Darren Solomons: TBSHS 2010-2017
20th November 2017
It is with great sadness that I announce that Mr Darren Solomons, our subject leader for Government & Politics and Philosophy, suffered a massive heart attack last night (Monday 20th November) and has passed away. He was taken into intensive care several weeks ago, and although he had made some improvements more recently and had come out of intensive care, it came as a great shock to us all this morning to hear the tragic news. He joined the school in September 2010 and spearheaded our very successful Model United Nations (MUN) group, taking students to many conferences in Holland and hosting our own MUN conferences at TBSHS every year. He was loved and respected by staff and the sixth form students he worked with and will be greatly missed. He was 45 and leaves behind a wife and two young daughters. They will all remain in our thoughts and prayers at this most difficult of times. We are blessed to have such a strong, caring and supportive community, where the Black & Gold spirit, embodied by Mr Solomons, will live on in his memory.
Mr Reeve, Headteacher
Darren Solomons came to TBSHS in 2010, taking over from Mark Barrow as Subject Leader for Government & Politics and Philosophy.
Many colleagues remember him as being kind, caring and loyal. He had a passion for Politics and he oversaw many heated discussions with calm authority. As the Union Representative for the ATL he was hugely supportive of the staff under his care
He also hosted and ran the school’s Mock General Election in the past, and when he was a Sixth Form Tutor was very popular and supportive to a whole range of students.
Students going back seven years will remember Darren with great appreciation, as he was always willing to help with their studies.
He will be sorely missed.
I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Darren in the politics department. The students under his pastoral care will remember him fondly as a supportive, witty and charismatic form tutor. There will be a small number who will remember him for his love of Arsenal, in fact he was a season ticket holder. Some of our alumni will smile when they read that
Rob Stark, Head of Sixth Form
Darren was a wonderful man to work alongside, quietly and calmly providing support and materials to help me to teach the minefield that is Philosophy. He was incredibly popular with sixth form students and teachers alike
Natalie Miles, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, RS & Philosophy
Darren was great with the students on our school trip to New York – he got into wonderful discussions with the students about politics and current affairs. However he gave us several grey hairs when he got on the Metro, on his own, travelling in the wrong direction! We dubbed him Pupil No 32, when we were doing a headcount to make sure he was not left behind
Alexia Kitching, Trips & Visits Co-ordinator
Darren was my form tutor, politics teacher and general mentor when I returned back this September. He supported any initiatives I had whilst making politics fun and engaging through his comic opposition to student ‘Tories’. He helped me start MUN and made our first Dutch MUN conference unforgettable by constantly getting us lost and refusing to take his black hoodie off. Our politics trip to New York was just as enjoyable as he managed to turn all the Christmas lights off in our hotel lobby by trying to charge his beloved kindle. Not to mention Jane having to head count him with the other students after he got lost and ended up solo downtown in the Bronx. He was a great teacher, supportive and kind whilst going to any lengths to help with any further politics revision or MUN. He was constantly happy and chirpy which rubbed off on those around him. Darren basically shaped my interest in politics and international relations. He made my time at the sixth form entertaining as well as informative and would go out of his way to help anyone he could
Sophie Anthony, Cover Supervisor and former student.
I had worked with Darren since he started at TBSHS and we shared a number of trips to New York with Business, Economics and Politics students. My abiding memories of these are typical Darren – he got lost on the Subway as he went the wrong way and didn’t realise for 30 minutes, he went to a library rather than The Public Library, riding on the big wheel in Toys R Us, searching the Disney Store for the right gifts for the girls, travelling for 9 hrs on a budget bus to Washington DC for 45 minutes in the Capitol Building, his kindle as an extra limb and ever recognisable by his hoodie. On one particular trip Darren was sitting surrounded by students in the UN watching football whilst I panicked about a cancelled flight. As a colleague Darren was intelligent, witty and most of all compassionate. On a personal level I am grateful that I could call him a friend and the world will be a little less interesting without him in it
Jane Parr, Business Studies.
Mr. Solomons made others feel special. However, everyone knew that it was Mr. Solomons who was the true star. Darren was loved by all. Darren was the most warm, wonderful and wise person of the greatest good humour, humility and intelligence. A leader and a team player, Darren loved Politics and Philosophy, put others first at all times and cared so deeply about staff and students past and present. The sheer number of students that studied Politics and Philosophy in the Sixth Form and beyond, is testimony to his brilliant talent and gift to nurture, inspire, empower and change lives. All students and staff were moved by his, the kindest, patient and most respectful of, natures. He listened and encouraged all. Support was always friendly, perceptive and unconditional and conversations about Arsenal, Politics and Life always enlightening and educative. We will all remember his School Mock Election Assembly Question Times which, with Darren in the chair, characteristically challenging candidates and audiences whilst giving students the opportunity to shine and lead. They were worthy of national broadcast. Mr. Solomons’ Model UN was another masterclass. It was never about Mr. Solomons but always about the students for him but everyone knew he was the genius who gave others the opportunities.
In the classroom, Darren was always objective, judicious and impartial. Even today one former student said to me we never knew his political views.
Words cannot, of course, do justice. Genuinely loved by students, and staff, as a teacher and a person, Darren was, and will remain, the most wonderful inspiration and example to all
Simon Etheridge, Subject Leader for RS & Citizenship
Tributes from former students and pupils of Darren Solomons
My deepest heartfelt condolences. A lovely guy, through and through.
Pass my best onto the appropriate people. I’ll be praying
It just happens Mr Solomons was one of the teachers who made life a bit better. He was a great person and I never forgot the things he taught me.
One day when I was upset, Mr Solomons played this very song to cheer me up
I listen to this song with happy memories now he has passed on. with a smile and laugh as he shared my sense of humour. So keep young and beautiful if you want to be loved
Always a smile on his face. He was a truly special man and responsible for so many successes.
Beyond this, he was a true friend and companion throughout many a difficult situtation. He will be missed by so many
Mr Solomons was the most amazing teacher, form tutor, and friend. He’ll always hold a very special place in my heart
He was one of a kind and had a heart made of gold. He was a friend more than
a teacher and his memory will live on forever.
Keep on supporting the arsenal up there Daz
There is no one more kind, loving and caring than Darren Solomons,
heaven is lucky to have you
Mr Solomons was the man behind why I study politics, he went above and beyond to help me academically, and develop me as a person, I will miss him dearly. He was my friend right until the end- there wont be another teacher like him
Darren was more than just a teacher, funny, dedicated, with encylopaedic knowledge, he was a friend
As well as his extensive knowledge of politics, his care, guidance and kindness is something that will stick with all of us forever, and is the reason he will be missed by so many
Darren was a kind and caring man who never failed to make us laugh. He was more than our teacher; he was a friend. Darren was the best teacher we could’ve asked for and I am at uni today because of him. Darren touched so many of our hearts, and he will never be forgotten
Darren was one of the most kind and considerate teachers I ever had through school. He treated everyone with the same amount of compassion and respect and would always happily go out of his way to help any student. His humour and belief in us got me through a lot of the hardest part of A levels and he played a huge part in helping me decide my degree. As a teacher and friend he will be missed by all
Darren was the most caring, supportive and kindest teacher, tutor and friend. He will be missed by so many but his humorous and caring nature will be remembered forever
Darren was the most amazing man who touched mine and everybody else’s heart. Every day i’d be greeted by his amazing smile and fantastic sense of humour. Darren honestly was almost like a father figure with his great advice and his considerate, trusting nature. Will be greatly missed and remembered by all
There are no words to describe what an amazing teacher and friend Darren was to me and all of his students. He believed in me and supported me unlike anyone else could and for that I am eternally grateful. He will be so missed
Darren made my education so much brighter. He was a kind, supportive friend to me and so many others and will be deeply missed. I will never forget what he taught me
Darren’s selflessness and sincere care for others was beyond admirable. He was a friend to us all and a figure to look up to. He will continue to always live on in our hearts in the same way he was always there for us – Jasmine Paramasivan
I think it’s safe to say that anyone who knew Darren would say that he was as a kind, passionate and selfless soul who touched the lives of many, he will be missed dearly
A great man has left us today. The cleverest person I have known, and a funny chap who always brightened my mood upon speaking with him.
He was a man of many abilities (most notably supporting Arsenal F.C. for whom he held a season ticket), able to drive anyone up the wall with his mastery of devils advocate. What I liked most was his sharp dry wit, and perfectly satirical view on most things. He was kind, and supportive in the darkest of times, something I will always be grateful for.
I suppose death is always decidedly inconvenient, but I must say, above all else, he was robbed… taken far far too young. The world is already distinctly dimmer without you, Sir. But I take solace in the fact that you’re looking down on us from above. I am just so glad that I had the privilege of knowing you. May God bless his wife Miriam, and their two beautiful daughters
I just wanted to express my condolences to you about Darren Solomon; from the limited contact I had with him whilst working at TBSHS, he seemed to epitomise ‘Black and Gold’. My thoughts are with his family and all TBSHS staff and students
TBSHS, the wider student community and the teaching profession has lost a true great. Mr Solomons inspired an interest in politics that I never knew I had, endlessly going out of his way to support my studies. Probably without ever realising it, he was the driving factor behind my decision to take on the subject at university. He provided career guidance, life advice and helped me through a few of the tougher personal parts of my life.
The number of obituaries that have come in speaks volumes of the man. More than a teacher and form tutor, he was a genuine friend to myself and a number of the alumni community. All I can say is thank you. For your creative teaching techniques. For the football chats. For the laughs in class, during MUN conferences and in New York. For everything you’ve done for us. RIP Darren, my thoughts are with your family at this difficult time
Mr Solomons was always much more than a teacher to all those he taught. He was a friend, a trusted advisor, a mentor, a wind-up merchant and a comedian. I know I’m not alone in saying that I would not be who I am today without his support and belief in me. From writing us references, supporting our student activities, to helping us in our many hours of needs, Darren went above and beyond to give us his time and make sure we always got to where we needed. We all have many treasured memories of our experiences with Darren and it is testament to what an amazing teacher and human-being he was to hear just how many people loved him
Mr Solomons was the one teacher that I can say has truly shaped my life. He was so caring towards all of his students and someone who would never fail to make me laugh. He was my biggest inspiration to studying politics and always would encourage me to go the extra mile. I do not have a bad word to say about Darren and I have so many funny memories I can look back on and these are what I will remember him by. I never thought I’d have to say goodbye to the greatest teacher and most amazing man who fought so hard. He was taken too soon and my thoughts are with his wife Miriam and two beautiful children.
When I sit my politics exam in June, I will be thinking of him and I will do him proud and get the grades he believed I could achieve
Emily Dutton, Year 13
Mr Solomons was what every educator should aspire to be, and then some. As a teacher, his enthusiasm was infectious- the fact that so many of his students went on to study Politics at university is no coincidence.
When I think of Mr Solomons I remember lively debates in class, school trips to New York and the Netherlands, and generally a lot of laughing.
Above all, he taught me to stand up for what I believe in whilst listening to those who disagree with me and treating them with respect. In a world where people are quick to voice their own opinion but have no time to listen to others, we need more intelligent, compassionate people like Darren Solomons.
Mr Solomons was a teacher, mentor and friend to me and many others. Sadly, the candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long
Darren was certainly one of the most well liked teachers within the school, always on hand to lend support in whatever form to anyone. His enthusiasm and chipper nature was infectious; his level of commitment to teaching and his students was second to none.
I am sure many other students will have incredibly fond memories of trips ‘led’ by Darren to the Netherlands, New York and to conferences in London. No matter where in the world, these excursions were always planned and conducted with considerable aplomb.
It is a testament to his character that news of his death has been so widespread and met with such sadness; a true gentleman whose contribution to the school will be hard to replace.
My thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his wife, as well as his two daughters who have been robbed of growing up with their loving dad
Louis Lyons – ex pupil, 2006-2013
Darren’s funeral was held on the 24th November 2017. The School was represented at the funeral.
29th November 2017