It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of Derrik Flahive. Derrik died in a drowning accident while on a foreign study program with Colby College in Santiago Chile. Derrik loved music, sports, outdoor adventure, and helping to create educational opportunity for young people around the world.
A tremendous athlete (lacrosse and football), teammates and coaches alike shared a deep appreciation for Derrik’s contributions on and off the field. Teacher and lacrosse coach Bruce Collamore recalls, “Derrik was a wonderful, caring, high energy young man who poured all of his efforts into being the best at everything that he attempted. He led by example, whether it was on the field, in the hallway, or in the classroom. He set the bar high in all of his endeavors and made those around him better.” Football coach Scott Yates remembers, “Derrik came to practice each day with an enthusiastic hunger to ‘get on with it.’ He was eager to practice, learn, and prepare for the next opponent. He simply loved to play the game and he took to it naturally. At one time or another, each football coach commented on his great attitude, the positive affect he had on others, and his boundless energy.”
Also a talented musician, Jazz Band Director Steve Holley recounts that Derrik’s spirited and dynamic drum playing “set the tone for rehearsal and provided leadership in concerts. Derrik knew what was required to achieve a great performance.” When I watched Derrik perform, whether in a Coffee House or an athletic contest, it was clear that he was striving to achieve at the highest level without losing sight of bringing out the best in others and keeping his marvelous sense of humor.
Derrik’s upbeat personality, love of adventure travel, and heart of service made him a big hit in his service work in Africa. His generous nature, big smile, and ability to engage with those around made him a beacon of eager enthusiasm. His Class Dean, Kurt MacDonald, recalls that Derrik, "was serious about his experiences, and relished those opportunities that provided genuine insight into the world. He had an insatiable thirst for discovering things that were 'real:' real experiences, real emotions, and real knowledge that mattered--all things that likely compelled him to travel abroad. He also had a very real maturity about him, and his authenticity made him a real friend to many."
Derrik will be remembered fondly by everyone in the Kent Denver School community. His presence made us stronger, and his absence reminds us all to take full advantage of the opportunities before us, to better understand the world by getting to know the people of the world, and to share life's experiences generously with others.
Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers,
Head of School