Friendship flourishes in the science department


Abigail Kuhn, Copy Editor

Step into the science workroom any given day during second lunch and you may just find one of the best friendships in the building hidden in plain sight. 

This group of five, made up of science teachers Dylan Brown, Rachel Hovey, Christina Gizzarelli, Kathleen O’Brien and Sara Wilson, calls itself the Tiny Science Gang. 

The Tiny Science Gang found its humble beginnings in 2019 when Gizzarelli joined DHS staff, but the group’s friendship was truly formed in 2020 over the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

“Really it was Covid, because we were here for so long at the beginning of that year before students came and we didn’t really know what the plan was,” Wilson said. “There were not a lot of people who understood what we were dealing with on a daily basis except for each other.”

Through unprecedented times, the Gang still found time to make their jobs a little more fun. When they could no longer have lunch together in the building, they held lunchtime Zoom calls with the science department from home. They also occasionally met in the park for walks and lunch, and even watched Brown’s July 2020 wedding over video call when they could not attend in person. 

“We all really bonded over the Covid experience,” O’Brien said. “We often said if we didn’t have our Tiny Science Gang we wouldn’t have survived those crazy years and experiences.”

More recently, they have come to revere their most signature tradition: Pretzel Day. 

On conference nights, the group gets together to buy pretzels from QuikTrip and eat them before their evenings begin. 

In fact, the origin of their name came from their pretzel plans and a little eavesdropping by senior Jayden Island.  

“Someone was coming around urgently making arrangements for Pretzel Day, which we take very seriously,” Brown said. “Jayden overheard the conversation and commented that we were ridiculous and ‘like a tiny science gang.’ The name stuck.”

Apart from their many traditions, the group is able to find solace in their companionship no matter where life seems to take them. 

“This job can be super challenging and frustrating. There are a lot of demands placed on teachers,” O’Brien said. “Having a group of people that understand what you are going through is important…. Most people just don’t understand what our lives are really like. How many difficult decisions we make on a daily basis. Having a friend group to vent with is truly important.”

“The people you work with will make or break your ability to enjoy and tolerate your job,” Gizzarelli said. “If you don’t like the people you work with, then life will suck every day you are at work.”

“It’s nice to have people to share ideas with, share frustrations with and have people to cheer you up when you are having a bad day,” Hovey said. 

The Gang employs a mix of humor and seriousness to get each other through tough times.

“When you’re frustrated, someone can always remind you that it’s not that big of a deal, even if they do it by turning it into a joke,” Wilson said. “When people have hard times we all know about it. We are able to support each other and cover for each other here and there.”

“We survived Covid together. We laugh together. We have cried together. We are there for each other,” O’Brien said.