Darby Byrnes, Class of 2025 | Grade 5 Student / Renaissance Learner
Darby Byrnes’ love for learning is infectious. At the mention of writing, she lights up: “I love getting to pour myself into stories,” she said. She’s also fascinated with American history: “I think it’s so interesting to see how people used to live, and to study how much our nation has grown.”
She approaches academics from a 30,000-foot view, consciously making connections between the subjects and projects she tackles each day. “I guess I like history so much because I like to compare and contrast different countries, cultures, and time periods. One of my favorite things to do is draw Venn-diagrams, where you can actually see the differences and similarities with what you’re trying to compare.”
Darby’s curiosity doesn’t end with humanities—she likes learning just about anything, from anyone. Her favorite project so far at Parker has been the grade 4 “Be An Expert” unit, where students pick a topic of their choice, research it extensively, and then do a presentation of their findings in front of the class. Darby chose to research lacrosse, the sport she plays, and dived into studying about its history and modern day presence, as well as her favorite professional teams and players. She loved becoming an expert, but even more so, learning from her peers. “My classmates did such cool presentations on subjects like guitar, narwhals, the Washington Nationals, the abyssal zone…oh man, I learned so much! I never wanted that project to end.”
While Darby’s enthusiasm for school seems intuitive, she doesn’t hesitate to attribute this quality to Parker: “Going to school here—it’s full of unique learning experiences, and I feel like the teachers care about making class fun,” she describes. Her affirmations for her teachers don’t stop there. “They help me to stay determined, to be true to who I am, and to feel like I accomplish anything I set my mind to. They’re my favorite part about Parker—I feel incredibly lucky to have the teachers I do.”
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.