high school during the Vietnam War. Yet, the diversity of Danbury students creates an accepting, open-minded, and hard-working student body. The zeal and diversity found in Danbury is one of the reasons that Holmes has stayed for so long. Danbury has a “blue-collar” nature which is similar to the environment he grew up in. He expounds that although the community has slowly become bigger and increasingly diverse, its blue-collar spirit is still very prevalent. While Danbury may not have a lot of money compared to other Connecticut districts, Holmes chose to stay and work in a city that prides itself on its diversity and talents.

     The importance of acting like a community is a strong priority to Mr. Holmes. He shared that through his many years of experience he has come to believe that whether a person is a principal for one day or even ten years, their power is limited. He believes that while a principal can set a tone, everyone must contribute for that tone to be effective. Holmes does note if there is something he wishes that this generation struggles with, it is the tendency to have a surface-level understanding of everything. An example is with the influx of new technology, people are more inclined to read news headlines than actual articles. “We know a lot about a little and not a lot of depth” which changes the way the current generation lives.

     When asked what the most rewarding part about being a teacher is, Holmes responded “I don’t really know the answer, it’s part of who I am. I can’t imagine actually working [in another setting], I’ve been going to school since I was five.” His passion for learning allowed him to eternally remain in his safe place, the classroom. Holmes truly demonstrates his belief that a person can never be too old to learn. This message is exactly what Danbury High School has instilled in thousands of students over the past one-hundred sixteen years, to never stop learning.

     One thing is certain, Mr. Holmes has a lot of hope for this upcoming generation. He believes that Danbury teaches students with immeasurable levels of intelligence, talent, athleticism, and leadership skills. He does not fear for the next generation’s future, he believes it will be very bright. The continued faithfulness Mr. Holmes has had for Danbury High School does not go unnoticed. He has played a small, yet crucial role, in the lives of hundreds.