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DURHAM ACADEMY

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The DA Graduate A MISSION-DRIVEN LIFE A LSO I N THIS ISSUE: ✸ Work begins on STEM

and Humanities Center ✸ K-1 chess team wins national championship ✸ Class of 2017 heads to 64 colleges

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Melody Guyton Butts

F ROM THE HEAD OF SC HOOL

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friend and former colleague often repeated a nugget of advice that proves equally helpful when leading a school, building a barn, raising a child or living an ethical life. “The main thing,” he used to say, “is keeping the main thing the main thing.” What is the “main thing” at Durham Academy? Are we a college prep school? A cauldron for character? An academy for the liberal arts and sciences? Do we exist to prepare students for success in universities? To help them excel in dynamic economies? To hone their intellects? To create servant leaders in communities across the globe? The simple answer is “yes.” All these ideals resonate here. Each grows naturally from the vision of our founders in 1933. Not one of these missions, however, has meaning without a vibrant culture of teaching and learning. The academic program, one could argue, is the essential “main thing” on our campuses. Our 2015 Strategic Plan confirmed our decades-long commitment to excellent teaching and learning. The beating heart of Durham Academy has always been our faculty. By prioritizing excellent teaching and committing to strengthen and harmonize our curricula, we are feeding the deepest roots of our school. Among the ways we have worked this year to strengthen academics at DA: • Broadening our candidate pools for teaching positions, intensifying our interview protocols, reducing interviewer bias and expanding faculty feedback into hiring decisions. • Clarifying our Standards of Professional Excellence for faculty and harmonizing the teacher evaluation rubrics across our four divisions. • Initiating a biannual parent survey to funnel feedback directly to teachers and foster candid dialogue and a collaborative growth mindset.

• Launching a comprehensive prekindergarten to 12 curriculum mapping process. • Increasing our faculty professional growth budget (including curricular improvement projects for faculty teams and graduate school support for teachers in all divisions). • Maintaining nationally competitive faculty salary and benefit packages. • Investing in instructional technology (hardware, software, training and teacherled workshops). • Offering new courses and extracurricular activities in robotics and other STEM fields. • Strengthening college counseling efforts by increasing dialogue with ninthand 10th-graders. • Finalizing ambitious construction plans to expand and improve our classrooms, labs and makerspaces. We will continue to measure our progress through ERB, AP, SAT and ACT results; college admissions data; student course evaluations; application and student attrition data; and satisfaction surveys of our seniors, parents and alumni. However, these quantitative measures — and indeed the academic program as a whole — are not the “main thing” at DA. Academic achievement is not an end in itself, but rather a means to our central purpose: the cultivation of virtue. This purpose transcends the delivery of academic content. GPAs and SATs measure important things about the learning process, but measurable outcomes may be the least significant results of learning. We at DA seek not only temporal, quantifiable success, but rather long-term results with largely immeasurable qualities. Morality, happiness and productivity — these are the ultimate goals of the DA experience. While it may sometimes seem to our students that DA cares most about homework and quizzes or soccer games and iPads, our central concern — arguably the only concern that matters at age 25 and 35 and 75 — is strong character. With a mission to prepare students for moral, happy, productive lives, we have always cared about character education at DA. From fundamental habits (warm handshakes, eye contact, morning meetings, etc.) to multifaceted programming (advisory groups, community service, the Magnificent Seven awards, etc.), our teachers have, for 83 years, worked as

purposefully on moral virtue as they have on intellectual virtue. Never before, however, has Durham Academy articulated a schoolwide definition of good character. What traits matter most in our community? What characteristics are most essential to live a moral, happy, productive life? Over the course of the year, faculty from all 14 grades labored to create an answer to these questions — a bold statement of character traits that animate our daily work and sustain a life well lived. Led by Associate Head of School Lee Hark, this process included months of open-ended brainstorming; research on similar efforts in schools across the country; feedback from students, parents, alumni and trustees; and lots of haggling about individual word choices. We eventually arrived at a potent constellation of attributes — arranged around the essence of our mission statement: • Morality (empathy, kindness, integrity, responsibility and courage) • Happiness (curiosity, engagement, authenticity, balance and joy) • Productivity (creativity, drive, resilience, generosity and wisdom) On page 16, Lee shares the results of his deep dive into these words and their implications for students, teachers and parents at DA. Cynical adolescents don’t suffer sappiness gladly. And indeed, any list of character traits can seem to walk the razor’s edge between pure abstraction and mawkish cheesiness. But our students recognize that character matters deeply — outlasting facts and figures and outshining even the shiniest academic prizes. As Horace Greeley put it, “Fame is vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.” And so we bolster and enrich our academic program with all the resources, creativity and energy we can muster, remembering always to keep the main thing the main thing.

Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School @ MrUlkuSteiner


DURHAM ACADEMY 6 F EATURES

6 | BREAKING GROUND STUDIES FOR NEW Demolition of the physics building is the first step toward a new STEM and Humanities Center that is expected to transform the Upper School campus. SCIENCE BUILDING

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NEW SCIENCE BUILDI

CANNONarchitects 16 | DECONSTRUCTING OUR MISSION STATEMENT

What should our graduates be able to do — and how should they be able to live — after experiencing a Durham Academy education?

FRONT COVER: School mission statements can calcify over time and feel a bit disconnected from the lived experience of those in the community, so faculty spent much of the past school year defining what a “moral, happy and productive life” looks like during a student’s time at Durham Academy … and beyond. I L LU S T R AT I O N B Y S A R A H J A N E D E L K

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Melody Guyton Butts

34 | LITTLE KIDS WIN BIG HONOR K-1 chess team wins DA’s first championship-level national title with one of the largest margins of victory in national tournament history.

Sarah Jane Delk

29 | HAND-HOLDING, ENCOURAGING AND CAJOLING Heartfelt notes from alumni and seniors thank Kathy Cleaver for 25 years of helping them find the college that’s right for them.

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CONTEN TS

DA ON THE GO

S U M M E R 2017

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DURHAM ACADEMY Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School

DURHAM ACADEMY

Magazine

Brendan Moylan ’85, Chair, | W i n t e r | 2 0 17

Board of Trustees Garrett Putman ’94, President, Alumni Board DURHAM ACADEMY MAGAZINE Kathy McPherson, Editor Linda Noble, Designer

STEM { DA } N ew o p p o rt u n it ie s in S c ie n ce, Te c h , E n g in e e rin g , Mat h ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: • Moving toward DA 2030 • Spotlight on Greg Murray, Jordan Adair, Victoria Muradi

COMMUNICATIONS Leslie King, Director of Communications leslie.king@da.org Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications kathy.mcpherson@da.org Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications melody.butts@da.org Send news and story ideas to communications@da.org. DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI AFFAIRS Leslie Holdsworth, Director of Development leslie.holdsworth@da.org

www.da.org/magazine for current and previous issues.

Download the DA App for news, athletics schedules, calendars and directories. Search for “Durham Academy” in the Apple App Store.

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Tim McKenna, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs tim.mckenna@da.org DURHAM ACADEMY MISSION STATEMENT The purpose of Durham Academy is to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to live a moral, happy and productive life. The development of intellect is central to such a life and thus, intellectual endeavor and growth are the primary work of the school. The acquisition of knowledge; the development of skills, critical judgment and intellectual curiosity; and increased understanding are the goals of the school’s academic program.


CO NT ENTS A D D I T I O N A L F E ATU R E S

Yueh Lee

20 | CLASS OF 2017 SAYS GOOD-BYE With a commencement send-off from novelist Daniel Wallace, 104 new graduates head off to 64 colleges

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32 | FROM WALLFLOWER TO CENTER STAGE Coach Crawford Leavoy is an evangelist, declaring he is proof that competing on a speech and debate team changes lives 38 | SODA CANS BUBBLE AT TAKING TOP SPOT Lower School’s new Science Olympiad team brings home a gold medal in its first competition 44 | A NEW HIGHLIGHT FOR SEVENTH GRADE’S D.C. TRIP Students and faculty are struck by injustices and accomplishments during their visit to the new African American museum 48 | FOUR NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH UNC WOMEN’S SOCCER Middle School teacher-coach Susan Ellis was a soccer stand-out despite not playing the sport until her senior year in high school 52 | MOVING FROM BASEBALL TO BROADWAY TO THE CLASSROOM Upper School’s James Bohanek found success as a professional actor before he decided teaching theater was his favorite role

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56 | WHICH TEACHER HAS AN “OPERANOW” LICENSE TAG? Try your hand at License Plate Lotto and discover which faculty and staff drive cars with these 12 personalized plates I N EACH I SS U E

4 | THE BIG PICTURE

Princeton University

66 | FROM THE GREEN

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69 | ALUMNI NEWS Sarah Treem ’98 and Dennis Cullen honored at spring reception | Page 70, 71 Alumni Profiles | Page 78, 88, 90, 92 Tim McKenna is also DA’s winningest boys varsity basketball coach | Page 82 Math scholar John Pardon ’07 wins top award for young scientists | Page 94 inside back cover | THE LAST LOOK

Connect with DA • DA on Facebook: facebook.com/DurhamAcademy • DA Alumni on Facebook: facebook.com/DACavsAlumni • DA on Twitter: twitter.com/DurhamAcademy • DA Alumni on Twitter: twitter.com/DurhamAcademyAl • DA on Vimeo: bit.ly/DAcavsvimeo • DA on LinkedIn: bit.ly/LinkedInDA • DA on Instagram: instagram.com/DurhamAcademy • DA on Flickr: flickr.com/DurhamAcademy

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T HE BIG P ICTURE

Boa constrictors, leopards, hippos, lions, peacocks, flamingos, a walrus, lion, zebra, polar bear and zookeeper wowed the crowd on April 26 when students in Nikki Graves and Amy Collie’s pre-k class performed “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?” Left to right are Kellan Hranitzky, Finn Donoghue, Tripp Casey, Noah Congdon and Avia Coleman.

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P H O T O B Y K AT H Y M C P H E R S O N

WHOA, WHERE DID EVERYBODY GO? DURHAM ACADEMY

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UPPER SCHOOL STEM AND HUMANITIES CENTER BREAKS GROUND By Leslie King, Director of Communications

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n 2012, Durham Academy’s summer magazine featured a cover photo of Upper School students clustered around a table in the new Learning Commons. The cover line reads “Heart and soul of SCHEME the Upper School campus” Phase 1 &and2 the piece inside, penned by now Associate Head of Massing School Lee Hark, describes transformational effect Section attheCommons of a building that many newer members of the DA STUDIES FOR NEW take for granted community ABOVE: A two-story, open commons area will SCIENCE BUILDING as part of the everyday serve as a hub of activity and a meeting place CANNONarchitects landscape of the school. with seating for approximately 90. In the piece, Hark wrote that the Learning Commons “has enriched our community in ways that are hard to describe but are felt nonetheless.” Plans for the space grew from the need to create a central meeting and working space for students and faculty. Crucial components of the new building solved problems that allowed DA to put teaching and learning front and center in a vibrant center of campus life. Its innovative, flexible, tech-driven design fosters student-teacher interactions that are at the School is set to add to its heart and soul in heart of the DA experience, part one of a multi-year, two-campus plan supported by a 21st century library and to support Durham Academy’s position a store that sells school supplies, clothing as one of the top independent schools in and, of course, food. the Southeast. Construction begins this Just over five years later, the Upper summer on the Upper School STEM

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ABOVE: The STEM and Humanities Center will be built in two phases, with the STEM wing completed first and the humanities/commons wing completed second.

and Humanities Center, followed by a comprehensive renovation of the Middle School slated to begin in 2019. The projects represent two of the most exciting and ambitious endeavors Durham Academy has ever undertaken.


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“Now, when we hit that strategic enrollment mark, we’ll be ready and can grow even more.” — U PPE R S C H O O L D I R E CTO R L A N I S W I L S O N started to curl because of the humidity.” Biology and chemistry teacher Tara Eppinger points to spatial and safety challenges for science. “The current classrooms weren’t built for the kind of group work that we do,” Eppinger said. “In biology, I have the kids working in teams, but in that room there is just no space. If you’re in that room, the kids are tripping over each other’s backpacks. … The current layout [with a large, fixed, teacher demonstration table] is indicative of the way science was taught in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, when a teacher would stand in front of the classroom and lecture to the class. Most of us don’t do that very often. … We just need more space, really. Because of the size of the classes and the number of students who want to take science, it’s just about space.” During the most recent school year, 407 of 438 Upper School students took at least one science course; 65 students took more than one science course. Current enrollment has already put the Upper School facilities at capacity. Without solving the facilities challenge, DA will not be able to pursue its strategic plan of expanding the Upper School enrollment and creating space for siblings, legacies and the Triangle’s best and brightest students. “The nice thing is, [the new STEM and Humanities Center] allows us to add students and preserve small class size — that’s the key,” Upper School Director Lanis Wilson said. “Right now, we’d all have to make the individual classrooms larger and just have more students in them. Now, when we hit that strategic enrollment mark, we’ll be ready and can grow even more.” ABOVE: The Upper School science building was one of the original classroom buildings when the challenge,” senior Sam Kim said. “We have to be careful not to plug in too many things all at once because then the sockets blow. … For the double-decker, it’s a pretty iconic part of the campus, but everyone’s aware that it’s kind of falling apart and so it’s a necessary change.” Perhaps no one is more aware of the project’s urgency than the faculty, who have retrofitted their instructional spaces over the decades to address particular pedagogical or architectural quirks. “My room [on the bottom floor of the double-decker] is really humid,” Upper School English teacher Dr. Harry Thomas explained. “All the moisture in the world runs down that hill and if it’s rainy out I’ll open my room in the morning and it’s really moldy and musty and any papers I’ve left in my room have already

Photos by Ken Huth

The two-story, state-of-the-art STEM and Humanities Center will ultimately replace the current Upper School science, physics and “double-decker” classroom buildings. For faculty and students, the new building can’t open fast enough. DA’s original classroom buildings, which date back to 1973, 1993 and 1976, respectively, are struggling to keep up with DA’s commitment to academic excellence. DA historically has invested in people and programs, providing facilities that allow exceptional teachers to create cutting-edge, innovative learning experiences for students. With the existing facilities’ collective age putting them over the century mark, technology and teaching have evolved past their ability to support a cuttingedge experience. “The science building is a real

Upper School campus opened in September 1973.

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“I felt like the architects were really listening to what the teachers were saying. We would say something once and then the next iteration of the plans would come back and there it is. That made me excited.” — H I STO R Y T E AC H E R D R . R O B P O L I C E L L I Over the course of a seven-year relationship with Durham Academy, Cannon Architects has reinvented the Upper School with construction of the Learning Commons in 2012 and the renovated and expanded Kirby Gym in 2013. When it came time to take the STEM and Humanities Center from the drawing board to actual designs, principals Roger Cannon and Susan Cannon — already steeped in DA’s culture, community and campuses — turned to the faculty for their input. Durham Academy teachers and administrators had done their homework, visiting sites like N.C. State University’s Hunt Library, Duke University and Wake Technical Community College for inspiration. “All the input for the building has been coming from the teachers. … What are the needs, what are we missing here, what is the classroom for the next 20 years going to look like,” Upper School Director Lanis Wilson explained. “That’s what’s exciting about it — it’s the curriculum driving the building rather than the building shaping the curriculum.” “I felt like the architects were really listening to what the teachers were saying,” history teacher Dr. Rob Policelli said. “We would say something once and then the next iteration of the plans would come back and there it is. That made me excited.” Some key goals for the STEM and Humanities Center quickly came into focus: • Create state-of-the-art learning environments for science, math, engineering, computer science, English and history. • Increase flexible and collaborative learning space (providing a mix of larger classrooms/labs, smaller seminar and private study/work areas, as well as a communal area where whole classes can meet). • Build in opportunities for collaboration between students and teachers, and curricular collaboration between/within departments. • Cause as little instructional disruption as possible during construction. continued on page 10

CANNONarchitects

BUILDING SPECIFICATIONS • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • •

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2-story enclosed building with STEM wing and humanities wing 2-story central interior commons area with seating for ~90 46,172 square feet (a gain of 8,172 square feet) 7 classroom/lab combinations 1 chemistry lab 1 chemistry classroom 5 English classrooms 5 history classrooms 4 math classrooms 2 small greenhouse areas 1 large makerspace for robotics, engineering, Science Olympiad and project work (connecting to a physics classroom on either side) 3 departmental faculty offices (English, history, math) 6 small meeting/study rooms for faculty, students or group project work 1 kitchenette 1 security office 1 elevator

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STUDIES FOR NEW SCIENCE BUILDING

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NEW SCIENCE BUILDING - COMMONS

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“This brick and mortar commitment is about more than aesthetics and the feel of our campuses. If we are to prepare our students for an uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, we must offer them the kinds of daily school experiences that are exceptional.” — MICHAEL ULKU-STEINER, HE AD OF SCHOOL

Much of the major construction activity will take place during the summer. Phase 1 began in June with the demolition of the physics building. When students return in August, they will see structural steel for the science wing of the two-story STEM and Humanities Center where the physics building had been. A temporary wall will be in place during the school year to allow classes to continue as the science wing is built out. In summer 2018, the science building will be demolished and the humanities/commons wing of the STEM and Humanities Center will be built over the course of the 2018-2019 school year. “Year two is when we’ll start getting creative [with space]” Wilson said, “but there will be so much excitement in the new STEM wing, with science, technology, engineering and math all in the same building.”

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Ken Huth

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EXISTING SCIENCE BUILDING - COURTYARD

TOP: A view of the current Upper School science and physics building from the quad. BOTTOM: A rendering of the new STEM and Humanities Center from the same perspective.

STUDIES FOR NEW SCIENCE BUILDING CANNONarchitects

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NEW SCIENCE BUILDING - COURTYARD


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EAST ELEVATION

“I’m really excited about the idea of English getting a seminar room. I think that’s going to be awesome for senior classes. … Having a space to walk into that suggests this is a small class, it’s discussionbased. … We’re all going to be at this table together and do this intellectual work together.” — U PPE R S C H O O L E N G L I S H T E AC H E R D R . H A R RY T H O M A S EAST ELEVATION

And now that the faculty’s input is finally coming to fruition, their favorite are as varied as the subjects they SOUTH features ELEVATION teach. “I’m really excited about the idea of English getting a seminar room,” Thomas said. “I think that’s going to be awesome SOUTH ELEVATION for senior classes. … Having a space to walk into that suggests this is a small class,

this, I could go days or even weeks without seeing one of my colleagues and now we see each other every day and we talk about not just history nerd stuff (laughs), but also assessments and lesson plans or a situation with a student. … It’s just been so very collaborative and productive and fun.” The English department will follow suit in the new building.

Policelli explained, “so they get very good at maximizing their free time at school. … But sometimes kids stake out those private study NORTH ELEVATION rooms and defend them viciously (laughs) and that won’t be necessary anymore. There will also be room for student-teacher interaction which speaks to theNORTH value the ELEVATION school places on that.” Even though he won’t be around to

It’s not just the space itself, but the STEM and Humanities Center’s potential that has teachers and students primed to use it. “What’ll be appealing for the students is more interaction within the building,” Eppinger said. “… The makerspace — which is going to be great for engineering, robotics, Science Olympiad, a space where kids can go design — that will be fabulous.” Other teachers see the social and academic benefits. “Students at DA do have a lot of free time and have a lot to do,”

NEW SCIENCE BUILDING - ELEVATI STU enjoy it, senior Sam Kim got more of a SCIE preview than most students in his role CAN as an editor-in-chief of The Green and NEW SCIENCE BUILDING ELEVATION White, DA’s student-run newspaper, which published a piece about the Upper School construction project in March. “It’s going to be a huge change obviously, but change is good,” Kim said. “From the mock-ups they showed me, it’s going to be pretty gorgeous, mostly glass-paneled on an entire side. It’s going to be amazing. The second learning commons is going to be pretty neat.”

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IES FOR NEW NCE BUILDING it’s discussion-based. … We’re all going

N O N a r c h i t e to c tbe s at this table together and do this

IES FOR NEW intellectual work together.” NCE BUILDING One key feature of the building is N O N a r c h i t e cactually ts modeled on one of the most successful partnerships piloted in the Upper School — a shift from each teacher having their own classroom to interchangeable history classrooms with one shared departmental office for faculty. “The success of the history office made me excited for that,” Policelli said. “… Before 12

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“What’ll be appealing for the students is more interaction within the building. … The makerspace — which is going to be great for engineering, robotics, Science Olympiad, a space where kids can go design — that will be fabulous.” — B I O LO GY A N D C H EM IST RY T E AC H ER TA R A EPPI N G ER Wth regard to accessibility and aesthetics, the STEM and Humanities Center will be a game-changer for DA. The EAST ELEVATION ability to accommodate students, faculty or visitors with disabilities or injuries represents a huge improvement, since the only ramps available now are behind

Wilson, who will have a bird’s-eye view as the building goes up, anticipates its design features — which include an outdoor makerspace, several classroom patios and an enlarged quad lawn — will still preserve DA’s open campus feel. “I think that open commons area will also

the Board of Trustees made the decision to secure financing to begin construction ahead of a campaign. “We’ve taken an enormous leap of faith,” explained Director of Development Leslie Holdsworth. “The need for the new STEM and Humanities Center is so

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Kenan Auditorium or beyond Kirby Gym. This will mark the first time that Upper School students will be able to change classes without going outside. “I don’t think the Upper School has had actual roofed hallways before, so it’s going to be a new environment for the school,” Kim said. “It’s made me think about the ways this new building will change the epicenter ofWEST campus,” Thomas said. “I imagine the ELEVATION big, open entrance with the commons staircase — I can’t imagine anything but that atrium becoming the new center of gravity. … I’m excited to have everything IONS UDIES FOR NEW on a quad.” ENCE BUILDING

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feel more like an outdoor space and it will flow nicely into the quad and the quad will become the heart of campus.” The Upper School STEM and Humanities Center is budgeted at $12 million. The Board of Trustees is planning for the most ambitious capital campaign in the school’s history to support the STEM and Humanities Center, as well as renovations to the Middle School campus. The Middle School work tentatively begins in 2019, as soon as the Upper School construction is complete. The need for the STEM and Humanities Center is so urgent that

clear and so compelling. We are confident that the building we’ve designed will enrich our curriculum, and we know it is urgently necessary to allow us to grow our enrollment while preserving the DA experience.” Durham Academy’s Evergreen Campaign, which supported the construction of the Upper School Learning Commons and the renovation and expansion of Kirby Gym, concluded in June 2013. Many donors made pledges to Evergreen Campaign that will be paid over five years, so the 2018-2019 school year would be the soonest the school could begin a new campaign. NEW SCIENCE BUILDING - ELEVATIO

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“We’ve taken an enormous leap of faith. The need for the new STEM and Humanities Center is so clear and so compelling. We are confident that the building we’ve designed will enrich our curriculum, and we know it is urgently necessary to allow us to grow our enrollment while preserving the DA experience.” — D I R E CTO R O F D E V E LO P M E N T L ES L I E H O L D SW O R T H DUR HAM ACADEMY

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Kathy Pierce

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ABOVE: Middle School Director Jon Meredith and Nick Roberts of Cannon Architects were part of a group of adults who followed a Middle School student’s daily schedule to research student flow and how it works at each grade level.

A NEW VISION FOR ACADEMY ROAD Pl a n n i n g b e g i n s fo r a M i d d l e S c h oo l by d e s i g n , n ot by d e f a u l t By Leslie King, Director of Communications

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very family has an heirloom they treasure, a touchstone that represents a legacy and connects the past to the future. As the Middle School marked a half-century on Academy Road last year, a strategic decision was made to recommit to the place that represents the emotional and historical foundation of Durham Academy. Once that decision was made, the task ahead became clear. It is time for the Academy Road campus, which represents so much more than bricks (or in this case siding) and mortar, to truly become the Middle School by design rather than by default. In the 15 years that the Academy Road campus has been exclusively serving Middle School students, DA has invested more than $1 million in upgrading and 14

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expanding educational space. Those investments were necessary to retrofit a campus that was originally designed as a home for 4- to 15-year olds, and the campus functioned that way from 1966 to 2002. But in order to commit to the Academy Road campus for the next half century and to support the best teaching and learning experience imaginable, the Middle School needs to undergo a transformation that will truly support the faculty and the age group it serves. DA’s next capital campaign will fund both a new Upper School STEM and Humanities Center and a multi-year, comprehensive renovation of the Middle School. “The campus we know and love so much will transform into a campus that we hope to love even more for a long, long |

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time,” Middle School Director Jon Meredith said. “I think the biggest goal is to keep aspects of this campus intact that really define all the foundational and fundamental things that make our Middle Schoolers’ lives great. We need to retain things like the outdoor feel of the campus, the natural beauty of it, the exposure to air and light and physical activity that Middle Schoolers need. We need to have buildings that are really set up to accommodate the best possible learning for an unknown future. So how do we get from here to there?” The journey began March 27 when over the course of two days, Lower School parents; Middle School faculty, parents and students; trustees; and members of DA’s Buildings and Grounds Committee met with Cannon Architects to engage in a big-


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LOOKING AT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMPUS What Works

What Doesn’t Work

• Open campus/interchange

• Outdated buildings • Carpool/vehicle movement layout • Inadequate storage • Accessibility across campus

of students • Connection to nature • Fifth-grade pod

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nput from charrettes with faculty, parents, students and trustees yielded consensus around some key features to preserve and to address regarding the Middle School campus. Both students and adults agreed the concept of a cluster of interior classrooms called “the fifth-grade pod” is a feature the Middle School should preserve to help fifth-graders adjust to changing classes without having to navigate the entire campus. “I definitely like that,” fifth-grader Claire Louise Poston said. “It’s fine that there are a few advisories that are not in the pod, but they’re all pretty close and it’s good to have to leave the pod, because if you didn’t when you were older you’d be like ‘Whoa, I’ve never been out here before!’ So that’s good.” The master planning phase must run on a tight timetable in order to time the launch of Phase 1 of the Middle School comprehensive campus renovation to coincide with the completion of the Upper School STEM and Humanities Center in summer 2019. The Middle School design steering group, which represents administrators and faculty from each discipline, met with Cannon Architects to review master plan proposals in June. Their goal is to complete a master plan by mid-summer so members of the Board of Trustees can review it during their September meeting. A feasibility study in the fall will determine the level of financial support for and prioritization of renovations at the Middle School. “The process is like a lot of these where you start with the dreams and you start with the ideals,” explained Middle School Director Jon Meredith, “then you start chipping away at some of those to get down to what’s actually going to happen.”

ABOVE: Middle School students from all four grade levels met with representatives from Cannon architects to talk about what’s good about the campus and what needs to change. DUR HAM ACADEMY

picture conversation about the future of the Middle School’s campus identity through a series of charrettes. Attendees learned about the Middle School configuration and some of the developmental, curricular and topographic decisions that influence the campus layout, followed by an input session on what future design characteristics might be ideal. The student group included three Middle Schoolers from each grade level. “It was good — people had a ton of ideas,” said fifth-grader Claire Louise Poston. “I was kind of afraid that the eighthgraders would lead the whole thing, but that didn’t happen. … People mostly agreed about stuff, but there were definitely a lot of different suggestions.” Meredith said the student input and ideas they generated provided the most interesting insights. “I keep referring back to the comments that the students made more often than I do for anyone else. It was students that made observations right out of the gate. Things like [the campus] has to be accessible for people with physical needs or ‘When I sit in my classroom I can hear what’s going on next door and it’s distracting.’ Things I think adults have just dealt with over the years — it was the students’ eyes and perspectives that gave us important insights and are going to shape the campus.” To really see the student experience through their eyes, a group of adults — including a sub-group of faculty representing all disciplines and grade levels, trustees and Cannon Architects — spent “a day in the life” of a Middle School student (in this case, Meredith’s daughter, eighthgrader Cecile) to research student flow and how it works at each grade level. “We took my daughter’s schedule and walked through what her day would look like,” said Meredith. “We walked from one end of the campus to the next. … We did that for the whole schedule. The idea was to get a sense of the value or sometimes the inconvenience of moving from one part of campus to the other, getting to see the different types of spaces our kids are in over the course of a day, and say ‘Here are some things we think are great and here are some things we really would like to change.’ It was really helpful to do that.” |

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The Durham Academy Graduate:

A MISSION-DRIVEN LIFE

The purpose of Durham Academy is to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to live a moral, happy and productive life. The development of intellect is central to such a life and, thus, intellectual endeavor and growth are the primary work of the school. By Lee Hark, Associate Head of School

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ne of my favorite activities at Durham Academy is the take-apart project in the Lower School science lab. Using hammers, mallets and screwdrivers to reveal the inner workings of household items like computers, keyboards and cellphones gives students a better sense of the engineering behind them, but they also use the deconstructed parts to create their own art. It’s a powerful blending of the destructive and constructive impulses in young children — and it also just feels good to smash things every once in a while. 16

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Essentially, the Durham Academy Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life project was a “take-apart lab” for our mission statement. Over time, school mission statements can calcify; words that still reflect important school principles and values can feel a bit disconnected from the lived experience of those in the community. This year, we deconstructed our mission statement, re-identified its component parts and created new art with it — and in the process, defined what a “moral, happy, productive” life looks like, during a |

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student’s time at DA … and beyond. The origins of the Durham Academy Graduate project were rooted in DA’s Strategic Plan, specifically Goal 2, which calls for “A cohesive, connected and collaborative student learning experience.” It quickly became clear to the task force overseeing this goal that it would be impossible to begin without first identifying the aims of the DA experience (the kinds of young adults we’re trying to produce) before tackling our curricular challenges. Defining the aspirational character of a DA graduate would


provide a lens through which we could examine our curriculum and make decisions about it in a much more focused way. Many schools have what is generally called a “portrait of a graduate,” and many of the portraits we encountered felt lukewarm — both in term of text and presentation. But it helped to know what we didn’t want ours to look like. At the beginning of the school year, I met with faculty in each school division and with the Alumni Board to talk about DA’s values and to collect reactions to those sample portraits. As a follow-up, all faculty, staff and members of the Alumni Board were invited to respond to the following questions: • What are the traits or attributes that characterize a moral, happy and productive life? • What are the ways we operationalize these attributes at DA? Where do they show up in our curriculum, in the daily schedule, in our activities, in our interactions, etc.? • What should our graduates be able to do — and how should they be able to live — after experiencing an education at Durham Academy? In September 2016, faculty were invited to serve on a task force charged with shaping this input into our portrait. The following were selected for the group: • Preschool: Jessica Whilden • Lower School: Chris Mason, Rosemary Nye, Debbie Suggs • Middle School: Gib Fitzpatrick • Upper School: Kathy Cleaver, Tara Eppinger, Jen Rogers, Harry Thomas • Administration: Bryan Brander, Lee Hark, Xandy Jones, Leslie King, Michael Ulku-Steiner Beginning in October, the task force met multiple times and worked to find patterns and themes in the extensive faculty feedback. Agreement on several parameters helped guide our efforts. Specifically, we wanted our results to cohere with existing messaging (the mission statement, admissions material, etc.); support admissions, development and communications efforts; provide a barometer to help measure the success of our curriculum; serve as a lens through which we could view future curricular design and revision; and contain and retain

memorable elements (like “moral, happy and productive”). A turning point for the group occurred when we realized the best guide posts for our work were right in front of us — the three-legged stool of the school’s mission statement. Defining what we meant by wanting our graduates to be moral, happy, productive people and how that manifested itself in the daily lived experience of 1,200 students ranging in age from 4 to 18 constituted the bulk of our discussions in later meetings. It wasn’t an easy task. What qualities would we identify as universally important, regardless of the age, stage or tenure of a student? After innumerable debates on meanings, connotations and implications of words, we identified the following as the shared characteristics of a moral, happy and productive Durham Academy graduate: THE DA GRADUATE CHARACTERISTICS Moral • Empathy • Kindness • Integrity • Responsibility • Courage Happy • Curiosity • Engagement • Authenticity • Joy • Balance Productive • Creativity • Drive • Resilience • Generosity • Wisdom While “portrait of a graduate” is a title widely used by other schools, the word “portrait” itself felt too static, too fixed in time, and not future-oriented. The group wanted a title that would imply that students were hopefully infused with these characteristics while at DA, but also that we are just as interested and invested in the DUR HAM ACADEMY

adults they will become and the citizens they will be as we are when they are our students. In the end, “The Durham Academy Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life” seemed to capture all of those elements: a sense of striving, a set of characteristics that spoke to every division and values our alumni would carry with them throughout their lives. The task force incorporated feedback from the results and presented the project for a review by the Administrative Team and the Board of Trustees, both of which were positive. Our energies now shift to identifying the people, programs and experiences within DA that already exemplify these characteristics and where we can create new opportunities to emphasize them. In the fall, we will unveil new design iterations (both internal and external) of this project, and we will be tracking where, when and how we teach these characteristics across the 14 grade levels through a portal in our curriculum mapping software. Subsequent focus group discussions with students, faculty and staff about these characteristics have been some of the most enlightening and inspiring parts of this project — and personally enriching as well. I asked teachers or advisors to select the characteristic that might mean the most to their respective groups. With each group, I focused on the following questions: • Why is this characteristic important? • Where at DA is it celebrated or reinforced? • How does the school intentionally teach it? • How might we be better at doing so? As with many parts of our current strategic plan, thoughtful, deliberate and intentional discussion about these attributes will clarify what they mean to us individually and help refine what their value is to us as a community. It will also help us identify where we are doing the work we need to be doing to develop character, and where we need to do more.

✸ EMPATHY

Patti Donnelly’s sixth-grade advisory described the Middle School as a community that celebrates and values continued on page 18

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empathy. “The school teaches empathy by congratulating students when they show it,” said one student. Students help each other and regularly recognize empathy in others. Most impressively, the students seemed to agree with this sentiment: “I don’t think our school tries to teach empathy; it’s just sort of expected in everyone.” “Every year I try to help my students find their way to it, both by my own example and through my teaching,” explained Upper School English teacher Jordan Adair. “If they can put themselves into the shoes of another person, truly try to understand the world from that person’s perspective, then they will know something of what empathy is.”

✸ KINDNESS

Tyrone Gould’s sixth-grade advisory and I discussed kindness. When I asked why they picked that particular word, several students remarked that they saw kindness at the center of the entire list of 15 traits, with the other traits flowing outward from it. “Kindness is the center of these words,” said one student. “Everything else matters, but not as much.” To these students, most expressions of kindness focused on belonging or inclusion. One student said, “Kindness is making sure people know they can sit next to you at lunch or in class.” “We dedicate valuable time within advisory to writing notes that allow students to extend kindness and generosity,” Gould said. “Most importantly, these notes capture honest and heartfelt kindness.” It was nice to hear that the students also saw their teachers as exemplars of kindness.

✸ INTEGRITY

There was an inspiring moment in the Mission-Driven Life course last fall that had to do directly with integrity. Julia King proclaimed that the word that drives her personal mission statement more than any other is the concept of wholeness. “Yes!” said the class. It reminded me of the importance of integrity (a word that, Michael is quick to note, comes from the Latin integer, which means “intact” or “whole”). At Durham Academy, having integrity not only implies a moral rectitude, but also an internal coherence. It guides and 18

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innervates almost everything we do, and it is a word I hope people associate with me.

✸ RESPONSIBILITY

Tom Barry’s fourth-grade class chose to focus on responsibility. Not surprisingly, the most obvious examples of responsibility to these 10-year-olds are chores. As the students listed them, one thing became clear to me: the domesticated animals in the Triangle are well cared for. [Another revelation: It’s time for my children to learn how to fold laundry.] Impressively, they were able to distinguish between jobs they had in the classroom and the larger task of role-modeling for younger Lower School students. There was a sense that more responsibility came with fewer rules. “Mr. Barry calls us ‘mini-adults,’ ” one student said, “and we do have freedom.” Another student said: “Whenever there is privilege, there is responsibility. So when we have less rules, we have more freedom, but we have to not take advantage of that privilege.”

✸ COURAGE

“At Durham Academy, courage is everywhere,” seventh-grade teacher Mike Harris said. “One student became a hero to his peers for the first time doing skits during week two of seventh grade. Another took a stand in a seminar against a barrage of dissenting views. Yet another faced the crowd, alone on a stage, and her voice shared the poetry of her pain and the beauty of language with the hundreds who snapped in unison with praise.”

✸ CURIOSITY

“Curiosity should be embedded in the curriculum with opportunities to inquire and wonder. But curiosity is also part of the social curriculum,” said thirdgrade teacher Jeff Burch. “In morning meeting, students learn to listen to each other and ask thoughtful questions. As the year progresses, students learn that questions help us understand other people’s perspectives.” “I’m glad curiosity is on the ‘happy’ list,” said Upper School English teacher Tina Bessias. “It is, indeed, a happy state. It implies the hope of finding answers, and it propels action.”  |

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✸ ENGAGEMENT

“The first trip to the Ronald McDonald House helps to create a personal connection for students,” explained first-grade teacher Rosemary Nye. “Teachers have whole group discussions to make the connection between the work that we do throughout the year and how we have a responsibility to help others in our community. Students develop empathy, understand their responsibility to help others and what it means to be engaged with the greater community.” “Special Olympics is another great vehicle for engagement, wisdom, empathy, responsibility and more,” said Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “It’s wonderful that that day of giving back is so beloved by our students.”

✸ AUTHENTICITY

“Authenticity works — helping kids to be self-aware and self-accepting and giving them the opportunities for that — is when you see what you might not expect in a student,” said Upper School learning specialist Jen Rogers. “What DA does is provide students ways to engage so they can be themselves and learn about themselves.”

✸ JOY

“What I have learned about my own success is that it is driven by joy,” said one Upper School student. “Joy is an oftenoverlooked trait.” First-grade teacher Debbie Suggs provides her own definition of joy: “There are many opportunities to joyfully celebrate our DA family, but the All-School Pep Rally is the one day where everyone from all three campuses meets in the Upper School gym to cheer for DA. Students from Preschool to Upper School, our faculty, administration, staff and maintenance crew, all in one place at one moment in time honoring our unity. One need not look far to hear joy, see joy and feel joy.​”

✸ BALANCE

“Balance is truly the word that encompasses all aspects of life,” explained Lower School math specialist Nataki McClain. “We model balance by being attentive to the thoughts of others. We own balance by recognizing the need for more


— or less. We defy balance by showing students that the ‘impossible’ can, at the least, be attempted. We embrace balance by listening to the inner voice that speaks to our hearts. We exemplify balance by finding the best in others. We honor balance by making plans to balance our lives.”

✸ CREATIVITY

“Creativity in the classroom means taking concepts you already know and exploring new ways to develop a deeper understanding,” said first-grade teacher Caroline Petrow. “It requires students to take risks, explore multiple perspectives, feel comfortable with failure and engage in the process of learning. It propels teachers to ask questions with more than one right answer, expect divergent thinking and encourage student choice. Creativity allows for learning in a world of meaningful possibilities.”

✸ DRIVE

“Drive takes guts,” said one Upper School student. “Making mistakes and persevering beyond them isn’t a natural talent; it’s a skill you learn over time, one grueling slip-up after the other. When you notice a mistake in your work, it’s your obligation to fix it, and that’s a skill I have. Even if I’m not highly motivated, I’m inspired. Inspiration is natural, while drive

is wholly, completely man-made.”

writing a thank-you note to a teacher,” said eighth-grade math teacher Gib Fitzpatrick. ✸ RESILIENCE “And each semester, I am awed by the full“I still have a hard time being resilient,” hearted gratitude they express. Many offer admitted an Upper School student. “I don’t generous, meaningful descriptions of their recover quickly from difficulties; change appreciation, some of which are literally is painful and challenging for me. But I works of art. For the teachers who receive think that resilience, like courage, is not them, those notes are inspiring and become the lack of fear; it’s the acceptance of and priceless keepsakes.” persistence through fear. It’s a process. I’m definitely not tough enough yet. But the ✸ WISDOM resilience will come with more time and “Each member of the Durham more experiences. I might never welcome Academy Security Team draws upon the hardships of life, but at least now I can wisdom gained through 25-plus years glimpse the other side of those obstacles; I of police experience to keep our school know they’ll leave me with thicker skin and safe,” said Assistant Director of Security more perspective.” Jim Cleary. “This wisdom gives officers unique insights into people, events and ✸ GENEROSITY situations and the ability to apply perception “If someone asked me to define and judgment to make sound decisions in Durham Academy, the first thing I think of keeping with the goals and mission of DA.” is generosity,” said maintenance foreman If these conversations are any Randy Baker. “Over the 36 years I’ve indication, the lessons we will learn from worked here, I’ve seen our community each other in the near future will be rich brightening the lives of the Emerald Pond and profound. And they will help make residents, packaging food, collecting coats us the school we want to be. The Durham and canned goods, and the list goes on and Academy Graduate initiative has its focus on. Our teachers, students and parents have squarely on the long game: the goal of made this a ‘giving’ school. That makes us creating moral, happy and productive adults. more aware of the blessings of giving in our We — students, teachers and parents — everyday lives.” were drawn to this community because of it “Each semester, my students have the and the work we are sustained by, the work opportunity to earn a little extra credit by we all do each day, to achieve it.

As with many parts of our current strategic plan, thoughtful, deliberate and intentional discussion about these attributes will clarify what they mean to us individually and help refine what their value is to us as a community. — A S S O C I AT E H E A D O F S C H O O L L E E H A R K

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Tipping Caps to Those Who Guided Them, Class of 2017 Readies for Next Step 4

By Melody Guyton Butts Assistant Director of Communications

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riting skills have been honed, historical events committed to memory, scientific and philosophical curiosities sparked. But perhaps of even greater significance for Durham Academy’s Class of 2017, suggests Zoe Pharo ’17, are habits of kindness and a “commitment to people” that are hallmarks of the school community. “While I did expect the academic rigor, I never expected to be so struck by the kindness of this community,” Pharo said from the stage of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall, where she addressed classmates, faculty and graduates’ family and friends gathered for DA’s 43rd commencement exercises on May 26. “Once you’ve had Mr. Cullen transition seamlessly from a lively discussion of derivatives to Lumosity to ‘keep the brain sharp;’ had Mrs. Throop stay after class to listen to our thoughts on a recent event; had Mr. Murray tell you his ‘Murray code of wellness;’ and had Mr. Hark and Mr. Ulku-Steiner tackle the ‘happy, moral, and productive’ part of our mission statement; you realize just how much dedication goes in day in and day out,” Pharo continued. “The most important thing about my four years, not always easy years, has been the role models I’ve found in teachers, students and parents.” continued on page 2 2 1. Family members, teachers and friends packed UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall to wish the Class of 2017 well. 2. Liza Aldridge waves to family members as she processes to the stage of Memorial Hall. 3. Isaac Arocha and his 103 classmates are headed to 64 colleges and universities around the country. 4. Daniel Wallace, a best-selling author and English professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, delivered the commencement address. 5. Graduate Zoe Pharo reflected on her years at DA and looked ahead to what's to come in college. 6. Victor Harpe receives his diploma from Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. P H OTO S B Y K E N H U T H A N D C O L I N H U T H

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As Pharo prepares for her life’s next chapter at Carleton College, her 103 classmates are readying for their own next steps at 63 other colleges and universities, from nearby schools like Elon University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University, to schools farther from home, like University of Michigan, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Howard University. Pharo expects that the transition to life as a college student will be one of the biggest changes she has ever experienced, likening the feeling of leaving high school to “learning to tie your shoes again, as if this has been Velcro and the next step is laces.” That process “comes with a bit of nervousness and fear — you question if you will ever succeed, will ever truly master the art,” she continued. “But it also comes with excitement, of learning something new, of being a bit more independent. I think a lot of us are nervous for this next step, but also excited to be taking it.” In opening the ceremony, Upper School Director Lanis Wilson warned the graduates that “there is no road map for the life of the mind” — that there will be times in their life’s journeys when choices made in the moment, without the necessary information to know where each choice might lead, will have lasting impacts on who they become. “But for right now, on this particular afternoon, in this moment, you don’t really know which forks you will take, or where those roads will ultimately lead. … I urge you to celebrate this very moment, appreciate where you are right now, surrounded by the people who care most about you — your friends, your teachers, your family,” Wilson said. “Class of ’17, you will never be in a room with so many people whose focus is your well-being. You’re surrounded by people who love you and care deeply for you.” The significance of choices also rang clear in the words of commencement speaker Daniel Wallace, an English professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he also serves as director of the creative writing program. Wallace, the author of six novels, is best known for his 1998 work Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, which was adapted for a 2003 film and 2013 Broadway musical of the same name. Wallace’s remarks centered on the summer of his 17th birthday, when he “probably became a writer.” He was staying out late most nights, and upon his return home each night would slip a note under his mother’s door to let her know that he’d made it home safely, he recalled. Before long, the notes took the form of serialized fiction, with each note providing another chapter in the lives of a couple named Brenda and Lee. The cliffhanger ending of a final note prompted Wallace’s mother to shake him awake the next morning, pleading, “What happens next?” That, he guessed, was when his writing career truly began. “I learned it is that for a writer and a reader, what happens next is the single most important question we can ask — more important than how or even why,” he said. “At least it should be because literature, a good story, is just a distorted reflection of a human experience, that through its distortion, makes us see it more clearly. “And everything we do and everything that is done to us is the answer to that question — what happens next. We want to know 22

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1. Creel Cashin and Owen Sullivan smile for a snapshot after the ceremony. 2. Sonio Kum, Michael Li, Collin Brown, Rohan Patel, Ashley Kim, Bryce Saba, Jack Dowell and Safiya Gallaghan gather for a group photo. 3. Graduates smile for a class photo prior to the big event. 4. Nick Beischer and Nijel Hunt pause for a moment outside Memorial Hall. 5. Kyla Hodges and her mother, Latoye, smile for a family photo. 6. Their mortarboards securely pinned, Lydia Carbuccia, Isabel Gutierrez, Natalia Almodóvar and Carolina Bartolome prepare to graduate. P H OTO S B Y K E N H U T H A N D C O L I N H U T H

what will happen in the story the same way we want to know what will happen to us in our lives. But we won’t know until we turn the page, until we get there. Otherwise, it’s just not interesting.” At www.da.org/graduation:

• Watch graduates’ reflections on their time at DA. • Watch a video of the commencement exercises. • Learn more about the Class of 2017’s accomplishments.


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Senior Reflections Some members of the Class of 2017 have attended Durham Academy since Preschool while others joined the DA community as Upper Schoolers — but DA has left an indelible mark on all of them. Nine seniors were asked to reflect on their Durham Academy experience.

the most about DA is the encouraging atmosphere I’ve found in every aspect of the school. My teachers have always pushed me to challenge myself, which has made me more curious and hardworking. On top of that, DA does a fantastic job of allowing students to explore their interests outside of the normal classroom setting. I’ve loved having the opportunity to do things like take dance class along with my regular schedule and be involved in volleyball, softball and several clubs. Trying new things and forming lasting relationships with my teachers, my teams and my friends have been the highlights of my time here. DA has helped me find out what I really love to do, as well as how to be a better leader, listener and person.

Photos by Mary Moore McLean

One of the things that impresses me

— Julie Wechsler

When I think of Durham Academy I

think of a family that strives to help every member do great things. I think of teachers helping not only during tutorial, but also helping hours after the school doors have closed. I think of teammates during practice encouraging each other to run one more sprint when they can barely breathe. I think of classmates who study with you until your eyes can barely stay open. I think of maintenance and security who wake up early just to make sure our campus is protected and maintained. These sacrifices and the encouragement from everyone in the community are what makes Durham Academy special. As I transition to become an alum of this special family, I encourage the rising freshmen to not be shy, but to embrace these precious moments with your new family. — Jaden Dakwa 26

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Julie Wechsler

Jaden Dakwa

I have absolutely loved my high school

experience at Durham Academy. My teachers, my classes, my sports, my music and the student body were the reasons I looked forward to school every day. The most valuable thing that DA has instilled in me is how to be a good person. Nearly every teacher here understands that this is more important than any math skill, or historical fact. DA has taught me that the bare minimum is to consider everyone’s perspectives or feelings. I am extremely grateful for the empathy and compassion I have gained from being a student here. Another attitude DA has encouraged that I have appreciated, is the “try everything you can” mantra. Just by going to school here, I feel pressure (no negative connotation here) to do better, to make new connections with people, to help more people, and to encourage being open to new and exciting opportunities. — Addison West

I am incredibly grateful for the depth

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Addison West

think I would have reached in quite the same way had it not been for the earnest, high-striving spirit of the DA community. A lot of that personal growth I owe to the risks I’ve taken (I recommend giving the winter musical a try!), and a lot of it I owe to my absolutely remarkable teachers (I’d especially like to recognize Mr. Adair, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Policelli for the influence they’ve had on my writing and critical thinking, and for being all-around cool, interesting people). Like any community, there are elements of DA that work for some students and not for others, but the one thing that I believe everyone can agree on is that we are lucky to have teachers who look out for us as individuals. — Liza Aldridge

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at

Durham Academy. Whether it was the four years I put into discovering my love for public forum debate, or the countless hours I spent following my passion with the robotics team during my senior year, DA has always given me the opportunity to pursue what I care about. Through my


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of Durham Academy that we were able to have serious conversations, as well as joke, with our head and associate head of school on a daily basis. I owe a big thank you to Durham Academy and to all my teachers, who have shaped how I view the world and made me realize the importance of kindness. — Zoe Pharo Liza Aldridge

Rohan Patel

Maya Watson

Zoe Pharo

Xavier Nonez

Natalie Giduz

extracurricular experiences, I’ve become a better-rounded person, catalyzing an interest in public policy and global issues, while further exploring my love for engineering. To those just beginning their high school experience, the best part about DA is the bountiful extracurricular opportunities they provide for you. Join something you know you’ll enjoy, and then take a chance and join something that’ll expand your horizons. — Rohan Patel

I am amazed with what I have achieved in

four years. I attribute this to the Durham Academy community: my unforgettable teachers, advisors, peers, coaches and friends. Knowing that I have support from the people around me has allowed me to take all kinds of risks from trying new clubs to taking that AP class everyone warned me about. The encouragement from my teachers to step outside of my

comfort zone and their unflagging belief in me has forced me to expand my horizons and shaped me into the person I am today. I am so grateful to have been a part of this amazing community for the past four years. Thank you, DA! — Maya Watson

In the past four years, my teachers have

become my greatest role models. Their enthusiasm about what they are teaching and their willingness to help continues to amaze me. I have never seen so much energy in one place, and the desire to always keep improving seems to permeate through all of Durham Academy. This past year I got the chance to take Mr. Hark and Mr. Ulku-Steiner’s capstone course, where we discussed morality, how we define happiness, and what we want the mission statement to be for the school and for our own lives. This course was life-changing, and I think it is very telling DUR HAM ACADEMY

The most valuable lesson I learned during

my time at DA is to find something you are passionate about and drive with it. DA has a multitude of clubs that cover widespread interests and hobbies. It’s very comforting to see many students do something that they are passionate about. The longestlasting memory during my time at DA was being a part of the varsity basketball team that defeated Ravenscroft for the first time in 10 years. DA has stretched and changed me mostly by showing the true potential of DA students through the alumni network. When recognizable alumni speak during assemblies, it makes me want to strive to become more successful in life. DA has had a profound impact on me in terms of growth. Going into my freshman year at DA, I would never imagine that I would run for senior class president or become a peer educator, but I am extremely thankful for my growth. — Xavier Nonez

Throughout my four years at DA, I have

discovered not only who I am as a person and my unique learning style, but the importance of serving my community. The faculty has encouraged me to expand both my intellectual and moral thinking in ways that I’ve never previously experienced. I’ve learned that although colleges appreciate stellar grades and test scores, they also value one’s character, integrity and contributions to communities. I am grateful beyond measure to the support of several teachers, particularly Mr. Phu, Mr. Speir and Mr. Wilson for understanding that we all learn differently and to embrace these differences. — Natalie Giduz |

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Colin Huth

ABOVE: Karen Lovelace, playing a math game with secondgraders Ian Schulz and Alice Haney, was the recipient of the 2017 Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award. Lovelace retired in June after a 25-year career at Durham Academy.

F. R O B E R T S O N H E R S H E Y D I S T I N G U I S H E D FAC U LT Y AWA R D

Karen Lovelace Fulfills Promise of the First Three Syllables of Her Name By Gib Fitzpatrick, Middle School Math Teacher

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reat teachers lead with care and love. Caring for their students and loving their work are core values for all life-changing teachers. This year’s recipient of the F. Robertson Hershey Excellence in Teaching Award leads with care and love quite literally. Karen Lovelace’s teaching career has fulfilled the promise of the first three syllables of her name, profoundly enriching the lives of her students, their parents and her colleagues in the process. The spirit Karen kindles in her classroom is famous at Durham Academy for its warmth and enthusiasm — her students know they have joined an inclusive, safe community. One colleague says, “When you walk into Karen’s classroom, the sounds of joyful noise resound.” Another says, “Just step into that Dandy Lion classroom and you will see the magic — it’s pretty incredible.” She is a master at fostering a sense of community among her students where they feel supported by and responsible for each other. Karen also realizes that kind of environment only propels students forward when it is combined with high expectations and rigor. It takes a special teacher to create that kind of balance for her students, and Karen has perfected it. Her students trust her, and that faith allows them to venture beyond their comfort zones. Karen knows that real learning only occurs when students take risks and feel a sense of earned accomplishment, and she creates an environment in her classroom where that can happen regularly. Of course, Karen is adept at this because she lives it, too. Venturing outside of her comfort zone has become her calling card at DA. From her willingness to explore completely new programs and curricula like Reading and Writing Workshop and Responsive Classroom, to her commitment to understand her students 28

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and their world better by attending the National Association of Independent Schools’ People of Color Conference and UNC’s World View program in Brazil, Karen personifies DA’s goal to foster a community of lifelong learners. As she puts it, “That’s what keeps you vibrant and excited and learning.” Even better, Karen uses those experiences to improve the whole school. In all of the examples above, she returned to campus invigorated and ready to share her new ideas. Her enthusiasm prompts one colleague to say, “She has been a catalyst for transformational changes that our division has made to our collective teaching practice.” It is difficult to imagine how different the Lower School would be without Karen’s leadership and passion for lifelong learning. And as the Responsive Classroom model has moved with students into the Middle School, her influence continues to grow. Thirty-eight years of working with children includes a whole lot of influence on parents, too. Karen is well-known for her commitment to establishing positive, candid relationships with the parents of her students, even setting up extra conferences early in the year to build trust and communication. She fearlessly tackles the difficult conversations just as energetically as the fun ones, and parents rely on her for advice that goes well beyond school issues. One parent says of her conversations with Karen, “She is willing, ready, and genuinely invested.” Her colleagues benefit from her investment in others just as much as her students and parents do. Karen works hard to get to know new teachers while also cultivating relationships with longtime colleagues. Her thirst for learning and love for teaching make her a wonderful mentor and friend, one who puts her whole self into her work and her relationships. As one colleague puts it, “She often mentions how much she has learned from the new or less experienced teachers at DA — I really admire that about her. It speaks to her character, openness, and her ability to always put her students first.” Another says, “Karen is an active listener who is genuinely interested in getting to know others and in understanding different perspectives.” Ultimately, though, a life in teaching means a lot more work hours spent with children than with adults. One advantage of a long career is that those children become adults, and relationships with them change and deepen. Karen delights in that aspect of her work and is a fixture at DA events featuring her former students. She has even attended their weddings and helped them celebrate becoming parents themselves. Karen promotes not just lifelong learning with her students, but lifelong love. It is only fitting that Karen earn this recognition at the conclusion of her teaching career, because her work’s trajectory is as spectacular as it is rare. With each passing school year, her energy, curiosity, empathy, generosity, vulnerability and selflessness have grown even faster than her students. And with her commitment to sharing her care and love with the many people around her, of all ages, she leaves an enduring legacy for the entire Durham Academy community. EDITOR’S NOTE: Gib Fitzpatrick was the 2016 recipient of the F. Robertson Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award.


Hand-Holding, Encouraging and Cajoling for 25 Years Kathy Cleaver’s silver anniversary as DA college counselor is celebrated with notes from alumni and seniors

Melody Guyton Butts

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his year’s graduating class was the 25th Durham Academy class that college counselor Kathy Cleaver has guided through the college admissions process. The Class of 2017 celebrated her silver anniversary at DA by inviting alumni and seniors to write notes of thanks, which were collected in a scrapbook and presented to Cleaver in a surprise ceremony on April 26. A sampling of these heartfelt notes follows.

Mrs. Cleaver, I remember our meetings Mrs. Cleaver, I am not sure where to in your office vetting the many ways I could fulfill my dream of studying architecture. Lehigh was a school you encouraged me to consider after hearing what I was looking for, and I hadn’t even heard of it. Years later, I’m a proud grad. Thanks for being so talented at matching people and institutions and for helping students navigate such a life landmark decision! Keep broadening the definition of possibility for your students.

— Imani Hamilton ’07

Mrs. Cleaver truly believed in me and

advocated for me throughout my college application process. She was encouraging, even when times were challenging, and she continued to encourage me throughout my accomplishments at my dream college. I am forever thankful for all that Mrs. Cleaver has done for me and Durham Academy is so lucky to have had her for 25 wonderful years. — Mariel Murray ’11

even start. I have so much to thank you for. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for doing everything in your power to help me when I was applying to Stanford. Thank you for helping me get into my dream school. You do so much for each student that you have, and I know we are all so thankful for you. You have helped so many students during what can be some of the most stressful months in their lives and I know they are with me when I say thank you so much for all you do.

— Jordan Barry ’15

I can still recall the day that I received

the congratulatory letter from Cornell that I had been accepted early decision. It was in early December, and I was in Mrs. Wallace’s English class sitting in a group, reviewing for a test. And I saw Mrs. Cleaver run by the window, with my father following behind. Apparently the notification letter had come in the DUR HAM ACADEMY

mail that morning and he came straight over to school to give me the news. Mrs. Cleaver knocked on the door and asked me to step outside. The letter that she was holding in her hand was a regular envelope, with only one page folded inside. I immediately thought, well, I didn’t get in because the letter is too thin. But Mrs. Cleaver looked very hopeful as she handed me the envelope and asked me to open it. With my whole English class glued to the window behind me, and Mrs. Cleaver and my father on their tip toes watching, I opened the envelope. And the admissions team had folded the letter just so and only the first sentence was visible over the folded edge, starting with Congratulations! You have been accepted … Mrs. Cleaver gave me a big congratulatory hug. Her guidance, advice and support helped me to create a successful application plan, and I am so grateful for her advice while I was at Durham Academy. And now, 22 continued on page 30

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years later, I am a faculty instructor at The Hotel School at Cornell University, teaching food and beverage management. Thank you, Mrs. Cleaver, for encouraging me to apply early decision!

— Heather Foulks Kolakowski ’96

and she was instrumental in helping me navigate the college application process (back when most of the application was hand-written!), helping me find the right schools for me, and also helping me figure out the recruitment process (I was recruited to play field hockey by Davidson, UVA, and Johns Hopkins). I ultimately chose to go to UVA, for engineering and field hockey, but without Mrs. Cleaver’s advice, guidance and realistic yet optimistic approach to finding the right fit, I would have been lost!

— Leyf Peirce Starling ’99

It’s incredible how much you have done

for the students at Durham Academy, and I’m honored to be included in those you have supported! Thank you for being there for me when I was struggling with where I wanted to go. You made me believe I could achieve anything, and without your aid, I would have never found a college that both helps me towards my future goals and makes me feel at home. I may not be at the most well-known school in the world, but I’m at the best school for me, and you were paramount in this realization.

— Tovah Williamson ’15

Ms. Cleaver, it is amazing to think you

have devoted a quarter of a century in guiding seniors in what I believe is one of the first decisions in entering adulthood — choosing a college that is often the foundation for the rest of someone’s life. It is no easy task and I truly appreciate and respect your devotion to your work and to Durham Academy. I have no clue if you remember me, but I hope you feel good in knowing that so many remember you with a fondness and with a gratitude 30

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Photos by Melody Guyton Butts

Mrs. Cleaver was my college advisor

ABOVE: Alumni from the mid ’90s through this year’s senior class wrote to thank Cleaver. RIGHT: Cleaver was overcome with emotion when Ashley Kim, senior class president, presented her with the scrapbook of notes from students Cleaver had “guided, counseled and mothered” through the college application process.

that is immeasurable. Congrats on your remarkable milestone and I wish you the best in the years ahead!

— Lindsay Couch Kilgore ’95

When I was ranking my college

preferences, I had Cornell University as one of my last choices, mostly on account of size and location. Mrs. Cleaver took one look at my list and told me Cornell would be the best fit for me out of all of them. I still wasn’t convinced, but I looked at it a little more closely as a result. I ended up going to Cornell after all and had an amazing and enriching experience, much of which wouldn’t have been possible at a smaller university. I absolutely loved it there — she was spot on!

— Carson Bloomberg Lutchansky ’97

I remember Mrs. Cleaver being a calm

voice of patience and reason during a stressful time for me and my parents. I credit her with helping me find my college of choice and guiding me through the application process. Having now worked at |

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four independent schools during my career in education, I realize how fortunate I was and all DA students are to benefit from her knowledge and experience. She’s one of the best in the field.

— Natalie Kaplowitz Hutchinson ’98

Dear Mrs. Cleaver, many years ago you

were instrumental in helping me through the stressful college application process. It’s hard to fathom just how many young men and women you’ve had a similar, positive effect on at such an important time in their lives. Thank you for all that you’ve done in the Cavalier community!

— Sean Bilsborrow ’94

I went on the DA southern college tour as

a rising junior and completely fell in love with Washington and Lee University. I was determined it was the school for me and Mrs. Cleaver was completely supportive. I credit her tremendously with my eventual early decision acceptance (but she also made sure I had great back-ups on deck!) I not only received an amazing education


too, but were wise enough to only mention how capable and bright Kathy is and that DA was lucky to have her. All my best on this 25th anniversary!

— Sarah Rightmyer Repoley ’95

Thank you so much for

not only working so hard to make all of us feel good about where we are going to college, but for also being one of the sweetest and most caring and reassuring people I have ever met. I would go to you for advice on anything, not just college. — Addison West ’17

Mrs. Cleaver was the one

and made some of my best friends at W&L, I also met my future husband. Eight years of marriage and three kids later and I have much to be thankful to Mrs. Cleaver for! She has had a life-long impact on the students she has helped over 25 years. Congratulations!

— Kathleen Glaser Belknap ’02

Mrs. Cleaver, thanks for all the care

and support you have bestowed upon not only me, but all of the seniors who have come through your office door. Your help matured me as a student at DA and prepared me to excel at the next level in college. Durham Academy is lucky to have someone like you, congratulations on 25 years!

— Nick Sullivan ’13

Dear Kathy, 23 years ago you suggested I look at a school in Dallas, Texas, from where you had just left. So I applied and visited SMU with your encouragement and wisdom. This nudge in large part set the trajectory for the rest of my

life. I couldn’t have enjoyed my college experience more and best of all, met my wife. Over the last 24 years, I can only imagine there are hundreds, if not thousands of similar stories. Hope you know and feel the appreciation of all the kids and families you’ve served. Thank you for helping me find my way. — Chris Spence ’95

Mrs. Cleaver is a powerhouse who

inspired me to be brave and push myself outside of my comfort zone when I was deciding where to go to college. I will never forget the advice she gave me. Thank you, Mrs. Cleaver, for your dedication and heart!

— Katie Vincent ’15

Kathy Cleaver’s wisdom and

encouragement has shaped my life significantly in the last 23 years. As a teenager, I really felt understood by her. When it came down to two choices I appreciated her counsel regarding such an influencing decision. My parents did, DUR HAM ACADEMY

who first put Tufts University on my college list — I had never heard of it before — but I enjoyed my visit. In the frantic end of first semester, I was split over whether to apply Early Decision or not. Mrs. Cleaver sat me down and said, “Is there anywhere else where you want to go more than Tufts?” Immediately I responded, “No.” She looked at me. “Then,” she said, “is there any reason not to apply early?” There wasn’t, of course, because Mrs. Cleaver is always right. I know I’m going to love Tufts next year. — Alice Dempsey ’17

Mrs. Cleaver, I can’t thank you enough

for all your help last year throughout the entire process. I can say with confidence that I ended up at the perfect school for me, and you deserve a lot of credit for that. You stuck with me through my constant indecision and really helped me stay on top of the entire process. Congratulations on all your successes at Durham Academy. We all thank you for helping us find best fit for each and every one of us and supporting us in high school, college and beyond. — Braden Saba ’16 |

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ABOVE: Crawford Leavoy (kneeling) is an evangelist for speech and debate teams, … “a believer in the idea that competitive speech and debate can change the lives of students for the better. I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve experienced it first-hand.” Shown here with DA’s speech and debate team at the state tournament, Leavoy leads a program that has had national success and welcomes all who are willing to give speech and debate a try.

From Wallflower to Center Stage CR AWF ORD LE AVOY’S IS BU T ONE OF M A N Y LI V ES CH A NG ED F OR T HE BE T T ER BY SPEECH A ND DEBAT E By Crawford Leavoy, Speech and Debate Coach

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o matter where I have lived, or what I have been doing — I’ve stayed close to competitive speech and debate. Over the years, I’ve been called a “lifer,” or a “groupie,” but I tend to identify just as a believer. I am a believer in the idea that competitive speech and debate can change the lives of students for the better. I’ve seen it first-hand. I’ve experienced it first-hand. Yet, I typically save my message about changing lives till after they are hooked. Consider me an evangelist for speech and debate. There are typically two types of students who arrive on Day One of practice. Student A has been sent by mom and dad because “they are always arguing at home.” Student B has arrived on their own accord, and they want to join because they want to learn how to win arguments at home with mom, dad and/or a sibling. It takes a while for students to become comfortable with the idea that speech and debate is more than just winning arguments. Instead, it is a journey into learning about so much more — current events, global politics, argumentation, research skills, thinking on 32

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one’s feet, the ability to stand up in a room and talk without fear, and the list goes on and on. However, from Day One, I state with confidence that I do not believe there is any other extracurricular activity that can fundamentally change your life, and prepare you for the rest of your life, like speech and debate can. Four years ago, I started at Durham Academy not knowing a great deal about its history in the activity. I had been connected to the school by a colleague of mine in Louisiana who knew Robert Sheard, who was head coach for speech and debate. I wanted to stay involved in the activity when I came to North Carolina, and Durham Academy seemed like the place to do that. I quickly learned about its relatively short history that had been rewarded with a great amount of success. In the last 12 years, Durham Academy has had six finishers in the Top 10 at the National Speech & Debate Association National Tournament (which is the largest academic competition in the world). No school can boast a better record, although |

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two other schools have tied that record. As a school, we have had five finishers in the top five at the same tournament — a record that no other school has bested. In addition to that success, students from Durham Academy have gone on to win some of the largest tournaments in the country, including Harvard, the University of Florida, the Glenbrooks, George Mason University and Wake Forest University. In addition to its national accomplishments, the team has won countless awards at regional and local competitions throughout the MidAtlantic and North Carolina. As someone explained it to me recently, “Durham Academy represents the benchmark for continued success as a program in speech and debate.” As we move into our 13th year as a team, it could be easy to look at that success on paper, or see our trophy case in the Learning Commons packed to the gills, and begin to rest on our laurels. However, our team continues to grow every year. This last year we had the largest team that we have ever had, with more students competing in


more events than ever. This growth is not just a byproduct of our success, but also a testament to the change that we create in students in their time in speech and debate. More students are finding their way to the team because of its ability to teach skills necessary for success in school, its attractiveness to college admissions boards and its record as being a training ground for emotional and mental maturity. There is certainly a great amount of research and data to support of all of this. I’ve read a great deal of it and concur with its findings. However, I let my own experience speak for the impact that this activity can have in a student’s life. I have been involved with speech and debate since 1999. I ended up on my high school team because a friend asked me if I was interested, and as a “loner” in school, I was willing to do just about anything for the feeling of friendship and camaraderie. Soon after showing up to my first practice, I realized that I had joined a well-established team with a deep history of success. There was only one problem — I was bad — real bad. I regularly went to tournaments and did poorly, I didn’t practice hard, and I was frustrated by the results. However, no matter how frustrated I became, I had coaches and a team that kept pushing me to keep going. Finally, something clicked. I began to trust the process, and practice harder than I had the previous years. I started to listen to what coaches were telling me, and I started to gain confidence. I had gone from someone doing anything for the feeling of friendship, to having a network of friends across the nation that I saw on an almost monthly basis. I suddenly started to win trophies. I was by no means the best debater on our team, not by a long shot. But I had gained the confidence to stand in front of a room of strangers and advocate a position until I was blue in the face. I had gained the ability to research evidence, to write arguments and to refute opponents. That confidence I gained over my four years of high school went on to be the foundation for my success in college and the workplace. There hasn’t been a classroom or boardroom that I have walked

into and didn’t feel like I could advocate for myself appropriately. There hasn’t been an interview that I haven’t felt adequately prepared for. There hasn’t been a situation in interacting with others where I didn’t feel like I could stand my ground. I didn’t have that before speech and debate. Prior to speech and debate, I stuck to the fringe, didn’t speak up in conversation and best resembled a wallflower. (In high school, I was given a copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower because someone thought I embodied Charlie’s persona so perfectly). Upon leaving college, I have tried to remain involved with speech and debate while pursuing other careers. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I returned to one of my favorite tournaments in New Orleans to aid the recovery and growth of the debate community in New Orleans. I have worked with brand-new and well-established programs in order to increase the impact that speech and debate has on students, all done while working full-time in one of the most demanding restaurants in New Orleans. It wasn’t until I arrived at Durham Academy that I’ve been able to devote large swaths of my time to traveling week-in and week-out with the same group of students. I was blessed by understanding employers and business partners in Durham, who saw that my extended time away from my “daytime” career was not only a benefit to the community but a benefit to me. I now spend approximately 20 weekends out of the year on the road with some assemblage of the debate team. This team has become more than a team to me — it has become my family. Like any family, it has many characters in it, but nevertheless, we are committed to some common goal. It doesn’t mean that the goal is simply “to win,” just like no nuclear family has a common goal of simply winning. Instead, we are committed to the common goal that together, we have the ability to teach each other necessary skills that we hope may lead to that eventual success. I, as a coach, am not so much teaching for each W, but am hoping to impart the skills that can lead to that success. There will be times where we have a bad day. We are going to want to quit on each other sometimes. But the principle of DUR HAM ACADEMY

“family” means that we cannot just walk away from each other. Instead, we are bound by some higher understanding and love that will keep us together. But our family isn’t just localized to Durham Academy; we are privileged to have an extensive extended family across the nation. You are probably thinking about your crazy uncle or your absent-minded cousin now. Don’t worry — our extended family has those too. But the vast network of participants, judges and coaches dating back to the National Speech and Debate Association’s founding in 1925 means that there are more good eggs than bad. Our family is one that includes George McGovern, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Pauley, Kelsey Grammar, James Earl Jones, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Josh Gad, Bruce Springsteen and even Stephen Colbert. Like I said, our family has many characters in it. We are a loving family — one that doesn’t shun new members away or cut ties as students graduate. Instead, we look to stay connected to our entire community, both at Durham Academy and beyond. We look forward to welcoming new students. We watch our alumni go on to use the skills they have learned in speech and debate with great anticipation. We work to include our parents and community members through community judging from a diverse pool of real-world professionals. In short, our family adopts all that are willing to join. When I walked into the first practice 18 years ago, I didn’t understand this, and I may still not have it exactly right. However, I have watched this phenomenon take root at Durham Academy. I have watched hundreds of students leave us better prepared to go out into the real world, better equipped through speech and debate, and better adjusted to handling the real world. If 13 years of unmatched success in speech and debate at Durham Academy doesn’t speak to that, let the life of a wallflower from Alabama. I’m an evangelist for competitive speech and debate not because I am paid to be. I’m an evangelist for competitive speech and debate because it changed my life, and it has the potential to change anyone’s. |

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ABOVE: The trophy is almost as tall as the Durham Academy first-graders who won it! Congratulations to members of DA’s K-1 chess team (from left) Emilyn Doan, coach Craig Jones, Lingaa Venkataraja, Carson Loehr, Connor Lang, Judson Roederer and John David Spatola.

K-1 chess team wins DA’s first championship-level national title By Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications

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f you ask first-grade chess players what they enjoy about the game, they’ll offer up a slew of benefits. It’s fun. It helps them slow down and focus. It gives their brains a workout. And, for those who win a lot of matches, there’s the glory. “You can be an expert,” explained Durham Academy first-grader Lingaa Venkataraja. “And after that, you’re a master, and FIDE master, and international master, and grandmaster, and then world champion, like Magnus Carlsen. He’s from Norway. I like chess 34

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because you could get famous.” With their performance in the U.S. Chess Federation SuperNationals tournament, Lingaa and his teammates are well on their way to achieving Magnus Carlsen-level fame. DA’s K-1 Championship division team won the SuperNationals K-1 Championship title on May 14. It’s DA’s first-ever national title for a championship-level team and the first achieved by any North Carolina team since 1995. To boot, the team — comprising first-graders Emilyn Doan, Connor Lang, |

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Carson Loehr, Judson Roederer, John David Spatola and Lingaa — outplayed the secondplace team by a margin of 2.5 points, among the largest margins of victory in national tournament history. In addition, DA’s K-12 Under-1600 team (comprising players with a rating of no more than 1600) tied for first place and finished second on tie-breakers, and DA’s K-3 Championship division team tied for fifth and finished sixth on tie-breakers at SuperNationals. Members of the K-12 Under-1600


team are fourth-graders Asha Kumar and Jacob Valentine (who placed eighth of the 490 players in the division); sixth-graders Arya Kumar and Triya Venkataraja; ninthgraders Luke Triplett and Kaylan Wang; 10th-grader Zach Hunter; and 11th-grader Ethan Wang. Members of the K-3 Championship team are second-graders Arav Goldstein and Mary Elisabeth Tracy; third-grader Kai Forbach; and Hill Center student Charles Roederer. The performances are particularly impressive given the stage on which they were won. Each year, there are national competitions for elementary, middle school and high school chess players, but every four years, the championships are combined into a SuperNationals competition. This year’s SuperNationals — held in Nashville, Tennessee, from May 12 to 14 — was the largest chess tournament in history, with nearly 5,600 players competing. Adding to DA’s SuperNationals excitement was the standout individual performance of sixth-grader Pete Crowley, who with his 11th-place finish broke DA’s all-time ratings record with a new rating of 1899. The DA ratings leaderboard has undergone a bit of a shakeup this year, with ninth-grader Christopher Chaves having surpassed 11th-grader Eric Bradford in March. These successes — coupled with strong performances at the state tournament in March — are the result of 14 years of work by DA chess coach Craig Jones to establish a chess community not just at DA, but in the Triangle as a whole. “It’s a culmination of years of effort. It just takes years and years and years to create this environment where eventually the players just get better and better and better,” he explained. “When I started in 2003, the whole Triangle area was just very limited in chess. … It’s just been growing and growing for 12-13 years now, and DA has led the way. You can’t do it in a vacuum.” In many New York City schools, chess is curriculum-driven, with young students taking chess classes every day. At DA, chess is an optional after-school enrichment, with the majority of students taking group classes one afternoon per week.

“That’s how much they believe in the educational benefits of chess in New York, in both private and public schools,” Jones said. “… So you’re up against that, schools with multiple coaches. We’re handicapped in that we meet just once a week, but it’s fine — it makes it even better when we do well.” Twice in the last six years at the national tournament, DA’s K-1 Championship division teams were in first place going into the last round, but ultimately didn’t win. Those memories of being oh-so-close made this year’s K-1 Championship result all the sweeter for Jones. “In the last round, Emilyn Doan walks in, and she’s got her poker face — you never know if she wins or loses — and her mom’s walking behind her, and she does this,” Jones said, giving a thumbs-up. “And this is the last round, and she’s the third person in a row [to win]. I couldn’t believe it — we just swept. Our margin of victory was 2.5 points. Usually it’s decided by a half-point. That’s just insane.” The victory was just as sweet for the first-graders. “It feels really good,” John David said. “Because to be the best in the county at something in the whole first grade, it just feels good to be the best.” “When our teacher, Mr. Jones, told us that we got first place, I started cheering, ‘We got first place! We got first place!’ ” Lingaa recalled. About 90 students participate in DA’s chess program — some playing competitively and others taking afterschool enrichment classes solely for fun. About half of all DA kindergartners participate, Jones estimated. Connor — who tied for third individually and finished eighth on tiebreakers at SuperNationals — enjoys playing chess because “it helps my brain. So you have to think for a long time, and if you make a teeny mistake, you might lose.” For Emilyn, much of the fun of playing chess is in spending time playing with classmates and family members. “And it’s kind of fun to play different people, to meet different people.” Chess has advantages for all types of students, Jones said. It helps with DURHAM ACADEMY

organization of thought, gives students the confidence to try other activities, and accelerates academic achievements across subject areas. “With chess you fail a lot,” he said. “You have to get used to making mistakes and failing. It’s harsh. And there’s nothing wrong with it because it’s in a controlled environment.” The difficulty of chess is part of the point of playing, Carson and John David suggested. “It’s hard at first, but then it’s easier because you learn how to play,” Carson said. “I just like to challenge myself,” John David explained. Chess is a lot of fun — with Jones being a huge part of the appeal for DA students. “I think he teaches really well, and I feel like he’s really funny sometimes,” John David said. Jones sometimes refers to pieces with silly names, like pronouncing knight as “kunite.” “And he calls the bishop ‘Mr. Pointy Head’!” Emilyn exclaimed with a giggle. All chess players are rated on the same scale — from kindergartners here in Durham, to grandmasters around the world. “It doesn’t matter how old you are,” Judson said. “Because when I was 4, I beat a couple of high schoolers.” And when he was 7, he won a national championship.

In addition to members of the K-1 Championship team, the K-12 Under-1600 team, the K-3 Championship team, and Crowley, several other DA students competed in the SuperNationals tournament: • K-1 Under 500 team: Kieran Hranitzky (second grade) and Arjun Pagidipati (kindergarten) • K-3 Under 700: Samuelito Fengler Rodriguez (third grade) • K-5 Under 900: Zachary Dalva-Baird (fourth grade) • K-12 Championship: Christopher Chaves (ninth grade)

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Can First-Graders Build and Program a Robot?

YOU BET!

Photos by Kathy McPherson

By Cam Brown ’18

ABOVE: First-grader Mia Claire Patel and her two teammates used this Arduino microcontroller to build a robot. A robotics curriculum for first- and third-graders was developed by Cam Brown ’18 as part of an independent study.

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s a baseball pitcher, I am accustomed to stressful situations, so I expected stepping into a classroom with 20 first-graders to be a piece of cake. But there were butterflies in my stomach that first day teaching at the Lower School. I was about to deliver a robotics curriculum I had developed to science and technology classes. Would my lesson be boring, or too complicated? Would they be of little interest to kids who don’t know life without iPads? It was a huge relief to see a class full of beaming students excited to discover how we would build robots together for the next two weeks. As part of an independent study, I spent months designing and testing an integrated robotics and engineering activity with a goal of teaching more than the basic content. My hope is to educate students about more than Arduino microcontrollers, servo motors and LEDs. This project is about teaching some of Durham Academy’s youngest students the broader benefits of participation in the sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. It is fun to learn about tech stuff — but STEM activities also teach how to problem solve, work in teams, persevere through failure and experiment with new ideas. During my time teaching at the Lower School, I saw all of these in action with the students and in myself, too! 36

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The curriculum was designed to be interactive and inclusive. Groups of three students would discover methods and solutions by working with each other. Each team received a kit with basic robotics parts, including a robot chassis I designed and 3D printed using the new Upper School robotics lab. From LEDs, to servos, to infrared proximity sensors, students would learn how to integrate the Arduino microcontrollers with all sorts of components, and how to write code for the robot’s actions. On day one, I explained that each student would share responsibility for building and programming an autonomous robot. At each step of the way, there would be more failures than successes. Rarely would it all go right the first time. The program was intended to be a challenge, and every student would need to struggle with some aspect of the work. For some, it might be understanding the correlation between the robot and the software code written on the computer, and for others, it might be finding the right digital pin for plugging in a resistor. A common perception is that STEM subjects are too complicated or too challenging for Lower School students. My experience suggests the opposite: there is tremendous interest, and with interest comes the desire to learn. I worked with all of the first- and third-grade classes for eight days. Every student not only showed genuine engagement,


but also made an important discovery from their work. A few of the students also participate in Durham Academy’s after-school STEM enrichment class, but students with no prior experience in robotics or programming seemed to be even more excited by the project. My hope is that the in-class curriculum offered an opportunity to develop a positive outlook and familiarity with STEM for those not previously exposed to robotics. Robotics has exploded at Durham Academy. It was just three years ago when my younger brother, Zach, and I started a robotics team at the Middle School. The Robosharks began with five Middle School students and myself, a ninth-grader at the time, competing in the FIRST Lego League (FLL), which uses the LEGO Mindstorm robotics platform. We met after school in Mr. [Randy] Bryson’s classroom and in my basement on weekends. In our rookie season, we won the Teamwork Award at qualifiers and the Design Award at the state tournament. Middle School digital learning coordinator Karl Schaefer has grown the program by coordinating multiple Middle School teams. In 2017, all three FLL teams went on to the state tournament. This year, Durham Academy launched the FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) program in the Upper School. There was much excitement, and the Durham Academy Robotics Club — Students in Design and Engineering (DARC SIDE) enjoyed phenomenal success. The team won the Rookie All Star Award at the state tournament, was the highest rookie seed in North Carolina, and qualified for the FRC Championship in Houston, Texas, where the team won the prestigious Judges’ Award for pioneering efforts of inclusivity. Robotics can be anyone’s thing. Three years ago, I had no idea it would captivate me. Yet, the opportunities that exist in the STEM fields are not being distributed proportionately in our society. The predominantly nerdy white guy stereotype is unfortunately fairly accurate. Even at the Upper School, a gender disparity is found in STEM activity participation. This year’s FRC robotics team had 14 members, and only three women: two students and our teacher/coach Leyf Peirce Starling, a 1999 DA graduate. My experience suggests that the inclination towards STEM is not rooted in gender. I believe it is rooted in exposure. Girls in both first- and third-grade classes showed just as much interest as the boys. Breaking down gender bias at this young age, and offering the same level of encouragement and assistance to everyone, is crucial for transforming STEM into a more inclusive career path. Creativity is an infinite resource in students of this age. It is extremely rewarding for students to imagine building their own robot and to then successfully make it happen. Reaching this goal takes perseverance, patience and most importantly, the confidence to keep trying. My hope is that every student, regardless of his or her overall understanding of the electronic components, appreciates that STEM encourages learning from your mistakes. Robotics provides an opportunity to get hands-on and combine imagination with science to create new things that will help our society move forward. I am tremendously thankful to have been a part of bringing robotics to the Lower School, Middle School and Upper School. It is a testament to DA’s excellence how quickly the school has embraced the opportunity. TOP: A document camera allowed an entire class of first-graders to watch and follow along as Brown assembled the robot. BOTTOM: Brown moved from team to team of first-graders, including James Torrey, Henry Roberts and Mary Pearson Scales, as they worked on their robot. DUR HAM ACADEMY

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Yueh Lee

ABOVE: Members of the Lower School Science Olympiad team were jumping for joy after taking first place this spring at their first regional competition. The 14 young scientists — ranging from third through fifth grade — were part of DA’s inaugural Lower School team.

Lower School Launches a Science Olympiad Team ‘SODA Cans’ bubble with excitement over winning gold in first competition By Helen Morgan ’15

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his year’s inaugural Lower School Science Olympiad team trained hard to become gold medalists at their first competition this spring, the Harnett County Regional Science Olympiad Competition. Coached by Upper School science teacher Howard Lineberger with the assistance of Lower School parents Yueh Lee, Jade Sung and Mary Roederer, the 14 young scientists — ranging from third through fifth grade — took the competition by storm as a result of their diligence and problem solving. 38

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“They really did a whole lot of work. We met every Tuesday afternoon for a good part of the year,” Lineberger said, with parent volunteers who had medical or science backgrounds often giving presentations to the students. Science Olympiad is a team competition allowing students to compete in events in a variety of scientific disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. Though teams have existed for years at the Middle School and Upper |

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School, an interest in earlier exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics led to the creation of a Lower School Science Olympiad team. “This is a competitive format where you can build kind of a team structure and team identity. And kids respond to that, even at this age,” Lineberger explained. “It kind of drives them to get into the stuff a little bit more.” Science Olympiad was more than just learning for fourth-grader Zach Dalva-Baird,


who was quick to say that his favorite part was making new friends in other grades. The young scientists met in Lineberger’s Upper School classroom after school every Tuesday. As the regional meet drew near, they meet on weekends, too. “Our format was to focus on one topic per week and then we would have weekend sessions where we just let them build things,” allowing the students to apply the concepts they learned in the classroom during the week, Lineberger said. “Most of the time people think you have to work a lot, but the coaches make it so it’s fun at the same time,” third-grader Shriya Dharmapurikar explained. “We made solar-powered ovens and … they didn’t even show us how to do it, and most of us made our solar-powered ovens really well. And in the end, we cooked s’mores in them and we got to eat them.” Other fun activities included a bottle rocket launch competition, a marshmallow catapult-building exercise, science Jeopardy and a “bridge-eroni” competition in which students built bridges out of dry pasta and tested how much weight they could sustain. “After we started getting ready for the competition, we started focusing on

our individual competitions … with our partner” by looking at sample questions, Zach explained. The team prepared week after week for the events and studied event rubrics, which is an essential part of the process according to Lineberger. “Once they know about scoring, they actually get a little bit innovative and try to think of ways they can get the most points out of a certain event,” he said. Science Olympiad helps students learn a variety of different sciences. “It kind of forces them to go out beyond what they’re comfortable with,” Lineberger explained. “They’ll usually get a subject area that they’re not comfortable with, but they have to learn to deal with it. I think it gives them a little bit more adventurous approach to learning science.” While some events consist of testing objects built prior to competition, others require students to build things after receiving directions during the competition. Parents and coaches provided guidance in the preparation for events, but once it was competition time, the students were on their own. “Sometimes there’s something that you’ve never heard of, that’s not in the

study material, and you have to think about it and eventually you just have to guess,” Zach said. By the looks of the winning results, the DA team didn’t have to do much guessing. DA won over runner-up St. Paul II Catholic School by four points and topped the thirdplace team by 23 points. It was an amazing feat, considering the regional competition consisted of eight teams and included students up through the sixth grade. Not only did the DA students learn a lot about science, they also became helpers in science class. “[Lower School science teacher] Mrs. Streck went over a lot of stuff that I kind of already knew, and everyone was kind of confused, so the Science Olympiad kids were kind of helping them,” Shriya said. Shriya wasn’t expecting to win the team’s first competition and was thrilled when they did. The team, which chose the name “SODA Cans” — SODA stands for ‘Science Olympiad DA’ — started cheering “SODA” with excitement when the results were posted. It looks like more trophies will be coming for the Lower School SODA Cans, with the hiring of Dr. Catherine Ward ’99 as the official coach for next year’s the team. Congrats to these budding scientists!

Upper School Robotics Team Competes at World Championships

Photos by Trevor Nelson

The Upper School’s inaugural robotics team, DARC SIDE, qualified for the FRC World Championships in Houston, Texas, this spring. DARC SIDE competed in a 67-team division, and ranked 34th at the end of the qualifying matches. While the DA team did not make it to the finals round, DARC SIDE won a Judges Award for pioneering efforts of Inclusivity in FRC.

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GIRLS MAKE GAMES Photos by Leslie King

Budding programmers test-drive career in game development By Leslie King Director of Communications CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: • Middle Schoolers Maddie King (left) and Madeline Gottfried give game design a try at the Girls Make Games session this spring at Durham Academy. • An engine called Stencyl helped them make a game quickly. • Each girl brought her game to life on the computer after initially creating a game story on paper.

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alia Shabir is on a mission — to change the world one girl at a time. But she’s not planting the seed for a girl power revolution in the way you might expect. Shabir is laying the groundwork in a digital world populated by jumping purple cats, flying unicorns, rainbows and a girl on a quest for hidden treasure — all powered by 9- to 14 year-old girls. She’s creating the next generation of designers, creators and engineers by inspiring current generations of girl gamers. On the first weekend in April, Durham Academy girls in grades three through eight got to test-drive a career in game development through a workshop hosted by the educational and training group Shabir founded, Girls Make Games. “For me, this is very personal. I run a game studio myself, and when we started it was just me and eight men and now we’re 50-50,” Shabir said. “But the gaming industry is still the worst gender parity that you’ll find — there’s only eight percent women. And people who make games will make them for people like them, and so it 40

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just perpetuates over and over. We’re just trying to solve the problem.” Shabir founded Girls Make Games in 2014 after she spent months unsuccessfully trying to find a female developer to work on a new game for her educational media company, Learn District. She realized the best way to create an extensive female talent pool of designers was to start by getting young girls interested in making games. Since the launch of its inaugural summer camp, Girls Make Games has grown into a worldwide series of summer camps and workshops held in more than 38 cities around the world. Shabir’s goal is to reach one million girls by 2020. A January brainstorming session with administrators, parents and faculty about how to create more STEM-related programming for girls at Durham Academy led Katherine Manuel, Lower School parent and senior vice president for Innovation at Thomson Reuters, to reach out to Shabir. “My husband had invested a few dollars in Laila's Kickstarter campaign,”

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Manuel recalled. “He forwarded me a note she had sent to her Kickstarter distribution list, and I was moved by her perspective. I ‘cold called’ her via email asking if I could help her change the world. Ha! She offered to start with a Skype.” A meeting between Manuel, Shabir and Upper School robotics teacher Leyf Starling eventually produced a two-day workshop, with a four-hour session for third- and fourth-graders hosted at the Lower School and a four-hour session for fifth- through eighth-graders hosted at the Middle School. Sessions filled up quickly, with about 50 students signing up. “I like to program things because my whole life I’ve wanted to be an inventor,” third-grader Shelby Little explained, “and so I signed up for Girls Make Games because I really wanted to program a video game.” “Games are how kids interact with the world,” Shabir said. “They have games on their phones all the time and we have to reach them where they are. For me, this is an educational tool, not just for learning how to code, but learning how the world works


because whatever you see in a game is what you think the world is like, and if you can see things that are positive, then you see positive messages.” Shabir gets girls started through a series of steps that walk them through designing, programming and publishing their own video game. They start with research, and the best way to learn about how games work is by playing one. BlubBlub, created by a team of 9- to 12 year-old girls in a Girls Make Games summer camp, served as inspiration. As the grand prize winner in the camp’s annual competition, BlubBlub will be published on PlayStation and Xbox this year. Students design their game by creating a blueprint on a worksheet that asks a series of simple questions: • What is the game’s title? • What is the genre (adventure/action/ etc.)? • What are the game’s mechanics (what happens as characters move through the game)? • Are there collectibles (coins, treasure)? • What is the setting? • What are the character names, and what are their descriptions? • What is the story? On the back of the sheet, girls mock up a hand-drawn sketch of the environment and its characters. Each girl is provided a set of pre-made digital art assets to choose from. “I like video games. I like playing on my mom’s iPad, so I like games and I like art,” third-grader Mailyn Moore said. “So that’s pretty much the two things that I really like combined.” Manuel, whose third-grader Kendall participated in the Lower School workshop, said Laila’s approach meets girls where they are and where they see their strengths. “I love her method displayed at the opening of the workshop,” she said. “She hands them a piece of paper with some questions on it and a pencil. No technology. She asks them to create a story through answering the questions on the paper — very akin to the writing that

they do each day at Durham Academy. The girls lit up, as many associate writing as a strength.” Four hours might seem like a long time to keep groups of 8- to 14-year-olds engaged, but even the workshop itself is a game. Participation is incentivized: Girls who answer questions and complete steps earn plastic gold coins throughout the day that they can spend in a “store” stocked with posters, stickers and various stuffed animals (including a coveted Pusheen!). The most time-consuming part, and the one potentially filled with the most frustration, tends to be building the game itself. Bringing the game to life, problemsolving any bugs, programming any movement — that’s the part where the girls have to think like programmers. They work on an engine called Stencyl that helps them make the game quickly. Shabir said Stencyl basically takes code and “turns it into English.” “You have to make the ground, you have to put the cat there, you have to program it to be idle, and jump, but first you have to make sure it doesn’t float away,” third-grader Mailyn said. “If you press the right button and the top button you go flipping, flipping, flipping,” Shelby added. “And you have to program it to camera follow so your cat just doesn’t walk off randomly,” Mailyn continued. “You had to listen, and learn, you had to follow the steps … but you still had fun!” Kendall Manuel exclaimed. Even though Shabir is the successful CEO of her own game design studio, she can relate to the challenges her young students experience, not just professionally, but personally. Growing up in a conservative Muslim family in Pakistan, Shabir says she received some of the same messages as a young girl that her American peers did. In spite of her interest in video games (she wrote her first program at age 11), Shabir was told games were something girls “just don’t do.” Shabir moved to the U.S. to attend MIT in 2005, and although initially she met with some resistance from her parents, her father eventually advised her to “live like a young man,” which Shabir interpreted to mean DUR HAM ACADEMY

“live fearlessly.” That fearlessness is what she wants young girls to experience in the world of gaming, and it’s why she has dedicated Girls Make Games to giving them a home where they learn to collaborate with a team, learn perseverance and believe in themselves in a world with no boundaries. “What we’re going to do is ignite a spark that they can take with them,” Shabir said. “Confidence is the main thing. If anyone ever asks them they can always say, ‘Yeah I made a game.’ Starting something from scratch — that’s really it. Here you’re literally starting with a blank page and they build every piece. Just knowing you can get from there to the end. Being in a camp where they’re the ones who can do anything, it just feels very empowering.” “I've never experienced the feeling of success that I made a game,” fifth-grader Claire Orvis said. “A real 'you can actually play' game. When someone tells a girl they can't do something … they become determined to do it. No one can stop a girl from doing anything. Even coding.” The potential impact of Girls Make Games is making big-name game studios take notice. Girls Make Games’ newest summer camp will be sponsored by industry powerhouse Sony Playstation, and hosted at Sony’s headquarters. “By creating and implementing more programs like Girls Make Games at DA, we can provide experiences for girls to explore STEM fields and possible STEM career paths, engage in creative and collaborative problem solving opportunities, and have fun learning how to apply what they are doing in the classroom in a variety of ways,” Starling said. “Hopefully we are inspiring future computer scientists and engineers!” “At the end, everyone was like, ‘Do we have to leave? Because we want to do more programming!’ ” Shelby said. Plans are in the works to try to extend DA’s pilot partnership with Girls Make Games — stay tuned! At www.da.org/magazine: • Watch videos on Girls Make Games • Learn more about Girls Make Games summer camps

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DA Devotes School Year to Strategic Focus on Diversity and Inclusion By Kemi Nonez, Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

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mong Durham Academy’s chief institutional goals of the 2016-2017 school year was a strategic focus on diversity and inclusion as part of the implementation of the 2015 Strategic Plan. The school sought comprehensive and detailed feedback on how current students, parents, alumni, faculty/staff, administrators and trustees experience the school with regard to diversity, inclusion and equity. The Strategic Plan directs DA to consider diversity as more than just numbers — to understand and improve the daily lived experience of every single DA community member. To that end, DA partnered with the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to conduct an Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM). AIM is composed of two parts — a selfassessment and an online community-wide survey. The AIM School Self-Assessment was completed by Discovery Committees made up of representatives from affiliation and affinity groups within the school community. Each Discovery Committee was assigned to discuss one aspect of the school community (e.g., student life, school governance and leadership, faculty/ teachers, teaching and learning, etc.). The Discovery Committees met to discuss areas of school strength and weakness with regard to those areas and to generate responses that could be used to inform the community-wide survey. The Online Climate Survey was a confidential online questionnaire administered to the entire school community. NAIS hosted the survey, compiled the results and provided a summary of findings. 42

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Morale

• 70% of respondents rate overall school morale as excellent or very good • 27% rate overall morale as good or fair • 3% rate overall morale as poor Multiculturalism

• 68% of respondents agree or strongly agree that they are satisfied with multiculturalism at DA • 14% neither agree nor disagree • 15% disagree or disagree strongly Inclusiveness

• 69% of respondents agree or strongly agree that they are satisfied with inclusiveness at DA • 13% neither agree nor disagree • 16% disagree or disagree strongly Healthy Scores

When compared to peer schools that have conducted the same AIM Survey, DA scored more favorably in several key categories. Healthy scores point to areas in which DA is doing comparatively well, and for which programs and initiatives should be continued or expanded. Scores in this range are indicators of a strong and healthy organizational climate for diversity, multiculturalism, equity and justice. • Diversity in the faculty, administration, student body and curriculum is important to excellence in the education provided by this school. • The school takes action to create diverse enrollment and a diverse faculty and staff. • School leaders treat faculty and staff with respect and are friendly and approachable. • Adults who work in this school are |

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responsive to the needs of others in the school community. • Students respect others who perform at a high academic level. Areas of High Priority Concern

DA has begun to implement action steps for areas of concern identified in the climate survey. AIM provided the most detailed student demographic census in DA history. It also helped to reveal community concerns that will focus the school’s diversity and inclusion efforts in the coming years. Across all constituents, the following areas were identified as the highest priority concerns: • The board of trustees does not reflect the diversity of the student body. • The school needs to work more effectively with the individual differences of its various stakeholder groups based on socioeconomic status, ability or disability. • Many constituents perceive that a few vocal parents can create and change school policies. In addition to the areas above, which reflected consensus among all constituencies (faculty/staff, parents, students and trustees), areas of high priority concern were also identified by individual constituency groups. High Priority Concerns for Faculty/ Administration/Staff

• The school needs to be able to work effectively with the individual differences of various stakeholder groups – specifically religion, sexual orientation and gender identity. • Faculty and administrators need to reflect the diversity of the student body. • Faculty and administrators need to set


PARTICIPATION RATES Constituent

• • • • • • •

N u m b e r I n v i te d

N u m b e r C o m p l e te d

Student 438 Trustee 26 Administrator 14 Faculty/Teacher 187 Staff 60 Parent/Guardian 1620 Alumnus/a 4933

P a r t i c i p a t i o n R a te

403 92% 19 73% 18 129% 157 84% 31 52% 377 23% 153 3%

Action Steps Overall Summary OVERALL SUMMARY

The following summary measures represent a good starting place

The following summary measures represent a good starting place for analysis of your school's AIM for analysis of your school’s AIM results results.

OOverall ve r a l l School S c h o o lMorale Morale Excellent (29 %)

4.3

High Performing

Very good (41 %) Good (20 %)

All Schools

4.0

Your School

3.9

Fair (7 %) Poor (3 %) Don't know (1 %)

0

1

2

3

4

5

3

4

5

3

4

5

SSatisfaction a t i s f a c t i o n with w i t h Multiculturalism Multiculturalism Agree strongly (28 %)

4.1

High Performing

Agree somewhat (40 %) Neither agree nor disagree (14 %)

3.7

All Schools

Disagree somewhat (11 %) Disagree strongly (4 %)

3.8

Your School

Don't know (2 %)

0

1

2

SSatisfaction a t i s f a c t i o n with w i t hInclusiveness I n c l u s i ve n e s s Agree strongly (30 %)

4.4

High Performing

Agree somewhat (39 %) Neither agree nor disagree (13 %)

4.0

All Schools

Disagree somewhat (11 %) Disagree strongly (5 %)

3.8

Your School

Don't know (2 %)

0

• •

• Students tell jokes, tease, or make fun of other students because of their appearance or because of their lack of athletic ability. • Students do not necessarily feel instrumental in promoting multiculturalism at the school. • Students believe athletes are treated with greater respect at the school.

time aside in meetings to discuss progress on multicultural goals and initiatives. Faculty and administrators of color are asked more often than others to lead or serve on committees for multicultural activities. Teachers are not comfortable being open and honest in what they say to parents/ guardians. The majority of respondents believe it is easier for men to be selected for careerenhancing opportunities than it is for women or individuals of other gender identities. The school needs to actively take appropriate steps to ensure that single parent families can participate in school activities.

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• Socioeconomic status is limiting the ability of students to participate fully in all areas of school life. • Multiculturalism needs to be integrated into every aspect of the curriculum. High Priority Concerns for Parents

• Parents need to feel instrumental in promoting multiculturalism at the school. • Parents believe athletes are treated with greater respect at the school. High Priority Concerns for Students

• Students seem to separate themselves into groups based on their culture, ethnicity, religion, or other ways in which they are different.

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Several action steps related to the high priority concerns identified above are already underway, including: • More systematic and aggressive identification of potential trustee candidates. • Increases in both the annual financial aid budget and endowed funds for student financial aid, a revision of the school’s financial aid policy, a comprehensive audit of the “Full Cost of DA,” the creation of new messaging to widely publicize financial aid purpose, policies and resources. • A comprehensive review of all existing multicultural events and diversity programming. • The identification of opportunities to integrate multiculturalism into the curriculum through Lee Hark’s strategic role and the schoolwide curriculum mapping process. • A review of assembly/advisory content to ensure diversity of thought/views/values as well as promote student ownership of topics. • A detailed census of administrative and faculty/staff leadership positions, with the results mapped against demographics and salaries. • A review of school division informational meetings, coffees and Parents Association meeting times to find times more convenient for working and single parents. • An annual review of hurtful/harmful language policies for students. • Expanded cultural sensitivity training for faculty, advisors and coaches. Additional action steps and suggestions were generated by division Diversity Coordinators and the Board Diversity Committee. The Administrative Team will prioritize and plan these steps during its June retreat. |

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INJ USTICE S A ND ACCOMPLISHMEN T S Seventh-graders reflect on 'impactful' experience in new African American museum

Photos by Karen Richardson

By Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: When seventh-graders, including Charles McCain (third from right), ate lunch in the café at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, they were seated beneath a photo of the “Greensboro Four.” McCain is the grandson of the late Franklin McCain, one of four North Carolina A&T State University students who helped launch the sit-in movement when they were refused service at a Woolworth’s lunch counter. It was the second visit to the museum for McCain and Jonathan Ward (fourth from right), and they made a presentation to their classmates on the building and some of its exhibits.

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erhaps no ticket is more sought-after in Washington, D.C., right now than one granting admission to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. More than one million people have visited the 4,000-square-foot museum since it opened on the National Mall in September — and among the fortunate visitors were more than 100 Durham Academy seventh-graders and teachers who visited as part of the seventh grade’s annual trip to Washington in February. Among a group of seventh-graders reflecting on their experience, the word most often used to describe the museum’s exhibits was “impactful.” Mirella Kades, a self-described longtime fan of rock music, was particularly drawn to the music exhibition. 44

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“Seeing Chuck Berry’s car and Bo Diddley’s guitar and lots of things connected to music that I grew up listening to — I thought it was really cool to hear the stories,” she explained. “I think I’m going to write my LA [language arts] paper on how everyone thought Chuck Berry stole his car because of the color of his skin. I thought that was really sad and impactful.” Fellow seventh-grader Charles McCain noticed another injustice represented in the sports exhibit: that Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson’s cleats “weren’t nearly as nice as the white players on his team.” McCain is a grandson of the late Franklin McCain — one of the “Greensboro Four” North Carolina A&T State University freshmen who helped |

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launch the sit-in movement — and while eating in the museum’s café, he had the opportunity to have his photo taken in front of a widely recognized photo of his grandfather sitting at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. Because of his family’s ties to civil rights history, McCain had had the opportunity to visit the museum in the fall. His classmate Jonathan Ward had also visited the museum, and in December, the two students made a presentation to their classmates on the building (designed by Durham-based architect Phil Freelon) and some of its exhibits. After two trips to the museum, one of the most moving exhibits for McCain is that focusing on slavery. “It made me really appreciative for what we have. When you go through there,


you see some of the cabins like where the slaves stayed, and they were about half the size of my room,” he said. “And that was for their whole family to stay in. … They didn’t even have beds. They just had an open cabin with no heat when it was cold and no A/C when it was hot. That was really impactful for me to see that.” The museum’s exhibits struck a chord with faculty, too. Upon the return to school, language arts and history teacher Mike Harris asked his students to write a persuasive essay on why any one topic, idea or fact was among the most impactful things in the museum. He decided to join them, writing “about the impact that the sugar exhibit had on me, thinking about how much as I love sugar and how sugar was such a major part of the enslavement of human beings.” Scoring tickets to the museum was no easy feat, with learning specialist Dr.

Cindy Moore and French teacher Teresa Engebretsen having “called and called and called,” sometimes staying on hold for hours at a time to no avail, recalled lead trip planner Kim Aitken, a seventh-grade math teacher. And then Moore “got lucky” with a special web address for people who could no longer go to the museum at the time they’d originally planned. In a Hail Mary pass, she emailed with a request for enough tickets for the seventh-grade class, “and literally 24 hours later, I had 110 tickets downloaded on my computer,” she explained. In a sign of the African American museum’s popularity, students bumped into First Lady Melania Trump and Sara Netanyahu, the wife of the Israeli prime minister, during their visit. Several of the DA students had the opportunity to chat with Trump and shake her hand. The new museum garnered much of the excitement leading into the trip to the nation’s capital, but it was just the first stop on a packed, three-day itinerary. Students also had the opportunity to visit the Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., FDR, Lincoln, Vietnam War and Korean War memorials; tour the U.S. Capitol building; experience a wreathlaying at Arlington National Cemetery; and experience several other museums. At each monument, a different advisory group of students made a prepared presentation, offering a background on the monument’s creation and the person or event it honors. Four students — chosen by their classmates on the basis of speeches on why they’d like to participate — had the opportunity to lay a DUR HAM ACADEMY

wreath at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier. For many of the seventh-graders, a favorite stop was the Newseum, with its exhibit on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks among the most moving. “I didn’t really know how big a surprise it was or how big the terrorist attack was,” explained Alex Dunk. “But after watching and seeing the timeline that the Newseum had around the attacks, I understood how shocking it was. There were people jumping out of windows and reporters trying to get as close as they could. They showed the plane crashing into the tower, and it was really scary to see.” Fellow seventh-grader Molly Hunter reflected on the Newseum’s display of the hijackers’ passport photos. “Some of them were smiling and looked totally innocent. I’d always pictured a terrorist being mean and stern, but they looked nice — they were smiling,” she said. “It was hard for me to put my mind around how terrible they were.” As much as the annual Washington trip is about exploring museums and learning the history behind monuments, it also marks a turning point for seventhgraders as students. A decades-long tradition, it’s the first out-of-state DA trip for students and comes with a healthy dose of independence. “Seventh grade is a big year for students. They’re not little kids anymore,” Aitken said. “This is the first time that we’re really trusting them to go off in a group. We say, go have fun for two hours and meet us back. They know not to leave the building and to stay in groups of three or more the whole time, and they come and meet us back. It’s a great year for that kind of trust.” “I’ve always said that in seventh grade, they still have a sense of wonder, but their independence is blooming,” Harris added. The trip also offers students an opportunity to spend time with classmates and faculty with whom they might not often find themselves on a typical school day. “One of the things that I really liked about it was to get moments with kids in ways that I don’t get ever,” Moore said. “I had lunch with these two students, and it was probably the most delightful part of my trip.” |

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BRIDGING NINE YEARS AND TWO CAMPUSES, LOWER SCHOOL-UPPER SCHOOL BUDDIES FORM BONDS RIGHT: A granola bar and a card created by his buddy, second-grader Aidan Chen, gave Shane Smith a boost as the 11th-grader headed into exams. BELOW: Emma Biswas’s mega-watt smile was the perfect complement to the good wishes and snack she brought her 11th-grade buddy. OPPOSITE PAGE: Second-grader Cate Ellis and 11th-grader Cami Simpson share a moment when the young students visited the Upper School in December.

Photos by Melody Guyton Butts

By Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications

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urham Academy second-grade teacher Abby Butler’s students adore their 11th-grade buddies so much that they’re already anticipating the sweet nostalgia of looking back on their times together years from now. “We can have them as a memory as we get older and older,” second-grader Ates Erden said. “When we’re their age — and they’re like double their age now — we could be like, I remember when you were like 17,” his classmate Harper Vick added with a grin. Such smiles are a hallmark of the second-graders’ deepening friendships with their buddies — ear-to-ear grins from both the Lower Schoolers and Upper Schoolers anytime they’re together. The relationships are a result of an idea hatched by Butler and implemented with the help of junior Emma Ellis. Butler, who just completed her first year of teaching at DA, knew that second-graders don’t have buddies on the Preschool-Lower School campus (kindergartners are paired with fourth-graders and first-graders with third-graders for regular get-togethers) and wondered if there might be a way to find buddies elsewhere at DA. So when Ellis — whose younger sis46

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ter, Cate, is in Butler’s class — visited her classroom for an open house at the beginning of the year, Butler mentioned her idea to the Upper Schooler: Might a few juniors want to spend some time with her students? After the school year got under way, Ellis floated the idea to a few of her classmates, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. “I got my whole advisory to do it, which was sweet of them,” she said of |

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Thomas Phu’s advisory group. “It started with just us, and then there were a lot more people who were interested.” In addition to Phu’s advisees, all of Dr. Rob Policelli’s advisees and several students in a couple of other junior class advisory groups are participating — nearly 30 juniors in all. Butler and Ellis work together to plan the buddy meet-ups, including an introductory activity in which buddies


“She’s so nice. We’re kind of like sisters,” she continued. “I like to do basically everything with her.” Ates and his buddy, Ted Middleton, took their writing in a more scientific direction. “Someone in his class set up a little racetrack on the seat of a chair, and you could launch a race car down the hallway,” Middleton recalled. “Someone in his class got 570 inches, and I told Ates that we were going to break it. We must have done it a hundred times. But we finally got it. We got 595 inches. I took a marker and wrote on the board ‘Ates - World Record - 595 inches.’ ” As is the case with any friendship, there have been a few fun surprises, like when the second-graders made the short trek to the Upper School to bring good-luck cards and study-break snacks before the start of final exams in December. And there

With college applications looming, junior year can be a hectic one with regard to schoolwork, so the opportunity to take a break and spend time with kids is welcome, Ellis said. But the main reason she and her classmates enjoy their time with their buddies, she said, is the potential to make a difference in the younger students’ lives. “I thought it would be a good opportunity to give back,” Middleton said. “I can still remember my fourth-grade buddy from when I was in kindergarten, and that was a great experience. I like the idea of being someone Ates can look up to.” And look up to him, Ates does. “I'm really proud of him because he works hard,” Ates said of Middleton. “Each time he comes down to me, he has more homework, and he works really hard on baseball.” For Butler, that’s a big part of why having older buddies for her students was a goal: “I think they have an incredible example to look up to with these kids. They’re so patient and great in building these relationships with them.” In addition, the buddy friendships are an example of the 2015 DA Strategic Plan’s Goal 4, which calls for the creation of more cross-divisional experiences. “We’re looking at making our community a little bit smaller and building those bonds,” Butler said. “… [The secondgraders] get to look forward to what their life might be like in a few years. We want to give them the chance to get to know that part of their school.” There was lots more to come of the partnership through the rest of the school year. Butler and Ellis batted around the idea of a full Upper School campus tour, a food truck meet-up and a group game of some sort. Butler hopes second-grade-11th-grade was the time when the older students sent buddies will be a tradition for years to interviewed one another and then introduced one another to the entire group, their buddies flowers via the Upper School’s come. And if Ates and Middleton are any Valentine’s Day carnation sale — and indication, the relationships formed in this and a couple of days on which the 11ththe second-graders reciprocated by handpilot year will last for a long time. grade buddies worked with the seconddelivering Valentine cards and candy. Will Middleton see Ates when he’s a graders on a writing exercise. “I remember early on, Emma said, I senior next year? Harper and her buddy, Serafina Turner, want this to be a time when we can come “For sure,” he said with a big smile. wrote a fictional story about a girl who Does Ates plan to see Middleton when meets fairies and has adventures with them and leave our world behind — just get to be with some other students and have a little he’s a third-grader? at school. Turner is a great writing partner fun,” Butler said. “We’ve tried to let that be “I probably will,” he said. “Because I’m because “she has really good ideas and never going to give up on him.” usually agrees with me,” Harper explained. our guide as we’ve planned activities.” DUR HAM ACADEMY

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A ‘Little Soccer Thing Happened’ Along the Way Anna Llewellyn

A four-time national champ at UNC, teacher and coach Susan Ellis didn’t play the sport until she was a senior in high school By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications ABOVE: Susan Ellis likes hiking, loves her dachshund, Beck, who is named for legendary soccer player Franz Beckenbauer, and is a big UNC fan.

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usan Ellis played for UNC’s legendary women’s soccer team for four seasons and won four national championships, an impressive accomplishment that becomes downright jawdropping when you discover Ellis didn’t set foot on a soccer field until her senior year in high school. Ellis loved sports and began swimming on an AAU team when she was in elementary school in Chapel Hill. She picked up tennis, basketball and track in middle school and competed in all four sports when she was at Chapel Hill High School. “It wasn’t until my senior year in high school — track and soccer were at the same time — that one of my friends said, why don’t you play soccer? Mr. Griffin was the soccer coach and he was my English teacher, and we all thought he was cute. So I said okay, I’ll try soccer. … It was a good fit for me. It came very naturally. It has a lot of basketball terminologies, and that’s what Mr. Griffin would sort of relate to me.” While soccer was not always a part of life for Ellis, who came to Durham Academy in 2004 as a Middle School physical education teacher, varsity girls soccer coach and girls tennis coach, she had known since elementary school that she wanted to teach P.E. and coach. Ellis was headed to Springfield College in Massachusetts after high school — she had been accepted there in January of her senior year — because Springfield had one of the country’s most 48

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prestigious physical education programs. “Ever since I was in the third grade, I wanted to be a physical education teacher. I had a teacher, Settle Womble, who taught me elementary P.E., was the advisor of the safety patrol and coached basketball at the high school. I just worshipped her. I decided in third grade I wanted to be just like her. What she brought to me — I wasn’t great at school — she made me feel successful at what I did in a P.E. environment. At one point I sort of teetered at teaching special education, but I just kept going back to the influence that Mrs. Womble had on me. I knew that’s what I wanted to be.” And then, “this little soccer thing happened.” A team made up of players from Ellis’ high school team and freshmen from the UNC team competed in a state tournament and a regional tournament, coached by her high school coach and Anson Dorrance and Bill Palladino of UNC. “They saw me play and saw I had a lot of raw talent. I certainly wasn’t the best out there. There were kids that had been playing soccer basically all their lives, but I was fast and I was tough, qualities they admired, so they asked me if I wanted to come to Carolina.” Ellis grew up close enough to campus to ride her bike to UNC athletic events, and was such a dyed-in-the-wool Tar Heel fan that she “cried when Carolina would lose in anything.” She was the middle of five children — an older brother and sister and two


younger sisters, all born within eight years of each other — whose dad would joke “we could go anywhere we wanted for college, but the only place he was going to pay for was Carolina.” But she didn’t jump at the offer to play soccer at UNC. “We had this big conversation and my parents said it’s your choice, you can go where you want. I remember I came down, my dad was having breakfast, and he said, have you decided where you want to go? I said, yeah, I think I’m going to go to Springfield. He was like, er, wrong choice. Finally, I was like OK, OK, and I certainly thank him every year.” Carolina women’s soccer played its initial season in fall 1979, and Ellis joined the team in 1980. “People ask if I got a scholarship. I got something better — an admission letter that said I could attend Carolina. I would not have gotten in on my own. Soccer helped me. I did receive a scholarship after my freshman year. I just didn’t go in with a scholarship, I earned one. I had a great education there. At that point, they had a physical education program [in which] you could get a degree within the education department. I red-shirted one year so I took an extra semester and graduated in winter 1984. We won four national championships.” December wasn’t a good time to find a teaching job, so Ellis spent December to June in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, working as a ski lift operator, cleaning condominiums and skiing every day. Her parents wanted to know when she was going to interview for a job she went to school for, so she took the national teachers exam and moved home to look for a teaching job. “I remember going through the interview process, and no one wanted to hire a first-year teacher. I kept putting my name out there and thought my résumé looked pretty good. I was passionate. I knew this is what I wanted to do.” Things clicked for Ellis in August when a UNC teammate called from Texas to wish her a happy birthday. They were catching up on each other’s lives when Ellis reported that she was looking for a teaching job but that no one wanted to hire a first-year teacher. “She said, oh my god, we have a job down here in Dallas. A teacher just quit August 1.” Ellis’ teammate put in a word for her, and the school flew her down for an interview. “They were desperate, I was kind of desperate. It was a Catholic school and I’m not Catholic, but they wanted me and I said yes. … I was hardly making any money, but that was OK because I was doing what I loved. And I did become Mrs. Womble. In Dallas I coached, I was the advisor of the safety patrol and I taught P.E.” She drove from Chapel Hill to Dallas “in my little Subaru. I

TOP: Ellis (right) celebrates one of four national championships UNC women’s soccer won during her time on the team. LEFT: Ellis’ soccer star rose quickly, from playing her first game as a high school senior to winning national championships at UNC.

love to sew — I had my sewing machine, my TV and a trunk of clothes. I had a great experience at St. Monica. I will always be so grateful. They hired me when no one else would give me a chance.” Ellis spent 16 years in Texas, teaching P.E. at St. Monica and Christ The King elementary schools and coaching soccer and tennis at Ursuline, an all-girls Catholic high school where her teams won 14 state soccer championships and also state tennis championships. For a few years, she also coached swimming, “but that was hard because I was coaching swimming in the morning. Soccer at that time was in the winter, so I was coaching two sports and teaching.” She was nearly lured away from teaching when a UNC teammate, Marcia McDermott, called to offer her a job as assistant soccer coach at Arkansas. “I looked at that but just loved continued on page 50

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Jenna Carter

TOP: Ellis’ dream is to visit and hike every national park in the United States, and she’s been to all the major ones except in Hawaii. LEFT: Ellis welcomed the opportunity to move back to North Carolina to be near her parents, siblings, niece and nephew.

teaching P.E. … My passion was coaching little kids. That’s what gave me energy. Then, Marcia went to Northwestern in Chicago, called me again, and offered me a job as her assistant. I went and looked at it. Again, my gut was I just loved doing what I do. I didn’t love Dallas because it was so far away from my family, but I was there for so long and I loved what I did in Dallas and I loved the little community I had there.” Then McDermott called a third time. “Marcia said, ‘I’m the new head coach of the Carolina Courage [a new women’s pro team in North Carolina]. I know you can’t tell me no three times. Come back to where you want to be, North Carolina,’ which was true. I just remember being tortured over the decision, but in the end, I said yes. “I came back to be a part of the initial women’s pro league, which was called the WSA. This was in 2000 or 2001. The first year, it was bizarre — this high school coach and elementary school P.E. teacher coming back to be a professional soccer coach.” The team finished dead last in the league the first year, 50

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won the WSA championship the next year, and the league folded in September 2003. “As a teacher, it’s hard to get a job at the end of September, so I subbed for a year in the Durham public schools and was the Wednesday P.E. teacher at Forest View [Elementary School]. I was looking for a job. Chapel Hill had an opening, and in Durham the new elementary school, Creekside, was being built. That school was one minute from my house, and the principal said I’d be perfect. Then all of a sudden Joanie Dunlap, a friend who played with me at Carolina, called and said, ‘I’m leaving Durham Academy, would you be interested in this job?’ I said absolutely.” Ellis loves her job at Durham Academy. She works with very young children in the soccer camp she offers through DA Summer Programs, teaches Middle School girls P.E. and health, and coaches JV girls tennis in the fall and varsity girls soccer in the spring. “Kids change and grow up and you get to see that 360 view of them. I see the little ones when they come to my soccer camp in the summer, I teach them here as Middle Schoolers and then I get to see the huge, beautiful flower that they grow up to be. A second-grader who came to my soccer camp is getting ready to play in college next year. They change, and it’s really fun to watch them.” Teaching and coaching have fulfilled the dream Ellis had as a third-grader. “All my life, that’s what I wanted to be. It is sort of the connection, the lessons you can teach them. We have a saying in soccer: we want to be the best, what else is there? That daily grind sometimes is not easy to go through. That grind, helping them get through the hard part, the fun part, the easy part, is just what I love about teaching. The connections, the lessons, thinking they aren’t necessarily hearing them, but then they do hear them and they remember. “Anything they do, just be the best they can be. Be your best. Character matters. Whether it’s being the best on the soccer field or being the best in a little P.E. class, just be your best self. Those lessons are going to help you grind out the adult stuff.” The lessons Ellis teaches are ones she learned growing up. “I learned the competiveness through my dad. It was maddening to us kids. He would never let us win, even in Monopoly. He would never let us win any game we would play. In tennis, he would never let us win. It just sort of lit a fire in me.” She credits her mother with teaching her sportsmanship. “I remember one time I was at a swim meet. I tell this story and my mom doesn’t remember it, but I remember it well. I swam and I got out of the pool and I looked at my time and it wasn’t a very good time so I pulled off my cap, threw it down on the ground and was being basically a jerk. I walked up to where everyone was and my


Kathy McPherson

“Kids change and grow up and you get to see that 360 view of them.”

ABOVE: Whether on the soccer field or in P.E. class, Ellis believes character matters and it’s important to be your best self. “Those lessons are going to help you grind out the adult stuff.”

mom was picking everything up. I’m thinking what is she doing, I had four more events. She’s not really saying anything and she says, ‘Come on, we’re out of here.’ I didn’t talk back to my mom. I really didn’t know why, but I could tell she wasn’t very happy. We got in the car. The swim meet was in Greensboro, we’re driving back, she’s not saying a word. I think we’re in Burlington and she finally says, ‘If I see you get out of the pool and throw your cap down like you did today, you will never swim another event, ever. It’s over.’ I knew she would do that. “So now, it doesn’t matter whether I’ve won or lost, I’m happy. I can be disappointed and I try teach that to my kids. … I’m very intense, and there’s not anyone who wants to win more than I do, but there’s a way to do it and there’s a way not to do it that I learned through my mom.” When Ellis isn’t teaching and coaching, she loves to spend time with her dachshund, Beck, who’s named after legendary soccer player Franz Beckenbauer, and she loves to hike. “My dream is to go to every national park in the United States. I’ve gone to pretty many, to all the major ones except in Hawaii. I went to two national parks in Alaska last summer, and this summer I’m going back to Maine with my sister to Acadia.” And she still plays soccer — on an over-30 team in the Durham league and on an over-55 team that will play in a national tournament this summer. “In a coaching environment, I’m always barking out all sorts

of different things to do. … I still play just to keep myself humble, so I don’t forget how difficult it is when I’m screaming at someone, and the wind is blowing, just clear it. I want to have a perspective, it’s not just clear it, it’s harder than just clear it.” Ellis believes it’s good to put yourself out there, to get out of your comfort zone. She thinks back to when she was coaching professional soccer and would travel all over the country scouting college teams in the off-season. “I was very uncomfortable and out of my element. It made me become a better person, a better coach. I was 40 years old and I had never gone to the airport, rented a car and gotten somewhere I needed to be. … At first, it scared the daylights out of me to do that. Here it was just me, by myself, before GPS, and I had to look at the map. I felt me doing that, I grew up. I didn’t want to act like, ‘I can’t do this,’ I was an adult. That was something I had never done and would never have done.” Ellis also credits professional soccer with bringing her back to North Carolina. “Being a pro coach got me back home and to my family. I had a niece and a nephew here, I was able to watch them in their middle school and high school days. I watched them play sports that they love and I got a better connection with them. And I could be there for my parents, who were getting older. I thank Marcia, the coach who asked me to come. Although the pro team didn’t make it, it got me back to where I needed to be and then to here at Durham Academy.” DUR HAM ACADEMY

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From Home Runs to Broadway Hits How James Bohanek found his place in theater and teaching, then found his way to DA By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications

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aseball and music were James Bohanek’s loves when he was growing up in Staten Island, New York. He was a fixture on the baseball diamond from Little League to midway through high school. He played the piano from age 7, and his schoolmates knew him as a musician. But all of that changed when he discovered theater. A decision to audition for Stuyvesant High School’s production of West Side Story changed the course of Bohanek’s life. Playing Arab, a member of the Jets gang in West Side Story, led to a career as a professional actor, including a stint on Broadway, and brought Bohanek to Durham Academy Upper School, where he has taught acting and directed the theater program since 2006. “I had never been on stage before that, had never auditioned 52

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for a show.” He had sung a bit in elementary school, had taught songs and been musical director at theater camps on Staten Island and had played flute in Stuyvesant’s band and orchestra. But West Side Story was one of his favorite shows and “I thought I could do it. … I auditioned for the show, I got into the cast and it changed my life.” There was another change in Bohanek’s life as he headed into his junior year of high school. “My parents had just decided to get divorced right before that year, so it was a tumultuous time. They had been on and off separated for a while, but that was a difficult time for me personally.” Bohanek was part of a group of Staten Island friends who decided to apply to Stuyvesant, a New York City public high school that specialized in math and science and required applicants

Nathan Clendenin

“I love acting, I love teaching it to them. I think kids should take acting because it helps them in life. They get to know themselves and get to reveal who they are and be comfortable expressing themselves.”


to score well on an admissions test similar to the SAT. The school was located just above Manhattan’s East Village. For Bohanek that meant an hour-and-40-minute commute via train, the Staten Island Ferry and two subways. It was a big school, with 750 students in Bohanek’s 1987 graduating class. “Going to Stuyvesant was probably the most important decision of my life because it opened me up — it changed me in so many different ways. I got to have friends from Brooklyn and from Manhattan and from Queens and would travel all over the place. That was what led me to Yale and led me eventually to discover performing and lots of different things. That was a huge, huge decision.” Bohanek had two “careers” at Stuyvesant. There was the baseball player who hung out with his Staten Island crowd (“We called ourselves The Boat People because we took the ferry.”) and there was the theater kid with new friends who lived throughout New York City. “I played baseball my sophomore year and part of junior year but there was a conflict with theater and I couldn’t do both. I had to make a choice, and I made the right choice. Even though I love

ABOVE: Bohanek spent almost a year on Broadway in a principal role in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and was part of the national tour of Camelot starring Robert Goulet.

baseball, I was never going to be a professional baseball player, not that I knew I was going to be a professional actor at the time.” Bohanek fell in love with theater and did four shows, all of them musicals, during his last two years at Stuyvesant. When it was time for college, he chose Yale and was admitted early decision. “I remember visiting Yale and Yale just felt right to me at the time. It felt like it was filled with people who were artistic and a

little unusual. … Yale was an amazing experience for me. I sang and performed a lot. I loved my academics. “I did a lot of a cappella singing. I was in a group called the Yale Alley Cats, an all-male singing group, for the first three years and in the Whiffenpoofs, an all-senior group, as a senior.” The renowned Whiffenpoofs are the nation’s oldest collegiate a cappella group, a 14-member group founded in 1909, and Bohanek did more than just sing with the group. “Of top of this artistic side, I am also really organized. I could have easily gone into business. I was the business manager of my singing group, and I was the business manager of the Whiffenpoofs, which was like a small business. I ended up taking a semester off my senior year to book all these gigs, deal with all the finances. We traveled all over the world. You’re running a business. Every year we [The Whiffenpoofs] would go on a world tour — Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, India. I was in charge of all the money and all the bookings throughout the year.” As a history major, Bohanek knew he would be writing a senior thesis and he didn’t think his business manager role with the Whiffenpoofs would allow sufficient time for all the thesis research work. “Coming back for my senior year, I wrote my thesis, took some great classes and I got to play the emcee in Cabaret. It was my favorite role that I played in college and I think it was instrumental in my decision to think I had what it took to be a professional actor. It was a great decision for me to take that time off. From an academic standpoint, I was happy with my research, and from an artistic standpoint, I was able to do this other thing. When I was business manager and in the Whiffenpoofs, I couldn’t do any theater. I was business manager of the Alley Cats my sophomore year, so I did theater my freshman year, my junior year and my extra semester. I got to do some great shows, did mostly musicals, because I was still scared to be in non-musical plays. I did a few but I wasn’t confident as an actor yet.” Bohanek graduated from Yale not knowing if he wanted to act, produce, write, direct or go into the business world. But he knew he wanted to live in New York City, so he got an apartment with two friends and took a job in advertising to pay the rent. “I’m a good problem-solver, I’m analytical, but I still had these unresolved dreams and thoughts about being a professional actor or director or whatever, I didn’t know.” A friend was involved with a summer stock company on Cape Cod, a company that would be doing nine musicals in 10 weeks. “Included in the season were the Bernstein canon West Side Story, On the Town and Candide. I thought, I have to do that! My [advertising] job was a fine job, but it wasn’t me. … I auditioned for the summer stock company and I got in. It was a professional company, I got room and board but I didn’t get paid. I did that for the summer and I loved it. I came back to New York and said I’m going to do this. I’m going to start auditioning.” He landed a job with a children’s company, Theatreworks USA, and played Hansel in the national tour of Hansel and Gretel. “It was a hard job. There were five actors and a stage manager continued on page 5 4

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Kathy McPherson

ABOVE: Bohanek is pleased with the tremendous growth in Durham Academy’s theater program. Over the last five or six years, 60 to 80 students have auditioned for each DA show. RIGHT: Google “James Bohanek” and you will see this photo from his auditioning days.

in a van driving around the South. That’s how I was introduced to Krispy Kreme. I remember learning to look for the ‘Hot Doughnuts Now’ sign. Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia — you’re in a hotel, wake up in the morning, drive to the event center, unload the set, put the set together, get into costume, do a couple of shows, strike it down, go to lunch and drive to the next location. It’s not glamourous. I got paid $287 a week plus per diem in 1992. It’s not a lot of money but it was a lot of experience.” And he earned his Actor’s Equity card, the union membership that’s required for professional acting jobs. Bohanek’s first year as an actor was all children’s theater, including a stint with Lincoln Center Institute, a company that performed in a black box theater at Lincoln Center and at schools in the New York-New Jersey area. “That was local travel, it was a much better job and I got to live at home. We did Winnie The Pooh — I played Pooh. My favorite question the kids would ask me was ‘Are you that fat?’ because I had a fat suit on. It was good for me to play Pooh. I wish I were more like Pooh and just let things be. I remember at the time reading The Tao of Pooh. It was a terrific read and it was very helpful for me, both at that time in my life and as an actor.” Summer stock came next and then Bohanek landed his first big job: the national tour of Camelot starring Robert Goulet. “That was a job I auditioned for several times. I didn’t get it the first two times. I always played characters much younger than myself. I ended up playing a character named Tom of Warwick, a boy. He comes in at the end of the show. It gives an excuse for Arthur to tell his story … It’s Tom who then writes the Tales of King Arthur and the Round Table, he goes and tells the story of what happened. I come in the last seven minutes of the show. I’m in my dressing room before that, it’s a crazy gig. He’s a 14-year-old boy. I’m small and I look young, but I was 23.” Work slowed a bit, so Bohanek did workshops. He was involved in the early parts of several shows, including Rent, that were working their way toward Broadway. And he realized he needed to get more training, get back into acting classes. He 54

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thought about pursuing a graduate degree in acting, which would mean three years of intense training. “I decided not to do that. I couldn’t have afforded it, and the asset I had from a cast-ability standpoint was I looked young. I could play these juvenile characters. I always played the boy on the verge of manhood. That was my shtick, usually with a comic edge, that striving, and I still have that kind of youthful energy. To take myself out of casting for three years in a period where it was pretty fertile for me to get roles, that was a tough decision for me to do. I was also probably scared to audition for drama school. I decided to just work. Then I had periods when I didn’t work. Lots of people wait tables, I worked temp jobs in offices. I’d take shortterm jobs.” Bohanek had taken acting classes in college and took acting classes in his summers, but he had mostly learned acting by being in shows. That changed when he began taking acting classes at Michael Howard Studio in Manhattan. “The best teacher I had was a wonderful man named Peter Thompson. … He’s the one who really, I finally got it.” He landed a leading role in Floyd Collins, which won an Obie Award for Best Music (the Off-Broadway equivalent of the Tony Award), and then spent almost a year on Broadway in a principal role in The Scarlet Pimpernel. “I first auditioned in August 1992, and for a little over seven years I was a professional actor. The last four-plus years I worked only as an actor. That was the best part of my career. From ’95 to ’99, pretty much, I worked exclusively as an actor. That was my sense of success, that I supported myself as an actor doing on-stage, a couple of cartoon voice-overs, I did a little bit on camera and I was able to support myself.” But as Bohanek got closer to age 30, he wasn’t sure he wanted to continue acting. “The thing for me always is I love acting, but I had this whole other side of me, the part that was a really good student, the part of me that’s really organized.” He moved to Los Angeles for six months, explored Hollywood and the business side of entertainment, and discovered that was not for him. So it was back to New York and a year in an office job while he figured out what was next. Regretting his decision to leave acting, Bohanek was about to resume acting when 9/11 happened and shook up everything in New York. He was auditioning and tending bar and wasn’t sure where he was headed. That was when he met Christina, who would become his wife. She had just begun teaching with the New York City Teaching Fellows program. “I had never thought about teaching before. It was like when I auditioned for West Side Story when I was a junior and I had never been on stage. I saw her program and thought, teaching, I always loved school, maybe that’s what I should do. … “I ended up applying for the program. New York City Teaching Fellows pays for grad school, puts you in hard-to-staff schools and you have to work in the New York public schools for several years. I was placed in a school that was not that way and I think


my theatrical background ended up playing a role. I wasn’t sure I wanted it, wasn’t sure I’d be good at it, I didn’t know. You do an intensive summer in graduate school and then you’re going to graduate school at night while you’re teaching. I was placed at a great school, Edward R. Murrow High School, with 4,000 students in Brooklyn. It had a magnet arts program.” Bohanek was hooked. He taught four history classes and one acting class, was going to graduate school and got involved in the school’s extracurricular theater productions. That morphed to splitting his teaching between history and acting classes and directing shows. “I got to direct some great productions there and I loved it. It was really challenging. There was one year I was teaching two sections of Advanced Placement U.S. History with 33 kids in each section, two other U.S. history classes that were for kids who struggled in history, and directing. I remember having so much grading and I was directing shows. Thank goodness, we didn’t have kids yet or I could never have done it. My first show I directed there was Sweeney Todd. I picked the hardest show ever. It was crazy, but I love that play. “My wife and I were both teaching and we were getting frustrated by some of the things about living in New York. We’re both from New York, we love New York, but co-op life, the guy upstairs whose band rehearses at night. … What if we move outside of N.Y.C., which was a heretical thought for me, to be honest.” They had a friend who lived in Durham, had heard good things about the area and spent two, separate weeks here before deciding to move south and look for jobs. Durham Academy had an opening for an interim Upper School theater teacher, and it proved a perfect fit. The teacher who had taken a year’s leave decided not return, opening the spot for Bohanek who, 11 years later, is teaching acting, directing DA’s theater program and chairing the fine arts department. A fall play and winter musical are on the bill each year. “The first musical we did was Little Shop of Horrors. I chose it because it’s a small show, and I wasn’t sure how many people were going to audition. I think we had 19 people audition and I cast all 19. That is more than you really should have in the show, but I created an ensemble where there normally isn’t one. “In the last five or six years we generally have 60 to 80 people audition. We’ve had shows of 30, 40, 50 people and maintain really, really good quality. We have kids who are athletes and are doing the show. We have a lot more boys who audition. I wanted a kinder, gentler, more accepting, embracing program, and I think we do that. It’s rigorous — kids work hard — but it’s a place where kids can actualize themselves and be appreciated and treated with respect and not about drama. There’s no drama with me. That was really important to me, to have a really welcoming environment, so I think we have been successful in that way. “I work with great people. This is a great place to work. It’s so supportive. I’ve had nothing but support the entire 11 years I’ve been here. It’s been fantastic. I work very closely with Mike Meyer [music teacher] and Laci McDonald [dance teacher] and now Jake Kavanagh [technical director]. We do really good work, and the kids respond. It really satisfying to watch these kids grow and

challenge themselves, and they are super receptive. “In some ways, I feel like I run a theater company. I get to be the artistic director of a theater company, only I don’t have to worry about a lot of things directors of theater companies worry about because we have a budget. I don’t have to worry how many tickets are we going to sell, and I get to pick interesting shows for kids who strive to be really strong. … I just happen to do theater with high school students as opposed to college students or professional actors.” Bohanek doesn’t perform as an actor anymore, but he gets to act when he models it for his students. “I love acting, I love teaching it to them. I think kids should take acting because it helps them in life. They get to know themselves and get to reveal who they are and be comfortable expressing themselves. “One of the things I believe about actors is you can’t become somebody else. What you can do is plumb parts of yourself that you don’t show a lot of people or, for our students, that they don’t even know are there. The best thing about my job — and I have lots of good things about my job — is I love being able to see in kids things that they can’t yet see for themselves about themselves. You watch them make these self-discoveries.” He doesn’t perform as a singer anymore either, but he models singing for students and sings to daughters Caroline, 8, and Lucy, 5. “I love being a dad. We have a wonderful life.” Bohanek had an amazing first chapter professionally as an actor and an amazing second chapter as a teacher. “Whether there’s a different third chapter, I don’t know. I have no interest in blowing up the paradigm. I like my life, I like my job. … I hope this is a place that I can still feel creative a long time from now.” Offices didn’t fit him, but Bohanek feels fully himself in theaters and teaching. “What I thought I was going to love was the search for ideas and helping students become better writers, better thinkers, all those things. What has surprised me, what I have loved right from the beginning, is working with this particular age group, high school students, because it’s a time when they are discovering who they are. I think one of my strengths is casting. I can put people in the right places and it’s because I can see things about people that they don’t necessarily see yet. “To watch a student discover his or her voice, and I mean that literally and figuratively, is an amazing treat. I hope that I help them, but they mean so much to me because I get to see them not just become more confident, sure it’s about confidence — but to discover skills they didn’t know they had, to discover a voice they didn’t know. People do things on that stage they didn’t know they could do, even confident people. … “That’s my favorite thing about teaching, that kind of mentoring, to be able to open them up so they see for themselves what they are capable of doing.” At www.da.org/magazine:

• Read more about Bohanek’s philosophy on teaching theater at DA in an article from the summer issue of Durham Academy Magazine. DUR HAM ACADEMY

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L ICENSE PL AT E LOT TO By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications

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ruise through the parking lots at Durham Academy and you’ll see a number of personalized license plates, many of which belong to cars driven by faculty and staff. Can you match the license plate to the driver? The answers are below, right.

1. 5 H E E L Z The significance of my plate is there have always been Tar Heel lovers in my family, who have in the past and continue to bleed Carolina Blue!

obscura. What does it mean to me?… The song's signature line, "Shall we go? You and I while we can…” is about being present, in the moment, listening to and following your heart.

2. C & S’ S M O M I got the license plate after Shannon was born – C and S = Caitlin and Shannon, my two daughters. Larry is “C & S’ DAD.”

4. D W Y D E C M L I chose it because of the Dewey Decimal system, which represents the library.

3. D A R C S TA R Dark Star is the name of a Grateful Dead song. The term can be traced back to Roman astronomers describing a faint star, stella

5. E L O N # 19 This plate is on my Dad’s 1990 Toyota Pickup. He played football at Elon and met my Mom there. He wore #19. If not for Elon, I would not

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exist! I added the “Elon #19” in his honor when I inherited the truck.

6. F O R M Y4 When my mom died unexpectedly six years ago in Ohio, I got her red Thunderbird convertible and when I registered it in NC, I decided to get personalized tags that read, “4Umom.” A few months later my Suburban broke down and I had to get another car, so I decided to get another set of personalized tags, “FORMY4,” for my four children.


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7. T W I N L O V E My plate is in honor of my twins, Sophie and Gryffin, starting kindergarten this fall. (Sigh!) I got it soon after they were born and plan to keep it long after it embarrasses them to death, which should be in about 6 -7 years, I'm guessing. 8. P R O F E In Spanish speaking countries, we do not call our teachers Mr. or Mrs., we call them “teacher” which depending on the country can be “profesora” or “maestro.” So in my effort to give my students a little taste of my culture, the first day school I ask my students to call me “teacher” in Spanish: “profesora.” I also tell them that once the student-teacher relationship grows, the

students back home call his/her teacher “profe.” They immediately, for fun I guess, call me “profe.” Since other teachers do not follow this but “señor” or “señora,” I am the only teacher being called “profe.” My students (and even some faculty members) have been calling me “profe” since my first year here. So I am very fond of this word.

9. U XO R I O U S “Uxor” is the Latin word for wife. Webster’s defines “uxorious” as, “excessively fond of or submissive to a wife,” so it’s really a fancy way of saying, “I ♥ My Wife.” When one’s wife is as wonderful as Edith, no amount of fondness or deference is excessive. I really am a lucky guy.

10. G O R E D S OX I married into a Red Sox family. Michael has loved the Red Sox ever since he was a little boy and watched Luis Tiant pitch for the Sox. The first October of our married life, the Sox broke the curse and won their first World Series in 86 years. Our house went wild. GoRedSox! 11. N I E N T E My license plate means nothing. Literally. “Niente” is Italian for nothing. 12. O P E R A N O W I'm an opera fanatic and “DONGIOVANNI” was too many letters!

1. Admissions Office manager Lali Pshyk 2. Co-Director of college counseling Kathy Cleaver 3. Middle School science teacher Randee HavenO’Donnell 4. Lower School librarian Michelle Rosen 5. P.E. teacher Greg Murray 6. Lower School science teaching assistant Lori Evans 7. Kindergarten teacher Elizabeth Allan 8. Upper School Spanish teacher Liliana Simón 9. Upper School Latin teacher Edith Keene’s husband Paul 10. Lower School director Carolyn Ronco 11. Upper School director Lanis Wilson 12. Middle School Spanish teacher David Glass DUR HAM ACADEMY

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Sarah Delk, Communications, multimedia

specialist — Delk is a graduate of UNCChapel Hill, where she was a dean’s list student and won awards for her editing and graphic design work. She did a year-long internship with McKinney advertising agency as an undergraduate and then worked with McKinney for two years after graduation. Stefanie Goyette, Upper School, French

— Goyette is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and holds a Ph.D. in French language and literature from Harvard University. She has been a teaching fellow and lecturer at Harvard, Northeastern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a postdoctoral faculty fellow at New York University. Courtney Hexter, Lower School, teaching

assistant — A graduate of Bridgewater State College, Hexter has taught in the preschool program at McMannen United Methodist Church and Duke Memorial United Methodist Church. She has served as head coach for Durham Academy’s JV field hockey team. She will continue in that role and also will serve as head coach for JV lacrosse.

Anna Larson, Lower School,

fourth grade — Larson graduated from the University of Richmond, where she was captain of the field hockey team, and earned a Master of Arts in education from Pepperdine University. She has taught third and fourth grades at Little River Elementary School and taught in the summer program at The Hill Center. She is a 1996 graduate of Durham Academy. Erika Dawn McCarthy, Upper

School, English — McCarthy is a cum laude graduate of Eckerd College and has taught Advanced Placement and honors courses at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida, a school that has been recognized for its AP program. She served as sponsor and coach of the school’s Brain Bowl team.

Asha Patel, Preschool, teaching assistant

— Patel is a graduate of Transylvania University, where she was a dean’s list student, and earned a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University. She has taught elementary school in Texas and Kentucky, and has been a library and media specialist in Texas and in the Durham Public Schools system. Amelia Sciandra, Middle School, drama

— (interim for Ellen Brown, first semester) Sciandra is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a member of Order of the Golden Fleece

TOP: Doreen Johnson talks with students at a reception honoring departing Middle School faculty. MIDDLE: Marianne Green and Amanda Zhu (center) share a laugh with a student at the farewell reception. BOTTOM: Tom Barry with former students Elizabeth Owens, Taylor Owens and Sam Duty. 58

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Kathy McPherson

A Wake Forest University graduate, Adams earned a master’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language from Middlebury College. He has taught Chinese language and social studies at Westchester Country Day School and Summit School, and spent two years as a missionary in Taiwan.

Melody Guyton Butts

John Adams, Middle School, Chinese —

Melody Guyton Butts

NEW FACULTY AND STAFF FOR 2017-2018


honor society, and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Birmingham School of Acting, Birmingham, U.K. She has worked with Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem, taught English and drama in the Dominican Republic and most recently served as an interim Spanish teacher at the Middle School.

New roles for 2017-2018

Kristin Stroupe, Lower School, physical

education — Stroupe is an honors graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a member of the cross country and track and field teams, and earned a Master of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught and coached at The School at Columbia University and Trinity School in New York City, and has competed internationally in Ultimate Frisbee.

Kathy McPherson

Morgan Whaley, Development,

stewardship coordinator — Whaley is a graduate of Wake Forest University — where she was a dean’s list student and a member of the women’s varsity volleyball team — and earned a Master of Arts from Georgetown University. Since 2012, she has served as finance and operations coordinator at The Hill Center. She is a 1997 graduate of Durham Academy. Jason Wise, Middle School,

Kathy McPherson

Kathy McPherson

TOP: Judy Chandler visits with parents at a reception honoring departing Lower School faculty. Chandler is retiring from teaching P.E. but will continue as varsity field hockey coach. MIDDLE: Karen Lovelace chats with Lower School teachers Rosemary Nye and Janis Travers. BOTTOM: Kathy McCord reconnects with former student Ellie Galvez and her mom, Mary Galvez.

language arts and history — Wise earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from the University of Virginia, where he senior associate editor of the student newspaper. He completed a summer internship at the U. S. Supreme Court. He has taught at independent schools in Virginia and Texas, and was a teacher and coach at Cannon School. Most recently, he was a placement counselor with Southern Teachers Agency. DUR HAM ACADEMY

• Mike Harris – Middle School, sixth-grade

advisor and history teacher; was a seventhgrade advisor and history teacher Crawford Leavoy – Upper School, school store assistant in addition to speech and debate coach Caroline Petrow – Lower School, secondgrade teacher; was first-grade teacher Jessica Soler – Lower School, first-grade teacher; was Lower School teaching assistant Leyf Peirce Starling – Upper School, physics teacher in addition to robotics teacher Tara Eppinger – Upper School, academic leader for science; replacing Trish Whiting Lauren Garrett – Upper School, English teacher full time; was English teacher part time Jennifer Garci – Upper School, academic leader of foreign language; replacing Edith Keene Katherine Spruill – Upper School, team teaching English classes with Shannon Harris in addition to library assistant

• •

• • • • •

Departing Faculty and Staff, June 2017

• Tom Barry – Lower School, fourth grade • Doug Bell – Security • Judy Chandler – Lower School, physical

education

• Doreen Johnson – Middle School, history • Danielle Kopin – Development, stewardship

coordinator

• Karen Lovelace – Lower School, second

grade

• Debbie McCarthy – Upper School, Augustine

Literacy Project elective

• Kathy McCord – Lower School, teaching

assistant and Middle School library assistant

• Holly McKenna – Admissions, administrative

assistant

• Meg McNall – Upper School, physics • Kevin Schroedter – Upper School, French • Emily Tinervin – Upper School, school store

assistant

• Fran Wittman – Upper School, English • Amanda Zhu – Middle School, Chinese

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Planting Shade Trees for DA’s Next Generation By Leslie Holdsworth, Director of Development

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“ e have some exciting news for you.” That turned out to be the biggest understatement of the year! Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and I were meeting with Margaret and Earl Chesson, parents of four Durham Academy alumni, just before winter break. Their email invitation asked if Michael and I had time to meet for “some spontaneous reflections” about a possible gift towards DA’s endowment. Michael and I were, of course, delighted to meet but we had no idea of the magnitude of the gift the Chessons were planning. With huge smiles on their faces, Margaret and Earl shared with us that they were naming Durham Academy the owner and beneficiary of a $3 million whole life insurance policy. In addition, they will make an annual gift equal to the amount of the premium payment due each year on the policy. When received, this $3 million gift will be used to create The Chesson Family Scholarship Endowment Fund to benefit the school’s need-based financial aid program. “Margaret and Earl’s incredible decision to give back to Durham Academy after their own children have already benefited from the school is the very definition of philanthropy,” Michael said. “To be on the receiving end of this incredible act of generosity is humbling and awe-inspiring. We will keep working to achieve all that we aspire to be as a school and to be worthy of this wonderful gift.” The inspiration for this gift, first and foremost, came from Margaret and Earl’s own deeply embedded sense of generosity and a desire to give back to the school. Although their children have completed their time at Durham Academy, they have stayed very much in touch with DA and the school’s plans and aspirations. 60

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“I love DA’s mission to foster the leading of a moral, happy and productive life,” Margaret explained. “I encourage everyone to TOP: Earl and Margaret Chesson, pictured here with their children Mary ’03, Tricia ’07, Win ’02 and Elizabeth ’89, have explore the wonderful made a $3 million gift to Durham Academy to benefit needDA website and view based financial aid. RIGHT: Mary, Elizabeth, Win and Tricia in the videos and the their younger days. strategic plan. It is inspiring to hear all of the different stories as parents, students endowment that will have a lasting impact. and faculty tell of relationships that meant “Perhaps it’s a function of our age and the the most to them, then and now. I was growing realization that 20 to 30 years is struck by the sheer depth and variety of not really that far off! While Margaret and transformative experiences and thoughtful I are planting shade trees that we’ll never insights people learn by being part of DA.” sit under, creating an endowed fund that Earl also cited the strategic plan will go on in perpetuity to support DA after in the couple’s choice to support DA so we’re gone makes us feel really good. This generously. is a great joy for us to give back for all DA “Michael’s presentation about the has meant to our family.” strategic plan talked about the strong For Durham Academy, a gift of this position of the school’s current finances magnitude will truly be transformative. It and facilities, but he warned of the dangers will be one of the largest gifts ever received of being complacent,” Earl added. “He by the school, second only to the endowed challenged us to be creative about going bequest from school founder George Watts to the next level with a vision of continued Hill upon his death in 1994. The school’s improvement to ensure that DA endures. endowment is now valued at just over $12 While the annual fund and capital million. Adding the Chessons’ gift will campaigns have been very successful, the immediately increase the endowment by school is in the fortunate position now 20 percent. And at the current spending to put more emphasis on its longer-term rate of 4.5 percent, the gift will generate an vision by increasing its endowment. The additional $135,000 per year for financial quality of the school, its faculty, alumni and aid. This will be a tremendous boost to our historical achievements are not reflected financial aid budget, which awards about $2 in its relatively small endowment. A $100 million annually. million endowment is where DA should be, “Supporting financial aid takes away and the school should aspire to no less.” the economic barrier to DA’s third strategic Earl and Margaret have a long history goal of a broader experience of diversity of supporting the annual fund and capital and renewed commitment to accessibility,” campaigns. Inspired by the school’s vision, Margaret explained. “Our gift affirms the they now want to make a gift toward value that every child is deserving of a |

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With huge smiles on their faces, Margaret and Earl shared with us that they were naming Durham Academy the owner and beneficiary of a $3 million whole life insurance policy. school is making in the community. We would like to help students like those who have a desire to work and make a positive impact with their lives, but would otherwise not have access to a school like DA.” Margaret and Earl Chesson are the parents of four Durham Academy alumni: Elizabeth ’89, who attended DA from second through seventh positive and transformative educational grades and then went on to graduate from experience regardless of circumstance.” the N.C. School of the Arts, and Win ’02, A more diverse community is very Mary ’03 and Tricia ’07, all of whom important to the Chessons. graduated from DA. “While DA included many of our “All four of our kids attended DA, friends and neighbors, it also provided and it’s impossible to overstate the value our family with the opportunity to know their DA experience has had on their lives,” and work alongside so many new faces, Earl said. “They all did different things some who held different perspectives in both academics and sports, so we were and came from different backgrounds exposed to just about everything DA offers. than our own,” Margaret said. “These Their curiosity and personal growth were friendships and experiences have enriched nurtured, and they were challenged to grow our lives, widened our perspectives and without limits. They learned how to study sometimes challenged our own biases and work hard, which provided a solid and assumptions. When we considered foundation for their lives after DA.” how to give back to DA, the scholarship “I feel we had a lot of hand-holding endowment creates the opportunity for from the DA community over the years more diversity so that future students can as we navigated through parenting, learn an appreciation and empathy for the educational challenges, the college process complexity of this world. They will be and changing life events,” Margaret added. better prepared to effectively contribute and “I have loved the encouragement offered to problem-solve in this increasingly global my children for trying something new. We and connected world.” are also grateful for being part of a caring “Margaret and I are especially and thoughtful community as together we interested in offering financial assistance to faced some of the personal tragedies within worthy students who otherwise could not our community, as well as the tragedies and afford DA, and who offer a rich diversity challenges of the larger world.” to the student body,” Earl added. “We’ve After graduating from the N.C. School admired what the Moylan family, Dan Hill of the Arts, Elizabeth danced professionally and others have done with the Durham with Mark Dendy in New York. She lives Nativity School and the positive impact that in New York with her husband and four DUR HAM ACADEMY

children and works as a labor doula. Win worked for Immigration Equality in New York for six years after college. He is completing a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford. He will start work with Goldman Sachs in New York this summer. Mary is practicing law with Schwartz and Shaw, P.L.L.C. in Raleigh. She and her husband are expecting their first child, a baby girl, this summer. Tricia has lived and worked in Yangon, Myanmar, since graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2012. She works in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), primarily with Nyi Mi Lay, a local organization. She teaches Myanmar youth evidence-based SRHR information, facilitates trainings and creates contextualized curriculum and comic books. She also consults with various agencies in Myanmar on education and gender-based violence prevention and response. “The gap year is probably our favorite DA indebtedness,” Margaret said of the decision for Win, Tricia and Mary to take a gap year between high school and college. “Jordan Adair first relayed to us the enthusiasm for the gap year from one of his advisees. We were receptive because Elizabeth had happily interrupted the traditional path with a modern dancing career before college graduation. DA cultivated a solid foundation for further learning, but the gap year gave them each the time to reflect and explore new directions. “I think each of our children look back to conversations they had with their respective special teachers and coaches which made them feel worthy and able to embrace new people and places, and to make their particular mark on the task at hand,” Margaret continued. It’s fair to say that philanthropy is definitely in the Chessons’ genes. Earl is a founder and principal of Hill, Chesson & Woody, a company devoted to providing customized life insurance solutions to continued on page 62

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maximize business, personal and philanthropic planning. He has spent the better part of 40 years working with families to develop strategies for advanced wealth transfer, philanthropic and liquidity planning. Margaret and Earl have been generous to Durham Academy for many years, supporting the annual fund and capital campaigns, and giving of their time and expertise, most notably when Margaret served as the president of the Parents Association and in an ex-officio role on the Board of Trustees during the 2002-2003 school year. Margaret also was an enthusiastic volunteer for many years with Academy Nights, a Parents Association adult-enrichment evening program featuring volunteer-led classes open to the broader community. Over its 10-year history, Academy Nights raised nearly $200,000 for the DA financial aid endowment. Margaret remembers it as her favorite and most meaningful volunteer job because of the community outreach, the bonds she made with other volunteers and the dollars it raised supported financial aid. Margaret and Earl hope their gift will inspire other families to give back to DA, particularly through creative methods such as life insurance policies and other planned gift opportunities. “We wanted to make the largest impact possible to increase DA’s endowment within our budget, so we chose to use a life insurance policy that will create $80 of endowment for every $1 of annual donation we make,” Earl explained. “In my profession, I’ve been fortunate to consult with clients who have had successful results with this approach, and it’s incredibly rewarding when these plans come to fruition. It’s fun for my family to now be able to do the same kind of planning and to pay back the institutions that have been so important to us over the years.” 62

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As a fundraiser for pediatric cancer nonprofit, lacrosse tournament keeps the big picture in focus By Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications

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ach March, dozens of the nation’s top high school lacrosse teams converge on North Carolina’s Triangle area. The onfield action is fierce — but perhaps not quite as heated as the competition off the field, as teams vie for bragging rights in a fundraising competition benefiting the Vs. Cancer Foundation. This year’s Brine King of the Spring Face-Off Classic Lacrosse Tournament, which is organized by Durham Academy boys lacrosse coach Jon Lantzy, raised more than $36,000 for Vs. Cancer. The marriage of quality lacrosse and a worthy cause has made the tournament — heading into its 10th year — a can’t-miss event for some of the highest-performing lacrosse programs in the country. “I think the service component has just given all of us [coaches] an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with our guys, to circle it back to something more than just winning a game, which is superficial in the end,” Lantzy explains. “You’ve got to try to make some more meaning out of it if you want it to be impactful.” The roots of King of the Spring trace to 2009, when Lantzy — who also teaches Middle School physical education and serves as an assistant director of athletics — was in his second year at Durham Academy. He wasn’t interested in taking his players on the road but wanted them to have experience against high-level teams from other states, so he reached out to fellow coaches and put together “a little round robin action” among six teams over spring break. As the following spring break approached, more teams wanted in, and the field doubled to 12 teams. “And in year three, it was a fullfledged happening,” Lantzy recalls. “It

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just kind of grew organically just from some friends wanting to get together to play to this,” which in 2017, was 25 boys teams and six girls teams playing over the course of six days at six venues around the Triangle: tournament co-hosts Cardinal Gibbons, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, N.C. Central University, Durham County Stadium and Chapel Hill’s Cedar Falls Park. In addition to the high school action, the event spotlights Duke and UNC men’s and women’s matchups. Cape Henry Collegiate School’s boys team has competed in the tournament since 2014. Charlie Lonergan — coach of the Virginia Beach, Virginia, school’s boys team — was drawn by “the opportunity to play in a bunch of great facilities against some good out-of-state competition” and what he described as a team-friendly event in terms of organization. “And obviously the connection with the charities, especially the past couple of years with Vs. Cancer, has been pretty cool,” Lonergan says. “It’s something we’ve been able to galvanize our lacrosse community to get behind, and I think it just kind of gives the guys an extra focus and allows them to think about something beyond just the game and how arbitrary that can be, in contrast to what Vs. Cancer is doing.” In both 2016 and 2017, Cape Henry was the top fundraising team of the tournament, raising nearly $5,836 in 2017. Close behind were the DA boys team with $5,653 and McDonogh School with $5,304. Fundraising began picking up about three weeks ahead of the tournament, and by the time the big event rolled around, the Cavs’ competitive juices were flowing. Lantzy recalls that the day of


Melody Guyton Butts

hospitals. The Raleigh-based nonprofit was founded by Chase Jones, who was diagnosed with brain cancer as an 18-year-old baseball player at UNCChapel Hill. After going into remission, Jones set his mind to giving athletes a platform to make a difference for other young people with cancer. In May, a small group of DA lacrosse coaches and players delivered a check for the $36,360.28 raised by the 2017 King of the Spring tournament to Duke Children’s Hospital, which was this year’s beneficiary. The group toured the facility, getting a first-hand look at how donations like King of the Spring’s are used to improve the lives of young cancer ABOVE: Ashleigh Kincaid, director of patients — from colorful marketing and hospital relations for Vs. decorations in the Cancer; head varsity boys lacrosse coach infusion therapy room, Jon Lantzy; senior lacrosse players Caleb to plans for an oncology Vanderburg and Owen Sullivan; and program specifically for assistant coach Vinnie Corwin '12 present a adolescent and young ceremonial check to Culver Scales, senior adult patients. director of development for Duke Children’s Culver Scales, Hospital. RIGHT: Players and a fellow coach joining Lantzy in shaving their heads senior director of when he finished as the top fundraiser for development for Vs. Cancer were (from left) Finn Moylan, Duke Children’s and Tyler Carpenter, Scott Hallyburton, Eric mother of a DA Lower Thompson, Lantzy and Owen Sullivan. Schooler, emphasized the significance of King of the Spring’s efforts. joined him in shearing their locks. his team’s game vs. McDonogh — the “There is no question that there’s a lot Over the years, the tournament nation’s No. 1-ranked team for much of of need,” she said. “Our cancer patients has placed an increasing emphasis on the season — the Maryland school was tend to come from a pretty regional area. philanthropy. Initially, efforts were geared just ahead of DA in fundraising. Sometimes a parent has to stop working more toward awareness, with a different “We were on the bus, and Nathan — and in some cases, it’s a single-parent charity partner spotlighted each year: Grosshandler, a sophomore and an household — so it becomes a pretty the Chordoma Foundation (in memory of entrepreneur [Grosshandler runs a dire situation on top of the health care Justin Straus, a DA student who died in successful fidget spinner-manufacturing 2008 after battling chordoma); the Ranger concerns.” business], asked, ‘Coach, how much For Caleb Vanderburg and Owen Lead the Way Fund (in memory of Jimmy are we down by?’ I told him $75,” Lantzy Sullivan, DA seniors who participated Regan, a former Duke lacrosse player recalls. “And he said, ‘When we pull in, coached by Lantzy, who died while serving in the tour, it was meaningful to make a if we’re still down, I’ll make a donation of connection with the people who benefit in Iraq); and Inspire MEdia (a nonprofit $100. So as we pull into the parking lot of from fundraising efforts like King of the founded by DA alumnus Chris Rosati ’89 N.C. Central, he says, ‘Well, we’re ahead that encourages people to perform acts of Spring. of McDonogh right now. No matter what “I'm glad we were able to see the kindness). happens in the game, we just won the direct impact of where the money is In 2016, the focus shifted from first battle of the day.’ ” going,” Vanderburg says. “It was pretty awareness of different charity partners to Adding fuel to the fundraising effort, direct fundraising each year for Vs. Cancer, cool to see the kids — the lives you’re Lantzy told his players that he would affecting. There’s an incredible facility here which aims to cure childhood cancer by shave his head if he finished as the top at Duke, right down the road from DA. directing proceeds both to national-level fundraiser. When the $1,775 he raised pediatric brain tumor research efforts and It’s powerful to see the lives that you’re topped all other participants, the clippers affecting.” to child life programs at local pediatric came out — and several of his players DUR HAM ACADEMY

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Leslie King

ABOVE: The 2017 benefit auction leadership team (from left) of Kristin Teer, Parents Association president Jennifer Riley, Ashley Freedman, Harriet Putman and Jennifer Garr helped raise a record-breaking $220,000.

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urham Academy hosted its most successful benefit auction ever on April 7, raising $220,000. The auction is Parents Association’s largest fundraiser and funds approximately 85 percent of its budget each year. The benefit auction has evolved from an attendance-only event to a fundraiser with additional bidding via mobile app, which enables an increasing number of people to participate remotely along with those attending the gala. One-third of silent auction items in the 2017 auction were purchased by bidders who were not present at the event, and half of the student art projects were purchased by mobile bidders. This trend has been extremely beneficial to the auction, with the average net proceeds increasing by more than 30 percent over the last five years. The move to remote bidding, paired with concern about event fatigue among many regular auction donors and attendees, led the Executive Committee of Parents Council and the Development Office to make a strategic decision to hold the auction gala every other year, with an online-only auction during the off years. It is anticipated that over the course of two years this will actually raise more money than continuing with the auction gala every year. The decision was made and publicized prior to this year’s auction, and the event saw an increase in attendance, donations and bidding as the DA community anticipated an onlineonly auction next year. Next year’s online auction will feature student art projects, teacher 64

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2017 Benefit Auction Raises a Record $220,000 By Leslie Holdsworth, Director of Development

treasures, the class gift effort and class baskets, a raffle and the fund-a-need initiative. In 2019, Durham Academy will host its 40th auction gala. The benefit auction’s fund-a-need effort raises funds for the Parents Association Endowment Fund for Faculty Salaries, which was established in 2016. It is the first endowed fund at Durham Academy that supports teacher salaries. This year’s effort raised more than $44,000 for the endowed fund. Parents Association allocates the money it raises from the auction and other fundraising events in several key ways. Funding is focused on student enrichment, school-wide programs, special initiatives and capital campaigns. The annual allocations process takes place with the direction of and in collaboration with the school’s administration. Student enrichment funding supports each school director’s budget for student life, assemblies and visiting authors and artists, including events such as Preschool International Night and Upper School International Day, as well as funding for wellness activities in all four school divisions. An important part of Parents Association’s mission is to promote and build community for the school. Funding for school-wide programs is key, supporting community-building events such as the All-School Picnic, the Turkey Trot and welcoming events for new parents in each school division. These funds are also used in various ways to thank and honor faculty by presenting |

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books to faculty and staff for years of service and providing an end-of-year luncheon for all faculty and staff. One of Parents Association’s favorite initiatives is funding the Faculty Wish List. Faculty are invited to make requests for items or events that would enhance their regular curriculum. The wish list funds are distributed equally among the divisions. Parents Association is continuing its proud history of providing leadership support for the school’s capital campaigns. Thanks to the enormous success of the 2017 benefit auction, Parents Association was able to complete the last installment of its $500,000 commitment to The Evergreen Campaign, which funded the construction of the Upper School Learning Commons and Kirby Gymnasium. Parents Association was among the top five donors to The Evergreen Campaign. Parents Association annually makes a $5,000 gift to the Parents Association Endowment Fund, which is part of DA’s unrestricted endowment, and also continues its annual support of Rise Against Hunger, DA’s annual meal-packaging service event held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Parents Association funding impacts students and faculty across all divisions, in immediate and tangible ways. In addition, Parents Association is helping to secure the school’s future by strategically investing in endowed funds and capital projects. Durham Academy is grateful for all of the important ways Parents Association provides support for the school and to the many members of the school community who participate in all of its initiatives.


Deb Claypoole Anderson ’80

Blair Kelley

Chuck Lovelace

Edwin Poston

Garrett Putman ’94

Caroline Rogers

Anna Ho Whalen

Board of Trustees Adds New Members The Durham Academy Board of Trustees

welcomes six new members. In addition, Caroline Rogers, who has served on the board since 2015, is now also serving in an ex-officio capacity as president of Parents Council. • Deb Claypoole Anderson ’80 is retired from a 25-year career

as a real estate developer in the multi-family residential housing industry. A graduate of Durham Academy and Williams College, Anderson holds an M.B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and is now pursuing an M.A. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and serving as an intern at Waypoint Church. She recently served on the Upper School director search committee. Anderson is the mother of Jared, a 2012 graduate, and former students Caitlin and Luke. • Blair Kelley is assistant dean of Interdisciplinary Studies and

International Programs at N.C. State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, where she is an associate professor of history. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Kelley holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. She is a regular speaker at DA student assemblies. Kelley is the mother of former student Julia, as well as Brooks, who is entering prekindergarten in the fall. • Chuck Lovelace has been executive director of UNC-Chapel

Hill’s Morehead-Cain Foundation for 30 years. He holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from UNC. Lovelace serves on the board of directors for The Association of Boarding Schools and is a past trustee of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the father of alumna Mary Elizabeth ’08 and husband of Karen Lovelace, who retired as a first-grade teacher in June. • Edwin Poston is general partner and co-founder of

TrueBridge Capital Partners. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he holds a J.D/M.B.A. from Emory University. Poston serves

on the Triangle Community Foundation’s investment committee and previously served on the board of directors of UNCChapel Hill’s College of Arts and Sciences. Poston has served as a DA Fund volunteer and is the father of Claire Louise, a rising sixth-grader; Caleb, a rising fourth-grader; and Eliza, a rising first-grader. • Garrett Putman ’94 is principal marketing consultant at SAS

Institute. He is a graduate of Durham Academy and Wake Forest University, and holds an M.B.A. from Duke University. Putman is president of the DA Alumni Board and previously served as Alumni Board president in the 2013-2014 school year (during which he served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees). Putman is in his fifth year of serving on DA’s Communications Committee. He is the father of DA students Will, a rising fifth-grader, and Wesley, a rising third-grader. • Caroline Rogers is a director of Carolina Biological Supply

Company and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill. Now also serving on DA’s Board of Trustees in an ex-officio capacity as Parents Council president, she has served on the board since 2015. Rogers serves on DA’s Building and Grounds Committee and previously served on the Development Committee and the Evergreen Campaign Committee. She was treasurer of Parents Council and has volunteered in several capacities with the parents group over many years. Rogers is the mother of Henry, a rising junior, and Edward, a rising eighth-grader. • Anna Ho Whalen is president of a real estate management

company HPL Management, LLC. She is a life member of Duke Law School’s board of visitors and serves on the Heart Center Leadership Council. Whalen has previously served on the DA and Hill Center boards of trustees. A graduate of Sweet Briar College, she holds an M.B.A. from Duke University. Whalen is the mother of alumni Austine Mah Chan ’95, Sterling Mah Ingui ’97, Kevin Whalen ’09 and Caitlin Whalen ’11, and is the grandmother of rising third-grader Parker Ingui and rising kindergartner Sabrina Ingui. DUR HAM ACADEMY

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425 Years of Service, Governor’s School, Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, DAR Award, Battle of Books •

24 DA faculty, staff honored for collective 425 years of service

Twenty-four Durham Academy faculty, administrators and staff were honored June 8 at DA’s closing faculty/staff meetings for their years of service to the school. All together, they have been a part of the school for 425 years. Jennifer Riley, president of Parents Association, presented each with a book to commemorate their years of employment at DA. Barb Kanoy (Middle School) was honored for 35 years of service. Jeff Parkin (Middle School) and Verle Regnerus (Upper School) were honored for 30 years of service. Kathy Cleaver (Upper School), Bobbie Dahlgren (Preschool), Karen Lovelace (Lower School) and Lyn Streck (Lower School) were recognized for 25 years of service. Eric Block (Lower School), Gib Fitzpatrick (Middle School) and Randee Haven-O’Donnell (Middle School) were honored for 20 years of service. Forrest Beck (Technology/Upper School), Michele Gutierrez (Lower School), Chris Mark (Development), Cedric Richardson (Maintenance), Lanis Wilson (Upper School) and Fran Wittman (Upper School) were honored for 15 years of service. Kim Allison (Lower School), Jerry Davis (Upper School), Marianne Green (Middle School), Cindy Moore (Middle School), Victoria Muradi (Admissions), Fabiola Salas (Middle School), Jessica Soler (Lower School) and Mike Spatola (Upper School) were honored for 10 years of service. •

Five juniors selected for Governor’s School

Five Durham Academy juniors have been selected to attend Governor’s School 66

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of North Carolina’s 2017 program. The fiveand-one-half-week program is the nation’s oldest statewide summer residential program for gifted and talented high school students. DA students and their respective areas of study at Governor’s School include the following: Olivia Chilkoti (French), Scott Hallyburton (Math), Cat Horrigan (English), Sydney Lin (Dance) and Sara Templeton (French). Governor’s School — which does not involve credit, tests or grades — integrates academic disciplines, the arts and unique courses on each of two campuses: Governor’s School West at Salem College in Winston-Salem and Governor’s School East at Meredith College in Raleigh. The 2017 program runs from mid-June to late July. Governor’s School is administered by the Public Schools of North Carolina, the State Board of Education and the Department of Public Instruction through the Exceptional Children Division. •

Sam Kim ’17 Presidential Scholar semifinalist

Durham Academy senior Sam Kim was a semifinalist in the 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which recognizes graduating high school seniors’ academic and artistic accomplishments. He was among 722 students from across the country — 20 of whom were North Carolinians — selected to advance to the final round of the prestigious competition. From nearly 3.3 million graduating high school seniors across the country, nearly 5,100 were identified as candidates in the Presidential Scholars Program, chiefly by virtue of their performance on college entrance exams. In addition to Kim, DA fielded two other candidates this year: Eren Guttentag and Ivan Zaytsev. Kim also won a National Merit |

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Scholarship (along with fellow seniors Samantha Baker and Julie Wechsler) and was inducted into DA’s Cum Laude Society. Kim’s extracurricular involvement at DA was multifaceted — he was a fouryear member of the swim team, served as an editor-in-chief of The Green and White student newspaper, played violin in the pit band for Upper School musicals, was a strong competitor on the Science Olympiad squad and Math Team, and founded the Upper School’s Learn Korean Club. •

Christy Cutshaw ’17 wins national title in 14-18 girls platform diving

Christy Cutshaw ’17 and diving partner Emily Bretscher won the girls 14-18 synchronized platform at the 2017 USA Diving Synchronized National Championships held April 12-15 at Georgia Tech. Cutshaw will compete collegiately for the University of Michigan. A specialist in the 10-meter platform who has been diving competitively since age 9, Cutshaw entered her first National Senior Women’s Platform competition as a 15-year-old, finishing multiple times in the top 12. Among her greatest diving accomplishments are qualifying for and competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Trials (finishing No. 6 in Synchronized Women’s Platform) and finishing fourth in the U.S. Diving Nationals in Individual Women’s Platform event last August.  •

DA Ultimate Frisbee tournament raises funds for Durham Nativity School laptops For the second year, Durham Academy hosted an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in February with a very important goal — raising funds to supply another class of students at Durham Nativity School with laptops. The 2017


Kathy McPherson

ABOVE: Fifth-grader Ama Mensah-Boone was in the spotlight in May when officials from Durham Water Management Department announced that a water conservation poster Ama created as a fourth-grader would be used nationally by the American Water Works Association during Drinking Water Week. On hand to celebrate with Ama were Wayne Drop, the Water Management mascot; her parents, Kofi Boone and Araba Afenyi-Annan; and Lower School science teacher Lyn Streck.

event featured more teams, as well as a girls Ultimate showcase game. The event raised about $3,000. Participating in the tournament were Durham Academy, Carolina Friends School, Cardinal Gibbons, Jordan High School, Green Hope High School, Chapel Hill East, Carrboro High School, Carrboro Home School Team, Clayton High School and Apex High School. •

Natalie Giduz ’17 wins DAR State Endowment Award

The North Carolina Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored DA senior Natalie Giduz with its 2017 State Endowment Award at the DAR state conference. The award recognizes students who demonstrate dependability, service, leadership and patriotism, with program participants evaluated on the basis of a written description of how they strive to manifest the qualities of a good citizen; a timed essay; a grade transcript; and letters of recommendation. Service has been a big part of Natalie’s life, with the majority of her extra-curricular activities at DA and away

from school centered around service to others. She was a volunteer with Gigi’s Playhouse, which serves children with Down syndrome; an Augustine Literacy Project tutor and tutor at Hope Valley Elementary School; a volunteer counselor at Cely’s House art camps for children; co-president of DA’s Be Loud! Sophie Club and president of the environmentfocused Go Green Club; a volunteer with the TABLE backpack program; a coach with Special Olympics Orange County and was a member of DA’s Special Olympics committee.

list. Then, on competition day, students are presented with sometimes minute details from one of the books and given just 20 seconds to produce the name of the book in question, along with the author. Middle School librarian/registrar Jennifer Longee coached the 2016-2017 team of William Biersach, Grace Brooks, Chris Burkhard, Sassan Fahim, Sophia Hand, Josh Longley, Colby Preston, Sarah Ridley, Caroline Sun, Meghan Tarpey, Jack Weinard and Brian Zhou.

Fifth-grader Ama Mensah-Boone’s water conservation poster was featured nationally by the American Water Works Association during Drinking Water Week in May. Ama created the poster last year as a fourth-grader in Lyn Streck’s Lower School science class. Each spring Durham Academy fourthgraders combine creativity with lessons learned in science class to produce prizewinning posters in local and state contests promoting water conservation, but this was the first time a DA student has won the top national honor in the water poster contest.

Middle School Battle of the Books team wins first-ever state championship

The Middle School Battle of the Books team won the N.C. Battle of the Books Championship in Raleigh in May. The DA team won its first-ever state championship in which it competed with public school teams from around the state. The DA readers previously defended their N.C. Independent School Championship title in April. The program involves first reading the 27 books on the year’s Battle of the Books DUR HAM ACADEMY

DA student’s water conservation poster goes national

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Photos by Kathy McPherson

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Gifts from seniors Bryce Saba, Safiya Gallaghan, Mia Tuck and Arianna Boyd helped DA’s inaugural alumni-driven Giving Day raise $34,000. Eleventh-grader Ted Middleton with Preschool teacher Sheri-lyn Carrow, who challenged her former students to donate. Ninth-grader Alex Bayer wrote thank-you notes to alumni donors.

DA’S INAUGURAL GIVING DAY IS A SMASHING SUCCESS! It was a first for Durham Academy — launching an alumni-driven Giving Day. On March 28, DA Alumni connected with their classmates online and on social media to pay it forward and create new opportunities for current students through their financial support. In less than 24 hours, alumni blew past their initial DA Giving Day goal of 100 new donors and unlocked a $5,500 challenge gift. By midnight, total alumni gifts were more than double the goal with 279 donations to the DA Fund, raising $34,000! Upper School students spent time in morning meetings in March learning

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about the Durham Academy Fund and how the DA they enjoy today was made possible by generations of alumni who gave back to their alma mater. Prior to and during Giving Day, students expressed their gratitude by crafting personalized postcards containing messages of thanks to be mailed to everyone who made a gift. Upper School students also got in on the excitement of Giving Day through a good old-fashioned rivalry — a class competition. Members of each class were encouraged to contribute $1 gifts. The class with the highest level of participation won a bowling party. While ninth-graders pulled ahead early, a lunchtime upset put the seniors in

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the lead, which they held throughout the afternoon. Preschool teacher Sheri-lyn Carrow challenged her Sunshine class alumni to participate, offering to match each $1 gift with a $5 contribution (as an added incentive, she also visited the Upper School campus to deliver some in-person hugs). “It was an incredible day, and we are incredibly thankful,” Alumni Director Tim McKenna said. “The response was more than we ever imagined. Thank you to our alumni for their incredible generosity and to everyone who helped make DA Giving Day such a huge success!” To see some of the Giving Day highlights, visit DA Alumni’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, or DA’s Instagram feed.


DURHAM ACADEMYAlumni website: da.org/alumni

SAVE THE DATE:

CALENDAR

OCT. 13 & 14 • HOMECOMING 2017 CELEBRATING CLASSES ENDING IN 2s AND 7s

2017-2018 ALUMNI CALENDAR

FRIDAY, OCT. 13 HOMECOMING EVENTS • 5 p.m. – Alumni Social and Barbecue Sponsored by Big Boss Brewery VARSITY ATHLETIC EVENTS • 4 p.m. – Field Hockey vs Ravenscroft • 5:15 p.m. – Volleyball vs St. Mary’s • 6 p.m. – Soccer vs North Raleigh Christian Academy

SATURDAY, OCT. 14 • 7 p.m. – Reunion Parties Durham Academy Upper School Campus For Classes Ending in 2s and 7s For more information and to register for the reunion party, visit www.da.org/homecoming.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR!

Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony Friday, Dec. 1 • 7 p.m. Kirby Gym • • • • • • • •

2017 INDUCTEES: Phil Pearce ’77 – basketball, soccer, track Sherry Bartholomew Holtzclaw ’78 – volleyball, track Conrad Hall ’89 – track, cross country Marshal Moore ’92 – track, cross country Hunter Henry ’97 – lacrosse, soccer, basketball Christine Suggs ’05 – field hockey, soccer, track Kelsey Kearney ’08 – soccer, basketball Greg Murray, Coach – girls basketball, boys golf, girls golf For more information contact Tim McKenna at tim.mckenna@da.org

Sept. 6 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Business After-hours

Sept. 19 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

Sept. 21 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in Chicago

Oct. 5 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in Dallas

Oct. 13 • 5 p.m.

Fall Alumni Social and Barbecue

Oct. 14 • 7 p.m.

Reunion Parties for classes

ending in 2s and 7s

Nov. 7 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

Dec. 1 • 7 p.m.

Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony

and Reception

Jan. 10 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

March 1 • 6:30 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in San Francisco

March 7 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in Atlanta

March 20 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

April 13 • 6 p.m.

Spring Alumni Reception

April 25 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in Washington, D.C.

April 26 • 6:30 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in New York City

May 3 • 1 p.m.

Durham Academy Golf Tournament

May 10 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking in Charlotte

Colin Huth

email: alumni@da.org

Visit www.da.org/alumni for updates on venues and additional alumni information.

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Melody Guyton Butts

DA ALUMNI

Alumni Honor Award-Winning Writer Sarah Treem ’98 with Distinguished Alumni Award By Jordan Adair, English, Upper School

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s I watched Sarah speak this morning to the students of the Upper School, I was reminded of what about her has always intrigued me. I first noticed it two years ago when I interviewed her twice over Skype for an article I wrote for the DA Magazine. What struck me then, and once again this morning, is the intense and concentrated way she engages anyone with whom she happens to be speaking. This morning she reached out to those students in a personal and confessional way, and they hooked in 70

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immediately to what she had to say. All day, I’ve been listening to students share some of the ways she touched them, and one girl’s comment in particular has stayed with me: “I really liked what she said about all of our experiences collecting in the backs of our minds, waiting to be accessed and understood. That’s exactly the way I feel sometimes.” Though Sarah spoke from prepared remarks and bolstered her thoughts with a few photographs, that all seemed to be a jumping off place for what she really wanted to say — her

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Kathy McPherson

ABOVE: Sarah Treem ’98 and Jordan Adair, who introduced Treem at an Upper School assembly and at the awards presentation. Treem says her writing is driven by the desire to understand herself, to explore her life through storytelling, and to find her place in the larger world.

experiences in life have shaped her thinking profoundly, and understanding herself and those experiences have been the catalysts for the writing life she has embarked for most of the past 25 years. A 1998 graduate of Durham Academy and a member of Yale’s class of 2002, Sarah has been described as “a smart, passionate playwright,” one who “writes bold, complicated, imperfect and, often heroic women with great humor and compassion;” c o n t i n u e d o n p a g e 74


Melody Guyton Butts

DA ALUM NI

ABOVE: Dennis Cullen was introduced by Verle Regnerus, who has known Cullen for 30 years, and said Cullen believes caring about kids is the most important part of his job. Cullen was chair of the math department for 36 years and coached track and field for 39 years, leading Durham Academy to 39 state team championships and cheering as his athletes won 196 individual state championships.

Kathy McPherson

Dennis Cullen Named Recipient of Faculty/Staff Legacy Award By Verle Regnerus, Math, Upper School

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t is with honor and enthusiasm that I get to introduce this year’s recipient of the Durham Academy Faculty & Staff Legacy Award. I need to commend the selection committee on their choice this year! Not that they have ever got it wrong — but this year — they really got it right. This was particularly evident when Dennis’s selection was announced at the Upper School assembly this morning. There was an immediate and long lasting standing ovation. And there was Dennis Cullen sitting

in the middle of it wondering what the fuss was all about. As I read through the criteria of the award, it was a Dennis Cullen check list: • Embodies the best of the teaching profession – check • Committed to excellence – check • History with the school – yep • Impacted a significant number of Durham Academy alumni – really? • Imparted lessons that transcend subject matter and extend beyond classrooms – yes • Represents the school’s mission DUR HAM ACADEMY

and core values of living a moral, happy and productive life • And lives a moral, happy and productive life Yes indeed, the committee did a fine job this year. Dennis graduated from Dartmouth, taught at Blair Academy and then came to DA in 1976. I don’t think I know exactly how he got here, it involved his brother and track but was motivated by girls. He’s told me the story a couple of times but there always seems to be a few c o n t i n u e d o n p a g e 74 details missing.

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Durham Academy Spring 2017

ALUMNI RECEPTION

A large crowd of alumni, alumni parents, parents and faculty turn out to honor coach and math teacher Dennis Cullen and writer Sarah Treem ’98. 1. Corey Mansfield ’02, Stephanie Callaway Ellison ’02 and Erika Streck Cerwin ’98 2. Costen Irons ’99, John McLeod ’90, Virginia Reves Hall ’91 and Conrad Hall ’89 3. Lou Parry and Leah Fischer 4. Sarah Treem ’98 and Anna Hall Quarles ’98 5. Jon Avery ’86 and Alan Ellis ’86 6. Ann Brooks, Bobbie Hardaker and Roger Brooks ’80 7. Dennis Cullen and Sally Coonrad Carroll ’78 8. Elizabeth Parry ’13, Sarah Parry and Peter Jacobi 9. Erika Streck Cerwin ’98 and Katherine PH OTO S BY M E LO DY G U Y TO N B U T T S A N D K AT H Y M C PH E R S O N

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DA ALUMNI

TREEM

continued from page 70

and yet, that reputation was not always assured back in her years at Durham Academy. She arrived at DA at the beginning of her sophomore year in 1995, transplanted from her home in Connecticut after her father took a job at Duke Hospital. Sarah wrestled with her desire to fit in and be a part of this new community, and it was her writing that rescued her from what was a pretty lonely journey at first. In her writing, she was able to explore what she was feeling and begin to understand this important transition in her life. Ultimately, she would find her place at DA, fostered by encouragement from her drama teacher, Bob Singdahlsen, and like-minded friends in the theater. This same desire to understand herself, to explore her life through storytelling, and to find her place in the larger world, are what drive her writing to this day. She is the author of numerous plays and continues to write extensively. From 2008 to 2009, she was a producer and writer for the HBO series In Treatment, for which she won a Writers Guild of America Award. In 20132014, she was one of the writers for the opening season of the Netflix series, House of Cards, which won a Primetime Emmy for “Outstanding Drama Series” and a Writers Guild of America Award for “Best New Series.” In 2015, she struck out on her own as the creator and showrunner of The Affair, a Showtime dramatic series that was the recent recipient of a Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Television series. Today, Sarah lives in Southern California with her two children, Henry and Marian.

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CULLEN

continued from page 7 1

Dennis is in his 41st year at DA. I’ve been lucky enough to have known Dennis for 30 years. He has been my department chair, a colleague, a fellow coach, a teacher and a friend. Dennis was the math department chair for 36 years. And in those years, he has led us to try to be better teachers and better people each and every day. He gave us the freedom to teach how we wanted to and gave us the support that we needed. He pushed us to embrace technology — even though I believe he would rather use his computer to prop up his feet while he watches the game on TV. He led by example. He worked hard and he works hard. He has taught every class we offer in math except for one and he would be happy to teach that class if the school asked him to. One year he taught an extra class so that we could offer a challenging course to one student, a very strong student who had maxed out on what we had to offer. As a teacher: From a colleague: “Dennis has an overwhelming passion for teaching and his proudest moment is when one of his students actively leans into the challenges he presents them.” From a parent: “I don't know what exactly he did or said to my child, but a year spent in his class made her a confident and poised student who gained a new-found love of mathematics.” As a coach: 39 state championships — I think that speaks for itself. But more than training and developing athletes, Dennis really cared about his kids. He made an effort to get to know them in ways uncommon for a lot of very good teachers or coaches. And he loves to talk about his runners! And this is one of coolest things: Right now, if you asked him a question about a mile time by our best runner in 1989 — he could give you the kid and the time! Or the 4x400 relay team from 2009.

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He knows the names and the time and their splits. And then there is the stuff he does for this school and for kids that isn’t well known… drives bus for SOCK camp, drives kids to the mountains, takes runners to the Uwharrie National Forest, works with students at lunch, at tutorial, afterschool. He has kept the clock for varsity basketball games for over 35 years — just to help; just to see the kids. And, right now, he is working with a young boy on his math — and this little boy does not appear to be that interested in learning any math. But the kid is interested in sports. So, Dennis works with the kid and if the kid gets a question right, they play catch with a tennis ball. Then they do another problem… And Dennis is sitting there right now wondering why all the fuss. Things I (perhaps WE) have learned from Dennis Cullen: • Caring about the kids is the most important part of our jobs. • Getting kids excited about math is just as important, if not more important, than teaching them the intricate details. • It's okay to cry when talking about something that is important to you. • Good data is the best foundation for a strong argument. • Telling the truth is important at all times. • Teach what you are passionate about — passion fuels learning, and if we are passionate about the material at hand, then students will be that much more interested in learning. • Family matters — take care of them before anything else. • Hold high standards, believe in yourself, respect other people's perspectives while still having the courage to ask "why?", challenge students, support one another, affect others positively and sometimes, just keep your chin up, and get done what needs to get done. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the DA Legacy Award than Dennis Cullen.


SAN FRANCISCO WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY

CHARLOTTE UNC-CHAPEL HILL

WASHINGTON, D.C. NEW YORK

SPRING 2017

REGIONAL EVENTS Charlotte, Chapel Hill, New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Winston-Salem

NEW YORK

This spring, Durham Academy’s alumni office hosted regional networking events in Charlotte, Chapel Hill, San Francisco, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Winston-Salem. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new ones and hear about all the exciting new happenings at DA.

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CLASS NOTES 1976

Gordon Crovitz gordon.crovitz@gmail.com I expected more gloating in the class notes from UNC basketball fans, which we Duke fans will try, yet fail, to keep in mind when the NCAA top spot returns to its rightful place in Durham. In the meantime, we have updates from several classmates. Tim Borstelmann is professor of modern world history at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He writes, “The University of Nebraska continues to allow me to teach and write U.S. and world history, a gig that seems about as good as it gets, from my point of view. My wife Lynn runs the electronic health record for the big med center in Omaha, equal parts rewarding and draining. We really enjoy living in Lincoln. We travel a lot, particularly for cycling and skiing in the Rockies. Our sons are 26 and 22, in Lincoln and St. Louis, and we get to see them a good bit. I’m finishing up a book tentatively titled ‘Inside Every Foreigner: How Americans Have Understood Others.’ Life is very good for us.” Billie Mann, who we knew as Fran Worde, reports she has been married to Rob Mann since 1999. They have two cats, Zooey and Ava, and a rescue dog, Summer. They live in Raleigh, where Billie is a customer service representative at The Cardinal at North Hills, a recently opened luxury

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retirement community. She writes, “When I have time I paint and draw, mostly commissioned pet portraits and also water scenes/ seascapes. I also like doing yard work, exercise regularly, enjoy classic films, and occasionally play the drums.” Check out her work at www.artbybillie.com. Ellen Heyneman was brilliant enough many years ago to head for Southern California, where she is a psychiatrist at the University of California at San Diego. She reports her children are doing very well: “My daughter Katie is living in NYC and is manager of labor operations for the NFL and is planning to attend law school at night. She is involved with team salary caps and collective bargaining agreements. Our son Michael is attending Vanderbilt and enjoys living in the south. Paul and I are still living in San Diego. My sister Laura’s kids both attend Durham Academy and the older boy will be a freshman next year at Duke. I visited DA recently and hardly recognized it! I’ll be back in Chapel Hill in early June.” Elizabeth Oates is ambitiously forward-looking. “(As an adult) I have tended to be forward thinking about life stages and currently I am planning what I want to do next as I have become somewhat un-enamored with working full-time,” she writes. “Since I will need something that isn’t too physically taxing (marathons, alas, are out these days) I’ve been pursuing my

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Class of 1977

creative hobbies, I still live in Reunion especially Malibu and DURHAM ACADEMY writing. I have feel blessed HOMECOMING OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 put one novel to wake up up on Amazon, and see the Spread the word. Register at www.da.org/alumni. and the sequel beautiful is almost done. ocean every Pen name ‘Adam King Rowling’ day.” Mary Ruth Houston ’79 which should be search engine is climbing Mount Everest friendly. It’s about vampires and at the time of this update! werecats battling an evil cult, For more on her adventures, because who wouldn’t want check out her blog at https:// to read about that? Critically fromswamptosummit.com. acclaimed by several readers who Camille Izlar: “Not much new declared it ‘not bad, actually’ this year — still working at UNC the book is available on Kindle Diabetes Center as a diabetes unlimited for free if anyone educator. I bought a new horse has that, so check it out.” Your and trying to find a new home correspondent is busy raising still for my other horse — so my youngish sons, ages 13, 11 and life is working and taking care five in New York City. I recently of my horses. My husband and spent six months as interim CEO I are about to undertake the of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, building of a new home — scary which some of you may recall and exciting! Hopefully will as the publisher of several of our get a vacation to Aruba soon!” textbooks. Some of the older Judy Krigman ’79: “I am still textbooks are on display in the working at LabCorp saving Boston office. Every time I passed people from themselves, Martin by the algebra textbook from our is stationed at Mary Esther, era, I had a feeling of dread that I Florida, which is right on the forgotten to do my homework. I beach. Sam still works at the look forward to the next class note glue factory, making glue for and hope to hear from many more post it notes and the space station classmates. (really).” David Paydarfar is a professor and inaugural chair of the department of neurology at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Erik Donald France Kenny Randall: “We’re enjoying efrance23@gmail.com watching Cameron grow up. He is an all-star athlete in both Gordon Battle: “Biggest update is baseball and soccer. I have been my oldest Dylan is having a baby his baseball coach for the past GIRL in September. And daughter four years. Also, I know there Livi is going to Alabama in the is something more painful fall.” Liza Dicconson-Cohen: than passing a kidney stone: “The only news I have is that my Passing two kidney stones twins are graduating high school simultaneously, once in each in June. We are going to Croatia, kidney, just four hours after a Ibiza and London for the several hernia operation! It is knowledge weeks afterwards to celebrate. I wish I didn’t have, as it was

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Class of 1982

entirely more Adam Reist Reunion painful than and premiered DURHAM ACADEMY necessary. I at the Sarasota HOMECOMING OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 continue Film Festival to enjoy in April. Make Spread the word. Register at www.da.org/alumni. photography and sure to join our currently have Facebook group a photo displayed at Kettering to stay in touch. The group name University for the Flint Water is “Durham Academy 1984(ish)” Crisis Show. In June 2018, I will be a featured artist at the Buckham Gallery in Flint.” My update: still in Fort Worth. Juliellen Sarver Last summer, I had the great juliellens@yahoo.com pleasure of traveling with my brother, Jamie France ’88, and Despite the current embrace of our mother, Barbara France, to fake news and the simplified Ennis, Galway, Tipperary, Cork sleuthing thanks to social media, I and Dublin, Ireland. I wish we tempered my considerable creative could do this several times a year! writing tendencies and chose only to write about classmates who voluntarily provided their updates. I enjoyed catching up with them Durann Williams Archer this year. Bill Bernard reports durann.williams@gmail.com from way up north that he still works for a food manufacturer/ Greetings to the class of 1984. franchisor a few miles south of Congratulations are in order for Minneapolis and coaches his son three of our classmates. Sayeed Cooper for traveling basketball. Choudury was named to Recently, father and son have the National Museum and Library been installing a chip and putt Services Board by President golf course in their backyard Obama in late 2016. This is an — no sand trap yet, but there’s advisory body that includes the talk. Speaking of father-son golf, director and deputy directors of Duncan Isley continues his Institute of Museum and Library adventures at Duke, and his son Services and presidentially Angus will follow the esteemed appointed members of the general Isley tradition of golf at N.C. public who have demonstrated State University and will study expertise in, or commitment golf management at NCSU in the to, library or museum services. fall. Cheryl Ann Welsh became His term expires in 2018. Mark a member of the Foundation of Porcelli writes that he will be Hope Team in 2016. FOH works expanding Common Grounds, to fund critical research at UNC the coffee house he started on understanding the causes and over nine years ago in Apex, to potential cures across the mental include breakfast and lunch. If you illness spectrum. As a Duke dieare in the area, make sure to check hard, being around UNC campus it out. Dare to Be, a documentary has been a little strange for Cheryl film about the sport of rowing and Ann, but UNC is really doing the human spirit, was directed by some amazing work.  

1985

1984

David Brower is still the program director for North Carolina Public Radio in Durham. Last year he launched wuncmusic. org, a 24/7 new music discovery stream. Careful listeners will hear a couple geezer-rock tunes from Ken Bowers’ and Jody Maxwell’s (’84) old bands snuck into the mix. I had the honor and pleasure to catch up with none other than Ken Bowers recently when he drifted northward for a trip to Richmond. He has caught the cycling bug big time, and we took a delightful bicycle ride on the Virginia Capital Trail for a few hours. Ken is a fellow city planner and the planning director for the City of Raleigh. My city planning and landscape architecture career has led me into the world of craft beer. I have settled in Richmond, where I manage community development and environmental sustainability initiatives for Stone Brewing. Outside of work, I ride bicycles of all types, tend my urban garden and this year will celebrate the big 5-0 by hiking from southern France into northern Spain along the Camins de Ronda, an historic pirate-lookout trail along the Mediterranean coast. There are worse ways to age!

1986

Rob Everett rob@teamapartments.com Jonathan Avery javery@ravenscroft.org We begin our annual Class of 1986 notes with following reports from the field. Eric Singdahlsen writes: “Hi, Everyone. I hope you all are well. I’m living outside D.C., and working in medical simulation for the military and federal agencies.

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My daughter Maxine is 11. Making art in my spare time. (My dad is doing well; living in WV with my stepmom.)” As for Barbara Bossen: “I am living in Durham with my two kids. My son is studying at UNC and my daughter will be finishing high school next year. I am working in the school system, which keeps me incredibly busy! As a side note, I am very happy that my dear friend of 42 years, Joe Taylor, has found his way back to the area — at least for now!” Andrew King still resides in Charlotte and shares: “I have two boys (13 and 16), and I continue to spread World Peace through Crafting Beer with Geoff Lamb.” Virginia Stump Spell reports: “GSO is good. I’m working as a speech therapist. I have two beautiful kids and am happily divorced.” Alec Bell: “Kristi and I started our 4th year of marriage in April and are enjoying the work, making our home in Plano, TX, cheering on our Texas Rangers, and taking as many trips to OBX we can. Ready for summer to keep the pups (and us) in shape.” Kristy McAlister Brown shares: “Hello all. Still living in Atlanta with my husband Mike and our 3 daughters (Avery, 13, Maisey, 11, and Sawyer, 8). I’m a litigation partner at Alston & Bird where I’m the co-leader of the firm’s nationwide litigation practice. Life is good. If you are ever in Atlanta look me up!” Rob Phay reveals: “Sofia is finishing up sophomore year at Williams and still enjoying it.” Lisa Tulchin writes: “We are off to Germany in June to visit the in-laws for a few weeks. I ran a

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DA A LUMN I

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:

Alexander Isley ’80​

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raphic designer Alexander Isley ’80 says DA taught him everything he needed to know about learning how to learn, and everything after that was just fine-tuning and polishing. “Learning has never been quite as fun for me since.” Isley, a 1990 recipient of Durham Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award, has been awarded the design industry’s highest honor, the AIGA medal; the Art Directors Club Herb Lubalin Award; the National Endowment for the Arts International Design Education Fellowship; and the Federal Design Achievement Award. A Graphic Design USA magazine readers' poll listed him as one of the most influential designers of the past 50 years. Isley's work is of particular significance to the Durham Academy community, as he is responsible for the current interlocking DA logo, which was unveiled in 1998, and the new DA Summer Programs logo, unveiled this spring. He also created the last two DA admissions viewbooks, including the most recent design, “Durham Academy: A Closer Look”, and was responsible for graphic designs for DA’s Evergreen Campaign.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from DA? A: I attended DA from first through ninth grade. I then went on to Jordan High School, where on college day my junior year I visited the table for the N.C. School of the Arts and I discovered they had a residential high school visual arts program! I was off to Winston-Salem for my senior year so fast it would make your head spin. I know it did my parents’. I graduated with a degree in Environmental Design from N.C. State University and went on to get a BFA from The Cooper Union in New York City. I thought I’d live there a year or two and then move to someplace normal, but I stayed in N.Y.C. for 13 years. I worked at design studios and ad agencies, then was hired as the art director of SPY, a satirical magazine. I founded my own design firm in 1988, when I was 26. I’d been saving up to do this starting when I was in college. Along the way, I was lucky enough to marry Veronica Burke, and we moved from N.Y.C. to Ridgefield, Connecticut. We have three kids: our son, Owen, is a sophomore at the University of Rochester, and our daughters, Ruby and Ella, are in high school.

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ABOVE: Alex Isley founded his own design firm in 1988, and works from an office in a barn in Redding, Connecticut. LEFT: Isley said design is mixture of art and business. “People come to me with problems, and my job is to solve them in engaging ways that haven’t been done before.”

Q: What are you doing now? A: At the same time we moved our home, we also moved our office to a barn in Redding, Connecticut. I’d always wanted to work in a barn, and there were none to be found on lower Broadway. Today I continue to run my design company. It’s called Alexander Isley Inc. — I figured if I came up with a clever name I’d be absolutely sick of it in three weeks’ time. This is the same reason I have no tattoos. My team and I design logos, books, magazines, posters exhibits, museum installations, sign programs, web sites, furniture, stores, packaging … you name it. I have a short attention span and like juggling many things at once. Right now, I’m doing a lot of work with libraries — along with a few things for DA, too.

Q: Why do you do what you do? A: I absolutely love what I do. People come to me with problems, and my job is to solve them in engaging ways that haven’t been done before. Design is a mixture of art and business, and a successful solution requires the combination of imagination, knowledge, persuasiveness, ambition, confidence, trust, artistry and luck (not always in that order). And I get paid to learn!


DA ALUM NI

Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A: Harriet King [former Upper School English teacher] showed me by example the value of a nimble mind, and how by writing precisely one could get people to laugh with you, not at you. Bobbie Hardaker [former Upper School science teacher] taught me the importance of curiosity and having a generous spirit. She also trusted me to design a snake cage for the science lab. And she trusted me again, encouraging me to reconsider my design after the snake escaped. Dennis Cullen taught me to keep asking questions even when I think I know the answer. Especially when I think I know the answer. He also called me “swabbie” in front of the whole class. That influenced me to not wear Navy surplus sailor shirts to school anymore. Margaret Woods [former Lower School teacher and school director] taught me what “errors” were, and that they should be avoided. I was halfway through second grade before I realized she wasn’t talking about arrows. Up to that point I’d been avoiding the wrong thing. This is nothing against the other schools and colleges I attended, but everything I needed to know about learning how to learn, I got at DA from those educators and their life-changing colleagues. Everything after that point was just fine-tuning and polishing. Learning has never been quite as fun for me since. Q: What are your interests away from work? A: If to be successful a man needs a good job, a good hobby and a good sport, then I’m a failure because mine are all the same thing.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you? A: I know what I’ll be doing for the next three months, but past that I have absolutely no idea. That’s the way it’s always been for me, which is exhilarating but also kind of terrifying. I’m now coming to see this interview as a cry for help.

few races this spring. Still not particularly fast, but I finished them all and was able to smile at the end.” Emma Fortney McCarty shares: “Still living in Boulder, working too hard but loving Colorado. One daughter in high school and one in middle school.” Alan Ellis writes from Durham: “NC State recently reappointed me as assistant professor of social work, and I am looking forward to moving forward with research on child mental health and well-being. I have a boxer and a 24-year-old son, and neither is a prize fighter. I am still riding my bike and playing ultimate whenever I get the chance.” Joe Kalo, who as of the date of publication still worked for a law firm in Burlington, had this to share: “Robby O, when is the deadline?” That moving account from Joe represents the last of our firsthand, authorized news. Meanwhile, as our much-maligned mainstream media sheds staff daily, we have found it difficult to fact check information and provide you accurate journalism. However, that has never stopped us from peddling unsubstantiated, secondhand “Fake News”! With that in mind, we speculate that it is possible that Tommy Hoke remains the strength and conditioning coach for a Division I football school. Similarly, we have reason to believe that Phil Brown still works for Deluxe Entertainment, though our emails bounce from his old work address and he never returns our calls. It could well be that Samantha Turvey is in Atlanta, as might be David Whisnant, though we have no information that they have

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ever run into each other or Kristy Brown. Speaking of running, John Hull works in Ohio, but we are unable to corroborate whether or not he ever passes by Anne Boat Waters, who probably is the Chief Experience Officer at a children’s hospital in that state. We suspect Anne recently has seen and had drinks with Brooke Johnson. Phil Oldham, we imagine, continues to serve in the development office of his alma mater, Middlebury College, and may even be in excellent shape. Jacob Cooley, on the other hand, may never have been to Vermont, but has been spotted walking the Al Buehler Trail at Duke. We can neither confirm nor deny that Tony Han and his family may one day move from Sonoma back to North Carolina, but we would venture to guess that he visits his mom regularly. Tony did not indicate whether Mike Loehr continues to protect residents of Seattle from unknown disasters and mysterious diseases. The current administration has no comment on whether Susan Behar Bonsell or Ted Oldham still reside in the same state as Alec Bell. Meanwhile, a source in Norman Lake tells us that Fred Wilson is doing well in Oregon, though his relation to Phil Knight, if any, is unknown. Even more mysterious is Gabriel Paletz, who rumor has it is returning to “the Institute” for the summer. We have no news as to whether Mike Neelon will visit Gabriel there, in Prague or Asheville. Thomas Wicker could be dating and speaking Russian, but that does not mean he is in contact with either Chris Danford or Kathrine

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Bryson. Furthermore, we have reason to believe that Scott Trotter is doing well, though we offer no proof for this claim. It could even be true that Chris Bennett has perfected the art of getting maximum results from minimum effort. An investigation into some classmates who graduated elsewhere turned up even more remote possibilities and innuendos. For instance, a source close to Sally Yowell Barbour revealed that it’s entirely possible the Barbours may leave Chapel Hill to return to Durham. We also have reason to believe that Chris Cole has not kept current his membership in various organizations, to his mother’s dismay, and that Jimmy Bolognesi is a good uncle. Manjula Jegasothy is purportedly a highly regarded dermatologist in Miami and founder of the Miami Skin Clinic. We have it on good report that Manjula sends her best wishes to former Durham Academy classmates, especially Lee Barnes, whom we have heard through the grapevine serves on the board of trustees at Appalachian State. We have not verified if Maura Moylan is moving into a swanky condominium in the near future, nor have we verified whether Bristol Rouse Winslow’s husband has been invited to join an exclusive book club. Finally, it has come to our attention that Bennett Roberts and Peter Rourk might be living in the Triangle somewhere, though perhaps not together, as proud parents of DA alums. We look forward to our paths someday crossing theirs, and yours (regardless of whether

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your name is above!), as we all mush forward on our dogsleds through a driving Alaskan snow storm … at which time we will express our sincere hope, in the words of the Eskimos and E. Sing, to “See you soon.” As for your reporters, Jonathan Avery may be lost in the Pisgah National Forest, from where he is incommunicado, while Rob Everett is still aimlessly wandering the U2’s Joshua Tree tour, where the streets have no name. Finally, as we acknowledge the changing news landscape, with technology that has made Class “News” redundant but has brought us closer as “Friends,” we wish to extend our congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg for his appointment as our new Class Notes correspondent. We thank you for allowing us to report, sometimes inaccurately but always faithfully, your news. We wish all well, and rightfully conclude: Curialis bonos, homo sceleratissimus.

1987

Craig Powell craigp6891@yahoo.com Greeting from Class of 1987! Great to hear from everyone, and hope to hear from more in the future. Without further ado, here are the updates. Debbie Markland was the first to check in with “My family is still in Roswell, GA. Our oldest, Cole, will be a sophomore at GCSU in Fall 2017 — he is majoring in music education and is super happy there. Jake, our middle, will be a senior in high school in the Fall 2017, and our youngest, Emma will be a freshman in high

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school. We love heart is sad Reunion the independence for the Warner DURHAM ACADEMY having older family as I HOMECOMING children gives OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 have lots of us, but love memories Spread the word. going to Cole’s Register at www.da.org/alumni. in their concerts, Jake’s home. Keep regattas, and Emma’s soccer my dad in your prayers, too, as he games. I am still teaching is scheduled for a triple bypass preschool and my husband, in Norfolk, VA, next week. Our Keith, is in his 21st year with family is doing well — my oldest Kimley-Horn, a civil engineering daughter, Kiley, qualified for two firm.” Next was Sims Preston state events in swimming; my who appears to be keeping DA youngest, Allison, is recovering in the family: “My family is well from a broken arm she well. My boys, Colby and Theo, got from roller skating on our are finishing their 8th and 6th street; and my wife, Debbie, grades at DA this year. Their is still the best teacher in sister, Olympia, is finishing 2nd Louisville, where she teaches grade at the Emerson Waldorf at the Louisville Collegiate School. My wife Posy’s latest School. Professionally, I was part documentary, The Original of a team that finished a $100M Richard McMahon, screened campaign in my role as AVP at the Full Frame Festival in for Development [Bellarmine Durham in April. In March, I University] — a ton of work went sold the company I spent the last into this so it is satisfying to see six-and-a-half years building. It it come to completion!” David feels great and I am looking Hamilton appears to win the forward to spending more time award for Most Exotic Location with friends and family.” From Award this year: “Greetings Catherine Campbell, updating from Pakistan where I am on from Wake Forest: “I continue short term assignment working to sell real estate for the default with the United States Agency servicing industry. Earlier this for International Development year I expanded my team to (USAID) helping to develop the include husband Herb Campbell. country and hopefully making it We are in the process of a safer place. Recently, I moved downsizing our life so we can from Seattle to Washington, DC, travel more.” Ian Patrick writes, where I have bought a home and “I was saddened to hear about I am setting up a base there that Lawrence Warner losing his dad. is close to my family who are still We both grew up in Duke Forest in the Durham area. Love to hear and I remember going to Larry’s from you if you are in DC. You house in sixth grade, hearing The can reach me at daveham@usa. Police for the first time because net.” From the Land of 10,000 Lawrence was supposed to go to Lakes, Adam Spilker writes: their concert in the Greensboro “Last year I spent six months on Coliseum, and, in classic Larry sabbatical living in Boston with style, he introduced me to Flock my family. During that time I got of Seagulls because there were the chance to return to NC for opening for The Police. So, my my 25th reunion at Duke. Now


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back in St. Paul, MN, I am in my 20th year with my congregation and by this fall, two of my kids will be in college.” Finally, Anne and I are still in Virginia Beach. We enjoy our time on the sand in the summer, and I am trying to get out to the golf course more. My oldest just finished her junior year at Kansas State, and Anne and I were fortunate to spend a weekend there last fall and catch a football game. My youngest will be entering her senior year in high school next fall in Mansfield, Texas.”

1988

Joseph Williams joseph.williams@indevcapital. com Laura Zimmerman Whayne laurazimmermanwhayne@ gmail.com Dear Classmates, it has been quite a while. First, I want to thank Laura for all of her herculean efforts over the past few years that I have been on DA note sabbatical. Laura, soon it will be 30 years that we have been doing this together… that is crazy. First of all, before getting started, Laura and I wanted to recognize some losses that have occurred in our DA community. David Gould was a teacher and mentor to many of us in the class of 1988. Mr. Gould was a superb teacher and a simply fantastic human being. He epitomized what continues to make DA so special, the passion for teaching and learning among its faculty. Mr. Gould was also a very fun personality. It was a huge loss to the DA community. Laura tells me that Ted Kalo, Robert Christopher Strayhorne and I

am sure many others in our class were there to celebrate his life at the memorial service. Sadly, this year we lost another giant not just for DA, but for Durham, the State of NC, and I am sure further boundaries: Melissa Brodie’s father, Dr. H. Keith H. Brodie. Obviously his work as president of Duke University is well known, as he led the university during the period where it arguably become one of the top universities in the nation and world. Dr. Brodie was also very active in the DA community. He was an incredibly nice man and had a massive impact on Duke, Durham and Durham Academy. Our heart is with Melissa and her family. Although I did not know Webb Roberts’ father well, Laura reports that he passed away as well. These are always tough moments. Webb, you have a shoulder to lean on with lots of people in the class including me and Laura as you and your family go through this period of transition. These types of notes are not easy to write and I have never written about parental loss before in these notes. Actually, I think I may have written notes when my parents passed 10 years ago. However, as we all mature and we have losses in our life … alas this is the nature of the journey, please let me and Laura know. We apologize for the fact that we have not done this before. However, it has become clear that perhaps we are in a different phase of life than our immediate post-college years. Again, for those of us that have had or have transitions going forward, please let us know. OK, let’s start our notes with my partner in crime: Laura “Smiley” Zimmerman. I almost went into shock when

Laura started off her notes saying that her oldest child was 20 years old and finishing his sophomore year at Virginia Tech. I guess we really did finish high school in 1988! Her daughter, LewLew, just finished her freshman year at East Chapel Hill High School. Laura keeps busy smiling and also is getting married to Scott Zimmerman sometime soon. No this is not a joke, her fiance’s name is the same as that of her brother. I cannot verify or deny that her new married name will be Laura Zimmerman Zimmerman. Laura, please let the class know. Laura has not reported how her husband and brother will communicate over the holiday season, but I am sure they will figure something out. Laura remains busy selling real estate with RE/MAX Winning Edge and working as a project manager for her stepfather’s Custom Home Building Concern. She loves sales and the renovation aspect of her work. And of course, continues her unpaid job of smiling all the time. … Laura, thanks again for your commitment to these notes! Also in Chapel Hill, we find David Pearsall. He is raising his three boys and running an insurance agency specializing in liability insurance for dog trainers, pet sitters, pet service providers. As I sit here in Sao Paulo, Brazil, writing this I must say only in America can an insurance agency have a niche this specific! Pearsall was in Glendale, Arizona, at the Final Four with Steve Snider and Eric Fiddleman and other unnamed DA alums. I believe a beer or two were consumed and the celebration was quite enthusiastic based on the outcome of the

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national championship. Pearsall is meeting with Dan Bunders this summer for some golf in Vegas and also visiting Steve Snider in the Bay Area later this summer. Henry Pye, based in Dallas last I heard, brings us deep perspective. His wife Sybil, “is beautiful, intelligent and mistakenly still in love with me.” Henry, my wisdom from the past 46 years has taught me that being lucky is a huge factor in life. Call her love your luck. Henry and Sybil’s children are happy, playing rugby, faster and stronger than their parents. Work is going fine but he mentions it appears that the majority of his time is driving around his teenagers. John Ross reached out. He is chief of staff for North American Beverage Marketing at Pepsico. His group manages a staff of 500 and over 20 important brands. He also serves on the National Diversity Advisory Board. He gets back to Durham often for Duke alumni events and sometimes does not recognize our hometown. He actually runs into Torsie Judkins often to watch basketball. Per John’s comments about Durham, I have heard about fashionable boutique hotels in downturn Durham. Who would have thought? Edwin Bryson and his wife are still in Charlotte and recently celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. The couple’s two sons enter middle school next year. Both kids play soccer and, as the season ends soon, Edwin is looking forward to a break. Edwin still enjoys working on cars, and both of his projects are currently running (I guess that means he can drive the cars), which is a good thing. His

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Alumni Director is Also the Winningest Coach in DA Varsity Boys Basketball History By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications

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hen Tim McKenna’s basketball teams break at the end of practice or after a game, the players and coaches always say “family.” Developing a sense of family is what it’s all about for McKenna, whose 188 victories make him the winningest coach in Durham Academy varsity boys basketball history. “When our guys leave here, I want them to feel they were a part of a family. I want them to have developed some friendships that maybe they wouldn’t have otherwise had. I also want them to feel they have ownership in something that’s been a success, and that success has come because of the hard work and the commitment they have put in. “I really believe those skills will make them better prepared when they get to college, and when they get that first job they will be able to call on some of the things, not only the good but the bad, that occur during an athletic season.” McKenna didn’t play on his own prep team, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, but he played rec league basketball all through high school. Being a part of the team at Good Counsel was more than playing high school versus rec league. Good Counsel competed in the legendary Washington Catholic League, which was known as one of the best high school basketball leagues in the country and regularly sent players to top college programs and then to the NBA. While he didn’t play high school ball, McKenna knew he wanted to coach, and he made that a priority when he was a freshman at Providence College. “I really got revved up, knowing that I wanted to coach. I had a love for basketball. Growing up, I had season tickets to University of Maryland basketball games. I was always around that environment. And then going to Providence College, a Big East school, basketball was really the focal point of the athletic program because there wasn’t football. Rick Barnes [now coaching at Tennessee] was the head coach. I was able to get in there, starting my freshman year all the way through when I graduated, and watch practices, really just get a feel for what the game was all about. I was able to meet a lot of people, learned a lot of things. Once I graduated I knew I wanted to get into coaching and luckily an opportunity opened up at Good Counsel. The rest is history. I’ve been doing it now for 23 years.”

ABOVE: With 188 victories, Tim McKenna is the winningest coach in DA varsity boys basketball history. RIGHT: McKenna has a passion for coaching. He says it’s great to be with the kids he coaches and alumni who come back for games, and also a great way to be involved with current students.

Fresh out of Providence, McKenna put his marketing degree to use first with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and then in admissions and alumni work at Good Counsel. He was an assistant coach with the boys basketball team for seven years, head coach of the girls varsity for two years and then was head coach of the boys varsity for three years. “Up there, basketball is much different. There is a level of competitiveness not only on the court, but off the court in getting players. You have to be sure that players succeed not only at your school, but many times they have aspirations to play Division I basketball. … That was always the goal of kids coming to schools like Good Counsel and DeMatha and Gonzaga, other schools up there. There was a lot of recruiting involved. It was like small college basketball. Recruiting is legal, so you went in and would see eighth-grade kids and try to convince them to come to your school, which all began in ninth grade.” McKenna coached Roger Mason, who went on to play


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at Virginia; James Gist, who played at Maryland; and Omari Isreal, who played at Notre Dame. Mason and Gist were both drafted by the NBA. But after 12 years of coaching at Good Counsel and competing in the Washington Catholic League, “the rat race kind of wore on me and I needed a change of plans.” McKenna moved to North Carolina in 2004, landed a job in marketing with The Hill Center and let it be known that he’d be interested in coaching basketball. Durham Academy tapped McKenna as varsity basketball coach in 2006, and in 2011 he became DA’s alumni director. McKenna thinks his two jobs — coaching and alumni — are a good fit. “The basketball coaching job is something I love doing. It’s a passion I have, but it’s great for me to not only be able to be with the kids I coach, but with alumni who come back for games and who are engaged with the athletic programs in general. … It’s also a great way to be in touch with our current students, being able to do things promoting our basketball program while engaging the students who don’t play on the team, trying to drive that school spirit.” Initiating a DA allschool pep rally was McKenna’s idea. “We had them two or three times a year at Good Counsel, and I felt like that was something we were missing here. I proposed the idea two years ago and, thanks to the administrative team here, we’ve been able to run with it. I think it’s been a huge success. Everybody has really enjoyed it and it’s a great way to kick off homecoming weekend.” DA’s regional alumni program has grown under McKenna’s leadership, with alumni networking events in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, New York, Charlotte, Washington and Atlanta. There’s a possibility of expanding to Dallas and South Carolina next year. “We want to have people connected wherever they live, in this country or globally. Social media, an alumni e-newsletter and the DA magazine keep people informed. A goal of DA’s strategic plan is to keep alumni connected once they leave

here. My number one goal is to continue to grow that. Alumni giving was at all time high last year, and we want to grow participation this year.” McKenna has seen the alumni program become stronger and the boys basketball team go 23-6 this year, but he’s experienced hard times, too. “I always tell people it’s easy to be happy when you’re winning, but it shows people’s true character when things are tough. We’ve had some tough times around here. Not so much with wins and losses, but with some other outside things. Our guys have really grown from that, and I have grown from it and have become a better coach, just become a better person.” A serious automobile accident in 2015 that involved three of his players was “one of the toughest times, if not the toughest time, of my 23 years of coaching.” The phone call from a player’s mother, telling him he needed to get to the hospital, is seared in his memory. “We had that early situation of everybody coming to the hospital, players and parents, and the uncertainty of trying to be strong for the kids and their parents but also knowing these kids spend a lot of time with me and I obviously was very emotionally attached to what was going on. And then going forward, we had to be able to deal with having a basketball season. As a group, we decided that we were going to come together and be tighter than we had ever been and really be there for one another, play for those three guys. “The school community was unbelievable in the support they showed, not only for the basketball team but to the three families. To this day, I still talk to the three families about that. The support they received from the Durham Academy community was unbelievable.” All three players recovered and are in college now, and for one of the three, that seems like a miracle. “For me personally, and for our coaching staff, to see where he was and where he is now is very special. He was in a coma for more than a month, and then went to Atlanta for rehab at the Shepherd Center. He wasn’t able to walk, talk or eat, and he can do all those things now. It’s a miracle, it really is. “That experience, to this day, if things are going bad on the basketball front or work front, you kind of look back upon that and it puts things into perspective of what’s important and why I do what I do. The wins are great, but it really is about these kids developing lifelong relationships with me and the guys on the team.” It all goes back to “family,” and for McKenna, Durham Academy is truly a family affair. He met his wife, Holly, when she was a guidance counselor at Good Counsel, and she has been part of DA’s admissions office. Their children are also part of the DA family, with Marlee at the Upper School and Drew at Middle School.

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parents are still in Durham and are doing well. That is a blessing! I have seen Steve Snider three times recently. Once in the Bay Area and twice here in Sao Paulo. His wife is from Sao Paulo, where I have lived now for seven years. Steve and wife Cristina have been co-parenting two 8-year-old twin boys for the last 2.5 years and are really loving it. Steve is also an avid Golden State Warrior fan and I am sure is somewhere in Oakland watching the NBA Finals. Steve and I went with our wives to a soccer game here in Sao Paulo a while back and it was almost a surreal experience. His wife from Brazil, my wife from Spain, sitting there watching soccer in Sao Paulo. You just never know! Shannon Griffin wrote in from Atlanta. She still enjoys the CDC where she works on developing public health programs inclusive of people with disabilities. Her son, Austin, is heading into his senior year, plays football, and is looking at colleges that allow him to continue this passion. Her younger son, Andie, is heading into his freshman year and playing JV basketball. I am sure that Shannon is driving around quite a bit. Just had a flashback to Shannon’s mother’s station wagon. It is amazing how you do not forget certain things. Life is a big circle. Kirsten Jupena is doing well in Wilmington. She is closing out 22 years of teaching and 20 years teaching at the same public school. She recently decided to move to a private school, New Horizons Elementary, where she teaches first grade. She loves the experience which reminds her of her happy elementary school

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days at Durham Academy. Her son, Jake, is on the varsity lacrosse team at Hoggard High and her daughter, Catherine, plays basketball and soccer in the middle school. Shannon and Kirsten are looking forward to going to Laura’s wedding event. Elizabeth Schiebel Albright is a DA parent to a first grader and a third grader. The boys adore Durham Academy and are happy there. She sums up life as, “School, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and Cub Scouts.” Well, yours truly has been living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for seven years. I have a real estate investment banking firm that had some volatile years but now appears to be on a comeback (cross fingers). I am married to Beatriz Martinez Gonzalez, a native of Spain’s Canary Islands. We have a 1-year-and-8-monthold bundle of joy named after my mother, Helena Martinez Williams. I love being a dad and although I think I started pretty late, I am very happy with the chaos of having a small child. Last year I was in NYC about 10 times on business, but besides that not in the USA that often this year. Hopefully that will change soon. I spend a lot of time in Spain with my in-laws and spend time taking my daughter to swim class so she can be a surfer like her mother. Laura, thanks for your massive efforts to get people to write in and everyone please stay in touch!

1990

Katie Moylan Little kathleen.little@duke.edu Greetings from the Class of 1990! I wanted to first start with

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a big thanks to Les Evans who has been the class recorder for many years and passed the baton to me this year. Les thinks he was in the recorder role greater than five years but definitely less than 15 years. Regardless of the time committed to the notes, he did a great job of keeping our classmates up to date. Speaking of Les, he is still in Raleigh. He has two daughters, Teagan (8) and Avery (12), and a mutt name Phoebe, who Les says “naps while I work!” Les and his family are going to vacation in Europe this fall, and Africa next spring. He recently saw Mark Simpson, his wife and new baby boy. They are moving from San Diego to San Francisco this summer. Some more Triangle-area alumni: Jenn Hoog Nichols is working in real estate and lives in Durham with her husband, Garrett, and two kids. Jenn writes, “My son, Will, is 15 and in ninth grade at DA Upper School. My daughter, Kate, is 14 and in eighth grade at DA Middle School. So many of our former teachers are still on campus, and it has been great for my kids to go through with the same teachers I had. My kids are friends with kids of many DA alums: Charlie Wilson, Myatt and Melissa Kaluzny Williams, Mike Moylan, Jimbo Huckabee, and I know I’m missing some — there’s actually quite a few. Overall, things have not changed all that much from when we were there, and whenever I am walking on campus, it is usually with a smile on my face, remembering the good old days! It’s an amazing school, and my kids couldn’t be happier.” Mike Larson lives in Chapel Hill with a quite a

house full: three kids (Lillia, 16, Emma, 14, and Nick ,12; two cats and five chickens protected from hawks and foxes by a solar sensor coop door. After catching up with Mike at our class reunion and hearing about all his renovations and ideas, I was not surprised to hear that he is trying to grow a Carolina Reaper — the world’s hottest pepper. Mike helped his daughter Lillia (’18) build the DA Upper School garden with lots of interesting plants. When he is not working in the garden, Mike says he is “working for Art.com (SF) - Imaging Architect. Playing tennis and trying to get my kids through DA Upper School. Emma will be starting ninth grade at DA this fall!” John McLeod moved back to the area a few years ago. He and his wife, Erin, have two boys: Claude, 13, and Guy, 6. “After living in DC, Athens, and then Austin for past 17 years, my wife, Erin, and I were excited to move back to Chapel Hill in August 2015. I am the director of the Office of Scholarly Publishing Services at UNC Press, which supports publishing initiatives throughout the 17 schools in the UNC system. Work and family — that’s pretty much what I’m up to.” John says that he sees John Crumbliss a few times a year and “it’s been great to watch his son, Owen, and my younger son hang out.” Guy Foulks also says he runs into Crumbliss every so often and they talk birds. Guy and his wife, Deb, are in Alexandria, VA, and they are about to set cruise in the Mediterranean that ends up with some birdwatching in Spain. “We had a small waterfall, creek ‘water feature’ landscaped into


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our backyard and it is bringing us tremendous joy as all sorts of interesting birds are coming into our yard. My wife, Deb, and I continue to play Ultimate Frisbee. Our team won our division last spring and the sport has become a fun hobby for us since moving to DC over 16 years ago.” Durward Williams also lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, Megan, and two kids: daughter Logan, 7, and son Chase, 4. He has worked at Sports Endeavors in Hillsborough for over 25 years now. Durward shares that life is busy, “seems like Chase is trying to play every sport possible, while Logan is coming to realize her Barbie’s can’t play live sports with her just watching as a spectator.” Durward also recognizes his wife’s accomplishments this year. “My rock star wife just got her Education Doctorate! Between dealing with us and working full time at UNC School of Nursing … amazing accomplishment!” Betsy Hage still lives in Raleigh but is busy with her new job, new house and being involved with the DA Alumni Board seeing all the amazing things that are going on at DA. Betsy shares “This year has been busy! I started a new job with EmergeOrtho (used to be Triangle Orthopedics) in July. It has been a big shift for me, as I am not seeing patients directly. The great news is I love the new job; the bad news is I sit too much and my body is growing in ways I am not really pumped up about. Durham downtown YMCA has become my new home after work!” Betsy sent out a Facebook plea for snail mail to her new home address, and Carol Brinkhous Wertz dutifully answered her high school friend’s request and

sent her a family Christmas card. Carol is living Cramerton, NC, and definitely wins the full house award: daughter Syndey, 14, two Friesian horses, two cats and one dog. She is on the go, writing that she is “riding, weaving (about to take a College Mastery class), child transporting and cheerleading at husband’s marathon and ultraraces.” Cyndy Allen Logan is a senior consultant and project manager for Bank of America. “My boyfriend and I travel a lot to just about anywhere we are feeling up to going. Lately we have been to Florida, NYC, Boone/Blowing Rock and Hilton Head. My brother and I carried on our parents’ Iron Dukes membership and we go to most football and basketball games. I am also a PSL owner for the Carolina Panthers and actually live three blocks from the stadium in Uptown Charlotte.” Sounds like a class reunion in the making! Juan Pérez-Fontan says hello from Huelva, Spain. He has been working for the health and safety department of an oil refinery for the past nine years. His girlfriend has three kids, and Juan is planning to send the 17-year-old to the United States and the 15-year-old to Ireland this year. Susannah Paletz shares that she is working at the University of Maryland as a research faculty doing multidisciplinary social science research. “I do psychology but work with linguists, computer scientists and statisticians.” Susannah shared a glimpse of her 6-year-old daughter’s personality. “She is determined, expressive and very verbal, and already loves musicals from Hamilton to My Little Pony.

She sings Jack Black’s ‘Tribute’ with her dad, and dances to Sia with me. She also loves art and science, especially anything that involves desserts or things changing color.” Susannah sees Meg (Margaret) Harrelson every month or two. Meg lives in Virginia and has nine-year-old fraternal twins. Leigh Taylor Koch sent a short note, but sounds like everything is going well. “Having an amazing year in Rhode Island and very excited to be moving to Germany this summer!” Lastly, finishing our class update with Hope Boykin. She is amazing. We have been out of high school for over 25 years and she is still performing in the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, now in her 18th year with the company. Hope reports that she self-published a book of her poetry and prose, called Moments By Hope. “I’m continuing to work to create, educate and motivate as much as I can.” She says that she ran into Megan Guthridge Hyatt in Berkeley, CA, Stephanie Kong in Kansas, and Leigh Kramer LaFalce in Atlanta. Hope sends blessings to everyone and when she is not traveling, she looks forward to seeing you in New York or at a DA function. Thanks to everyone for giving me an update. I look forward to hearing from everyone again soon.

1991

Torsie Judkins torsiejudkins@gmail.com Torsie Judkins — Bria and I are now in our 10th year in the greater NYC area. Our twin daughters are just wrapping up a very successful year of

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kindergarten at the independent school where she works. We flirted with moving back down south but it looks like we are New Yorkers for the long hall. I try to spend as much time with DA alums in the area, Johnny Rosenthal ’90, Hilary Carson ’92, Doug Dicconson ’91, Charlie Shipman ’92, John Ross ’88, and the all the Brodies in the area. Jonathan Tsipis — “ As you know the last year has been a whirlwind.  After four years as the head women’s basketball coach at George Washington University, I received the offer to take over the program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last spring. It was bittersweet to leave GW after two regular seasons and two Atlantic 10 Championships and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The opportunity to coach at one of the top universities in the country as well as a great place for Leigh and me to raise our daughter Emily (12) and son Joshua (10) was a dream come true. We were fortunate to have Torsie and Bria Judkins visit us in Madison with twins and show off the Kohl Center. Torsie got to take some of the jumpers (I passed it to him of course) and took home some brand-new shoes as well! We hosted an incoming DA student Rob Jenkins ’16 during the season and hope he will help us in the women’s basketball office next season. We still follow all DA sports from Wisconsin and if anyone is in Madison please look us up. On Wisconsin!” Ben Marks — “Living in Atlanta the last 20 years with my awesome wife and two boys, rising sixth and eighth graders. Last

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Class of 1992

year, I made a was when I left Reunion career change Birmingham DURHAM ACADEMY and bought a to move to HOMECOMING small business Durham — OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 that’s in the glad things Spread the word. video mystery worked out Register at www.da.org/alumni. shopping as they did, industry. We send in pretend although I wasn’t happy to be customers with hidden cameras new to DA in 1984 — it was to evaluate employees — sort great to see everyone at reunion of like Undercover Boss. I’m in the fall!” Laura Ritchie enjoying being my own boss Taliaferro — “I am working and working with different in my 11th year at W. H. Taylor types of clients. And except for Elementary School in Norfolk, the traffic and hot summers, VA, as the speech-language all is good in Atlanta!” Nicole pathologist. I work part-time Ramsdell — “We are still and am busy the rest of the time in Charlotte but I am now with Lawson (age 13 — headed in-house counsel for Belk. to high school!) and Bo (age The kids are now nine and 11 — headed to seventh grade), five, busy with tae kwon do, primarily serving as their swimming, dance and soccer. chauffeurs to and from sporting So basically, we (the adults) events and social activities. My have no social life.” Lee husband, Lloyd, and I have lived Sullivan — “I’m still living in in Norfolk 11 years now and still London and working on visual love being near the water and not effects in films; I’ve changed too far from Durham.” Laura companies several times in Horton Virkler — “We recent years but now I’m at moved back from Singapore an Oscar-winning company last summer and are settling called Double Negative, having back into life in Durham. We recently worked on a digital renovated a house in Hope Valley medieval city on Assassin’s on the golf course and all three Creed, the alien creature on kids are back at DA (grades 9, 6 LIFE, and now digital cities and 3 so we manage to have one and alien creatures on Pacific on each campus this year). Back Rim 2. Our two girls are in on the board of trustees at DA elementary school here in the and Hill Center (where two of UK; sometimes they correct our kids attend) and chairing the my American accent and B&G committee at DA which vocabulary, and I am reminded is fun since we’re preparing to that I speak merely a dialect break ground June 12 on the of the Queen’s English. It’s new US STEM and Humanities getting harder for us to come building — to replace the old back to visit the US now that Pizza Hut building — as well as we have to pay four full seats the double-decker building next on the flight … we haven’t been to the fine arts building. We are back in three years!” Virginia also preparing a strategic plan to Reves Hall — “I’m teaching totally redo the Middle School my daughter fifth grade history campus so fun getting some of at DA … she is now the age I the old-school teachers like Mr.

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Dahlgren and Mrs. Engebretsen and Mr. Bryson (who’s now teaching my 6th grader!) together with some of the new teachers and getting them to envision a new campus! Everyone’s going to need to come back to campus and see all the changes that have taken place here over the last 26 years! It’s definitely improved with age (unlike some of us!).” Gene Vann — “Still living in Oakland and teaching at the same school since 2002. Our oldest will be moving into second grade next year and youngest has one more year of daycare. Still teaching, but now in a quasiadmin role of sustainability coordinator at the school, which has been interesting. Wife is in the financial tech world and commutes to the city each day. I will be teaching over the summer in a program at UC Berkeley, so little rest ahead. Got more gray hair and not working out as much I would like, but happy in life. Parents retired to Nashville, TN, so the connection to Durham is sadly fading, but still, have good memories of the place.” Cory Johnston — “Happily married with two boys and a dog and a job in the mountains of Oregon.” Christy Sporleder Rosas — “Bryce Saba is graduating from DA next weekend. He will be attending Duke University. This is Roland’s cousin’s son. Still with State Parks … Working on bond projects. Boys are playing rugby and soccer in the same season.” Douglas Dicconson — “In the past few years, I am running into DA alums everywhere. My wife and I, with our two boys, recently moved and our new neighbor is Charles Shipman. We’re fairly

certain that my son Parker and his daughter Lola, both 5, are engaged to be wed in the spring of 2038. I’m still loving my work producing short films for clients such as Hilary Sparrow, although she is a little further away (in Seattle) at Microsoft. I spent the day after this winter’s blizzard sledding with my two boys and Torsie Judkins with his twin girls. It’s magical watching kids grow up alongside the children of people you grew up with!” Allison McWilliams — “Working at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem as Assistant VP, Mentoring and Alumni Personal & Career Development. Been back at Wake since 2010; it’s great to occasionally run into Clint Acrey and Kathy Oakes over here. Traveling a bit for work, running a bit for fun/health, generally speaking, life is good!”

1995

Martha Rundles Palmer marthapalmer76@yahoo.com As many of us jump into our 40s this year, there is much to report from the Class of ’95! Writing from Houston, Texas, Suzanne Perrault Blakely reports: “Baby Ellie is 16 months old and she is so much fun. I have decided to take a break from teaching and stay home with Ellie next year, which should be challenging and rewarding in a totally new way.” She has a number of plans to see DA buddies this summer. Kristen Hughey Bowie is living on the North Shore of Chicago with her husband, Ryan, and three children: Lily (11), Grace (9) and Liam (7). She went back to teaching part-time this year, and as always, looks forward to being in Durham


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this summer. She writes: “My oldest daughter has become very involved in a local theater group and I’ve thought many times about Mr. Singdahlsen, and the great memories I have from his theater classes at Durham Academy.” Elizabeth Richey Thompson lives with her husband, Bennett, and two children, Reeves (age 8) and Lane (6), in Denver, Colorado. She runs her own architecture firm, focusing mainly on residential work, though recently landed her first commercial job. She and her family love the Colorado lifestyle: spending the warmer months fly fishing, hiking and camping; and the winter ones skiing. They love visitors if you’re ever out west! Rheanna Platt and her husband, Andy Beiderman, welcomed Henry to the world on June 27, 2016. He’s learning how to keep up with his brother Paul, now age 4. Liz Kay writes: “Jeremy and I are happy and doing well! I’m still teaching at the Williston-Northampton School and coaching varsity basketball at Wahconah Regional High School. I was lucky enough to receive a faculty summer travel grant, and we are in the midst of trying to plan a trip to Montana (which has always been on my bucket list). If it works out, I’m hoping to reunite with Kathy Sanders Bekedam ’94. I’ve been in contact with other DA alum this year as well. I had the chance to see and catch up with Charlotte Haynes ’97 at Thanksgiving, and enjoy frequent banter with Holly Frost Stripling ’95.” I (Martha Rundles Palmer) am juggling work-life balance with two young kids and a writing job at Memorial Sloan

Kettering in NYC. Steve and I love Connecticut, but our favorite weekend of the year is with the kids in Durham at the Duke Gardens! Wishing all of you a wonderful 40th!

1996

Kimberly Judge Sandridge kjsandridge@gmail.com First, I want to thank William vonReichbauer for being our class recorder for the past decade. He did a wonderful job, and I hope to be as thorough as he has been. For this set of notes, I asked classmates to share where they are living and what they love about that place. Here’s what I found out, plus some other fun updates. Dan Forringer lives in Durham and loves being near family and friends, Duke basketball, a great school to teach at, as well as, being close to the beach and mountains. Christon Halkiotis lives in Greensboro and writes: “I’ve been a prosecutor with the Guilford County DA’s Office for 13 years now. I am excited to be serving as the 2017-2018 president-elect of the Junior League of Greensboro. Every day is a welcome challenge, a learning opportunity, and a chance to lead! I also serve on the North Carolina Corgi Picnic Committee to help put on our annual picnic where we raise funds to donate to CorgiAid, Inc., a charity which helps corgis and corgi mixes in rescue with medical needs. In addition, I’ve been working in the social media world with my own corgi puppy, Orso, who is a pet influencer. You can find him on Instagram @churchilly.” Louella Hung

lives in Chicago and loves it “because it’s metropolitan and has everything I could want (except for Bojangle’s), and it’s got a Midwestern, friendly feel. The biggest news is that my husband and I just welcomed our first child, Blake!” Heather Kolakowski just moved into a new house in Ithaca, New York, and writes: “I have been teaching at The School of Hotel Administration for 2.5 years now and love being part of my alma mater. Most recently, I received the Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship for 20172018 to enhance the service learning project for my elective: Hunger, Health and Nonprofit Social Enterprise addressing food insecurity in New York’s Southern Tier. Our new home has a stocked pond, so I am looking forward to teaching my 2.5-year-old son how to fish this summer.” Anna Larson lives in Durham and loves how it has changed. She says she can’t keep up with all of the new restaurants. Anna just ran a half-marathon in Nashville with Emily Soper and Katie Vann Peck. Doug MacIntyre reports that he and wife and Kalyn still live in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he has taken command of NOAA’s high altitude “Hurricane Hunter” G-IV aircraft and has been promoted to the to the rank of commander. They are quite busy raising their children, Malcolm and Helen, who will turn 3 in September, as the twins rarely provide a dull moment. Doug writes, “As some of you may know, Malcolm was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord tumor in December of 2015 which, after a successful surgery to remove it, left him paralyzed

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from the waist down. He is improving every day, however, the road is long and slow. His spirit and determination are both humbling and inspiring as he continues to regain both control and sensation. He is quite an impressive little guy, and we are surrounded by hope and encouragement. Thank you all for your love and support and don’t be a stranger if you find yourself in south Florida.” Eva Tayrose Novick lives in Portland, Oregon, and writes: “I love living here because of the diverse and beautiful natural beauty, how easy it is to get fresh local produce (Portlandia doesn’t exaggerate much, since most local restaurants tell you from which local farms they source their produce and meat), and how family-friendly the area is. I don’t like how much traffic has increased over the past 13 years since the infrastructure hasn’t changed much, but Portland has been a top destination to move to for a number of years.” Hannah Fortune-Greeley Taukobong and her husband Pule welcomed their first child, Liam, on Oct. 12. I’ve held him and can vouch for his cuteness! William vonReichbauer and his wife live in Houston, Texas, where he is busy playing music and teaching (high school geometry, this year). As for me, Kimberly Judge Sandridge, I live in Silver Spring, Maryland, with my husband (Norman) and 3-yearold daughter (Sibyl) and love it for its proximity to Washington, DC, and the combination of urban and suburban feel. I have been working as a trial/litigation consultant for the past 15 years

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:

Kyle Nevins ’98​

F

or Kyle Nevins ’98, working in Congress for 10 years was much like earning a graduate degree in federal government affairs, and since 2015 he’s been putting that expertise to use in a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm he started with three former colleagues.

RIGHT: Kyle Nevins said most of his non-work hours are spent chasing little ones. BELOW: Nevins and his wife, Kristan, are the parents of Eli, 2, and Curtis, who was born this fall.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from DA? A: Following DA, I graduated from Duke in 2002 and moved to Washington, D.C., in search of a job in politics. I landed an entry-level position with then-House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and spent six years on his staff before joining then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia for four years. In 2013, I left the Hill and government employment to join a mid-sized government affairs (a.k.a. lobbying) firm. Most importantly, I met my wife, Kristan (a Texan), in Washington, and we married in August of 2008. Not surprisingly, five DA graduates were groomsmen at our wedding: William Kimbrell ’98, Adam Lang ’98, Ben Lehman ’98, Jason Sholtz ’99 and my brother, Patrick ’03. Kristan and I are the parents of two boys, Eli (2) and Curtis (8 months), and live in the Palisades neighborhood of D.C.

Q: What are you doing now? A: In January of 2015, I started my own lobbying firm with three friends and former colleagues, called Harbinger Strategies. We’ve been open for just over two years and love the entrepreneurship of self-employment. I also serve on the Board of Advisors at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. I’m clearly no academic, but it does afford me an opportunity to provide the school and its students with a practitioner’s perspective.

Q: Why do you do what you do? A: Because I’m only employable in D.C. That’s partly a bad joke, but mostly rooted in fact. Working in Congress is much like earning a graduate degree. It prepares one for a very specific industry — in my case, federal government affairs — and there are very few places in the country to practice federal government affairs. Thankfully, I happen to enjoy this city.

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Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A: I have relied more heavily than anything else throughout my career on my writing skills and critical analysis ability. Those were both stressed and honed at DA, and I have the faculty, past and present, to thank. Though every English and history teacher influenced me greatly along the way, the late Robert Mulgrew likely had the greatest impact.

Q: What are your interests away from work? A: Most of our non-work hours are spent chasing little ones, so I can’t say we take much advantage of the culture this city has to offer. But we do like to travel, catch an occasional Nats game (even with Ulku-Steiner and Tim McKenna), and spend time on the golf course. Sadly, playing baseball and basketball are no longer a part of my daily routine, much to the dismay, I’m sure, of coaches Reg and Adair. My younger brother, Patrick ’03, recently moved to the area, and he is often at the house riling up our boys and otherwise offering plenty of entertainment.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you? A: Though Kristan and I are adopted residents of D.C., our boys are actual Washingtonians, and we look forward to raising them here over the long term. Back in North Carolina, my parents have retired and have recently sold our family home in Chapel Hill. They’re now in the process of moving to South Carolina, so we may not be down quite as much. But, my older sister, Kristen, and her family are still in Durham, as are many DA friends (and Duke basketball), so we have plenty of reason to return.


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ABOVE: April Bullard Beaupain ’99, husband Matt and sons Aiden, 11, Griffin, 2, and baby Paxton enjoy living in the Bay Area.

ABOVE: Bryan Tyler ’97 keeps busy in Raleigh with Cole, 5, Ryan, 7 months, and Alison, 3.

but am making a career change. This summer I will be training to be a Montessori primary teacher (for ages 3-5) at the Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies and will begin a teaching internship at Barrie in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the fall.

1997

Kadi Thompson kadithompson@gmail.com Charlie Hart reports that after spending a few years back in Brooklyn, he and his wife and son moved to Bondi in Australia. With a new job, new country and a new baby on the way, 2017 is quite the big year! They have been enjoying the city of Sydney so far and all of the natural

beauty surrounding it. After a short two years in Austria, Brooke Staton has decided to move to Colorado for one year to pursue another master’s, this time in early childhood education. After that she’ll decide on whether she’ll stay and work in the U.S. or choose a new country. After 11 years living abroad she’s not 100 percent certain she wants to settle down in the U.S., but one year for school will fly by. Bryan Tyler and his family, including Cole (5), Ryan (7 months) and Alison (3) are all living the dream in Raleigh. Ashley Horton Freedman and her family live in Durham, where two of their three children attend Durham Academy. She encourages everyone to come back to Durham and DA and see how it

has changed. It her big sister Class of 1997 is really a fun Grace (6) Reunion place to raise a and brother DURHAM ACADEMY family. Morgan Josh (8). Sara HOMECOMING Edwards has been OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 Whaley also keeping busy Spread the word. lives in Durham with the new Register at www.da.org/alumni. and has a son, baby and also Charlie, in Ashley’s daughter’s coaching Grace’s softball team! third grade class and another Josh Lewis is currently the son, Jackson, in first grade, so US Architecture Team Lead they get to see each other a good for a Danish Pharmaceutical bit. Katie McClay is still living Engineering firm named in Chicago and working at Leo NNE. Jordan starts kindergarten Burnett. She and her husband, at Durham Academy in the Brady, welcomed their second fall. They live in Chapel Hill and son, Elliott Dawson, last May. things are going well. I, Kadi Most of their non-work hours are Thompson, am still in the Bay spent chasing Elliott and their Area but decided to quit my job oldest son, Andrew (3). Because in April and take a well-deserved of this, they haven’t taken any self-care sabbatical! I’m kicking exciting trips recently … rather off the summer with an eightshe feels lucky to have time for day silent meditation retreat in a cup of coffee and to be able Marin County. After that, I’m to read the paper! Sara Mayes heading to Europe for a month, Kaplan and her family live hitting up Barcelona, Stockholm, in Franklin, Tennessee. They Italy and then finishing it off welcomed their third (and last!) with a two-week trek through child in July. Claire James joins continued on page 91

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:

Dr. Teresa Bejan ’02​

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s an associate professor of political theory at England’s University of Oxford, Dr. Teresa Bejan ’02 has been pretty busy these last few months. Her new book, Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration, published in January, examines what a tolerant and civil society looks like through the historical lens of 17th-century debates about religious toleration. Bejan’s study of “the tenuous balance between diversity and disagreement” proved particularly timely, landing her in the spotlight during the post-election season in publications like The New York Times.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from DA? A: As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, I fell in love with the history of political thought and never looked back. After graduating in 2006, I did my M.Phil. at Cambridge and then my Ph.D. in political science at Yale. I spent another year at Cambridge doing research before graduating from Yale with distinction in 2013. My thesis won the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award for the best doctoral dissertation in political philosophy in the country, and it’s since become the basis of my book, Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration, published by Harvard University Press this year. After graduating Yale, I was lucky to get a tenure-track job in a very tough job market. I did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia before TOP: Teresa Bejan ’02 lives in England, where she is an associate professor of starting as an assistant professor at political theory at the University of Oxford. BOTTOM: Bejan’s new book, Mere Civility: the University of Toronto. In 2015, I Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration, has proved particularly timely, landing her accepted a permanent job at Oxford in the spotlight during the post-election season. and was elected as the final Balzanhas proven a bit too timely. It’s been getting attention from Skinner Fellow in Modern Intellectual History at Cambridge. popular outlets like The New York Times, as well as scholarly ones, and so I’ve been giving interviews and trying to bring Q: What are you doing now? some historical perspective to current events. I’ll be going on a A: From Cambridge to New York, then Toronto, now I’m back book tour throughout the U.S. in March and April. in the U.K. as an associate professor of political theory and a fellow of Oriel College at Oxford. I teach a wide range of courses Q: Why do you do what you do? in political theory and intellectual history to undergraduate and A: Even in the face of increasing bureaucratization, being a graduate students from around the world. professor is still the best job in the world. For me, it’s also a My first book, Mere Civility, was published in January and

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DA ALUM NI

vocation. I want to contribute to the same intellectual awakening in my students that I experienced at the University of Chicago. Reading great works of political philosophy is an excellent way to puncture complacency — about the righteousness of one’s own political views, for instance, or about the obviousness or stability of the achievements of liberal democracy. The realization that Plato is smarter than you (and all of your teachers, too!) is a salutary one for any modern citizen or would-be politician. Sadly, the teaching of these texts and their history is being marginalized in many politics departments and universities. My calling is to keep the tradition alive, and to model for students how precious, important and exciting it is.

Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A: My time at DA was formative and often challenging. I cut my teeth during my somewhat controversial tenure as editorials editor for The Green and White (before I was fired, of course) and as an organizer of the student-run One Act Play festivals. And I learned a lot from wonderful teachers like Dave Gould, Steve Davis, Anne McNamara, David Marcus and Debbie McCarthy, both in and outside the classroom. Performing in Mrs. McCarthy’s Middle School musicals was a particular highlight, as was the timetraveling musical based on Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom that Mr. Gould (who is dearly missed) let us submit in lieu of a final paper for AP Modern European History. It will no doubt form the basis of my lectures on the Frankfurt School next fall.

Q: What are your interests away from work? A: Music, still! I sang a cappella all throughout college and grad school and have been a member of a number of folk and swing ensembles (and a ukulele cover band) in the U.K. I love walking the English countryside, and when I’m in Durham, Forest Hills.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you? A: I’ll spend 2018 on leave from Oxford to work on my next book, Acknowledging Equality, which explores ideas of equality before egalitarianism. I suspect it may be timely, too. • Find out more about Bejan’s work on www.teresabejan. com • Follow Bejan on Twitter @tmbejan

the Swiss Alps. Then … we’ll see. Shoot me an email with any recommendations!

1999

Nina Jacobi nina.jacobi@gmail.com Amar Goli and Naomi Lan were married this past year in Carmel, California. Aaron Moon, Tanner Hock, Charlie MacIntyre and Johnny Seivold were among the groomsmen. “As you can see, all my best friends are still my boys from Durham Academy,” he says. Amar is still living in Los Angeles, working in commercial real estate as a vice president at CBRE in the LA North Office. He focuses on investment properties nationwide, primarily retail and industrial deals — including some work in North Carolina. April Bullard Beaupain and her husband welcomed their second son, Paxton, this spring. “I’m outnumbered now with all boys,” she says. April and her family are still enjoying San Francisco. “If anyone visits the Bay Area, I’d love to see them and catch up!” Margaret Jones has returned to Seattle after her fellowship last year. In her role at Harborview Medical Center, she takes care of patients with neurological injury after trauma, particularly people with spinal cord injuries. Margaret is still exploring the Pacific Northwest and gets back to Durham whenever she can to visit friends and family. Mike Dolan has been enjoying his work at John Deere over the last five years and is currently a territory sales manager covering northern Louisiana. Mike and his family

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live in Monroe, Louisiana. Mike, his wife, Natasha, and boys Grant (3) and Drew (2) are very excited about another baby arriving around Halloween. Daniel Raimi continues working on energy and environmental policy, teaching at the University of Michigan and working with the DC-based think tank Resources for the Future. He’ll be publishing his first book, The Fracking Debate, with Columbia University Press in January 2018. It is great to hear from all of you! Please keep in touch.

2000

Robert Allen robertfallenii@gmail.com 2016 … man-oh-man, what a year, huh? But let’s talk 2017 and what you and your classmates have been up to. I’ve been lucky enough to catch up with a few of you in my travels: Ben Berchuck in a Notre Dame bar in NYC during a Duke game; John Harlow, with a belly full of galbi, in the parking lot of a Korean restaurant in K-town (LA); and Joey Selim at a (car) window repair shop in Oakland. Carrie White Trumbower lives in Durham with her husband and two sons, age 2 and 4. Carrie is a nurse practitioner, specializing in dermatology and medical aesthetics. Alivia Sholtz Archer, also in Durham, enjoys catching up with our classmates when she can. Just the other night, she had dinner with Wendy Stiles Brooslin, Jessica Crowe Whilden and Susan Knott Easterling — she hopes to see you (and me) in Durham soon. Jessica, as she

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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:

Samantha Everette ’03​

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or Durham Academy alumna Samantha Everette ’03, getting paid to travel around the world, design shoes and shop may have once seemed like a dream. But as a China-based shoe designer, that’s what she does every day, and she now has her eye on becoming an entrepreneur.

RIGHT: Samantha Everette ’03 is based in China and manages to travel frequently. “I’ve been to 24 countries so far and I’m just getting started.” BELOW: Everette said she has a dream job. “I get to shop for shoes and play with shoes all day.”

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from DA? A: After DA, I attended the College of Design at N.C. State University. I graduated summa cum laude with a degree in industrial design. I moved to New York a few months after graduation and started working for a footwear brand called Me Too. I left that company a few years later and I now work for Camuto Group, one of the largest footwear licensing companies in the shoe industry. I’ve designed for brands such as Jessica Simpson, Saks Off 5th, Bebe, White House | Black Market, Nordstrom, Dillard’s and Sole Society.

Q: What are you doing now? A: Now I am working in Dongguan, China, as a design director. I manage the development and pre-production of Camuto’s Private Label Division. Private label means that we make the shoes, but we put someone else’s name in it.

Q: Why do you do what you do? A: Because what woman doesn’t love shoes? I have a dream job. I get paid to shop for shoes and play with shoes all day.

Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A: Being a minority at DA really prepared me for cultural experiences that I would have later in life. There were only six or so other black American students in my 2007 class [at N.C.State] … and now there are maybe six or so black Americans in the entire city where I currently live. So I’m comfortable being the odd man out. I prefer to be immersed in a culture that is different from my own. Being different from the norm is difficult when you are a teenager, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons being forced to work through uncomfortable situations.

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The relationships that I had with the students and teachers at DA also set me up for success. I feel like DA has a strong emphasis on positive interactions between the students and the faculty. I met a lot of people in college that were too intimidated to talk with their professors. I’ve also had coworkers that are too intimidated to speak with their managers. I feel like the communication skills that I learned at DA afford me the confidence to speak to everybody. I also wouldn’t be where I am without the Arts Department. I still remember some of my elementary art classes … I can still hear our second-grade art teacher’s voice “slip and score” and “calm, cool and collected.” Having a strong foundation in fine arts allowed me to transition very easily into the role of designer.

Q: What are your interests away from work? A: I am a travel nut! I’m usually flying somewhere once or twice a month. I’ve been to 24 countries so far and I’m just getting started.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you? A: I’d like to become more of an entrepreneur. I’ve worked for some very business-savvy people, and I would love to follow in their footsteps.


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ABOVE: Nancy Mountcastle Wall ’03 and her husband are the parents of identical twin daughters, Hannah and Laney.

says, is “still married, still two kids (Caroline, 3½, and Michael, 1), still teaching kindergarten at DA” … she even teaches Sarah Graham Motsinger’s daughter — small, small world it is. Lee Patterson lives in Durham as well, where he works as a corporate attorney at Morningstar Law Group in Raleigh. He spends most of his time keeping up with his two energetic children, one of whom will be a third-generation student at Durham Academy kindergarten in the fall. Keeping it close to Pickett Road, Meredith Williams Chilausky and her husband will have closed on her first house by the time you read this. She is really excited to be “putting down roots in the area.” She never thought that after undergrad at UGA, law school at Mercer in Macon, GA, and living and working at a big law firm in Atlanta, that she would end up back in Durham permanently. Kyle Lavin, his wife, Lindsay, and their 2-year-old daughter moved back to Chapel Hill last August.

Kyle is working as a palliative care doctor at UNC. Peter Hart is still living in Brooklyn, NY, and working as an actor and location manager in films, TV, commercials and Colombian soap operas … in that order. He, despite what his NY driver’s license says, is “forever 29.” Oh yeah, and he’s “proud” of the UNC Tar Heels for whatever reason. Speaking of “proud” Tar Heels, Nav Mahal, who “STILL prefers cucumbers to pickles,” likes to brine his chicken breasts in pickle juice. Caroline (Amy Simms) Kibsey and Mike Kibsey live in Herndon, Virginia, with 9-year-old Michael and 2-year-old Veronika. Amy works for the Defense Department as a Northeast Asia analyst, a job which is keeping her very busy lately. Over the past year she has traveled to Hawaii and Okinawa for work, but is now looking forward to her firstever trip to South Carolina this August to see the Aug. 21 solar

eclipse from Myrtle Beach. Clare Norwood, longtime reader and first-time writer, is on sabbatical from online dating (I think we’ve all been there, Clare) and has recently gotten bitten by the marathon bug. She recently completed her second race and also bought a “total dump but a gem of a house” that should be ready for classmate visits in the next year(ish). Emily Ballard Williams moved to Portland, where her husband will be working at NATO as a part of the U.S. Army. They’ll be there at least two years, maybe three … they were excited to leave El Paso, TX, and see trees and seasons. Emily is expecting her fourth child in October. Lauren Cavallito Lippman, not one to over-celebrate, has “nothing super exciting to note” other than she and her husband having their second son, Tucker Samuel, in February. She has been co-chairing her older son’s annual preschool auction, which has pretty much become a full-time gig for her. Last summer, she checked a big box on her travel bucket List, with a vacation to Crete where they visited the palace of Minos at Knossos. Megan Huggins, a self-proclaimed “starving artist,” is doing the best she can rescuing/ saving/adopting kittens/cats with the Independent Animal Rescue and appreciates, like we all should, “family” — biological and otherwise. Another longtime reader/first-time writer, Matt Harris, has lived in Miami/ Ft. Lauderdale area since 2003, where he is an audio engineer instructor at the SAE Creative Media Institute in Miami. Last year, he completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering

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and was also blessed with the opportunity to be involved with a record that was certified gold by RIAA last August. When you’re “married to the game,” as Matt says, good things happen.

2001

Amelia Ashton Thorn amelia.a.thorn@gmail.com Allison Kirkland allison.kirkland@gmail.com As so many of us are spread across the globe, we absolutely love hearing from all of you each year and having an excuse to pop up in your email inboxes to say hello! It’s fun to press send and then wait to see what fun news comes pouring into our Gmail accounts. It’s hard to believe that another year has passed, but we have gathered up more good news from our classmates and we are so excited to share it with you! Let’s start with the locals this year. Orla Buckley O’Hannaidh is still working as a privacy/IP attorney with Womble Carlyle in RTP. She welcomed her second son, Ronan Buckley O’Hannaidh, in November, and we can tell you that he has the biggest, cutest eyes you’ve ever seen. Caroline Mage, who continues to work remotely for MDRC as a research analyst while living in Durham, also brought another bundle of cuteness into the world this year — her son Lucas. It’s a baby boom this year for those in the Triangle, as Mike Munson reports that his son Chase was born in August of last year. Mike is living in Chapel Hill with his wife, Sophia (whom he met in law school at William & Mary), and is an estate planning and

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Princeton University

John Pardon works on numerous math problems at once, moving between them as he makes or doesn’t make progress. “The most satisfying part of doing mathematics is to find a beautiful proof or a beautiful theorem. I can only hope that I have succeeded in a small way in this respect.”

John Pardon ’07 Receives Top National Award for Young Scientists John Pardon ’07 has received the National Science

Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, the nation’s highest honor for scientists and engineers younger than 35. The award carries a five-year, $1 million grant. A professor of mathematics at Princeton University, Pardon was recognized for “revolutionary, groundbreaking results in geometry and topology” that “have extended the power of tools of geometric analysis to solve deep problems in real and complex geometry, topology and dynamical systems,” according to the prize citation. He was selected along with Baratunde Cola, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. Pardon explores problems in geometric topology — which is the study of properties of shapes that are preserved under continuous deformations — and related fields, including symplectic geometry, differential geometry and low-dimensional topology. He was valedictorian of Princeton’s Class of 2011 and joined Princeton’s faculty in 2016 after serving as an assistant professor of mathematics at Stanford University. Pardon established himself as an accomplished mathematician from an early age. While at Durham Academy, he took math courses at Duke University and excelled in numerous national and international math competitions, including winning a gold medal at the International Olympiad in Informatics in three consecutive years. During his senior year at DA, he published his first paper, which generalized a previous solution to the carpenter’s rule problem in discrete geometry to closed curves. The paper won second place in the 2007 Intel (now Regeneron) Science Talent Search.

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During his senior year at Princeton, he wrote a paper that presented a solution to a knot-theory problem presented by mathematician Mikhail Gromov in 1983. Pardon’s solution was published in the journal Annals of Mathematics and brought him the 2012 Morgan Prize, which is considered one of the highest mathematics honors for undergraduates. Pardon attributes his devotion to math to the elegance the discipline can exhibit. His current projects include counting intersections in certain high-dimensional spaces, for which he has developed a framework for defining intersection numbers. “My main personal motivation to work on problems in mathematics is aesthetic,” Pardon said. “The most satisfying part of doing mathematics is to find a beautiful proof or a beautiful theorem. I can only hope that I have succeeded in a small way in this respect.” Pardon works on numerous problems at once, he said, moving between them as he makes progress — or doesn’t, he said. “Most of the time I spend working on a problem is spent being frustrated and/or unable to make progress,” he said. “At such times, it is helpful to have a number of different problems in mind, and the wide diversity of problems in different areas of mathematics is another aspect of the field I find attractive and enjoyable.” Pardon received his doctorate in mathematics from Stanford in 2015. That same year, he was appointed a Clay Research Fellow through the Clay Mathematics Institute based in Oxford, United Kingdom. Outside of mathematics, Pardon is an accomplished cellist, having played the instrument since he was 6. He also is fluent in Chinese, which he studied while at Princeton. Editor’s note: This article is adapted from an article written by Morgan Kelly of the Office of Communications at Princeton University.


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Class of 2002

small business who recently Reunion lawyer with the bought a home DURHAM ACADEMY firm of Higgins, in Alexandria, HOMECOMING OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 Frankstone, VA — on Graves and Duke Street, no Spread the word. Register at www.da.org/alumni. Morris. Allison less, because Kirkland ran she takes into them recently at a brewery her Blue Devil fandom that in Durham and was excited to seriously. Amelia recently meet Chase! Allison is teaching started a new job as Assistant creative writing classes in General Counsel at the American Durham and recently became Chemistry Council in DC. Most engaged to her boyfriend Paul excitingly, she and her husband, Golightly (yes that’s his real Evan, welcomed their son, name!). She and Molly Kane Ashton, to the world on April 1, Frommer, Orla and Caroline 2017; the name was pretty easy grab dinner sometimes and to come up with. Anne Lacy really enjoy having community Gialanella relays that she is nearby. Recently re-joining also still in D.C. and recently the local DA alumni cohort is got to meet little Ashton (whom Jessica Streck Ortolano, who she reported was “adorable” just moved back from Baltimore — the co-writer of these notes and now works as an elementary thanks you, Anne!). Farther librarian at Ravenscroft (which north, in New York, is Maggie she acknowledged is DA’s McPherson Weir, who continues arch nemesis!). Katie Ballou to travel internationally as a Gardner, nearby in Salisbury, is lawyer with King and Spalding. keeping extremely busy juggling The travel is likely to slow a bit, her post as a kindergarten as Maggie is expecting her first ESL teacher with frequent half baby in July. Only a few West marathons. She ran her first Coasters emailed in this year, but full marathon at Oak Island they all had great news to share. North Carolina in February Hannah Farber gave birth to 2017. She’s happily married daughter Rina Miriam on March and was honored to be chosen 10, 2017! Her family will be as one of two educators from moving back to New York this North Carolina to become an summer as she joins the faculty at Apple Distinguished Educator. Columbia University as a history She was also a top five finalist professor. Brendan Bradley for Teacher of the Year in her never fails to chime in with his school district. Congratulations, news and thank us for keeping Katie! Misty Piekaar, who everyone so well informed. He works as a lawyer in Raleigh, reports that he is “living the wrote in with the fantastic news dream” at the moment, traveling that she was married on May 6, the world to film and screen 2017, to Matthew McWilliams his own movies. The novelty in Myrtle Beach. At the time of of seeing his commercials has her email, she was jetting off to still not worn off for us! Next Bermuda for their honeymoon. year is sure to bring more joyful Best wishes! Slightly to the news. Thanks to everyone who north is Amelia Ashton Thorn, contributed!

2003

Andrea Fjeld andreafjeld@gmail.com Every time I write these “class notes,” I am somehow surprised that another year has gone by and here we are, adults now, seemingly so far removed from our Cavalier days. And then I’m brought right back to making posters for Spirit Week, lunches with friends on the quads, learning (and laughing over) what “cleavage” — in the mineral sense — is in a seventhgrade science classroom, or lining up post recess yelling out “CTC.” Of course, “CTC” is now called “pre-kindergarten,” and many of those who were at DA way back when now have kids of their own old enough to be enrolled. Josh Considine offers an update on the past decade: After graduating from Case Western with a biomedical degree, he went to work as a reliability engineer for a Navy contractor in Maryland. Two years later his fiancée Meri joined him, and two years ago, they tied the knot. Their daughter, Margaret Cecelia, was born in mid-March. Their dogs are still adjusting to their expanded family. Will Halman is continuing his career in video. He bought his boss’s business last year and runs the small operation with a focus on teleprompting and speech prompting around the Triangle area and beyond. When not out on prompting gigs, he’s creating or coordinating closed captioning. Haley Lacefield Hall is getting ready to move from Cleveland to New Bern, where her husband will practice podiatry. They are excited to be coming home to the Tar Heel State. In another somewhat-recent homecoming, Mykas Degesys has returned to Durham, where he

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and his wife are expecting their first child in July. New parents might turn to Nancy Mountcastle Wall for advice. For the past year, she and her husband have been busy with their identical twin girls, Hannah and Laney. “Life is wonderful!” she says. Across the pond, Kyle Black is finishing his post-MBA rotational program at GSK. He’s just starting with a new team leading M&A and strategy projects for the incoming CEO. That will keep him in London until the end of 2018, he says. “After that, we’ll see!” And I’m still in New York (Brooklyn, of course) living with my boyfriend and aging cat in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood. I’m a copywriter at the Manhattan-based tech company LivePerson. In my spare time, I imagine how great it would be if I were more devoted to my short stories and children’s books instead of expanding my cooking repertoire with new vegetarian dishes and watching Broad City and getting too little sleep. Though I still marvel at it, I know the passage of time itself is unremarkable — and it’s the way in which it’s spent that’s worth writing about. To those of you who took the time to fill me in, thank you, again, for these notes and the memories they always evoke. And to the rest, well, I guess I’ll catch y’all on Facebook.

2005

Andrew Weinhold andrew.weinhold@gmail.com As usual, the Class of 2005 has been busy making memories and diving further into successful lives in the real world. Near and far, we continue to complete items from the adulthood checklist

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DA ALUMNI

Verle Regnerus is Honored for 25 Years Coaching Baseball

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aseball alumni, current players and their families

recognized Verle Regnerus’s contributions to Durham Academy baseball this spring when they dedicated a new scoreboard in his honor. Regnerus has stepped down as coach of varsity baseball but continues to help with the program. Former players on hand to surprise and honor Regnerus were (from left) Ian Niedel ’88, Brandon Regnerus ’13, Nick Livengood ’08, Regnerus, Jason Sholtz ’99, Aaron Therien ’15, Neil Cornwell ’15 and Adam Lang ’98.

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while doing our best to not feel old. For example, the wedding train keeps on rolling, as Emily Glick, MK Pope Hayward and Marshall Friedman each tied the knot recently. Emily is currently living in Chicago, where she just finished a theatrical production of Sweeney Todd. Her talents certainly don’t end there though, as she is also working on growing her own private voice studio and applying her acting skills to coaching sessions for business people who want to learn how to give effective presentations. MK got hitched to a Canadian named Peter Hayward in a Chapel Hill ceremony in April. The couple now live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and MK continues to love her job as a teacher. After teaching seventh and eighth grade writing for six years in Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, she will be changing jobs next school year to finally fulfill her lifelong dream of being a high school English teacher. Adding excitement to the opportunity of transitioning to 10th grade English, MK will actually have a chance to teach some former students from her last job. Marshall just recently married his former yoga teacher Xiu Hu, whom he met several years ago while working for Alibaba in China. They have been living in Durham, where he just graduated from the MBA program at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Marshall will be moving this summer to the adopted home of many Class of 2005 alums, New York City, to apply his newfound skills to an investment banking job. Next up in the wedding queue is Gabe Kussin, who is very excited to be getting married in July to Anna Orr, a fellow attorney he met in law school at

UNC-Chapel Hill. She works as a district attorney in Orange County, while he works a little farther down I-85 as an assistant public defender in the Guilford County Public Defender’s Office. Gabe adds: “It is a job that I absolutely love, despite the challenges of indigent defense in the criminal justice system, and I hope to be there for many more years.” The couple are definitely happy to settle in for their new life together in the area, as they just took the leap of buying their first house in Hillsborough. Bethany Walters is also enjoying life in the Triangle, as she recently started her first full-time job after a series of veterinary training programs. She now works as an emergency veterinarian at Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital in Durham, loves what she does, and hopes to run into some other DA alums in the area soon. Meanwhile, over in Raleigh, David Hutchings teaches middle school Spanish at Ravenscroft, while serving as the head coach of the middle school lacrosse team and an assistant coach on the varsity cross country team. As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he will be going to New York City for the next two summers to pursue a master’s in Private School Leadership at the Klingenstein Center at the Columbia Teachers College. Even with many alums settling down close to home, the international feel of this class has not been lost. Jamihlia Johnson, for example, must maintain a global perspective while working as an International Tax Associate at PWC Washington National Tax Service in D.C. She also recently started serving a four-year term as a State Advisory Committee Member (SAC) for the United States


DA ALUM NI

Commission on Civil Rights. This work involves collaborating with people in the District to address civil rights issues affecting the local community. For example, the committee brings light to issues involving sex trafficking and the lack of a vacatur statute to protect victims of trafficking who come forward to the authorities. Across the pond, Whitney Zimmerman “nerded it up” in March when he graduated from the University of Chicago’s London-based MBA program with high honors. He is dabbling in the startup world with a few classmates while still planning new model launches for BMW in Munich. He urges you all to think of him when you see the new BMW X3 on the road as of November.

2006

Imani Hamilton imani.hamilton@gmail.com I write after spending the weekend in Asheville for the awesome wedding of Jordan Schiff to Kendall Brobst, having had the pleasure of seeing Tyler Radtke, Peter Truskey, Andrew Liebelt ’05 and LaQuesa Gaillard. After getting the travel bug when we traveled together to Southeast Asia in 2015, LaQuesa lived in Ghana for 3 months in late 2016, enjoying learning through immersion. In January, she moved to Atlanta, and after visiting her in March, I can say she is absolutely flourishing. She is currently making her way in entertainment PR and, because I couldn’t possibly say it any differently, “forever trying to be superstar, adventuring, wizard of life who travels, loves and laughs a lot! Always missing my DA community and sending

you all well wishes!” Many congratulations to Drew Sutton! He and his wife welcomed their first child, John Andrew Sutton, into the world on April 7. “We are loving life as parents, but miss the sleep we used to have. We are enjoying life in Charlotte and I’m enjoying my job working for a small real estate investment firm focused on apartments. Life is good!” Michael Hutchings just wrapped up his first year of business school at Wharton. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with a business degree. Heather Hoffman is practicing as a pediatric dentist in Waldorf, Maryland, and I imagine laughing a ton with her little patients. She and her husband, Mohamed, live in Washington, D.C., as he finishes his OMFS residency. Nico Bollerslev was married in July 2016 to Justin Fox. They met through mutual friends in NYC, when he came to her housewarming party. They had their wedding at D’Angleterre and Nimb in Tivoli, in Copenhagen, and look forward to going back for their one-year anniversary. Nico started a new job at Facebook in April, joining the Global Marketing Solutions team, focused on analytics of travel accounts. Finally, she is halfway through a quest for “world marathon majors,” the six biggest marathons around the world. She’s finished the three domestic (NYC, Chicago, Boston) and hopes to finish the three international (Berlin, Tokyo, London) this year before turning 30! Christine Sailer is completing her third and final year of internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins. She will be a hospitalist at Johns Hopkins Hospital next year, and will then be applying into

cardiology! Kyle Sloate Kirkland is working as a PA in foot and ankle surgery at Duke. She and Rob Kirkland ’05 bought their first house and completely renovated it — real life! Rachel Pea is teaching 10th grade AP World History at a low-income charter school in Brooklyn. This past school year, she’s taken on a few new roles that have taught her a lot — and have kept her busy — from coaching the teachers in the history department to writing the APWH curriculum for the seven high schools in her charter network. She is really excited to attend senior signing day in a few weeks because watching her students “declare” their future college is such a rewarding and joy-filled moment! Another perk of the teacher life that she says she’ll never tire of is the endless opportunity to travel the world during the many school-year vacations! Conveniently, her husband works for the same charter school network, so they have enjoyed traveling to Spain and Mexico this year, and plan to travel to South Africa this summer! I, Imani Hamilton, would call 2017 a milestone year thus far and given what’s on the horizon. I spent two weeks in Japan in April with my fiancé and parents; highlights include celebrating my mom’s birthday during cherry blossom season in a 1,000-yearold Buddhist monastery. I am working in Google’s research and development lab for their new campus development, and I look forward to being able to share in a few years. This November, I’ll flip the 20-something page and turn 30, and maybe one day I’ll stop getting carded! And, most exciting of all, I am getting married to my

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love, Anthony Blout, this October in a historic train station in West Oakland. I’m already so looking forward to collecting family and friends, including plenty of DA alums, together for that weekend!

2007

Becki Feinglos Planchard rebecca.planchard@gmail.com The Class of 2007 is gearing up for our 10-year reunion in October — well, some of us are in denial, but that’s understandable. We’re spread across the country and the globe, so let’s get started with some updates first from the good ol’ North State, and move out from there. Kendall Bradley is finishing her second year of orthopedic surgery residency at Duke with another three years to go. In her vast amounts of down time, she added a rescue hound to the family. You can find Evan Donahue at another part of Duke’s campus, where he is in third year at the Computational Media, Arts & Cultures PhD program. Ashley Greenleaf just opened a new store for Triangle Cellular Repair not far from Duke’s campus on Ninth Street. She enjoys car racing, food, music and travel — she even got to visit Cameron Vann Davidson in Sweden! Sean Lee also enjoys traveling, but now he’s back in Durham full time after living in NYC for a year. He is working as a project manager in pharma. Caroline Wisner made the move back to Durham, as well, after having worked in graphic design in the Research Triangle. Alex Hearsey Barker and her husband welcomed their daughter, Dylan, in September 2016. Alex is currently working for Wake

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Class of 2007

An Artist Critiques Their Art

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vee Erb ’11, a multi-talented artist who graduated

from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Ceramics, returned to Durham Academy’s art studio this spring to critique the work of current DA students. Anne Gregory-Bepler said Erb met with students in her Introduction to 2D Art class and gave them “insightful, helpful feedback. She is really very talented at looking at student work.” Erb’s own artwork includes painting, drawing, ceramics, textile design and weaving.

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County Public pets, Robert Reunion Schools as a Brazer has the DURHAM ACADEMY teacher in a cutest miniHOMECOMING self-contained goldendoodle OCT. 13 & 14, 2017 autism puppy named Spread the word. classroom. Teddy. Other Register at www.da.org/alumni. Madalyn obviously less Baldwin recently changed important things in his life are: career paths after retiring from he is about to graduate with his a different kind of nursery than MBA from Wharton, he will Alex is used to seeing — she then move to Seattle to work retired from managing a garden for a small company called center and plant nursery to Amazon, and he has done some pursue a master’s degree in minor traveling like week-long landscape architecture. Madalyn sailing trips around Saint Martin is living in Chapel Hill, where and Anguilla. Update: He just among her many hobbies got engaged on May 13! Adam she maintains a collection of Marshall is an attorney at tropical plants. Jess Epstein the Reporters Committee for also has many hobbies, like Freedom of the Press in DC. He hiking, swimming, boxing and was recently named a “30 Under supporting her partner’s farm, 30” by Forbes for his efforts to all of which are easy to do in promote government transparency. Asheville. Jess designs websites Moving up to NYC, a few DA focusing on queer-owned ’07s call the Big Apple home. businesses and social justice Sarah Ransohoff is happily organizations. She also supports programming and improvising QORDS — a summer music her way through the city that camp for queer youth from the never sleeps. Blair Wilson lives South. Pat McLendon isn’t far with her partner and three cats from Asheville, completing his in Brooklyn, and is a literary intern year in Georgia in his first agent in Manhattan, representing year of practice as a physician. middle grade and young adult Soon, he’ll move to an internal fiction as well as adult nonfiction. medicine residency at a trauma Blair also works with publishers center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. around the globe to translate Back up in Nashville, Jamie authors’ works. After spending Gutter and his wife bought a some time in France, Andrew home. Jamie will soon be the Liebelt is back in the US living principal at Valor Collegiate in NYC with his girlfriend. He Academy, a charter middle is working at a tech startup, and school, where he has served enjoys writing, filming, acting as an assistant principal. Beth and eating everything the city Browning has a lot to celebrate, has to offer. Nellie Snyder is a as she is recently engaged, and little north of New York. She is was sworn into the Virginia Bar living in Vermont after having Association in December. The graduated from veterinary school, wedding is around the corner in and now works at a small clinic. October, and the happy couple Nellie shares her country home currently reside in Richmond with her boyfriend, goofy dog with their two cats. Speaking of and goofier cat. Margie Gudaitis


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calls Kansas home now, where she and her boyfriend work for the University of Kansas. Margie was just accepted into the master’s of higher education program at KU, so she will soon become a Jayhawk, officially. (But who will she root for come basketball season, I wonder? We’ll discuss at the reunion.) Two of our classmates are out in Texas. Anne Hart is living in Houston, and is the director of paid search at a digital marketing agency. She is also an aspiring dog owner. Michelle Sutton graduated with an MBA from UT-Austin’s McCombs School of Business in May 2016. She has been working at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group since graduation as a brand manager for Canada Dry. She is engaged to be married in October 2017 in Chapel Hill. Out west in Boulder, Colorado, Tara Gilboa works in higher education, building online learning experiences. Tara and her partner enjoy taking their dog on hikes, and she is even training for her second triathlon! And now for our classmates living internationally: Gracelee Lawrence just recently left Texas after finishing her MFA in sculpture at UT-Austin in May 2016. She is currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on a Luce Scholars Fellowship. She teaches contemporary art practice at Chiang Mai University, but will return to the US in the fall after two solo exhibitions in Asia. Terry Hsieh lives in Beijing, where he is a professional jazz musician and studio musician. Terry is the director of the Blue Note Beijing Jazz Orchestra. Grace Holtkamp has just finished her Ph.D. at Oxford University. She is starting a career in corporate communications and

public affairs in London, at the UK’s leading public affairs agency. She still manages to watch UNC basketball, even with the time zone difference. Cora Lavin lives in Venezuela, where she is an English teacher and teacher trainer. Given the country’s political instability, it took Cora three attempts to renew her visa, but was able to continue her work. Over breaks, Cora enjoys traveling, and has visited a total of 38 countries! Brooke Hartley Moy has been living in Melbourne, Australia, for the past year, but also loves to travel throughout the country and to other parts of Asia-Pacific with her husband. She warmly extends an open invitation to our class to come visit her. Brooke works for Slack, which gives her some opportunities to head back to the States for conferences. I, Becki Feinglos Planchard, was lucky enough to see Brooke for a total of 45 minutes during one of those conferences where we happened to overlap in San Francisco in March. I will graduate with a master’s in public policy from the University of Chicago Harris School this spring. I’ve spent the year working for the City of Chicago in early education, specifically on mayoral initiatives to increase pre-k enrollment across the city. I also have two dogs and a husband, and they’re all very important to me. That’s a wrap, folks! See you at the reunion in October!

2008

Samantha Leder leder.samantha@gmail.com Thanks to my classmates for letting me bug them year after year for updates. I appreciate everyone giving us a glimpse into your

outstanding lives. Ashley Brasier recently completed her first year of the MBA program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She plans to spend a portion of the summer working with Carlsberg in Vietnam. Jennifer Hambric is a digital marketing strategist at ABC11 Eyewitness News. This summer she looks forward to curating fun seminars in the Triangle area to help brands and small business owners leverage opportunities with branding, content development and a comprehensive digital strategy. Ben Hattem won a New York Press Club award and wrote a cover story for Politico Magazine. This fall, he will be starting at Stanford Law School as a 1L. Caitlin Burk graduated from the UNC School of Medicine in May and is thrilled to begin her training in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (where her mother also did her pediatrics residency) in June. She is excited to once again live in the same state as her sister, Laurel Burk ’09, though she thinks that the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins are significantly more fun to watch than the Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers. Leslie Ogden is entering her final year at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. While working full-time at a strategic communications and marketing firm, Leslie is able to apply her MBA studies in corporate social responsibility and sustainability to her day job, working with a global Fortune 100 company on sustainable agriculture programs, and also working with FEMA on climate change communications. Leslie is excited for a summer of travel celebrating DA weddings, and also consulting for a company in Spain

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on carbon pricing. Brennan Vail graduated from medical school at the University of California San Francisco this May and is continuing her training there as a pediatric resident physician. She is hoping to specialize in neonatology and is working on a team implementing and evaluating neonatal resuscitation simulation training in Bihar, India. Brennan is looking forward to marrying her fiancé, Chris Higgins, next summer. Emilia Sotolongo is excited to begin her third year of teaching at Neal Middle School in Durham. This year Emilia will serve as the ESL department chair as well as the head of the school improvement team. Emilia continues to volunteer with World Relief, a refugee resettlement agency in Durham, and works with local organizations to advocate for immigration reform both locally and nationally. Alexandra Davidson Palmer is finishing up her second year at The Hill Center and planning a move to Greensboro. She will be starting the school counseling program at UNC-G in August and could not be more excited! In the past year, Lauren Bronec moved to Boston and completed her first year at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She has enjoyed exploring her new city, getting to know her classmates and taking advantage of MBA travel opportunities to Japan and Israel. This summer she will be headed out west to Portland, OR, where she will be interning with Nike’s supply chain strategy team. Gabrielle LaForce finished the first year of her MBA at Kenan-Flagler. She will be in New Jersey this summer interning with the operations team at L’Oreal. Yates Sikes and his

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2009

Collin Burks collin.burks@gmail.com

ABOVE: Members of the Class of 2010 gathered recently at Bald Head Island. Bottom row (from left) Tyler O'Neal, Emma Hart, Rob Stevens, Will Lindsey, middle row David Fowler, Wilkins Zollicoffer, Louisa Mounsey, Caroline Few, Paige Anna and top row Stephen Sotolongo, Sarah Edwards, Oliver Short, Ellie Preyer and Frank Elliot.

wife continue to enjoy life with their dogs, while traveling as much as they can. Will Ramsey moved to Alexandria, VA. He left a fundraising role with the Washington National Opera to rejoin the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which is the lead NGO responsible for coordinating UNESCO’s annual International Jazz Day celebration on April 30. His team just returned from Havana, Cuba, where they coordinated a culminating weeklong music education and performance program with local schools and musicians. Jenny Denton Bodnar is still in the Durham area and loving it. Life for Jenny and husband Nick has been made all the more wonderful with the arrival of their second son, Tedford “Ford,” at the end

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of April. This January made for three years of work at World Relief, one of the local refugee resettlement agencies, work that has been fascinating, enriching and particularly poignant this year. It was sad but good to step away from that upon Ford’s birth in order to be more present with family for a season. She is looking forward to seeing DA friends at several weddings in the next year! John Lindsey is living in Durham, on the board of directors for the National Self Storage Association and recently launched a self-storage management company with his brother, Alan Lindsey ’12; they now have 14 locations from Virginia to Louisiana. Until next year Class of 2008, and the big 10-year reunion in fall 2018 — wow!

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Hello from the Class of ’09! While collecting updates this year, one of our classmates sparked a whole-class email chain that resulted in 20+ classmates emailing selfies of themselves out to the class. Alumni from all over the world in our class sent in pictures of themselves, often with fellow DA classmates with whom they live or are friends with in the same city. Two classmates each pledged to donate $10 for every person that participated in the selfie chain, which resulted in $800 being donated to two charities. It was amazing to see how so many people are still in touch with their fellow DA classmates and how generous our class continues to be! On to the individual updates, Kevin Ji is still living the dream of being a high school math teacher. This summer, he’ll be teaching in a new arena: as the instructor of a handson, international cooking class for little kids. Noah Katz followed in the footsteps of many in the DA crew and moved out to San Francisco, where he is currently still running his 3D printing business, as well as helping build cutting edge medical devices and designing for an online factchecking/civil discourse media startup called Fiskkit. Check it out! He still dreams of space, and is encouraged by recent achievements by SpaceX and others. Sustainable development, good food and new technology are constantly there to inspire him and all of us. Peter Gudaitis has left the supportive embrace of his DA classmates in foggy SF and moved to sunny LA to work for Netflix as

a member of their content strategy team. He spends his free time exploring Southern California by bicycle (and watching movies of course!). Natalie Gallo is working as a licensed professional counselor candidate in the Child Trauma Services Program at the University of Oklahoma Department of Behavioral Pediatrics. She provides evidencebased therapy for children and teenagers with PTSD, depression, anxiety and other emotionalbehavioral disorders and conducts research on these populations. She loves living in Oklahoma City alongside her brother, Nick Gallo ’06. Back on the east coast, Adrianne Soo is moving to Charleston, SC, to start her emergency medicine residency. She is looking forward to learning how to surf while she is down there. Mitchel Gorecki is a Duke MBA student who is pursuing a real estate tech startup. Also in Durham, Kyle Mumma is a firstyear MBA candidate at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. He will be consulting for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice in Atlanta over the summer before finishing up business school in 2018. In NYC, Laura Haynes is finishing the fourth year of her Ph.D. program in geology and climate science. She lives with her fiancé, Alex, and her cat, Coco. She’ll return to Durham to get married in October of this year. Gargi Bansal is also loving life in NYC! She is currently a software engineer for the Stern School of Business at New York University. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring the various cultural neighborhoods around the city. Across the pond, Claire Burridge is about halfway through her Ph.D. at Cambridge. Her research is focused on the


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applicability of medieval medical knowledge. When she’s not researching, she’s spending time rowing and as women’s captain of the Sidney Sussex Boat Club. Back in NC, at the UNC School of Medicine, I (Collin Burks) and Eva Stein are enjoying our clinical rotations in the hospital.

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Caitlin Cleaver caitlinhcleaver@gmail.com Caitlin Cleaver is loving life in DC and working at the agency she’s been with since her college internship, Chong + Koster. She’s getting married in October to her fiancé, Gregory Clary, so 2017 has been busy with wedding planning. Jon Chamberlin is still braving the frozen tundra of Minnesota and just celebrated his second year at Garmin, where he works as a software engineer. He and his then fiancée purchased their first home in July 2016. The happy couple was married in May of this year, and much of his time has been spent wedding planning and homemaking. JT Derian moved from his role in finance at Under Armour to a new role that allows him to travel around the world with a large software startup based out of MIT/Cambridge. He recently accepted a spot in the UVA Darden School of Business for the class of 2019. With friends and family in the Boston area, he is loving the city and is greatly enjoying everything that the Northeast has to offer in his spare time. Steve Benson is living in Morrisville after purchasing a house in fall 2015. He works in RTP as a virtualized computer administrator. In his

free time, he enjoys mountain and road biking. Ben Preston is finishing grad school and moving to Colorado Springs to work for Lockheed Martin. He is going to be doing flight control systems engineering for the GPSIII satellite constellation. Maggie Ramsey is enjoying living and working near her siblings in the DC area after completing her master’s degree at the University of Tennessee. She lives in Arlington, enjoys cantoring at Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, singing with Opera on Tap DC Metro and teaching private voice, piano, group ukulele, group piano and group general music lessons with District Music Academy. Julia Kelsoe is in the penultimate year of her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge and continues to enjoy her research in legal history. She has decided, however, not to pursue a career in academia and will instead practice law at the London office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton after she completes her degree. In spite of its gray and rainy weather, Julia has enjoyed living in England and plans to stay for the foreseeable future. Josh Erb will soon be moving back to Durham to begin teaching high school English at Camelot Academy! Over the past year, he has been working on transitioning from his role as a research scientist in Duke’s neurobiology department to that of a secondary liberal arts teacher. He has spent the past year in Providence studying and teaching through Brown University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, which he will graduate from in May. Tatum Pottenger

retired from the classroom in June 2016 (shout-out to all the teachers out there — you all are forever my heroes!) and is back in the Charlotte area working in fundraising for Davidson College. Jennifer McMorrow is completing a rewarding two years working with Carolina Livery Service (the family business), splitting her time between North Carolina and New York, and hopes to transition into teaching over the next couple of years. She and her fiancé are in the process of relocating to the Durham area full time, and are excited to be getting married here on New Year’s Eve 2017. Tevin Wilson recently accepted a position with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and completed training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama. He also became an ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation after advocating on Capitol Hill during an Arthritis Foundation summit in Washington. He has also enjoyed returning to DA to practice with the varsity tennis team during their historic season. Sam Jones is in the process of moving out to California to pursue his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is sad to be leaving BCG, where he has enjoyed his time in the Dallas office for the past few years, but excited for a few months of travel with friends and his fiancée, Tayler Smith. After business school, Sam will return to BCG for a year in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Nick Marek recently wrapped up his third season broadcasting for the Lone Star Brahmas

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hockey team in Texas, winning the national championship along the way. This summer, he is getting married to his fiancée, Amanda Lane, and planning a trip to Europe. Josh Zoffer left McKinsey & Company’s New York Office in the fall to work for Hillary Clinton’s transition team, briefly returned to McKinsey after the election and has since left again to pursue a JD at Yale Law School this fall. He and his fiancée, Shira, will be married in October and are keeping busy with wedding planning this summer. Robert Kindman will be the best man. Kevin Heyer has been working for two years as a systems engineer with RoviSys, an automation and information solutions contracting company based in Ohio with a brand new office in Holly Springs, NC. He has primarily been working on projects for a variety of pharmaceutical companies located in the Triangle. On the personal side, Kevin married his wife, Samantha, last July, and they have recently purchased a house in Apex. Ansilta De Luca is living in Shanghai, China. She is an assistant manager of an adult English teaching center, where she gives business English classes to Chinese professionals. The position gives her the opportunity to lead a team of international teachers and to train them in ESL teaching methodologies. Shanghai is a vibrant city where she can explore culture and get into a lot of new activities including painting, yoga and learning Chinese. Ansilta will be living in China for the foreseeable future, as she works her way to becoming an international teacher trainer.

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1. A large DA contingent was on hand when Amar Goli ’99 and Naomi Lan were married in Carmel, California. Among the groomsmen were Aaron Moon ’99, Tanner Hock ’99, Charlie MacIntyre ’99 and Johnny Seivold ’99. 2. Andrew Harms and Meg McNall, physics, Upper School, were married July 9, 2016, at The Rickhouse in downtown Durham. 3. There were lots of DA alumni on hand for the wedding of Pier Bynum ’08 and Grant Fowler ’08. Posing for a photo were: front row from left Nicole Pappas ’08, Grant Fowler, Pier Bynum Fowler, Catherine Donatucci ’08, Sam Carpenter ’09, Emma Hart ’10, middle row Zac Allison ’08, Collin Suggs ’08, Raj Sundar ’08, Hilary Gleason ’08, David Fowler ’10, Phil Martindale ’10, back row Si Carpenter ’08, Michael Conners ’08, Ryan O'Connor ’08, Bren Lamont ’08 and John Lindsey ’08. 4. When Irene Pappas ’05 and Ben Rudnick ’02 were married June, 2016, in Durham, alumni in the wedding party included Jeff Cheek ’00, Andrew Yarbrough ’02, Simon Curtis ’02, Nicole Pappas ’08, Toni Pappas ’12, Emmy Anlyan ’04 and Erin Spritzer ’05.

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1. Ashton Thorn, with mom Amelia Ashton Thorn ’01 2. Adelle Corrine Lewis, daughter of Kyle Lewis, controller 3. Lawson Ambler, son of Lindsay Speir Ambler ’02 4. Walter Noah Hutchison, son of Natalie Kaplowitz Hutchison ’98, with sister Hannah 5. Shaylen Saxena, son of Ashu Saxena, Upper School math 6. Margaret Cecelia Considine, daughter of Josh Considine ’03, with mom Meri 7. Charlie Anderson, daughter of Everett Anderson ’01 8. Charlie Michelman, son of Ben Michelman, Middle School language arts

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Kathy McPherson

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ABOVE: Alumni and their graduating seniors gathered for a photo before the May 26 commencement. From left to right are Becky Boone ’82 with daughter Mariah Lowther; Dan Lloyd ’71 and Anne Murray Lloyd ’82 with daughter Kate Lloyd; Thomas Stith ’81 with daughter Kia Stith; Laura Heyneman ’81 with son Ethan Astrachan; Tom Giduz ’75 with daughter Natalie Giduz; Nick Beischer with dad David Beischer ’85; Alex Lamb with dad Geoff Lamb ’86; and mom Anita Beane Hunt ’83 with Nigel Hunt.

in memoriam

Gulliver and Eisen; parents, Dave and Lou Ann Brower; brother, David Brower ’85; and sister, Ann Brower ’89.

• Timothy Seth Brower ’82 died January 2017. He grew up in Chapel Hill, attended The Hill Center and Chapel Hill High School and graduated from Durham Academy. He graduated from Guilford College with a B.A. in art and philosophy and earned an M.F.A. in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked with art and design students and earned a master’s degree in architecture from Syracuse University. When not running, cycling or swimming (he completed a full Ironman), his nights and weekends were spent renovating a decommissioned church near Syracuse, N.Y., and transforming it into a home for his family. He built a cottage inside the church for his young sons, complete with a shingled roof, white picket fence and Astroturf play area. When they were older, he renovated the choir loft into a bedroom for them and tucked them into beds that sparkled under light that shone through stained glass windows. He is survived by his wife, Holly; sons,

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• George Nickolaos Bourbous ’92 died unexpectedly in Durham on March 19, 2017. He graduated from Durham Academy and Durham Technical Community College, where he earned a degree in criminal justice. He worked as a cook at five-star restaurants in the North Carolina mountains and in Wilmington before returning to Durham to be a manager at JJ Family Fish & Chicken Restaurant. At the time of his death, he owned a local produce business. He was deeply devoted to his Orthodox Christian faith, and loved the Church of St. Barbara and its parishioners. He was very proud to be a dual citizen of the U.S. and of his father’s native Greece. His interests were varied; he loved to read and was always eager to learn. He was well versed in literature and had an encyclopedic knowledge of all types and functions of firearms. He is survived by his father, Nick Bourbous, of Durham; and brother, Peter “Taki” Bourbous ’90.


TH E L AST LO O K

Eyes on the Prize Fourth grade teaching assistant Kathy McCord is proud of her Eastern North Carolina heritage, including the food her family ate when she was growing up in Tyrrell County. Much to the delight of her fourth-grade students, who study North Carolina in their social studies curriculum, that means helping them prepare a down-home dinner in the classroom each spring. But when it comes time to cooking hoecakes in a cast-iron pan, only McCord can flip a hoecake! McCord retired in June after 23 years at Durham Academy. P H O T O B Y K AT H Y M C P H E R S O N


DURHAM ACADEMY 3601 RIDGE ROAD DURHAM, NC 27705-5599

NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION U.S. POSTAGE PAID DURHAM, NC 27701 PERMIT #1083

LEFT: Alex Lamb (from left), Julie Wechsler, Christy Cutshaw, Maya Watson and Kelly Cunneen celebrate on graduation day. RIGHT: Xavier Nonez (right) smiles for the camera with his father, Patrick. P H OTO S B Y K E N H U T H A N D C O L I N H U T H

Congratulations, Durham Academy Class of 2017 We wish you continued success at the following colleges: • American University • Amherst College • Baylor University • Boston College • Boston University • Brown University • Carleton College • Case Western Reserve University • College of Charleston • College of William and Mary • Davidson College • Drexel University • Duke University • East Carolina University • Elon University • Emory University • Furman University • Georgetown University • Georgia Institute of Technology • Hampden-Sydney College • Hampton University • Harvard University

• High Point University • Howard University • Ithaca College • Kenyon College • Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Meredith College • Montana State University • North Carolina Central University • North Carolina State University • Northeastern University • Northwestern University • Occidental College • Princeton University • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute • Roanoke College • Rollins College • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology • Scripps College • Stanford University • Syracuse University • Tufts University

• Tulane University • University of California, Berkeley • University of California, Los Angeles • University of Chicago • University of Colorado at Boulder • University of Georgia • University of Maryland, College Park • University of Michigan • University of Mississippi • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • University of North Carolina at Greensboro • University of North Carolina at Wilmington • University of Pittsburgh • University of South Carolina • University of Southern California • University of Virginia • Virginia Polytechnic Institute • Wake Forest University • Washington and Lee University • Wellesley College • Williams College

Durham Academy Magazine - Summer 2017  
Durham Academy Magazine - Summer 2017  

Durham Academy Magazine is published twice a year by Durham Academy, a pre-K to 12 co-ed independent school in Durham, North Carolina.