Connecting the Past to the Present with Darrin Silvester

Meet Darrin Silvester

It’s been said that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Salem High School history teacher, Darrin Silvester, is determined to not only remember the past, but bring it to life.

Since 1996, Darrin has been inspiring students in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district and helping them create connections.

After Darrin completed his student teaching, he was hired to teach civics but has since expanded his subjects over the years. In 2005, he began teaching Michigan history with an emphasis on local history, and five years later added American Culture and Baseball to his teaching curriculum. 

Reconstructing the Past for the Present

Darrin’s emphasis on bringing history—and its relevancy today—to life for his students is apparent in the projects that his classes have taken on. In 2005, Darrin and his students began preserving the Shearer Cemetery in Plymouth.

After working on the site for over 11 years, he and his students were able to make it a place that people could visit and remember the past. Overgrown brush and weeds were cut back and walkways created so that the cemetery could be easily accessed, and several sunken gravestones were dug up and relocated to their proper places.

By reconstructing the past, his students learned to make connections to other people and places in history. The rejuvenation of the cemetery was commemorated with a children’s book called Footsteps in History.

In addition to the Shearer Cemetery, Darrin and his classes have been involved in other local projects as well.

When the Cady/Boyer barn was set to be moved from its original site on Joy Road in 2006, Darrin and his class studied the history of the barn and gave a presentation.

A decade later in 2016, Darrin and his students made displays for a museum commemorating the original Plymouth High School, collecting over 120 oral histories and creating dozens of poster boards of former alumni. 

The Present and Future for the History Teacher

When asked about his hobbies, Darrin tells us that he prefers consuming experiences as opposed to social media. Whether he is heading out on a weekend trip, taking in a Wings or Tigers game, visiting a new town, hiking a cool trail, cutting lawns for people in the summer, refereeing youth hockey games or drinking a McDonald's Coke, Darrin seeks to enjoy the big and small moments in life.

One never knows what the future may hold, but when Darrin's time in the classroom comes to an end, he’ll be looking for his next adventure. If the past is any indication, he will be making a memorable impact on whatever comes his way.