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R E CO R D • S U M M E R • 2014

Celebrating 30 Years of Sheppy Vann

Nathan Clendenin


role. “The administrative parts

• focus groups with each of the

are just plain boring compared

constituencies — exploring the strengths,

to my kindergartners.” Sheppy’s

weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the

sustaining joy comes from her

future of Durham Academy;

emerging readers and the stories that transfix them. With her

students she celebrates lost teeth, colorful shoes,

• interviews with thought leaders in K-12 and post-secondary education;

• research and benchmarking among peer schools across the country.


newborn chicks and the million daily miracles of

classes. This fall, however, in Julian Cochran’s

as its families grow more various. She reframed

deepen the vigor of our liberal arts education?

Upper School Introduction to Programming course,

the kindergarten curriculum around global

How will we catalyze and learn from bold

one septuagenarian will show her teenage

cultures. Every year her students celebrate Yom

curricular experiments? How will we continue to

classmates what “lifelong learning” really

Kippur, Ramadan, Diwali, Christmas, Chinese

recruit and support the most diverse, creative,

looks like.

New Year, Kwanzaa and the enthusiasms of every

engaging faculty possible?

ew grandmothers enroll in computer science

That coding grandmother is Sheppy Vann —

being six.

• A tireless commitment to diversity and inclusion. Sheppy knows that DA grows stronger

kindergarten parent willing to share a story.

Among the questions we’ll need your help to answer:

• Teaching and learning — How will we

• Community — How will more actively

retiring this summer after 30 years leading and

She has been a steadfast ally for families new to

unite our various divisions and constituencies?

teaching in our Preschool. Sheppy is wasting no

independent schools — one of the key reasons

How will we strengthen the role and reputation of

time before diving into her next adventure. “If

our student of color population has grown from

DA beyond the borders of our campus?

coding is the future,” she says, “then I’d better

8 percent in 1992 to more than 30 percent today.

learn how to do it.”

The Preschool remains our largest admissions

restrict tuition growth, maintain competitive

That adventurous spirit is among the things

• Financial sustainability — How will we

entry point. For a quarter century it has been

faculty salaries, increase financial aid and grow

I’ll miss most about Sheppy when she does

Sheppy standing at DA’s front door and saying

our endowment? How can we keep DA both

eventually depart the DA campus (for her new

(with smiles, hugs and disarming good humor)

affordable and among the best schools in the

position at Apple? Google? A tech startup in

“welcome to your school.”


Bangalore?). Sheppy’s reputation as a “toddler

• An unshakable habit of seeking, finding

• Campus planning — What is the optimal

and drawing out the best in each child. Sheppy

size for each division? What is the future of the

whisperer” first caught my attention in the early

is not just a “glass half full” optimist. She sees

Academy Road campus? How can we most

1990s. I was teaching Spanish and English at

only full glasses, identifying the hidden strengths

responsibly develop our newly acquired land near

DA’s Upper School, thirstily drinking the wisdom

of her students and pulling them gently to the

the Ridge Road campus? How do we fund any

offered by faculty icons named Gould, Throop,

surface over time. Steadfastly refusing to label,

new campus enhancements?

Parry, Keene, Regnerus, Murray and Ebert. From

score or rank the children in her charge, she

the distant Academy Road campus came tales

sees each one as a bundle of potential, ready to

you can help us build the future of our school.

of the teaching brilliance of Mary Sheppard


Complete the survey. Attend a focus group. Speak

“Sheppy” Vann — her name, like its owner, both august and cuddly. In 2003, Sheppy’s reputation and an hour-

Sheppy feels the same about Durham Academy — a school she has watched grow, change and flourish over three decades.

After some well-earned rest this summer,

up about what matters most to you at Durham Academy. How can we preserve the magic of our

long chat with her helped pull our family back to

Humble about her role and eager to shift into

school — from the Teddy Bear reading circle

Durham after a three-year stint in Switzerland.

a new routine of learning, volunteering and

to the Multivariable Calculus class — and

The opportunity to enroll our children in the

grandmothering, Sheppy has not left strict

simultaneously strengthen our program with

Preschool was simply too good to pass up. Their

instructions for the Preschool. “If every child feels

thoughtful experiments? How can we remain

experiences in Sheppy’s “Teddy Bear” class were

loved, known, challenged and excited to come

a place where every child is loved, known,

as magical as advertised — every day an adventure

to school every day,” she says, “the program can

challenged and excited to come to school every

and every family welcomed with open arms.

change over time, and it should change every year.”

day — and simultaneously, like Mrs. Vann in her

In the decade since, I have worked closely

How will DA change in the coming years?

with Sheppy and watched her navigate both

The answers to that question will emerge in the

smooth and stormy waters. Through it all, three

coming months. In this magazine, you can learn

traits shine most brightly:

about the process we’ll use to draft the next

• A radiant love of teaching, learning and children. Sheppy makes no bones about the balance in her full-time teacher/director

programming class, leap boldly into some new learning adventures? Stay tuned.

Durham Academy Strategic Plan, including:

• a detailed survey for students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and parents of alumni;

Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School

DURHAM ACADEMY Record • Summer 2014 • Volume 41 • Number 2

The Magazine of Durham Academy


31 22

Front Cover When Durham Academy threw a party for retiring Preschool Director Sheppy Vann, it was certain to draw a crowd!

3601 Ridge Road

Students and parents from her first kindergarten class to her last were there to hug her and say “thanks!”

Durham, NC 27705-5599

Inside Front Cover From the Head of School 2 Class of 2014 Reflects, Looks Ahead 5 The Class of 2014 at a Glance 6 Seniors Write about Their DA Journeys 8 Reminiscences of a Preschool Teacher — Doing What I Love for 30 Years 12 Sheppy Vann: An Amazing Ability to Truly Love Each Child and Family 14 Brown v. Board of Education: Through the Eyes of a DA Alumna 18 Student U’s First Graduates are Headed to College 20 There’s a Treehouse in the Library, and Lower Schoolers Helped Build It 22 Third-Graders Pledge to Keep the ‘Blue Marble Promise’ 23 Writers Workshop Offers Lower Schoolers Tools to Express Their Voices 24 No Argument: Speech and Debate Team is Growing and Winning 25 Moving from ‘Eek!’ to Eureka, Middle Schoolers Nurture Insects 26 DA Joins Global Online Academy, a Community of 53 Top Independent Schools 28 Exploring the World One Nautical Mile at a Time 31 Spring Seminar Turns a Lens on Documentary Filmmaking with Peabody Winner Cynthia Hill 32 What’s It Like to Teach at DA? 34 Hershey Award Winner Lyn Streck 35 New Leadership and Innovation at The Hill Center 36 Five Join DA Board of Trustees 37 15 Things to Know about Leslie King, DA’s New Director of Communications 38 2015 Strategic Planning Process Begins • From the Green 39 ALUMNI STORIES: • Calendar • Connect with DA via social media • Class of 1964: 50th Reunion

telephone: 919-493-7363 email: website:


Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School Leslie King,

Director of Communications

Leslie Holdsworth,

Director of Development and Alumni Affairs

Kathy McPherson,

Associate Director of Communications

Tim McKenna,

Associate Director of Alumni Affairs

Photo by Christine Nguyen

• Distinguished Alumna Kim Bullock Ionescu ’99 • Sheppy Vann Legacy Award • Chris Rosati ’89 Service Award • Babies • Class Notes • Guy Foulks ’90 • Ward Horton ’94 • Katie Ryan Amick Kantz ’98 • Michelle Sutton ’07 • Networking Events • Grant Fowler ’08 and David Fowler ’10 • Zander Moss ’13 • In Memoriam

Inside Back Cover Last Day! Hurray! Back Cover Congratulations, Class of 2014 Mission Statement “The purpose of Durham Academy is to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to Photo by K athy McPherson

The Record is published bi-annually by Durham Academy Kathy McPherson, Record editor Linda Noble, designer Theo Davis Sons Inc., printer

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.” DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG






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B y M el o dy G u y t o n B u t t s , D i g i ta l Co mmu n i c at i o n s S p ec i a l i s t

“ erseverance.” It’s a trait that has served members the Class of 2014 well as they’ve faced challenges

— whether in the classroom, on the athletic field or in navigating relationships with family or friends. It’s a trait that will serve them well as they take flight to 53 colleges and universities across the country and encounter the struggles that are part and parcel of adulthood. It’s a trait they learned at a young age from their late classmate Justin Straus. His ability to speak and see compromised by a courageous six-year battle with chordoma, a rare form of bone cancer, the 13-year-old inscribed the word “perseverance” on a whiteboard from his hospital bed — urging others to live their lives with the tenacity with which he lived his. Each of the 100 members of the Class of 2014 pinned white ribbons bearing the word “Perseverance” to their graduation stoles — keeping his memory front and center at Durham Academy’s 40th annual commencement exercises, held May 23 at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall. For what was believed to be the first time in DA’s history, two valedictorians were recognized: Justin Katz and Sean O’Connor. Kyle Bushick was class salutatorian. O’Connor urged his classmates to follow the example of individuals who lived their lives in line with their moral compasses. He cited N.C. State basketball coach Jimmy Valvano’s legacy of raising money for cancer research and British Prime Minster Winston Churchill’s staunch resistance of Adolf Hitler — and brought many to tears with his remembrance of Straus. “Justin touched many lives, including me personally, with his kindness and positive attitude,” O’Connor said in his valedictory address. “His perseverance and face-to-face connectivity with people has inspired the pursuit of a cure for chordoma. His life has left a legacy behind in all of us that is characterized by his generosity and care for other people.” Katz warned his fellow graduates — 40 of whom have been classmates since Preschool — that it will be all too easy for them to retreat to nostalgia as they venture out into the larger world, where “it will be easy to feel anonymous.”



1. Sean O’Connor, one of two valedictorians, delivers his address. 2. Commencement speaker the Rev. Dr. Will Willimon

addresses the Class of 2014. 3. Co-valedictorian Justin Katz speaks to his fellow graduates. 4. Head of School Michael UlkuSteiner presents Catherine Yang with her diploma as David Beischer, chair of the Board of Trustees, looks on. 5. One hundred students graduated with the Class of 2014 and will head to 53 colleges and universities. 6. Graduates Nash Carey-Ewend, Arif Caner and salutatorian Kyle Bushick enjoy the moment. 7. Bernadette Cooper adjusts her cap before the ceremony. 8. Class president Nash Carey-Ewend prepares to carry the Durham Academy banner to the stage of Memorial Hall. 9. Claire Collie, Frances Bentley, Alex Flores-Burgess, Jackson Clayton, Tre Bailey, Euijin Lee and Maritzelena Chirinos prepare to officially become DA alumni. 10. Janae Best and Frances Bentley march to the stage of Memorial Hall. P h o t o s b y M e g a n M o r r 2





















1. Joia Freeman poses for a “selfie” with several of her classmates as they wait for commencement to begin. 2. Graduates gather for one final class photo. 3. Alex Flores-Burgess, Kimari Jones,

Thomas Granger, Grant Murphy-Herndon and Euijin Lee enjoy a walk before the ceremony. 4. Chandler Knott, Constance Leder, Emma Kaplan, Frances Bentley and Gina Minnis were among the 100 graduates. 5. Graduates Janae Best and Jayda Henry pose for a photo with English teacher Fran Wittman. 6. Emily Cotten and her sister, Bridget Cotten, pose for a family photo after graduation. 7. Karl VonZabern and Andrew Frey were all smiles as the hour of commencement approached. 8. Kelly Moore embraces his brother, Devin Autry. 9. Each graduate wore a white ribbon bearing the

word "Perseverance" in memory of their late classmate Justin Straus. P h o t o s b y M e g a n M o r r

“Even if you can’t make the great ideas, recognize the great

It was the second time that Willimon spoke at a DA

ideas,” he said. “And even if you can’t be the one to recognize

commencement; he first addressed graduating Cavaliers in 1997. He is

them first, make sure you spread them. Because when you reject

now the grandfather of two DA students.

complacency, you cease being a drop in the ocean of humanity, you

He urged the graduates to think about the big picture, making

shed your anonymity, and you become a living, active and recognized

decisions with regard for the long term. Older generations have been

part of our society.”

too focused on the short term, lured by the ease and thrill of an

The Rev. Dr. Will Willimon, former dean of Duke University Chapel and now pastor of Duke Memorial United Methodist Church, used his commencement address to laud the benefits of “a mind adrift.” “Daydreaming can be the mind’s incubator. When we’re

immediate payoff, he said in a speech featured on A common attitude, he said, is, “Our grandchildren will figure out how to fix it.” “Well, you are the grandchildren,” Willimon said. “In a time when just about everybody has access to the same facts via technology,

hyperfocused, the mind has difficulty reaching into that reservoir

the future belongs to those who can go beyond Googled facts, those

and making an unlikely ‘Aha!’ connection,” he said. “In daydreaming,

who think globally, synthetically, making serendipitous associations,

there’s no controlling, parent-like censor to whisper, ‘hey, that’s

devising surprising, novel combinations.”

ridiculous,’ ... and all the other ways the protectors of the status quo police serendipitous creativity.” 4


Those daydreamers are now charged with imagining a brighter future, and they’ll find it through perseverance.


THE CLASS OF 2014 AT A GLANCE By the Numbers • • • • • • • • • • • •

100 graduates (52 females, 48 males) submitted a total of 667 applications to colleges and universities 374 applications were accepted, 86 applications were waitlisted 260 applications were submitted early action or early decision, with 97 students submitting at least one EA or ED application 6.7 is the average number of applications submitted 100 graduates will enroll in 53 different colleges and universities in 22 states and the District of Columbia 46 will attend colleges and universities in N.C., 26 at public institutions and 20 at private institutions 54 will attend colleges and universities outside N.C., 9 at public institutions and 45 at private institutions 61 will attend colleges and universities in the South 15 will attend colleges and universities in the Mid-Atlantic 10 will attend colleges and universities in New England 9 will attend colleges and universities in the Midwest 5 will attend colleges and universities in the West

Distinguished Honors and Programs • • • •

University of Michigan School of Music for Vocal Performance School of Hospitality Administration at Boston University School of Hotel Management at Cornell University Columbia University Science Research Fellow

Application and Matriculation Details • • • • • •

2 students recruited to their respective institutions to play varsity sports (D-1) 10 students enrolled at Ivy League institutions 4 students attending a women’s college 1 student attending a men’s college 1 student attending a historically black college 1 student attending a fine arts program


• • •



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19 students attending small liberal arts colleges (enrolling less than 3,000) 19 students attending a flagship public institution 22 students enrolling at their single-choice, early decision college or university

The following schools awarded scholarships to matriculating students: • University of Alabama • American University • Case Western Reserve University • Columbia University • Davidson College • Elon University • Furman University • Guilford College • Meredith College • UNC-Chapel Hill • Northwestern University • Oberlin College • Pennsylvania State University • Santa Clara University

Middle 50% SAT Scores • • • • •

Critical Reading: 590-730 Math: 590-730 Writing: 590-720 Critical Reading and Math: 1200-1440 (out of 1600) Critical Reading and Math: 1790-2150 (out of 2400)

Senior Special Recognition Awards • • • • • • • •

Co-Valedictorians — Justin Katz and Sean O’Connor Salutatorian — Kyle Bushick Ginny Buckner Award — Celia Romani George Watts Hill Community Service Award — Lucy Marr Frank Hawkins Kenan Medal — Peyton Dilweg Elizabeth Adams Old Award — Spencer Hallyburton Scott Jameson Filston Award — Dana Williams Headmaster’s Award — Kyle Bushick and Emily Cotten

Fun Facts about Members of the Class of 2014 • • • •

Included two sets of twins and one set of triplets Places of birth include Venezuela, China, Puerto Rico, Australia, Vietnam and more than a dozen different U.S. states Languages spoken include Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil and Turkish. One senior is trilingual. The class collectively reported a total of 4,500 service hours for 2013-2014

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •



One raised nearly $20,000 for Delta Sigma Theta sorority’s college scholarship fund Twelve were 2013-14 Augustine tutors who helped Hope Valley Elementary second graders struggling with reading make up to two years of progress in eight months of intervention Several received the Mayor’s Award and Hard Corps Award for extensive community service at many agencies including Animal Protection Society of Orange County, Book Harvest, Chordoma Foundation, Duke Hospital, Durham Public Schools, Emily K Center, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands, KidzNotes, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels, Stop Hunger Now, Special Olympics, SEEDS, Share Your Holiday Spirit, Urban Ministries, WISER One qualified for National Junior Olympics in fencing Two founded DA’s women’s golf team One was a Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Swimmer, and one was a U.S. Lacrosse High School All-Academic honoree Six were three-sport athletes Several founded and own their own businesses — growing heirloom tomatoes and baking cookies, cupcakes and specialty cakes One grew up on a 350-acre farm that has been continuously farmed by his family for more than 200 years One performed with the Moscow Ballet One performed at the Kennedy Center as a member of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble Two were 2014 finalists for the Triangle Rising Star Awards for Best Actor/Actress in a Musical One canoed the Hudson Bay for seven weeks One lived on the slopes of Mount Kenya for four months and on a sailboat for four months One has traveled to all seven continents, collects unique utensils and spices from countries he visits and has a mission to eat as many “weird” foods as possible Two are regional, state and national debate champions State and national chess champions One taught herself to code CSS/HTML One built a home computer from scratch One patented a new software and is currently developing the product




Ritzy Chirinos

Thomas Granger

Chris Dueñas

Graduates value community, opportunity, friendships and faculty mentors For some of these nine members of the Class of 2014, their journeys at Durham Academy began as wide-eyed Preschoolers, and for others, their paths originated on the Upper School campus. Regardless of the duration of their time at DA, the school has left an indelible mark on each of them. When asked to reflect on their Durham Academy experience, this is what they had to say.


“ n all honesty, when I walked onto campus at the beginning of sophomore year, I had no idea the surprise I was in for. I did not know that in three years I would know the name of almost everyone on campus. I did not know that I would be asking my teachers for advice on any facet of my life. I had no clue the friendships I would forge in these few years would be the ones that I have and will cherish the most. The sense of community that is fostered at Durham Academy is hands-down the most appealing aspect of the school. Your teachers are no longer just teachers, but become personal mentors who are determined to see you succeed. Your friends are endless sources of support and encouragement in any ordeal, whether it’s starting a new club or preparing for an AP Chem test. As my DA career comes to a close, I have realized that the friendships I have forged, the mentors I have found and the memories I have created are the most important things driving me toward a successful future.” — Rahul Sharma


“ ay 23rd will mark the end of my 13-year relationship with Durham Academy in which I have gone from a timid and passive participant to a confident and vocal 6

contributor. Durham Academy is a place that believes in the immense potential of each student, and each student is imbued with that confidence. As I think about what the past 13 years have meant to me, I find myself coming back to the word ‘genuine.’ There has not been a day that I have felt that teachers did not display a genuine interest in me as an individual and my trajectory as a student and mindful member of the community. Durham Academy has believed in and educated me as a whole person, and that has been the greatest gift of my education.” — Sydney Jeffs


“ n the four years I’ve been here, I have been able to attain a larger understanding, appreciation and love for the word community. I am immensely proud to have been a member of the tightly knit family that DA is, and the friends I’ve made have opened my eyes to aspects of DA that I wouldn’t have thought to engage in. I’ve also been stretched academically, challenged by course materials I grappled with and was able to successfully tame due to the guidance of amazing teachers I’ve had, such as Mr. Speir, Dr. Thomas and Mr. Jenzano. Words alone cannot sum up all the memories I forged with friends; the cheering we all took part of as the


‘Kirby Crazies’ during basketball games; and watching Mr. Hark sing his rendition of ‘Ice Ice Baby’ with Mr. Ulku-Steiner (which was pretty sick). To anyone considering attending DA, definitely go for it!” — Chris Dueñas


“ hen I arrived at DA in third grade, I immediately felt I was a part of the community and have since formed strong relationships with my peers and teachers. For me, one of the key things that Durham Academy has taught me is that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. Whether it is founding the varsity girls golf team or speaking first in a seminar in one of Mr. Spatola’s history classes — the latter arguably more daunting — DA has taught me that the sky’s the limit. Durham Academy has undeniably shaped me into the person I am today and has provided a more-than-solid foundation for the rest of my academic career.” — Sammy Lanevi


“ will admit that until senior year I took the teachers here for granted. The teachers and faculty at DA are the most valuable resources you could ask for as a high school

Sydney Jeffs

Sammy Lanevi

Jordan Townsend

Khari Williams

Photos by Mary Moore McLean

Rahul Sharma


Maggie Mallernee

student. I had a rough time sophomore year, and at a time when my teachers could have given up on me, it felt like that was when I got the most attention and care. Heads of school, teachers, librarians and maintenance were all incredibly outgoing and supportive when I needed it and continue to be now that I no longer do, and you can’t put a price tag on that.” — Thomas Granger


“ have had an extraordinary experience at Durham Academy because of the amazing fine arts program. An important thing to do in high school is to get involved, whether it’s by performing in musicals or joining interesting clubs. Being a part of the fine arts program has really helped me build confidence and character. One club that has also helped me with my confidence and really impacted my life was the Diversity Club. Ms.

Simón and Ms. Adom have taught me to be proud of where I am from and to be more accepting and open-minded.” — Ritzy Chirinos


“ ver my four years at DA, the greatest lesson that I have learned is don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there and try everything! Try all the things that seem a little weird to you, especially if you’re new to DA. What I appreciate most from DA was the chance I was given to establish strong relationships with my peers and teachers. There are people like Mr. Lineberger, my advisory, Nash, Julie, Carolyn, Jack C., Kimari, Annie, Tre and more who have no idea how far they have helped me get in life, and I could never thank them enough. At DA, try everything and meet everyone!” — Khari Williams


“ fter 13 years at DA, I can say that one of its greatest strengths is its constant evolution, with leaders like Mr. Hark and Mr. UlkuSteiner incorporating the perspectives of students, parents and faculty as they look to direct the school’s growth. The academic atmosphere here is unparalleled; my teachers have pushed me beyond the fundamentals, to think deeply and fully about every concept covered. Most important, however, is the sense of community fostered at Durham Academy. The people I’m surrounded by every single day not only support me, they push me to be my best.” — Maggie Mallernee

“ y time at DA has been an experience filled with trials and triumphs. I have been stretched intellectually more than I ever thought possible. Countless hours were spent in and outside of class, in a very competitive environment, which had its definite downsides — but I ultimately learned to find joy in learning. We are so lucky to have such passionate teachers that love what they do and that would do anything to help you strive. I created amazing relationships with teachers, peers and coaches that have impacted me in so many ways. I am confident that many of these relationships will carry into the rest of my life, and that is very special. DA stretched me in so many ways and it wasn’t always fun, but I appreciate this school and how it has helped shape the person I am today. I will genuinely miss lots of things about it and am sad to leave.” — Jordan Townsend



Reminiscences of a Preschool teacher: DOING WHAT I LOVE FOR 30 YEARS B Y S H E P P Y VA N N , P R E S C H O O L D I R E C TO R 19 9 0 -2014, K I N D E RG A R T E N T E AC H E R 19 8 4 -2014

hen I first joined the Durham Academy faculty in 1984, the Preschool was located in the current fifth grade pod on the Academy Road campus, and we utilized every inch of space allocated to us. The central hall provided gathering space for our weekly assembly, and the girls bathroom was our teacher workroom, where we were never without company since there were no doors on the stalls. All our supplies were housed in one section of the closet in the hall. Our classrooms had clearly been designed for older students; we had three walls of slate blackboard, which we eventually had covered in cork. We stretched yards of fabric over those boards each summer as we prepared for the new school year. Each room was equipped with a green- or yellow-painted upright piano, and music lessons were held in the classroom. Freya Cohen taught from a rolling cart that she brought to each room for our science lessons. There were no computers and one shared phone in the Preschool hall. I vividly remember a mom physician who conducted her phone sessions each morning on that hall phone. Our days began officially at 9:00 a.m., but students could arrive at 8:30 a.m. They were to play in the hall each morning until nine. Each day, two of the teachers supervised the arriving students so that the other teachers could prepare for the day. We referred to this as “snake pit duty,” as it was chaotic and noisy. Though we had lots of toys in the hall, the favorite occupation for active little boys was climbing onto the loft and wrestling or throwing “housekeeping” things over the rail onto the children below. On at least one occasion a youngster relieved himself from on high. Preschool, Lower and Middle School 8

Kathy McPherson


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: • Sheppy Vann with her first Durham Academy kindergarten during the 1984-1985 school year. • Technology has long been a part of Vann’s classroom, and this year’s kindergartners Atlas Lad, Justin Ofori-Amanfo and Caleb Arrick have fun with an iPad. • With Joey Savarino after Preschool closing exercises in June 2006. • Vann with her last kindergarten class, 2013-2014.

were all housed on the Academy Road campus, and before computers and email, we teachers gravitated to the room we called the “teachers’ lounge.” There was a big table, a coffee pot and our mailboxes. We always joked that you could leave $10 on that table and it would be there two weeks later, but if you left a saltine or banana on the table it would be gone in five minutes. Though we did not have a copier, we


did have a ditto machine and some sort of machine you had to crank to made purple copies. There was such excitement when we got a laminator, a wonderful invention that heat-sealed artwork between two layers of plastic and helped to preserve things we made for our bulletin boards. The only hitch was that I was the only person on the campus willing and able to change the heavy plastic rolls of laminate, so I became the

Kathy McPherson

Kathy McPherson

“laminatrix” and teachers would appear at my classroom door and inform me that they needed it changed immediately. A very young Rob Hershey was headmaster and Margaret Woods was Lower School director. Rob and his wife, Kathy, lived in Forest Hills and had three young children. Margaret had been at Durham Academy for many years and was an icon to all the young teachers. She never spoke above a whisper, and her mere presence commanded love and respect. Her spirit still reigns in the hearts of those who worked for her, among them Marian Saffo-Cogswell and Sarah Parry. Middle School Director Tim Dahlgren was the resident stress reliever because of his wonderful sense of humor. This was accompanied, as it is now, by his dedication to every child, to his faculty and to Durham Academy. Because we shared the faculty “lounge” with all teachers on that campus, I got to know and admire other Middle School faculty. Those who are still on our faculty

handedly shouldered the financial burden of school operations. During my first year on the faculty, the first capital campaign was undertaken. The proposed building was to house the board room, two libraries and science and art classrooms. At the campaign kick-off, Watts Hill spoke enthusiastically about the new building and how it would enrich the education of students on this campus. Mr. Hill visited the campus often to check on the progress of the building, and he would come through the Preschool and bid us hello. Auctions, then as now, were a major source of funding for Parents Council, and again the Hill and Kenan families were central to the effort. Mr. Hill genially performed an important and seemingly impossible task at the beginning of each auction. As the guests arrived and engaged in conversation, the decibels increased dramatically. When it was time to begin the order of the evening, suddenly the very handsome and distinguished Mr. Hill would mount the stage, stand at the microphone and produce a hog call. This was our sign to be quiet and sit down…and we did. Our first auctions were simpler than the elegant occasions of late. We ate tenderloin contributed by Betty Kenan, prepared in her very own kitchen and broiled by Gary Wein on a grill outside the Upper School gym. Upper School students played the parts of waiters and sommeliers until an Upper School teacher objected that we had minors

are Randy Bryson, Teresa Engebretsen and Barb Kanoy. I remember all of them as young parents and had had such fun talking with them during teaching breaks.

There was such excitement when we got a laminator, a wonderful invention that heat-sealed artwork between two layers of plastic and helped to preserve things we made for our bulletin boards. The only hitch was that I was the only person on the campus willing and able to change the heavy plastic rolls of laminate, so I became the “laminatrix” and teachers would appear at my classroom door and inform me that they needed it changed immediately. Durham Academy was largely dependent on the Kenan and Hill families during those earlier times, and were it not for Watts Hill and Frank Kenan, our school would not exist, as they almost single-





Kathy McPherson Kathy McPherson

serving libations to their own parents. Salad was prepared in big garbage bags and I remember helping a friend make dessert in her kitchen. At the earliest auction, balloons were tied to the chairs of winning bidders at the live auction. I can still see Betty Kenan elegantly and forcefully reminding us we were not at a bargain sale but were there to raise money for our school. The bidding began in earnest at her behest. The next campaign was undertaken when Don North was headmaster. Its major goal was the construction of Taylor Hall as it was clear a real auditorium was needed. Before Taylor Hall was built, we carried chairs into the gym and had a portable stage erected each time we had program. I proposed what I thought was a brilliant idea: a penny campaign would involve our students and hopefully encourage their parents to donate as well. Both Preschool and Lower School students took part, and all went well until the culminating assembly when wheelbarrows full of pennies were presented — and suddenly we realized those coins had to be transported to the bank! I still have no idea how campaign chair Alice Horton got those pennies deposited. We continued to swell the ranks on Academy Road. We reached a point where we could only accommodate legacy and faculty children in the one prekindergarten class, and the Lower School building no longer adequately housed 264 students. The Middle School was growing, and there was a need for more classroom space there as well. Ed Costello arrived as headmaster in time to launch the most ambitious campaign to date. For me it meant a trip to Dallas where Ed showed us several of the most prestigious schools there and told us repeatedly that Durham could not support whatever we admired, but he was mistaken. Our Ridge Road facility is the finest I have seen, including those in Dallas. During admissions tours, I have proudly shown off the building this community built for educating young children. I tell prospective parents that the fabulous facility we have is an indication that Durham Academy truly values the education of young students. Our new building has allowed the

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: • Always lively, Sheppy Vann enjoys time with her 2012-2013 kindergarten class. • It’s Silly Sock Day in the Preschool. • Service to others is important, and Vann helps her 2006-2007 kindergartners make sandwiches for the soup kitchen at Urban Ministries.

Preschool curriculum to grow and change. Original enrichments included music, physical education and science. We now offer Spanish, music, art, drama, science, P.E. and computers. Staffing changes have enhanced our program with the addition of teaching assistants in all Preschool classrooms. We began with a Preschool faculty of seven and have grown so that there are now 14 faculty


members and seven teachers we share with the Lower School. The kindergarten global studies program has remained, but thanks to our science teacher Freya Cohen and parent Kara Turner, it has expanded to include an annual Preschool International Night. Our weekly assemblies celebrate diversity with recognition of Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas.

Kathy McPherson

SHEPP Y VA NN PRESCHOOL SCHOL ARSHIP FUND To honor Sheppy Vann’s legacy, Durham Academy is establishing a needbased scholarship fund to make the Preschool accessible to a wide range of families. At the May Culture and Community Festival, Upper School Diversity Club copresident and Durham Academy senior Joia Freeman surprised Sheppy with news of a donation to the Sheppy Vann Preschool Scholarship Fund established in her name. The club’s pledge was raised one dollar at a time through the sales of concessions at basketball games and babysitting during school events. Freeman’s emotional presentation recalled her own time in Vann’s kindergarten class, and the strong connection that carried through her next 12 years at DA.

The Preschool of 1984 dismissed all students at noon. The Preschool of 2014 has a longer day with flexible arrival and dismissal times. Our students can arrive as early as 7:30 a.m. and may be dismissed at 1:00, 2:30 or 5:00 p.m. The Aftercare program, originally limited to 16, now serves as many as 60 students on a given day and enrichment offerings include chess, Chinese, little potters, martial arts, little masters, Legos, dance and gymnastics. We are a larger group, and we are more diverse. The Preschool now represents more than 30 percent of students from diverse backgrounds. I have been positively impressed with the fact that our tours for prospective parents and our Saturday testing sessions include families from around the world and around the Triangle. It has been 30 years since I first joined the Durham Academy faculty, and lots has changed, but the essentials have not. The Preschool continues to be the welcoming division because we are small, and yet we have the largest number of new students each year. Our 1:00 p.m. pick up

allows parents to meet and mingle, and our moms are always the most eager volunteers. We still welcome grandparents from all over the country and even from overseas for Grandparents and Special Friends Day. We continue to recognize our kindergarten graduates as potential “lifers” — they wear T-shirts with their projected high school graduation year — and they all receive certificates from our Head of School.

Vann’s retirement has prompted an outpouring of emotion — from current families, students, alumni, alumni parents, and of course, her colleagues. Middle School math teacher, DA parent and former Admissions Director Gib Fitzpatrick recently penned this tribute via email:

If you don’t believe that, here’s proof. When the board asked how they could honor her as she retired, Sheppy requested only one thing — creating an endowed fund to ensure that there would always be financial aid available for DA Preschool students who couldn’t otherwise come here. She knows that Preschool is the one time at DA when all the parents get out of their cars to pick up the kids, and in doing so start to form a community that endures for 14 years. She knows that in Preschool kids have a level playing field, regardless of their financial situations. She knows that if DA wants to become the best school it can be, it needs to have great families join us at the earliest possible grade levels and feel like this is THEIR school, too. I’ve always felt like faculty/staff kids and financial aid recipients are the heart and soul of our student body. So what better way to honor Sheppy? Gib To make a gift to the Sheppy Vann Preschool Scholarship Fund, or for more information, visit SheppyVannFund. Gifts of all sizes are welcome.

Dear colleagues, Most of you have heard by now that Sheppy Vann is retiring at the end of this year. If you know Sheppy, you realize what a huge loss this is for DA. If you don’t know Sheppy, just ask someone who does. And there are so many to ask! To save you time, let’s pretend you just asked me. When I was a candidate for the admissions director job in 1997, an interviewer’s parting words to me were, “If you get this job, always remember this: Sheppy Vann is the salt of the earth.” After working closely with her for 10 years on the administrative team, after sending our three children into her Kindergarten classroom more than 500 wonderful times, and after a 17-year friendship, I can tell you that he undersold her value. In my opinion, and in many others’, Sheppy is the heart and soul of today’s DA.

I have been blessed with great bosses, dedicated and talented colleagues, a wonderful place to work, fabulous parents and the most wonderful children in the world. I am told it was Confucius who said, “Do what you love, and you will not work a day in your life.” I am happy to say I did and I am eternally grateful to those who watch over this institution. I have been blessed with great bosses, dedicated and talented colleagues, a wonderful place to work, fabulous parents and the most wonderful children in the world. It has been a score and ten!



Sheppy Vann:


It was in that Teddy Bear Classroom that Mrs. Vann built lifelong relationships. It was in that classroom that she taught us that, if we worked hard, we would be capable of conquering the challenges ahead of us. And it was in that classroom where I truly learned the love of a teacher.  When I consciously look back on my first year with Sheppy … well, I don’t remember much. My memories as a 5-yearold are a little foggy. But what I do know is that, as a 5-year-old, my dreams of becoming a teacher began. Perhaps I wanted to become a teacher because of my incredible kindergarten teacher, perhaps it was something already inside me but, regardless, 12

what better role model could I possibly have had than the legendary Mrs. Vann? Back then, I idolized Mrs. Vann for her impeccable handwriting meticulously written across the old black chalkboard, the love of Fun Fridays and her ability to enjoy the loud and messy toys just as much as the children in the room. She taught us how to read, how to write our names, how to count using Roman numerals. But more than those basic skills, Mrs. Vann taught us how to enjoy every single moment. She lives in the moment, no matter what. You could find her dressed in thematic sweaters to celebrate the holidays, laughing as she allowed us to swing a giant wood stick at the big piñata during the Mexican fiesta and dressed to elegant perfection as a server for our English tea parties. She was never merely in the moment, she was fully submerged in it. When I think about being a student of Mrs. Vann’s, I remember the boisterous, joyful Teddy Bear Classroom. I remember the way she listened to our stories and hugged us as if we were her own children. I recall the way she cared deeply for our families, invited our siblings to spend the


Kathy McPherson

Lloydette Hoof


ike many of you, my first experience at Durham Academy was in Sheppy’s kindergarten class … as a student.   And Mrs. Vann has been the face of the Preschool for over 30 years — more than anyone else in our community, she is the one who welcomes new families into our larger DA family. Known to many as “America’s Kindergarten Teacher,” Sheppy has an amazing ability to truly love each child and their parents.  If we were to poll the many families she’s touched over the years and ask, “What do you appreciate the most about Sheppy?” we’d end up with an endless list of her qualities. She is adored for her wry sense of humor, her creativity, her smile and, of course, her ability to pull off fabulous outfits every single day.

day, sent special notes to our parents and made a point to talk to our grandparents at graduation, remembering them each by name. It was in that Teddy Bear Classroom that Mrs. Vann built lifelong relationships. It was in that classroom that she taught us that, if we worked hard, we would be capable of conquering the challenges ahead of us. And it was in that classroom where I truly learned the love of a teacher. It is just incredible to think of how many lives Sheppy Vann has changed. At DA alone, Mrs. Vann has taught over 500 children and if that number doesn’t impress you, let me say it in kindergarten lingo: At the very least, she’s tied well over 27,000 shoes (this is a modest calculation, even, assuming 5 pairs of shoes a day for over 30 years). But we all know it’s not merely about the laces she’s tied or even the children she’s

Kathy McPherson Kathy McPherson

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: • Jessica Crowe Whilden and Sheppy Vann met in 1987, when Whilden was in Vann’s kindergarten class (inset), and later they became colleagues in the Preschool. • Christopher Brady and Vann at Preschool closing 2013. • Vann has tied well over 27,000 shoes, including Maisie Moylan’s shoes in 2012. • Freya Cohen and Vann with Anna Baker and Annamaria Sotolongo on Halloween 2002.

taught. Sheppy’s lessons go much farther than that. Not many people can say that they are fortunate to relive the beauty and joy of her kindergarten year every single day, but that is how I feel now as Sheppy’s colleague. A lot has changed at DA since then, but one thing hasn’t: Sheppy Vann.  As a colleague and Preschool director, the most precious lessons she imparts are those she teaches through her actions. She’s nurturing, she’s supportive of our faculty and she often celebrates the accomplishments of each of us. Sheppy is the first one on campus, and she is the last one to leave. She can be found working hard in her classroom while listening to books or podcasts. She’s quite the news junkie. When you look up “schlepping” in the dictionary, I promise Sheppy’s picture would be there. Whether it’s going on the weekly Sam’s runs, restocking construction paper, changing the laminator or picking up random trash off the floor, she is always busy schlepping something.   In my first year as a teacher, I remember Sheppy telling us we were going to have a coin drive as part of our community service. We all thought the children would do as they have always done and bring in a few

coins, we would count the money, donate it and call it a coin drive. But I also remember the look on Sheppy’s face when she told us she had a much bigger idea. What about a bake sale at the Upper School? The other teachers and I all sat there and looked at her like she was crazy. Bake and decorate goodies with 5-year-olds then schlep all 72 children, doughnuts, brownies, goopcovered sugary treats, money and bake sale signs to the Upper School to raise money for Heifer International? We were skeptical, but it was Sheppy’s spirit and “can do” attitude that reminded us that it’s about the kids. Her motto? “The kids will have fun, and they will remember it.” And she was right. What’s best for the child is always foremost in her mind. On top of that, she would never ask us to do something she wasn’t willing to do herself.   Unsurprisingly, the bake sale was an overwhelming success. We were able to buy a cow, and it served as further confirmation that anything Sheppy does, she does well. But, more than that, she understands that the things that we grown-ups think are important are not necessarily important to children and that the greatest gift we can give these little ones is the gift of time.  Sheppy has always told the people in her life that family comes first. While it saddens me to say this, it is now time for us to allow Sheppy to do the same.  We are so lucky to have had you a little longer than you planned to stay but now Dick, your children and grandchildren will get to enjoy you as much as we have every day. We can’t thank the Vann family enough for letting us have you for all these years.  Mrs. Vann, we honor you and thank you for the sacrifices you have made. You leave behind a legacy that is unlike any other. Your impact on our community has stretched well beyond the classroom. We all recognize that they broke the mold when they made Sheppy. You truly are one of a kind.  Sheppy, we have an amazing school. And I am proud to be both a lifer and a member of the faculty. Please know that you are the best of what we are and what we aim to be, a treasure to this institution and, well, my hero.



Brown v. Board of Education through the eyes of DA alumna Valerie Kennedy Miller ’81 O N A MID - M AY A F T ER N O O N, T HE F O L LOW I N G E M A IL P O PPED I N TO HE A D O F S CH O O L MICH A EL U L K U - S T EI N ER’ S I N B OX . I T B RO U G H T T E A R S TO HI S E Y E S A N D A L L K I N D S O F ID E A S TO MI N D F O R HEL PI N G DA’ S S T U D E N T S , T E ACHER S A N D PA R E N T S K N OW M O R E A B O U T T HE G I A N T S O N W H O SE SH O U L D ER S T HE S CH O O L C U R R E N T LY S TA N D S .


ear Mr. Ulku-Steiner: I am writing you today as a proud alum of DA, who has been inspired to contact you by an important historic milestone. Tomorrow, May 17, marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark United States Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education. The decision rendered in this case changed history, most notably, by shifting the plates of American public policy on the matter of segregation and access to quality public education. But there is an interesting postscript to the Brown decision that is particularly relevant to the history of Durham Academy and its legacy of inclusion. Following the Brown decision, many communities throughout the South began private elementary and secondary school institutions that exclusively targeted white students. This trend reached its zenith in the aftermath of public school integration measures in the early 70s, but began at least 10 years earlier in the late 50s and early 60s. The Calvert Method School, Durham Academy’s predecessor, was not an outgrowth of this trend. From its beginning in 1933, the Calvert Method School sought to distinguish itself on the merits of its pedagogy, rather than as a philosophical rejection of the Brown decision. Yet, as it evolved into Durham Academy in 1959 and moved to a new campus in 1965, it was inextricably linked to the firmament in which private education in the South was being shaped and perceived. In 1969, a group of African-American parents, including my own, Ruth and Preston Kennedy, wrote a letter to headmaster Robert Johnston, alerting him of their intent to enroll their children at Durham Academy and seeking assurances from him that the school would be receptive to the enrollment of “colored” children. The response was a resoundingly enthusiastic “yes.” That summer, a little “colored” girl of kindergarten age took a tour of Durham Academy’s campus on Academy Road 14

with Mrs. Margaret Woods and Mrs. Nancy Brown — true legends for DA alums of a certain age. That “colored” girl was me and in the fall, I enrolled at Durham Academy in the kindergarten class of Mrs. Charlotte Johnson. Family friend Vincent Quiett also enrolled and was assigned as the other AfricanAmerican student in Mrs. Johnson’s class. Whatever apprehensions my parents had were immediately erased in the warm, inviting smile of Mrs. Johnson on my first day. Mrs. Johnson, who always dressed in fashionable sheath dresses, usually in pink, treated me with so much daily love and warmth that my mother feared I was getting “spoiled” by her. Vincent and I were not alone. There were other African-American kindergarten students at Durham Academy that fall, who were

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: • First-grade teacher Annie B. Mann • Robert Singdahlsen taught in Upper School • Bob Johnston was headmaster 1969-1977 • Margaret Woods taught in Lower School and became LS director

assigned to other kindergarten homerooms headed by Mrs. Amelia Thompson and Mrs. Nancy Brown. Those students included Durham Academy Distinguished alum Mark Sanders, now a professor at Emory, Brandy Collins, an elementary school teacher, Tommy Stith, a local businessman who is now chief of staff to Governor Pat McCrory, Nathan


Garrett, Jr., whose father was a prominent accountant, and Billy Bell, a probation supervisor in Charlotte, whose father is Durham’s current mayor. Our parents were primarily either faculty or administrators at North Carolina Central University, then NCC (North Carolina College), executives at North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company,

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: • Valerie Kennedy in a Middle School drama production • Nancy Brown taught kindergarten at Calvert and DA • Tim Dahlgren taught Valerie his first year at DA • Betty Vaughan was a legend in the Lower School

physicians, or business owners. We carpooled together in the mornings and most of us had known each other since attending preschool at NC Central. There were other students in the higher grades, too — Anita Merritt, an outstanding student-athlete who should be in our Hall of Fame, Mark’s sister Claire Sanders, Tracy Bowens, another DA lifer, whose dad Dr. Curtis Bowens followed my mom on the board, Aaron Thompson (whose father owned the local body shop everyone in our community went to), Wayne Perry, an attorney, Donald Moore, Jr., a media executive, Melanie Dawson, Brian Holeman, now a D.C. Superior Court judge,

Barry Stanback, an attorney, Winnie Watts, an attorney (her father was a distinguished physician in Durham), Jody Clement, whose mom was esteemed Durham City Board of Education and Durham County Commission member Josephine Clement, and her sister Kathy Clement, who was a rock star by any standard. In the 1970 yearbook, it was noted that Kathy, who was DA’s varsity head cheerleader, was proof that “Black is Beautiful.” I wanted to share this story of these remarkable African-American alums of Durham Academy because their enrollment during this precipitous time of racial upheaval and uncertainty against the backdrop of Brown v.

Board of Education is meaningful to the history of DA. In the classrooms of Durham Academy, an incredible racial experiment was taking place under the bold leadership of Headmaster Robert Johnston and a cadre of committed women faculty members of the “old school” like Margaret Woods (later head of the Lower School), Nancy Brown, the venerable Annie B. Mann (the first grade teacher whose name I can still barely say without tearing up because I loved her so much), Betty Vaughan, and Margaret Allen. These genteel, Southern ladies with the horn-rimmed glasses and upright manner of true teachers back then, navigated the new world order with steeliness and a fierce love for ALL children. These Lower School faculty members and Bob Johnston, along with our drama teacher Mrs. Marian Rosensweig, are among the key reasons that I became a DA lifer. They played a critical role in making certain that the hopes of my parents for my brother and I to receive an exceptional education were realized in an inclusive environment of tolerance and acceptance. For the upper grades, teachers like Bobbie Hardaker, Joan Boyd, Ed and Althea Shuster, and Dick Forringer were influential as the hippest and coolest teachers at DA. They encouraged independence and selfrealization among the older contingent of 8th and 9th graders. They, along with the older guard, helped to create a very specific culture at DA that was unlike other private schools in Durham — it was intellectual, dynamic, creative, vibrant. This is not to say that all was perfect. I was called more than my fair share of racial epithets and these incidents were met with swift punishment by the Headmaster’s Office — automatic suspension. There was a zerotolerance policy at DA for that kind of namecalling. Period. But I thrived as did my African-American classmates because so much opportunity was provided for us to explore our gifts and to be accepted as individuals. Some days, it was daunting, but for the most part, in spite of whatever attitudes about race may have been expressed at home, our white classmates were our friends and colleagues. Yet, there was without question an invisible social line that CONTINUED



was not generally not crossed, except with your time was and how remarkable our teachers close friends. were, remember this. None of the teachers My brother Duane was best friends or administrators had come of age in an with Mr. Johnston’s youngest son, Dan, Chris integrated world. They came of age during Han, and Scott Lincoln. They were in and out segregation. Few, if any, had black friends as of each other’s homes ALL the time. And I children or teenagers. Few, if any, socialized was always at Allyn Van Alstyne’s house. But with black families or had black friends as in spite of whatever lines existed with other adults. Outside of Durham Academy, we lived classmates, we all played together, shared in completely separate worlds. Think about secrets together, talked about pop culture that. The ability of Durham Academy teachers together, exchanged records, and imitated to love us, protect us, encourage us, scold dance moves from “Soul Train” and “American us, and motivate us in the way that they did Bandstand” during recess or at lunch. was the direct result of their personal ethos as And yes, we had candid discussions teachers and advocates for the best interests about race, mainly sharing what our parents of their students. thought or said about a political leader or In many ways, Durham Academy celebrity of the opposite race (it was tough achieved in a shorter period of time what being a Democrat back then). When I reached the larger public school systems across this 8th grade, the divide between school and country could not without violence and community was being crossed a little more continued resistance. The legacy of Brown v. via party invitations and yet, the social gap between our worlds deepened at the same time. The country club and debutante lines were the most resilient to change. As African-American students, we knew that we would not be invited to Cotillion or the debutante ball, except those sponsored by our African-American organizations. Yet, when our white classmates would fill us in on everything that took place, we discovered that we weren’t missing that much. In time, it simply became a non-issue for us. By the end of high school, those lines were not nearly as intractable between “us” and the country club universe. In fact, my freshman year of college at Brown, I remember attending a CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: • Drama teacher Marian Rosensweig • English teacher Harriet King • Math teacher Dick Forringer DA event at Hope Valley Country • Biology teacher Bobbie Hardaker Club, which was still segregated at And I would be remiss if I did not this point, I believe, and no one batted an eye. Board of Education, the hopes of the Justices mention the fearlessness and determination Well maybe a few did, but I was treated with who wrote that decision, and the parents of the white parents at DA who embraced the the utmost respect. Interestingly, my parents who fought for it, inspired a smaller band African-American schoolmates of their children moved to a house only a few streets away from of parents in Durham, North Carolina, to with respectfulness and warmth. Parents like the Hope Valley Country Club golf course when make the same request for their children to Felicity Klintworth, a native of South Africa I was in college. The lines seemed to disappear attend Durham Academy. This request was who grew up under the apartheid system, almost overnight when that happened. honored by DA without protests or organized whose son John was best friends with Vincent To appreciate how remarkable this resistance by white parents or faculty. 16


Melody Guyton Butts

birthday, with help from Mr. Johnston and parents who contributed cupcakes, juice and decorations. She cried and cried when we burst out of hiding yelling, “surprise!” I cannot imagine any of my classmates or parents sending her the kind of racist Tweets or Facebook messages that we frequently hear about CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: today which are directed by • Valerie Kennedy’s senior portrait • Valerie as white students towards their a first-grader • Valerie Kennedy Miller on African-American teachers. a June visit to DA The Durham Academy of today would not be Quiett throughout possible without the efforts of parents, teachers their years at DA. and administrators in those early years. I don’t Bill and Carol want that rich history forgotten. This occasion Van Alstyne, the seemed like a particularly appropriate moment esteemed legal to reflect on that important time. I hope that scholar and there are opportunities in the future to learn economist, whose more from the alums of the 70s and 80s about daughter Allyn and their experiences in forging the new ground I were as close as of the multicultural society that we take for sisters. Allyn was granted now. DA has changed so much and I the only white am proud of the institution it has become. member of my Some of the old guard from the high all-African-American Girl Scout troop. She was school are still around like the beloved Dennis Brownie of the Month, twice! Others included Cullen, whom we adored because of his the Widmans, whose daughter Allison and I fairness, patience and accessibility. He was were friends and academic competitors, Mrs. a tough teacher and coach, however, always George Watts Hill (formerly Anne Hutchinson demanding your best. Bobbie Hardaker (who and a teacher at DA) who regularly invited me took photos at my wedding) retired recently, to her home for sleepovers with her daughter others like Harriet King, Stuart Wallace, and Margaret, which crossed the invisible social Robert Singdahlsen have been gone for a while. line that was rarely crossed after school hours. The most defining voices though, for the DA of Mary Duke Semans was also an important today can be found in the contingent of faculty influence in the DA community — her vocal and administrators from the late 60s and early support for our presence was always heard and 70s who were anchors of the Lower School. respected. The Bob Johnstons, the Margaret Woods, the The board members, who served with Annie B. Manns, the Ellawease Clemmons, the my mom, like Carl Hamill, Dr. Ron Davis, Dr. Amelia Thompsons, the Marian Rosensweigs, Joseph Farmer, Al Bryant, the venerable Pelham the Ed Shusters and others like our wonderful Wilder (some are gone now), but they were African-American custodians who worked with firm then about Durham Academy’s legacy pride and were always included in the school as an institution of integrity and inclusion. yearbook. Bob Johnston and the Board, for instance, Please find a way to honor the collective pushed for the hiring of DA’s first Africanwork of these men and women in realizing the American teacher, Mrs. Ellawease Clemmons, dream of Brown v. Board of Education. The spirit my third grade teacher. We loved her so of that decision applied to every classroom in much that we gave her a surprise party for her America, not just the ones that existed at public

schools. In defining itself as an “independent” school, Durham Academy consciously branded itself as an educational maverick of sorts, opting to march to the beat of a different drummer within the Southern private school movement. Durham Academy’s self-definition as an independent school was a clarion call for change, a decision to take the road less traveled at an uncertain time, but thank goodness for the vision that led to its path. At Brown University, I learned that my education at Durham Academy was second to none, and I still feel that way. I also realized that I was light years ahead many of my classmates from the storied prep schools of Andover, Exeter, Choate and many others in my level of enlightenment about race and inclusion. That’s a by-product of DA, too. In closing, let me offer that this letter is sent with love and gratitude for the AfricanAmerican parents of Durham Academy, especially my own, who stood on the promises of the Brown decision to forge a promising future for their own children at DA and the Durham Academy faculty/administrators who stood with them. Respectfully, Valerie Kennedy Miller, Esq. Durham Academy Class of 1981 EDITORS NOTE: After graduating from Durham Academy in 1981, Valerie attended Brown University and graduated with honors in English and American Literature. After a year on Capitol Hill, she returned to North Carolina where she attended UNC School of Law. In law school, Valerie was an Executive Board member of the Moot Court Board. She returned to Capitol Hill as legislative counsel for U.S. Congressman Tim Valentine (D-NC,1983-1995) and later became a corporate lobbyist. Valerie left Washington, D.C., for opportunities in New York City. She worked as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and got married before being appointed general counsel and chief of staff at The City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College. Valerie now consults with major law firms on transactional and litigation matters. She and her husband live in New York City.




Student U’s first graduates are headed to college B Y DA N K IM B E RG , D I R E C TO R O F S T U D E N T U


he hike is long. The hike is hard. But the mountaintop is in sight and once we arrive, the view will be brilliant. In February 2007, Anna submitted her application to participate in a new academic enrichment program called Student U. As this first application was received, the manila envelope symbolized the realization of a Durham dream that the Student U community had been working toward for 18 months. Anna, her 49 classmates and their families arrived on Durham Academy’s Upper School campus that June. Student U made a commitment to support, challenge and love these students as they strived to reach their full potential. These families made a commitment to support, challenge and love this organization as we strived to reach our full potential. A true community was formed, built by Durham, for Durham, and the Student U journey began. In November 2013, Anna received a letter in a thick manila envelope much like the one she submitted to Student U years earlier. Anna was accepted into Hampton University, becoming the first Student U senior to receive college admission. As more packages arrived and more students became college-bound, we were filled with appreciation for the community that has hiked together on this journey to the mountaintop. Most importantly, we acknowledged the dedication and determination demonstrated by our students: a drive to beat statistics, to challenge assumptions and to prove that all students can succeed. By their sides were our students’ greatest advocates: their guardians. They have been our guides, ensuring Student U constantly improved and hiked in the right direction. They have made countless sacrifices to ensure their students and our organization succeed. Families walked arm-in-arm with the Student U staff, individuals who owned the same shared vision. These teachers, mentors and operations experts never lost sight of the brilliance inside each Student U child. This brilliance inspired them to push our organization 18

to provide the greatest programming possible. And last but not least was our community of dreamers: individuals, foundations and organizations who believed that when a group of people came together with one clear goal, crazy dreams could come true. Together, we have hiked up a steep mountain. Together, we have grown from a program supporting 50 students with a $90,000 budget and one full-time employee, to an organization working with 340 students with a $1.4 million budget and 12 full-time employees. Together, we have watched Anna’s journey from Student U applicant to college-bound student. The Student U that welcomed Anna and the Class of 2014 into the community in 2007 is certainly different than the Student U that welcomed the class of 2021 this April. What was once a summer program for middle schoolers has become a comprehensive, year-round pipeline that provides academic and socialemotional support from sixth grade through college completion. Each summer, sixth- through 10th-grade students engage in a six-week Summer Academy, held at Durham Academy, where they are taught by a combination of college-aged students and professional teachers. Eleventh- and 12thgraders apply for internships at businesses and nonprofits around the Triangle based on their career interests. During the school year, middle school students are bused daily from their base schools to W.G. Pearson Middle School, where they receive homework help and enroll in study skills sessions and an arts-based or athletic club. In order to support ninth- through 12thgraders during the school year, Student U hires “advocates,” high school teachers and guidance counselors at each local high school. Advocates meet weekly with students and conduct monthly workshops and semester conferences. Advocates ensure students are staying on the right track, taking the right classes and preparing themselves for college. Student U’s full-time school social worker helps students who need support outside of the classroom. All seniors enroll in College Bound 101, meeting weekly with Student U’s


full-time college advisor to apply to and select the best-fit college. Although to enroll in college is in itself a great accomplishment, our goal is for our students to succeed in college. For this reason, the newest extension to our pipeline of services is the College Promise. The goal is simple — college graduation. The College Promise is not just a program; it is a commitment. It is a commitment from Student U that this community will continue to support students through college, and it is a commitment from students that they will take advantage of the opportunity they have worked so hard to earn. The College Promise provides academic, social-emotional and financial support to students and their families. Although our programming has developed over the last seven years, our core values have remained constant, serving as our foundation as we have built our organization. We take our guiding principles with us into every classroom, every meeting and every moment during every hike. • We will dream fearlessly: We will envision a world for our students, for our families and for ourselves that does not yet exist. We will not be scared to dream. We will not be hurt when we are told we are too naïve, or too idealistic, or too young. We will dream and dream and dream until there is no longer a difference between our dreams and our reality. • We will energize our community: We will not dream in isolation because we know that collective dreams travel further and faster than individual dreams; we know that individual empathy changes moments, but collective empathy creates movements. • We will respect ourselves and others: We understand that everyone is needed in order to create a Beloved Community. We will honor the unique perspectives and backgrounds and skills of all people and partners with whom we connect because our fearless dreams can only come true when the whole community is energized around them, not just the members of our community who think and act like us. • We will discover our best selves: We

know that in order to respect others, we must first respect ourselves. We must appreciate the people we are today and love ourselves for exactly where we are on our own journeys. And we must take risks, challenging ourselves and our assumptions, and pushing ourselves to discover the people we one day can become. • We will share our brilliance: As we discover these best selves, we will share our purest, most authentic brilliance with everyone we meet. We will not hide our light, but rather let that light shine as brightly and as powerfully as we can. For we know that our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. We know that our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that

most frightens us . In those moments when we want to get small and hide our true song, we will take a deep breath, remember why we are here, and sing out our brilliance as loudly and proudly and powerfully as we can. • We will achieve greatness: We will hold ourselves to the highest possible expectations throughout the hike, constantly reflecting, evaluating and striving to thrive. Together, we will work tirelessly to make our fearless dreams come true. We know that Student U’s program, guided by these core values, works. Our students not only outperform their low-income peers, but they outperform the district as a whole on standardized tests. Our students

miss an average of six days of school each year, compared to an average of 11 days missed by their classmates. Most importantly, our students believe that their fearless dreams can become a reality. As a result of our students’ success, Student U was named the Durham Chamber of Commerce nonprofit of the year and has received numerous regional awards. All members of the Student U community are driven by a fundamental fact that our students have proven to be true. This truth connects every student, every teacher, every supporter and every volunteer — a truth so obvious, yet so powerful, and so immensely important. All students can succeed. As Student U students continue to thrive, this truth is being spread into the hearts and minds of the Durham community. Our students have started a movement that is attracting more participants each day, a movement defined by our truth that all students, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of how much money their parents have in their pockets, can succeed. The journey is far from over. On May 18, Anna and our oldest class of students walked across the stage at the Carolina Theatre and declared to the world where they will be going to college. Together, we celebrated reaching this peak, and then we got back to work, committed to the next phase of our development.


headmaster at that time, Ed Costello, and its Upper School Director, Michael Ulku-Steiner, listened with open hearts as we shared our vision. Ed, Michael, Durham Academy’s Board of Trustees and the Durham Academy community as a whole took a chance on us and became our partners in building our program. For seven years, DA has fulfilled its promise, serving as one of Student U’s most reliable and valuable partners. From countless DA Lower School supply drives, to $250,000 worth of in-kind donations from DA each year, to the mentorship and

guidance of DA staff and administrators, to Tom Barry who forgoes a holiday gift each year in favor of encouraging his fourth-grade families to make a Student U donation, to the Middle School and Upper School teachers who make space for us prior to each summer session, we have succeeded because of Durham Academy. Thank you, Durham Academy, for your belief in our students and your commitment to our community. Together, we will reach the mountaintop and make our crazy dreams come true. — DAN KIMBERG, DIREC TOR, S T UDEN T U

ABOVE: Members of the Class of 2014, the first group to experience six years of Student U, celebrate with faculty May 18 after declaring where they will go to college.


efore Anna’s application arrived in the mail and before “Student U” had a name, a group of people sat around a conference room table at Durham Academy’s Upper School. Three ambitious, passionate, and potentially naïve and idealistic college students pitched Durham Academy administrators an idea of a new initiative to support Durham Public Schools. DA’s



There’s a treehouse in the library, and Lower Schoolers helped build it


Kathy McPherson

steady stream of parents has been filtering through the Kirby-Horton Library the past few months. They are not here, however, to inquire about their child’s overdue materials or to chat with a librarian about good book choices. They are coming for a very different reason: to see the 7-by-9-foot house perched in a tree in the corner of the library. Now you are probably thinking, “A tree house in a library?” Well it’s not really as odd as it sounds. Think back to the great classic Swiss Family Robinson (a tree house WITH a library) or My Side of the Mountain, a Newbery winner by Jean Craighead George. Then there’s the ever-popular Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. Add to that Owen Foote Frontiersman, a book by this year’s visiting author, Stephanie Greene, and you’ve got all the reason in the world to build a tree house in the library!

Kathy McPherson


Kathy McPherson

TOP: Alison Linger takes her turn with a power screwdriver and a little help from Randy Baker. BOTTOM: Cameron Hunter displays plans for the library treehouse. Every Lower School student had a hand in building the treehouse.

ABOVE: Second grader Ben Tarpey hammers in a nail as Randy Baker holds thing steady. 20


Students in both Preschool and Lower School read Greene’s book — about a second-grader who has his tree house taken over by bullies — in preparation for her February visit. It was “love at first read” for many of them. “I liked reading it because we learned a new word for poop. It’s called scat,” said first-grader Jane Hark, referring to the animal tracking activities in the book. “And I liked the part when the bullies put a snake into Owen’s tree house. But I’m really glad Owen got his tree house back in the end.” After librarians decided which of Greene’s numerous Owen Foote books to focus on, the leap to building a tree house was natural. Lower School Director Carolyn Ronco loved the idea from the start. “I don’t know of another library in the country that has a tree house! I knew how excited the children would be, and if building a tree house would motivate our students to read, then we had to do it,” she said. Before the tree house could be built, however, there was one very important detail to nail down — who would paint a giant tree on the wall? Librarians went straight to Amanda Dolan, parent of

“Our motivation in all we do is to encourage curious learners who love books and who love to read.”

Michelle Rosen

Kathy McPherson

— C A R O LY N R O N CO, L O W E R S C H O O L D I R E C T O R

TOP: Fourth-graders Maya Caldwell, Talbot Waters, William Biersach and Diego PastorValverde check out the tree that seemed to magically “grow” in the Kirby-Horton Library. BOTTOM: Randy Baker, a 33-year veteran at DA, said working with kids on the treehouse was “the most rewarding project I’ve ever done.”

second-grader Maya and artist extraordinaire. Dolan holds a degree in studio art from Dartmouth College and has participated in local art exhibits. She readily agreed to help and went to work almost immediately. To everyone’s delight, her vision for the project was creative and masterful.

“I love texture and layers. Just to paint branches and leaves on the wall seemed so flat and dull,” Dolan explained. “I made the leaves out of fabric so that they could actually move if the air came on or a window or door was open.” Dolan then made a tree trunk and branches out of insulation foam, with one of the branches extending out from the wall so that it would reach toward the children. “I guess I just wanted the tree to feel authentic enough to earn its place beside the tree house,” she said. The next step was actually building the tree house. For that, librarians turned to Maintenance Foreman Randy Baker. He, too, was eager to oversee the project and guide each of the 16 Lower School classes through the building process. It was a job, he says, that he took very seriously. “I wanted to make sure each kid had an opportunity to put in a nail or a screw so that they would feel the tree house really belonged to them,” Baker said. “I’ve been at Durham Academy for 33 years, and this is the highlight of my time here. I loved working with the kids, and I can say that this is the most rewarding project I’ve ever done.” Construction started in January and, slowly but surely, the prefabricated house started coming together. Armed with nails, screws, drills, hammers, levels, tape measures and a set of instructions, Baker directed students in the building process. Their duties included everything from putting up walls to installing a porch to putting in windows. Preschool students added a special touch with flowers for the window boxes. As expected, our students loved every minute of it. “When do engineering classes start at DA?” asked fourthgrader Tate Staples. “I want to do more projects like this.” Other students liked working as a team. “It was really fun seeing everyone work on it together,” said fourth-grader Lars Oehler, who has spent quite a bit of time reading in the house. “It’s really cool that we built a spot where we can just sit and read.” Some teachers incorporated the early construction of the tree house into their math lessons, showing students real-world applications of curriculum. For example, after the foundation was built, fourth-grade teacher Tom Barry had students calculate its area and perimeter to test their newly acquired geometry skills. Construction was completed in about five weeks. When Greene finally saw the tree house on the day of her visit, she was blown away! “When [librarians] told me about [the] plan to have the students build a tree house inside the school, I was amazed. Dubious, too,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine how that would work. So when I finally saw it on the day of my visit, I was astonished. A tree house in the library!” Yes — a tree house in the library! Everyone agrees that the structure will inspire students to pick up a good book and escape into its pages. “Our motivation in all we do is to encourage curious learners who love books and who love to read,” Ronco said. If a tree house won’t do it … then we don’t know what will! DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG


Photos by Demetra Kontos

LEFT TO RIGHT: Volunteers from Pender Watch and Conservancy gave a hands-on tour of the shoreline along the Intracoastal Waterway. • Third-graders toured the new sea turtle rehabilitation center, got weighed on the turtle scale and presented a $3,000 donation to the center. • Students gathered sand, ocean water and sea specimens.

Third-graders pledge to keep the ‘blue marble promise’ on annual coastal trip B Y D E M E T R A KO N TO S , T E AC H I N G A S S I S TA N T, LO W E R S C H O O L S C I E N C E


ill you keep the blue marble promise? At the close of our day-long field trip to the North Carolina coast on May 9, I joined our students, teachers and parent chaperones in raising our hands skyward. In our palms we each clutched a sapphire blue marble symbolic of our Earth while we vowed in unison to use our minds, voices and hearts as dedicated caretakers of our planet and its endangered animals. Taking part in the promise was a moving ending to an extraordinary day of experiential learning, made possible by the tireless dedication and coordination of my colleague, Lower School science teacher Lyn Streck, and our remarkable third-grade teaching team. For over 16 years our LS students have traveled to Topsail Island, one of North Carolina’s barrier islands, to conclude their science curriculum on ocean studies and classroom study of sea turtles, but this was my first time on the adventure. My husband, Chris, was one of the lucky parent chaperones selected by lottery to accompany our older son, Michael (DA ’12), and his classmates in 2003. Making the blue marble promise was only a part of our living lab day spent at the N.C. coast. Our day began before sunrise when we boarded two buses for the three-hour trip from the Lower School to Surf City. Our first stop was Topsail Island’s first ocean pier, the Surf City Pier. The 937-foot-long pier was originally built in 1948, destroyed by Hurricane Fran, rebuilt and reopened in 1997. Signs on the pier encouraged respect for the ocean and its creatures by asking fisherman to return their catch if they will not consume it, and to be aware that littering is a serious threat to animals. Below the pier on the shore, Ms. Streck reviewed our study of mollusks, dunes, tides and wave energy before distributing the 22

students’ collection kits in which they gathered sand, ocean water and shell specimens. Collecting litter from the beach closed out our visit to the intertidal zone. After our picnic lunch, three members of the Pender Watch and Conservancy gave a guided, hands-on tour of the Soundside Park’s shoreline along the Intracoastal Waterway. Our guides taught us that oysters are the cleaning crew of the sound. Their presence is evidence of a healthy body of water where crab, shrimp and other shellfish abound. We learned that another sign of a healthy sound were sea anemones, their stalks swaying gently with the waves. These passionate volunteers thoroughly engaged our students with their knowledge, enthusiasm, warmth and love for the environment. Our students, having just studied bivalve mollusks, responded by combing the shoreline for mussels and oysters, and peppering our guides with questions, such as, “Where’s the oyster’s eye,” and “Is this oyster still alive, and how can you tell?” Our day concluded with a visit to the new Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on Topsail Island. Jean Beasley, the 2013 Ocean Hero Award Recipient, and founder of the facility, personally greeted our party at the start of our special tour. The center will not open for public tours until June 5, but because of the long-standing relationship between Durham Academy, Ms. Streck and Mrs. Beasley, we were granted an up-close tour of this impressive facility featuring a surgery suite, X-ray and laboratory rooms, as well as three large, skylight filled turtle bays. I learned that this new, 13,650 sq. ft. facility is a far cry from the size of the 900 sq. ft. original center, and it now houses at least 22 turtle patients. Like the remarkable Pender Watch


and Conservancy volunteers, the Sea Turtle Hospital volunteers engrossed our students with their enthusiasm and knowledge of their patients. Imagine the giggles of our students who served as “stand-ins” at the turtle weight and measurement station as they were wrapped and hoisted like the incoming turtle patients. Touched by the detailed rescue and recovery stories told by the volunteers, I witnessed more than a few “Eureka” moments among the students as they connected how their individual choices and actions can impact the delicate interdependence of all living things on Earth. Finally, Mrs. Beasley and the entire volunteer staff of the center were visibly moved when our students presented their $3,000 donation to the hospital. These funds were the proceeds from their Sea Turtle Gift Shop sale recently held on the Lower School campus. Their philanthropy in support of natural preservation goes a long way in teaching ways they can choose to be responsible citizens of our planet. Thus, it was quite fitting that our day then ended with Mrs. Beasley, her volunteers and a few of their turtle “patients” leading us in the blue marble promise before we boarded the buses back to Durham. Experiential learning opportunities like our coastal field trip are a hallmark of Durham Academy’s curriculum. They allow our students to “make connections” between the world and themselves. Often scientific concepts are abstract to our young learners, but field trips like these yield not only a more concrete understanding of our world, but also ignite a spark of interest that could grow into a field of study or hobby in the future. So yes, I along with the members of the DA Class of 2023 will wholeheartedly keep the blue marble promise.


Writers Workshop offers Lower Schoolers tools to express their voices B Y C A RO LY N RO N CO, LO W E R S C H O O L D I R E C TO R


“ en minutes? I want another hour to write!” “I would like to write a better hook for my introductory paragraph.” “Thank you for the ideas, Mrs. K, but I really want my writing to sound like my voice.” These are a few quotes coming from our children as our classrooms engage in Writers Workshop. Writers Workshop is a model of writing instruction that has been at the core of 35 years of literacy research from Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. The Lower School has implemented these Units of Study in Writing as our primary writing program this year. Making a curricular decision like this one is never taken lightly at Durham Academy, and this change represents many years of our Lower School faculty reading current research, piloting the program at various grade levels, and participating in professional development to support the initiative. As we complete this first year of implementation, we are reflecting on the positive outcomes that we have experienced as our children have developed their lives as writers. A few of these promising results include: • STUDENTS WRITE FOR A VARIETY OF PURPOSES The Units of Study in Writing offer intentional instruction in four writing genres: narrative writing, informational writing, opinion writing and creative writing. The children learn important writing skills for these areas of writing and build upon them as they progress from grade level to grade level. First-graders began the year by learning to write “small moment” stories. These are important stories from their lives that focused on a particular memorable event. Children were taught to focus on a small moment from a list of their favorite memories and write to engage their readers and delight their audience. Second-graders learned to be acute observers as they practiced writing “lab

reports” in their non-fiction unit. Children wrote procedural texts and descriptions in order to write science-based information books. In the unit “changing the world,” thirdgraders persuaded people about causes they believed in, using evidence to support their reasons. Fourth-graders developed believable characters with motivations and struggles as they incorporated the “arc of story” into their carefully crafted fictional pieces. • TEACHING REPLICABLE SKILLS AND WRITERS CRAFT Instruction in Writers Workshop begins with a 10- to 15-minute mini-lesson that teaches a writing skill that can be replicated in a variety of writing situations. Lessons may include writing a hook (that initial sentence that “hooks” the reader); including important details; organizing ideas; or using correct mechanics to improve understanding. After the mini-lesson, teachers and teaching assistants conference with students one-on-one to assess their writing and offer individual teaching points that apply specifically to that child’s writing. Mini-lessons and teaching points are gleaned from sources such as mentor texts (noticing what published authors do); from teacher’s writing that they model for students; or from current student writing. These writing skills are ones that students can apply to their writing that day or in future writing. • WRITING ASSESSMENTS THAT FOCUS TEACHER INSTRUCTION Each unit begins with brief instructions on a particular writing genre and an opportunity for students to write using the skills that they currently possess. Teachers then use writing rubrics to assess the piece and determine what each child needs to improve his/her writing and to take that writing to the next level. • STUDENT-INITIATED APPLICATION OF CORRECT SPELLING AND GRAMMAR SKILLS If students edit their writing based on the

red marks of a teacher’s pen, those corrections are only occasionally applied to future writing. However, when a teacher comments to a student, “I am having a hard time knowing when one sentence ends and the other begins,” students learn to read their own writing with a critical eye; they realize which of their sentences need capital letters and ending punctuation; and they soon learn to use that replicable skill in all of their writing. • STUDENT OWNERSHIP AND STAMINA FOR WRITING Every unit encourages students to brainstorm a list of topics of interest for that writing genre. Students refer to this list for writing ideas as they progress through the unit. It is amazing what children want the opportunity to say! They have dozens of memories to share, opinions about which they want to persuade others to believe and topics in which they consider themselves experts. Recently, several third-graders wrote very persuasive pieces advocating for extra recess! Their opinions included sound reasons and were backed by evidence. Earlier this year, first-graders wrote non-fiction books about how to take care of a dog or design a rainbow bracelet. Our teachers have found that when writers get to select their own topics, writer’s block is practically eliminated and children build the stamina to write longer and better writing pieces. The beauty of an established writing program is that skills and strategies taught one year are built upon the following year. One of our professional development trainers from the Writing Project referred to this as “standing on the shoulders of the teacher before.” This consistency is an important element in using Writers Workshop in an orchestrated and concerted effort to improve the writing of our school’s young writers. After all, our students have a lot to say, and we need to provide the tools they need to express their voices and opinions in carefully crafted ways.




Speech and debate team is growing and winning

Melody Guyton Butts

Team wins 17 NC events, 10 Cavs in national tournament BY RO BER T S HE A R D, S PEEC H A ND D EBAT E COAC H , L A N GUAG E A R T S , M ID D L E S C H O O L


s my fourth year at Durham Academy draws to a close, it’s exciting to look back on this year’s accomplishments for the speech and debate team. When I arrived at DA, the team was already strong, winning major titles at national-circuit events, even a national championship in 2009. But the team was still relatively small, with perhaps a dozen students involved. One of my original goals was to expand the program to many more students. This year, the team had 57 students compete at least once, and a solid core of approximately 30 students who competed regularly on the North Carolina and national circuits. I’m very pleased that more and more Durham Academy students have joined the program and can benefit from the speaking, research and argumentation skills we teach. There’s room, however, for even more students. The team competes in eight different events, which are quite varied in nature. Public Forum Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate and Congressional Debate are all traditional events in which students adopt a position for or against a resolution and make the best arguments they can in a limited time. An example of the kinds of topics we debate (which change frequently) is this year’s resolution for the national championships in Public Forum Debate — “Resolved: NATO should strengthen its relationship with Ukraine in order to deter further Russian aggression.” The students will have to argue both sides during the tournament. There are two Public Address events in which students don’t have a direct opponent as in debate; instead, they compete against a field of other students, each of them giving individual speeches. In Original Oratory, students write and memorize their own 10-minute persuasive speeches. And in Extemporaneous Speaking, students have a 30-minute preparation period to get ready to answer a question they’ve drawn randomly about some aspect of current events. The question might be about American politics, a foreign country’s economic policies or anything else that has been in the news in recent weeks. At the end of the 30 minutes, they give a speech of up to seven minutes, which must include research sources, and which they must deliver without any notes. The final category is one Durham Academy is just beginning to develop: Literary Interpretation. These three events (Humorous Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation and Duo Interpretation) are essentially competitive acting. The student takes a piece of literature and “cuts” it to present it in a 10-minute presentation. The students can’t use costumes or props and have to focus on how to make multiple characters distinct with different voices and physical movements. This year, Durham Academy won 17 individual tournament 24


championships at North Carolina events — what we refer to as the local circuit. These are usually one-day tournaments, held on Saturdays at schools around the state. These tournaments are where our beginning competitors learn their events and our more advanced students gain experience and try out new cases for the national circuit tournaments. The school is also a very active member on the national circuit — tournaments sponsored by large high schools and universities around the country. A typical season sees Durham Academy competing at Wake Forest, Yale, University of Florida, the Glenbrooks schools in Chicago, George Mason, Emory and Harvard. These are the types of tournaments our most experienced debaters and speakers attend, pitting their skills against the nation’s very best. This season on the national circuit, our Public Forum Debate teams came to the fore. While we had success in many events, the Public Forum squad consistently placed very well at almost every national circuit tournament. At two tournaments in particular, two different Public Forum partnerships brought home titles. In January, at The Sunvitational tournament in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., junior Reena Sudan and senior Catherine Yang won the championship. And then in February, seniors Will Ruff and Justin Katz defeated the largest invitational field of the year to win the Harvard Invitational. The end of our season each year is dominated by the qualifying process for the national championships. Our district championship is the only qualifier for nationals, which puts enormous pressure on one weekend of competition. But after all the stress and additional gray hair for me, Durham Academy emerged as district champions for the third time in the past four years, winning all three division titles: Debate, Speech and Congress. The real accomplishment, however, is that 10 Cavaliers qualified for the national tournament: • Will Ruff ’14 and Justin Katz ’14 – Public Forum Debate • Derek Brown ’15 – Lincoln Douglas Debate • Zain Clapacs ’15 – Congressional Debate • Loften Deprez ’16 – Congressional Debate • Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler ’15 – Extemporaneous Speaking • Connor Leech ’15 – Extemporaneous Speaking • Abhi Kodumagulla ’15 – Extemporaneous Speaking • Mark Cohen ’15 – Extemporaneous Speaking • Lily Burdick ’15 – Original Oratory Our chances at the National Speech and Debate Tournament are as strong this year as they’ve ever been. The tournament runs from June 16-20 in Overland Park, Kan. It will be an exciting finish to what has already been a terrific season.


Moving from ‘Eek!’ to Eureka, Middle Schoolers nurture insects


Photos by Melody Guyton Butts


dead bug gets you a Tootsie Roll. A living bug earns you a couple of Snickers. Somewhere in the exchange, a pump of hand sanitizer is recommended. The insects-for-candy barter system is a means of collecting research specimens for INCA (Insect Nation Community Association), a club comprising Durham Academy Middle Schoolers who have made it their mission to share a passion for entomology — or, at the very least, a healthy tolerance of bugs — with their classmates. “After seeing kids for years scream when they see a spider, step on every cockroach they see and run away from every bee, we want to help the school community defeat their fear of insects and strengthen the public’s overall appreciation of insects,” explained Joseph Walston, who founded INCA with fellow rising eighth-grader Justin Cobb. “I hope from now on that every time someone is about to crush a bee at the Middle School, they stop and think about how bees help make food for us.” INCA’s origins trace to Walston and Cobb’s collection of three caterpillars from the Middle School garden in fall 2013. They brought the colorful creatures into science teacher Barb Kanoy’s lab, where they supplied a diet of leaves and love. As they waited for the caterpillars to begin their transformation into velvety black swallowtail butterflies, a collection of insects in the corner of Kanoy’s

LEFT TO RIGHT: • Rising eighth-grader Justin Cobb examines a vial of adult and baby spiders. • Joseph Walston,

a rising eighth-grader and co-founder of INCA, extends his hand to Sam, a black swallowtail butterfly with a deformed wing. • Cobb, Walston and rising eighth-grader Ryan Warbington watch intently as they release butterflies they had nurtured for eight months. • Walston and Cobb pose with INCA's butterfly pavilion in front of the Middle School garden, where they found three caterpillars that inspired the creation of INCA.

lab steadily swelled into INCA headquarters — complete with butterfly pavilions, cases of preserved insects, guide books, photos and insect “facts of the day.” “Any insect that is given to us, we raise them, we observe them and we try to learn as much as we can about them,” Cobb said. It’s been gratifying to see INCA members share their passion for all things that crawl and fly — even in the face of occasional pinchednose resistance, Kanoy said. Initially, some of her other students were not delighted with the presence of the insect display and complained that it was “disgusting” and said “it made the whole room ‘smell,’” she recalled. Unwavering in their love of insects and desire to make peace with their classmates, Walston and Cobb created a natural air freshener comprising fresh mint from the garden and water, and all was well. “Once kids accepted that the display was here to stay, and witnessed some of the interesting things that INCA was discovering, there has been a great deal more interest,” Kanoy said. “They treat their insects like children, and it has been quite fun to watch their joy at every little discovery.” INCA members hope that there will be lots of new “little discoveries” as they embark on their next big project: creating their very own ladybug farm for the Cornell Universitybased Lost Ladybug Project. Interested in

contributing to the project — a survey of the United States’ dwindling native ladybug populations — but unable to find species native to North Carolina, they contacted a Cornell entomologist, who recommended that INCA use the spring to collect larvae for the farm. Some of INCA’s efforts so far have been lessons in the circle of life. One of the black swallowtail butterflies, which inspired INCA’s creation as caterpillars, emerged from its pupa with a deformed wing after eight months in its chrysalis. Amid the excitement of an otherwise celebratory butterfly release, Walston’s and Cobb’s faces fell as the winged insect, named Sam, struggled to soar. Understanding that the deformity would put Sam at risk in the wild, they took him in and created an indoor habitat made of paper, weeds and dandelions. “We kept it for about two weeks, and during that time, we nurtured it and loved it as if it were a human baby,” Walston said. As days went on, Sam’s wing deteriorated, and it was decided that the humane thing to do would be to put the butterfly down. “Putting the butterfly to sleep was one of the hardest things INCA had to since we strongly cared for the butterfly,” Walston said. “Now the butterfly is pinned in our collection of insects. Its memory will live on.” Stay apprised of INCA’s projects at:



RIGHT: Abu Swaminathan said the best thing about taking the GOA course was hearing the global students’ perspectives.

Melody Guyton Butts


ast September, when Global Online Academy approved Durham Academy’s application for membership, we joined an online community of more than 1,600 students and 55 teachers from 53 of the best independent schools in the country and around the world. It’s an intriguing partnership that has the potential to have a profound impact on the ways our teachers teach and our students learn, an initiative Michael Ulku-Steiner called “at once bold and controlled, safe and radical.”


DA joins Global Online Academy, a community of 53 top independent schools around the world B Y L E E H A R K , A S S I S TA N T H E A D O F S C H O O L A N D U P P E R S C H O O L D I R E C TO R

My introduction to Global Online Academy was decidedly less auspicious. In 2011, while interviewing teaching candidates at a hiring fair, I ran into Jim Best, associate head of school at Dalton School in New York. He mentioned in passing that Dalton had become a founding member of a consortium of independent schools offering online classes for their students. He also expressed interest in inviting DA to become a member, too. I thought it sounded interesting, but finding a math teacher seemed more pressing at the time. I also worried that pursuing this might be threatening to our faculty, that the school couldn't afford it, that it wouldn't mesh with our curriculum, and that it would be met by a collective yawn from our students. The idea continued to percolate, but it wasn't on the front burner at the time. Later that year, someone forwarded then Headmaster Ed Costello an article in the Wall Street Journal about GOA titled “Online Holdouts No More: Private Schools in U.S. and Abroad Offer Web-Based Classes through New Venture.” Ed passed the article to me, and the names of the founding schools jumped out at me immediately: Catlin Gabel, Dalton, Sidwell Friends, Lakeside Academy and others — independent schools with strong national reputations 26

and a history of thinking inventively about teaching and learning. (Since that time, 43 member schools [from around the United States and countries including Mexico, Japan, Zambia, China, Indonesia] have joined. It’s a veritable who’s who of independent schools.) I remember Ed said something like, “You know, if a school like DA was going to offer courses online, GOA would be the way to do it.” I recalled my conversation with Jim, and with Ed’s encouragement, I reached out to him to see if the door was still open. Jim put me in touch with Michael Nachbar, executive director of GOA, and the wheels started turning in earnest. Last spring, I presented the idea of joining GOA to the Learning Environment Committee of DA’s Board of Trustees. After hashing out some of the questions, the committee formally petitioned the trustees to consider the idea. The response was enthusiastic, the idea was approved, and funds were committed. At the time that DA and GOA were introduced to one another, every educator seemed to be discussing online education and “blended learning” and either fretting about the irreparable harm it might do to the academy or foaming at the mouth to help tear down the old order, one distance learning


“class” at a time. We had previously explored the possibility of online education through the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, but what that organization was offering didn't seem to fit alongside our existing courses. And then there were Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Ed had recently finished one, and while he enjoyed it, we figured nothing with “massive” in the acronym would fly as a substitute for a DA course, which we describe as “close and personal,” “hands on” and “individualized.” Would this fit philosophically? GOA understands misgivings like this. As the GOA website notes, “Independent schools have set a high standard for learning — one that’s not always met by the online learning offerings on the market today.” GOA was an attempt to “create a kind of online learning that was global, modern, yet true to the high standards and values their institutions and teachers adhere to.” Maintaining a high level of quality instruction was as important to GOA as it would be to us. Further, the GOA model is constructed to address some of that uneasiness. First of all, each GOA offering is capped at 18 students per class, and no more than two students from any member school can enroll in each class. Most schools (including

DA) cover the GOA tuition, so there is no additional out-of-pocket expense for families. Students and their GOA teachers conference with one another throughout the semester, so there is an attempt to make the experience “close and personal,” if that’s possible via an electronic interface. Also, we can cap the number of DA students who take GOA courses (for staffing and budgetary purposes). Our cap is currently set at 20 students. DA’s student participation during our first year as a member of GOA was small, which we expected. We joined midyear, so most of the courses were already filled (GOA’s registration process mirrors our own). Three intrepid students — junior Abu Swaminathan and seniors Kristen Wade and Rasika Ramanan — elected to take GOA courses as part of their normal course load. When I asked the students to comment on their experience, they spoke passionately about what worked and what didn't. “The best thing about the GOA course was examining [international macroeconomics] from the perspectives of students all over the world,” said Abu. Rasika, who, like Kristen, took bioethics, raved about the flexibility of online classwork: “I didn’t have to be in class at a set time every day — I could complete the work on my own schedule.” In addition to these benefits, I also can’t shake the notion that exposing our students to online education will make them more competitive college applicants — or at least more effective college students — since the number of colleges and universities requiring an online component for graduation is increasing each year. To that point, Kristen noted that the most important benefit was “learning how to take an online class. While I think the information that I learned was very intriguing and helped me connect a lot of classes that I had previously taken,” she said, “I think the skills I learned for taking an online class will help me in the future the most.” My instincts tell me she’s right. The students encouraged their classmates to take GOA classes, but they were quick to note that online courses aren’t for everyone. For Abu, keeping up with the work of the GOA course was tough at times, especially “toward the end of third and fourth

quarters, when work at school is at its most intense.” Rasika sometimes found it hard to stay engaged with the material. “The lack of a [brick and mortar] ‘classroom environment’ makes it sometimes easy to forget that there are others who want to know more about the same topic, and a teacher who wants you to excel,” she said. Not surprisingly, there were also technical glitches and hiccups that created mild frustrations. Scheduling “live” time with classmates all over the word could also be challenging. Finally, Abu advised students to “assess whether you can handle the rigor of the online course with your traditional coursework, because once you proceed with the course, you cannot withdraw from it.” In the end, though, all three participants found the experience positive. Kristen said, “I would strongly recommend that other students take a GOA class. The class I took was not nearly as time-consuming as a DA class, and it's cool to get to take courses that are not offered at DA. … My bioethics class introduced me to new topics and then, based on what was interesting to me, we got to do more research. It was a very interesting class if you made the most of it.” The GOA model seems to be taking root at DA; 14 students signed up for classes next year, in courses as wide-ranging as medical problem-solving, app design and abnormal psychology. In addition to the opportunities for students, GOA provides outstanding professional development opportunities for faculty. This year, Chinese teacher Joanne Shang, English teacher Tina Bessias and math teacher Jarrod Jenzano completed a six-week professional development program designed to introduce teachers to online learning environments (OLE). In Jarrod’s and Tina’s case, both of whom will be teaching courses for GOA in 2014-2015, the OLE training also served as a basis for their course development for the coming year. Both will spend a week in Seattle this summer for still more training. Still, questions remain and qualms linger. Jarrod noted, “A good portion of any math class is skill building. Most of the GOA courses are more discussion or idea based, much like the professional development. I am interested to see how the strengths of an

online environment can be used to teach calculus. I want to be more than just a content provider.” Online education is isn’t always clean and easy, as is clear by Tina’s thoughts: “Ten years ago we began to shift toward blended learning at DA, adding digital tools to the physical learning environment. It was fascinating and fun to explore a new world of possibilities, though it seems old hat now. Online learning is the next frontier. It seems more strange to me than blended learning did; I struggle to imagine teaching a class that can never meet face-to-face, even in cyberspace, because its members will never all be awake at the same time. As a ‘student’ in such classes (through GOA and other professional development programs), I do find that people's personalities and styles come across clearly. Can a series of asynchronous interactions and bilateral or small group video conferences build the kind of cohesive class culture that we aspire to create in every high school class? The official GOA answer is a resounding ‘yes,’ but I won't have my own answer until I've tried it. “Meanwhile, I recognize that it's not right to measure the online learning environment by what it isn't,” said Tina. “It also offers a new set of benefits. I'll be learning more about those, too, in the coming year, but I believe students will gain a broader perspective, learning to question all kinds of assumptions, and a longer reach, using digital tools and resources to collaborate closely with distant classmates.” In the end, the only thing we can say for sure about the future of online learning is that this is only the beginning … probably. As Michael Ulku-Steiner is quick to point out, “Anyone who claims to know the future of online education is either bluffing or trying to sell something. The landscape is just too dynamic to know for sure at this point. Still, we see real benefits now with GOA, immense potential for the future and even more immense danger if we somehow imagine that online learning will just go away.” In any case, I feel lucky we have the institutional support to be a charter member of this brave new world. EDITOR’S NOTE: You can learn more about Global Online Academy at www.




Exploring the world one nautical mile at a time B Y I N G R I D B Y E R LY, M O T H E R O F C A M E RO N ’15, B L A K E ’19 A N D A L E X E I ’ 21


y grandmother, Ouma, once wisely informed me that apart from your bookbased education, your best learning should happen as soon as possible: “Open your mind, eyes, ears and heart, and travel to worlds different from yours,” she urged. From an early age, growing up in South Africa, nothing seemed more fascinating (or imperative) to me than the prospect of travelling to far-off places. As a teenager, I had begun to understand the acute difference between tourists and travelers, and knew that I was as disinterested in being the former as I was determined to be the latter. I wanted to view infinite, unspoiled landscapes across continents, discover the complexity of chaotic cities that defined urban life in assorted countries, hear the music of diverse cultures first-hand and personally meet the inestimable variety of human beings that populated the planet. Little did I know that by the time I had been offered the opportunity to realize this dream, I would also have been graced with three boy-children: smart, funny and empathic sons Cameron, Blake and Alexei, who could not only share the adventures with me, but who would reveal things I wouldn’t have understood without them. In summer 2011, while teaching at Duke University, I was privileged to receive an appointment as adjunct professor of ethnomusicology (the anthropology of music) on the faculty of a floating college campus that sails around the world throughout the year. The Explorer is the magnificent home of Semester at Sea, a study-abroad program affiliated with the University of Virginia that carries approximately 600 college students per voyage around various parts of the globe. My task was to teach the ship community about the music of the countries we would arrive in, and the mission of the program exactly facilitated my childhood yearnings to explore, experience and understand the earth. My dream job had come true. My sons (at the time aged 7, 10 and 14) were curious adventurers, but had until that point only traveled to South Africa to see family. But on this grand summer adventure our ship circumnavigated the Mediterranean basin, from the Bahamas across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Morocco. It was on this voyage that I 28

realized what excellent travelers the boys were: curious, tireless and cooperative in the wake of the enormous challenges that optimal travel presents to even the most fervent explorers in off-the-beaten-track places. This spring I was overjoyed to be invited back as faculty on the round-the-world voyage: to teach one of the large-course “Global Lens” courses (World Music), as well as a seminar on the politics of music (Revolutionary Music Movements). The boys, all three fortunate enough to be students in Durham Academy now (aged 10, 13 and 17, and in fifth, seventh and 11th grades respectively) would continue their school syllabi through tutoring on the ship school, with about 30 of their peers who were also sailing with faculty parents. Cameron, the oldest, would work on his Calculus AP and French 3 syllabi with tutors, while also being registered in two of the college courses: Religions of the World and Writing and Academic Inquiry. The difference between the summer voyage and the semester voyage is acute: It is hard work. While the faculty children are engaged in their full schooling curriculums, college students enroll for a full semester of credits. During days at sea they attend lectures and study, and port days are dedicated to field labs related to courses, field trips related to the country, independent travel or volunteering at nonprofits like orphanages and schools in various locations. The real learning, however, happens as much during lectures as during recreational activities on the voyage. Faculty children attend the ship’s school in the mornings, where they are tutored in their core curriculum by volunteering students or family caregivers. Afternoon sessions consist of lessons in culturespecific arts and crafts, like dance, music, and


pool deck games from the inter-port students, lecturers and diplomats brought on board in preparation for the next country. The lack of reliable Internet service on the ship contributed enormously to the everyday dynamics: personal socialization, activities and games were an immediate replacement for social media. My own boys became avid photographers (especially in our mission to photograph children all over the world for a possible exhibition), discovered the possibilities of iMovie, and produced numerous astonishingly creative and well-edited films with their friends. Cabin fever has its advantages. In the space of one semester, the boys’ education was enhanced by experiences only imagined. They sailed over oceans in calm and high seas; they skipped a day on the calendar altogether when they crossed the international dateline; they sailed over the Equator twice; and they observed geographical wonders ranging from volcanoes and velds to geysers and giant waterfalls. They wandered the streets of Ensenada in Mexico, climbed a volcanic mountain in Hawaii, attended a tea ceremony and meditated in Kamakura with Japanese monks, ate noodles in a freezing

of Vietnam or Burma simply wouldn’t fly in the malls of Osaka or Mauritius. When all is said and done, the truth is that my grandmother, Ouma, was quite right: Nothing compares to the education received through exploring the earth at the earliest age possible. And the exploration becomes optimal when taking on the adventure as a traveler rather than a tourist, with open eyes, open ears, an open mind and most importantly, an open heart. When the Byerly brothers were reunited with their friends back at Durham Academy, they had experienced this openness fully, and no matter what the challenges along the way, their education was infinitely enhanced, and they realized that often the homecoming is as wonderful as the voyage itself.

Shanghai, received a Tai Chi lesson from a master in Kowloon, bartered for T-shirts with street vendors in Saigon, pedaled on rickshaws through Burmese villages, rode tuc tucs through markets in India, participated in the initiation ceremony of Buddhist child-monks in Myanmar, braved a mighty storm in Mauritius, listened to music with fishermen in Cape Town, learned from drum-masters in Ghana, rode horses on the beaches of Casablanca, wandered around Stonehenge and visited the Blue Lagoon lava baths in Iceland. The voyage also presented many volunteering opportunities for the boys: spending time with the children at Mother Theresa’s Missions of Charity orphanage for the severely handicapped in Cochin, taking up a vast collection of warm clothing on the ship for donations to townships and refugee shelters in Cape Town, distributing toothbrushes from the

BY C A MERO N BY ER LY ’15 I was once told that a person only shows who they truly are when they believe no one is watching. I think that is a perfectly fine place to start; it does a good job describing the last five months of my life. Because I do not entirely CLOCKWISE FROM believe in it. TOP LEFT: • Cameron Starting this January, I have been living in receives a meditation bell from a small cabin on a large ship. This vessel housed the Buddhist monk leading an entire campus of 600 college students on a noviciation ceremony in a study-abroad program, and as my mother Myanmar. • Cameron, Blake, was professor of ethnomusicology on this Alexei and Ingrid Byerly on flamboyant concept, off we went. Choo choo. Victoria Peak, Hong Kong. • When asked what “the trip” was like, I The Byerly brothers experience am so overwhelmed that I can sometimes say a Tai Chi session with the master in Kowloon, Hong Kong. nothing at all. The countries, the mishaps, my friends, the classes and landscapes, the ship code and drills; they all cause a curious form of mental block that clogs my mouth of Global Grins program any description. Initially, incidents come up: I to remote villages, and angered a crowd of 30 Ghanian men by filming gifting soccer balls to an argument, and hid in the back of a bus. I got schools’ sports programs. lost in a Vietnamese pagoda. I had to dance in The most common question, on arriving front of the ship’s community at eight-minutes back in America, has been: “What was your favorite country?” There is never an answer. Like notice. Rather good little events. Fun to recall for a laugh. life itself, travel accumulates a combination of But these stories aren’t what make such new understandings and novel reactions that are largely defined by the context of the country a strange trip a “real” event. What I learned, I and culture, then tempered by the uniqueness of learned in the details of the trip, and the details I paid attention to for others. What I did when I the traveler and the experience. The silhouette of a meditating monk in his saffron robe walking thought people were watching. Besides my calculus and French curriculum down the opulence of a Tokyo street in Japan is carried from Durham Academy, I took two not viewed identically by two people, and the college classes on the ship. One was Religions exquisite contours of a graceful Hindu woman of the World. The other, Writing and Academic in her glittering sari stepping through the filth Inquiry, I wasn’t originally keen on. I hoped it and squalor of a Cochin backstreet in India would change my opinion of non-fiction. It may not even noticed by some. The desperate managed to change much more. The reason for despair and poverty of post-tsunami Myanmar this was in the details. could not be compared to the pristine order I had to write a paper for every port we and wealth of post-colonial Singapore, and the CONTINUED bartering or bargaining practices in the markets DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG


stopped in around the world. Usually two. On the surface level, this allowed me to create lasting memories, and increase summarizing skills. In practice, it doubled the entire trip for me, because I had to pay attention to everything. For example, somehow, after five days in Ghana, I had to sit down, think very carefully, and successfully capture just how aggressive the merchants are in that country. In our first port, Hawaii, I felt my professor walking a few steps behind me during our field lab. At first I carried him begrudgingly. Oh, that street block is interesting; if I take a picture I can look at it later, and describe it for that paper I have due. Maybe if I ask the right questions, I can get the taxi driver to give me a good opening. If I wrote about that school, would I have to research? Impossible, that’s like two jobs in one. Better describe the parade … The call and response of these papers made it clear that I required more depth. Tired of writing papers built around snippets, I decided to become better acquainted with the professor I carried across the world. Professors are one’s teachers, and teachers are one’s masters, and masters can become one’s friends. By Japan, I was absorbing everything. Critically inspecting. Trying to build something in my head that was tangible, that stood up to scrutiny, something architecturally sound and open to interpretation. I walked across Tokyo, entirely stunned by the juxtaposed pop culture and ancient tradition, and began to write my next paper in my mind. … Imagine a computer circuit board. It is precise, impressive, calculated to every point and subtly colored. Now imagine, almost in direct rebellion to the board, that Amazonian flowers grew out of the boxes in places, blooming intense oranges and purples in startling contrast. This is what I saw in the streets of Japan. An impressive, ancient culture of pride with sleek black buildings, placed next to buildings plastered with goofiness nearly for its own sake, packed arcades and anime shops. The city, and truly the culture, is a grandparent’s mansion, temporarily at the mercy of a four-year-old granddaughter with crayons … The important thing to me then, and to me today, is that these words were not hollow. They were not built with toothpicks in my mind that vaguely agreed. These were words that were bent and molded as I physically walked across Tokyo’s business district. I couldn’t notice the bigger picture until I understood the details, and every single day, I stared at the details. Our professor told us one day that if he were a photographer, yet still employed as a writer (the imagination!), he would take hundreds of photos that would be visually atrocious, because they would be close-ups, innumerable fascinations with the fibers of the carpet, the knots in the 30

wood table, the type of clouds in the sky. After a second month in his class, I began to do this as well, scrutinizing and obsessing over the details of my travels. What was that quality that describes every building in India being plastered with old posters? How would I describe the sidewalks of Myanmar (ah … a sidewalk consisting more of cracks than concrete). What impressed me about Singapore’s nightlife, what described the well-groomed hair of every man in Morocco (perhaps women as well, but their hair remained hidden in an Arabic culture) … These papers evolved over time, and as their demands grew, so did my attentiveness. It was no longer enough that I could paint a picture with descriptions, I had to paint three, and explain what they shared in common. I had to look at a country in perspectives previously unexplored; beginning with Cape Town’s juxtaposition of overcrowded shacks and vacant mansions, to explain how a culture built on colonial influence suffers today from a post-apartheid housing and economic crisis, combined with wealthy Europeans living luxuriously in the city for only half of the year. I had to move miles in my head while my feet pretended to keep up. By the time the trip ended, I had been through nearly as many stages as an observer as physical countries. I had asked myself how I personally felt about the people, how it must feel like to grow up in the area, the overarching question of charity’s concepts, how food might establish a culture … the trip’s academic requirements were so demanding, my minuteto-minute thinking was vastly improved because when I traveled, I never felt alone. After a lifetime of travel in a single semester, I completed the class, and the trip. I had been isolated from my home friends for months, in a situation where life was sporadic, crazy, new and malleable. So who was I, now that I thought no one from my past life was watching? Trick question. I was who I was because of the people I thought were watching. I still carry a part of my writing teacher and my religions course instructor, my friends from the trip and my friends at my school. Humans aren’t meant for vacuums, they’re surprisingly social little rascals. I’m just glad I got to spend a trip around the Earth carrying the right judges, the right critics, around with me. I highly recommend the whole shebang.


ABOVE: Ingrid and Alexei Byerly sample teas at a Vietnamese tea ceremony

BY BL A K E BY ER LY ’19 Both of my most vivid memories were in Myanmar. One was when our Burmese guides pedaled us on trishaws through the remains of the villages where hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the Tsunami in 2008. One of these villages had huts made only of banana leaves, and they were all filled with orphan children whose parents had died. There were still piles of junk everywhere, and when we shared our nectarines from the ship with them, I felt sad that we could not give them more. My other memory was happier: when we took part in the Noviciation ceremony where the child-Buddhists became child-monks. They arrive dressed like princes on horses and elephants, then in front of the community, they change out of their gold costumes into robes, have their heads shaved by monks, and take their vows to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha. We helped serve lunch to almost 2,000 monks and nuns, and the head monk gave each of us in my family a small, shiny meditation bell as a gift for being part of the ceremony. BY A L E X E I BY ER LY ’21 When I think back across the whole voyage to find my favorite memories, the weird thing is that my two best memories are not connected to specific countries or cultures; they are to do with nature and family. I will never forget snorkeling with the sea turtles in Hawaii, or sitting on the rocks with penguins in South Africa. But mostly, I will never forget opening the door of the hotel in Cape Town and seeing my South African family again; my Oupapa and Granny and cousins and the whole family being together after so many years. It was the best week of all.

Spring seminar turns a lens on documentary filmmaking with Peabody winner Cynthia Hill B Y J O R DA N A DA I R , E N G L I S H, U P P E R S C H O O L

Melody Guyton Butts

one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the country. Because of my connections to the festival and local filmmakers, Tina asked me to help out. I invited Durhambased filmmaker Cynthia Hill to speak to our students on the first morning of the seminar to give them a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of documentary filmmaking. I first met Cynthia in 2003 while on a spring semester sabbatical from DA. I spent four TOP: Cynthia Hill filming A Chef’s Life, days that April attending Full a Peabody Award-winning documentary. Frame during which I watched BOTTOM: Tina Bessias with participants 10 films, one of them Cynthia’s in the Upper School’s spring seminar. Tobacco Money Feeds My Family. Growing up in Pink Hill, a small rural town in eastern North Carolina, Cynthia spent many summers or two days this past April, 14 working on her grandparents’ tobacco farm. Upper School students took a journey So, it is not surprising that when she decided outside of the classroom and into the to take up documentary filmmaking (after world of visual storytelling occupied by several years working in her first profession documentary filmmakers. Judging by the as a pharmacist), she would return to her blog posts they composed afterwards, childhood home to tell the story of one of the one would have to believe these students most controversial cash crops in the world. learned valuable lessons from the stories First and foremost, Cynthia is a that unfolded on the big screens at the Full storyteller, something she stressed in her Frame Documentary Film Festival that they remarks to our students both this year and in will carry with them for a lifetime. the spring of 2013. One of her many mottos For more than two decades now, is, “Tell a good story and stay true to it,” and Durham Academy students have had the she has certainly done just that in the 12 years opportunity to participate each fall and spring in seminars that take advantage of the she’s worked professionally as a filmmaker. This has been a watershed year in particular fertile mix of professions so richly available for Cynthia, for she has won both a Peabody in the Triangle. Begun by now-retired history Award (for her work on A Chef’s Life, a 13-part teacher Dave Gould as a way to broaden our series shown last year on Public Television students’ experiences in the larger world, that tells the story of a childhood friend these seminars have explored topics as turned big-time chef who returns to her roots diverse as puppetry, musical composition, in Kinston, N.C., to open a farm-to-table video game design and sports management. restaurant) and numerous accolades for her Upper School English teacher Tina most recent film, Private Violence. Bessias took over coordinating the seminar This film, which premiered at the program three years ago, and the past two springs she has taken students to Full Frame, Sundance Film Festival, tells the intensely


heartrending story of Kit Gruelle, an advocate for battered women in North Carolina. It was through the lens of the making of this film that Cynthia took our students on an instructional journey of just what it means to be a documentary filmmaker. This particular story was in the making for more than 12 years, and Cynthia spent much of the last six years bringing it to the screen. Over the course of two-and-a-half hours, Cynthia walked the seminar students through the basics of making a successful documentary film. Though one of the most difficult aspects of the entire process is raising money (writing grant proposals is something filmmakers must do throughout the time they are making a film), Cynthia believes in something pretty fundamental: “You pick good characters and you hope something good happens — and it happens when you’re there.” With Private Violence, she already had a cast of characters, and they were the women Kit had been working with in her time as an advocate. These established relationships, so important to any good film, were the foundation of this one. Much of the time with Cynthia was taken up with answering the great questions students asked, questions that covered how she learned the myriad intricacies of filmmaking (“you surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and from whom you can learn”), her techniques (visual and sound aesthetics matter greatly to her), the relative intrusiveness of filmmaking (she films from the very first day and her motto is: “film first, ask permission second”), the narrative arc of a film’s story (“you often have no idea what’s going to happen when you’re making a documentary; it’s an organic process from start to finish”), and what she hopes her films will accomplish (she believes that documentary films can be the engine for social change). Armed with this information, the seminar students were more than ready for Full Frame.



JOR DAN BABWAH Strength and Fitness Coordinator, Upper School What has impressed you in your first year at DA? I was really impressed by the sense of community and social awareness at the school. The school-wide effort toward community service, charity and fundraising is really amazing. • What is your favorite part of the school day? This is a tough question to answer, because I can tell you with confidence now that there is no regular school day at DA. This is part of what I love about the job though. No two weeks are really the same. There is always a performance, a guest speaker, an assembly or some kind of meeting. There is very little monotony, and that is one reason why I believe the school year goes by so fast. • What has been your biggest challenge? At first I would say my biggest challenge was clearly defining my role at DA. This was a position that the school had never had before, so there was no easy outline to follow. The creative freedom I have been given in my first year has been extremely rewarding and has promoted a lot of personal growth. • What would we be surprised to learn about you? I am the first generation of my family born and raised in the United States. •

JE ANNA LIS T Teaching Assistant, Second Grade What has impressed you in your first year at DA? I have been very impressed by how the faculty members seem to really enjoy their professions. It always seemed that way, when I was only in a parent role here •


at DA, but as part of the faculty, I see firsthand that is true. The morale of the faculty always seems good! I am also very impressed with my co-worker, Libby Lang. She is super organized and a great planner, which has made my job very easy. • What is your favorite part of the school day? My favorite part of the day with the Lang Gang is morning meeting. We usually have a “Question of the Day” and it is very interesting to hear the answers the children come up with. Mondays are especially great because they are excited to share stories about their weekends. • What has been your biggest challenge? This past December, my daughter Eliza, who is a sixth-grader here at DA, had surgery for scoliosis. Coping with the news that she needed the procedure and preparing for our only child to have a major surgery was a hard reality for our family. My co-workers were so supportive and caring. I feel very blessed to work with such kind people. • What would we be surprised to learn about you? I am addicted to HGTV! I do not watch television very often, but when I do, it is on House Hunters or Property Brothers.

PA MEL A MCK INNE Y Art, Lower School What has impressed you in your first year at DA? DA’s collaborative and empowering culture of exploration, creativity and excellence. I witness students diving into DA’s culture in a unique way in the art room. Students come to art eager to explore new mediums and methods, and often surprise me with the creative ways they apply the skills we learn in class to our different projects. I •


Melody Guyton Butts

Starting a new job is exciting but stressful, and for a teacher that’s likely exciting and stressful x 18 (or however many students they face each morning). The Record asked several faculty members who were new this year to tell us about their first year. Here’s what they had to say.

Kathy McPherson

What’s it like to teach at DA?

Jordan Babwah

Jeanna List

love the way DA students are encouraged to explore new challenges and ideas, and the freedom students take on as they engage new concepts through their own creative lens. Such courage not only makes excellent artists, but exceptional and interesting people. • What is your favorite part of the school day? Morning classes. There is something special about creating art first thing in the morning. For me, there is a tranquility that exists in the morning that leads to great art. It is also true that students are particularly focused first thing in the morning — it’s the perfect time of the day to be creative and make art! • What has been your biggest challenge? I see each class once every six days, so keeping momentum is very important. Creativity — the process of brainstorming, imagining, trying and then starting over, as well as the slow process of making an inspired piece more and more beautiful — takes time. Students finish projects at different speeds, and while I want to provide ample time for students to engage the full spectrum of artistic processes, I have to balance this with the wider goals of our arts curriculum. Content (the skills and concepts we learn) and method (how we learn to create art with these tools) go hand in hand. I am constantly working to balance content and method so that students not only learn certain skills in art, but also cultivate an appreciation of, and a love for creating, meaningful pieces. • What would we be surprised to learn about you? I spent six months learning how to quilt in the distinct style of the northern England quilting

Meg NcNall

tradition with a master quilter. My teacher was one of the few remaining bearers of this historically rich and artistically beautiful craft, and has exhibited her work all over the world.

MEG MCNALL Physics, Upper School What has impressed you in your first year at DA? I’ve been very impressed with the high caliber of students at DA. The kids here are genuinely interested in learning and work hard to make it happen! • What is your favorite part of the school day? Either advisory or coaching; both give me an opportunity to get to know my students outside of the classroom setting. • What has been your biggest challenge? Continuing to come up with new challenges for my students; they are such avid learners that they consume material with remarkable speed. • What would we be surprised to learn about you? I am fluent in Italian and have used my materials science experience to work on art conservation issues. •

ROB P OLICELLI History, Upper School What has impressed you in your first year at DA? Definitely the students: their inquisitiveness and intellectual sophistication in the classroom and their genuine — often •

Melody Guyton Butts

Melody Guyton Butts

Melody Guyton Butts

Kathy McPherson

Pamela McKinney

it’s during class, at lunch time or during tutorial, I’ve loved getting to Rob Policelli Taylor Smith know the DA kids better. Teachers and students at my high school didn’t emotional — supportiveness of one know each other as well as the teachers another in assemblies. They’re inspiring. and students at DA. I’m grateful to have • What is your favorite part of the school day? a schedule that allows for more time The moment when something a student outside of class when students and says in class discussion surprises me and/ teachers can get to know each other. or the rest of the class. Sometimes it’s a Having a close relationship with students fascinating new perspective on whatever makes the class time more productive. historical issue we’re exploring, other times • What has been your biggest challenge? it’s a provocative question that deepens As a new teacher the greatest challenge the conversation, and sometimes it’s has been prepping for my lessons. I just a wild idea that broadens everyone’s spend a lot of time each day preparing thinking. and creating materials. I teach two levels • What has been your biggest challenge? of Chinese and two classes of world The schedule took some getting used to. literature, so I’m constantly switching • What would we be surprised to learn languages and topics. Occasionally I slip about you? up and speak Chinese during an English I once played percussion for Shania Twain class. Teaching two different subjects is a at Jones Beach, Long Island. In college, challenge, but it’s never boring! I was a tour guide in the chapel where • What would we be surprised to learn Robert E. Lee (and his horse) are buried … about you?  and I’m from Connecticut. I wasn’t a great Chinese student when I was in high school! I was extremely shy TAY LOR SMI T H and rarely spoke up in class. Those are Chinese and English, Upper School not good traits when you’re trying to • What has impressed you in your first master a foreign language. If you had year at DA? told my 14-year-old self I’d be teaching I’ve been very impressed by the faculty at high school Chinese one day, I would DA. The teachers I’ve interacted with at have laughed in your face. My English the Upper School are extremely smart, and Chinese students know that I’m a totally committed to their students and bit obsessed with China and Chinese, always willing to help new faculty. I can’t but that wasn’t always the case. If you imagine a more welcoming environment stick with something long enough, for a new teacher. your passion and dedication are just as • What is your favorite part of the school day? important as your talent.    My favorite parts of the day are when I’m interacting with students. Whether DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG


Photos by Nathan Clendenin

ABOVE: Science teacher Lyn Streck is the heart and soul of the Lower School garden, and the garden is an integral part of the Lower School’s science curriculum.

Shown here with first-graders, Streck helps children explore nature and develop a stewardship of the environment.

Her she y Award Winner Ly n St reck

From the science lab to the Giving Garden, an infectious love of learning BY TERESA ENGEBRETSEN, FRENCH, MIDDLE SCHOOL


nthusiasm. Encouragement. Wonder. Inspiration. Creativity. Support. Curiosity. Teaching could be summarized with these seven nouns. At Durham Academy, it is what we all strive to bring to our classes, our students, their families and our colleagues. Sometimes we see immediate results, and sometimes the results come in an email or letter years after our day-to-day contact with a person ends. Sometimes we take that enthusiasm for granted because it is what we expect from certain individuals. It is only when we stop to reflect that we realize just how much a person has enriched our lives and the lives of everyone around her. Lyn Streck is just such an individual. Lyn arrived on the Durham Academy campus in 1992 as a kindergarten teacher. She built a highly successful summer school program, Kids Kaleidoscope, with Gail Walker, a former colleague. She spent countless hours watching her three children, Sean ’97, Erika ’98 and Jessica ’01, play sports, all the while helping to run the concession stand and cheering on the entire DA community of athletes. Her daughters remember spending hours in her classroom helping out. They also know that is impossible to go out to breakfast, the mall or a store without running into a DA family whose life has been touched by their mom. She spends time talking to her former students about the unique strengths that make them special. Lyn’s love of learning spills into every aspect of her life. She has been a lively fixture at International Day at the Upper School and at local international festivals due to her love of Polish dance. It is no secret that she enthusiastically embraces her heritage! In 2001, Lyn moved out of her kindergarten world and into the realm of teaching Lower School science. She tackled her new assignment with the enthusiasm and creativity she had shown in the kindergarten classroom. Lyn works tirelessly to coordinate lessons in science lessons with the Spanish curriculum. She supports her colleagues by collaborating and incorporating their curricula into hers, from sea turtles to Antarctica. 34


A favorite is the lesson titled the Teddy Bear Mystery for her forensic science unit. Picture Lyn in a long white lab coat, hair in two messy pigtails, wearing protective goggles, jumping around trying to get second-graders excited about solving a crime involving the disappearance of a stuffed bear. Makes you want to giggle, doesn’t it? Ecology has always been a focus, and in 2008 Lyn was named Conservation Education Teacher of the Year for her work in the community. She enthusiastically participates in NC Clean Sweep, AdoptA-Stream and Durham’s Water Conservation Poster Contest. Perhaps what Lyn will be remembered best for, however, is the Lower School Giving Garden. She pours her heart and soul into this small plot of land. Its creation is due to Lyn’s tenacity, fundraising efforts and ability to bring together students, parents, grandparents and staff members in a united effort to bring the science curriculum to life and to make our lives more beautiful. She has been called an expert in tapping into parent talent and expertise. The garden has inspired poetry, photography, songs and a sense of wonder and curiosity in all — but most importantly in her students. Lyn cares deeply about what she teaches and, through her passion and well-planned lessons, she makes the science lab and garden places that are welcoming and exciting for her young scientists. She motivates her students to take risks and think creatively with her hands-on lessons where they do and not just watch. Lyn embodies the best of teaching and the true spirit of community. It is wonderful that the Durham Academy community now has the opportunity to let her know how much we respect and appreciate her. It should come as no surprise that Lyn was nominated and selected as the 2014 recipient of the F. Robertson Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award. EDITOR’S NOTE: Teresa Engebretsen was the 2013 recipient of the F. Robertson Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award.

LEFT: Shauna Saunders implements The Hill Center's

HillRAP program with her lower school students.

our methodology and curriculum to educators across the globe could not be accomplished without continued innovation. A 2013 technology visioning process has resulted in development of a four-year plan for a Hill Reading Achievement Program Instructional Management System (HillRAP IMS), which will result in the infusion of technology innovation into Hill teacher training and HillRAP implementation. The Hill Center Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP), Hill's flagship reading intervention program, is a combined curriculum and instructional process B Y B R YA N P. B R A N D E R , E D. D., H E A D O F S C H O O L , T H E H I L L C E N T E R approach to improving reading for struggling students in kindergarten through eighth grade. HillRAP is a structured intervention program delivered on an individualized basis by teachers senior leaders on the Growth, Development who are extensively trained in phonological s The Hill Center enters its and Partnerships team through a time of awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and 38th year of serving students with learning significant organizational transition and comprehension. Teachers provide follow-up differences, it will be marked with new change. classroom support, mentoring and coaching leadership and continued innovation. After Beth’s vast experiences surrounding during implementation. HillRAP uses The Hill devoting 30 years of service to Hill, Shary capacity building and scaling organizations Center Methodology with minor adaptations Maskel will retire as executive director, make her an excellent fit for the position of to meet the needs of students and teachers in paving the way for Beth Anderson. Shary has Hill’s executive director. Upon her arrival a public school setting. given her heart and soul to this renowned in July, I will shift from my current role as This initiative, combined with the organization and was instrumental in principal and director of student programs, to need to greater infuse technology into our developing curriculum, training teachers and the role of head of school. This organizational reading program, inspired us to create the expanding The Hill Center to reach students, shift will redefine and streamline roles to HillRAP IMS. This tool, delivered on a tablet, families and educators across the globe. The assure that we are exceeding the needs of our will provide enhanced teacher support, a stage has been prepped for Beth to scale students, families and stakeholders. Beth and continuous assessment tool, automatic data operations and deepen our impact. I, along with Hill’s leadership team, maintain capture and more robust results reporting, A 1993 graduate of Williams College, as well as a student app for increased student Anderson earned her MBA from the Stanford a shared vision of The Hill Center's future. We will lead with the vision of organizational practice opportunities. The success of HillRAP Graduate School of Business in 2000. She excellence, becoming a community resource hinges upon successful teacher training, moved to Duke University’s Fuqua School in the Triangle, and expanding operations to mentoring and support to ensure absolute of Business in 2001, where she co-founded serve more students and families with learning fidelity of the program. As districts across the Center for the Advancement of Social differences. the state and schools in other parts of the Entrepreneurship (CASE). As managing Beth’s contagious collaborative style and nation and world continue to adopt HillRAP, director, she developed courses, conducted leadership have already gained the support it is imperative that we maintain fidelity and research on scaling social impact, and led of Hill’s faculty and staff. We are blessed to proper data collection and tracking the strategy and operations for CASE, a have some of the most dedicated and selfless The evolution of The Hill Center research and education center that serves faculty, staff, tutors and leaders in the field. continues to unfold, and we are eager to MBA students and alumni, business school They are all instrumental in maintaining focus fulfill our vision. We are confident that our faculty and the emerging field of social on our daily mission of transforming students impact will reach many more students with entrepreneurship. Anderson joined Teach with learning differences into confident, independent learning differences. As our new leadership For America in 2007 as vice president of learners, and striving toward our global vision and innovation propels us to the next level of national foundation relations. In 2009 she of reaching as many students as possible. excellence, we will continue to strive daily to was promoted to senior vice president of The Hill Center’s goal of providing meet our students, support our parents and national development and most recently greater access to our programs and delivering train educators. served as senior strategic adviser, mentoring

New leadership and innovation at The Hill Center





Stephen Bayer

Kanika Capel

Lisa Ferrari

Seth Jernigan ’96

Luis Pastor

• Stephen Bayer is associate vice president for development at Duke

of DA’s benefit auction, treasurer of Parents Association, head of future

University. He is a cum laude graduate of Tufts University, and holds a

fundraisers and Preschool division representative. She is the mother of

J.D. from Emory University School of Law. Prior to his work in

Luisa, a rising 11th-grader, and Giacomo, a rising eighth-grader.

development, he practiced commercial litigation in Philadelphia and spent five years in personal investment banking. He is a member of DA’s

• Seth Jernigan ’96 is vice president of commercial brokerage at

Development Committee, and is the father of Alex, a rising seventh-grader,

Real Estate Associates. A Durham Academy graduate, he holds a B.S.

and Chloe, a rising fifth-grader.

in business administration from N.C. State University and has earned Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. He serves

• Kanika Capel is an adjunct professor at Campbell Law School, and

as vice chair of the Board of Trustees at The Forest at Duke. He is president

has previously taught at Duke University Law School and University of

of the DA Alumni Board, and has been an active alumni volunteer. He is

Oklahoma College of Law. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke

the father of Wyatt, a rising second-grader, and Stella, age 3.

University, where she was a B.N. Duke Scholar, and also is a graduate of Yale Law School. She clerked for a U.S. District Court judge and has

• Luis Pastor is president and chief executive officer of the Latino

practiced commercial litigation. She is the mother of Cameron, a rising

Community Credit Union. He has a degree in business administration

second-grader, and Sydney, a rising kindergartner, and she has been an

from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain; a master’s in human

active classroom volunteer.

resources from Centros de Estudios Fiancieros, Madrid; an M.B.A. with concentration in finance and management control from Instituto de

• Lisa Ferrari is a physician with Durham Pediatrics and a faculty

Empresa, Madrid; and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke

member at Duke University. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill

University. He is the father of Cristina, a rising seventh-grader; Diego,

and holds an M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine. She is

a rising fifth-grader; Luis, a rising second-grader; and Monica, a rising

president of DA’s Parents Association and has previously served as co-chair




15 things to know about Leslie King, DA’s new director of communications

Melody Guyton Butts


eslie King (top left) began her tenure as Durham Academy director of communications this spring. Her résumé includes stints as a general assignment television news reporter; an anchor, producer and executive producer at CNN Headline News; director of public information for the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta; and, most recently, communications director for Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network. But there's more to a person than her business bio. For those nuggets of knowledge, read on. 1.) I'm a lefty. 2.) I'm a Miami native, and I’m of Cuban, Italian, Irish and German descent. I have one amazing sister and a fantastic brother who is 21. 3.) I'm addicted to French fries. 4.) I’m also addicted to the BBC’s Sherlock, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I go way back. 5.) My top 5 SiriusXM channels are: 1st Wave, SiriusXMU, Backspin, The Groove and KidzBop (for my daughter). 6.) I was the lead singer in a cover band in high school. The name of our band was 33RPM. 7.) I went to Connecticut College, 1,400 miles away from home, in the same town my mother was born in. 8.) I spent my junior year of college in Norwich, England, at the University of East Anglia. My English Premier League team of choice is Tottenham Hotspur. My other favorite? Liverpool. 9.) I believe there's a Muppet for everyone. According to my friends, I’m either Waldorf or Statler. 10.) I met my husband while we were working as general assignment reporters for competing stations in Savannah, Ga. One of the first times we met was after an enormous explosion at a chemical tank farm prompted a mass evacuation. This photo was taken shortly after that (middle left). 11.) About half of my years at CNN Headline News were spent working on a morning show. A morning show crew typically gets to work at 1 a.m. and leaves at 9 a.m. Life doesn’t get weirder than that. 12.) I love never having the same day twice. 13.) I married into barbecue royalty. I had never tried Eastern North Carolina-style BBQ before I tasted King’s, and it’s my favorite! 14.) I have a few basic communications-related mantras. My new favorite is, “in the absence of actual information, people just make stuff up.” 15.) These two people are my whole world (bottom left). Learn more about Leslie at Email her at leslie. or follow her on Twitter @staytunedlk! The whole communications gang can be reached at Our office can never have too much information — send us your stories, announcements, achievements, photos and videos so we can share them! DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG


2015 strategic planning process begins


urham Academy will spend the 2014-2015 school year developing a new strategic plan that will provide direction for the next three to five years in all areas of the school: academics, administration, finances, governance and more. A 10-member Board of Trustees committee, chaired by DA parent and trustee Lauren Whitehurst, will oversee the planning process. The plan will be based on prioritized goals and issues that emerge during the process. The goal is to develop a written strategic plan for the board of trustees approval in spring 2015. Throughout the school year, the strategic planning committee will seek the involvement of the entire DA community in the planning process. Feedback will be gathered from a variety of sources including an online survey, listening sessions, live webinars and a retreat in January involving approximately 60 administrators, parents, faculty, trustees and alumni. The committee will also gather benchmark data from peer independent schools and educational leaders. The first phase will begin in August when all parents, faculty, staff and alumni will be

asked to participate in an anonymous, online survey. The data gathered will provide thematic framing for listening sessions in the fall. All faculty and staff will participate in a day-long listening and planning session in August. Parents and alumni will be invited to a series of open sessions and live webinars in October and November. Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner will host alumni focus groups in New York, Boston and San Francisco. Through small group discussion facilitated by committee members, these listening sessions will solicit input on the future direction of DA. Responses from the listening sessions and the survey will form a valuable database of information about key strategic issues facing DA and will be the foundation for the discussion at the January retreat. Following the retreat, the committee will prepare a written plan for board of trustees’ consideration. Once the plan is approved, the head of school and administrative team will develop an implementation program with both short and long term actions supporting each goal. Durham Academy’s goal is to include all of the school’s various constituencies at every stage

of the strategic planning process. There will be multiple opportunities and outlets for everyone in the school community to share their ideas and for all voices to be heard. Input from as many parents, faculty and alumni as possible will help Durham Academy identify truly significant institutional priorities that move the school forward in monumental ways. By designing a strategic planning process that is inclusive, DA will produce a plan with broad emotional investment and ownership.

2015 Strategic Plan Steering Committee • • • • • • • • • •

Lauren Whitehurst, chair, trustee and parent Wendy Brooks, trustee and parent Owen Bryant, faculty and parent Jennifer Crawford, faculty, former trustee and parent of alumni Gib Fitzpatrick, faculty and parent Lee Hark, Assistant Head of School, Upper School Director and parent Leslie Holdsworth, Director of Development and parent Jamie Spatola ’00, trustee, alumna and parent Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School and parent Eric Ward, parent




Sheri-lyn Carrow to serve as Preschool interim director •

Veteran administrator and teacher Sheri-lyn Carrow will serve as interim director of the Preschool for 2014-2015, and will continue to teach pre-kindergarten. Carrow was Durham Academy’s Lower School director from 1995 to 2004, and has taught pre-k since 2004. She will draw on that experience as she shepherds the Preschool following the retirements of kindergarten teacher Leigh Ballou and Preschool director and kindergarten teacher Sheppy Vann. DA’s search for a permanent Preschool teacher/director has already begun. Finalist candidates will be selected in the fall, with the goal of selecting and announcing the new Preschool teacher/director in January 2015. Denise Shaw will serve as interim kindergarten teacher for 2014-2015. Shaw 38

brings more than 20 years of experience to DA, including seven years teaching kindergarten at Detroit Country Day School. She was teacher of the year at Frank Porter Graham Elementary and the Chapel Hill/ Carrboro Schools Honor Teacher of the Year in 2010-2011. Elizabeth Culpepper Allan will succeed Leigh Ballou, who is retiring after 25 years in the Preschool. Allan has taught first grade at DA since 2002. •

Six faculty, staff members retire

When Leigh Ballou, Melody Clark, Patsy Harlow, Shary Maskel, Kathy Pause and Sheppy Vann retired in June, they carried with them 155 years of service. • Leigh Ballou came to DA in 1989, and has taught kindergarten in the Preschool. • Melody Clark has worked in the


DA business office since 1990, serving as controller. • Patsy Harlow began her DA career in 1992, and has been a teaching assistant in second grade. • Shary Maskel came to The Hill Center in 1984, and has served as director since 1985. • Kathy Pause has had a 24-year career as Lower School music teacher. • Sheppy Vann came to DA in 1984 to teach kindergarten, and since 1990 she has served as Preschool director and kindergarten teacher. •

Save the date for Auction 2015

Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 11, for Durham Academy’s 36th annual benefit auction. Kara Henderson-Jeffries, Kemi Nonez and Kristin Teer are co- chairs of the fundraiser.





CALENDAR 2 0 1 4 - 2 0 1 5

Sept. 4 • 5:30 p.m.

Business After-Hours Social

Sept. 16 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

Sept. 26 • 5 p.m.

Fall Alumni Weekend Cookout and Social Sponsored by Big Boss Brewery

Sept. 27 • 9 a.m.

Alumni Strategic Planning Focus Group

Sponsored by Big Boss Brewery

Sept. 27 • 11 a.m.

Boys Lacrosse Reunion Game

Va r s i t y At h l e t i c E v en t s • 4:30 p.m. — Field Hockey vs. Cary Academy • 5:15 p.m. — Volleyball vs. St. Mary’s • 6 p.m. — Soccer vs. Ravenscroft

Sept. 27 • 7 p.m.

Reunion Parties @ Tobacco Road, Durham For Classes ending in 4s and 9s

Oct. 15 • 7 p.m.

Alumni Book Club

Oct. 19 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in Atlanta, Ga.

Nov. 4 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

Nov. 26 • 8:30 p.m.

DA Alumni Night at Alivia’s Bistro, Durham

Jan. 19 • TBA

Community Service Project

Jan. 28 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

Feb. 18 • 7 p.m.

Alumni Book Club

Feb. 25 • 6:30 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in Boston, Mass.

March 5 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in Charlotte, N.C.

March 31 • 5:30 p.m.

Alumni Board Meeting

April 11 • 6:30 p.m.

Durham Academy Auction

April 17 • 6 p.m.

Spring Alumni Reception

April 22 • 6 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in Washington, D.C.

April 23 • 7 p.m.

Alumni Networking Social in New York, N.Y.

May 7 • 1 p.m.

Durham Academy Golf Tournament

SAVE THE DATE 2014 Fall Alumni Weekend • Sept. 26 and 27 FRIDAY, SEPT. 26

Homecoming Events • 5 p.m. — Alumni Pregame Social and Cookout


• 9:00 a.m. — Alumni Strategic Planning Focus Group in Upper School Learning Commons • 11 a.m. — Boys Alumni Lacrosse Game • 7 p.m. — Reunion Parties Tobacco Road, Durham for Classes Ending in 4s and 9s For more information and to register for the reunion parties, visit

CONNECT WITH DA • DA on Facebook: • DA Alumni on Facebook: • DA on Twitter: • DA Alumni on Twitter: • DA on YouTube: • DA on LinkedIn: • DA on Pinterest: • DA on Instagram: • DA on Flickr:

Visit for updates on venues and additional alumni information. DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG


A B OV E : A 50th reunion gathering of the Class of 1964 drew (front row, from left) Catharine Callaway Stirewalt, Marion Ross Godfrey, Ethel Girvin, Gail Singletary McLean, Linda Newsom Silva, Caroline Cottingham Mitchell, (second row, from left) Janet Holley Wegner, Trude Lowenbach Lawrence, Louis Wade, Betty Ann Baldwin Beavers, Sam (Sammy) Martin, Lea Couch, Bob Grabarek, Margaret Ann Emory, Sandy Bradsher Dunevant, Margaret Hart, Mary Evins Branch and Tom Graham. Not pictured are David LaBarre and Mary Ellen Staples Bacon.

50th Reunion draws 20 classmates

50th Reunion CALVERT’S CLASS OF 1964 PROVES YOU CAN COME HOME AGAIN By Marion Ross Godfrey ’64


e did it! Some Record readers may remember an old sixth-grade picture that appeared in the winter Record, with a note inviting Class of 1964 members to come together for a May 4 and 5 minireunion. In the photo that accompanies this article, you can see some of this class’s members who graduated from high school 50 years ago this spring. Twenty of us gathered for a picnic at classmates Catharine Callaway’s woodsy home in Hillsborough on Sunday afternoon. Several of us and our spouses were given a wonderful tour on Monday morning at Durham Academy by Tim McKenna, associate director of alumni affairs. We were very pleased to have the opportunity for some very meaningful conversation and Q and A with Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. 40

Kathy McPherson, associate director of communications, helped us update our class database over the winter months. In October 2013, I contacted several classmates, remembering that about 20 years ago, Janet Holley Wegner and Trude Lowenbach Lawrence had told me they’d love to get together with our Calvert classmates someday. In November, seven of us connected at the celebration of life for music teacher Lola Williams in Durham. There was clear enthusiasm for the idea of a Class of 1964 get-together, even though DA stopped at ninth grade in 1961. Phone calls, emails, and handwritten, snail mail letters were sent by class members to all 60-some names on the list we were given by Durham Academy. By May 4, we had successfully communicated with 47 class members.


Several letters were returned confirming that we no longer have a viable address; most of these attended Calvert students only for a short time, in kindergarten or first grade. We have sadly confirmed that seven of our class members have died. Of the class members who came on May 4, all had attended Calvert School for many years when it was located in an old house on south Duke Street. Calvert became Durham Academy during our class’s seventh-grade year, in 1959. Several of those attending had graduated from ninth grade at Durham Academy in 1961. Ten of us graduated from Durham High School in 1964. The rest graduated from many other high schools. Our mini-reunion immediately followed the Durham High School Class of 1964 50th Reunion, since several class members


Kathy McPherson

were coming for that from far away. However, several classmates traveled long distances just to attend our Calvert/ DA Reunion! Curly, red-haired Sam “Sammy” Martin said goodbye to his 21 fourth-grade classmates when his family picked him up on the last day of school in their blue Ford station wagon to drive to their new home in Gainesville, Fla. Sam, who is now a vascular surgeon in Orlando, discovered Calvert classmate Bob “Bobby” Grabarek in his freshman class at Yale and Susie Engel (now Zarutskie) in his medical school class at Duke! Tom Graham, who attended Calvert from kindergarten through ninth

states, Canada and Germany. We fondly remembered our thirdgrade teacher Mrs. Parks, who told us it was a “red letter” day when we opened our first geography books together to learn about Tierra del Fuego, and our fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Spearman, who gave us fivecent Hershey bars for learning our 48 states and capitals. Our teachers clearly widened our horizons; many of us have happily lived and traveled far beyond Durham and Chapel Hill, where we grew up! While we enjoyed our catered picnic lunch, we caught up on each other’s lives since Calvert in small groups throughout Catharine’s house and gardens. Some sent autobiographies ahead of time, which were very helpful and interesting to those who had had a chance to read them. Bob Grabarek (grabarek@mindspring. com) has offered to gather all the bios he is sent so that each member of our class can access them. At least two of our classmates have carried out the passion we remember them for as very young students. “Bobby” Grabarek drew trains, colored trains and took out the “T” A B OV E : Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner talks with Janet Holley Wegner, encyclopedia to learn about Louis Wade, Marion Ross Godfrey, Trude Lowenbach Lawrence and Tom trains while at Calvert. Graham, members of the Class of 1964. After his graduation from Yale, he worked grade at Durham Academy, now lives in as a ticket clerk in New Haven, track Littleton, Colo., and is a financial analyst. supervisor in Ohio, train superintendentInitially, Sam and Tom each told us they safety in Mississippi and South Carolina, couldn’t come to our reunion due to the transportation analyst in Georgia and long distance, but after reconnecting on trainmaster in Georgia, South Carolina the phone in April, they made a pact to and Alabama. Eventually, he managed to fly to Durham to be with us! Margaret get the Carolinian train operating between Hart came from Ann Arbor, Mich., to Charlotte and New York City, which he spend a week with her longtime friend says is “one of the high points of my life.” Catharine “Cappy” Callaway. Four class Catharine Callaway was our class artist members drove from Maryland and from Mrs. Roy’s Child Training Class Delaware. The others who came all still (now called pre-k) through her sixth-grade live in North Carolina, but in 14 different graduation from Calvert and her ninthtowns! Those who we located but were grade graduation from Durham Academy. unable to come live in eight different She eventually studied art at Philadelphia


College of Art and graduated as an art major from Duke. In the 1970s she began selling her jewelry as a licensed street seller in Berkeley, Calif., and then to galleries and to the Oakland Art Museum. Eventually, she moved to Hillsborough and in 1992, she opened her own shop there, retiring in 2013. Several of us who were in the area for our reunion weekend got to admire and purchase some of her exquisite custommade jewelry at a craft fair that was held in Durham on Saturday. Others of us became teachers. I can attest to the fact that my own bound books have remained useful to me as a teacher and in my new volunteer job as self-appointed class historian. Many of us still have our bound books. These were monthly compilations of our work sent home and returned to school with our report cards each month, and then bound together by a Durham printer. At the graduation ceremony at the end of each year, they were handed out for us to take home embossed in gold with our full names, grade, the year and “Calvert Method School.” Beginning in second grade, we each have the carefully written cursive autographs of our classmates, along with a black and white glossy photo of our class group, often squinting at the sun, taken outside of Calvert School. If any Record readers are interested in trying to get some of your own Calvert/ Durham Academy classmates together as we did, feel free to contact me at I’ll be happy to give you our timeline, our accounting info and to tell you how we found some of our classmates who are living all over the world. I’m sure that the alumnae and communication offices would be happy to work with you as they did with us. For those of us who finished high school before Durham Academy had an Upper School, our classes are not generally included in the five-year, homecoming reunions that DA celebrates each fall. I would guess that our mini-reunion may have been especially successful at attendance because we “did our own thing,” but who knows? A good time appeared to be had by all!





TOP: Kim Bullock Ionescu said she was happy and honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. BOTTOM: Alumni Board president Garrett Putman presents Kim with her award.

2 014 D i s t i n g u i s h e d A l u m n i A w a r d

Kim Ionescu ’99 Receives 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award

Christine Nguyen

Ionescu By Garrett Putman ’94, President, Alumni Board

“Kim’s influence goes far beyond Counter Culture, Durham and even the United States, and her advice and counsel is sought by players across the industry, both large and small. It is not an overstatement to say that she has had a major impact on coffee trade policy and sustainability practices throughout the world.”


ur 2014 Distinguished

note that Kim is one of our youngest

was a DA lifer and graduated in 1999.


Kim currently serves as coffee buyer

Alumni Award

and sustainability manager for Counter

Winners ever —

Culture Coffee, a company based here

Kim has become

in Durham that is one of the largest

an important

specialty coffee roasters in the country.

thought leader in

Counter Culture is undoubtedly one of

the multibillion-dollar coffee industry.

a major impact on coffee trade policy and

the coolest, hippest, and most socially

She is a bona fide coffee expert, taster

sustainability practices throughout the

conscious companies in the Triangle.

and buyer (a coveted and respected


Christine Nguyen

Award Winner is Kim Ionescu, who

As coffee buyer, Kim travels the

role), and that is combined with her

globe searching for the most exciting and

strong moral compass and her passion

Kim’s former colleagues at Counter

delicious coffees in the world, and the

for humanism, justice and sustainability.

Culture about her, and he called Kim

beans that she buys are served at some

She built Counter Culture’s Direct

“a rock star of the industry” and said,

of the very best coffee shops, cafés and

Trade program, launched their ground-

“This young woman from Chapel Hill is

restaurants in the country. For those of

breaking Transparency Report and has

having a profound influence on the way

you who may still think that coffee is

developed programs for carbon neutrality

coffee is traded, on how coffee businesses

coffee … think again. Specialty coffee

and organic agriculture.   

think about ethics, fiscal sustainability and

can be as diverse and interesting as wine,

Kim’s influence goes far beyond

I had the chance to talk to one of

environmental responsibility. She is an

and people like Kim are educating the

Counter Culture, Durham and even

amazing force in the industry.” Thanks to

world about the differences in the ways

the United States, and her advice and

her work, Counter Culture is on track to

that a coffee bean from Kenya tastes from

counsel is sought by players across the

completely offset its carbon footprint, and

a coffee bean from Nicaragua.  

industry, both large and small. It is not

is also moving toward a goal of sourcing

an overstatement to say that she has had

and roasting exclusively organic coffees.

Despite her young age — and I will 42


Christine Nguyen


ABOVE: Sheppy Vann with husband Dick Vann, daughter Katie Vann Peck ’96 and son Gene Vann ’91.

Sheppy Vann honored with Faculty and Staff Legacy Award


ong time kindergarten teacher and Preschool director Sheppy Vann was honored with the Faculty and Staff Legacy Award presented by Durham Academy Alumni at the Spring Alumni Reception on April 11. Read more about Sheppy and her 30-year-career at DA on page 8 of this magazine.

2014 -2015 ALUMNI BOARD • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Seth Jernigan ’96, President John Lindsey ’08, Vice President Neal Ellis ’88 Ashley Freedman ’97 Katye Freelon ’03 Xandy Jones ’78 Geoff Lamb ’86 Libby Lang ’89 Kate McAllister ’92 Rosemary Nye ’93 Mike Pisetsky ’96 Garrett Putman ’94 Alivia Sholtz ’00 Morgan Whaley ’97 Andrew Yarbrough ’02


Inaugural Alumni Service Award presented to Chris Rosati ’89

Christine Nguyen


Watch speeches from Kim Ionescu, Sheppy Vann and Chris Rosati at

RIGHT: Head of School Michael UlkuSteiner presents Chris Rosati with the inaugural Alumni Service Award.


reat accomplishments are achieved each year by Durham Academy alumni, but service to others is an area of accomplishment the DA Alumni Board especially wanted to recognize. Thus, the board established the Alumni Service Award to honor alumni whose service to Durham Academy and the greater community has been transformational. At the Spring Alumni Reception, the inaugural Alumni Service Award was presented to Chris Rosati ’89. “Those who know Chris know there is no one more deserving of this,” Alumni Board President Garrett Putman said in presenting the award. Rosati received national attention for his "Krispy Kreme heist” and his message to live, love and try, without fear of failure. He has created a nonprofit called Inspire Media Network. According to its website, “Inspire Media feels the world is a better place when our best stories are told. We need them. We occasionally learn about these uplifting stories through an email or a Facebook post, or even the nightly news. Inspire Media Network was created in part to collect these stories and make them available in one place. But we know we can do more. So we invest in people — people with passion and creativity who want to perform bold and extraordinary acts of kindness that have the potential to inspire millions when their story is told.” Rosati has led the charge to get Inspire Media up and running, all the while fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He is helping make sure that if a good deed is being done and there is a story to be told, Inspire Media will do all it can to help get the word out. “It just seems odd to receive an award from the place I owe so much to,” Rosati said at the award ceremony. “You are rewarding me for who I am. But who I am, at least the good stuff in me, so much of it comes from the people I have met at Durham Academy. Since I came here 28 years ago, many of the moments that have made me who I am today — the best moments and the worst — have one thing in common. They were shared with friends from Durham Academy.” Rosati continues to travel the country telling his story, all the while helping others tell theirs. DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG





1. Annalise, daughter of Forrest Beck



2. Bridgette, daughter of Jenni Kanoy Allen ’05

3. Elena and Jack, children of Ben Berchuck ’00 1



4. Jack, son of Tess Tabor Day ’99 5. 5. Owen, son of Susan Knott Easterling ’00 and Lilly, daughter of Sarah Graham Motsinger ’00

6. Allison and Olivia Rose, children of Lindsay Couch Kilgore ’95 7. Connor, son of Bev Foulks ’94




8. Hanna and Marisa, children of Eva Tayrose Novick ’96 9. Miles, son of Anna Rogers Pfeiffer ’98

10. Dhani, son of Adriana Jokisch-Sagrera ’95




11. Nora, daughter of Caroline Mage ’01

12. Leyna, daughter of Leyf Peirce Starling ’99 13. Rose, daughter of Nick Torrey ’98



14. Nora, daughter of Elizabeth Wahl Appelbaum ’95 15. Kate, daughter of Elizabeth Pea Wanee ’04







CLASS NOTES Classes of 1961-1974

79 Class of 1979 Reunion

DA Fall Alumni Weekend

Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 of Engineering. League after Spread the word. He and Muff graduating Register at spend weekends from college. in Arapahoe, on “She is paid to the banks of the monitor the Neuse River (halfway between networks for non-compliance to New Bern and Oriental). They their contracts and watch football are still very engaged with Camp games on wall-to-wall flat screen Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer, TVs,” says Ellen. How does one serving together on the board of get a great job like this? “In case visitors and Muff on their board you’re wondering, she majored in of advisors. Muff continues to East Asian Studies at Harvard.” be a camp doctor for a week at Ellen’s son works in business Camp Seafarer each summer. development for the Anaheim Judge’s two brothers, Edgar ’68 Angels. This is especially and Lee ’71, live in Durham impressive because classmates with their families, and his sister, will not remember Ellen as an Julia ’73, lives in Oxford with especially big sports fan—or as her family. Judge reports that she puts it, “As you recall, I am his father is still going strong at a real jock.” There is not much age 93. My mother, who once career planning by my sons, who ran a music school out of DA, at ages 10, 8 and 2 years old have is also going strong at age 93. a few years to figure out their I’m toying with retiring from dream jobs. They attend a school state government and restarting in lower Manhattan called Leman my writing on public policy Manhattan, which is as similar to issues for the Center for Public Durham Academy as we could Policy Research in Raleigh. It’s find up north. a wonderful non-profit, nonpolitical organization that assesses public programs. I frequently wrote for it in the 1980s and 90s. Erik Donald France Please let me hear from you so that next year’s class notes can be fuller. Everyone I reached from the Class of 1978 expressed great sadness at the passing of Archer Thomas (Archie) Wainwight Gordon Crovitz in Wilmington on Jan. 28. From those who sent updates specifically for our class notes, Billie Mann, known to us as they are arranged here in Fran Worde, recently became alphabetical order by last name. I a studio artist and instructor, was unable to reach some of our reporting, “It’s very exciting classmates due to email changes or and I love teaching art.” She also unknown whereabouts. Gordon recently became certified as a Battle: “I am still living in Fort nurse aide and plans to do home Mill, SC. Family is doing well. health care for the elderly. She The oldest Dylan is 22 now living and Rob have been married for in Colorado Springs, CO, loves 15 years, have three dogs and two biking and bouldering, works at cats. Ellen Heyneman Sylvan Costco and goes to school full is a rightfully proud mother, time at Pikes Peak Community reporting that her daughter took College. Noah is 19 and going to a job at the National Football school at College of Charleston



and loves the theater. Livi is 15, a freshman in high school, plays JV soccer, and gets her drivers license in three weeks. Kaylee is 12 now and loves horses and volleyball. Chanee is very active in church, subs as a nurse at the local schools and loves her garden and chickens. I am still CFO for Venture Group Enterprises in the telecom industry in Charlotte, while also running a nationwide marketing organization for LegalShield. Love my Tar Heels, golf and poker where I get to play in the World Series of Poker every year now. Hope to make the next reunion.” David Carr: “After selling my business to RS Investment Management Inc. in 2010, RS decided to close the Chapel Hill office last year. I have taken the opportunity to work for myself. It is quite enjoyable trading for myself after over 20 years of severe restrictions pursuant to SEC regulations.” Liza Dicconson: “Still living in Malibu — enjoying life.” Scott Jones: “I am now living in Urbana, IL, and have a new job as the women’s cross country coach at the University of Illinois. I’m really excited for the personal and professional opportunities and challenges my new job provides … I have great runners to coach, which means my competitive season, which started last August, will continue into early July.” Kerr McCutcheon lives in Durham about a mile from the DA Upper School campus and is currently in his 14th year with Allscripts, a medical software company based in Raleigh. Bill Richmond: “I am an associate professor of entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University. This summer, Kris and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. Our eldest daughter, Lang, graduates from UNCGreensboro, and our two other children are at Appalachian State

CLASS NOTES Katherine White ‘67

Gary Bressler ’70, writes that his daughter is a DA graduate (Class of 2005) who recently graduated from Duke Med School and got married two weeks later. His sister Barbara ’67, an Episcopal priest in Richmond, Va., just started at a new church. Tom Morris ’70 has been busy speaking around the country and taking on new topics, like the issue of work-life balance that I just wrote for the Huffington Post. Another new topic for him is the success and leadership secrets of Steve Jobs. It appears that Tom never sleeps. He’s written a series of eight books, nearly a million words, in three years — set in Egypt in 1934 and 1935 and featuring a 13-yearold boy and his friends. He hopes to show them to publishers soon. The first book will be called The Oasis Within. The series is Walid and the Mysteries of Phi. It’s been described as The Alchemist Meets Harry Potter Meets Indiana Jones. Judge Carr ’67, reports that he and Muff have no children or grandchildren — just dogs (smile) — and live in Raleigh. Muff is still a practicing pediatrician in Raleigh, and Judge is now in his 25th year as the senior associate dean for development and alumni affairs at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. Recently one of Duke’s generous alumni made a gift of $2.5M to name a professorship in his honor at the school. It will be known at the Robert W. Carr, Jr. Professorship at the Pratt School

Class of 1978

Class of 1976





University.” As for yours truly, I continue working in Fort Worth, Texas, in library services. In April, I was able to travel around Memphis and Shiloh, Tenn., with Evan Farris (coming in from Northern Virginia) and a UNC college buddy as part of the 150th anniversary remembrance of the American Civil War, and 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Class of 1984

Durann Williams Archer Thirty years ago, we graduated from Durham Academy and a reunion will be held September 26 and 27, so make sure you go to to learn more. Here are a few notes from some of our amazing classmates. Dagmar Cooley writes that she donated a kidney to her brother Jacob and thankfully they are both doing great. She has also opened a new landscape design studio in June, The Bloom Room, in historic Wilmington. Her son, Beck, is now nine and following in his father’s footsteps and pursuing acting gigs. He had a nice part in a local commercial for the Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau which just began airing May 2014. Janis Bergman Tillman and her husband, Jeff, still live in Chapel Hill. Their son Jake is graduating from DA this May 23 and will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall and daughter, Julia, just turned 16 and is a rising junior at Durham Academy. She is active with Durham Academy not only as a parent but also as a trustee. Sandi Klintworth Nance continues to teach second grade at a wonderful school in Georgia. Her husband, Scott has his own consulting business.  Both of her girls are 46

84 Class of 1984 Reunion

DA Fall Alumni Weekend

in high school Carrington’s Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 Spread the word. and Lindsay outstanding Register at just competed teacher, a wellat ICDC deserved award. marketing She has run competition. Many of you write into fellow classmates, Rebecca that you are getting ready for your Henegar Gould and Carolyn children to enter college such as Back Durst while watching her Sarah Warner Burdick and niece play basketball. If you have Serena Russoli Hutcheson. any updates, feel free to share Cathy Howe Sheafor and her with me at durann.williams@ husband, Doug, are adjusting to I hope to see you at life with children away at college Durham Academy in the fall. and staying busy with master swim activities. This year, the travelers in our class included Jenny Ching Creger and her Kacie Wallace husband, Dave, who continue to enjoy life in New Orleans and recently took a well-deserved 1985 was a long time ago. It was vacation to Italy. Andrea Mia the year that Coke tried to change and her husband, Jacob, visited its 99-year-old formula. It was the Italy and England where he first year we first learned of the completed the London marathon. hole in the earth’s ozone layer. Recently, my Facebook feed It was the year of Out of Africa included a picture of Gene won the Academy Award, and Clarke who is living and playing the year Madonna launched the music throughout Europe. Shade Virgin Tour. And, the year Rock Sanford and his wife Tip recently Hudson died. It was also the enjoyed a Paris vacation. He last time the Durham Academy writes that they have been living Class of 1985 was together. I in Abu Dhabi for the past several think back to our time at DA years.  He continues with his with smiles and gratitude for the career in management consulting many opportunities to be part of and enjoys being overseas. They its family — whether it was on are hoping to move to Singapore Senior Challenge, in Mr. Parry’s next year. Additionally, they homeroom, producing minor returned to Chapel Hill last year explosions in Chuck Roser’s and were able to grab dinner chem class, feeding the ferret, with Brunson Hoole, his wife hanging out with Dr. B working Ann, who are in the Chapel Hill on the yearbook, hiding the area and Adam Reist who was Konger’s briefcase, going to prom visiting from New York. Craig or just hanging out outside on the Havighurst lives in Nashville benches waiting to attend some with his wife and daughter. Craig sort of DA sporting event. It was a is active in the Nashville music long time ago, but the memories scene and a contributor to NPR. with our little family are always Marc Cole is the owner of Floor a reminder of the privilege it Changer based in Holly Springs, was to go to DA. I’ll start with North Carolina. Pat Biggs Brendan Moylan because he Porcelli continues to shape the pretty much runs the school minds of the future generation now. Brendan, with his humor as a math teacher at Carrington and humility, continues to touch Middle School in Durham. the lives of so many throughout This year she was recognized as Durham (and beyond). He daily


Class of 1985

serves the Durham community through his professional and personal endeavors, and in addition to his own reputation of selfless philanthropy, Brendan spends much of his time carrying on the legacy of his beloved dad who passed away a year ago. (That’s my update for him since he only offered to write one for Lawrence but not himself.) Brendan and Cindy’s kids, Fergus and Beckett, are also adding to the Moylan contingent at DA. Speaking of running the school, David Beischer is finishing up his last year as board chair at DA and starting to look at colleges with his and Michelle’s oldest son, Will. Really? Will recently made the DA Facebook page for winning the Durham High School (Golf) Invitational at Treyburn with a 69, and Dave is preparing for life on the PGA tour as his caddie! Lawrence Craige tells me his most notable accomplishment to date was attending last year’s Iron Bowl and witnessing the infamous “kick six.” Not sure what this means or if he had a date but this is what he wrote me. Matt York and his wife, Melanie, are in Winston-Salem where Matt practices commercial real estate law and they are raising their beautiful daughter, Mary Poyner,10. Matt still plays a little tennis here and there, but now focuses more on mountain biking to stay in elite (aka, ripped) shape. Speaking of working out, Bill Bernard is rediscovering basketball and is still running long distances. His son, Cooper, 7, likes first grade and works on his “no look” passes on the driveway. And in the final minutes before submission of our class updates, Bill reported that he decided to take a new job, leaving private practice (after 19 years) and going in-house. He claims that he will be chasing the oil money


in northwest North Dakota and that we should all keep buying gasoline! Karl Miller visited with Bill this past winter (without his winter clothes!) and they went to a Golden Gopher basketball game in order for Karl to defrost. Pete Flora is “still grooving to the New Orleans vibe,” teaching English at Isidore Newman School and playing with his dog, Tater Tot. He was the faculty mentor for a high school entrepreneurial team challenge (recently featured on the Today show) sponsored by Drew Brees’ foundation, and last month their pitch won the $10,000 contest prize. Following in Karl’s footsteps, Pete is also hoping to visit with Bill this summer when he heads north for a workshop. Duncan Isley is still working for Duke Health System (starting on year 25) as a business process consultant. His son, Angus, 15, is a ninth-grader at Trinity School in Durham, and his wife, Vicki, teaches AIG students at Forest View Elementary in Durham. Apparently, Duncan, Nathan and their parents purchased some land off Cornwallis Road and will be combining their talents and building houses at the new “Isley compound.” (There is a lot of artistic talent in that family so it should be a really cool compound!) Sara Levin Washburn and her husband, Mark, are sending their oldest child, Claire, off to the University of Florida this summer. She will be a music performance major in cello. That leaves four more kids at home … which means Sara and Mark will be over 60 years old by the time the youngest leaves the house. Patrick Casseday and his family survived the last three years in Paris and are back in N.C. Patrick is still teaching Schneider Electric’s leaders how to be better leaders, and is trying to reintroduce his kids

into U.S. culture. After three years of being Americans at the British School in Paris, Patrick reports that they are hopelessly confused — and sound a bit like Harry Potter. I got a really sweet note from Dug Stanat. “Dear Kacie … you have done this way too many times and for that I am sorry but not sorry enough to do it myself. I am blessed with a wonderful family of four. I quit my job at Dreamworks to return to sculpting. Cheers! Dug” Sweet. Empathetic. And to the point. I hope he’ll send pictures of some of his sculptures. In January, Cheryl Ann Welsh joined Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate as the director of operations, serving 29 counties. She will do wonderfully I’m sure, using her professional skills towards this important cause. And … Cheryl Ann recently is back in Durham and loves being a Durhamite again! For anyone who hasn’t been to Durham recently — OMG — it’s unbelievably hip. David Brower and Catherine are in the same house in Carrboro, with the same jobs, and are starting to imagine life after all the kids are out of the house. Ben and Nick are both high school juniors — Shaan and Naveed are already launched. Adventures ahead. Holy cow. (I still love hearing David’s voice on NPR as I drive around town … It will never get old.) Juliellen Sarver lives in Richmond, Va., and travels the world with her companion Steve Reiss whenever she can by bicycle. In 2013, they spent two months bicycling through England, France, Scandinavia and into Russia. More modest bike trips in 2014 include a February visit to south Florida to get away from the endless winter and a week’s tour of the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, and they will be capping off the year

with a Christmas-New Year’s bike trip through Morocco, Spain and Portugal. Otherwise, Juliellen works as a city-planning consultant specializing in affordable housing and active transportation, teaching herself various foreign languages and musical instruments and planning her next bicycling adventure. Rojulynne Fike’s daughter, Kenise, 14, is now in high school and singing her way to stardom. She claims that her son, Wynton, grade six, is taller than David Beischer was at that age. Roj and her husband, Wilbur, are headed to Hilton Head Island in May for an early summer vacation and then will celebrate 19 years of marriage in September. Cool! Ann Johnson Cox, my BFF since I was a year old, is still in Chapel Hill with her sweet husband, Chris. They spend a lot of their free time traveling, with one their favorite recent trips being a visit out west to see Liza Kenan Howell, and her family in Park City. As for me, Kacie Wallace, my favorite days are with Richard paddling on some body of open water. I paddle for YOLOboard, a standup paddleboard company out of Florida, and being part of the YOLO family has taken me across channels in Hawaii, around islands in Hong Kong and 304.6 miles from South Carolina to Virginia to raise awareness about ocean sustainability. I still teach law at NCCU, Duke and UNC, and have learned so much about dispute resolution, and life, working as a mediator and ombudsman for the U.S. Paralympic Team in London and in Sochi. Many thanks to those who sent nice notes. Best wishes to those with whom I haven’t been able to connect. And a special thank you to Juliellen, who will be taking over this job in the future.


Class of 1986

Rob Everett Jon Avery Dear Class of 86, We are all about gimmicks, and here is our newest one — GUESS THE CLASSMATE. Answers follow. ______ is still working for Commonfund, no matter how many times we mistakenly think he has changed jobs.  _______, DA Alumni Board member and dad to Alex (DA, ninth grade) and Sydney (eighth), actually corresponded with classmate  _______, who is living in Washington D.C.; however, he was unable to track down  _______, who we think still resides  _______.  After much delay and fanfare, attorney and deviant  _______ came through Raleigh and enjoyed beer with fellow alums at Big Boss Brewery.  _______, on the other hand, did not imbibe Big Boss at the most recent DA Fall Alumni event, which may be why he is in great shape.  _______ performed in a show held in his honor in January in Durham with his old improvisation theater group, The Transactors.   _______ still lives in Oregon, and still sends cute Christmas cards, but won’t answer emails.  One state north,  _______, whose dog is named Raven, was considering attending a semi-DA reunion in Charleston, until wine snob  _______ announced he was too busy traveling to Japan to be bothered. Brian, son of  _______, is playing Charlotte AAU hoops and much better than his dad ever was.  _______’s son will be attending DA next year (would be class of 2033),





before likely transferring to Jordan to play varsity hoops as a freshman.  _______ continues to diligently train her family in the proper appreciation of Duke Basketball.  _______, still active with Durham Nativity, is also the newest member of the Downtown Durham Rotary. Orthopedic surgeon  _______, father of Sarah (ninth) and Mia (fifth) and uncle of John (third) and Rina (first), may or may not know  _______, father of Davis (10th).  Even harder to find is  _______, father of Elizabeth (10th) and owner of He’s Not Here, who is clearly hiding from us!  _______’s dad just bought a new Honda Pilot.  _______ is a fan of and regular at The Monti, which she occasionally attends with  _______, who refuses to reveal the whereabouts of  _______, who would be annoyed that her name appears in this publication. Dr.  _______, reliving Senior Challenge, has once again sojourned in the Pisgah Forest with the 11th graders of Ravenscroft School. Finally,  _______, father of Henry (fourth) and Cate (first), knows that all DA graduates go to wonderful colleges that are just right for them. Oh, and this unsolicited selfie is our BONUS CHALLENGE: “I have spent the last year Breaking Harts & Making Babies, sculpting my body to the point my waist and pant length are equal as well as training myself to run a sub 60min 10k. As Meatloaf said, “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad!” My pants are not as tight as they used to be and I ran the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston this April in under 60 minutes. Big Boss remains a passion as well as my kids. Great reunion last Fall at DA paired with a great alumni reunion, here in the QC, with local DA Alum.” Hard to believe that this is the boastful, semi48

delusional __________? Answers: Rob Phay; Geoff Lamb; Susan Behar Bonsell; Floy “Teddy” Oldham; Meriwether Beatty; Joe Kalo; Alan Ellis; Eric Singdahlsen; William Frederick Wilson, Mike Loehr; Tony Han; Chris Bennett; Chris Cole; Barbara Bossen; Maura Moylan; James Bolognesi; Peter Rourk; Bennett Roberts; Lisa Bradford; Alison Gunn; Jacob Cooley; Amanda Yaggy; Jon Avery; Rob Everett; BONUS: Andrew King

Class of 1987 Craig Powell

Jann Yankee is living in beautiful Colorado with daughters Ria, 9, and Ella, 8. “Enjoying the sun, snow and mountains when we aren’t at gymnastics or rock-climbing lessons. Still love my job in Pediatric Rehab. Joined a co-ed soccer team and continue to run small races for fun. Welcome any visitors.” Jen Phillips moved to Charleston almost two years ago and has “been enjoying life at the beach! My sons, Chris and Will, both graduated from DA. Chris graduates next month from ECU with a degree in mechanical engineering and will be working at PRM. Will is finishing his freshman year at Appalachian State and is studying commercial photography and is a videographer for the football team. He had started a company, Mountain View Media, with several other football videographers. They just finished two music videos — “Let the Moonshine” by Luke Combs and “She’s so Georgia” by John Langston — check them out on YouTube! I married Billy Owens. We love being out on the boat and eating fresh seafood, so DA folks are invited to stop by if you’re in the Charleston area.”


Debbie Markland reports that all is well with the Markland crew … still in Atlanta. “Cole will be a junior next year, Jake a freshman and Emma a sixthgrader. Hard to believe we all have drivers now. I am still teaching preschool and love it — so lucky to have this flexible schedule. Hope everyone is well!” David Hamilton: “I am currently living in Kyiv, Ukraine, working on the monitoring the upcoming elections for the National Democratic Institute, keeping safe and eating lots of borscht. If you are in this part of the world, drop me an email at” Mason Cox is still living in Chapel Hill. “Jenn and I will be married 15 years this May, and all three kids are great. Our oldest daughter, Mackenzie, will travel thru Italy this summer and start high school next year! I still work in RTP at Clinipace Worldwide with Chris Porter (founder), and Jenn is an interior decorator with my mom’s firm, ML Designs. I am coaching youth lacrosse in Chapel Hill and also coaching lacrosse at Carrboro High School, and we get out of Chapel Hill and travel to the N.C. coast every chance we get with our three golden retrievers.” Rafael Calderon, residing in Chile, in Talca city, writes, “I am a civil engineer, work at Ready Mix concrete company. I have a big family (six kids)! I always remember the Class of 87!” Finally, as for your humble servant, Anne and I still live in Virginia Beach, and would love to stay, but a move may be necessary as I am back on the job market. I have two daughters, with my oldest graduating from high school this year in Mansfield, Texas, (outside Fort Worth) and will be attending Kansas State in the fall, continuing a proud Powell tradition of restlessness. My youngest, Katherine, 14,

will begin high school next year and is enjoying her first year of competitive swimming.

Class of 1988

Laura Zimmerman Whayne Joseph Williams laurazimmermanwhayne joseph.williams Hello! To all my fellow 1988ers … how can it be that we graduated 26 years ago? It is almost too much to fathom. I have kept up with so many of you in my everyday real life or life on Facebook. Here’s what I have gotten thus far from everyone regarding updates for 2014!  From my bestie, Shannon Griffin Blake: “Things at CDC remain busy. Traveled a lot with work across the U.S. My kids are growing up too fast. Austin played Division 1 football this year, and Andie is playing AAU basketball. So understand why my mom never missed a game — too much fun to watch! Austin is going to high school and Andie will be in Middle School next school year. Where did the time go?” I was able to see Shannon, husband Todd and her kids as well as my other bestie, Kristen Stallings Jupena, and her kids at Christmas time. When we were together, we also bumped into Andrew King, which was fun! Arline Edwards-Joseph emailed me, “My update is that I started teaching at a new university (Albany State University) in August 2013. I was recruited to assist the program and get accreditation. I was also appointed the clinical director of the program. I am responsible for all clinical placements and supervising any student who is completing field and clinical experience. I am now a nationally


certified counselor. My son continues to grow into a wonderful young man. He plays the tuba in the marching band, and this year I will celebrate 14 years of marriage.” Arline, I am soooo proud of you and know you must be making a major difference in a lot of lives regarding your career choice. Edwin Bryson wrote, “We are still in Charlotte. The boys are 8 and 10 and are on five different sports teams, which keep us busy during the week with practices and busy on the weekends with games. Other than that, not a lot of news. Webb and I headed to Durham for the 25th reunion, and I think only four of us were there, which was disappointing. Maybe our 30th will be bigger.” Edwin, yes … with some effort … we can definitely make our Big 30 a much bigger turnout! Colclough Sanders was the very first one to respond to my Facebook post to ask everyone to please give me some update information! She wrote, “After a long bout of California dreaming, my husband, Jeff, our son Jasper (3 in April) and I finally were able to return to his native state where we have settled in a lovely neighborhood in Oakland. (Yes, really). We were just tired of apartment living in NYC, though we will always have such fond memories of our time there. We couldn’t be happier out in the CA sunshine, and also to be so close to some dear DA friends. We regularly see Jason Stone, his partner Eric and their two lovely children Stella and Xavier, as well as Elise Effman, her husband Matt and their son Dashiell. It is so fun to see Stella, Jasper and Dashiell running around together. And recently our whole group got together at our house with Susanne Coie and her two beautiful daughters, Marley and

Lucia. It was a mini-Fun-Bunch reunion.” I am not sure about all of you, but hearing “Fun-Bunch” again after all these years definitely made me smile. Ben Kalayjian wrote, “I am living in Big Sur, CA, and working at Esalen Institute and The Post Ranch Inn doing bodywork. Just got back from Vietnam, where I did pediatric massage with HIV/ Aids orphans in Saigon. Also, getting married in October!” Ben, I felt blessed to see your Facebook posts about the work you did in Vietnam. John D. Ross, Jr.: “A couple of things … Class of ’88 … now Director of Digital Engagement PepsiCo Global. Always working on the 1860s farmhouse in CT and still missing NC BBQ.” When I asked for notes from fellow classmates, Amy Balbirer Windham responded that she is very proud to have the books written by Jesse Walker and Adele Levine on her bookshelves. Awesome! Following that post, Adele wrote: “Thanks for the nice post Amy Balbirer Windham. I just ordered Jesse’s book — I’m always paranoid anyway. :)  Sorry I missed the latest reunion! I found out about it last minute. Hope everyone is well.” Adele’s book is Run, Don’t Walk — The Curious and Chaotic Life of a Physical Therapist inside Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Jesse gave us all Lucy Hochman’s book: One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses. And, now here is Jesse’s: The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. I can remember hearing Jesse talking about politics very passionately way back when! Melissa Brodie Hanenberger wrote, “Hi Laura — Congrats to all our authors — so awesome for DA Class of 1988. I think you know what I have been up to, but just in case I wanted to let you

know that I am living outside of Boston in Newton, MA, and working as a college counselor of Newton North High School. I have three kids — Lukas, 13, Claudia, 10, and Holden, 7, and my husband is Frank Hanenberger, dad extraordinaire. I don’t have a novel but wrote a College Planning Guide — collegeplanningguide.pdf — with my colleagues and highly recommend it for everyone with juniors and seniors in high school. Love to all my classmates.” Keith Wittenstein posted that he lives in Greenport Brooklyn with his wife, Erin Mallon, and they are doing well. He sold his gym (Crossfit Virtuosity) and is now traveling the world teaching Crossfit. He saw Dahron Johnson a few weeks ago in Nashville and said he looks good. Keep the posts coming, Keith. Your career is not only interesting, but also quite motivating! Perhaps next time you are at a reunion you can hold a class for all your fellow 88ers? :) Andrew Simpson gave me permission to tell all that he completed the Boston Marathon! I am in awe and so proud of you, Andrew! Andrew wrote to me: “With great emotion and excitement I completed my fifth Boston Marathon in eight years. This one was very special because it was harder to qualify and it was in memory of the victims from last year’s bombing at the race. I dedicated my race to Richard Martin. As a parent of two boys, his death really hit me hard. The race was amazing and I high-fived as many kids as I could in his honor. So many that my arms cramped at the end when it is normally my legs. It was a great day in Boston, a fitting tribute to the victims of the bombing and a victory over terrorism.” Andrew … thank


you so much! Truly inspiring! Heard from Steve Snider and always inspired by all he’s doing! He wrote, “I’ve been living in Oakland, CA, since 1997. I moved here to get my M.A. in humanities and leadership and never left. I’m loving life in the Bay. I still hang with William ‘Hawk’ Burnette, Drew Dellinger and Jenn LaFresh often because they all live nearby. Happily married to an amazing Brazilian woman since 2010 but still can’t speak Portuguese … so I’m still ‘academically challenged’ I guess, or need a motivational coach! I have been motivated enough to build my own successful company and make a positive impact in my community. I have also been dabbling in creative writing and have an essay being published in a new book called Thomas Berry in Italy: Reflections on Spirituality and Sustainability. This essay is about my experience studying with my mentor in Assisi, Italy, in the early 1990s. I am contemplating taking Hawk up on his offer to start a new radio show on sports and culture to compliment his blog called ‘The Hawkes View.’ Go check it out, and you might catch us gabbing like its 1988. Hope everyone is well, and I miss the old days for sure! Go Heels!” I spoke with Chris Porter last night and when I asked him at the end of our conversation about what I could post for class notes he said, “Just say that I am busy working and that I have three boys managing me!” I recently saw Chris Porter after he had taken care of his boys for a weekend while his wife, Jennifer, got to get away with some girlfriends. Well, was proud of Chris! He handled the stomach flu hitting all of his boys at once like a champ! The joys we all face as parents! Webb Roberts wrote,





ABOVE LEFT: Guy on a birdwatching adventure. ABOVE RIGHT: Taking in the wildlife in Utah. LEFT: Guy and Deb enjoying time in Jamaica.


Wildlife Conservation Career Takes Flight



ack in April, I met Michael Ulku-Steiner and Tim McKenna at a gathering of Durham Academy alumni in Washington, D.C. It was fun to reconnect with DA folks and amazing to realize that I graduated almost 25 years ago! I have lived in the Washington area, mostly in northern Virginia, for 14 years now working in the migratory birds program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1994, after graduating with a biology degree from Brown University, I merged my interests in conservation, traveling and community service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. I learned a lot those two years and decided that a career in conservation would eventually be a great job. But first I traveled in Peru and Bolivia a bit and then spent a couple of summers working for the Voyageur Outward Bound School in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and a winter in between in Redford, Texas, setting up crosscultural community service activities for students after their desert backpacking or Rio Grande canoeing trips. I knew I wanted to learn more about conservation, though, and returned to Durham where I studied conservation biology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. I got to study ecotourism in the Peruvian Amazon and attend Duke basketball games in the student section! It was at Duke where I met my wonderful wife, Deb. Deb and I have had many adventures since Duke. She got me hooked on birdwatching, and I like to think I got her interested in traveling. We have done a lot of both the past 15 years, including traveling all over Latin America and the Caribbean and even going to Thailand where we saw three spoon-billed sandpipers, a species that is unfortunately on the verge of extinction with a population of likely fewer than 400 individuals. We feel lucky that we both have careers in international bird conservation, allowing us to work to conserve the birds we love to watch. My current job involves coordinating the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act grant program for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since 2002, we have awarded more than $50 million through 451 grants to conserve migratory birds. When Deb and I aren’t birdwatching or traveling, we play Ultimate Frisbee, garden, fly-fish or visit with friends and family. Although I do not get back to Durham often, I get the sense Durham Academy has grown a lot but understand that some things have not changed. There is still a Bojangles' down Garrett Road, the one that I frequented many times my last couple of years at DA. 50


“I recently celebrated my 20th anniversary and am looking forward to seeing Edwin Bryson and Chris Bennett ’86 in Charlotte to see Boston!” As for me … I have been a real estate broker for RE/Max Winning Edge in Chapel Hill for three years now. I finally gave in to the family business as my oldest brother, Mark Zimmerman, owns RE/MAX Winning Edge in Chapel Hill and Durham. My mom is my mentor in more ways than just real estate. Am privileged to have teamed up with my mom, Lynne Zimmerman, who has been selling real estate successfully since we were all in seventh grade! My son, Hayden, is 17 and beginning to think about what colleges he would like to attend. He is very passionate about military life and is trying to found the JROTC program for the CH Schools … presenting to the CH Board in May with the help of ECHHS most impressive Principal Eileen Tully. Hayden was hired at 15 at University Mall’s Chick-fil-A and has been working ever since. My daughter, Lew Lew, is 12 and is in sixth grade at Culbreth Middle School. Lew Lew, Hayden and I were very honored to help Chris Rosati ’89 speak at East CHHS and Culbreth Middle School about his ALS and his amazing approach on life. Lew Lew took part in applying to Chris Rosati’s “Inspire Media Network contest three times! Unfortunately she did not win. However, she was inspired by his longing to push kids to give back … in small ways and in big. Lew Lew has been giving random flowers to strangers ever since she heard Chris Rosati speak and has helped create smiles in a small way. Lew Lew and her friends have decided to make this vision become a dream on a much



Class of 1989 Reunion

DA Fall Alumni Weekend

Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 bigger scale with works as a Spread the word. the help of a family nurse Register at local flower practitioner at a company! It was Minute Clinic. very special to She has two be a tiny part of the process of wonderful boys, ages 10 and 8, watching magic happen when and a dog named Bliss who is an Chris spoke to over 2,000 kids in avid running partner. I still love one week. Life changed in those teaching second grade at DA. I schools … a true blessing. Thank hope to see the class of 1989 at our you, Chris Rosati, for inspiring so 25th reunion in the fall. many children and so many adults nationwide. Will end this with a quote that really resonated in me: “You won’t ever be inspired by Les Evans me unless you go out and do something good for others. Then, you will always remember me.” Carol Brinkhous Wertz — Chris Rosati has started a weaving studio in Arts on Main in Gastonia, N.C. It’s called Painted Pony Handwovens and her husband, Libby Lang Phill, “is thrilled to have some of the looms out of the house.” She puts in a lot of volunteer Jed Buchanan continues to hours for the Gaston County live in Chicago, Ill., working Art Guild and has two horses, at Bain & Company. He and “including the one that I had in his wife are expecting their high school!” Mark Simpson fourth child (another girl!) in still lives near the beaches in May. Robin McWilliams San Diego. He’s just completed and his wife, Kristen, continue the Wildflower Triathlon, an to live in Raleigh. Robin infamously tough course. He works at N.C. State, where he continues to develop into his full has taken on a second duty of weirdness as a “SoCal fruit eating running the Teaching Fellows surf hippie” (his words!). He has program. Charlie Wilson and eaten more bananas in the last his family live in Chapel Hill, two months than in his previous and he continues to work in lifetime. All of us N.C. folks are construction. Shinju Fujihira super excited to welcome back continues to be very busy Scottie Amick Todd. She’s raising his boys, Michiaki, 5, just moved to Chapel Hill after and Kenshin, 3, in the Boston braving many years’ worth of area. He enjoys his work as Wisconsin winters. Her two girls the executive director of the will be school in Chapel Hill as program on U.S.-Japan relations, she continues her work as family Weatherhead Center for nurse practitioner. Guy Foulks International Affairs, at Harvard writes in, “Deb and I had a short University. His wife, Kaori, works trip to Jamaica where we saw all at the Ash Center for Democratic 28 of the endemic birds found Governance and Innovation at there. We bought a new home in the Harvard Kennedy School. April (and are excited to have a Jennifer Killam Benton larger yard). We had fun seeing recently moved from Cincinnati, John Crumbliss and meeting Ohio, to Charlotte. Jennifer other DA alums at a gathering

Class of 1990

Class of 1989

in D.C. last week.” Susannah Paletz and family moved this past year from Pittsburgh to Maryland, where she’s now an associate research faculty at the University of Maryland, working at an off-campus research center. “We just bought a house in Silver Spring, and our daughter is now 3 years old.” Leigh Kramer LaFalce has a daughter graduating from high school, “which makes her the same age I was when I saw most of the people in our class, which makes me reel on my heels.” Still living in New Orleans, Emily Coleman Dodart got married at the end of 2012 to Mark Dodart. All together, they have three wonderful kids: Olivia (12), Kate (12) and Christopher (9). In January, Emily was inducted into the Davidson College Athletic Hall of Fame for her days as a field hockey goalie. “It was an amazing experience where my entire family came, and in my speech I said I would have never made it to the Davidson field hockey team without Jim Speir as a teacher and Greg Gephart as a coach.” And if that weren’t enough, Emily started a new business: a divorce resource center to help women who are facing divorce and need help in navigating the complex process. At a secret location during the darkness of full noon (a downtown Raleigh Bojangles for lunch) I feasted with Bobby Croom, John Markham, Lance Daniels and Robin McWilliams ’89. It was great to catch up, and not one of them has changed since high school. Juan Perez Fontán lost his father last fall, but apart from that, he’s doing great and enjoying the bachelor life in Spain. Still coveting my ’66 Sunbeam Tiger (English sports car), John Crumbliss is still living in D.C. He reports seeing Guy Foulks, meeting new Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner


(cool) and enjoying a couple of beers on DA’s tab at the D.C. area alumni event. He is still lobbying and “doing some interesting stuff, like the College Athletes Players Association, which may or may not change the business of college athletics. Lil’ dude Owen Crumbliss is almost two. He puts together incongruous sentences or sophisticated poetry, depending on one’s perspective. I’ll be seeing Miles Hall ’91 and his family next weekend at their beach place and now see John McLeod with annual regularity, since the US Grand Prix and he have decided to convene on Austin, Texas.” Mike Larson and his wife, Andrea, are pleased to report that they are now proud DA parents. “Our daughter Lillia will be attending the Upper School in the fall. Hard to believe — but it’s been good to reconnect with the teachers that are still there from our time 25+ years ago. Other than that, I’m writing Apps, playing lots of tennis and we now have chickens in our backyard. The five of us are still in Chapel Hill, and I am still working for California-based, Inc.” Proud new dad Jon Hyland writes, “Katie and I have a baby girl! Parker Diana Hyland was born on March 20, the first day of spring at 11:19 in the evening. She’s going to be quite the traveler — we’ve already visited her grandparents on Jekyll Island and gone on several hikes together.” My family and I had a wonderful dinner with Whitby Joyner just a month or so ago. He is still living and working at Meadowmont, in Chapel Hill, where he’s been since November 2002. He works for UNC Hospitals at the wellness center. “It’s a gym that has physical therapy and occupational therapy, as well. I’ve got two dogs, a 5-year-old Jack Russell named Biscuit and an orange





mutt I adopted in May 2003 (you cannot beat a good mutt) named Willy. (I think he’s about 11, but the world will never know). I lead a very simple, yet very happy life.” The Evans family is doing well. I recently rejoined a company I worked for a few years ago, frequently pretend to run trails and look forward to cheering on my three ladies at a multitude of events (triathlons, swim meets and gymnastics meets) throughout the summer. The family plans on running into Johnny Rosenthal’s family and others while on vacation in NYC soon. I’m excited, as well, for a California wine country anniversary trip, and a weeklong conference for work in Amsterdam, this summer.

Class of 1991 Torsie Judkins

I am happy to report that because of social media, the Class of 1991 has never been closer. We have all enjoyed seeing our kids grow up and all the multiple adventures on Facebook. Torsie Judkins continues to enjoy his senior administrative roles as the director of community and diversity at the Town School in NYC. But his real hard work is at home helping with his 3-year-old twin daughters, Arlee and Ella. Doug Dicconson reports that he and his wife, Kim, are enjoying their newest arrival and second son, Jackson Philip Dicconson. Along with his older brother Parker and Pucci the hound, they are all very excited that winter is over in the Northeast. Doug gets to spend time with Torsie and his sister Edith Dicconson ’89 and very excited that Charlie Shipman ’90 recently moved into their neighborhood near 52

94 Class of 1994 Reunion

Westport, Conn. Paul Rockwell reports that he continues to develop delicious food products for food service and retail. He has some different items out in some of the major grocery chains under the name “Chef’s Creation.” Gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, chorizo chili mac are a few of them. He was recently elected to the board of directors of the Research Chefs Association. As far as community service, he’s working with a food bank in New Orleans on a couple projects. John Caserta reports that he took over as the chair of the graphic design department at RISD in January. He continues to run The Design Office, a coworking space for independent designers in downtown Providence. John and his wife are expecting daughter #2 in August. Laura Horton Virkler reports that she and Drayton are moving to Singapore this summer with Ella, 11, Sumner, 9, and Henry 6. As a current sixth-grader at DA, Ella’s pretty sure they are ruining her life, but she’ll come around when she realizes how much independence she’ll have living in a high-rise condo in the middle of the city — a big change from the farm. They are sorry to leave Durham Academy, but it’s only for two years and it is going to be an amazing adventure. They welcome visitors to Singapore and asked to put a plug in for their beautiful home for sale in Hillsborough. Jeremy Durack reports that he and his wife are enjoying living in NYC with their doggie Mick Jagger. He continues his work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as an interventional radiologist. Allison McWilliams reports that she is wrapping up four years back at Wake Forest, as director of mentoring and alumni personal and professional development. The job continues to be fun and


DA Fall Alumni Weekend

Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 interesting every about medical Spread the word. day, and she devices and Register at gets to work IBD). His with awesome wife, Jessica, Wake Forest is a part-time students and alumni, helping substitute teacher, part-time them think about their lives SAHM and does some home and careers. Living in Winstonrenovation construction on Salem, she gets to spend time the side. Their son, Anthony, with classmates Clint Acrey, is about to finish kindergarten Jason Lang and Kathy Oakes, and their daughter, Samantha, and every once in a while just turned 3. Laura Dunn Laura Horton Virkler. She has five little boys (Jasper, 8, is also volunteering with the Shepherd, 5, twins Sterling Women’s Leadership Council of and Walker, 3, and Deacon, 1) the United Way and serves on — whew! She’s still in Austin, the board of the International making films in the margins of Mentoring Association. Christy her busy days. She’s working Sporleder Rosas reports that now on a documentary about she moved to a new department farmer/writer Wendell Berry called facilities, design and and trekking back and forth to transportation services with the Kentucky to chase and film the Town of Cary. She is managing seasons. It should be completed various greenway and park sometime next year. Omar Bell projects. Her kids, Logan and and his wife Grace Barada ’94 Lucas, attend Cary Elementary and welcomed their second child, School. She and twin sister, Julie Olivia Francesca Bell, on Dec. 21. Sporleder Pellom, recently Aidan Barada Bell is three. They traveled to Disney with their are still in the D.C. area. Omar is families. Virginia Reves Hall the associate director of individual continues to be the backbone of giving at St. Albans School, the history department at DA. where he also happens to work She reported that some recent with Carter Amick’s little sister, injuries have slowed down her Katie Ryan Amick Kantz ’98. running, but she hopes to be on Grace is working as a librarian at the DA cross country trail soon. The Maret School. Ryan Frost is still living in New Hampshire at Cardigan Mountain School, finishing his seventh year as Rosemary Nye the athletic director. “My wife Meredith and I celebrated our 10th anniversary this past The Class of 1993 just celebrated November,” writes Ryan. “The its 20th high school reunion. family is doing great and seem to Though historically we’re a be growing up too fast. Caroline tricky bunch to track down, turned 7 in December, Natalie we do have some fun news to will turn 6 in July and James, our share. Leo DiNapoli is living youngest, will turn 4 here at the in Marietta, Ga., working for a end of the week.” Raymond pharmaceutical company (UCB) Guiteras and his wife welcomed that has its US headquarters in their precious daughter, LilyAtlanta. He got a Ph.D. in cell Luquillo, into the world. Hilary biology, but left bench science Sparrow writes from Seattle to work in regulatory affairs where she has lived for six years. interfacing with the FDA (mostly She produces documentary films

Class of 1993

and media projects for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and was thrilled to attend the Super Bowl this year. She’s working with Doug Dicconson ’91 on one of her projects and recently ran into fellow DA alums Laura Dunn ’93 and Malinda Maynor Lowery ’91 at Sundance … so it still feels like a small world. Hillary’s kids are now 12, 9 and 4 (nearly 5). She’s back in North Carolina at least three times a year and would love to see folks!

Class of 1994 Bev Foulks

It is hard to believe that this year will be the 20th reunion of our DA class! Hopefully many of you will be able to return to Durham for the reunion so we can catch up in person. Down here in Wilmington, N.C., Michael and I welcomed our second child, Connor, into the world on Feb. 3 — my birthday! Connor’s favorite hobby is watching everything his older sister, Haley, does.  Jonathan Evans also welcomed a second child, Matthew, on March 5. He says it’s hard to believe, but his older child will be applying to DA in the fall! Alycia Levy married Fabrice Fortin in June 2013 in Raleigh, and enjoyed a fantastic honeymoon through Europe! They are excited for the arrival of their first child, a baby boy, in October. Finally, David McCoy has a new position as senior ecomm product manager, directing mobile and online strategy and determining user experience as part of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Wealth Management digital channel platforms team. I hope that everyone else is doing well, and please feel free to email me anytime with any news to report!


Acting is a Way of Life D

LEFT: Ward Horton with drama teacher Bob Singdahlsen following DA’s 1993 production of Brighton Beach Memoirs. ABOVE: Ward plays the male lead in a new film, Annabelle, that’s a spinoff of The Conjuring.

uring my years at Durham Academy, I split the majority of my extracurricular time between the basketball court and the theater department. Under the tutelage of the great Robert Singdahlsen, I performed in several shows such as The Crucible, You Can’t Take It With You and, my personal favorite, Brighton Beach Memoirs. I continued to act at Wake Forest University but, after declaring my business major, I thought my time would be better spent focusing on things that would assist in building my future … acting didn’t seem relevant. I thought to myself, “Self... (that’s for you Mr. Cullen!) can’t be an actor for the rest of your life. It’s such a long shot. It’s not a prudent profession. You’ll be wasting this wonderful education you have received!” So, I plugged myself into a more conventional career path but, after various jobs in sales, strategic consulting and asset management, I knew something was missing. I had some stability but I didn’t have passion in my career. Something had to change and thankfully my wife saw this. She sat me down and told me “No regrets!” With that support and the solid foundation I had received at DA and WFU, I chose to follow a dream. I have now been a working actor for 12 years. People always say how tough a business this is and they’re right, but really not unlike any other profession one might choose. You have to be okay with being judged every single day.  You have to be okay with hearing “no” a lot and not letting it get to you. You have to be okay with pouring your heart and soul into a role/audition/meeting only to be told you’re not good enough or tall enough or bankable enough and then brush it off and focus on the next opportunity. People talk about how you just have to get lucky in this business and, while there may be some truth to that, I always think back to something taught to me by one of my favorite DA teachers and coach, Verle Regnerus. “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” So, I prepare … that’s what I do. And I am thankful that the opportunities have begun to present themselves more and more. And throughout all of this, it is essential that you maintain a sense of self. Period. My family and I moved to Fairfield, CT, six years ago after spending six years living in NYC. Now I commute to the city for meetings, auditions and work … although some of my work requires me to travel to Los Angeles. I have never stopped studying and have an amazing support system of teachers and fellow actors. This business is tough on family life in that you have very little control over your schedule and you have to be ready to pick up and fly out at a moment’s notice. Flexibility is essential. We always say that the best way to book a big job is to plan a big trip because, without fail, the career gets in the way. Fortunately my family is on board with this way of life and the unknown that it creates. While my days at Durham Academy are far behind me, I often think about how lucky I am to have attended a school filled with so much heart and compassion for its students. It is the kind of experience we sought for our children as they entered school a few years ago and managed to find in a school here in Connecticut. To develop a lifelong love of learning in young people is essential and giving them the courage to explore whatever life has to offer is a gift. I feel so fortunate to wake up every day knowing that I get to pursue what I love. I can’t ask for much more than that.  EDITOR’S NOTE: Ward’s acting career has included roles on numerous network television shows including Royal Pains, White Collar, Body of Proof and Gossip Girl. He originated the role of “Dean Trayger” on the daytime soap opera One Life to Live and his movie credits include parts in various studio and independent films such as I Hate Valentines Day, The Mighty Macs and The Wolf of Wall Street. He is currently finishing a film called Annabelle for New Line Cinema; he plays the male lead in this spinoff of New Line’s very successful 2013 film The Conjuring. Annabelle is scheduled to be released in theaters Oct. 3. DURHAM ACADEMY RECORD | SUMMER 2014 | WWW.DA.ORG




Class of 1995

Martha Rundles Palmer


ABOVE: Katie Ryan and Glenn Kantz and daughters Caroline and Mackenzie enjoyed a fantastic view from the back patio of their residence in Leysin, Switzerland.


Teaching Takes Alum to Alps and Back


f you had told me in my senior year that DA would equip me for a future adventure, I would have thought of a short trip, something like Senior Challenge. Little did I know that DA was preparing me for an adventure that continues to this day, 16 years after graduation. My senior year psychology teacher, Mr. Singdahlsen, had each of us teach a full class period. His feedback to me was “you should be a teacher.” I recalled those words during a National Outdoor Leadership School semester while teaching a class on environmental conservation, and later at age 24, when my fiancé, Glenn, and I left burgeoning careers in business and law in Nashville to work at Foxcroft, a boarding school for girls in Middleburg, Va. We enjoyed a wonderful six years there, during which I taught history (a subject I decided to teach due to my amazing experience with Mr. Dahlgren and Mrs. McNamara), coached field hockey (with Judy Chandler’s love for the sport still preserved in me) and was promoted to athletic director. Glenn taught Latin and English, and he coached every sport I asked him to coach. We had our first daughter, Caroline, in 2008, and I had just earned an M.Ed. from UVa when we moved to another boarding school, this time in Leysin, a small village in the French part of Switzerland. During our three years in Leysin, Caroline learned to speak French, ski backwards, cross roads without adults and drink milk fresh from a cow! In 2012, our second daughter, Mackenzie, was born in the village hospital, and though I needed every bit of French I’d learned to communicate with the doctors and nurses, it was a wonderful experience. At Leysin American School, I was the director of residential life, a dorm head and history teacher. Glenn taught English and was the librarian. I also had the pleasure of reconnecting with Michael UlkuSteiner, who was on the Italian side of Switzerland as head of school at The American School in Switzerland. My time in Switzerland gave me a global perspective, as our school had 50 countries represented. I also became passionate about the use of technology in education and the importance of great teachers. Recently, Marge Enberg and I talked about how every day of teaching is an adventure. That is why I love it. The incredible lessons taught to me by the educators at DA have always been my compass in life, no matter where I have been or what I have done. Now I work in Washington, D.C., at St. Albans School as the admissions and financial aid coordinator. Glenn is St. Albans’ academic technologist and upper school librarian. I hope to reconnect with Cavs more often, now that I am back in the country! 54


Elizabeth Wahl and husband Jake left New Haven, Conn., after nearly a decade and moved to San Francisco — just two weeks after their daughter, Nora, was born! Elizabeth is finishing up training in rheumatology and doing a health services research fellowship at the San Francisco V.A. Elizabeth writes: “We love living so close to nature, but I’m still getting used to the left coast and bracing for a foggy cold June.” As for DA connections, she saw Rheanna Platt and her son, Paul, during a visit to Baltimore in November, and spent an afternoon with Elizabeth Bast and her son, Silas, in March. Suzanne Perrault Blakely and husband are still enjoying life in Manhattan. She recently launched a small side business — specializing in candid, lifestyle photography of children, pets and their families. “I would love to photograph any DA alum families in the NYC area (or in N.C. when I come south on vacation)! Check out my website (www. suzanneblakelyphotography. com) for more info.” Also in New York City, Jay Tatum and wife Meghan are the proud parents of a baby girl, Alice Mae Tatum, born Feb. 9. Amanda McCoy Sachs and her husband, Mike, welcomed their first child — Madeleine May Sachs — on Jan. 9. I (Martha Rundles Palmer) had the great pleasure of snuggling with this beautiful baby when she was just a few weeks old in Amanda’s home in Brooklyn! My husband, Steve, and I live in New Canaan, Conn., and are always on the move with our


4-year-old daughter, Caroline, and 1-and-a-half-year-old son, Alex. Selby Conrad is working as a psychologist at Rhode Island Hospital, providing substance abuse treatment for incarcerated adolescents and doing research in HIV/STD prevention with juvenile justice youth. She had a baby in January 2014 — a son whom they named Cape (short for William Capehart Hayes). She writes, “Cape is a delight, and my husband, Jay, and I are just loving getting to know him!” Rebecca Bossen McHugh returned to Durham in 2013 with her husband Patrick — working by day as a writer for the Bonobo Conservation Initiative, but the majority of her work is still in theatre. She is a company member at Burning Coal Theatre in Raleigh, and her newest play, Delilah Lee, is being work-shopped with the Inkwell Theatre in Washington, D.C. She writes that the “most exciting, challenging and rewarding production to date” is her baby boy, Isaac Ulysses McHugh, born on Dec. 21, 2013! Margaret Prestwood Chiou has had a busy year! She reports: “My husband Frank, son Alexander, and I welcomed a little girl named Elizabeth on July 16, and made the move from Manhattan to Larchmont, N.Y., in late August.” Liz Kay was married in July 2013 in Vermont. She teaches high school science at The Williston-Northampton School in the Berkshires. She coaches high school varsity basketball with her husband, Jeremy, at Amherst High School and says that “makes the cold winters seem shorter!” They enjoyed a fabulous honeymoon in Hawaii in March. Raphael McNeil has just finished his first year as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Virginia Union University in Richmond,

Va. Lindsay Couch Kilgore is still living in Orlando and enjoying the sunshine. She had a baby girl, Olivia Rose, on March 30. Their 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Allison, is so excited to be a big sister! As a working mother for a California-based company, Lindsay writes that she feels a little like Diane Keaton in the ’80s movie Baby Boom as she fields conference calls during feedings and diaper changes! It’s been great to reconnect with Adriana Jokisch-Sagrera, who was married to Glenn Palacios on July 9, 2011, in Key West, Fla. They have a son, Dhani Edwin Palacios, born Nov. 26, 2012. Adriana works as a Test Development Specialist at CAL (Center for Applied Linguistics) in Washington, D.C.

Class of 1996

William vonReichbauer It’s been another corker of a year for the class of 1996! The year finds Loren Clemens living in North Carolina again. Culture shock after years in the Bay Area has been intense, but a gorgeous spring season, quality time gardening with mom and the occasional metal show have helped to ease the transition. She continues to work in the signage industry, and looks forward to traveling and mountain biking this summer. Kimberly Judge Sandridge writes, “Our daughter, Sibyl Dorothy Sandridge, was born on Sept. 23, 2013. We’re having so much fun with her! We’re still living in Silver Spring, Md., and I’m still working as a trial consultant in Washington, D.C.” Jean Kahler and her wife welcomed their second child, a daughter named Julia, in February. She is named for Jean’s mom, who died

suddenly in November. Eva Tayrose Novick writes, “Our big news is the addition of a new member of the family. Our daughter Marisa was born on Nov. 29. Hanna is now 4 years old and absolutely loves being a big sister.” Drew Sharma writes, “We moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., in the summer of 2013 and welcomed a baby girl (Chloe) into the world in October. I’m primarily focused on these days and working on a few new startups.” As for me, William vonReichbauer, after a year in Houston, I maintain a busy performing schedule and am production manager for a regional chamber orchestra. Early this year, as artist-inresidence at a local performing arts studio, I wrote, directed, produced and acted in my first musical theater work for young audiences. In November, my fiancée and I will be married in N.C. Until next time, best wishes for a fantastic year!

Class of 1997

Kadi Thompson John Sheffield started a new job as a sales director with Bazaarvoice in Austin. He’s been with them since last October and is loving it. Bryan Tyler and wife, Brie, got married in June 2011, and Bryan finished his MBA at NCSU in 2012. They live in Raleigh and welcomed their second child, Alison Faye Tyler, on Jan. 14. Big brother Cole (age 2) loves his new role! Morgan Edward Whaley works at The Hill Center. Her son, Charlie, is a rising first-grader and Jackson will start pre-K in the fall at Durham Academy. Ashley Horton Freedman


and her family moved back to Durham, last June from NYC. She is loving being closer to family, warmer temps and more space. Her daughter, Logan, is in kindergarten at DA and has Sheppy Vann, just like Ashley. Ashley was in Sheppy’s first class and Logan is in Sheppy’s last before retiring. Ashley’s son, Hunter, is 3-and-a-half and all boy. Julia Hamner Cheatwood is living in Charlotte with her husband, David, and their three kids. With a rising first-grader, third-grader and a 3-year-old, Julia has her hands full. When she’s not helping at their schools, she’s taking them to swimming, soccer, baseball and gymnastics. She has recently gotten into tennis in her limited spare time. The last time she played regularly was in Middle School at DA. Julia also reports that it was great to see some DA alums and former teacher, Mr. Ulku-Steiner, at the Charlotte alumni event. Brooke Staton continues to work at Jakarta International School and has signed her contract to stay for the 2014-2015 school year. Apart from teaching second grade, she’s been filling her time with fantastic travel. She went to Cape Town in October, enjoyed a beach vacation in Thailand in December, and traveled to Sydney for spring break. This summer, she is going on safari in Tanzania to see the great migration. In October she will visit home to meet her first niece or nephew (due in September) — which she is super excited about — and next Christmas, she is hoping to travel in New Zealand. I, Kadi Thompson, am still working at Sephora but will move to Los Angeles in May. I’ll be commuting about half the time back to San Francisco for work, but more importantly, to spend time with my 4-year-old niece and 2-year-old nephew.




Class of 1998

Kate Lessey Laine Nick Torrey reports, “The big news for my family this year was the birth of our daughter, Rose, and our move to a 1900s farmhouse in Chapel Hill. Meanwhile, my work at the Southern Environmental Law Center has kept me very busy and happy fighting coal ash pollution throughout North and South Carolina.” Natalie Kaplowitz Hutchinson is looking forward to the birth of her first child in early July. Alison Sexton Salvatori is still living in St. Louis. “I recently welcomed my fourth child (finally a son!), Joseph Stone Salvatori, on Oct. 6. Keeping busy with all four kids at home and slowly working on publishing my dissertation work on the side. Hoping to visit home and see friends this summer!” Jon Enberg was married on April 5 to Anne Waters. I, Kate Lessey Laine, am living in Helsinki, Finland, and staying busy running after my two boys, Gabriel and Benjamin, and working in customer relationship management for the MR Therapy business innovation unit of Philips Healthcare. Last year we had the pleasure to travel home to take part in my sister’s wedding (Liz Lessey-Morillon ’00).” Anna Rogers Pfeiffer and her husband “moved to Pittsboro and expanded our ‘farm’ to include goats, a duck and more chickens. I’m still at Bronto Software and enjoying downtown Durham. But the biggest news of this year is that we welcomed our first child, Miles, into the world on April 28, 2014! We love being new parents and have been lucky enough to be able to share this entire summer together as a family for my maternity leave. It’s an amazing experience!” Betsy 56



Class of 1999 Reunion

DA Fall Alumni Weekend

Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 Fox just moved of residency Spread the word. to San Francisco before a Register at to work as fellowship a marketing in spinal event manager cord injury for Google, and says she is “so medicine. Margaret reports excited to be on the West Coast!” that life is great in the Pacific Northwest, though she always loves getting back to Durham when she can. Colleen Stack Nina Jacobi will be starting a neurology residency at Duke in June and is engaged to Leo Morantes, a Daniel Raimi moved with his stroke fellow in neurology at fiancé to Nashville, Tenn., last UNC. Colleen’s son, Cheikhsummer, and is getting married Abdou, will be starting first in June 2014 in Durham. He grade at Durham Academy this continues to work at the Duke year. His best friend is Sebastian, University Energy Initiative, Liz Larson Clapham’s son. and recently published an article So great to hear from all of with colleagues on the future of you! Please keep in touch in the global climate change policies coming year. in the journal Science. Daniel also continues to work on public policy issues related to the recent surge in U.S. oil and gas Allison Kirkland production, specifically regarding Amelia Ashton issues faced by local governments experiencing rapid growth in oil and gas development. More on this work can be found It’s tough to believe we are online at Leyf Peirce coming up on our 15th (yes, Starling is excited to share 15th) high school reunion. In the that her daughter, Leyna James last decade and a half, the Class Louise Starling, was born Oct. of 2001 certainly has been busy, 24. Liz Barber is one of her and, as usual, this year saw an godmothers. Alison Fleming awesome array of achievements Meyerstein and her husband, and milestones. Jessica Streck Ariel, welcomed their son, Ortolano is still running Judah Alexander Meyerstein, on strong — she will train for the Oct. 28. Alison and her family Tough Mudder race in the fall are living in Brooklyn. Jason and then gear up for the 2015 Crowe and wife, Stephanie, are Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in NC. excited to announce the birth of She graduated with her master’s their daughter, Evelyn Rose, on in School Library and Youth Dec. 17.  Evelyn joins big brother, Service in May 2014; her master’s Jacob, and big sister, Katelyn. paper reflected a year’s worth of Greg Tayrose has finished his research on how libraries with orthopedic surgery residency in high Latino populations are New York and is now completing supporting their students. Also a sports medicine fellowship at in N.C. is Caroline Mage, who Emory in Atlanta. Greg has two returned to the area with her young daughters. Margaret husband Josh Schoedler after a Jones is living in Seattle, and is stint in New York and welcomed about to embark on her last year baby Nora Woods Schoedler

Class of 1999


Class of 2001

to the fold in September 2014. Caroline continues to work for MDRC from Durham, a nonprofit that develops and evaluates education and social programs that serve the poor. Down the road is Molly Kane Frommer, who loves her new job as a school counselor in a Chapel Hill middle school. Molly also reports that her daughter, Lucy, keeps her laughing on a daily basis. This year we are overjoyed to report other growing families. Hannah Farber and her husband, Derek, who is an assistant professor of English at Harvard University, welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Hiram Elijah Farber Miller, last June. Hannah is finishing up her dissertation and living in Cambridge, Mass. It’s always great to hear from our classmates holding it down in the District of Crunk. In the fall of 2013, Mike Munson joined the Geller Law Group, a boutique firm specializing in small business and estate planning matters. He married Sophia Chase, whom he met while they were students at the William & Mary School of Law. They live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, and have recently brought a new dog, Caroline, into the growing animal family that he and Sophia have started. Anne Lacy Gialanella and her husband, Matt, welcomed a new addition to their family: Son Logan Stone was born on April 22 and is happy and healthy in the nation’s capital. Amelia Ashton, just a few blocks away, has loved doting on him. Amelia continues work as an associate at the law firm of Williams & Connolly; fittingly, the Lawyers Have Heart 5K will be her debut footrace in June. She is also planning a trek


A B OV E : Mike Munson ’01 and Sophia Chase were married Nov. 23 in Charlottesville, Va. Sharing their special day were Mike’s parents Eric and Annette Munson, brother Lars Munson, sister Anna-Lisa Munson Farmar, brother-in-law Dave Farmar and nephew Jack.

through the Alaska wilderness during the summer solstice, where she’ll enjoy 23 hours of daylight (and hopefully no bears). Close by, in Baltimore, Marion Penning has had a busy spring planning her wedding, which will be in Canada, and buying a house! She is still teaching, just finished teaching her first AP course, and she’s using the skills she learned in college to coach the varsity crew team. Coming to us from the Big Apple, Maggie McPherson Weir had a beautiful wedding this year at the Duke Chapel, marrying Chard Weir, and welcoming his awesome and talented daughter, Tabor, age 9, into her family. She’s enjoying married life, spending time with her family and her legal work at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel. Across the country in California, Brendan Bradley writes that he is enjoying life on the West Coast and always loves reading everyone’s updates! The award for most far-flung update comes from Mary Blair, who emailed us from Vietnam, where she is searching for endangered slow lorises (important side note: these animals are very cute and we suggest Googling them). Check out her contributions to the May 29, 2013, New York Times blog “Scientist at Work.”

Class of 2003 Andrea Fjeld

Babies, engagements, promotions — oh my! From coast to coast and over overseas, it’s been a busy year as we in the class of 2003 start wrapping up our 20s. Elizabeth Smith Lattanzio gave birth to her second daughter, Victoria Adriana Lattanzio, on Nov. 6. Emily Luger is honored to be both girls’ godmother. Much has changed for Emily as well. Not only does she have a new job as Team Detroit’s program architect of the content studio, but, over Easter weekend, she also got engaged to Ed Siegel. They live with their German shepherd, Sasha, in Detroit. I’m excusing Rebekah Brenner Mark’s late response only because she and her husband Ben Mark were off on their honeymoon. The two are living in Durham and have been enjoying the past eight months of married life, which, apparently, also means running marathons — literally: Ben ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon on Feb. 15, and Rebekah took on the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary a month later. Allison Maxfield and her fiancé have set the date and are getting ready

to tie the knot in early August. She is finishing her fifth year of teaching Spanish in New York City’s public school system, where she also serves as a faculty advisor of the physics club. Meanwhile in San Francisco, George “Kirk” Kirkland recently popped the question as well. He met his girlfriend-turned-fiancée while working at Morgan Stanley in New York. Last November, they moved across the country, where Kirk founded Raise ( — check it out), an online resource supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, through which high school students can earn micro-scholarships for their everyday achievements. Closer to home, Mary Chesson graduated from UNC Law last spring and is currently clerking for Judge Geer on the N.C. Court of Appeals. This summer, she will work with Patrick Cross, who, in his first year of law school at UNC, will intern with the same judge. Mary mentions that she and Lindsay Michel Moore see each other quite often, as they joined the same kickball team. “Our team is pretty bad,” Mary claims, but I don’t believe her. I remember those two on the volleyball court. Lindsay received her master’s in public health from George Washington University last August and moved back to Durham with her husband, Garver Moore, a technology consultant and founder of Orange County Advisory Group, after spending nearly seven years in Washington, D.C. She is continuing to work as a communications specialist for the global health nonprofit PATH. When they’re not at their jobs (or playing kickball), they are working on their new home, enjoying the food and music in Durham’s hip and bustling scene and spending time outdoors with their dog, Tucker. Nancy


Mountcastle Wall is celebrating her first year of marriage. She got hitched on June 11, 2013, in Jamaica with immediate family in attendance. Her husband, Dan, owns a demolition, dumpster and recycling company in Raleigh. Nancy left her law firm in January 2013 to start her own practice handling real estate affairs. “I absolutely love being my own boss!” she enthuses. The pair recently bought a house in North Raleigh, where they live with their goldendoodle. Will Halman, on the other hand, is on my side being all “Team Cat.” He lives with his life partner/ girlfriend (and cat) in Carrboro, helping run the captioning and prompting company he’s worked for since the end of college. Just a state away in Nashville, Mykas Degesys graduated from Vanderbilt University’s business school. After running a music/tech start-up for a year, he moved on to his current role as a management consultant for c3/ consulting. Mykas got married on May 24, and honeymooned in St. Lucia. Emily Wellman Willner graduated from UNC School of Medicine in May and is spending the next four years in Boston for her ob/gyn residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. On a similar track but closer to his hometown, Ben Harris received his degree from UNC last December and is starting his residency at Duke in June. Moving up to the Windy City, Monika Lind lives in Evanston, less than a mile south of Northwestern’s campus, where she is working toward a degree in preclinical psychology at the School of Continuing Studies. Afterward, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. and then give me all the free therapy I need. Monika admits that she is somewhat homesick for Los Angeles, where she spent the past 10 years





working in the film industry as well as tutoring and coaching on the side. Still, she likes Chicago, and her boyfriend will be up there soon. She, too, has a cat, so we can all agree that cats are the best. A rather expensive flight away, Kyle Black is posted in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, following graduate school. His fouryear rotational program with GlaxoSmithKline had him in Philadelphia for a while looking at diabetes and respiratory medicines. In his new digs, he’s spending the year helping to get the subsidiary up and running. “It’s been a wild ride so far,” he says. Indeed, Kyle. I’m back in Brooklyn after wasting a few months in Queens. A month ago, I got to represent the class of 2003 and kick it with the likes of Alice Rha ’05 and Win Chesson ’02 at a Durham Academy alumni happy hour on the Upper East Side. When I’m not thinking about how many more cats I should get, I’m writing — and actually getting paid for it. I work at Euromoney Institutional Investor as a part of the company’s legal media group. I also freelance at a few advertising agencies that should just give me a fulltime copywriting job already. Outside of the office, I’m fretting over this children’s book I’m trying to get off the ground and toying with various essays and short stories. I love this time of year — and not just because the polar vortex has finally gone back to hell. It’s always wonderful to hear how well my old classmates are and find out about all the interesting things they’ve been doing since we parted ways with DA more than 10 years ago. Here’s to another one, folks, and our continued successes. As Mrs. Kanoy would say, “It’s been real.” 58

Class of 2004

Stephen Barlow Brittany Bussian Birch married Tyler Birch on Nov. 16 at Duke Chapel. In July, Brittany and Tyler will move from Los Angeles back to Durham, where Tyler will attend business school at Duke. Madeleine Pulman Smithwick married Brett Smithwick on April 5. They honeymooned in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. She reports, “We bareboated on a 41-foot monohull yacht. With Brett at the helm, and me as his first mate, we went wherever the wind would take us! Our dream is to one day own our own beautiful sailboat!” Madeleine manages all advertising and marketing for the Southeast Region of Nissan North America. She lives in Atlanta with Brett, her two new stepchildren Saige, 10, and Mason, 6, and their golden retriever Rory. Jenn Tanaka is enjoying a pleasantly boring life in New York City. In 2012, she married her husband Andrew, just after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School. She has been working as a corporate attorney in New York City ever since. She and her husband recently adopted a French bulldog puppy, and they are happy to report he is serving quite nicely as a practice child. Emerich Gutter and his wife, Cate, welcomed their son, Mark Timmins Gutter, on July 7, 2013. Emerich reports, “Mark’s nine months old now, starting to crawl and is starting to babble and make noises. We couldn’t be happier.” Emerich continues to work in the mergers and acquisitions law department of DLA Piper in Chicago. Elizabeth Pea Wanee welcomed her daughter, Katherine Olivia (Kate), on Aug. 21. Kate weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and was 21 inches at


04 Class of 2004 Reunion

DA Fall Alumni Weekend

Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 birth. Kate has joined Spread the word. joins her big the law firm Register at brother, Joshua, of Maxwell, who was born Freeman & in 2009. This Bowman, P.A. spring, Stephen Barlow will in Durham. Prior to joining her speak at a conference in Sweden new firm, Caroline worked as about Kanye Zone, a stupid, an insurance defense attorney in inexplicably popular browser Raleigh. She is currently living game he made with friends from in Durham, and in her free time college. He works for Square in she enjoys riding her horses and San Francisco and auditions for training for competitions. voice-over gigs on the side. He most recently booked gigs for Burt’s Bees, T-Mobile and Cisco. Leslie Derian is studying toward Andrew Weinhold her Ph.D. in clinical health psychology at East Carolina University. Ken Greenleaf is “Time hasn’t just flown, it’s hit working on a television pilot in warp speed!” The wisdom of New York City, after having our class valedictorian strikes worked on Law & Order: once again, as Bethany Walters Special Victims Unit, Boardwalk reports that she is proud to be Empire, The Americans, and graduating from vet school at This Is Where I Leave You. N.C. State. Durham Academy Kathryn Howlett received her will remain well-represented MBA from UNC this spring, at the school’s College of making her an official Double Veterinary Medicine with fellow Tar Heel™. After graduation, alumnae Bailey Brame and she will join her family’s real Cathy Johnson set to graduate estate development business in with their DVM degrees in the Triangle. Her younger sister, 2017 and 2018, respectively. Christen, graduated this spring Completing the DA Class of as a lifer from Durham Academy. 2005 circle, Suzanne DiNello is Christen will attend Vanderbilt graduating from the University of in the fall. Krishinda Lee Pennsylvania’s veterinary school graduated from Duke University this year. Maybe it is thanks to this spring with a Ph.D. in Mrs. Whiting, or maybe it is physical therapy. She plans to stay from the years spent on DA’s in the Triangle area to remain outdoor campuses, but you can involved as an assistant coach with probably begin to see a trend the Bouncing Bulldogs Rope here. Starting in June, Bethany Skipping Demonstration Team. will be doing a one-year small After obtaining his J.D. from the animal rotating internship at Red University of South Carolina Bank Veterinary Hospital, a large School of Law in May 2013, Dan private practice in Tinton Falls, Porter passed both the North NJ. She plans to follow that with Carolina and South Carolina a second one-year internship bar exams, and plans to work in exotic/zoo medicine, and in a capacity that allows him to maybe then pursue a three-year practice law in both states. Prior residency in a specialty to be to attending law school, Dan decided. Of course, her ultimate graduated from N.C. State with plan is to come back to the degrees in biological engineering Triangle: “Somehow I just can’t and English. Caroline Paul stay away for long!” Speaking of

Class of 2005


warp speed, several classmates are just entering new and exciting chapters of their lives. In March, Anne Stevens Cable and her husband, Andy, welcomed a son, Prescott Andrew Cable. The new family of three lives in Raleigh. David Hutchings is very excited for his wedding in June, which was conveniently scheduled so that he won’t be busy coaching his two girls’ cross country teams to Virginia state championships (they won their second and third consecutive titles in the fall). Jake Stein was recently engaged to Sayaka, whom he met in college. When not dealing with rings and surprise proposals, he has been completing a master’s of public health in the midst of medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill. His fourth and final year there will begin over the summer, after which he hopes to pursue a career in internal medicine. It’s also clear that many alumni have carried on their love of learning through teaching and higher education. MK Pope continues to teach seventh-grade writing at a charter school in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, while living in the East Village in Manhattan (but soon to move to Brooklyn). On the opposite coast, Owen Williams is living in Pullman, Wash., with Gracen Smith. Owen is on the faculty, after getting his advanced degree, at Washington State University. He teaches English and humanities courses there, while also running the graduate and professional writing center. His biggest accomplishments so far (in no particular order) include winning the Instructor of the Year Award, only having a few students each semester think his name is ‘Owen Wilson,’ and being referred to on as “a fun professor who uses profanity a lot in courses.” Rich Preyer is experiencing the best of both

worlds, as he has been teaching environmental education at the North Carolina Arboretum this spring and summer, and will be attending Antioch University this fall to attain a master’s in environmental studies. He was lucky enough to be a DA Senior Challenge trip leader this past fall and wishes the Class of 2014 all the best as they “spread their Cavalier wings and jump from that mighty nest that is Durham Academy.” Adding another advanced degree to the collective résumé of our class, Adrienne Swanstrom hopes to graduate in the fall with a Ph.D. in microbiology. She is not sure yet where she will do her postdoctoral fellowship, but she is looking forward to moving to a new city — even though she has really loved living in Philadelphia. Her good friend Dana Smith recently completed her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Cambridge and is now living in San Francisco, where she works in science communication and does popular science writing. Katherine Brazer reports that she has decided to start work toward a business degree at Duke’s Fuqua School this upcoming fall. Even those of us who are done (for now) earning degrees can’t get enough of education. After five years working in the health care consulting and implementation world, Ashley Elstro has made a very recent switch to a higher education company called 2U that just went public last month. Ashley is still enjoying living Washington, D.C., and all of what the area has to offer (which, at the moment, happens to be the Wizards doing surprisingly well in the NBA). As time flies by, join me in wishing all the best to the Class of 2005 as they enjoy new cities, families, degrees, jobs and whatever else the next year might bring.

Class of 2006

Imani Hamilton Between the “Ice, Ice Baby” video that reached all corners of my networks, sightings of other DURM t-shirts on the streets of San Francisco, and another flutter of articles citing Durham as the darling metropolis of the South for all of its endearing foodie/ livable/authentic qualities, it’s been an especially fun year to be of the illustrious Durham and Durham Academy. My heart actually does fill with pride, every time. For all of you who I’ve connected with, the number who have returned to the Triangle or are planning to eventually, are only greater evidence that we “millennial” alumni, with all of the options of locale, still really treasure our hometown and our connections to it. Of course, not all of us are quite there yet. I’m still really enjoying exploring the west and seeing those of you who make it out to visit — LaQuesa Gaillard, Nick Gallo, Cassie Mill, and Rachel Pea included in the past year — and those who I get to see here regularly, including Jordan Schiff and Tarun Wadhwa. I saw Rachel here last spring, and she will finish her master’s degree in international history this summer at the London School of Economics, then move back to New York to teach 10th grade world history at Democracy Prep Harlem High School (a charter in New York). She’s super excited to get back to the classroom after a two-year hiatus, and even more excited to be teaching history this time! Nico Bollerslev is in New York, working on the data sciences team at a programmatic advertising trading desk (Accuen, a part of Omnicom) — researching and optimizing digital media campaigns. She’s


looking forward to taking three weeks off at the end of May/ early June to go to Copenhagen, London and Paris. Also in New York, Heather Hoffman will graduate from NYUCD in May with a D.D.S. degree, after which she’ll begin a two-year pediatric residency program at NYU. She got engaged in January and will have her wedding ceremony in N.C. in Aug. 2014! Logan Roberts wrote, “I recently left my job as a graphic designer for record labels in NYC to start my own company, InkMule. com, which designs and prints apparel and other items for clients ranging from college students to clothing lines in Urban Outfitters and more. I then left NYC to spend one more summer as a whitewater raft guide outside of Asheville before moving to New Orleans with my girlfriend, who is enrolled in the creative writing master’s program at UNO. I’m loving New Orleans and even made it into the exclusive allmale Mardi Gras Dance Crew, the 610 Stompers (YouTube it). I’m looking forward to staying in New Orleans for at least a few years, so hit me up if anyone’s on their way down here!” Christine Sailer will be staying at Johns Hopkins for a three-year internal medicine residency. After that, she will apply and interview again for fellowship, and although at this point she’s thinking cardiology, she still has a couple of years to decide. Sean Taylor graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School last May and is now in the middle of a judicial clerkship in Minneapolis. This past year, Drew Littlewood moved from Washington, D.C., to Raleigh to take a financial analyst job at Merrill Lynch. Drew Sutton will be leaving his current job at the end of the month to return to business school this fall at






Thriving in the Big Apple


ince graduating from the

McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia in 2011, Michelle has been working

Sutton at Bloomberg, LP’s New York City headquarters in their financial software division. Bloomberg’s core product is known as the

“Bloomberg terminal,” a software used by more than 300,000

financial professionals globally to monitor the equity, fixed income, foreign exchange and commodity markets, perform portfolio analysis, execute trades and connect with key contacts.

Since joining Bloomberg, Michelle has attained specializations

in municipal bond and mortgage backed security analysis and she has completed extensive training on portfolio risk analysis. She

managed Bloomberg’s core business in south Florida for a year,

covering fixed income-focused broker dealers, and most recently was asked to manage Bloomberg’s business in Bermuda. She services all current Bloomberg terminal accounts on the island and also prospects for new business, selling the software to insurance and reinsurance companies, hedge funds and investment advisors. She typically travels to Bermuda two to three times a month to provide training to current clients and to meet with prospects, and has had a lot of success increasing Bloomberg’s footprint on the island, which is known as the reinsurance capital of the world. She is interested in pursuing a career in marketing and is looking to take the leap from sales to brand management, which is why she will be she going back to business school this fall at the McCombs School of Business at University of Texas in Austin. Certainly the network she has developed in the financial services world will serve her well going forward, but she hopes to gain the leadership skills and marketing expertise required to become a brand manager at a global consumer products company. She is very excited for this new chapter and will be spending the early part of her summer in N.C. and NYC before moving to Texas. 60


the University of Chicago, and until then spending the summer in Chapel Hill. Nick Gallo is still enjoying traveling all over with the Thunder as the team’s basketball writer and on-camera web reporter. “Last fall, I had the chance to go to Istanbul and Manchester with the team, which was one of the big highlights of the year!” Cameron Oddone is currently finishing up her second year in the school psychology doctoral program at the University of Georgia. For her thesis project, she has been conducting research with elementary school students to investigate differences in reading behaviors for English language learners and native English speakers. “I have also enjoyed conducting psychoeducational evaluations for child clients in our school psychology clinic on campus this past year. Next year I am looking forward to my first external practicum experience at the Atlanta Speech School.” In Durham, Eliza Sholtz is working at Veritas Collaborative (a behavioral health hospital that specializes in the treatment of eating disorders) as a psychotherapist. She recently got a puppy (Miss Lucy Sholtz), and is looking forward to being in a couple of weddings this summer. Caroline Stubbs is graduating with a doctor of dental surgery degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and will be working as a dentist in the Triangle area. Kyle Sloate started Duke’s physician assistant program in August 2013, will finish didactic year at the end of June and will start rotations in July. Her first two rotations are surgery (transplant and plastics) so she’s expecting to be especially busy for those two months. She graduates in August 2015 and then hopes to practice in Durham. Matt Wyzenski recently moved to Swansboro,

N.C., after the company he works for (Armstrong Marine Inc.) bought a 200,000-square-foot facility to expand their production capabilities to the East Coast. He is “happily working out here just a few minutes from the beach. Prior to that I became the company’s lead concept designer, and early this year we finished production on one of my favorite designs, the ‘Storm.’ It’s a 15-meter fast patrol/troop insertion craft with a top speed of 48 knots and the ability to stop in less than three boat lengths — lots of fun to play with. Since moving here my life has been pretty interesting. I’m doing all sorts of work that would normally be designated elsewhere because we have so few employees here at this point. I’m meeting with and selecting equipment and suppliers, purchasing and installing fabrication tools, taking clients to lunch using our boats, etc. I’ve been pretty wrapped up in my job lately, but I’m hoping to get some time off and take a vacation to Argentina.” Meredith Hall is finishing up her second year of teaching in the TEACH Charlotte program. This year she was made the team leader of the electives team and also was chosen as one of three teachers who are members of the school leadership team. She also added certifications in ESL (English as a Second Language) and EC (Exceptional Children, formerly Special Education). “This summer I am hoping to teach summer school in CMS while I help Rachel (Hall ’10) get ready for ‘real life.’ She graduates this week from Lenoir-Rhyne University and will move to Charlotte to teach elementary school. This year we enjoyed watching her play lacrosse where she earned AllConference Honorable Mention, was selected to the SAC AllTournament team and was named team defender of the year. I also


accomplished one of my life goals this year by finishing my first halfmarathon. In February I ran the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in Florida, and it was amazing; I’ve signed up to run another one at Disneyland in November.” That’s it for the class of 2006 this year. I look forward to seeing more of you this year, here and in North Carolina! As always, email me your updates and email address changes.

Class of 2007

Brooke Hartley The class of 2007 has had a whirlwind year filled with job changes, travel, graduate school degrees and engagements. I like to brag that my fellow DA alumni have really grown into amazingly accomplished adults. Jamie Gutter finished up his two-year commitment with Teach for America in Nashville and decided to stay for a third year teaching fourth grade. Next year, he’ll be moving to a new charter school in the area to teach fifth grade and hopes to eventually open his own school. Down in Texas, Anne Hart also finished up her two years with Teach for America in Houston and now works for a Houston digital marketing agency called TopSpot. Another Texas resident, Becki Feinglos works for Teach for America as a manager for teacher leadership and development. She coaches 24 first-year teachers, teaching pre-k through sixth grade, and mentors them in leadership and their content areas. She’s getting married on July 4, 2015, to Sean Planchard, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Another almost newlywed, Alex Hearsey was recently engaged to Andrew Barker. Julianne Hoell has moved back to Chapel Hill after

working for a nonprofit in the Bahamas. She also wrote for the Fodor’s Travel Guide to the Bahamas, which came out in December. Now that she’s back in the Triangle, she’s started her own digital advertising company called jujube. Eleanor Wertman will also return to Chapel Hill after working for the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health with a focus on health behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health. Across the ocean, Chloe Rousseau lives in London and will be getting married July 18 in Barcelona to Alejandro Pinero. Following the wedding, she’ll attend medical school in the fall. Back in the U.S., Sarah Ransohoff graduated from the Flatiron School Fellowship Program. In June, she’ll start as a software engineer intern at Venmo, after traveling to Israel for a birthright trip. Edward Ohman just returned from several months in London as part of a work-exchange program. He’s now back in New York City as an associate with LEK Consulting. New York is also home to Natalie Sutton, who will be attending Columbia in the fall to pursue a dual M.P.H./M.B.A. with an interest in healthcare management. Michelle Sutton is getting her M.B.A. at the University of Texas-Austin and hopes to focus on brand management. In D.C., Christine Hardman is working on the Hill as a communications director in a Georgia office and traveling to Georgia to work on her boss’s U.S. Senate campaign. She lives with Stephani Tindall, who has been working on Capitol Hill for a while, most recently as the executive assistant to a senator. She just began working at a tech start-up,


A B OV E : Congratulations to Yates Sikes ’08 and Maria Lazzara, who were married June 15, 2013, in Chicago, Ill.

WeddingWire, Inc., and is in the process of relocating to Charlotte. Tricia Chesson moved to Yangon, Myanmar, from Mae Sot, Thailand, to work for a Thabyay Education Foundation. She teaches social sciences and mentors for the organization’s education center that provides a one-year intensive scholarship program for underprivileged Myanmar students who want to study abroad or do social work in their communities. She says, “I’ve learned as much from my students as they’ve learned from me (if not more) and I’ve loved learning about the diversity and complexities of Myanmar through travel and local interactions.” In a slightly less exotic locale, I, Brooke Hartley recently moved from New York City to Chicago. I’m going on my third year working for Last fall, I had the opportunity to travel through Northern India and had an encounter with a wild tiger. That’s a wrap from the Class of 2007!

Class of 2008

Samantha Leder The Class of 2008 celebrated our five-year reunion this past fall, and it was wonderful to have so many attend such a great weekend! We’re all busy starting new jobs, celebrating milestones and delving into new educational adventures. Cheers to another five wonderful years before we meet again! Jenny Denton Bodnar and her husband, Nick, are back in Durham after a few months in East Africa. Jenny is loving life as a refugee case manager at World Relief Durham, and Nick is working with a start-up, Youth Digital. They enjoy exploring Durham and the surrounding areas, hanging out with great friends and many crazy house projects. Ashley Brasier lives in Washington, D.C., and is going on two-plus years at Bain & Company, where she is currently in the private equity CONTINUED ON PAGE 65





Regional 2014 S P R I N G

REGIONAL EVENTS Boston, Charlotte, New York and Washington, D.C.

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





Photos by Tim McKenna


DA Alumni Party at Alivia’s Bistro

Wednesday, Nov. 26 • 8:30 p.m. Cash Bar for 21 and over • Complimentary Appetizers Kick off the Thanksgiving weekend with your DA classmates and enjoy drinks, food and fun! A L I V I A ’ S

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W . M A I N


D U R H A M ,

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9 1 9 - 6 8 2 - 8 9 7 8



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: • The Fowler brothers knew they needed the right vehicle to drive to Brazil for the World Cup. They settled on a 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser they found online in Missouri, and customized it with a sleeping platform in the back, special tires and more. • Grant and David Fowler manage to get in some boat time in Baja California. • When it comes to car care, the guys have matters in hand. • David snapped a “selfie” at his graduation from Tufts University, then dashed off to Texas where he met Grant and hit the road for Brazil.



2 Brothers, 1 Car, 10,000 Miles, One Goal: FIFA World Cup 2014


urham Academy brothers Grant Fowler ’08 and David Fowler ’10 are taking their love of the World Cup on the ultimate road trip — driving overland 10,000-plus miles to Brazil. Why? Why not? Spontaneous adventure has become a Fowler family trademark of sorts — with travel habits that have taken the Durham clan from far-flung trips across the U.S. to absorb random Americana to Germany, South Africa and southern France. In the spirit of a tradition that began with their father, Tom Fowler ’73, who passed away in 2004, Grant and David continue to seek out life experiences that take them off the beaten path. Inspired by a book their mother gave them about traversing the Pan-American Highway by motorcycle, the two avid soccer fans came up with an idea they call “equal parts fantastic and ridiculous” to tackle their biggest adventure yet. Drive from Durham, cross two continents and travel the Pan-American Highway to attend the World Cup in Brazil. “Despite our various travels, we have yet to take on something of this size, something that will push us outside of our comfort zone,” the brothers wrote on their blog. “This is a trip that will provide us with a huge 64


challenge, as well as an incredibly rewarding experience. The dream of the ultimate adventure, aided by a lifelong passion for soccer has set us on this path, determined to see it through to the end. Whether you’re a travel veteran, or have barely stepped off of your front porch, we hope that we can inspire others to understand our dream and get out there and make their own adventure.” Equipped with a trusty 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser they found online, a limited Portuguese vocabulary and “swashbuckling good looks,” they hit the road on May 18. Grant set out solo because David had one pit stop to make — graduating from Tufts University — before he joined Grant in Laredo, Texas! You can follow the Fowler brothers’ journey to the greatest tournament on earth. Read blog posts on their website, www.brazildrive. com or follow them on Facebook ( or on Twitter (@brazildrive) for trip details, photos and videos, soccer news and everything in between! The 2014 FIFA World Cup runs from June 12 to July 13.


practice. In her free time she enjoys volunteering at the National Building Museum. Lauren Bronec is celebrating two years with Accenture in June and enjoying a recent promotion to senior strategy analyst. While she still calls D.C. home, her work takes her on the road every week, so she is enjoying exploring the U.S. (12 states in 2013!). She recently spent two weeks traveling in Colombia and looks forward to upcoming international travel to Vancouver, Peru and Chile. Her favorite memories from this year were learning to paraglide in Wyoming and getting her scuba certification in Colombia. Michael Conners graduated summa cum laude from Duke and then spent a little over a year working as a commodities trader at a hedge fund in southern Connecticut. He started law school this past fall, and this summer he will work at the N.C. Attorney General’s office for half the summer and at a federal district court judge’s office in Charlotte for the remaining half. He is hoping to move to Charlotte or stay in Chicago after law school and work in securities, investment and banking law. Anna Cooperberg finished Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism with a master’s of science in magazine journalism in May 2013. She works as an online editorial producer at Vogue. Alexander Daly spent most of this year in NYC, where he has continued to pursue his career as an actor. He has debuted a new play at a theatre festival in downtown, produced and starred in a reading of a musical and in June will be making his off-Broadway debut in a brand new musical comedy about the zombie apocalypse. Thomas Davidson has been

working for Morgan Stanley in their private wealth management business since March 2013. He lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is disturbingly hipster. He survived the worst winter of his life (and fingers crossed it’s finally over). Alexandra Davidson-Palmer will be finishing her master’s in applied developmental psychology at George Mason in May. Catherine Donatucci is living in Arlington and working nearby at a government contractor. She enjoys living near D.C. and exploring Georgetown on the weekends. She just ran the Nike Half Marathon in D.C. and hopes to do it again next year. Emma Edwards graduated in May 2012 from UNC with a degree in mathematics. Since graduation she has lived in Edinburg, Scotland, and Melbourne, Australia, doing research on renewable energy technologies and fitting in as much travel as possible. She has officially committed to MIT for a master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering starting in September, where she will focus on wave energy. She has completed a triathlon, explored the Scottish Highlands, run up the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and learned to surf. Ben Hattem spent nine months living in Chicago, tending bar, contemplating improv comedy and learning the finer points of underemployment. He moved to the West Bank in September 2013 to kick off a career in journalism and since then he has been freelancing from Ramallah. John Lindsey recently had the opportunity to meet with Gov. Haley of South Carolina for the signing of a bill to improve selfstorage laws that he helped to get passed. He was the chairman of the first annual Caring House

Golf Tournament, which was hosted at Governor’s Club and raised over $27,000. He is also the VP of the South Carolina Self Storage Association and the DA Alumni Board. He is living with Zac Allison and will be moving to Raleigh this summer. Paola Lopomo is finishing up her first year of medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill. This summer, she will be doing ENT research with a pediatric oncologist. Rebecca Freeman Neustein and her husband will celebrate their first wedding anniversary in June. They were married in Durham, honeymooned in Spain and spent their first year of marriage in Atlanta finishing up their second year of medical school at Emory University. They are looking forward to the rest of their rotations and hope to return to North Carolina for residency in a few years. Kate Neyland is graduating from the School of Art Institute of Chicago this spring after studying sculpture and video for two years. She has been working as an archivist for the school to preserve film and video work and hopes to continue working in film preservation. Leslie Ogden is finishing up her second year living and working in Washington, D.C. She serves as the senior government relations associate for Urban Swirski and Associates, a government relations firm that specializes in financial services and tax policy and politics. Nicole Pappas is currently living in D.C. and teaching first grade in Great Falls, Va. She is loving first grade, her school and living in D.C.! Emilia Sotolongo is halfway through her master’s in education program as East Carolina University. She also works as a graduate assistant


and graduate research assistant. This summer she is preparing to design and implement a research study on community literacy among English learners that she will carry out next year as her graduate research project. She was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society for education, and will serve on the executive council for ECU’s chapter. Eric Steinberger lives in San Francisco with Ryan O’Connor and celebrated his two-year anniversary with Franklin Templeton Investments in March. He is a business analyst for all of the investment teams worldwide. He recently traveled to Las Vegas with Sam Berchuck, Josh Pathman and Chris Koller. Brennan Vail completed her master’s in public health at the University of Cambridge last year and is currently a medical student at the University of CaliforniaSan Francisco. She is enjoying the West Coast and looking forward to spending the summer doing global health research and program implementation in Kenya. Liz Willet has been in Seattle, Wash., since August 2012 as the assistant stage manager for Pacific Northwest Ballet. She will be in Colorado this summer at the Vail International Dance Festival as their ASM-2. Lastly, I (Samantha Leder) am happily back in Chapel Hill after spending a year working for a law firm in uptown Charlotte. This fall I will begin my master’s in social work at UNC-Chapel Hill and am thrilled to be a Tar Heel once more. I am actively involved volunteering with the Junior League, serve as the Board Chair of Alpha Chi Omega’s National Young Alumnae Board, and love being back in the area close to friends and family.





Class of 2009 LEFT: Zander Moss was recognized for research, leadership and “helping others understand concepts.”


MIT honors Zander Moss ’13 with Freshman Distinguished Research Award

Moss I

n a short nine months as an MIT freshman, Durham Academy alumnus Zander Moss ’13 has made quite an impression. In recognition of his physics research, Moss was honored with the university’s Freshman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Academics and Research on May 14. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Freshman Awards are presented to students “who have accomplished something remarkable” in one of seven categories, ranging from service to performing arts. Qualifications for the Distinguished Achievement in Academics and Research award include having participated in a high level of research and having served as a leader, “helping others understand concepts.” MIT physics professor Janet Conrad nominated Moss, valedictorian of DA’s Class of 2013, for the award. “He is doing outstanding research in my laboratory,” she said, explaining that her group studies neutrino physics. The neutrino is the lightest known matter particle. Moss has worked with her group on the development of a novel detector technology since he arrived on MIT’s campus in fall 2013. Moss gave a talk on his research at the American Physics Society meeting in Savannah, Ga., in April. “Zander’s work has been absolutely outstanding,” Conrad said. “We will be wrapping this up into a paper this summer. He deserves this recognition.” In addition to Moss’s work at MIT, he has been engaged in research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, where he will work this summer. 66


Collin Burks Worth Newman Hello from the Class of 2009! Another year has come around, and our class has continued to work, study and enjoy themselves around the United States and the world. In Atlanta, Alexis Noel is currently in the Ph.D. program for mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, studying bioinspired design. She spends her free time building things, such as an acoustic guitar and a motorized bicycle. The past year, Natalie Gallo has been working, living and coaching at St. Margaret’s School, an all-girls boarding school in Virginia. In the fall 2014, she will attend the University of Oklahoma to earn a master’s in community counseling to become a Licensed Professional Counselor. Michael Eggleston earned his B.S. in physics from the Rochester Institute of Technology last May. Currently, he is conducting research in quantum information at Duke, and will be pursuing a physics Ph.D. at the University of Delaware this fall. Around the Triangle, Kyle Mumma is finishing up his first year as a full time employee of the Duke basketball program after four years as a manager during undergrad. After graduating from Carolina last May, Sarah Sessoms immediately left to work for IMG College at their headquarters in Winston-Salem. However, when fall rolled around, the Carolina Hurricanes offered her a job with the team and she headed back to Raleigh. She is now the community relations coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club (her dream job) and

stays very busy managing player appearances and other community initiatives. She is looking forward to working more with the team and can’t wait for the season to start back in October! Madeline Miller is graduating from UNC-CH this year after transferring there from Reed College in Portland. Her degree is equally suited to American and documentary studies, and she will be moving to Durham in August, where she will pursue vocations in documentary, radio, writing, community organizing and whatever it takes to pay the bills. She is also welcoming a new addition to her family, a baby niece in September, to be born to alumni Elliot Brady ’01. Hillary Rosen has spent the last year working at the Durham Performing Arts Center as a ticketing supervisor. In June, she will be saying goodbye to Durham and moving to Orlando to be an entertainment technician at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Noah Katz graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill last May and spent a summer in Washington, working at the White House as a graphic designer. He is now working for a small 3D printing company based in California, although he remains in Chapel Hill. After building his own 3D printer and learning about hardware prototyping, he decided to make a career out of it. He still enjoys making and eating sushi. Also in Chapel Hill, Adrianne Soo is finishing up her first year of medical school at UNC and loving it. She is currently hoping to go into orthopedic surgery. She is also coming off of her seventh knee surgery and is hoping to be healed in time to play club ultimate this summer. Collin Burks will join

09 Class of 2009 Reunion

DA Fall Alumni Weekend

Sept. 26 & 27, 2014 Adrianne at the is also working Spread the word. UNC School part-time as a Register at of Medicine senior associate in the fall at a boutique after spending human capital a year coaching soccer in consulting firm. This summer Nicaragua. After spending last he plans to continue working summer in Ireland, Claire there, help keep the Vicious and Burridge has been living Delicious club team undefeated in Freiburg, Germany, and in his citywide kickball league, studying German. Looking take one or two summer classes ahead, she’ll be relocating to and enjoy being in New York England in September to begin City! Worth Newman, after grad school at Cambridge graduating from the University — a dream come true. of Pennsylvania in May 2013, After finishing his thesis and traveled throughout Southeast graduating Cornell this year, Asia before joining Credit Andrew Herington hopes Suisse in New York as an to move to New York City investment banking analyst in the summer. Currently in focusing on Latin America. New York, Paul Niklason Worth recently accepted a job is working at a hedge fund, offer to join Lightyear Capital, which recently (and much to his a New York-based private dismay) moved to Greenwich. equity fund, and will join them Luckily, his parents live in upon the completion of his Greenwich as well, so he has analyst program in July 2015. begun staying at his parents’ Down to Washington, D.C., house during the week to Kevin Ji has spent the past year avoid long commutes. He is teaching high school math and truly enjoying living in the is looking forward to teaching city and getting exposure to statistics and algebra II in the new people, ideas and food! upcoming year. His side projects He is also pleased that so many include a mobile barbershop, DA alums are in the city, and breakdancing classes, courting he and remains close with his inner artist and adulthood. these old friends. Also in New Since graduating from UNCYork, Carmen Augustine Chapel Hill last May, Deniz is enjoying her job, long runs Aydemir has been residing in in Central Park and trying Austin, Texas. Gargi Bansal is new restaurants. She hopes working for Oracle in the San someday soon she will graduate Francisco Bay area. Outside of to the ranks of a True New work, she dances for Bhangra Yorker. After graduating Empire and loves exploring from Dartmouth College, everything the city has to offer! Kate Taylor moved from Davíd Lopez-Lengowski is the middle-of-nowhere-New also in the Bay area and works for Hampshire to New York City. Neurotrack, a biotech startup She writes about franchising that has developed a test that can and weird fast food trends predict whether or not someone for Chris will develop Alzheimer’s disease Pearman is also in NYC, in the next three years. Outside finishing up his first year at of work, his pursuits are varied, Columbia University, where he including a rigorous fitness is pursuing a master’s degree in routine and working on a play to organizational psychology. He be performed in Dolores Park. 


Class of 2012 Katherine Hodges

Annemarie Thomas is at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., a mechanical engineering major in the class of 2017. She’ll graduate with a B.E. and a master’s degree. She is on dean’s list and president’s list (varsity athletes with 3.75 GPA or higher). Last semester, she helped lead the varsity volleyball team (27-7) to the best start in program history (13-0), worked at the writing and communications center as a peer consultant, and actively participated as a member of both the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. This semester she has been employed full time by a construction management firm as an assistant project engineer (on site and in the office). Her team’s project is a 34-story dormitory for PACE University in Lower Manhattan. She has also been hired by the math department to assist teaching assistants with work outside of the classroom. Maddy Mumma attends Duke, where she is majoring in psychology and global health. Maddy is on the dean’s list with distinction for her sophomore year, and she’s also a men’s basketball student manager. This summer Maddy is going to be backpacking and doing community service in the Himalayas for six weeks. Ishani Purohit is a rising junior at Duke University, studying public policy and visual and media studies, particularly film and photography. She is currently the director of video production for FORM, Duke’s official fashion and lifestyle publication. This summer she will travel to Medellín, Colombia, to document the lives of men, women and youth who have been displaced from their homes in the countryside. She plans to


study art history and visual studies in Barcelona, Spain, for the fall semester. Christopher Crawford attends Princeton University where he is majoring in computer science. He is on the varsity track and field team. This coming summer, he will intern at Google. Alex Young is a sophomore at Harvard, studying social studies with a focus on international institutions. Outside of class, he is involved in Model UN, the Harvard International Review, a mentoring program, the photography club and the Harvard College in Asia Program. This summer, he will intern for the cabinet of the president of the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb. Jordan Baker is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. Since a major component of this dual-degree program involves a semester abroad at a university where your “target language” (a foreign language that you study intensively throughout college) is spoken, she has been living in Frankfurt, Germany, since January and will be staying there until August. For the first three months of the year, Jordan completed an internship in the asset management branch of the German private bank Bankhaus Metzler. She is now looking forward to a semester at the Goethe University. While at Penn, two of her biggest involvements have been working with Consult for America, a national nonprofit started at Penn that provides free consulting services to small business owners and entrepreneurs, and working as a team advisor/teaching assistant for Management 100, an introductory management course required for all freshman at Penn’s Wharton School of Business. In-Young Jo is attending Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and expecting to obtain a B.S.





in electrical and computer engineering, a B.S. in economics with a finance concentration, and a minor in computer science. He is an executive board member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and is an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Duke University computer science department. He’ll be participating in a software engineering internship in the Capital Markets Sector of Quicken Loans this summer. Hannah Lewis attends Connecticut College, where she is a double major in Economics and French. This past fall she walked onto the crew team. Luke Myer attends Washington and Lee University, where he is a business administration major and plays varsity baseball. Lindsay Soo attends Wake Forest University, where she is the captain of the club ultimate Frisbee team. This year her team won the DIII region and will be going to DIII nationals in Ohio. She is majoring in Spanish, minoring in chemistry and biology and is pre-med. Lydia Nicholson attends Colby College in Maine. She is double majoring in American studies and women’s gender and sexuality studies. She is the chair of social events of the student programming board for her third semester and next spring she will do publicity. She is also on the Colby Multi-Faith Council and is the liaison for the Hillel board. Next fall she will study comparative women’s studies in Europe. This summer, she will be going to Israel. Annie Giarla attends Rhodes College in Memphis and is planning on majoring in environmental science with a minor in education and psychology. She adopted a 5-yearold, off the track thoroughbred, whom she enjoys training and riding. She works part time at the barn helping with the special needs program and teaching beginner riders. This summer 68

she will return to Durham where she will be working as the assistant program director at Camp Riverlea. Kameron Kooshesh, a sophomore at Harvard, is pursuing a degree in stem cell and regenerative biology with a secondary in international relations. He started working in a stem cell lab at Harvard Medical School freshman year, studying novel ways to force differentiate stem cells into motor neurons and insulin-producing pancreatic cells. He was able to continue his research through last summer as a fellow in the Harvard Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) and presented his work at the National Collegiate Research Conference earlier this semester. This summer, Kameron will have another opportunity to continue his ongoing research in the same lab after being awarded an internship in the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, along with 34 others from around the world. Outside of his classes, he has continued his interest in a cappella (that all started in XIV Hours at DA!) by joining the Harvard LowKeys contemporary co-ed group. The LowKeys have toured places like Montreal, Miami and New York, and they are about to release a new CD! Katherine Hodges attends Washington and Lee University where she is double majoring in politics and economics. She is the political chair for the 26th Mock Convention. The convention is the most accurate of its kind; it boasts a record of correctly predicting all but two nominees for the party out of office since 1948. Katherine studied in the Mediterranean the summer before her sophomore year. Currently, Katherine is an intern at The Lugar Center in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit organization established by former Sen. Richard Lugar that focuses on policy awareness.


in memoriam • BARBARA BALDWIN KINTZ ’61 died Jan. 8, 2014, in Eloy, Ariz., after a brief illness. Survivors include sisters Muff Baldwin Kim ’58 and Betty Ann Baldwin Beavers ’64, and brother, Woody Baldwin ’62. • ARCHER “ARCHIE” THOMAS WAINWRIGHT ’78 died at his home in Wilmington, N.C., on Jan. 28, 2014, after a long and courageous battle with multiple system atrophy.  Survivors include his wife, Sarah McKinney Wainwright, and their daughters, Ruthie and Hope; father, Stephen A. Wainwright; brothers, Ian Wainwright ’76 and Peter Wainwright ’75; sister, Jenny Wainwright ’82; and 14 nieces and nephews, including Holly Caudle ’15. Archie was an aquaculture biologist and for many years was an entrepreneur of a fish farm and hatchery in Brunswick County. He was an accomplished fisherman and an enthusiastic outdoorsman, who enjoyed gardening, organic food farming and ceramic sculpting. • DR. BLAINE S. NASHOLD, JR. died March 11, 2014, in Durham. He served on the Durham Academy Board of Trustees 1960-1967, including service as chair of the board. During his 40 years as a professor of neurosurgery at Duke School of Medicine he trained dozens of neurosurgeons who carried on his spirit of dedication to patient care, the pursuit of knowledge and surgical excellence. He loved sailing, which brought his family together on many memorable adventures, and he also had a passion for collecting antique cars, which he raced all over the country. Survivors include his wife, Irene Nashold; daughters, Susan Clark, Ann Nashold ’71 and Sara Shepherd; son, Jim Nashold ’71; and four grandchildren, including Jonah Binstock ’10; and a great-grandson. • DR. JOSEPH FARMER, JR. died March 19, 2014, in Durham. He served on the Durham Academy Board of Trustees 1970-1979. He was an otolaryngologist at Duke Medical Center, where he co-founded the Duke Hearing Center and the cochlear implant program, one of the first of its kind in the world. Equally important to him were his roles as husband, father and doting grandfather. Survivors include his wife, Margery; son, Tom Farmer ’81; and three granddaughters. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Joseph Farmer III ’77. • DAVID ST. PIERRE “PETE” DUBOSE, JR. ’50 died April 19, 2014, in Chapel Hill. A Duke University graduate with a degree in civil engineering, he also received a master’s in structural engineering at the University of Illinois. He was a founder of Caring House and established the Caring House Endowment Fund in Durham. He was married to his lifelong sweetheart and together they taught lifelong lessons about faith, family and friends. Survivors include his wife, Frankie DuBose; brother, John McNeely DuBose ’52; sister, Faison DuBose Boylayer ’57; daughters, Anna DuBose Doughton ’72, Valinda DuBose Coates ’79 and Nancy DuBose Greenway; sons, Peter DuBose ’75 and Charles DuBose ’76; and 12 grandchildren.

Last Day! Hurray! Fourth-graders Kennedy Yon, Chloe Bayer, Emily Green, Emma Long, Ayden Long, Julie Kim and Jillian Strebel jump for joy following Lower School closing exercises. At left is sixth-grader Alex Bayer. P H O T O




D U R H A M A C A D E M Y 3601 RIDGE ROAD DURHAM, NC 27705-5599


LEFT: Wood Morgan ’14 was happy to share graduation with grandfathers Marvin Barnes and Richard Morgan, and dad Rick Morgan. P h o t o b y MIDDLE: Hugs, both joyful and tearful, were plentiful as graduates celebrated outside Memorial Hall. P h o t o b y M e g a n M o r r RIGHT: New graduates and cousins Jackson Few and Elizabeth Pope posed for a photo with cousins Sarah Rollins ’16, Caroline Few ’10, Laurie Pope ’08, Carlton Rollins ’12 and Mary Kendrick Pope ’05. P h o t o b y E m i l y O l i v e r

Megan Morr

Congratulations, Durham Academy Class of 2014! We wish you continued success at the following colleges:

COLLEGE CHOICES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

American University Appalachian State University Boston University Bowdoin College Carleton College Case Western Reserve University Clemson University College of Charleston Colorado College Columbia University Cornell University Dartmouth College Davidson College Duke University Elon University Emory University Furman University Greensboro College

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Guilford College Hamilton College Hampden-Sydney College Harvard College Meredith College New York University North Carolina State University Northeastern University Northwestern University Oberlin College Pennsylvania State University Princeton University Purdue University Queens University of Charlotte Santa Clara University Sarah Lawrence College Southern Methodist University Spelman College

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Tufts University University of Alabama University of Colorado at Boulder University of Michigan University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Carolina at Greensboro University of North Carolina at Wilmington University of Richmond University of South Carolina University of Southern California University of Virginia Vanderbilt University Wake Forest University Washington University in St. Louis Wellesley College Williams College Yale University

The Record (Summer 2014)  

The Record is Durham Academy’s biannual magazine.