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DURHAM ACADEMY

Magazine

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STEM { DA } New opportuni tie s in Sc ience, Tec h, Engineering, Math ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: • Moving toward DA 2030 • Spotlight on Greg Murray, Jordan Adair, Victoria Muradi


Melody Guyton Butts

F ROM THE HEAD OF SC HOOL

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hrough the mists of time and hormonal carbonation, I remember only a few slices of my middle school science classes. In the spring of seventh grade, my lab partner and I exploded a beaker full of liquid, prompting our teacher to leap into action with a fire extinguisher (showing speed, agility and aggressiveness to that point unimagined) and transform the classroom into a silent, foam-covered lunar landscape. In eighth grade, another teacher (employed the year before by the New Mexico Women’s Correctional Facility — I am not making this up) framed the course around one central question: “What is life?” Our resulting investigations involved microscopes, telescopes, scuba equipment, cacti, birds (dead and alive), fruit flies (alive, but briefly), a pig (wholly dead), Slinkys, robots and compost. The course culminated in a debate on the question: “Is fire alive?” Passionate shouting matches live on in my mind. It is unsurprising that these two memories stand out. With all due respect to my dedicated teachers, I have forgotten entire years of material “learned” through reading, lectures, memorization and regurgitation. What stuck? The hands-on experiments (some of them dangerous and surprising), the perplexing questions and the vigorous teamwork. Luckily for our students, Durham Academy’s science department believes that doing science is the best way to learn about science. From pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, our teachers remind students

constantly (with activities, experiments, demonstrations, teamwork, discussions, simulations, debates, papers and projects) that the human endeavor called science is both a noun and a verb. In its statement of philosophy, the DA science department identifies the following goals: • To foster a wonder of and respect for the natural world, including one’s self. • To develop curiosity, science process skills and critical thinking skills — primarily through hands-on activities and laboratory experiments. • To develop scientific “habits of mind” and an understanding of the ethics of science — those attitudes and values inherent to the scientific enterprise and to life in general. • To link scientific “habits of mind” with character development (e.g., creativity, integrity, suspended judgment, etc.). • To promote an understanding of basic scientific facts, concepts, principles and theories. In this issue of the magazine, you’ll see new evidence of these goals in action, including: • budding engineers in the Lower School • students solving problems with coding, design thinking, electronics, 3D design and printing in the Middle School • robot creators and “Girls Who Code” in the Upper School • an alumna doing cutting-edge research in biolocomotion at Georgia Tech We believe that innovation and creativity result from human friction — from people with different skills and perspectives working shoulderto-shoulder, sparking fresh ideas and collaborative visions. We believe that students and teachers grow (in the words of our mission statement) “moral, happy and productive” in close community, rather than isolation. This brick-and-mortar commitment to communal density is about more than aesthetics and the “feel” of our campus. If we are to prepare our students

for a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, we must offer them the kinds of daily school experiences that old people like me remember as exceptional: hands-on experiments, perplexing questions and vigorous teamwork. Think of the tools already in use today — each of them the result of interdisciplinary collaboration and all of them seemingly impossible just a decade ago: autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain, ocean farming, virtual reality, scalable automatic data processing, soft robotics, machine learning. The problems of the world our students will inhabit require solutions both scientific and humane. As Neal Koblitz, a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington puts it, “Contrary to popular misconceptions about science and technology, a good piece of technical work is not a disembodied sequence of formulas and calculations, but rather is part of a narrative that has a long plot line and a large cast of characters.”1 Our Upper School construction project (see p. 18) will help our students unite the formulas and the narratives, the plot lines and the calculations. Encountering Gandhi, Newton, Dante and Einstein in the same building should make interdisciplinary connections not just easier, but unavoidable. If things go as we hope, Durham Academy’s new science and humanities center will help students answer not only the question “What is life?” but also “What is life for?” 1

“Why STEM Majors Need the Humanities,” by Neal

Koblitz in The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2017

Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School @ MrUlkuSteiner


30 F EATURES

30 | DREAMING OF RIDING THE RANGE A cowboy’s dream comes true for Greg Murray on a Wyoming ranch, where he finds a surprise connection to Durham Academy. 36 | HAPPY, MORAL, PRODUCTIVE What does it mean to live a good life? A new Upper School elective prods students to ask the big questions.

FRONT COVER: Cami Simpson ’18 tests a device created for a project in the new Upper School robotics class, while Griffin Rubin ’17 looks on.

P H OTO B Y M E LO DY G U Y TO N B U T T S

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Ken Huth

6 | IF YOU BUILD IT The new robotics offering was so popular that two sections of the course filled quickly and now the robotics team prepares for competition.

Michael Ulku-Steiner

Greg Murray

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CON TENTS

DA ON THE GO

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DURHAM ACADEMY Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School

DURHAM ACADEMY

M AG A Z I N E

| SUMMER

| 2016

Brendan Moylan ’85, Chair, Board of Trustees John Lindsey ’08, President, Alumni Board DURHAM ACADEMY MAGAZINE Kathy McPherson, Editor Linda Noble, Designer COMMUNICATIONS Leslie King, Director of Communications leslie.king@da.org Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of

A Blueprint for the Future

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

Melody Guyton Butts

18 | DA 2030 UPDATE Plans call for Upper School construction to begin in summer 2017 and a comprehensive Middle School renovation in summer 2019.

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20 | JORDAN ADAIR TELLS HIS STORY His teaching is often called life-changing, and he is a man who leads a drastically changed life. Adair is a truth-teller who hid his own truth. 24 | FROM AFGHANISTAN TO ADMISSIONS Admissions Director Victoria Muradi especially relates to kids and families who never imagined attending a school like DA. 28 | THIMK Alumni, faculty and parents reminisce about what Dave Gould meant to them.

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46 | ARE INTERNSHIPS WORTH IT? You’ll be a believer after reading the experiences of eight recent DA grads. 50 | DA ATHLETES COMMIT TO PLAY IN COLLEGE Three lacrosse players, a basketball player, a golfer and a diver make it official on signing day.

I N EAC H I SS U E

4 | THE BIG PICTURE 56 | FROM THE GREEN 59 | ALUMNI NEWS Alumni to honor Sarah Treem ’98 and Dennis Cullen | Page 60, 61 Purr-fect science puts Alexis Noel ’09 in the spotlight | Page 66 Liz Roberts ’16 makes the team at UNC | Page 71 Alumni Profiles | Page 64, 67, 70, 74

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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 ICTUR E

Stopping Hunger Now PHOTO BY COLIN HUTH

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A corps of volunteers came to campus on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to package meals for Stop Hunger Now. Over the last eight years, Durham Academy has packaged more than 200,000 meals for the hunger relief organization.

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Colin Huth

Ken Huth Colin Huth

Ken Huth

TOP PHOTOS: Students enrolled in the Upper School’s first-ever robotics course build and program robots for an exercise inspired by Hurricane mimic a collapsed building and to save trapped people within a three-minute time period. BOTTOM LEFT: Teacher Leyf Starling works with Griffin Rubin and junior Eric Bradford. 6

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PEDAL TO THE METTLE Upper School launches first robotics course and team

By Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications

S uccess in robotics is oh-so-sweet. Like when the machine you’ve built perfectly

Matthew search and rescue efforts. Each robot was required to enter a maze designed to Sonio Kum on a project. BOTTOM RIGHT: Teacher Forrest Beck (center) offers input to senior

winds its way around a maze, touching nary a wall along the way. Or when your robot sinks a ball into a hoop with a precision that would make Dick Vitale squeal. But some of the best lessons come not in those moments of first-pumping success, but in head-in-hands failure. That’s what Durham Academy robotics teachers Leyf Peirce Starling ’99 and Forrest Beck have seen in the first semester of the Upper School’s robotics classes and as the school’s nascent FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team gears up for its inaugural season this spring. “It’s an opportunity for students to fail in a safe place. That sounds awful,” Starling said. “But it reinforces that practicing of determination, perseverance, dealing with disappointment, and figuring out how to pick yourself up and do it again. Because these robots definitely don’t work the first time.”

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Colin Huth

Ken Huth

Ken Huth

LEFT: Sophomores Zach Hunter and Batu Palanduz watch as their robot winds its way around the search-and-rescue maze. The goal of figure before the expiration of time. MIDDLE: Cami Simpson and Alexander Hurka-Owen examine a robot. RIGHT: A 3D printer in the

Failure may be part of the learning experience, but the Upper School’s robotics team experienced a tremendous amount of success even before the FRC season officially kicked off. The team landed $9,000 in grant funding from NASA and AccessEngineering, a program that supports the success of people with disabilities in engineering. The prestigious NASA FIRST Program Growth Grant — worth $6,000 and awarded to just 170 teams across the U.S. — fully covers the team’s first-year registration fee. Depending on how well things go this year, there is a possibility of an additional $5,000 in funding next year. The AccessEngineering grant, worth $3,000, will help further the team’s mission of making robotics accessible to students with learning differences. The DA robotics team has opened up participation to students at The Hill Center, a partner and next-door neighbor of DA that serves K-12 students with learning differences. In addition, the team plans to work with the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization to make its written materials — such as a dense 12-page list of rules — accessible to all students. 8

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Starling wrote the grants with student input. One of those who helped was senior Rohan Patel, who had been interested in engineering for “a pretty long time.” Having taken quite a few science and technology courses, he’d amassed a bank of applicable knowledge but had never built a robot before enrolling in the robotics science elective. “It’s probably my favorite class that I’ve ever taken at DA, and the reason why is it’s one of those classes where you really get to apply knowledge that you’ve learned over a period of time,” Patel explained. “Through AP Comp Sci, I learned to program, and through Physics C and AP Physics, I learned some mechanical and electrical aspects. This is a class that brings together all of the science and technology stuff that you’ve learned at DA and that teaches you to apply it to actually make something.” The experience has made Patel even more interested in engineering as a profession. “Instead of being like, here’s a lab, follow it — [Starling and Beck are] like, here, this is what you have to build, go for it, figure out what you want to do,” he said. “There’s an open-endedness that gives you |

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a new idea of being an engineer.” The one-semester course is designed around an Arduino controller. Components like servos, proximity sensors and motion sensors can be brought together into the controller, which can use them to help the robot execute a task. “The students are pretty much building everything on their own using these components — nothing is pre-built,” Beck said, noting that students can create some parts using the lab’s 3D printer. “They have to write their own code for the Arduino. It’s written in ROBOTC, a Java-esque language, so a lot of students are used to it.” While some students, like Patel, came into the class with coding experience, not everyone did — and that’s just fine, Beck said. He and Starling have emphasized the importance of skills like planning and organization. At the beginning of the year, they asked students to jot down some strengths and weaknesses, and they used those notes to create well-balanced teams for projects. Junior Lillia Larson had some experience working with her hands through the Upper School’s Engineering and Physics C courses, but she didn't have any experience with coding before enrolling


Focus in g o n S TE M

fundraisers like cookie care packages that students send to one another during the winter exam period. The team also welcomes support from parents and corporate sponsors. Information on how to support the team is available on the student-maintained Team #6502 website: http://6502.team. The 2017 season officially began Jan. 7 with the unveiling of this year’s game parameters — what the robot must accomplish, the project was for each robot to rescue the Captain America how points can be robotics lab prints custom-designed pieces for a team's robot. earned and rules — via a webcast watched in the robotics course. That made her a simultaneously by teams around the bit apprehensive — but any fears were country. In this year’s steampunk-inspired quickly put to rest. game, coined “FIRST Steamworks,” teams “It’s really impossible to know work to prepare “airships” to take flight by everything because there are all different having their robots collect balls of “fuel” to aspects to robotics — there’s the build steam pressure, install gears to engage programming side, there’s the engineering the rotors, and then board the airships for side, you can use geometry when you’re liftoff. (Watch an animation of this year’s with building things with your hands,” game at http://bit.ly/FRC2017game.) Larson said. “So there are all of these At the beginning of the season, each people with different backgrounds, and team started out with a “kit of parts” that you really have to kind of depend on one included everything needed to create another for different parts of the project — working base robots and software. From you can’t do it all yourself. It really brings there, modifications can be added for you together as a group.” improved performance. About half of the 32 students enrolled Following the kick-off event is an in one of the two sections of the robotics intensive build season of six weeks. Since course — including Larson and Patel — club members don’t meet as part of a are competing on the FRC team along regular class, the robotics lab is available with several students who have not taken for them to plan and work on their robot the class. during tutorial, lunch, after school and During the fall semester, the team on weekends. At the conclusion of the met about once every two weeks to take on six-week period — this year, on Feb. 21 — tasks like choosing a team name — they’re students must cease any work on their robot officially DARC Side (Durham Academy and must wrap it in a bag, sealed with a tag Robotics Club: Students In Design and to ensure that it hasn’t been opened. Engineering) — creating a logo and Then, it’s on to the district mascot, and brainstorming fundraising competitions. The DARC Side team will ideas. Students are raising money for compete in one district competition in travel, equipment and the like through Winterville on March 3, and then another

in Raleigh on March 23, with hopes of qualifying for the state competition, which is held from March 31 to April 2 at Campbell University. After unbagging their robot at each competition site, the team will have only a couple of hours before each competition to make any final tweaks. Some teams have two robots — one production model and one standby that’s used for development while the other is bagged. These teams can take detailed logs of what changes they make on their standby robot, and then quickly apply those changes to their production model on competition day. “Since we probably won’t have the funding to do that this year, we’ll just take advantage of those couple of hours before the event to tweak the system and make sure it works OK,” Beck explained. The new robotics program at the Upper School is a logical progression from DA Middle School’s FIRST Lego League program, which started with a single team in 2014-2015 and this year is fielding three teams, all of which qualified for the state tournament. Adding to the Middle School’s STEM offerings this year is a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) elective offered by digital learning coordinator Karl Schaefer. All of that bodes well for the future of the Upper School’s FRC program. Whether students are interested in pursuing engineering in college or not, valuable skills are to be gained through studying robotics, the instructors assert. For those who are passionate about science and technology, it’s a great way to explore all of the different fields of engineering because it involves mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, Beck said. For all students, it’s a terrific way to build character and develop executive functioning skills of time management and organization, Starling said. Many of those skills are honed in the failures and successes of the game. “And the cool thing with this is you don’t just score a goal and win the game,” Starling said. “You can score a goal and you can still make your robot do it better — there’s always room for improvement.”

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Focusing on STEM

STEAM-ing Ahead

New Middle School seminar combines coding, interactive technology and 3D modeling By Leslie King, Director of Communications

The next step was finding the right teacher for the better part of 25 years, but equipment to support he has never stopped being a student. He the class — and at joined Durham Academy’s Lower School the top of the list was faculty in 1999 and came to the Middle a rock-solid printer. School in 2006, just as national momentum Schaefer visited to prioritize STEM in schools was gaining Charlotte Latin School’s ground. This fall, Schaefer launched a Fab Lab for inspiration STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and purchased two 3D arts and math) seminar for eighth-graders Wox printers. who share his fascination with electronics, Students would coding, programming, 3D printing, design, also need Arduino kits, building and engineering, creativity and and over the summer real-world problem-solving. A former of 2016, Schaefer tried science teacher, Schaefer began this new to learn how to use STEAM seminar methodically, with design Arduino, which turned ABOVE: Eighth-grader Raguell Couch sent her 3D design thinking as his guide: empathize, define, out to be a lot harder made with Tinkercad to the printer via Polar Cloud. ideate, prototype, test. than he thought. The “I spent at least a year just kind of pieces were so small he into two sections of nine students each. watching what was going on and then I had difficulty putting them together. “So I One section of STEAM started with bought a Polar 3D printer to start to just try said, you know, I don’t need to know it all. I 3D printing, and the other section started to do it,” Schaefer said. “I struggled through just need to know enough. After all, this is with Arduinos. Both sections learned learning how to use the 3D printer and a group learning process.” coding through CodeMonkey. The sections embracing failure. I researched curriculum Eighth-grade students were given the were supposed switch topics mid-year, that was available, and I went and visited option to come to STEAM seminar three but when the time came, students wanted some schools. … I was really enamored by days out of the seven-day rotation. The to stick with their original subjects. So this stuff and I think at DA we have to mold only eighth-graders who could not enroll Schaefer instituted a gradual transition after it in to remain relevant.” in STEAM were students who took two winter break. Schaefer settled on three lynchpins foreign languages. “They’ve built houses, they’ve built for the seminar: coding, 3D printing “We got tons of signups,” Schaefer circuit scribes and they just don’t want to and Arduino (open-source software and said. “Half of the kids signed up and half of stop,” Schaefer said. “One student wants to hardware kits that allow users to create the parents signed their kids up.” have parents in and have a celebration of interactive electronic objects). Students’ reasons for participating what they’ve built.” After figuring out what the class would were myriad. “It is the most amazing thing ever,” be, the challenge was finding where it “I liked the idea of facing challenges Castelao said. “I made a TARDIS [the would fit into the Middle School schedule. with a group,” James Knowles said. police box that serves as Doctor Who’s The answer was study hall, which meant “I was interested because everything time machine] in STEAM. That was STEAM wouldn’t conflict with any other that we were going to do sounded challenging, but right now I'm working on classes. amazing,” Will Scurria explained. something really hard — a mech, which “I didn’t want it graded, and I didn’t “I love science, math and technology, is a giant robot. It's not finished and isn't want it to have homework,” Schaefer said. and a course featuring those sounded operable, but I want it to be. I want to finish “I didn’t want it to be a traditional class awesome,” Hutch Castelao said. by the end of the year.” because I wanted the kids to kind of own it.” Schaefer ended up dividing the group Part of STEAM’s success has been 10

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Ken Huth

M iddle School Digital Learning Coordinator Karl Schaefer has been a


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the flexibility within its design. After students get foundations in programming, Arduino and 3D printing, they’re free to explore — whether that means integrating those disciplines, taking a deeper dive into any one of them or incorporating their passions outside of STEAM into the class. Both Schaefer and the students also enjoy the experimentation — not really knowing how this first year is going to turn out. “The design concept that came up for this seems to be working. There’s a saying we used to have in science class — ‘Stand back, this thing could blow!’ — and it always had that potential but I think we’ve been pretty successful,” Schaefer said. “This is all really fluid in the sense that I have one student who is less interested in Arduino, but he’s completely enamored with 3D design and building things. He’s building stuff for Science Olympiad, he’s built stuff for the FIRST Lego League [robotics] teams. I have another student

Ken Huth

reluctant ones. Schaefer says the seminar is a natural outlet for any student to learn something about STEAM and about themselves, no matter what their interests. “I learned that when I really want to make something, I will, no matter how many times it fails,” Asher Fields said. “I have a student who didn’t want to be in the seminar but his mom signed him up for it, and he wanted to leave. I said, ‘Well you can leave whenever you want, but you might just want to stick around for a few days and see.’ And so he agreed,” Schaefer recalled. “And now I can’t stop him from doing projects. He’s got a Pokémon character printing right now, but if you look at the skill and the geometric calculations he had to do to make it so that it would print correctly and to scale — that’s confidence for him.” “Whether it's circuitry or 3D printing, the seminar is constantly demanding laserfocused, hard-working people. There is still time to goof off, though,” Knowles said. “I am not generally the type of person that likes to sit down for 45 minutes and tinker with wires. The STEAM seminar changes the way people, myself included, think about their projects. It makes them see that all projects are able to be accomplished with the right amount of work and the right amount of play.” Schaefer’s ultimate goal is for his students ABOVE: Eighth-graders Cole Mason and Glenn Green keep to work on a real-world an eye on the 3D printer. Students learn that the design challenge using design and the print set-up will determine how well or how poorly thinking. While they a print job will end up may not have time to who’s quite the artist, so she has been using tackle large-scale challenges this first year, Photoshop and a tablet to design buttons students are already applying their problemand then she demos them in 3D to figure solving skills to small-scale solutions. out what buttons she’d like to make. There’s “Zack Brown noticed that the button this framework of what I want and I just is missing in the water fountain downstairs. kind of work at that and then let it go.” So he’s designing a button to print and put The same fluid framework that on it. He’s down there trying to file it off so attracted students who were already he can get it to fit in without any adhesive. STEAM fans has also converted some That’s a design challenge,” Schaefer said.

“The kids were like, ‘We need that, it’s so annoying to have to go over there and push that thing.’ It’s probably not very hygienic either.” The new STEAM seminar is very much a work in progress, so Schaefer’s experience as a seasoned teacher comes in handy when students struggle to overcome a hurdle or experience difficulty. “Any time I’ve done project-based learning, some students have a five-second switch when they say ‘I don’t get it. I don’t understand, show me.’ And in those cases, I just become less helpful, because we need to break them of that. They do know how to do it.” Schaefer says one by-product is that students also learn a valuable lesson — that struggle can sometimes be its own reward. “I really love creating things that seem impossible — the more challenging, the more thrill and the better reward,” Castelao said. “The challenge is spending an hour or two designing something, and then the reward is having the satisfaction of downloading and printing it,” Fields explained. “When the kid who had very little confidence says ‘Look Mr. Schaefer, I made it work!’ Those are the ‘Yes!’ moments. The most rewarding things have been how well the majority of the students adapted to it and their utter excitement about it and how they tell me ‘This is my favorite class.’ When I told them we wouldn’t be having class during exams, it was like ‘Oh no! This is the best part of my day.’” Schaefer says the next iteration of the STEAM seminar will retain the framework of coding, 3D printing and Arduino. But ultimately he’d like both sections to take on a group challenge. He has something akin to a Rube Goldberg machine in mind, for which each student would design their own part, but would also be responsible for making the entire machine work together. “Working together is a skill that we think of as a soft skill that kids just kind of know. Some adults don’t even know how to work together. So listening and talking — the idea is I want them to start to understand how to do that so that we can tackle a challenge that takes that kind of cohesiveness to do it.”

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Focusing on STEM

Building Blocks

Kathy McPherson

STEM for DA’s youngest digital natives By Leslie King, Director of Communications

ABOVE: Caleb Arrick (from left), Spencer Hill, both third-graders, and fourth-grader Carsten Perry work on programming Sphero Robots to make 90-degree turns to form the outline of a square during Michele Gutierrez’s fall Robotics class that was offered as an after-school enrichment. FACING PAGE: Second-graders Neil Swaminathan and Rachel Parker Horton concentrate on learning new programming techniques to use with Sphero Robots.

ICoordinator, n her role as Lower School Technology Michele Gutierrez is already

Gutierrez said. “That’s been my [mantra] from the beginning.” This year, Gutierrez is focused on blurring boundaries through a series of deliberate connections — helping her first- through fourth-graders not only master technological literacy, but also helping them understand technology’s explicit connections to science, engineering and mathematics. “This year is the year that I feel we have the most definite and clear STEM integration where I talk to the students about being computer scientists, being engineers, we are continually making the connection between science and engineering. … And

an anomaly — she’s the only female computer science instructor at Durham Academy. While DA deliberately defies the gender gap in technology in all its divisions, Gutierrez is aware of the subtle message having a female technology teacher sends to her young students, and that’s the way she likes it. “Here, largely because we’ve worked with them since first grade on these topics and I happen to be a woman, there isn’t a chance for the girls to say ‘Oh, that’s what the boys do.’ It’s what we all do,” 12

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as we go through the design process, we keep comparing what we’re doing as computer scientists and engineers to how scientists work and how we rely on the same skills and processes — making and testing predictions.” Gutierrez laid groundwork over the last several years to get to this point — preparing both the curriculum (adding more computer science and engineering and acquiring a new 3D printer) and the classroom (optimizing the computer lab with “zones” and reconfiguring storage plans to make equipment more accessible for students and teachers). The redesign of the computer lab itself — which also created dedicated open floor space for


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• - - - -

First grade: Learning to use resources Introductory programming through Code.org Problem-solving Experimentation — trying something, testing and revising it

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Second grade: Introductory robotics work, foundational programming Building and observing simple machines, learning how gears work Lego WeDo construction sets

- Integrating units of study from science class (global water supply) to research and identify a problem and determine a solution - Creating 3D objects using TinkerCad software or robotics

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Third grade: Main focus on state projects — researching, putting together presentation Learning to plan and manage a project over time

• Fourth grade: - Design-thinking projects

Gutierrez said this integrated approach has allowed students to concentrate on the science part of computer science: ask questions, define problems, plan and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret results, use math and computational thinking, design solutions, and communicate information and explanations. “You’re not supposed to have the right answer the first time, all of the time. It’s not wrong because it didn’t work,” she said. “Right answers only happen on work sheets and tests. It’s not life. I think that’s really caught on and they’ve learned to accept it more — ‘I’m not sure that this will work but I’m going to try it to get more information and move on to the next step.’”

‘One of the second-graders came over and said ‘We’ve figured out how a pencil sharpener works!’ and I was like ‘I’ve never even considered that! I’ve got to go look at a pencil sharpener now!’ That’s the thing I love.’

Kathy McPherson

testing programming created for Wonder Workshop robots Dash and Dot as well as a table for engineering-related work — was the result of a fourth-grade design-thinking project from last year. Here’s a snapshot of some of this year’s work:

Gutierrez is constantly tinkering with the curriculum design herself — often piloting new ideas or projects with her new Robotics (fall) and STEM Geniuses (spring) after-school enrichment classes. She says her students’ enthusiasm — something in abundance in young learners — is infectious. “One of the second-graders came over and said ‘We’ve figured out how a pencil sharpener works!’ and I was like ‘I’ve never even considered that! I’ve got to go look at a pencil sharpener now!’ That’s the thing I love. … I’ve seen a lot of excitement and engagement coming from the girls. I love that because we walk in and the boys are like ‘Legos!’ and then I say yes but it’s about taking what we’re building and finding that in the real world or thinking about how we can use it … and we can make all those connections — that to me is the best part because they’re seeing it.”

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Focusing on STEM

Trinket = Coding Anywhere DA computer science partners with Durham coding startup

D urham Academy teacher Julian Cochran harnessed the power of Durham’s

had completed a Computer Science certificate degree several years ago. Once we made the connection, Marks told me that Trinket was a local company based in the Triangle area. The idea of partnering with a local tech startup company was very appealing to us. That initial contact with Marks led to additional discussions with Elliott Hauser both online and via video conferencing, and that led us to our current partnership with the company. We offered Trinket Connect accounts for all introductory computer science students for the 2016-2017 school year.

entrepreneurial energy and piloted a partnership between Trinket, an opensource coding startup, and the Upper School’s Introduction to Computer Science classes. Trinket’s innovative model lets teachers and students write and run code in any browser, on any device, from anywhere. Even on a phone. All that’s needed is internet access. Trinket CEO Elliott Hauser created the platform with CTO Brian Marks to make the coding world easily accessible for both teachers and students — allowing students to overcome any preconceived technical barriers to learning computer science, while also allowing teachers to personalize instruction by providing skills and resources to let students advance at their own speed. The ability to code visual programs easily in a browser is the key to Trinket — students can create, edit and share their work from anywhere at any time. Here’s a look at Trinket’s first test run in a DA classroom.

• How does ABOVE: Students start learning how to code through a Trinket work? simple drag-and-drop format with puzzle-shaped blocks. Cochran: Trinket is used to teach students of all ages the basics great part is Trinket allows us to use our of Python (a widely-used programming students’ existing Google for Education language). Both Trinket and Python are accounts to manage their profiles, so we used worldwide. Students start learning didn’t need to create yet another online how to code through a simple drag-andaccount for school-related activity. drop format with puzzle-shaped blocks (a section of code grouped together • What is so unique about to represent complex programming Trinket and why is it so appealing commands). Blocks allow students to build to you and your computer science programs without having to know how students? to write lines of code or know a formal Cochran: As a teacher, the online programming language. It’s similar to cross-platform and cross-device capability Scratch, Snap and App Inventor. Trinket can’t be beat. That, plus the ease of using then allows students to convert the visual an online grade book and submission blocks into Python code, which helps portal through Veracross, has allowed me students make the transition to writing to give my students a full digital immersion code. A split screen shows simple coding environment for this class. Regardless of commands on the left and a small, what device a student uses — a laptop animated turtle that completes the coding with any operating system, a tablet, a commands it’s given on the right. Tasks can phone or any other device that has internet range from simple (like creating shapes) connectivity — all students will see the to complex, with the turtle responding same lesson in the same format. I teach immediately as students type in code. The using online resources and demonstrations

• How did you first find out about Trinket? Julian Cochran: In the spring of 2016 we decided to restructure our Introduction to Computer Science course to accommodate increasing enrollment trends. I stumbled across Trinket’s website when I was researching a potential online text for the course. Author Al Sweigart used Trinket to insert in-browser interactive script examples in his textbook, Automate the Boring Stuff with Python. Once I saw the ease of having students code online instead of on software, I was convinced that Trinket was a great tool for my students. I initially reached out to Brian Marks after discovering that Marks was a graduate of N.C. State, where I 14

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Focus in g o n S TE M

ABOVE: With Trinket, students can convert visual blocks they created without knowing a formal programming language into Python code, which helps them make the transition to writing code. LEFT: Trinket CEO Elliott Hauser (left) answers a question from senior Ben Womble during a visit to Julian Cochran's Introduction to Computer Science class.

Melody Guyton Butts

mean a student loses all of their projects from the semester. Student reactions to using Trinket have been very positive. Many commented on how they appreciate the many helpful resources published online by the company. As Python is currently an extremely popular coding language, students have also appreciated the myriad of websites and online communities dedicated to helping new coders learn how to solve problems and learn the syntax of the language. All of the students agree that the format and functionality of the site is easy to understand and operate. Thanks to Trinket's partnership with DA, students have also been able to spend more time learning how to code in Python 3, a newer version of the language, instead of relying on older programming resources. Some have also commented that they appreciate the parallels between

and students code along with me, all through the same online portal. I never receive any paper submissions for any coding or homework assignments. It's a wonderful system. For the students, they can learn at whatever speed they choose. Trinket offers self-paced tutorials similar to Code.org or Codecademy.com. They can develop ideas, code solutions, debug, run and test all of the features in real time for the various projects they complete for class. Device failure, theft, loss or breakage no longer

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Trinket and previous coding sites and applications they have used at summer camps, classes and clubs with technology coordinators Michele Gutierrez in the Lower School and Karl Schaefer in the Middle School. One student pointed out the similarities between Trinket and popular drag-and-drop coding sites like Scratch or the application Alice, published by MIT and Carnegie Mellon, respectively, saying, “The transition to learning for me has not been that bad because Trinket works much like what I was used to seeing with Scratch.” • What does Trinket get out of the partnership with DA? What kind of feedback were you able to provide? Cochran: It’s a win-win for both parties. Our students get to use an amazing resource that has a very comfortable and non-intimidating learning curve, while our feedback and tech support requests have helped the company shape its ideas for new modules to develop and implement for their clients. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Trinket in the foreseeable future. |

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Focusing on STEM

CLOSING THE GENDER GAP for Girls Who Code

‘There are many skills that make one successful in this field, but the one prerequisite is creativity.’ By Lauren Harpole ’18

ABOVE: DA junior Lauren Harpole spent seven weeks last summer immersed in the world of code and technological business. FACING PAGE: Harpole and her two teammates present their final project — a photo filter app that would not only filter the photo, but would explain how the code worked to the app’s user.

E very day when I arrived at the rectangular glass building, I went through a

friends accompanying me in the elevator — along with employees — as dogs were frantic 10 seconds of rummaging through happily accepted there. With a soft ding, the my black backpack, making sure I had the metal doors of the elevator would open, and keycard adorned in Trip Advisor’s green and I would begin my voyage down the hall, to white colors. I would press the card to the the left and down another, only stopping in sensor and gain access to my summer home, front of a door leading me into a conference walking through the lobby of wood and room. This was the place where I spent a glass, to the elevators where I would press large portion of my seven weeks in the Girls 5, the floor which I dubbed “software and Who Code Summer Immersion Program development paradise.” — seven weeks which quickly proved The building seemed to be crafted to be some of the most enlightening and with the theme of technology meets nature, wonderful weeks of my life. possibly showing how the two could Trip Advisor was my host location for convene and stay at balance with each other. Girls Who Code, a seven-week summer On most days, I would find many furry immersion program offered in 11 cities 16

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and 40-plus companies across the U.S. The program was founded in 2012 with the mission of closing the gender gap in technology by teaching 10th- and 11th-grade girls to code, and exposing them to tech jobs early in their educational journey. Tech jobs are among the fastest growing opportunities, with projections of 1.4 million jobs worldwide available in computing related fields by 2020. Unfortunately, only three percent of those positions are expected to be filled by women, and the gender gap has continued to worsen since the 1980s. Today, only 18 percent of computer science graduates are women. The biggest drop-off in interest in computing occurs between the


Focus in g o n S TE M

ages of 13 and 17, and thus Girls Who Code was designed to enlighten and energize today’s girls to consider a career in computer science. Every day when I opened the door to the Trip Advisor conference room, I was greeted by 18 smiling faces — my summer colleagues from around the country — each there to immerse themselves in the world of code and technological business. A typical day included instruction, group coding projects and sometimes guest speakers, field trips or workshops. Beyond the content of what we did and learned, what was most fantastic about the experience was the opportunity to work with such special colleagues. We all supported each other in our attempts to get programs to run, and also

if they did, why they would run. The most important thing I learned from these 18 is that teamwork does not always have to be terrible. I came into this program with a very negative view of group work. Looking back, I remember plotting in my head how I might get around working with others, reflecting on my less-than-rosy prior experiences. It took only seven days for my mindset to entirely shift, with the group activities taking on a whole new and productive identity. Maybe this was because we were like-minded people, or maybe it was because we were all equally invested in something that was of great importance to each one of us. Every fumble was met with support, and every problem was eventually met with a solution, whether that solution was provided by one person or by many. In addition to seeing the true benefits of teamwork, I also really “got” that computer programming is a language, and just as we can learn multiple languages to leverage the commonalities amongst them, the same applies to computer languages. As we drove through various programming languages, I began to realize that knowing one language meant you knew the base for all. With that, my attachment to my computer and the precious files of code within it dramatically increased. I realized I was amassing a wealth of knowledge that I did not want to risk losing in any way. During the summer, we had the opportunities to hear from representatives from various companies speaking on the importance of computer science in their business. My favorite was when Kimberly Arcand, NASA’s lead of visualization, spoke of the importance of RGB values in the exploration of space. (RGB refers to a system for representing the colors to be used on a computer display.) Being the galactic-obsessed soul that I am, I took to her speech as a bee would to a flower. Her talk spoke to my interest in space exploration and

made me realize that there was a possibility to combine computing technology with astronomy and astrophysics. At a higher level, it illustrated just how broadly a career in computing can be applied. The possibilities are endless. As the time for final projects rolled around, my group of three decided to create a photo filter app, one that would not only filter the photo, but explain to the user how the code worked. We all agreed that while learning how to code was important for those of us who pursued this line of work, being able to understand the gist of it was becoming almost mandatory in present times. In this world built on technology, not enough people know how technology works yet blindly use it. To me, the problem with this is the inability to understand stops the ability to innovate. Knowing the framework of something lets you know what you have to work with and what could be possible. Without that, a multitude of ideas could get tossed out the window, the creators throwing in the towel over confusion and deeming ideas unrealistic, or un-doable. As I reflect on the summer and my journey in school so far, one of the greatest things I take away is the importance of not allowing the placement of restrictive labels. Several years ago, I took an online “Introduction into Java” class on my own time. I was interested in exploring computer science, but in the back of my head I was fearful. I thought computer science was impossible, at least for me. I had always pictured computer science as something that required excellent math and technical skills, areas which I hadn’t considered my strong suit. The farther I delved into computer science, the more this prejudice crumbled away. There are many skills that make one successful in this field, but the one prerequisite is creativity. And well, OK, maybe a little bit of math (but not too much as it’s pretty straightforward, no derivatives here — unless you really want them). I came into Girls Who Code with a liking for computer science and came out with a love for it. I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything, not even for seven weeks of YouTube, Netflix, running and a free cruise vacation to Bora Bora. (Though, that would be über intriguing.)

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Upper School science and humanities center takes shape M i d d l e S c h o o l m a s t e r p l a n n i n g b e g i n s i n Fe b r u a r y By Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School

Tthishebiglastwastimemore Durham Academy dreamed than 20 years ago. Then,

class size. Don North had the foresight to caution, “Flexibility should prevail not as now, we were responding to high demand only in the construction of facilities but in the attitude about enrollment growth. A that was causing admissions constraints: dynamic strategic planning process should the school was at capacity, we weren’t able include the possibility of a larger school in to serve as many deserving families as the future.” we wanted to, we were starting to lose the And here we are in 2017, in remarkability to keep families together, and we were being forced to balance those priorities ably similar circumstances. Demand for the DA experience is at an all-time high; with a long-standing commitment to we are at capacity on all three campuses; increasing diversity. admissions committees are being forced DA’s then-Headmaster Don North to make painful decisions and scores of identified enrollment management as students we’d love to enroll remain on our the school’s number one challenge. After waitlists. After patient and diligent work of grappling with the issue for a year and Admissions Director Victoria Muradi and a half, Don and our Board of Trustees the Optimal School Size Task Force, we decided DA would grow rather than turn away qualified, deserving students, siblings, now know we will grow — once again in incremental, purposeful ways. alumni children or students who enriched Strategic growth in the coming decade our community. The growth would not will allow DA to: happen all at once, but with a plan that • continue to be a regional leader in allowed DA to preserve the heart of its education, student experience — small class sizes, • recruit, retain and nourish the most teachers who know their students and innovative and creative teachers, families and faculty who know each other. • create new cutting-edge programs In 1997 the board resolved to move for students to thrive, the Preschool and Lower School from • increase diversity in all its forms Academy Road, renovate what is now (new students, new teachers, new offerings), the Middle School campus and build the • expand our capacity to admit current Preschool/Lower School, adding a siblings and children of alumni, section at each grade level while reducing 18

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• increase the school’s reputational value. Our 2015 Strategic Plan focuses not just on preserving but rather improving the student experience through a diverse and inclusive school community, outstanding teachers, an integrated curriculum and connections to the wider world. To support those goals, we are addressing the most immediate need first — two rapidly aging, outdated Upper School buildings — which impede growth in the division demonstrating the most immediate capacity for growth. Plans are under way for a new Upper School science and humanities center that will relieve instructional space limitations. After extensive input from Upper School faculty, staff, parents and students, we plan to replace the physics and Glaxo Science buildings with a two-story, 46,000-square-foot innovative space that will: • provide state-of-the-art learning environments for our students, • increase the amount of flexible learning space and collaboration between teachers, students and disciplines, • unite our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs, and pull our English, history, language, science and math classes into closer daily contact, • better prepare our students for 21st century careers.


UPPER SCHOOL SCIENCE AND HUMANITIES CENTER • 46,172 square feet (a gain of 8,172 square feet) • 2-story central interior commons for studying and class meetings • 15 classrooms • 7 lab/classroom combinations • 1 chemistry lab • 1 makerspace • offices for academic departments and science faculty • flexible small group student study/meeting rooms • exterior patios extending from makerspace and classrooms

Our rebuilt Upper School campus will improve accessibility, security, safety and energy efficiency. It will allow strategic enrollment growth in the Upper School while protecting student/teacher ratios and advisory sizes. We will retain the beloved open-air feel of our covered sidewalks and outdoor patios while increasing the green space in the center of campus. Our new science and humanities center will look and act more like our Learning Commons (a

hive of interaction and activity). This blueprint for the future isn’t limited to the Upper School campus. In February we will begin master planning for a comprehensive renovation of the Middle School. After considering several ways of uniting all our divisions on Ridge Road, our trustees, administrators and faculty decided that our mission could best be served by reinvesting in the first home DA ever constructed. We will protect

what we love most about the Academy Road campus — its sprawling size, its beautiful outdoor learning environment, its ability to insulate tweens and teens at a key stage of their social, developmental and academic lives — creating a stateof-the-art Middle School campus, by design and not by default. The Middle School’s multi-year, long-range plan will take shape with input from faculty, staff, students and parents Those valuable opinions will help us prioritize each year-long construction segment by urgency, complexity and cost. We hope to complete the Middle School master plan by July and begin the first phase of the comprehensive renovation by summer 2019 (to dovetail with the completion of the Upper School science and humanities center). Soon we’ll share more about how to keep up with the progress of the Upper School construction project and how you can get involved in the Middle School planning.

Proposed Upper School Timeline • 2016-2017 • January 2017 • June 2017 • June 2018 • June 2018 • Summer 2019 • Summer 2019

Design of science and humanities building with Cannon Architects Site plan submitted to City of Durham Proposed construction start date of Phase 1, demolition of current physics building Phase 1 completed Proposed start date of Phase 2, demolition of Glaxo Science building. Proposed completion of Phase 2, science and humanities building ready for use Demolition of “double-decker” classroom building

Proposed Middle School Timeline • February 2017 • July 2017 • September 2017 • Summer 2019

Master planning begins, including workshops for faculty, trustees, parents and students Master plan completed Board of Trustees approves master plan Proposed start date of Phase 1 comprehensive campus renovation. Construction phased in stages over five to six years, prioritized by urgency, complexity and cost. DURHAM ACADEMY

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Kathy McPherson

ABOVE: “The greatest dividend is the students I get to teach,” says Jordan Adair, who has been teaching at Durham Academy for 22 years. “I get more back from the students than I could ever imagine.”

A Truth-Teller Who Hid His Own Truth

Jordan Adair’s teaching is often called life-changing, and he is a man who leads a drastically changed life By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications

A sk alumni which teachers made the biggest impact on them, and Jordan Adair is a name you’ll often hear mentioned. They

talk about the Upper School teacher’s passion and enthusiasm, and some say his class on war in literature is life-changing. Adair is a man who leads a drastically changed life. The English and art history teacher is known for his challenging and probing classes, yet for years he thought of himself as an athlete, not an academic or intellectual. He expects the best from his students, but lacked confidence in his own abilities. He is a truthteller who hid his own truth. He has traveled the journey from angry teenager to confidant of teens and has “come to believe in 20

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this sort of mystical, hokey thing that everything happens for a reason, and to also know that every experience I have is critical to shaping who I am.” Adair grew up the youngest of four children in Washington, North Carolina, named for his grandfather, Charles Ottis Jordan, who was mayor of the small town. His family lived in Durham for four years while his dad pursued a Ph.D., moved to Pennsylvania when his father accepted a position at Franklin & Marshall College and then relocated to Williamsburg in 1971 for an appointment at William & Mary. Adair had just finished his sophomore year of high school, and was not happy to be uprooted


Photos courtesy Jordan Adair

ABOVE: Adair has acted in more than 10 shows and likes getting to know students in a context that’s different than the classroom. TOP RIGHT: Adair has played basketball since age 6, and played on his high school team. RIGHT: Adair in his fourth-grade school photo.

from friends and a school where he was doing well. A basketball player since age 6 — he attended basketball camps at both Duke and UNC — Adair headed straight for the gym the summer he arrived in Williamsburg, and that’s where he made his first friends. He played on his high school team, focusing more on the court than the classroom. He graduated with a so-so academic record and was admitted to William & Mary as a day student. Not wanting to live at home, he headed to Towson State in Baltimore where he did very well academically but was miserable. Good grades meant he was able to transfer to William & Mary, complete with a dorm room, for second semester freshman year. “My struggles with drug and alcohol addiction started when I was in high school. When I was 16, I started smoking pot with friends I met in Williamsburg when I was a junior in high school. Senior year in high school, I sort of stopped briefly because I dated a girl who didn’t do any of that stuff. Then I went to William & Mary in the second semester, and I did it a lot and did it all through college. How I was able to physically continue to do that and actually compete at a very high level is, I guess, one of the wonders of youth.”

Adair played four years of Division I lacrosse at William & Mary, had a lot of fun and “was a very, very mediocre student except in courses that got me excited. … I was at the bottom of my class, literally.” The classes that excited him were anthropology and English, and he graduated with a double major, writing his senior thesis in anthropology on Émile Durkheim and Auguste Comte, two of the most difficult theorists. “It was the first time I really felt like I had achieved something as an academic and as an intellectual because I was encouraged by two professors who saw something in me and said ‘you’re not stupid, you’re smart.’ My mother had always supported that. My dad … he and I had an antagonistic relationship because we were so much alike.” With his college graduation, Adair felt a sense of achievement that wasn’t reflected in his class rank, felt he had grown as a person and had grown a lot intellectually, “but I carried out of William & Mary this issue with drugs and alcohol that continued.” Adair had no idea what he wanted to do with his degree. “My dad had suggested I try teaching. I said forget it, you suggested this, I’m going to Boston, I’m not going to listen to you.” He had waited tables at Williamsburg’s Kings Arms Tavern during college, so he moved to Boston and spent a year working as a waiter and bartender and playing ultimate Frisbee. “I was just miserable. Something came to me. Dad was in my head saying ‘teaching, teaching.’ I decided to give teaching a try.” He returned to William & Mary for nine weeks of classroom work and nine weeks of student teaching at a local public school. “I had an absolutely amazing student teaching experience.” Adair was paired with a young, charismatic English teacher. “She was amazing, creative, innovative, and the kids absolutely adored her. She taught me how to interact with kids, how to be human with your students, how to talk to kids who come from places where their lives may not be very good and where they are looking to you to provide some comfort or some guidance or some discipline.” continued on the next page

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Photos courtesy Jordan Adair

When a teacher left midyear at a nearby school, Adair got the job, teaching 130 students in five classes, including an AP class. “I had no idea what I was doing. I walked into this having just finished my student teaching. It was trial by fire. I loved my time there.” It was another kind of love that led Adair to Massachusetts after two-and-a-half years at Bruton High School. He had met Pam Brown at a workshop in June 1981, proposed to her in November, married her in June 1982 and moved to Andover, Massachusetts, where she was an administrator at Phillips Academy. He was hesitant to move to Massachusetts without a job and public schools hadn’t begun hiring yet, so he took a job at Walnut Hill, a small performing arts school where most of the students were female. “They were really creative kids, really interesting kids. I taught there for two years. It was a hellish commute, but I absolutely loved the job there. I realized if I wanted to coach I couldn’t be there, and I realized I needed to get a graduate degree.” Adair left to pursue a master’s degree at Northeastern University, and tells the story of how he got there “because I think it is reflective of me as a person. Pam, who has been sort of a lifesaver for me and was key, I think, in my getting sober, was also my biggest cheerleader. Because I had so little faith in myself — this ABOVE: Adair describes his wife, Pam Brown, as a lifesaver for him and goes back to being an athlete and all that kind of stuff — she said you need to apply to Northeastern, it’s a great his biggest cheerleader in getting sober. They will have been married 25 program. I had done my research, so I applied and started years in June. to write a personal statement [to go with the application]. … My first draft was basically saying I was useless at William & have to teach as Jesus taught. “I said I’m not 100 percent sure what Mary and was at the bottom of my class, so why don’t you reject that means but I think it means to be open to all people, to be me now. Pam said you can’t send them this, this is crazy — they accepting of all others.” are going to reject you if you do this. It was during his eight years at St. John’s that Adair spent “So basically I retooled it and said here’s what I can offer his first summer at Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury your program. Instead of saying what my deficiencies were, which College. “I took an acting class and a film class, and it was just was my tendency, I said here are some strengths that I bring to transcendent. … After the first summer, I said I have to keep doing your program. I got a letter saying I’d been admitted and I’d been this.” He was admitted to the master’s program and took two offered a graduate assistantship, which meant they were paying for classes a summer over the next five summers, paying his way with everything. I had to read it three or four times to make sure they professional development money from St. John’s and by working hadn’t sent it to the wrong guy.” as a waiter in the Middlebury dining hall. He left Northeastern with an M.A. in English with a When students graduate from Bread Loaf, they ask a faculty concentration in American literature. “It was as great experience member to walk with them, and Adair chose his acting teacher. He for me intellectually, academically. It was a confidence booster for had her for just one course, and that had been in his first summer me to believe that I can write. I just didn’t have any faith in myself.” there, but “she had such a profound impact on me as a teacher. Adair credits his advisor, a specialist in 20th century She helped me become comfortable in my own skin and to be modernist poetry, with helping him learn how to write and how to comfortable doing silly stuff.” think. “My method of critiquing student writing comes from him He has acted in more than 10 shows — from Pirates of because he was — some people would call it harsh — but he was Penzance and Into the Woods in Massachusetts to Grease and honest with me, he never sugar-coated anything in his comments West Side Story at DA — and likes getting to know students in a to me.” context that’s very different from the classroom. Adair took his new master’s degree to St. John’s Prep, an Adair’s six summers at Bread Loaf served as “a fertile all-boys Catholic school, where he taught English and coached intellectual environment that was unlike anything I’d ever known.” basketball. When he interviewed for the job, Adair, who is not It was at Bread Loaf that he was exposed to the idea that “you can Catholic, was asked if he could sign a contract that said he would talk about anything in an English class, you can bring in poetry,


drunk. I couldn’t drive the car. Pam had to drive us home. I went out that night to walk the dogs. I couldn’t walk the dogs, I had to sit down under a tree. I couldn’t get up. Pam had to come get me. That night she stayed there with me and I haven’t had a drink since.” Adair came to Durham Academy in 1995, and his past is integral to his life here. He is a member of the Upper School’s Assist Team that helps students reflect on their potential use of alcohol and other drugs before any health, disciplinary or relationship issues arise, and he has spoken at student assemblies. “I think the sobriety part was the last piece in shaping who I am. I tell people the reason why I do the Assist program, the reason why wellness matters to me so much, the reason why when I came down here I started talking about wellness programs in ’95-’96 and I’ve been talking about them ever since, the reason I do that is wanting to help students who may be struggling like I did and to put in place a program that can help people so they don’t have to go what I went through. Or if they are going through what I went through, we can give them help because ABOVE: Adair brings poetry, photography, art, film, literature and music there wasn’t anything like that in the ’70s.” into his classroom discussions, and was thrilled to visit museums on a He talks about human nature and things summer 2016 trip to Europe. that are personal in his classes. “I have kids write memoir pieces and I have them do portfolio projects, and a lot photography, film, art, all of it is related to exploring human nature of that is driven by one of the most important things that I think and that’s what literature does. I said great, that’s what I like, this a teacher can do, and that is to help students explore themselves. is all the stuff I like doing anyway. It was in that class, in the early That’s part of my job, I think. to mid ’90s, that I made a fundamental shift in the way that I teach “For me, sobriety shapes my world view. I don’t go a day my classes, and that is to bring in art, film, literature, music as part where I don’t think about it. So I try to be grateful for everything of a course. I call it a cultural studies model. I bring all these things I have. I try to ask my students to probe their own actions, their to bear into a discussion of what it means to be human.” own motivations and why they think and say the things they It was during his years at St. John’s that Adair made a pivotal think, why they do what they do because you have to ask those change in his personal life. He became sober. questions of yourself. That’s why I do journal writing. I’ve been His struggles began as a teenager when his family moved to doing journal writing for 25 or 30 years myself and I ask my Williamsburg. “I was angry at my father for moving me. … I spent students to do it because it’s in journals that they can do some of the next 15 years being mad at my dad for making me move. I was their best exploring.” just really angry. I was an angry kid, moody. I sought refuge in pot. Adair is in his 22nd year at DA, and he feels at peace with … It was a hard transition for me. I got hooked on the drugs.” himself. Adair’s parents had not been aware of his problem, and “I feel that this place has given me a lot, and I feel like I neither was his wife. “I kept it really hidden. I was not this kind need to give a lot. Working hard as a teacher and spending hours of person who was crashing his car left and right, but I was a talking to students or grading papers or planning is the nature maintenance pot user. … I just maintaining this very difficult of the beast, and you either are suited for it or you’re not. … The balancing act between being a professional and dealing with this greatest dividend is the students that I get to teach, and I mean addiction. that in every sense of the word. I get more back from the students “Pam and I were married for four years when she said you than I could ever imagine.” need to get help — she doesn’t remember saying it but that’s how When August rolls around, he still gets excited about I interpreted it — and if you don’t get help I’m leaving, I’m out of starting the school year. here. In ’86 I stopped pot and all those other drugs — and I was “You have to want to go to work. I don’t want to be in this doing a whole bunch of different kinds of drugs. But then I started classroom if I can’t bring my A game every day and if I can’t drinking more. From ’86 to ’88, my first couple of years at St. bring my passion and my desire to do the right job. I have a John’s Prep, I was starting to drink more and more. On April 1 of really important job. Teaching these kids. It’s really critical, what ’88, I had this revelation. We went to a party and I got absolutely I do, and I can’t take that lightly.” DURHAM ACADEMY

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From Afghanistan to Admissions

Victoria Muradi especially relates to helping kids and families who never imagined attending a school like DA

By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications

Vdoorictoria Muradi’s earliest memory is hearing banging at the of her Kabul home and opening it to see a blond, blue-eyed

Russian soldier, Kalashnikov rifle slung over his shoulder, looking for her father. Muradi was 3 years old when her father fled Afghanistan in the dark of night, leaving his wife, son and two daughters. It was 1980, the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan and her father, who was politically active and pro-democracy, was on a death list. The soldiers were convinced the family was hiding him, and it became so unsafe that the family also fled. “My mother didn’t bathe us for a week so we wouldn’t seem like city people, we would seem more like peasants. We were told we shouldn’t talk. Our grammar, accent would give us away because we had been educated. We left by bus and then by foot and on donkey, went into Pakistan and through Sri Lanka to the U.S. My mother was doing that with three children, 3, 5 and 12. I think about that now with my own two children.” Muradi has come a long way, from a kindergartner who could not say “hello” in English to a Smith College- and Harvardeducated administrator who has served as Durham Academy’s director of admissions and financial aid since 2007. Her family had led a comfortable life in Afghanistan — 24

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Kathy McPherson

RIGHT: Victoria Muradi, who is in her 10th year as Durham Academy’s admissions director, fled Afghanistan when she was 5. She began kindergarten not able to even say “hello” in English and went on to earn degrees from Smith College and Harvard University.

Muradi’s father owned a clothing factory and her mother taught school — and the family’s world was turned upside down when they fled. Father, mother and three children reunited in New York in 1982, sharing a one-bedroom apartment in a Queens building that was home to dozens of Afghan families. “My parents had taken English in school but they had to start from scratch here, taking night classes while trying to keep a family going — a hard life. Now when I go to a gas station or a Dunkin’ Donuts and see someone from overseas, I think they might have been a doctor or an engineer back where they were from.” Her father, who as the oldest male in his family held a position of high status in Afghanistan, came to the U.S. and worked as a busboy. Her mother also worked in restaurants, making her way from dishwasher to waitress as her English improved. “My father had this tremendous loss of dignity. He had nothing when he came here, he had lost everything, his family, what it meant to be somebody in a culture, he had to figure all that out here. I was too young to get it, now I really get it. He sacrificed a ton for us.” The family moved to South Florida when Muradi was in middle school. Her father worked his way up to managing


was a typical immigrant experience, was very common in immigrant cultures. In Afghanistan, most girls won’t get that same sort of push from their parents, but my dad was very much saying that was the case for all four of us. So I did very well in school and got myself into an IB [International Baccalaureate] program in a local public school.” Muradi’s parents expected her to go to community college, but her high school guidance counselor encouraged her to look at colleges that would be more academically challenging, and she navigated the college admissions process entirely on her own. “I figured out how to take the SATs, I got all my parents’ tax papers together and did financial aid and admissions. I had no help from them at all. … That was my first taste of admissions, actually. I’m so

Photos courtesy Victoria Muradi

restaurants, and her parents were able to buy a small restaurant. “It was the first thing they actually owned. They had a small mom-and-pop shop with breakfast and lunch. That’s what put us through college. They didn’t retire until three years ago. That’s how they made it.” Muradi worked at the family restaurant each summer, but during the school year it was all about working hard to make good grades. “The biggest thing for my parents, that whole loss of dignity, was so I wouldn’t have a job that forced me to stand on my feet and I didn’t have to work with my hands. That was huge for them. The first time my dad ever saw a desk that I had, he was literally weeping. The whole focus for me was that I would work really, really hard. Their job was to have the restaurant and they would provide for us. My job was to be in school and get good grades. It

TOP: Young Victoria and her family led a comfortable life in Afghanistan, where her father owned a clothing factory and her mother taught school. ABOVE RIGHT: Muradi with her greatgrandfather, brother and younger sister. ABOVE LEFT: Muradi as a third-grader in Queens, New York.

grateful they even let me do that. I was the first person in my family to go away for college. I was the first girl, for sure, who ever lived away. Lots of people gave questioning looks at my parents, how could you let your daughter do that? It is so common for us to have a multi-generational family. You are with your family until you get married. “I couldn’t get my parents to even bite at the idea of my going away unless I went to a women’s college. I applied to Smith and Bryn Mawr and Wellesley. It was more affordable for me to go to Smith than to Florida State or any public schools. They gave me a continued on the next page

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Photo courtesy Victoria Muradi

massive scholarship, and that was really it for me.” Going away to college meant huge social changes for Muradi. “It was a tremendous amount of freedom. I grew up in Florida and was not allowed to wear shorts, not allowed to have any kind of relationship, especially on the phone, which was the way to have a relationship. I couldn’t talk to boys on the phone. Just imagine a very traditional Muslim upbringing. My parents were very strict, I didn’t go to prom, I couldn’t date. Then I got to college and I had the ability to come home late, didn’t have to answer to anybody, so it was pretty exciting just from that angle.” But college was also academically challenging. “College was really hard for me because people were so much more prepared for college than I was. I had gone from making all As and ABOVE: Muradi with her parents, brother and two sisters after her high being one of the top kids in my class to having kids school graduation in South Florida. come from schools like DA and boarding schools She spent a year in the Harvard master’s in education and prep schools who knew how to advocate for themselves. I program — taking classes in everything from student affairs to did not have any of that. They knew how to talk about themselves admissions to governance, strategic planning and trustees — and with confidence, they had a sense of who they were. I was just that’s where she met Jeff Carpenter, a fellow graduate student who doing the work. It was hard academically. My first semester it would become her husband. was particularly challenging to do the academics at a pretty tough “We had to do practicums at Harvard as part of our courses, school and to have the freedom that I was just starting to taste.” and I did two practicums that made me realize I love admissions Muradi discovered Latina literature while she was at Smith, work. One was at A Better Chance organizing orientation, and my and it helped her understand her own experience. second was working in the admission office at Harvard College “I had little in common with the women culturally, but I got interviewing kids.” to read Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Sandra Cisneros, At Harvard, Muradi experienced “excitement in the people all these women writing about what it was like to straddle two cultures. No one else had ever conveyed that to me. … I fell in love from all over the world, living in a dorm with people from the Kennedy School, divinity school, business school and the ed with the idea of literature about being bicultural. I don’t think I’d school. I loved being around young, excited, bright and superever even put it to name what it was that I’d gone through.” motivated people. But I realized I did not want to be in New Muradi’s scholarship required her to have an on-campus job. England.” She came south as assistant dean of admissions at the She worked in the college kitchen her first year, then got a job in University of Virginia; was director of admissions at Chatham the admissions office, putting together packets for prospective applicants. She progressed from working in the basement to sitting Hall, an all-girls boarding school in southern Virginia; and is in her 10th year as director of admissions and financial aid at in on admissions interviews to interviewing applicants. Durham Academy. Muradi graduated from Smith in three years and stayed Muradi sees the same sort of energy and excitement at for what would have been her senior year, living in a dorm as Durham Academy as she did at Harvard. a residence advisor and doing four interviews a day for the “I think that’s exactly what keeps me at DA. I feel that way admissions office. “That’s literally how I started in admissions and working with about our administration. Everybody is at the top of their game in this school. … Everyone cares and is doing their best and is super students. My parents would have preferred that I come down to motivated to be better and I like that.” Florida and help run the restaurant. Their hope was I would go to She has held the DA admissions post longer than anyone else. college and come back home. That was a big surprise to them that “Ten years is a long time to stay in one school, but it’s not I didn’t want to.” getting old yet and I really still love what I’m doing. It’s different She was intrigued by admissions work, but her boss every single day. It’s seasonal work, there’s an ebb and a flow. encouraged her to leave Smith to find out whether she wanted You get to start the school year and see how excited and jazzed to do admissions for the sake of admissions or whether she just everyone is, gear up for the recruiting season and just by the time loved Smith. A year in the admissions office at nearby Western recruiting gets old you’re reviewing applications and then you’re New England College confirmed that admissions was the career making all these people really, really happy and then you’re getting for her and Muradi decided to pursue a graduate degree in higher to see them transitioned into the school.” education.


Lauren Croniser

ABOVE: Muradi and her husband, Jeff Carpenter, are the parents of 3-year-old Mateen and Lyla, who’s not yet 2. Muradi and Carpenter met when they were graduate students at Harvard.

Muradi especially relates to helping kids and families who never imagined attending a school like DA. It reminds her of her own experience navigating college admissions on her own. “It’s great to work with legacies and siblings, but there are kids who this is going to change the entire course of their life. They never thought they were going to go to college and they are, or they never thought a school like this would be attainable for them because of income and it is. That is the absolute best part.” Each year, Muradi helps award $2 million in need-based financial aid. She has led hundreds of tours of Durham Academy, “but every single time I’m floored by going in and seeing what our students are doing or seeing what the teachers have up. I just went to first grade and first-graders were doing VoiceThreads in Caroline Petrow’s class. Upstairs, Lyn Streck was talking about something new she wants to do to introduce Bernoulli’s principle. That’s just today. No one tour is the same, no one classroom feels the same. It’s kind of interesting to think about these kids we’ve brought in and how they get that every day, how they get these opportunities every day. I love it, it never gets old. The people that we have are so excited about what they are doing. It’s hard for that not to feel contagious.” Muradi makes a conscious effort to leave work behind when she is with her own children, Mateen and Lyla. “I want to be a really present force for my kids, so I try not

to be on my phone and I try to be active. From the time I leave here until the time they are in bed, I try to spend as much time as possible with them. I play with them, we’re on the floor, we go to playgrounds, the library.” Early morning is the time she reserves for herself. “I wake up at 4:45 every morning and hit the gym at 5. You could call me a gym rat. I love the gym, it’s my escape. Three times a week I do a boot camp-type class. The other days I run or lift weights. I work out from 5 to 6:30 most mornings, then come home, shower, get my kids up and head out for school. I drop them off, come here and then I can be with them in the evenings until they go to sleep.” That doesn’t leave time for much else. “I don’t watch TV. I cook, I do yoga and I’m also in bed by 9:30.” The family moved this fall to a new house they built near Hillsborough — a location that’s more convenient for both Muradi and her husband, a professor at Elon — so she’s also been busy making it feel like home. While it may seem like she doesn’t have a minute to spare, Muradi is fueled by the fact that she gets to watch the students she often initially meets as Preschoolers develop and grow into incredible young adults by the time they reach high school. “… I get to give opportunities to kids. … There are lots of kids here who I feel we are so lucky to have them at the school, so lucky they found us.” DURHAM ACADEMY

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Saying Goodbye to a Legend Alumni, faculty reflect on Dave Gould’s passing and his 31 years at DA

D

intensely challenging to his students, Dave brought a courageous intellect to his classroom day-in and day-out. He questioned authority and insisted that his students do the same. He was also not one to sugarcoat his assessment of student writing and critical thinking skills. All of these qualities are what made Dave the great teacher and valued friend he was to many of his students and colleagues. When he retired, he gave me the sign that hung in his room all those years — Thimk — and I am honored to have it on display in my room today as a reminder of all that he meant to me as a teacher and friend. He will be sorely missed.

• Brooke Hartley Moy ’07: A few weeks ago, I was home in Chapel Hill and my parents asked me to clean out my childhood bedroom. In the process, I came across an entire drawer filled with every essay I had ever written for Mr. Gould’s AP Modern European History class and two whole notebooks of class discussions. I read through everything, transporting myself back to the 12th grade. I found Mr. Gould’s constructive feedback that pushed me to become a better writer. I laughed at his outside the box questions that stretched my critical thinking skills. I reflected fondly on the plans he helped shape when he took our class to Eastern Europe. Taking this small step back in time, I was reminded • Eric Steinberger ’08: I rarely share any how much I owed this man and how much of my thoughts on social media. However, I he had shaped my intellectual journey. I can feel compelled to leave a comment about a see his influence in my decision to major man that has truly left a lasting impression in history, the writing style of my college on me. … Mr. Gould took students and thesis and even my recent move to Australia. molded us into skeptics. I constantly find On a broader level, I’d like to think I’ve myself thinking about his lessons and honored his teachings with a willingness to quoting him on a regular basis. Mr. Gould always question the status quo and a love of once told our class, “There is one thing and learning for the sake of learning. one thing only that makes the world turn and that is manners. If we don’t treat each • Virginia Reves Hall ’91, Middle other with respect, we have nothing. The School faculty: Sending love to DA world would be complete chaos without family today — how lucky we were to be manners.” I can honestly say Mr. Gould his students — while I didn’t take Modern will live forever through his students. European, I did have him for Modern Global Issues elective and then had the treat • Bonnie Moses, former Upper to be under his guidance as my first chair of School faculty: David Gould not only history department when joining faculty in inspired hundreds of students in his career, 1998. … We are all richer for having been he was also a great teacher of teachers. touched by him and the pure joy he brought I began my teaching career at Durham to living. Academy fresh out of graduate school and David Gould was an outstanding mentor. • Juliellen Sarver ’85: Mr. Gould was Thirty-two years later, I am still teaching gracious and inspiring in the classroom and I still appreciate his guidance during and on the basketball court. He had high those early years. He was a passionate expectations and inspired us to reach for teacher of history who taught his students them. Through him, I learned how to learn, to think for themselves. which is a lifelong gift. I will never forget

ave Gould, much loved and greatly revered Upper School history teacher, died July 10, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. He was a teacher who truly transformed lives. Dave left the classroom in 2012, but the legacy of his 31-year Durham Academy career continues. Alumni, faculty and parents posted tributes on DA’s Facebook page after learning of his death, and below are excerpts from several of those tributes.

• Emilia Sotolongo ’08: Mr. Gould didn’t teach students content, he taught students how to learn. He continually pushed us to think deeper, to care less about the grade, and to never take anything at face value. He was the teacher whose house we crashed to throw a surprise birthday party, the teacher we helped make a Facebook account. He was the teacher whose class we took less to learn the content, but more to learn from the teacher. In college, I used AP Modern Euro materials and theories in many different classes. In graduate school my professors praised my ability to think and connect social studies topics. When they praised my undergraduate program, I redirected their praises towards David Gould, Jordan Adair and Durham Academy. Mr. Gould furthered my love of history and social studies, and along with Virginia Reves Hall, is one of the biggest reasons I pursed becoming a social studies teacher. As I enter my second year of teaching, it is only fitting that I will be teaching modern European history this year. • Jordan Adair, Upper School faculty: When I moved to my present classroom and next to Dave many years ago, my life at DA changed fundamentally. Honest to a fault with his friends and 28

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many times in my adult life for advice and guidance. He had an influence on my decision to go to law school and an • Ted Kalo ’88: I influence on my decision to open a school. suspect I was one of He taught me to love documentaries. He many, but Dave Gould taught me so much more. saw the potential in an Thank you Dave for your time here underachiever rather on earth. You did indeed change the world. than the results. His Those who had the joy of knowing you insistence on excellence, were forever touched by you and will miss encouragement to you dearly. achieve it, and teaching method which made • Bryan Anna ’02: I think about being it possible, changed precise and concise in everything I do and it the direction of my is from Mr. Gould. academic life and led to whatever successes • Lee Patterson ’00: In 20 years of I’ve had. schooling, I can’t think of any class that combined education and enjoyment more • Cathy Howe than Mr. Gould’s AP Modern European. Sheafor ’84: He was Paradigm shifts and individuation. Hockey one of the best teachers legends Jacques and Abdul (and their I have ever known. background/life stories). Chasing that He challenged me to elusive (perhaps impossible) 9 ½ grade think critically, to write on papers. “3 Minutes.” Vegemite. Film thoughtfully and to Nights. Learning how to thiMk. Learning question. He made me how to consider and appreciate different a better student, scholar, perspectives. Learning a lot about having athlete and person. He was a big picture compassion for others, especially the less thinker who never missed a detail. He had fortunate. Learning a lot of history in the balance. He taught me balance. He was process. joyful and he taught me joy. The lessons learned from Mr. Gould, He taught me more than history and both regarding history and life, have basketball and moot court and debate. stuck with me for the past 16 years and He taught me how to learn and how to will continue to do so. His unique mix of teach. He was firm but gentle. He had academic talent, passion for teaching and high expectations of his students and he history, compassion and good humor will taught them to have high expectations be missed and we were all so very fortunate of themselves. He was patient. He was to have known him. understanding. He was focused more on life lessons than book learning. But he • Mike Spatola, Upper School still taught a ton of history. He understood faculty: Going on four decades of teaching different learning styles and he constantly I have had incredible opportunities to work encouraged self assessment by students. with many magnificent educators. I’ve also Dave was full of joy and lived life been extremely lucky and fortunate to work with a sense of adventure. He pushed me in history departments with rare, unique, outside my comfort zone intellectually and gifted and extraordinary teachers. Dave socially. Gould was an All-Star of rarified quality. I babysat for his kids, bowled with His legacy will live forever and he takes his him at the bowing alley, chatted with special place, in a spot reserved for special him, debated with him, undertook model people in Heaven’s Hall of Fame. Word has United Nations and moot court with him, it, he has told several limericks and has the played basketball for him, took every place in stitches. RIP dear colleague and class he taught and later called upon him friend. Les Todd

and certainly pushed them to “thimk.”

how he supported me through a very tough time when I lost vision in one eye and had difficulty reading and could no longer play basketball. He kept me on the team even though he didn’t have to because he knew that being included in a time of becoming very different was so important. He knew how to bring out the best in us during our tumultuous teenage years. The world was a better place with his smile and kindness, and he left a little bit of that in each of us to spread around. • Will Soper ’02: Mr. Gould embodied everything truly great about the DA model. He taught me how to truly think about things (or thimk, if you will), how to write and to take joy in learning. He’s the only teacher I know who could show Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to 10th graders and make actual lessons stick. It was an honor to have been his student. • Anna Tabor, alumni parent: All three of my children had Dave for a teacher. He was exceptional in every way,

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G oing out Wes t to ride the range and live on a r anch

Greg Murray

By Greg Murray, Director of Physical Education

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IWhen always wanted to be a cowboy. I left home for school each morning,

After an extensive search, I discovered Bitterroot Ranch, just west of Dubois, Wyoming. Their methods of training, their absolute care of the horses, their rustic proximity to the wild and their commitment to habitat preservation immediately captured my attention. There was even a promise of visiting a confirmed hideout for the infamous Butch Cassidy and his gang, which had been discovered on the ranch just a few years ago. My buddies had nicknamed me Sundance as a kid, so this was definitely my destined destination! The trip turned out to be the best birthday gift I had ever received — a return to my childhood. My first connection with the Bitterroot Ranch, an email of inquiry to hadley@ equitours.com, confirmed fate. Much to my pleasant surprise, the response was: “Dear Mr. Murray, You will be amazed that one of your old DA students is answering this email, Hadley Long (Millie Long's younger sister).

my first sights were the barn and rolling hills of pasture land of my grandparents’ farm. On Saturday mornings, I watched Westerns instead of cartoons. My first pony was named “Trigger.” I carried a Roy Rogers lunchbox — that I still have today. I’ve always been a kid at heart. This fall, I celebrated a significant birthday. My wife, Deb, not only encouraged, but insisted that I pursue my dream of going out West to ride the range and live in the wild. Just as cowboys have done for centuries, I went to the internet to search for the perfect experience. I perused hundreds of websites to find my adventure. I wanted to participate in a true cattle drive — to move the herd across the prairie. Unfortunately, I found that most full cattle drives run in May and September when I’m at Durham Academy, so I decided to find a real working ranch. 32

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Bitterroot Ranch is my family's ranch in Wyoming — my husband grew up here, and we run it with my parents-in-law. What an amazing coincidence!” After landing in Jackson Hole — the most beautiful airport I had ever seen — I drove for a couple of hours along the Grand Tetons, passing by Mt. Moran, on my way to Dubois. I felt the immediate allure of the grandeur of northwest Wyoming with its varied terrain, open sky and raw wilderness. The sky was clear and the air was crisp, even in late July. Smoke from a forest fire clouded parts of the sky, but depending on the prevailing wind, it didn’t overwhelm the beauty of the area. I was overcome by the feeling of openness — true purple mountain majesty and fruited plains! The Bitterroot Ranch spreads for miles as a river runs directly through the center of the base camp. Upon arrival, I walked among the barns, along the buck continued on page 34

Greg Murray

ABOVE: Sunrise and a quiet moment in the pasture with a mare and her foal.


BELOW: The corral is the heart of Bitterroot Ranch.

Wayne Magee

Greg Murray

Michael Tucker

Greg Murray

BELOW: Greg Murray on Padlock, one of the four mounts he rode during the week.

ABOVE: The herd coming in for feeding.

BELOW: Riding on the majestic range with a view of Dinwoody Glacier, the largest glacier in the continental United States.

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and rail fences, and down to the riverbed. From my simple sleeping quarters, there was an unobstructed view of Dinwoody Glacier, the largest glacier in the continental United States. The first morning, since I was on East Coast time, I awakened just before sunrise to take a walkabout through the pasture in the valley to play with the newborn foals. One particular foal was adorable, but extremely shy. My strategy to gain her trust was to get acquainted with her mother. After I ignored the foal for a few minutes, her curiosity got the best of her as she snuck up for a nuzzle and nibbled a few blades of grass from my outstretched palm. Sunrise and a quiet moment. I was at home.

Michael Tucker

BELOW: Greg Murray reconnected with Hadley Long Fox ’00.

OFFERING A HE ALING OF THE SOUL Hadley Long Fox ’00 forgoes a medical career for ranch life, and recovers from serious injury to ride again By Greg Murray, Director of Physical Education

H

adley Long Fox ’00 chose to forgo a career in medicine, but her heart and spirit bring so much more. She offers a healing of the soul. She arrived at a Wyoming ranch by way of Africa and she has truly found her home. Hadley attended Yale University, majoring in Latin American Studies, after graduating from Durham Academy in 2000. She loved her time in New Haven and expanded her education with study in Venezuela, Cuba and Spain. After completing her degree in 2004, she moved to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins to prepare for medical school. In the midst of med school interviews in February 2007, Hadley and her mother decided to enjoy a trip together in Kenya, booking a horseback safari with Equitours. The leader of the tour was Richard Fox, a handsome Bowdoin graduate. Love at first sight may be an overused cliché, but it seems appropriate here. They became engaged in just a matter of months. 34

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Hadley received her acceptance to Harvard Medical School in April, but decided to defer her admittance for a year so that she could move to Wyoming to be close to Richard and to get to know her future in-laws. Harvard supported her pursuit of an internship with the Indian Health Services at Fort Washakie, Wyoming, serving the Shoshone population. Shortly after moving, Hadley discovered that her captivation with the outdoors, the inner workings of the Bitterroot Ranch, and interest in international travel had become her primary passion. She worked at the ranch, got to know her new family, and soon decided to withdraw her admittance to Harvard so that her space could be made available to new applicants. She became a rancher alongside Richard. It was a particularly difficult decision because of a legacy of physicians in her family, but the lifestyle that she had chosen in Wyoming seemed to fit.

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In the summer, her family operates an equestrian experience like no other at the Bitterroot Ranch, part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest wild area in the lower 48 states. Bayard Fox purchased Bitterroot in 1971, fulfilling a dream of living on a ranch in the Rocky Mountain West. He was later joined by his wife, Mel, who had grown up on a ranch in East Africa. Mel runs the riding program, where she has bred and trained many of the 180 horses at the ranch. The care and welfare of the animals is top priority, as Hadley insists, “We make sure that they have a good life, too — sound and happy.” In the offseason on the ranch, the cattle that are not sold and all of the horses are moved to the family farm just 90 miles away, where the climate is much more tolerable in the winter months. During the winter, Richard and Hadley spend time researching, planning and leading Equitour events around the world. They explore tour opportunities by


aggressively work as one with my mount. My horses were mighty and agile, acutely aware of their footing. I was energized by their power and confidence. Because the well-being of the horses was a priority, I was assigned four different mounts for the duration of my experience — Dakota, Padlock, Soldier Boy and Dark Justice. They each displayed a distinct personality and magnetism. Daily rides across the contrasting landscape of unspoiled Wyoming took me along places like Upper Wind River Gorge, Buffalo Draw, Elk Run, Pole Creek — names straight out of a classic Western! The rides included cantering on

Wayne Magee

My reunion with Hadley was as I had expected. She is still the sparkling, effervescent person I taught both as a youngster in the Lower School and in Phys Ed and Wellness at the Upper School. I met her husband, Richard, and her in-laws, Mel and Bayard Fox, and we shared stories of the past and caught up with our current status. Thanks to Hadley’s indomitable spirit and the adventure that she and her family offer their guests, I had a chance to rediscover myself. I received the gift of becoming a child again. I got the opportunity to revisit my skills as a horseman, learning to sort cattle and

ABOVE: Bitterroot Ranch is a family operation, with (from left) Mel Fox, Bayard Fox, Richard Fox and Hadley Long Fox ’00 all taking a role.

checking sites, reviewing the operation of the local ranch, evaluating their care of the horses and sharing their knowledge from running their own ranch. Their current pursuit is a horseback tour in Japan. Living in the wild does provide its challenges. On June 4, 2015, while on a morning ride at the ranch, Hadley turned back to speak with her guests. Her horse slipped on wet ground, lost its footing and stumbled backwards. Hadley struck the ground head-first. She was wearing a helmet — required

by the ranch — but fell unconscious. In the group was a physician, a guest from Australia, and he attended to her until the medivac helicopter arrived. She remained unconscious throughout the 45-minute flight to Idaho Falls, and does not remember anything about the accident. Hadley spent four days in the ICU and remained in the hospital for two weeks. Within 10 days, some of her memory was restored. Her first memories are of her struggling attempts to walk. Yoga, balance and strengthening exercises, and simple daily tasks on the DURHAM ACADEMY

open plains, winding through pine and aspen forests, clambering up rocky gorges and crossing rushing streams that pour out of the mountains. Each trek had a purpose. One sighting of circling birds out on the range, for example, was a harsh reminder of the raw wilderness as we searched for a carcass from a kill. Several packs of wolves had migrated to the area and had found the herd an easy target. The reality of nature was everywhere. One thing is certain. I know I will visit the Bitterroot Ranch again. Living in that environment renewed my youthful spirit. The tranquility of the vast openness and the unity between horse and rider provided utopian respite.

ranch continued through the summer as she persevered through painstaking small steps to recovery. By August, most of her memory had returned, or as Hadley described, “It became more dependable.” By April 2016, she miraculously was “back close to normal.” Based on the extent of her injuries, Hadley was far ahead of schedule. In fact, she was far ahead of where the doctors thought she would ever be. In addition to the incredible support of her family, Hadley credits the kinship with the outside world and the love of the animals for much of her remarkable improvement. “The animals are always loving and non-judgmental … that relationship rejuvenated my spirit.” When asked what was the most challenging part of her recovery, Hadley simply said, “the rediscovery of myself.” While much of her physical capabilities returned, it was her mental and emotional recovery that took the most time. “Other than lingering issues with visual focus, I’m back to my old self.” I can attest that she has definitely rediscovered herself as well. The Hadley that I saw at Bitterroot was the adult version of the incredible young woman I knew at Durham Academy years ago. Her strength is obvious to all who associate with her at the ranch and on tour. She has personified the adage of getting back on the horse.

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Putting DA’s Mission Under a Microscope ‘I would like to have a life that I can look back at and be proud of — proud of all the choices I’ve made, adventures that I have shared, and the time that I have spent doing things I really love.’ — JAC K K N O L L ’19 By Lee Hark, Associate Head of School

TSchool] his fall, Michael [Ulku-Steiner, Head of ideas if the answers conflict with one and I team-taught a semester course another? And how do I use my time here

‘What you learn in this course will stick with you for the rest of your life, and I feel so much more prepared and confident graduating high school having taken the course!’

called The Mission-Driven Life. It has been a unique experience for us, and, we think, a positive one for our students. As much as I’d like to claim that our class was my idea (or even a mutual one), it was, in fact, mostly Michael’s — and as usual, driven by his energy, hyper-optimism and sense of possibility. My most significant early contribution was to recommend the hyphen. The idea for the course was born in the summer of 2015, when Michael and I read “How to Live Wisely,” a New York Times essay by Harvard professor Richard Light. For the past several decades, Light has worked to improve the undergraduate student experience at Harvard and many other colleges and universities. Recently Durham Academy partnered with him to do similar work on our campus. He spent a full day with our faculty last spring. He is someone we respect and trust. In his essay, Light highlights the questions he has posed to first-year Harvard students over the past several decades: “What does it mean to live a good life? What about a productive life? How about a happy life? How might I think about these

— E L L I S TO M S ’17

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at college to build on the answers to these tough questions?” Those questions resonated with me and with Michael — especially since they speak directly to DA’s mission statement. We wondered whether a course designed to address those questions would appeal to high school students. As our conversations continued, we also wondered if the class could provide our students an opportunity to develop a personal mission statement, something that would crystallize their values and provide a touchstone for their future choices. The course didn’t take shape until the summer of 2016. Given that one of the aims of the course was for students to develop personal mission statements, it made sense that DA’s own mission statement — which compels us to prepare young people for “moral, happy, productive lives” — could provide the basic framework for our content. Seeing those three qualities as interdependent (we argue that it is impossible to be any one of them without being the other two), we knew that our material would not fit neatly


Melody Guyton Butts

ABOVE: Durham Academy graduate Chris Rosati was one of 12 guest speakers who met with the class. Rosati, who was diagnosed with ALS six years ago and is the founder of Inspire MEdia Network, challenged students to live lives free of fear and overflowing with empathy.

into buckets. Still we began with morality, happiness and productivity as our major units of study. Specifically, our course goals were as follows. By January 2017, both students and teachers in this course will: • Be familiar with a series of important literary, historical, philosophical and ideological touchstones. • Encounter exemplars of moral, happy, productive living — both in person and via text and other media. • Better know how to live moral, happy, productive lives. And perhaps more importantly . . . • Foster curiosity, independence and agency in pursuing these virtues throughout our lives. • Strengthen communication (speaking, listening, reading, writing) and critical thinking skills. • Develop the skills necessary for successful interpersonal and cross-cultural experiences: openness, cooperative spirit, respect and curiosity. • Experiment with new modes of learning (interdisciplinary, blended, teamtaught, student-driven, multi-age).    

Among our aims from the beginning: to experiment with new educational tools and teaching strategies. To that end, we enlisted the help of Tina Bessias, the Upper School’s newly appointed blended learning coach. Like the best teachers, Tina helped us translate our raw, unformed ideas into platforms and tools we could use to realize our vision. One of the aspects of this class that has gotten some attention is its team-taught nature, which currently is a relative rarity at DA. In fact, this class has been taught by a team, but it’s more than just Michael and me. When we were building the course this summer, we also got essential assistance from Xandy Jones, Karl Schaefer, Julian Cochran and several recent DA graduates who helped us see which of our ideas were viable and which were downright goofy. We began each class meeting with a student-selected quotation- and songof-the-day. We had fun challenging the origin of some of our quotes (Abe Lincoln was a veritable quote factory, it seems) and matching the song choices with the personalities of the students who chose them (I’m still chewing on Bailey’s DURHAM ACADEMY

selection of “I’ll Make a Man out of You” from Mulan). Another aspect of the class that proved to be popular was our “press conferences,” class periods designated as question-and-answer sessions between teachers and students. Their questions alternated between heavy “What are your regrets?” (I’m still chewing on that one) to light “What fruit or vegetable would you want to take into battle?” [answer: a four-hundred-pound pumpkin (me); a sweet potato (Michael)]. [Not all of our conversations are useful, but they are all enlightening.] We saw these sessions as opportunities to be transparent with our students and to show them that pathways to success are varied and that being an adult can be a lot of fun. We also wanted to disrupt the traditional notion of a classroom. As often as possible, we pushed the learning beyond our classroom walls. We videoconferenced about Ben Franklin’s “Plan for Moral Perfection” with students in Switzerland and shared MLK-inspired “I Have a Dream” speeches with students in Beijing. We spent as much time in continued on the next page

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Michael Ulku-Steiner

meeting rooms, living rooms and offices in Durham and Chapel Hill as we did on campus. We wanted our students to learn from as many wise people as we could possibly cram into one semester. True to that original plan, our guest speakers became an absolutely essential part of the class. In truth, they taught the students much more than Michael and I did. If our students’ final speeches and mission statements were any indication, each of our guest speakers impacted the students in unique and profound ways. I think it’s fair to say, though, that the two who were mentioned most frequently were Steve Farmer and Chris Rosati. Both touched on ideas that became themes of the course: Steve encouraged the students to “resist” the self-distorting forces of the college admission game as they nurture their most authentic selves. Chris challenged the students to live lives free of fear and overflowing with empathy. A few excerpts from those personal mission statement speeches: • “I will not be afraid to live an authentic, joyful and courageous life. I will lead with empathy, connecting with others and creating lifelong relationships. I will avoid regret by focusing on and appreciating the smaller

‘Kimberly Jenkins is living proof of a lot of what we’ve been learning about. She took an unorthodox path to get to where she is, she took risks, she’s empathetic and warm to others. And the very way we met her (sharing a meal with her in her home) reflected all of that.’ — L A N A K A L FA S ’19

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moments of life that add up to something greater than myself.” • “My mission is to live a purposeful and compassionate life, recognizing that there are many things more important than myself, but never losing sight of my own significance.” • “I would like to have a life that I can look back at and be proud of — proud of all the choices I’ve made, adventures that I have shared, and the time that I have spent doing things I really love. Because to me, my choices, the adventures I go on, and doing the things I love are what is most important in life. ​Eventually I will allow future me — old, wrinkled, nearing the end — to be happy to be near that end as I have lived a truly wonderful life.” Would I have been able to write that at age 16? Or, what is more, muster the courage to proclaim it to the world? And, in a few cases, sing it to the world . . . while playing the ukulele? (Yes, this happened.) I sincerely doubt it. In some ways, this class has spoiled me. Michael is well known as a passionate, inventive and joyful teacher. When I think of teaching this spring without him, it feels … incomplete. He and I debrief each class every day — how could we improve it? What worked well? What will we pitch next year? What will we add? How can we


Michael Ulku-Steiner

OUR GUEST SPEAKERS:

• Dr. Dan Ariely, Author, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University (Meeting at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at the American Tobacco Campus) • Jordan Babwah, Fitness Director at Durham Academy • Dr. Lindsey Copeland,­Counselor at Durham Academy • Steve Farmer,­ Executive Vice Chancellor TOP: Meeting with the Rev. Will Willimon, a and Provost for Enrollment professor at Duke Divinity School and former Dean and Undergraduate of Duke Chapel. FACING PAGE: Kimberly Jenkins, Admissions at UNC-Chapel who has worked with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Hill (Meeting at UNC­-CH) is now entrepreneur in residence at Duke University, • The Rev. Sterling invited the class to share a meal in her home. Freeman,­Project Manager at the African-American make it better? Teaching can be a lonely Denominational House at Chatauqua enterprise, and it isn’t often that you have • Kimberly Jenkins,­Entrepreneur a partner as wholly committed to the in Residence and Trustee at Duke success of a venture as you are. I will miss University (Meeting at her home in the opportunity to discuss the practice of downtown Durham) teaching with him on a daily basis. • Dan Kimberg,­Founder and Together Michael and I are left with Director of Development, Student U. a sense of profound gratitude — for our • Jessica Lahey,­Writer for The guest speakers and conversation partners, New York Times and The Atlantic. to be sure, but even more so for the 16 Author of The Gift of Failure: How the brave souls who agreed to pilot the course Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their with us, despite the fact that for all of them Children Can Succeed (Skype session) it would mean extra work, time and effort • The Rev. Cullen McKenney,­ on top of their other courses — and one Minister of Adult Discipleship and that promised an uncertain payoff. At the Witness at Duke Memorial United time they were registering for fall courses, Methodist Church, Durham (Meeting we had little more in mind than a general at Duke Memorial) course description, a set of questions and • Chris Rosati ’89­, Durham an exhortation to “Trust us!” Academy alumnus, Founder and Chief At the end of The Mission-Driven Dreamer at Inspire MEdia Network Life 2.0, I am left inspired and a bit • Jamie Krzyzewski Spatola ’00, wistful. The students have been nothing Writer, parent/alumna/trustee at short of amazing each day and have fully Durham Academy (Meeting at the embraced our traveling experiment. And Emily K Center) their mission statements reaffirm my faith • The Rev. Will Willimon­, Professor that they are eager and every day more of the Practice of Christian Ministry at ready to craft their own moral, happy and Duke Divinity School and former Dean productive lives. It’s been a privilege to of Duke Chapel. (Meeting at Duke contribute to that journey in a small but, we Divinity School)

‘This class has been an emotional ride, as it embodied some of my favorite parts of being at Durham Academy, and has made me realize how much I will miss the community when I go off to college.’ — ZO E PH A R O ’17

hope, meaningful way.

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Walking in Their Shoes

A T E ACHER A SKS MIDDLE SCHOOLERS TO CRI T IQUE T HE NOV EL SHE’S WRI T ING IN V ERSE By Kelly Howes, Language Arts, Middle School

Apoem s I distributed copies of my to the circle of critics,

Ames that chronicled the 18 months, beginning in May 1865, that she spent in South Carolina. Mary had joined a movement of northerners — sometimes referred to as Gideon’s Band — who ventured south at the end of the Civil War, intent on lending assistance to the newly freed African-American population. Many were teachers, while others, like Mary, lacked teaching experience but nevertheless volunteered to help them acquire the literacy skills so desperately needed as they moved into lives outside of slavery. Mary’s journal was written in unadorned language that hinted at, rather than clearly articulated, the rich blend of new sensations, people, traditions and experiences she encountered during her time on Edisto Island. I was immediately intrigued, both as a teacher and a writer, by the thought of this unmarried New England woman from a well-to-do family — one that disapproved of her plan — who felt moved to participate in this effort. While my mind and heart

I felt my heart contract just a bit. To bring this piece of writing — revised and rerevised and fretted over by me for months but never seen by other eyes — out into the open was to make myself as vulnerable as ... well, as vulnerable as my students are when they hand their writing over to me.

How appropriate, then, that this circle of critics comprised those very students. I knew that at this scary moment, I needed to be as brave as they are. I had begun this journey nearly a decade earlier, well before I entered my current space of teaching and learning. In my previous career as a writer and editor, I was researching a writing assignment — a historical reference book on the Reconstruction Era (1865 to approximately 1876) — when I encountered a primary source that sparked my interest. It was a personal journal written by a Springfield, Massachusetts, woman named Mary

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grappled with the complex questions of suffering, injustice, empathy and privilege that are still so alive in our society, my imagination was engaged by the prospect of sharing this story with others. Inspired by such recent works as Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacquelyn Woodson and Karen Hesse’s Out of the Dust, I eventually landed on the idea of a novel in verse as an effective format for relaying biographical and historical material. Such a project would require additional research, of course. I knew that I would want to travel to both the northern starting point of Mary’s journey and her southern destination, in order to immerse myself (as much as possible, anyway, given the distances in time and background) in these two milieus. In addition, I had also come across the journals of two other women who had taken similar, yet significantly different journeys: Charlotte Forten, an African-American woman from a free black family, and Laura Towne,


who established a school on St. Helena Island and stayed there the rest of her life. Fortunately, I am employed by an institution that honors and supports the interests, aspirations and perhaps even the pipe dreams of its faculty. Thus I pursued and received a summer grant from Durham Academy that financed my visits to Massachusetts and to the South Carolina Sea Islands. My summer travel took me to Mary’s now-abandoned house on Ames Hill in Springfield; to the African Meeting House in Boston, where Charlotte heard Harriet Tubman and other abolitionists speak; and to St. Helena Island, where Laura Towne served as both teacher and doctor. I stood before Boston’s monument to the 54th Massachusetts regiment of black soldiers that had evoked such pride in Charlotte, admired the moss-draped landscape that had seemed a “fairy land” to Mary, and walked the sandy streets of the island that Laura had chosen as her permanent home. It was moving to put myself in the shoes of these women as they contemplated and then undertook teaching assignments that were fraught with mystery, danger, discomfort and misunderstanding but also brought them moments of enlightenment, adventure and satisfaction. In the months following my summer research and my first burst of writing, I thought about the commitment I had made — to myself and to the grant

committee — to share my project, and particularly my writing process, with my students. As the school year got under way, the usual crush of curricular demands and schedule logjams began, and my project was pushed to the proverbial back burner. When Thanksgiving approached, though, I saw a break in the clouds — a day that I could devote to something outside of my students’ usual concerns. In planning how to use this time for shining a spotlight on my project, I wondered how they would receive it. I wasn’t at all sure that the stories of three adult women from the 19th century would engage them, even if the novel-inverse format would be familiar, as they had just begun reading such a book (Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate). I decided that I would pare down the background details and focus on the writing practices we use in class, especially the pre-writing stages of generating and outlining ideas. I created a short slide show with a few notes and images to highlight the genesis of the project and the research I had conducted. I also planned to share my large, messy brainstorm web and the still-evolving outline of topics that I thought might be poem-worthy. Finally, I chose a poem from the few I had already written. I would ask the students to serve as authentic readers — a role they take up often within the collaborative structure of

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my workshop-based classroom. I would seek their feedback, their advice, their questions and comments, and I would ask for their honesty. Thus I would reverse the usual dynamic of vulnerability and trust between student and teacher. Despite my worries and doubts, my audience of 66 13-year-olds (divided into four sections) listened respectfully to my presentation, during which most seemed quite engaged; they answered and asked both penetrating and practical questions: “What kind of limitations were women subject to in the nineteenth century?” “What were their childhoods like?” “How long did it take to get there?” They were particularly interested in my brainstorming web and tentative outline, which resembled those they are so often required to produce. Almost all made notes while they listened, particularly when they began the task of reading and commenting on my poem. Reading through the feedback forms later, I was struck — as a writer — by the combination of kindness and insight recorded there, which resulted in truly helpful suggestions. As their teacher, I admit that I was also proud of the knowledge these students showed of writing concepts, challenges and strategies. They highlighted descriptive details that had helped them visualize the scene, noted alliteration and marked lines that confused them; many remarked that they found the poem’s last three lines effective. As I told my students, they are readers I trust, and these are reflections I treasure — freely given, well-considered, sincerely expressed input that will make my writing stronger and that embodies the value of collaboration. I am still not exactly sure where this project will lead me, but it has been an enriching process so far, and bringing it out into the open as I did with my students was one of the most inspiring experiences of my teaching career as well as my writing life. I am grateful to Durham Academy for providing me not only with the resources to carry out my project, but with the receptive audience of readers and fellow writers who now accompany me on my journey. They make me braver, and I am so thankful for that. |

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DANCE PARTY The fall dance concert at the Upper School is a terrific celebration of student talent, from neophytes just beginning to take dance to veterans who have spent four years in Durham Academy’s dance program. This fall’s concert included two pieces by student choreographers: “Butterflies” (far left) by senior Kelly Cunneen and “(whisper)” (left) by senior Alice Dempsey, who plans to pursue dance in college. “Tiny Dancer” (below left) and “Walking is Dancing” (below) were choreographed by Betsy Ward-Hutchinson, who led the DA dance program while Laci McDonald was on maternity leave in the fall semester.

P H OTO S B Y C O L I N H U T H

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LOWER SCHOOL GARDEN

CELEBRATES By Kathy McPherson, Associate Director of Communications

her hands on a pitchfork over hanging from the monkey bars or zipping down the slide. “I’d rather stay here and keep working,” Sophia said to Durham Academy Lower School science teacher Lyn Streck when told it was time for her class to put away watering cans and shovels for recess. Sophia is one of many Lower School students, present and past, who have found joy in planting, watering, weeding, shoveling, raking and harvesting in the Lower School garden. Sam Frey is another. The 2016 DA graduate, now a firstyear student at Cornell University, has been “passionate about gardening ever since the cabbage-growing contest in Mrs. Streck’s science class. I was fascinated with the process of planting and nurturing fruits and vegetables because it made me think about the food we eat and where it comes from. Being able to go out and see the science behind that in the Lower School garden made me even more interested in farming and the food industry.” The Lower School celebrated the garden’s 10th anniversary on Sept. 30 at Lower School Unity Day, and the garden has been inspiring students since it was dedicated at Unity Day on Sept. 22, 2006. It was appropriate that both the dedication and the anniversary celebration were part of Unity Day, which celebrates working together, because the garden has been a joint project of faculty, parents and students. The garden began with a plan that landscape architect Frank Hyman created for a 36-foot-by-28-foot space surrounded by a 7-foot-high fence to protect it from hungry deer. But the plan had a projected budget of $7,900, and “we couldn’t afford that,” said Streck, who was the driving force behind the garden. “Parents and teachers came forward and said, I’ll help you. Teachers installed the deer fence with Frank’s help and also a rabbit fence to keep rabbits from burrowing underneath.” Second-graders placed the first plants — lettuce, cabbage, rutabaga and radishes — in the garden on Unity Day 2006, and the garden continues to play an important role in the second grade science curriculum as a “living lab” with its focus on botany, nutrition and food webs. The Lower School garden’s roots go back even further than 2006 — one existed when the Lower School was located on the Academy Road campus. But when the Lower School relocated to Ridge Road in 2002, a garden was not part of the original plan. It 44

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Photos by Kathy McPherson

Head to the playground for recess or keep gardening? Second-grader Sophia Valentine would opt for keeping

wasn’t long before there was talk of creating a garden on the new campus. Streck said in 2005, as the “food craze was just starting and everyone was paying attention to how fresh is our food, how locally is it grown,” the push began for a Lower School garden on Ridge Road. A committee of parents and faculty worked to make the garden a reality. The days of studying plants in the classroom and gardening indoors were no more. The Lower School garden,


located at the east end of the building, is now an integral part of the curriculum. The garden got a lift in 2008, when the firm Bountiful Backyard created a garden plan that added a cedar retaining wall for more plantings and a moveable teaching table for Streck. “We take everybody, grades one through four, out to the garden,” Streck said. “Everybody needs to understand that most plants germinate from seed and a seed is a promise to create a new plant. They learn what plants need to survive and flourish. And when they harvest, there is lots of joy. They see the roots, they see the leaves, the stem, the part we’re going to eat.” Even the pickiest eaters have been known to try foods, like radishes, that they have helped cultivate in the garden. “I tell them your taste buds are growing, so try new things,” Streck said. “If you don’t like it now, that’s OK. Try it again later.” Lower School Director Carolyn Ronco said the garden is a result of Streck’s vision and passion. “Lyn knew she wanted a garden,” Ronco said. “Having a garden gives children a way to learn about plants and biology. When you’re out there doing it, you see you have to weed, how important water is, making sure the soil is fertile, getting lots of sunshine. You can read it all in a textbook, but being in the garden helps you understand. … All of our Lower School children have an opportunity to get out there. The garden is an important part of the curriculum and not an afterthought.” Sam Frey’s experience in the Lower School garden stuck with him. In 2010, Frey and his brother Andrew (DA ’14) started a nonprofit called Durham GardenWorks. “It was aimed at providing and teaching the youth of Durham about the benefits of eating organic, local produce,” Frey wrote in an email from Cornell. “Seeing that my excitement for gardening came from my Lower School science class, I thought it was only natural to extend this organization to the root of my passion.” Last spring, Frey and classmates Nash Wilhelm-Hilkey and Foster Harris focused their Senior Project on the Lower School garden, renovating the planting beds that were beginning to rot after nearly 10 years in the ground. “We had an extremely fun time with the entire renovation process, and I hope it benefits students for many years to come,” Frey wrote. And it does. Second-graders Hannah Elman, Wyatt Satterfield and Larry Yon were having fun in the garden on a fall afternoon. “I like to water the plants because it’s healthy for them,” Hannah explained. “Plants need soil. Some people can turn it over for them so it’s more fresh.” Wyatt likes finding bugs and worms in the garden. Larry likes to water the plants “because I want to take care of the garden.” By the time these second-graders are seniors, it will be time to celebrate the garden’s second decade, and a new generation of Lower School students will be enjoying time in the garden. FACING PAGE: You never know what you’ll find in the Lower School garden! Second-grader Yusef Khan spots an eggplant. THIS PAGE, top: Larry Yon and Anna Lupa make sure the planting bed gets watered, and Sam Lacoff and Zane Sheikh work the soil with a shovel and rake. THIS PAGE, bottom: Sophia Valentine enjoys gardening much more than recess. DURHAM ACADEMY

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Are Internships Worth it? You’d Better Believe It! Fr o m w r i t i n g c r y p to g r a p h i c s o f t wa r e to t a k i n g c a r e o f l e m u r s , i n t e r n s h i p s c l a r i f y g oa l s , exe r c i s e p a s s i o n s a n d o p e n d oo r way s By Lee Hark, Associate Head of School

“We’re looking at some sort of mental Hunger Games against a bunch of genius kids for just like a handful of jobs.” — Nick Campbell, The Intern

IAcademy recently had breakfast with a Durham graduate who regaled me

with tales — mostly amusing, but some tinged with despair and anger — of what sounded like a horrific summer internship in South Africa, characterized by inhumane hours and mind-numbing tasks managed by dictatorial supervisors. His story piqued my interest, especially since the summer internship has become such an important part of college students’ preparation for the working world. I emailed our recent graduates to ask if they would be willing to share their internship experiences — the good, the bad and the ugly. What they sent me spoke to the potential power of these opportunities to help young people clarify their professional goals, exercise their passions and open doorways to new careers. It makes for inspiring reading. (Perhaps others were frightened to send the unpleasant stuff!)

ABOVE: Claire Burdick ’15 got to know all the lemurs very well while working as a summer intern at the Duke Lemur Center.

10 weeks, I worked with a technician (keeper) and learned about a group of lemurs and how to care for them. I worked with a bushbaby, some slow lorises and lots of species of diurnal and nocturnal lemurs. I did a lot of cleaning, feeding and enrichment along with other interesting jobs, like trying to find lemurs in the woods in a rainstorm, sorting

• C l a i r e B u r d i c k ’15 : This summer I was a husbandry intern at the Duke Lemur Center. For 46

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mealworms and watching vet procedures. I also did a research project on how different lemur species/genera use their teeth when eating fruits and vegetables. I loved working with the same lemurs and people every day, as I got to know them all very well. My favorite lemurs were two 32-year-old black lemurs (the last two of their species at the DLC) named


community, specifically young female athletes, in promoting gender equity in the sport.

ABOVE: As a player on the 2016 All Star Ultimate Tour, Lindsay Soo ’12 helped showcase women’s Ultimate Frisbee.

‘This internship was definitely the best thing I have ever done, and it opened my eyes to all of the amazing things I can do and learn with my love for animals.’ Harmonia and Hesperus. I also really liked working in a Natural Habitat Enclosure (NHE), which is just a fenced wooded area that the lemurs get to free range in. In my NHE, there is a family of mongoose lemurs, a mom, dad, older son and infant daughter, and a pair of ring-tailed lemurs. They were definitely the most fun to feed as I would blow a whistle to let them know it was time to eat and then lead them through the woods to their feeding sites. It is really cool to have lemurs running around your feet! It was awesome to be able to watch the baby mongoose lemur (named Bonita) get off her mother’s stomach and eat food for the first time and learn to jump around in the trees with her family. This internship was definitely the best thing I have ever done, and it opened my eyes to all of the amazing things I can do and learn with my love for animals.

• L i n d s a y S o o ’12 : I just graduated this spring from Wake Forest University and have been busy with various things since then. My current long-term plan is to apply to grad school, but I have been lucky enough to do a few fun things in the meantime. As you may remember, I was involved with various sports in my time at Durham Academy. I continued this in college and played all four years for the club Ultimate Frisbee team, captaining for three years. This led me to also play for an elite level women’s club team in the Triangle. All this is background for how I was selected to participate in the 2016 All Star Ultimate Tour. The goal of the tour is to promote women in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee by showcasing women’s Ultimate in major cities around the country and increasing media attention for female athletes. I was one of 17 college-aged women who drove across the country, starting in Seattle and ending in Boston, playing showcase games in front of crowds against the top women’s teams in the nation. It was an incredibly fun, challenging and enlightening experience that has changed the way I see myself as an athlete and a person. I believe that we really made an impact on the DURHAM ACADEMY

• M a r k C o h e n ’15 : I spent nine weeks this past summer working for Keybase, a cryptography startup (https://keybase.io). Keybase was started as a side project by Chris Coyne and Max Krohn, and after receiving tons of positive feedback, they decided to make a company out of it. I’m not working for a company, I’m working on two guys’ passion project. In a sentence, we write cryptographic software for people to use to secure their communications. What’s special about Keybase is that we’re having our cake and eating it too: in the past, strong cryptography and friendly software were mutually exclusive. Before Keybase, any strong piece of cryptographic software was horrifically difficult to use. And all supposedly “easy-to-use” pieces of crypto software were flawed in one way or another, rendering them useless. Keybase is the first to do both: we make it easy for everyone to use strong cryptography, something enormously important in our age of state-sponsored surveillance. You might not expect it, but being a cryptographer is tons of fun. The work is incredibly rewarding. This summer, I’ve been tasked with implementing our cryptographic spec (saltpack, https:// saltpack.org) in a new programming language (javascript, or more specifically, icedcoffeescript). It’s a big project, and I’m really grateful that they let me take charge of it — I have control over the design decisions and implementation. And to know that the code I write is directly contributing to all our users’ privacy, that it’s helping activists stay secure from oppressive governments, that it’s helping bring down the surveillance states we blindly built, is rewarding beyond words. Oh yeah, and everything is open source; every line of code we write at work is publicly auditable at https://github. com/keybase. And aside from the work itself, we have an awesome office with a very welcoming atmosphere. Nobody is anybody’s boss, and the “office” is basically a big windowed room with two continued on the next page

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rows of desks and a ping pong table. The day-to-day rocks. But details aside, I think there’s one thing that has made my internship truly special: I have no deadlines or time constraints. When I arrived, I was given ownership of my project and no expectations beyond that. The implication is that I have the time to do my work right — and it turns out better for everyone. Keybase gets a really solid product, and I get the gratification of having genuinely contributed to the future of crypto. I feel like I should discuss how I got here. Many of my teachers may be surprised to see me in computer science after DA, where I really gravitated (get it?) towards physics. The short answer is that I kept re-evaluating my goals and desires, and eventually realized that CS was right for me. (For the record, Mr. Hark didn’t ask me to say anything about my DA experience, but I feel that it needs to be said.) I owe gratitude to many DA teachers, but above all I have to thank one person: Dr. [Harry] Thomas, thank you for pushing me in the right direction. Thank you for putting me on the track to loving life, and for helping me figure out where the track led.

• B l a ke S t a f f o r d ’12 : I had a great internship experience with the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations (SCANPO) during my senior year. SCANPO offers free weekly webinars to nonprofit board members, directors and staff on a wide variety of topics pertaining to nonprofits. I also worked as an intern at DNA Creative Communications, a public relations firm that specifically works with nonprofits. My supervisor was the president of that firm and also worked for SCANPO. I was given a lot of responsibility for an intern — I was in charge of an entire program, and even had the opportunity to reform it! When I eventually took over the webinars completely, my supervisor told me to get on the call and just do it. As an introvert, public speaking and reaching out to people I don’t know were skills that I needed to work on, and this experience gave me that opportunity. Eventually I was reaching out to potential speakers, which was challenging at first. I was talking to important nonprofit leaders and business owners in the state, so it was definitely an intimidating (but important) networking experience! I also learned to set my own deadlines and processes for getting things done. I was lucky enough to have supervisors who wanted me to be successful and give me the tools I needed to start a career in either the nonprofit or corporate sector. I still work for two of them, and we have built solid relationships over the past year. One attended my graduation from Furman, and both have met and spent time with my family. Both are very successful, strong women, and I was lucky enough to learn from them during my first experience as an intern. I probably wouldn’t be working at a nonprofit or plan on going to graduate school to earn a master’s in public administration if it weren’t for this internship. I learned a lot about nonprofits and marketing, but also about myself and what I want to do career-wise.

‘I think there’s one thing that has made my internship truly special: I have no deadlines or time constraints. When I arrived, I was given ownership of my project and no expectations beyond that. The implication is that I have the time to do my work right — and it turns out better for everyone.’ The point here isn’t that Dr. T is awesome (though he certainly is). The point is that for all of you high schoolers, someone (not necessarily a teacher) is waiting on this campus to help you become a better and happier person. Nobody will tell you what to do, but whoever it is will give you the tools to figure out where happiness is. With or without them, you’ll have that knowledge for the rest of your life; it’s invaluable. 48

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• A l i d a Z i m m e r m a n ’12 : At the end of my sophomore year of college, I offered a helping hand to a fellow DA alumnus who had recently |

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started a nonprofit. Little did I know that my life would be forever shaped by that singular moment. That alumnus is Chris Rosati ’89, a man on a mission to change the world. His non profit, Inspire MEdia Network, collects and creates stories of kindness, sharing them with the world in hopes that others will be inspired to do the same. I started that summer, nervous for a new internship, nervous for a new boss and nervous that I might not be qualified to do this important work. ‘My internship experience helped me shape my career as I figure out what I want to do with my life. But more than that, it has made me a better person, it has taught me how to live each day to the fullest and above anything, it has given me perspective on life.’ That summer at Inspire MEdia we were planning our first-ever BiGG Premiere, a movie premiere showcasing short films of kindness created by local kids. I planned that event with a small team, including DA alumna Jamie Spatola ’00. For the next two-and-a-half years as an intern at Inspire MEdia, I planned events, created projects, distributed doughnuts and brainstormed about how to advance Chris’s goals. Chris was always there, encouraging me to go bigger, be bigger and dream bigger. He was the most involved boss I will likely ever have, and for every single idea I had, he would nod and say “go for it.” If there is one thing every boss should take from Chris Rosati’s handbook, it’s to always say “go for it.” Chris’ three words gave me confidence, and that is something I will forever be grateful for. My internship experience helped me shape my career as I figure out what I want to do with my life. But more than that, it has made me a better person, it has taught me how to live each day to the fullest and above anything, it has given me perspective on life. Chris will always be one of my closest friends, whom I will never be


ABOVE: Guilianna Rubin ’14 spent a summer interning at the Taj Palace and Lands End Hotels in Mumbai, India.

able to thank enough for showing me what life is really about: kindness and doughnuts. • M e g h a n S c o t t ’13 : I am an elementary education and psychology major with a history minor at SMU in Dallas. As a part of my certification for becoming a teacher, I must complete three semesters of field experience. All three experiences have completely shaped me into the kind of teacher I want to become. My experience working with special needs students at Foster Elementary showed me that all children deserve an education that will prepare them for life. This school inspired me to work with low SES [socioeconomic status] students and to become a stronger educator. I am currently in my third semester at Foster, and have been inspired to spend my student teaching there next fall. I will be completing the SMU master’s in education program during student teaching, and I intend on working in low SES schools in Dallas in the years to follow.

I look back at my time at Durham Academy and am extremely grateful for the genuine and rigorous education I received there. It is time for me to pay forward the education I received to those who are not fortunate enough to be exposed to such an education. I will strive to channel the lessons I learned from teachers like Mrs. [Karen] Lovelace (my first teacher at DA), Mr. [Dave] Gould (one of my biggest inspirations and hardest teachers I ever had), Mr. [Jordan] Adair (one of the most genuine teachers I have ever had), Mr. [Mike] Spatola (the teacher that pushed me to be my best self), Mr. [Gib] Fitzpatrick (the teacher who helped me through turbulent times in life) and so many more. Paying forward the lessons I learned from them is my ultimate goal in becoming an educator. It is my opinion that not enough emphasis is put on the quality and importance of our educators. Combining my DA experience with my SMU experience has been enlightening and powerful in the shaping of not only my future career, but of myself.

on WUNC’s airwaves. My piece focused on the college application process and the pressures facing students from parents, fellow students and the competitive environment of applying to college. I was fortunate to interview Mrs. [Kathy] Cleaver, Mr. Hark and Mr. [Michael] Ulku-Steiner for my piece, and their words featured heavily in the completed piece. Being able to go back to DA as an alumna to discuss the process that I went through just a year previously was interesting as a journalist and as a recent graduate of Durham Academy.

• S a m m y L a n e v i ’14 : During my first year at college, plans for the summer were the last thing on my mind, and while I was busy getting settled into my life at Wellesley, most internship deadlines passed me by. Lucky for me, I applied to (and was accepted by) the Youth Radio Institute at North Carolina Public Radio WUNC. I had an incredible summer at WUNC. I learned about radio journalism and how it was more different than the print journalism I was accustomed to doing for The Wellesley News and my Huffington Post blog. Radio required an ear for sounds and sights that add a richness to radio journalism that is absent from print journalism. We practiced finding compelling sounds around the American Tobacco Campus and interviewed people at the Durham bus station to get used to approaching strangers and asking them questions. In addition to hands-on experience, we had weekly career lunches where employees of WUNC would speak to us about their path to radio journalism. All of this learning and experience culminated in the creation of our unique piece of radio journalism that was featured

My summer at WUNC allowed me to combine my interests of journalism and radio in a way that I would not be able to do so anywhere else. In addition to these skills, I reflected on how fortunate I was to attend a school like Durham Academy. Without Durham Academy, I would not have had the foundation of skills that allowed me to apply to and be accepted to WUNC’s program, and I would not be sitting in my dorm at Wellesley typing this right now.

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‘Last summer, I completed a demanding and rewarding internship in Mumbai, India, at the Taj Palace and Lands End Hotels and Resorts. For eight weeks, I worked 10-12 hour shifts, six days a week in two of the world’s finest hotels.’

• G u i l i a n n a R u b i n ’14 : I fell in love with hospitality when I was 15 years old, as a result of my first job in a German bakery and restaurant, Guglhupf. Last summer, I completed a demanding and rewarding internship in Mumbai, India, at the Taj Palace and Lands End Hotels and Resorts. For eight weeks, I worked 10-12 hour shifts, six days a week in two of the world’s finest hotels. My eyes were opened to an entirely different culture of hospitality based upon the Indian tradition of “guest as god” and the resulting implications for hotel service teamwork to achieve incredibly exacting five-star services. I learned so much more about the industry and a new culture than I ever imagined possible. |

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Photos by Melody Guyton Butts

ABOVE: Varsity athletes Madi Dunk, Hannah Pope, Jorden Davis, Christy Cutshaw, Quade Lukes and Lydia Carbuccia were all smiles on signing day as they committed to compete at Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, Roanoke, Michigan, Elon and East Carolina.

By Melody Guyton Butts, Assistant Director of Communications

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earing a rainbow of baseball caps and shirts — from Michigan, Duke and Carolina blues, to East Carolina Pirate purple, to the maroons favored by Roanoke and Elon — six Durham Academy senior student-athletes committed to compete in college athletics at a signing ceremony in the lobby of Kirby Gym on Nov. 10. “It’s exciting because every year we do this, you look at the guys and girls who get to celebrate this day, they’re exceptional in a lot of ways,” said DA Athletic Director Steve Engebretsen before a smiling audience of family members, friends and coaches. “They’re obviously exceptional in the sports that 50

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they’re going to continue to play as college students, but they’re great teammates, they’re good students, they’re leaders at Durham Academy. … They’ll not only be missed as golfers and basketball players and divers and lacrosse players at DA, but they’ll be missed as students and as leaders and as citizens here.” Lydia Carbuccia will play lacrosse for East Carolina University; Christy Cutshaw will dive at the University of Michigan; Jorden Davis will play basketball for Roanoke College; Madi Dunk will play lacrosse for Duke University; Quade Lukes will play golf for Elon University; and Hannah Pope will play lacrosse for UNC-Chapel Hill.


Lyd i a C a r b u cc i a — L a c ros se , E a s t C a ro lin a U nive rsit y Carbuccia only began playing lacrosse as a 10th-grader, yet has quickly made a name for herself in the sport. In her two seasons of wearing a Cavalier lacrosse uniform, she has been named All-Conference twice and All-State once. Carbuccia, who also plays with the Carolina Fever lacrosse club, is a multi-sport athlete, having also played volleyball, basketball and softball at DA. “A couple of years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be playing Division I lacrosse,” Carbuccia said. “I am extremely grateful for all of my family and friends who have supported and mentored me into becoming the person and athlete that I am today. I have grown to love the sport of lacrosse and am really excited to become a part of Pirate Nation.”

C h ri s t y C u t s h aw — D ivin g , U nive rsit y of M ic hig a n 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 in August. “I’m extremely excited to dive in college. It’s been one of my dreams for such a long time. I’m looking forward to having a team who supports me,” Cutshaw said. “My parents are the reason I’ve accomplished so much. They’ve given me a lot of opportunities and have supported me no matter what. I’d like to thank my first diving coach in Atlanta for getting me interested in the sport, and my current coach for believing in me when others did not.”

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J o rd e n D avi s — B a s ketb a ll , Ro a n o ke C olle g e

Madi Dunk — L a c ros se , D u ke U nive rsit y

Davis is in his fourth year of playing on DA’s varsity boys basketball team and has also played with the CEBA AAU basketball program. Davis is a two-time All-Conference player and has been named to the all-tournament teams for the Cannon Classic and Charlotte Latin Holiday Tournament. He is ranked among the top 100 boys basketball players in North Carolina’s class of 2017. “I want to thank my parents for always pushing me and believing in me. They have always been there for me through thick and thin and have supported all the decisions I have made throughout my career,” Davis said. “With this said, I am very excited to be playing for Roanoke College next year.”

Dunk, a five-year member of DA’s varsity lacrosse team, is a three-time All-State player and four-time All-Conference player who was named 2016 TISAC Player of the Year. Twice named a captain of the DA squad, she was named to both U.S. Lacrosse’s AllAmerican and Academic All-American teams in 2016. Away from DA, the Carolina Fever lacrosse club player has competed on North Carolina’s team in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament three times, was thrice named to the Under Armour All-American Underclass South Team and participated in Nike’s The RIDE player showcase. Dunk has also lettered in golf, basketball and swimming at DA. “It’s truly a dream come true to be a part of such an incredible academic institution and lacrosse program,” Dunk said of competing at Duke. “I can’t wait to challenge myself at the next level and continue to develop as an athlete, teammate and student. I wouldn’t be in this position without my parents, teachers, coaches and teammates. They’ve all pushed me to be my very best in practice, allowing me to perform at a high level come game time.” ​

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Q u a d e Lu ke s — G o lf, Elo n U nive rsit y

Hannah Pope — L a c ros se , U N C- Ch a p e l H ill

Lukes, who has competed on DA’s varsity boys golf team since he was in seventh grade, has been a top-four scorer since his ninth-grade year. He has been named to the All-Conference team three times and has twice made the Treyburn High School Invitational all-tournament team (as medalist last season). Away from DA, Lukes finished within the top five at the Davis Love AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Open Tournament in 2016; won the Izod AJGA qualifier; and has placed within the top 15 at several other AJGA events. “College golf has been a dream of mine since sixth grade. I want to thank my parents for the opportunity to chase that dream, and Coach [Greg] Murray for keeping golf fun and still pushing me to practice,” Lukes said. “What I am most excited about for Elon is the sense of family at the school, and on the golf team.”

Pope, who in the spring will compete on DA’s varsity lacrosse team for the fifth year, is a two-time All-State player and three-time All-Conference player who has served as a team captain twice. Highlights of her lacrosse career apart from DA include competing on North Carolina’s team in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament two times, being named to the Under Armour All-American Underclass South Team two times and participating in Nike’s The RIDE player showcase. She has also competed on DA’s varsity field hockey team, has played with the Carolina Fever lacrosse club and plays for Team Carolina with AAU travel basketball. “To be able to play for the defending national champions and the reigning national coach of the year, Jenny Levy, is a dream come true,” Pope said of the opportunity to play lacrosse at UNC. “My high school coaches, Debbie Rebosa and Beth Roberts, truly believed in me from the start. Katy O’Mara, my Carolina Fever club coach, pushed me and helped me reach my potential.”

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HUMANS OF DA

From Exurbia: Durham Academy’s literary and artistic magazine exurbia@da.org • www.instagram.com/da.exurbia

S A F I YA G A L L A G H A N ’ 1 7

EVAN BALLEW ’17 “I guess my story is mostly about music. I enjoy music, but I don’t like to be in the spotlight. When I do theater, I like being backstage. I don’t like being in the front, but I like being support so other people can do their job. So that’s why I play trumpet, play bass, do tech. I just like to help support other people without being front and center. I try to do that all the time. I don’t know why I’m that way. It just is.”

“I am struggling to be comfortable with my shortcomings. This is really a big time for seniors because we have to apply to college and stuff. It’s very intimidating because what if I’m not good enough for whichever school? It’s the fear that you’re going to be judged based on a certain set of things that you submit. I’m struggling with owning that and being happy with whatever outcome there is because it doesn’t really define you if you don’t get into whichever place you wanted.”

HEBRON DANIEL ’18 ELLIE GEORGE ’17 “I’m really into family, and my definition of family isn’t just my blood relatives. It’s my friends; it’s Sam, Mariah, Reid and Chris, and all my really close friends. It’s Mr. Adair, and it’s Dr. Copeland. Being around them and succeeding with them and seeing them be proud of me, no matter what it is, even if I fail, always puts a smile on my face.”

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“What is my story? Well, my parents were born in Eritrea, which is a small country in East Africa. They migrated to Germany and came here in ’95. They’re the most important people in my life right now. I’ve learned so much from them, especially in terms of how to look at life. Being a hard worker, being tenacious, taking things on one at a time, being confident, and not letting others bring you down — those are all things my parents have taught me.”


L I N D S AY S A N T I A G O ’ 1 8 “Last summer, I went through a really difficult situation. But my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was one of the most treatable cancers. I was only at stage two, so I was able to get treated easily. I realized that I should be living life to the fullest because not everybody is as lucky as me. I want to be a pediatric oncologist; I really want to help little kids with cancer. I guess after what I went through, I decided that that’s what I want to do.”

BELLA KIM ’19 “We moved to Chapel Hill when I was in third grade. I was always this shy little girl who couldn’t ask for ketchup at McDonald’s or order ice cream for myself. But I think moving to different countries helped with that shyness a lot. I never regret moving here.”

KIRAN SUNDAR ’19 “The traits that I want most for myself are empathy and compassion because I think those are some of the most useful skills that you can have in this world where everything is so complicated, and people are multifaceted and complex. They have motives and reasons that you can never really know for yourself, but you at least have to try or else the world won’t make sense. Empathy doesn’t come naturally to me most of the time, so I have to actively try to be empathetic and compassionate. I always admire people who are naturally that way and who do it so well.”

DAVIS MCCAIN ’20 “My favorite thing is the sense of family and togetherness. The people on my football team, the people on my basketball team, those are my brothers. I know they’re there for me on the field and off the court. I can always count on them.”

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F ROM THE GREE N

Two new CD releases, Largest enrollment ever, President honors DA teacher, National Merit semifinalists a similarly eclectic mix of 10 songs, from the Jimi Hendrix classic “Fire” and a soulful rendition of “Midnight Train To Georgia,” to the high-energy instrumental “Ghost Dance.” The new ITP album was mixed by DA alumnus Jared Anderson ’12, a singersongwriter, music producer and sound engineer working in music in Nashville.

Size of School Task Force dedicated itself to last year. We needed to figure out how to balance preserving the core of the student experience — small class size, strong student-teacher relationships, high standards of excellence — while still honoring our commitments to keeping families intact, to our alumni, to recruiting the Triangle’s best and brightest, and to prioritizing diversity. ” DA opens with largest This year’s enrollment growth is the enrollment ever first step in an effort to strategically grow Durham Academy opened the 2016the school. DA’s 2015 Strategic Plan called 2017 school year with its largest-ever student for determining the optimal size of the body: 1,203 students. While the school’s school, and after a year of research and enrollment has risen incrementally for the discussion, the Optimal School Size Task past couple of decades, this year’s growth Force recommended and the Board of — up from 1,184 in 2015-2016 — is greater Trustees approved a slightly larger student than in recent years, and that’s intentional. body for 2016-2017. The school could grow Interest in attending DA is at an to as large as 1,440 students by the year all-time high, yet the number of current 2030, which will involve expanding and students choosing to leave DA is at an allenhancing school facilities. time low. The confluence of great interest Much of this year’s enrollment (applications were up by 18 percent this growth is in the Upper School, where a low year) and low attrition (4 percent) has led to student-teacher ratio is maintained with difficult decisions in the Admissions Office. the addition of new faculty positions and “Each grade had long wait lists with course sections. qualified students we would otherwise Overall, 34 percent of applicants were love to have had at DA,” Admissions admitted to DA for 2016-2017, but some Director Victoria Muradi said. “It was grade levels had admission rates in the gut-wrenching, but it reaffirmed single digits. In all, 150 new students have the importance of the work joined the DA community. the Optimal This year’s enrollment is the most diverse in school history, with students of color representing 33 percent of the student body — up from 32 percent last year. DA’s student population is also geographically diverse, with many families driving in to school each day from zip codes far beyond the immediate area.

In The Pocket, XIV Hours celebrate the release of CDs In The Pocket and XIV Hours, the Upper School’s auditioned a cappella group, released new albums, respectively, Don’t Think Twice and It’s About Time, on Nov. 12, and they celebrated with an album release concert at Motorco Music Hall benefiting hunger-relief organization Stop Hunger Now. A love of making music is what led both groups to produce CDs over the past several months — recording near the end of the 2015-2016 school year and mixing over the summer. For both groups, the CDs are their third album. XIV Hours’ CD, It’s About Time, is a compilation of recordings from the 2012-2013 to 2015-2016 school years. This newest release features 13 tracks, from “Nothing Compares 2 U,” with alumna Emily Cotten ’13 on lead vocals to a bonus track of “Timshel,” featuring adult group GQ with XIV Hours. In The Pocket’s new album includes

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F R O M THE GREEN

ABOVE: Chemistry teacher Kari Newman holds a citation signed by President Barack Obama. Newman was presented the President’s Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching on Sept. 8 in Washington, D.C.

Kari Newman wins presidential teaching award Durham Academy chemistry teacher Kari Newman was named a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) — the highest commendation bestowed by the United States government on K-12 science teachers — and was recognized in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 8. Newman is among just 105 teachers of students in grades 7 to 12 nationwide to earn the honor. She is one of only two North Carolina teachers in the grades 7-12 award cohort to earn the distinction. Newman and her colleagues were joined in the nation’s capital by the 108 awardees recognized in kindergarten through grade 6. “I feel very proud and at the same time very thankful,” Newman said of the honor. “I don’t think I’d be where I am without the support of the faculty at Durham Academy and the mentors that I’ve had over the years teaching me different techniques that I’ve pulled into my classroom. It feels really good.” Award winners — selected from a pool of state finalists by a National Science Foundation-appointed panel of prominent mathematicians, scientists and educators — receive a $10,000 award from NSF to be used at their discretion, as well as professional development activities and

opportunities to visit with members of the president’s administration. Presidential awardees also received a certificate signed by President Barack Obama at the Sept. 8 ceremony. “The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our nation’s success,” Obama said in a White House press release. “As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting edge.” The 2016-2017 school year marks Newman’s 17th year of teaching chemistry at Durham Academy. She is head coach of the school’s Science Olympiad team and has served as a lead class advisor, a mentor to new faculty and a partner to seasoned teachers in the school’s Professional Growth Program. Newman — who holds a B.S. in chemistry from Centre College, an M.S. in oceanography from Florida State University and an M.Ed. in science education from N.C. State University — began her career as an environmental educator in summer camps and outdoor DURHAM ACADEMY

education programs. She began teaching in a traditional classroom setting at Chatham Hall, a girls boarding school in Virginia, where she started the school’s AP program. “Since she arrived here in 2000, Kari has been an exceptionally strong teacher — passionate about chemistry and even more passionate about helping every student unravel its mysteries,” said Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “What makes her truly remarkable, however, is her insatiable hunger to improve her instruction. She seems always to be tinkering, experimenting, learning and growing as a teacher and mentor of young scientists. So many DA alumni will applaud to see this news — grateful for Kari's example of relentless striving to learn.” Ten seniors are National Merit semifinalists The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has recognized 10 Durham Academy seniors as semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The following DA seniors are semifinalists: Ethan Astrachan, Samantha Baker, Collin Brown, Sam Kim, Michael Li, Rohan Patel, Aidan Therien, Christopher Villani, Julie Wechsler and Ivan Zaytsev. Semifinalists were chosen by virtue of their performance on the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the qualifying test, approximately 16,000 students were recognized as semifinalists. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. About 90 percent of students from the semifinalist pool are expected to advance to the finalist level and will be notified of that designation in February. About half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, with notifications beginning in April and concluding in July. |

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BE A PART OF IT!

Join your classmates on Every gift counts, no matter what the amount! www.da.org/givingday


DURHAM ACADEMYAlumni website: da.org/alumni

Colin Huth

email: alumni@da.org

Kathy McPherson

CALENDAR

2017 HOMECOMING WEEKEND

OCTOBER 13 AND 14 Celebrating Classes ending in 2s and 7s For more information visit www.da.org/homecoming

Spring 2017 Feb. 23 • 6:30 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in San Francisco

March 21 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

March 28 • all day

DA Giving Day

April 6 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in Charlotte

April 7 • 6:30 p.m.

Benefit Auction

April 20 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in Washington

April 28 • 6 p.m.

Spring Alumni Reception

May 4 • 1 p.m.

DA Golf Tournament

May 11 • 7 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social

in New York City Visit www.da.org/alumni for updates on venues and additional alumni information.

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DA ALUMNI

Writer Sarah Treem ’98 to Receive Distinguished Alumni Award A

ward-winning television writerproducer and playwright Sarah Treem ’98 can soon lay claim to yet another accolade: Durham Academy’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award. Treem’s most recent honor will be presented April 28 at DA’s Spring Alumni Reception at 6 p.m. in the Upper School Commons. Treem is the co-creator of The Affair, which won the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and recently completed its third season on Showtime. She was a writer and co-executive producer on ABOVE: Sarah Treem at the 2015 Golden the inaugural season of Netflix’s House Globe Awards. of Cards, which was nominated for nine Golden Globes. She also wrote for all three seasons of the acclaimed HBO series In Treatment. Treem won the 2014 Writers Guild of America Award (New Series) for House of Cards and the 2009 Writers Guild of America Award (New Series) for In Treatment. “As a new sophomore in my English class at DA in 1995, Sarah showed many of the traits visible today in her life and work: wide-eyed perceptiveness, searing honesty, and ardent curiosity about the human condition,” said Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “How gratifying it was to watch her find her bliss in the theater (here and beyond) and now earn such receptive, grateful audiences on TV. She deserves every bit of her success!” Treem began writing poetry at age 8 and penned her first play, Who Am I Going to Sit with at Lunch? when she was in middle school. The play won a young playwright award and was staged in Connecticut, where Treem lived until moving to Durham in 1995. She continued writing throughout high school, college (B.A. from Yale in 2002) and graduate school (M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama in 2005). Treem’s most recent stage production, When We Were Young and Unafraid, premiered in summer 2014 at New York’s City Center Stage 1 and starred Cherry Jones and Zoe Kazan. The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1983 when DA celebrated its 50th anniversary. Fifty-four alumni have been honored with the award, which recognizes individuals who “have distinguished themselves in their business, profession or vocation and through their actions have demonstrated concern for, and service to, their community. The individuals should have shown loyalty to Durham Academy, and their personal values and achievements should be representative of Durham Academy's highest ideals.” 60

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Spring Alumni Reception Friday, April 28, 6 p.m. Upper School Learning Commons

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oin us as we present the 2017

Distinguished Alumni Award to Sarah Treem ’98 and recognize Dennis Cullen as the recipient of the 2017 Faculty/Staff Legacy Award. Come enjoy food and drink and the opportunity to catch up with former teachers, staff and classmates. An invitation will be sent via email in late February, so if we do not have your current email address, please send it to Tim McKenna, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs, at tim.mckenna@da.org or alumni @da.org.


Alumni to Honor Dennis Cullen with Faculty/ Staff Legacy Award

Melody Guyton Butts

DA ALUM NI

ABOVE: Dennis Cullen has taught math at Durham Academy since 1976, served as track and cross country coach for 39 years and was chair of the math department for 36 years.

DA’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Before stepping down as track and cross county coach in 2016, Cullen won 39 state championships in boys and girls cross country and track, including a streak of 13 straight boys By Kathy McPherson, cross country championships, and he Associate Director of Communications coached 196 individual state champions. The N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association named its girls 3A track and alculating the number of Durham field championship trophy after the wellAcademy alumni whose lives have been respected coach in 2015. positively affected by Dennis Cullen is a “Mr. Cullen was more than a coach problem worthy of the veteran teacher’s and math teacher to me. He was a mentor math classes. and an inspiration,” said Virginia Reves First there would be the alumni Cullen Hall, a 1991 graduate and Middle School has taught during his 41 years at Durham history teacher. “He brought out the best Academy. Then there would be alumni in me as a runner, believed in me as a who ran track or cross country during math student, and gave all of his athletes Cullen’s 39 years coaching those teams. and students the confidence, skills and And be sure to include alumni who were respect that only a master teacher/coach in Cullen’s advisory or who liked to hang delivers. out in his room at lunch or after school. “With humor, dedication and caring, The number would be impressive and he challenged us, listened to us and the positive impact impossible to quantify, cheered for us (often with tears in his making it no wonder that Cullen will be eyes at the finish line!). He was a true role the recipient of DA Alumni’s 2017 Faculty/ model for me nearly 20 years ago when I Staff Legacy Award. The award will be went into the teaching profession, hoping presented at the Spring Alumni Reception to be someone who could reach students on April 28 at 6 p.m. in the Upper School in and out of the classroom — and he Learning Commons. continues to be a cherished colleague and Cullen joined the Upper School leader. I am grateful to Mr. Cullen for his faculty in 1976 and served as chair of the wisdom, commitment and friendship.” math department for 36 years. He was John Crumbliss ’90 remembers the 1994 recipient of DA’s Hershey Award that “Coach Cullen never had to give a for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2013 he ‘locker room speech.’ He invested so was in the inaugural class of inductees for much in us as a team — as individuals —

C

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that reaching beyond expectations just became the norm. “It’s unclear to me whether Coach Cullen’s teaching had limits. His leadership went beyond the track. His intellect went beyond math. I guess his jokes had limits, but that’s about it. “Coach taught us that winning may be 95 percent mental, but it plays out on 100 percent of our days. Cold Tuesday mornings, hot summer weekends, the classroom or the track — there’s really no time off when it comes to applying yourself. What made those championship teams was Coach’s indefatigable commitment — we all came to practice ready to mirror it.” Lower School PE teacher Costen Irons ’99 competed on Cullen’s teams for eight years as a student, and he succeeded Cullen as head coach of the cross country and track teams after having worked with the legendary coach as an assistant for many years. For Irons, Cullen’s 39 state championships are “not what makes him special. What makes him special is how he invests all of himself in his work and into others, how he makes time for people and cares about people. He has been an extremely competent, decent, kind, funny, caring man for a long time at this place.” Cullen will be the sixth recipient of the Alumni Faculty/Staff Legacy Award, joining Dave Gould, who was the award’s initial recipient in 2012, Ed Costello, Sheppy Vann, Tim Dahlgren and Barb Kanoy.

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DA ALUMNI

Melody Guyton Butts

Melody Guyton Butts

Melody Guyton Butts

Melody Guyton Butts

Melody Guyton Butts

Homecoming

2017 HOMECOMING WEEKEND OCTOBER 13 AND 14

Celebrating classes ending in 2s and 7s. For more information visit www.da.org/homecoming.

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Kathy McPherson

Save the Date:


1981

1986

1991

2001 2011

1996 2006 Reunion Parties 2016 Classes ending in ’1s and ’6s gathered on Sept. 24 at Tobacco Road Café to exchange stories, recall memories and enjoy delicious food and drinks. More than 140 people attended the reunion party, coming from near and far. To see additional photos, visit www.da.org/homecoming. P H OTO S B Y C O L I N H U T H

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DA A LUMN I

Helping Heal a Troubled World Rev. John Hage ’94 leading churches to make a difference beyond their walls ABOVE: The Rev. John Hage is shown here embracing the Rev. Sidney Davis outside Mother Emanuel AME Church the day after the shooting. Members of area churches came together for a prayer service and walked to Mother Emanuel AME to lay flowers for the victims and their families.

T

he Rev. John Hage ’94 is the senior pastor at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, a church of 1,100 members in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Hage’s mission work and life in the ministry led him all over the world and all over the country. The focus of that work has always been to build bridges of faith from the churches he serves to their surrounding communities. Hage’s calling and career trajectory led him to some of his most challenging and important work — helping to heal a community reeling from the deaths of nine African-American parishioners killed in a mass shooting during Bible study at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., in June 2015.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from Durham Academy? A: My life after DA included going to Wake Forest University 64

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(BA, 1998) with other amazing DA alumni like Andrew Taska ’94, David McCoy ’94, Garrett Putman ’94 and Ward Horton ’94. After Wake I worked in consulting and e-commerce at Accenture and iXl in Charlotte for a few years, and during that time I really began to explore deeper questions about my faith and how my life could make a positive impact on the world. This searching led me to apply to Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv, 2005). During that time I met my beautiful wife Anna (a teacher in North Carolina). After Princeton, I worked at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, in a two-year residency program where I led worship, preached, taught and participated in four rotations focusing on missions, pastoral care, adult education and evangelism. From 2007-2015, I was the Associate Pastor of Missions at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church in South


DA ALUM NI

LEFT: John Hage has worked with Habitat for Humanity to build houses all over the world. BELOW: John and Anna Hage with their four children, Eliza, Jack, Pearl and Tess.

many of my friends from DA. I am thankful for the amazing teachers, who invested, challenged and encouraged me. Overall, I think DA gave me the confidence to believe that I could be a leader. Whether that was through athletics or opportunities to lead academically, my experience at DA helped me to believe that my life could make a difference.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Sunday after the shooting, the Rev. Hage delivered a powerful sermon titled, “Putting Fear in its Place” based on Mark 4: 35-41 and Psalm 46. He said, “This is a call to action. To recognize that love is on the move, crossing boundaries. It’s an invitation to join in. This is a call to action to reconcile the disparities between black and white, to name the violence that has to stop in our country, to stand up and say ‘Enough is enough!’, these are our sisters and brothers.”

Q: What’s on the horizon for you? A: I hope that I can continue to reconnect with the wonderful

Q: What DA experiences made an impact on you or

Hage is the author of two books. He co-wrote Called to Life: An Invitation to a Missional Way of Being with ruling elder Ellen Creed Branham, and is the author of Equipping the Saints: A Practical Resource for International Mission Engagement.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Carolina. During my tenure there, the local mission participation grew 10 times in five years. That growth involved the development of a mentoring ministry, the launching of the Hope House Ministry, and the creation of an ecumenical network to bring together different faith communities. My focus has been to lead the local church to make a difference beyond its walls. My goal has been to create a more peaceful, loving and caring community and world through God’s love. This meant building Habitat for Humanity houses all over the world and in our local community, starting a hospitality house for families who are in crisis, building clear water wells, building schools and starting a mentoring program. In my last year at Mt. Pleasant, we also began to work on racial reconciliation because of the terrible shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

helped you get where you are today? A: First and foremost, I am thankful for the relationships and friendships that I developed. I still am in close contact with so

Q: What are your interests away from work? A: Anna and I have four kids (Eliza, Jack, Pearl and Tess) all under the age of 11, so there is not much time for much else. When I do have time I love to speak Spanish (gracias, Señora Throop!), read and run.

DA community now that we are back in North Carolina. One of my dreams here at Brownson is to develop a global leadership program for students through the church. I know that I have grown so much through cross-cultural exchange. In a globally connected world, I feel like this is essential for our youth and for the world.

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DA ALUMNI

Purrr-fect Science

the spine is curved and hook-like. So when it encounters a tangle, it is able to maintain contact, unlike a standard hairbrush bristle, which would bend and let the tangle slide off the top.” When the spines aren’t in use, they lie nearly flat on the tongue and point in the direction of the cat’s throat, allowing for easy removal of fur, first swallowed By Melody Guyton Butts, and then typically reemerging as — you Assistant Director of Communications guessed it — hairballs. The potential practical applications for Noel’s cat tongue research are s any cat lover will tell you, feline myriad, from helping robots more behavior isn’t always easily explained. So easily move through small spaces when Alexis Noel ’09 witnessed Murphy, her for surgeries or search-and-rescue family cat, get his tongue stuck while licking missions, to improving carpet-cleaning a microfiber blanket — and somehow free techniques, to revolutionizing human himself by pressing his tongue into it — she hairbrushes. could have shrugged it off as one more unsolvable cat curiosity. But Noel is not your average cat lover. A doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, she thrives on understanding how things work, and Murphy’s tongue had snagged her interest. Noel went on to explore the mechanics of cat tongues with colleagues at Georgia Tech using a super-sized 3D-printed model. Their research — of which Noel is lead author — recently caught the attention of national media outlets including The Washington Post, CBS News and the public radio program Science Friday. Noel, who has been interested in As it turns out, the texture of cat science and making things since she tongues is much less like sandpaper than was young, directly traces her love of cat owners might suspect, she explained engineering to a physics class taught by at the American Physical Society’s Division longtime DA Upper School teacher Lou of Fluid Dynamics’ annual meeting in Parry, who also served as her advisor. November. Rather, as the 400-percent“I greatly enjoyed the hands-on scale 3D model shows, the tongues are learning of the physics projects, where covered in Velcro-like spines that help with I could apply what I learned in class grooming. to drive a mousetrap with wheels “When the tongue glides over fur, the across the gym floor. I could not have hooks are able to lock onto tangles and asked for a better advisor; Lou Parry snags,” Noel explained in a Washington was incredibly supportive and truly Post interview. “As the snags pull on the instrumental in helping me discover my hook, the hook rotates, slowly teasing the love of engineering,” she said. “Science knot apart. Much like claws, the front of Olympiad also fostered my skills in making

Research on cat tongues puts Alexis Noel ’09 in the spotlight

A

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ABOVE: Alexis Noel with Murphy, who spurred her to explore the mechanics of cat tongues. LEFT: Noel’s research revealed that cat tongues are not like Alexis Noel

sandpaper but are covered in Velcro-like spines.

and critical thinking, with the helping guidance of Kari Newman. My favorite Science Olympiad event was ‘Sound of Music,’ and to this day I still build instruments for fun.” Noel has studied at Georgia Tech since graduating from DA — first as an undergraduate majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in aerospace engineering, and now pursuing her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a focus in biomechanics and soft robotics. She expects to graduate at the end of this summer. As has been the case since her childhood, Noel enjoys spending her spare time building “all sorts of things” — from an acoustic guitar, to a motorized bicycle, to a weathered iron garden gate. Follow along as she creates at galaxytoast.wordpress.com.


On a Mission to Serve Becki Feinglos Planchard ’07 making a difference for women, children and under-represented voices​

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ecki Feinglos Planchard has tutored immigrants in Durham, led a bilingual kindergarten class for Teach for America in Texas and coached other teachers, and now she is earning a master’s degree at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, focusing on education policy and municipal finance.

ABOVE: Becki Feinglos Planchard wants to impact public policy.

better toolkit of policy analysis and understanding. So, now here I am at the most quantitatively rigorous public policy graduate program in the country. I wonder if Dr. Davis, Mr. Ebert, Mr. Q: What have you been up to since graduating from Cullen or Mr. Reg would have believed that I’d be doing this much Durham Academy? calculus, statistics and econometrics on a daily basis these days. A: After graduating from DA in 2007, I headed to Duke, where In terms of working in city hall, I had always been on the receiving I graduated in 2011, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Spanish, end of policies: teaching, coaching, living as a citizen. I wanted to history and political science. I spent the majority of my time in college staying active in the movement toward gender equity on explore where policies come from in the real world, beyond what I campus through Delta Gamma sorority, and engaging in English was learning in class. What better city than Chicago to learn what great policies and not-so-great policies look like from ideation to as a Second Language tutoring for new immigrants to Durham. After Duke, I moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where I taught bilingual implementation? kindergarten through Teach For America [TFA], and was an Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get instructor with The New Teacher Project. I was then hired as an elementary instructional and leadership coach with TFA, serving where you are today? A: I credit Durham Academy with helping develop me as a nearly 60 teachers over four school districts across Dallas and thinker and as a leader. I’m grateful for many positive experiences Fort Worth. I loved my work in education, both teaching my at DA: for example, having teachers like Mr. Phu — with whom I own students and serving their families, and then developing a stay in touch regularly and whose classroom I try to visit when I’m stronger understanding of the education landscape. But I was home — who basically ran his classes like college seminars and hungry to make a broader policy impact. So, I decided that graduate school for a master’s in public policy was the right path, demanded incredibly high-quality writing from his students. His classes prepared me for college-level thinking, and I’m grateful and I happily accepted a scholarship offer with the University of for that. Through DA, I ran for and won two student government Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. On the more personal elections, and I got to lead the student body as president. That side, I married the love of my life, Sean Planchard of Boulder, Colorado, on July 4, 2015. We met through TFA in Texas, and are leadership experience was fundamental to my learning how to now a happy graduate student couple (he’s at the UChicago Law reconcile the needs of a constituency (students) with the realities of systems in place (administrative structures). Through that role, School), with two dogs who are basically our furry children. I was able to help host town halls on what type of behavior was appropriate at school dances, we discussed gender relations on Q: What are you doing now? campus, and so much more. My time at DA was a profoundly A: I’m a master’s candidate in public policy at the UChicago important four years for me. Harris School of Public Policy, where I’m focusing on education policy and municipal finance. This summer, I worked as a Q: What’s on the horizon for you? Mayoral Fellow for the City of Chicago. I am staying on as an A: When I graduate in June, I hope to stay in Chicago for my Academic Year Fellow working on early childhood policy. husband’s last year of law school, ideally still working in municipal government. Our plan (for now — it’s constantly shifting) is to Q: Why do you do what you do? head up to New York City when we are both done with graduate A: I am getting my master’s because I believe there is more learning that I need to do in order to be an effective policy maker school, where my husband will work for a law firm. After a few in the future. I want to serve women, kids and under-represented years, we’ll head back down to the great state of North Carolina to start a family, and I will eventually get involved in policy-making. voices in our country. If I am going to do that well, I knew that I hope to work on either the local or state level. We’ll see! I couldn’t rely on my own experiences in schools: I needed a DURHAM ACADEMY

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Applause for Andrew Tyson ’05 New York Times critic calls pianist Tyson ‘a poetic virtuso’

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Hiroyuki Ito/ The New York Times

ianist Andrew Tyson ’05 continues to draw acclaim in the music world, garnering a glowing review from Anthony Tommasini, longtime classical music critic for The New York Times, for his Dec. 13 recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In reviewing both Tyson and pianist Peter Serkin, who Tommasini had heard in recital on Dec. 10, The Times critic wrote: “It’s unlikely that the outstanding young pianist Andrew Tyson had the veteran Peter Serkin specifically in mind when he planned the program of mostly 20th-century pieces he played so excitingly at Weill Recital Hall on Tuesday. Still, some decades ago, among the many adventurous aspects of his artistry, Mr. Serkin, now 69, was a pioneer of unconventional programming that juxtaposed old and new works. He took some heat at the time for his experiments. But he certainly shook up protocols, ABOVE: Andrew Tyson’s recital at Carnegie Hall merited glowing praise from helping to embolden artists of later generations like Anthony Tommasini, longtime classical music critic for The New York Times. Mr. Tyson, who turns 30 on Monday. “ … Mr. Tyson, presenting the Juilliard School’s Leo B. Ruiz Memorial Recital, opened with Henri Dutilleux’s Three Preludes for Piano, music of plush colorings and pointillist outbursts. The composer Michel Petrossian, a friend of Mr. Tyson’s, came from Paris for this performance of his fantastical The Raging Battle of Green and Gold. Like the Dutilleux, this piece had such improvisatory and skittish qualities that Scriabin’s wildeyed Piano Sonata No. 3 sounded almost coherent in comparison. “Playing six Gershwin selections was another great idea. The arrangements of these songs, with their jazzy harmonies and splashy riffs, set the mood perfectly for Ravel’s Miroirs, a French Impressionist masterpiece given a scintillating yet sensitive performance here. Mr. Tyson is a poetic virtuoso.” Tyson attended the Curtis Institute of Music and holds a master of music degree and an artist diploma from The Juilliard School. Julliard awards a recital at Weill Recital Hall to one gifted young artist each year, and Tyson was the 2016 recipient. In 2015, Tyson was awarded first prize at the Géza Anda Competition in Zurich, as well as the Mozart and Audience Prizes. This resulted in performances throughout Europe under the auspices of the Géza Anda Foundation. Tyson is a laureate of the Leeds International Piano Competition, where he won the Terence Judd-Hallé Orchestra Prize, awarded by the orchestra and conductor Sir Mark Elder. He has performed in Russia with the Moscow Virtuosi and the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. This season he performs with the Liège Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Musikkollegium Winterthur. Tyson appears regularly in recitals across the United States and Europe, and this season he will perform at the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Lucerne Piano Festival and will return to the Dubrovnik Festival. As a chamber musician, Tyson has appeared in Europe with violinist Benjamin Beilman in venues including the Auditorium du Louvre, Paris, and London’s Wigmore Hall. This season the duo will make a major recital tour of Australia, and will perform a world premiere for violin and piano by Jan Stanley. A recording of Tyson playing the complete Chopin Preludes was released in October 2014 on the Alpha Classics label, and a disc featuring works by Scriabin and Ravel is due for release this spring. 68

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Alumni Gatherings in Chicago and Boston

Photos by Tim McKenna

Alumni came together for networking socials Sept. 29 in Chicago and Oct. 6 in Boston. Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and Associate Head of School Lee Hark were on hand for the Boston event, (top and middle photos), which included a dinner with college-age alumni.

NOTABLE: Alumni in the news C

ongratulations to dancer and choreographer Hope Boykin ’90 on the premiere of “r-Evolution, Dream,” which Alvin Ailey Dance Theater premiered in New York in December. Ebony magazine recently featured Boykin and her inspiration for the powerful show. Actor Ward Horton ’94 costars in “Pure Genius,” a new CBS television series, playing Dr. Scott Strauss. The show premiered in October and will run through the spring. Barnard College professor Gergely Baics ’96 is the author of Feeding Gotham, the political economy and geography of food in New York, 1790-1860, which was among The Financial Times 2016 Best Books in History. N.C. State University recently wrote a blog post about DA alumna Samantha Everette ’03, who is living in Dongguan, China, through July as she helps to fine-tune the shoe manufacturing process for Camuto Group, a private label footwear designer. Kendall Bradley ’07, a soccer star at DA and a member of the Duke University women’s soccer from 2007-2010, has been back on the soccer sidelines at Duke’s Koskinen Stadium as a resident physician in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Duke University Medical Center. She was recently featured in an article on GoDuke.com. DA field hockey star Lauren Blazing ’11, a 2016 graduate of Duke University and one of the top field hockey goalkeepers in Duke history, was one of 30 nominees for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year. Now in its 26th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year program honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

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“Kenan & Kel,” and the movie “Good Burger.” I love that I can still be a kid sometimes in my line of work.

Q: Why do you do what you do? A: Before college, I would have never even dreamed I would be

ABOVE: Isaac Uhlenberg (second from left) with Kamikazi, UNC’s hiphop dance team.

He Knows He Can Dance Isaac Uhlenberg ’08 follows his passion to LA for a career in dance​

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erforming with his childhood favorites, dancing in a Vegas New Year’s Eve show and “going crazy” in a Starbucks commercial — it’s all part of the job for Durham Academy alumnus Isaac Uhlenberg ’08, who followed his passion to Los Angeles for a career in dance.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from Durham Academy? A: After finishing at DA, I attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where I studied psychology, made the club baseball team and joined a hip-hop dance team called Kamikazi (yes, with an “i”). Once I graduated in 2012, I had to decide which of those three options I wanted to continue to pursue. I chose the latter and began making strides to begin my career as a professional dancer. After working for a couple years in North Carolina and teaching at a few local dance studios, in October 2014 I packed up my car and moved west to Los Angeles to take a shot at the big time. I am still living out in LA working as a full-time dancer, with a touch of modeling and acting on the side.

Q: What are you doing now? A: I have been living in Los Angeles for two years now, and I have received the opportunity to experience things that I could only imagine a couple years ago. I have appeared in various commercials, music videos and live performances. A few highlights include: performing at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards with Kel Mitchell; getting down in Shaggy's new music video “That Love;” appearing on the television talk show “The Real;” and even going crazy in an international Starbucks commercial. One particularly exciting aspect of my job in this industry is that I have the chance to work with people I used to always look up to as a child. Like ... Kel Mitchell! He was my favorite childhood comedian on the TV shows “All That” and 70

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dancing as a profession. Since middle school I enjoyed boogieing in my bedroom and learning a step or two on YouTube. But as a career? Not until the second semester of my senior year at UNC did I make the decision to fully devote my life to it. But I believe that is part of why I love it so much. It happened so organically that I became enamored. As cheesy as it sounds, I have always believed in following one’s heart to determine the best course of action. It was embedded so firmly inside me to give dance a shot that I couldn’t say no. I also took that course of action because my hope is for others to have the courage to pursue their passions too, even if it isn’t the typical route.

Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A: It is hilarious to me how my path to dancing began. Freshman year at DA, my friend and classmate David “Dizzy” Bernheim started up the Breakdance Club. What started as a sizable group of signatures turned into just the two us freestyling together a couple times a week during free periods and lunch breaks. My senior year, DA also started a salsa club, which I joined enthusiastically. These two positive experiences helped encourage me to seek dance in college. DA classmate Emma Edwards ’08 convinced me to audition with her for the Kamikazi hip-hop dance team during our freshman year at UNC. The rest is history. Sometimes it just takes the right encounters and positive energy to lead to the right path.

Q: What are your interests away from work? A: One of my favorite hobbies away from work is, well, to dance! When I’m not rehearsing or busy on a gig, I love training by taking dance classes at the local studios. I have met so many amazing people out here with different backgrounds and from foreign countries, so I enjoy spending time with them and learning about other cultures. Hiking, beach-going and attending church are also on my list of favorite activities. And, of course, I can’t forget to mention eating. That hasn’t changed since high school, either.

Q: What’s on the horizon for you? A: One goal I want to accomplish within the next couple years is to dance on a world tour. But for now I have a few projects I am currently working on, one of which is performing at the Aria hotel in Las Vegas for its New Year’s Eve show. There are so many experiences to be had, and I look forward to the opportunity to be doing what I love for a very long time! Want to keep up with Uhlenberg? Follow him on Instagram at @iuhlenbe.


DA ALUM NI

From DA to D1 Liz Robert ’16 on playing basketball for the Tar Heels

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fter I hung up my Cavalier uniform, I thought that it was the last of my basketball career. I decided to attend UNC-Chapel Hill, and had to come to terms with finding new interests away from competitive sports. During the first month of school, I joined Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and was planning on focusing on starting my path toward a degree in sports administration. In October, I was offered a tryout for the UNC women’s basketball team. At first, I had doubts about taking the position as a walk-on, strangely similar to the doubts

ABOVE: Liz Roberts poses with members of this year’s Durham Academy basketball team. LEFT: Liz Roberts, wearing No. 14, cheers for

Photos by Pamela Lane

her UNC teammates.

I had when Krista [Gingrich-White] and Robert [White] offered me a spot on the DA varsity basketball team in eighth grade. Five years later, I found myself on the phone with Krista getting advice about this opportunity of a lifetime. I was intimidated by the outstanding reputation of UNC basketball, and questioned my abilities as a player at the Division I level. But my mind was quickly changed after talking to my coach and long-term mentor. I realized that despite all of the amazing opportunities I had been presented with at UNC until that

point, I still felt that something was missing. In high school, I would go to class and focus on my academics, but was always thinking about an upcoming practice or game. When I got to college, I realized that kind of passion was missing from my life. Moving from close-knit Durham Academy to a university with over 20,000 students, I wanted to find my niche, and my niche has always been on a basketball team. I’m a walk-on, and I wouldn’t trade my experience on this team for anything. It’s hard to describe the feeling you get in the heat of the battle, in the locker room during a close game, and even the satisfaction you feel after completing a tough conditioning workout. It’s what DURHAM ACADEMY

every athlete lives for. As a Durham Academy lifer, DA helped instill my values from a young age, both on and off the court. Along the way, I had many teachers, coaches and friends who helped instill a work ethic that got me to this point. In particular Coach B [Jordan Babwah], the Upper School trainer, believed in me freshman year and worked with me up until senior year to get stronger off the court. Through the experiences I had and the people I met at DA, I found myself growing as a basketball player, but was also shaped into the person I am today. Most importantly, the support of my two basketball coaches and athletic director Steve Engebretsen gave me an everyday confidence that fueled my passion and success with basketball. I’m honestly not sure where I’ll be next, but I do want to embrace these incredible opportunities while I can.

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ALUMNI AND FACULTY WEDDINGS 1. Seth Jones and Caroline Stubbs ’06 April 23, 2016 Highlands, NC 2. Jordan Babwah and Hunter Ort 1

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Chapel Hill, NC 3. Matt Wagner and Katie Baker ’12 June 4, 2016 Sandy Ridge, NC 4. Josh Klein and Kelly Teagarden ’04 July 2, 2016 Durham, NC 5. Peter Jaglom and Nina Jacobi ’99 September 4, 2016 Jackson Hole, WY

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1. Alec Owen, son of Owen Bryant 2. Aviva and Eli, children of Rebekah Brenner Mark ’03 and Ben Mark ’03 3. Charlie, son of Debbie Rebosa 4. Claire, Jack and Miller, children of Kathleen Glaser Belknap ’02 5. Mira and Cyrus, children of Rob Policelli 6. Dash, son of Elizabeth Graham Gonzalez ’02 7. Lennox, daughter of Laci McDonald 8. Michael and Caroline, children of Jessica Crowe Whilden ’00 and Guy Whilden ’00

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A Most Delectable Job Kate Taylor ’09 covers food and beverage beat for Business Insider

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ate Taylor ’09 may have one of the most delectable jobs on the planet. As the food and beverage reporter for Business Insider, Taylor’s beat covers “fast food and other weird things we consume.” She’s your go-to source if you want to know why Starbucks’ new “unity” cup ignited a social media firestorm within hours of its release or to get a preview of Arby’s new hunting-themed campaign featuring a thickcut venison steak as its centerpiece. The food chain expert developed her journalism chops right here at DA with an advice column penned for the student-run newspaper.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from Durham Academy? A: After DA, I went to Dartmouth College, where I majored in history and sociology, became an advice columnist for the newspaper, and, inspired by the DA Indian Dance Team of 2009, became the secretary of the Bollywood dance team. I graduated in 2013, and immediately moved to New York, where I interned for Forbes magazine. After interning at Forbes, I began working as a reporter for Entrepreneur.com, where I covered franchises for two years. About a year ago, I had the opportunity to work at Business Insider, where I am now, covering the food and beverage industry. 

Q: What are you doing now? A: At this point, I’ve been in New York City for three years, lived in three apartments, and worked at three business publications. At Business Insider, I primarily cover the fastfood and beverage industry, which lets me write endlessly weird business stories every day. If you have any interest in the always wild food industry, please Google them — I’m the Kate Taylor who doesn’t work at The New York Times. One of my most-read articles is about eating nothing but fast food for a week, but I’ve also been able to write a review of Bojangles’ and talk to executives at companies like Starbucks, so you’ll find a very diverse mix of stories.

ABOVE: Kate Taylor writes a diverse mix of stories as food and beverage reporter for Business Insider, and sampling the fare is sometimes part of the job.

Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A: DA gave me the first opportunity to write for a news outlet [DA’s student-run newspaper, The Green and White] thanks to my editor Collin Burks, my co-advice columnist Kevin Ji, and all our friends whose questions we answered without their permission. “Clever Consulting with Kevin and Kate” truly kickstarted my writing career, and I can’t thank DA enough for that. More generally, the people — both classmates and teachers — who I met at DA definitely left a lasting impression on how I see the world, in ways both small and large. 

Q: What are your interests away from work? A: I continue to see Durham Academy alumni in New York City with such frequency and enthusiasm that all my other friends are suspicious of our school’s “cult-like” nature. Other than hanging out with them and the handful of other people I’ve managed to meet since high school, I spend time reading, jogging and roaming New York City.

Q: Why do you do what you do? A: When I left college, I wanted a job where I could write

Q: What’s on the horizon, what’s next for you? A: I’m hoping to continue to be living in New York City and

every day. I definitely didn’t think that would end up being at a business website, about fast food, but being able to explore and try to understand the inner working of something that impacts millions of people across America has been both enlightening and really fun. Plus, it gives me an excuse to eat some really good/bad food.

writing about food for quite some time. In the near future, I’m running a half-marathon in Disney World with my current roommates and fellow Durham Academy-alumna and inspiration, Kristie Chan ’11.

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Follow Taylor’s food adventures on Twitter: @Kate_H_Taylor.


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in memoriam • David W. Gould died peacefully in his sleep July 10, 2016. A graduate of Hamilton College and American University, he taught history and philosophy at Durham Academy for 31 years, retiring in 2012. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Lyn Gould; daughters Keira Gould ’00 and Emma Gould ’02; five sisters; many nieces, nephews and cousins; and hundreds of students, now citizens of the world, whom he loved pushing off the fence. These were a few of his favorite things…THIMK(ing), Sam McGee, vegemite (?), Swack, dormopower, Redfern Island, GRUNTS, sand tennis, rugby, golf (any sport!), poker, playing games (which he always won because he always changed the rules!), pranks, beer, scavenger hunts, telling stories, The Land Down Under, traveling, the rolling puck, knee socks, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, the Thunderbox, questioning authority, the Dukies, Rotary, 4410, his mates, Kema. And above all…TEACHING. • Jenny Lillian Semans Koortbojian ’72 died July 20, 2016, in Duke University Hospital. She had only very recently been diagnosed with cancer, and passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. She was a passionate, lifelong student and began her formal post-secondary studies at Duke as a teenager, pursuing an avid interest in art history. She was fluent in Italian, French and Old Latin. She continued her studies abroad and completed a graduate degree at Duke in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program in 2006. She worked for The Paris Review during the time George Plimpton was editor-inchief. She was a talented writer in her own right, and compiled a manuscript of sonnets. She pursued her love of and interest in art as a collagist, creating beautiful works of art. Like her mother, the late Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, Jenny had a real sense of community, and tried to leave the world a better place. She is survived by her six siblings: Mary Duke Trent Jones ’58, Sarah Trent Harris ’59, Rebecca Trent Kirkland ’60, Barbara Trent Kimbrell ’62, James Duke Biddle

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Trent Semans ’76 and Beth Semans Hubbard ’80; 19 nieces and nephews; and 33 great-nieces and greatnephews. • Angus Murdoch McBryde, Jr. ’54 of Columbia, South Carolina, passed away unexpectedly on Oct. 4, 2016. He was a 1997 recipient of Durham Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award. A graduate of Davidson College and Duke Medical School, he served in the United States Navy as a medical officer during the Vietnam War. He had a long and distinguished medical career and was the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of Duke Medical School. He served as chair of the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery for the University of South Alabama at Mobile and the University of South Carolina in Charleston. He was team doctor for the Gamecocks in Columbia, medical director for the USC athletic department and team doctor for Alabama, Auburn and Troy. He was team physician for the World Games in Yugoslavia in 1987 and for the U.S. National Team for both the Seoul and Atlanta summer Olympics. He was currently serving as chairman of the Senior Physician Section of the AMA. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Kay McBryde; his sister, Read M. Spence ’59; his brother, Neill G. McBryde ’62; his sons, Angus M. McBryde III and JP McBryde; his daughters, Holly McBryde Mason and Mary McBryde; 10 grandchildren; and the children and grandchildren of Kay McBryde, whom he embraced. • Steven Bennett Wing ’70 died from cancer on Nov. 9, 2016, at his home in rural Chatham County. He was a man of many talents and was admired by and an inspiration to all who knew him in one or more of his roles as a friend, musician, mentor, academic and community activist. He was an associate professor of epidemiology at UNC's School of Public Health, where he had been a member of the faculty since 1985. He was recognized locally, nationally and internationally, first for his early work in occupational health and later for his work in continued on the next page

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environmental justice. He was a passionate advocate for social justice and tenacity in the face of injustice. He was revered by students, colleagues and community members for leading by example and demonstrating unwavering respect, integrity and courage. He was also a talented musician. For decades he played keyboard with various bands in the Triangle area and continued to do so until a few weeks before his death. The place where he was most at peace was at home in the woods with his family. He enjoyed living a life that reflected his love of nature and appreciation for living simply. He is survived by his wife, Betsy; his daughters, Ann and Marion; and a brother, Scott Wing ’72. • Dr. H. Keith H. Brodie, a psychiatrist, educator, former president of Duke University and former chair of the Durham Academy Board of Trustees, died at Duke University Hospital on Dec. 2, 2016. A graduate of Princeton University, he received his M.D. from Columbia University and taught at Stanford University. In 1974, he moved to Durham to chair the department of psychiatry at Duke University and later became the James B. Duke Professor of Psychiatry. He became president of Duke University in 1985 and expanded Duke's national reputation as a research university. After his term as president, he continued teaching and seeing patients. He served on the Durham Academy Board of Trustees from 1979 to 1987, and was chair of the board from 1985 to 1987. Speaking at DA’s 1990 commencement, he gave graduates advice that remains remarkably timely: “Wherever you find yourselves next year, you will also find opportunities to be heroes of democracy: to refuse to participate in unfair systems, to help tear down walls between yourselves and others, to stand in the way of terrible weapons — of prejudice and cruelty. You can begin by ‘dispelling enemy images’ — by realizing that those who become the targets of heated animosity are usually being attacked less for anything extreme in their own behavior than for the sake of the insecurities of some and the inability of others to

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see life from another person’s point of view.” His innate ability to connect and relate to every person with whom he came in contact was unsurpassed. His great joy was serving others. His compassion and empathy made him an exceptional mentor and role model. He is survived by Brenda Barrowclough Brodie, his wife of 49 years; his daughter, Melissa Brodie Hanenberger ’88; his sons, Cameron Brodie ’90, Tyler Brodie ’92 and Bryson Brodie ’96; and four grandchildren. • Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts ’55 died on December 17, 2016, in Durham. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he spent many years as community relations coordinator for the Durham branch of The American Tobacco Company. He was an amateur historian with a love of anything related to North Carolina and was the co-author of two books on tobacco history. He collected non-fiction books on North Carolina and novels with a North Carolina setting and donated a collection of over 1,200 volumes to East Carolina University. The Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration is given each year to a North Carolina writer whose works have left considerable impact on the literature of North Carolina. He was an active member of the Duke Homestead Education and History Corporation, and served on its board of directors since its inception. He served for many years on the board of directors of John Avery Boys and Girls Club and was a lifelong member of St. Philip's Episcopal Church. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Snow Loy Roberts; his sons, Bennett Watson Cowper Roberts, Jr. ’86 and Webb Loy Roberts ’88; his daughter Snow Loy Roberts ’93; and five grandchildren, including Madison Roberts ’12, Elizabeth Roberts ’16 and Nicholas Roberts ’16; and a brother, Surry Parker Roberts ’58. • Ben Crockett Pillsbury ’01 died on Dec. 17, 2016. He was a resident of Mebane. Survivors include his mother, Sally Pillsbury; father, Rick Pillsbury; and brothers Matt Pillsbury ’98 and Tom Pillsbury ’04.


TH E L AST LO O K

I think I can, I think I can When it’s a “free day” in PE class, students can choose whatever activity they want to do — stilts, pogo sticks, balance boards, scooters, hula hoops and more — and can change anytime they want. Kindergartner William Fischer thought gaining a few inches in height looked like fun and is intent on figuring out how to walk on stilts. PHOTO BY KEN HUTH


DURHAM ACADEMY 3601 RIDGE ROAD DURHAM, NC 27705-5599

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

You’ve Got Mail Sixth-graders Darren Bland (left) and Charith Fernando couldn’t wait to read the first letters from their new French pen pals. For nearly 30 years, Durham Academy French teacher Teresa Engebretsen and Ghislaine Mauduit, a teacher in Senlis, have organized a letter exchange among their students. P H OTO B Y M E LO DY G U Y TO N B U T T S

Durham Academy Magazine - Winter 2017  
Durham Academy Magazine - Winter 2017