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Memories of Derby High School - 1950's

By William Duggan, Class of 1951

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My four years at Derby High School in the early fifties are filled with many fond memories. Mr. Hefferman is remembered as our beloved principal with outstanding educators such as Miss Botti, Miss Dempsey, Miss D'Alessio, Miss Baker, Miss Vitali, Mr. Benoit, Mr. Clancy, Mr. Koval and Mr. Chromik being part of the faculty. This outstanding group helped prepare us for college and the work world. The old building on Minerva Street was certainly crowded with many shortcomings, but these were overcome by the dedicated staff.

In 1951 we were fortunate to win the only state basketball championship ever at Derby High. Were were soundly beaten by the number one ranked team, Shelton, twice during the year, and ranked last. My dad gave me a big boost by instilling in me the idea that we could upset them in the second game of the tournament, and he proved to be right. My teammates on that team included Jack Kiley, Dick Kiley, Thom Luciano, Ron Karlins, Paul Piscitelli, Frank Pascuzzo, George Binkowski, John Cavagnuolo, George Russo and manager Al Ippolito. Our coach was Mr. Coss although Coach Ryan also led us to the tournament in 1950.

We enjoyed the friendship, humor and fun times that everyone associates with high school. Many lifetime friendships were developed during these years.

My fondest memory must be of the Junior Play, where I met Peggy Conroy who six years later became my wife. We had five children who went on to enjoy and grow at Derby High, just like their parents.

All of the success that I have had in life can be attributed to our wonderful years at good old D.H.S.

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