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R ECO R D • W I N T E R • 2014

A HERO OF HOPE Inspiration and laughter from Chris Rosati ’89

Milo Zanecchia




wenty-three years ago, I first stepped onto the Durham Academy campus and sensed something special in this community. Two months ago, DA alumnus Chris Rosati helped me put my finger on it. “Live. Love. Try,” said Chris, urging a rapt audience of Upper Schoolers in Kenan Auditorium to worry less (about themselves), do more (for others) and walk joyfully through every precious moment of their lives. Chris’ moments are especially precious these days, for he is dying of ALS. With abundant support from his wife, two young daughters and hundreds of friends from Durham Academy and beyond, Chris has managed to follow his own advice — fretting not about his fate but choosing instead to deliver joy (whether in the form of wise laughter, hot doughnuts or powerful inspiration) to everyone he meets. In this magazine, you can read more about Chris, his assembly remarks, his Krispy Kreme heist and the effect of his presence on our students and faculty. In this school, you can see the roots of Chris’ philosophy wherever you turn. Our mission statement compels us to prepare students for “moral, happy and productive

lives.” With missionary zeal, Chris exhorts all of us to live, love and try. Perhaps this zeal is what I sensed two decades ago: Durham Academy is an extraordinarily lively, loving, striving community. The signs of life have been everywhere this fall. Our Preschoolers lit candles as they learned about Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Our Lower Schoolers danced, drummed, hummed and sang through a gorgeous choral concert. Our Middle Schoolers pranced and paraded with their costumed teachers at Halloween. On Friday nights our Upper Schoolers (the Kirby Krazies) chant, stomp and cheer for their peers on the basketball court. Just as Chris remembers it, our campuses overflow with vibrant energy. Much of the energy at DA grows from love — a word too-seldom pronounced in this era of educational anxiety and testobsessed schooling. DA parents make loving sacrifices to send their children to us. Our teachers show their love with individualized assignments, daily feedback and generous extra help sessions. When lauded for their successes, our students quickly point to the love and support of their friends, advisors, coaches and teachers. It’s no accident that Chris has chosen to spend so much time at the end of his life reconnecting with his alma mater. He loves DA, as this community has loved him. By urging our students to “try,” Chris was preaching to the choir. Ours is a community of strivers — families dedicated to learning, teachers passionate about their fields of study, students eager to throw themselves into their classes. Whether because of our location (in the shadow of world-class universities and research facilities) or our faculty (many of whom have invested two or three decades to strengthen

their courses, teams and departments), the DA culture aims for excellence. Our students are remarkably willing to work for it. Despite all the lively, loving, striving we see at Durham Academy, we cannot escape some harsh realities. Among the harshest for our Upper School community will be the loss of Chris Rosati. With typical candor and perspective, Chris talks openly about his death. With remarkable courage, he has sought and found blessings in his disease. Talking with Chris this fall, I was reminded of the idea of Arthur Golden: “Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Chris Rosati’s monumental adversity has revealed his magnificent character. In turn, he has helped us see the unique qualities of our school. More poignantly, Chris has used his adversity to challenge all of us to strengthen our friendships, to worry less about ourselves, to do more for others. Mike Krzyzewski, another wise and quotable member of the DA community, once commented to the press after a particularly painful Duke loss: “It’s not bad to hurt. That’s the great thing about sport. Sometimes you don’t learn things until you hurt. We got hurt tonight. Let’s see what we do with it.” As we move forward with our school year, as we are tempted to worry about ourselves, to do less for others, to squander the great privileges of good health and a great school, we will surely remember the abundant wisdom offered by Chris Rosati. Let’s see what we do with it.

Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School

DURHAM ACADEMY Record • Winter 2014 • Volume 41 • Number 1

The Magazine of Durham Academy

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19 16


Front Cover Chris Rosati, pictured with daughters Delaney and Logan in November 2011, challenged members of the DA community

3601 Ridge Road

to strengthen their friendships, worry less about themselves and do more for others.

Durham, NC 27705-5599




telephone: 919-493-7363



Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School Leslie Holdsworth,

Director of Development and Alumni Affairs

6 8 10 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 26

Kathy McPherson,

Associate Director of Communications

Tim McKenna,

Associate Director of Alumni Affairs

Photo by Kelly Good

A voice worth heeding: Faced with a tragic reality, Chris Rosati counts his blessings 3 • Changing the world, one doughnut at a time 5 • Living, loving, trying: A challenge to us all Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes inaugural class Working together to save lives in a war zone: Marshall Moore ’92 and Jeremy Moore ’96 The science of changing one’s life and losing 100 pounds Celebrating a birthday with the 70.3 Half Ironman in Hawaii Durham Academy named Apple Distinguished School Lessons in compassion at ‘The house that love built’ Stretching and expanding the American Promise: Experiencing diversity through film Fast-growing summer programs offers camps to suit every fancy Celebrating unity and helping others at the Lower School DA teachers’ math app is in the iTunes store Learning from the best in the business: Peer-to-peer observations for Middle School teachers Ultimate Frisbee takes off at Middle School From the Green Alumni Stories: Distinguished Alumna Kim Bullock Ionescu ’99 • Class of 1964 50th Reunion • The Legendary Mrs. Lola Williams • Connect with DA via social media • L awrence Warner ’87 • Networking Events • 1993 Class Notes • Fall Alumni Weekend • Snow Roberts ’93 • Torsie Judkins ’91 • Natalie Kaplowitz Hutchinson ’98 • Nick Gallo ’09 • Calvin Brett ’10 • Weddings • Babies • Will Lindsey ’10 • In Memoriam

Inside Back Cover Flying high at Field Day

Photo by Pat t i Donnel ly

Back Cover Turkeys big and small The Record is published bi-annually

Photo by Melody Guy ton But ts

by Durham Academy

Mission Statement “The purpose of Durham Academy is to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to

Kathy McPherson, Record editor

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

Linda Noble, designer

primary work of the school. The acquisition of knowledge; the development of skills, critical judgment and intellectual curiosity; and increased

Theo Davis Sons Inc., printer

understanding are the goals of the school’s academic program.”





here are some people who are put in the position to change this world for the better through the establishment of a “voice” widely heard or given a substantial amount of credence. People are acknowledged as having this public “voice” for a variety of reasons — some seemingly more legitimate than others. An accumulation of status or wealth can give you a voice. Success that is either immense or achieved rapidly in a particular field can make people listen. The proclivity for saying things that are meaningful and relevant is a merit-based way of earning a voice. And an unfortunate truth is that it is often having experienced a tragedy or having been diagnosed with a terminal disease that gives a person this power of a “voice.” How fortunate we as the ordinary people of the world are when someone who earns a voice has something great to say — something that could really and truly, actually, like, for real, make the world a better place. This is the case with Chris Rosati. He has ALS. And the world is about to reap some incredible fortune because of the voice he’s been given through his misfortune. The sadness can’t really be overstated. Chris was 39 years old and had recently completed a triathlon when he was given his diagnosis. His wife, Anna, was five months pregnant with their second daughter. If that isn’t sad enough, the truth is Chris was probably going to change the world anyway — he’s a very good man and was living a good life; he has always been committed to service toward the greater good. No one ever deserves the inhumanity of one’s body turning against him or her. But Chris? I don’t know, he just REALLY didn’t deserve it. It’s the kind of unfair that drives us all into perspective-based shame. That makes us look at our flat tire or lousy night of sleep or hurt feelings or failed business in the light that can only exist when compared to real 2

Photos by Melody Guyton Butts

B Y J A M I E K R Z Y Z E W S K I S PAT O L A ’ 0 0, A L U M N I B OA R D PA S T P R E S I D E N T

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: Chris Rosati with dad, Bob Rosati; stepmother, Kitty Rosati; brother, Chess Rosati; wife, Anna Rosati; and mother, Diane Rosati. • Upper School students wait for the surprise. • Chris steps off the Krispy Kreme Cruiser with help from Charlie Wilson ’89. • “One Sweet Ride” makes the turn into the Upper School parking lot. • When he talked about friendship at the US assembly, Chris showed a photo of Class of 1989 classmates at a summer gathering.

darkness. It makes us call our moms, kiss our spouses, hug our kids a little tighter, force our road rage into submission and, yes, I shamefully confess, thank our lucky stars that it didn’t happen to us. It’s a face-smacking, attitude-changing, gratitude-inducing dose of the tragic side of reality — the terrible things that happen to people every day, that we never really acknowledge could happen to us. The things that, please, please, let’s acknowledge so that we can all act a little bit better, so the world doesn’t have to look so grim, so that we can help each other out a little. We’re in this thing together, people. That’s all he’s trying to tell us. And it seems like listening is the very least we can do. If you spend any time with Chris, you’ll inevitably hear him talk about the “blessings of ALS.” Few phrases could sound so unnatural the first time you hear the words pieced together. He jokes about the positive rewriting of personal history people seem to afford those who experience tragedy and, of course, about the limitless doughnuts. But listen for longer, for as long as he’ll talk, and you’ll see how he really has discovered and embraced some blessings that came right along with his curse. He has been able to fully embrace the concept of “living in the moment” and is able to see the gifts and blessings in his life more clearly than most. He says he regularly has the privilege of seeing the good in people


and talks about the way in which he’s been liberated from fear and worry. When he spoke to the Durham Academy Upper School, Chris told the students that he does not look back on his life to this point with much regret, that there are not many things he would change. But there is one big thing he would change about his past: he would worry less. Worry less. It’s a conscious decision we can make. In doing so, Chris suggests that it opens the door to live an amazingly fulfilling life, a life that he advises ought to include LIVING, LOVING and TRYING — and doing each of those things without the fear of failure. His words pack a punch — one made more powerful by the fact that they are distinctly genuine. He wants people to experience the blessings without having to experience the disease. Noble? Selfless? They are great words and probably relevant but they aren’t strong enough to explain what’s going on here. I search for others. I can’t find them, and so I theorize that the

Changing the world, one doughnut at a time B Y K AT H Y M C P H E R S O N , A S S O C I AT E D I R E C T O R O F CO M M U N I C AT I O N S


problem is, perhaps, that words, in general, are not enough. At best, they’re inadequate. And, really, in describing the beauty of Chris Rosati’s outlook, message and motivations, words are probably not much more than trite. Privately, with Anna, his family and closest circle of friends, Chris is making plans that no one should have to make. An addition to their family home to accommodate his wheelchair. Recordings of his voice for his little girls for when Daddy no longer has the ability to speak and for, ultimately, when he is gone. He’s making sure his parents know that his life has been, no, wait, continues to be happy and fulfilling and that he loves and appreciates them. He worries for the friend of his who has had the most difficulty accepting his diagnosis. He wonders what he can do to help that friend. It’s a private world of pain and fear and beautiful, incredible love and commitment. I believe that empathy is probably the most important thing a human being can feel, continued on page 4

o one knew what was up when Upper School Director Lee Hark interrupted C period Dec. 3 with a directive for everyone to gather by the parking lot in five minutes for an announcement. “There’s going to be a surprise, but I can’t tell you what it’s going to be,” Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner said as more than 400 students and faculty poured out of classrooms and onto the sidewalk area. When the Krispy Kreme Cruiser, a 1960 Starliner bus that’s “one sweet ride,” made the turn from Ridge Road into the parking lot, a whoop went up from the crowd, then applause and loud cheers. It wasn’t the prospect of doughnuts that got them going. It was the man they knew would be inside the bus: Chris Rosati, a 1989 Durham Academy graduate who stunned the Upper School student body at an Oct. 30 assembly with the sobering words, “I’m going to die soon.” Rosati was diagnosed three years ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. Less than 50 percent of ALS patients live more than three years, but Rosati’s message was not one of dying but of “living, loving, trying.” A big part of his message was following your dreams — whether serious or silly — and paying it forward. He told them about a recurring daydream of his: commandeering a Krispy Kreme truck, driving around handing out 1,000 doughnuts like a modern-day Robin Hood and making people smile. Upper School students were inspired by the incredible spirit and optimism of a young husband and father struck by a debilitating disease. Their messages of encouragement, in turn, inspired Rosati, who decided to get serious about pursuing that Krispy Kreme dream. He posted about his dream doughnut caper on Facebook, and, within a few hours, Krispy Kreme contacted him, putting his plans in the works. After making several stops at Duke University Medical Center, including the ALS Clinic, Rosati and his helpers unloaded a chunk of the day’s 1,000 doughnuts at the Upper School. He invited students to enjoy a doughnut and asked them pass the sweet treats along to others who need a smile, urging them to go to places like Caring House, a residence for cancer patients just down the road from Durham Academy. After the stop at DA, Rosati handed out more glazed treats at Oval Drive Park to children battling life-threatening illnesses and their families. At DA, students gathered around Rosati like a rock star, taking photos with him, shaking his hand and telling him what his message meant to them. “You told us what we needed to hear,” said Kelly Moore, a senior. “Living, loving, trying — your words will stay with me for a long time.”



continued from page 3

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Chris’ daughter, Logan, helped hand out Krispy Kreme hats. • Chris posed for photos with Upper School students. • Shea Maynard Breitling ’89 was part of the crew that assisted Chris with the Krispy Kreme caper. • US students gather around Chris as he encourages them to share the doughnuts with others who need a smile. • Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner holds the microphone for Chris, who was delighted by the students’ reaction to his dream-come-true.

and I always seek to feel it to the absolute fullest extent I can, to truly understand what someone may be feeling and the reasons behind their words and actions. But I am selfish and I can only let my

empathy take me so far into this private world of Chris’ and just for moments at a time before it just becomes too much. And I soothe myself internally with

“I was truly touched by Mr. Rosati’s inspiring words and optimistic perspective. Thank you, Mr. Rosati, for showing me how there is no need to worry in life. Your belief in living, loving and trying will resonate with me and inspire me for years to come!”

“To keep it simple, I was truly amazed by Mr. Rosati’s positive outlook on life, considering his circumstances. I’m not sure how he does it. His speech made me ask myself if I would be able to still maintain and live a happy life like his if I was in the same situation. Definitely one of the most memorable assemblies I have attended, if not the most.” — J u s t i n C h a n g ’1 5

— A m b i k a V i s wa n at h a n ’1 4

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mr. Rosati after his inspiring words this morning. I was touched by his humor and bright personality, and especially how he views life with his disease. His words stuck with me throughout the rest of my day, and will for many years to come.” — E v e Wa l l a c k ’1 6

“Mr. Rosati is truly an amazing and inspiring person who touched all of us and helped my outlook on everything. I have nothing but respect for him and I am so glad I got to listen to him speak. I hope one day that I can be half the person he is.” — N ata l i e K i m ’1 7

“Thank you, Mr. Rosati, for inspiring me to ‘love, live, and try.’ I was truly touched by your outlook on both life and your disease. I hope one day I can impact as many people as you have and will.” — C h a n d l e r K n o t t ’1 4 4

“My friend Alice Ward and I took two dozen doughnuts and brought them downtown to construction workers at the baseball stadium. ... They were all


grateful reminders that it’s not me, my husband, my children. And then I feel disgusted with myself.

surprised that we were doing it just to be nice, and we told a few of them Mr. Rosati’s story, which they seemed to be very interested in. We are so glad that we got to do this and make their days a little brighter.” — C l a i r e B u r d i c k ’1 5 “It seems as if every year, something happens that puts my life in perspective. While I obviously wish no harm on others, I am amazed by the timing. I am reminded that ‘having three tests on one day’ is really not so bad. I realize how blessed I am to be so amazingly safe, healthy and cared for. I was truly inspired by Mr. Rosati’s inspirational attitude, and I will strive to live by his message.” — R a l i t s a K a l f a s ’1 5 “Mr. Rosati has served as nothing short of an inspiration for me this year. I think a lot of times students, especially those at DA, worry too much about grades, losing sight

Living, Loving, Trying: A challenge to us all B Y S H E A M AY N A R D B R E I T L I N G ’ 8 9


Of course, what’s remarkable is that Chris wouldn’t want me to feel this way. His goal is not to force others to experience the painful aspects of his disease. He just wants people to consider the things he’s always felt about life, that his disease has brought into clearer focus. Those are the things Chris is using his voice to say. I, for one, am going to listen.

of what’s truly important. Mr. Rosati has helped to remind me, and many other students to live life to the fullest and not worry too much, emphasizing his motto, ‘live, love and try.’” — D a n a R o w e ’1 5 “I think the assembly and the [Krispy Kreme] heist were very demonstrative and impactful to the entire Upper School in terms of fundamentally changing our viewpoints on life: from a game of statistics and numbers to one of happiness, camaraderie and love. I was not able to grab some of the dozen batches of doughnuts from the truck, however I did grab a couple of dozen on the way back home from school and went to my neighborhood elementary school to distribute them. To most, it was probably a chance for a free treat, but talking to those kids and telling them to never stop following their dreams and building their passions was an incredible experience. — R a h u l S h a r m a ’1 4

“ have a dream.” “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” Imagine being in the audience, hearing these famous speeches live. Four hundred Durham Academy Upper School students were lucky enough to hear “Live, Love, Try,” a speech delivered by my dear friend and classmate Chris Rosati ’89 on Oct. 30. It was that good. Phrases like, “It was so amazing, I can’t put it into words” or “I can’t find the words to describe it” are often overused and do not portray the particular event one is trying to re-live. This is exactly what I said when friends and family members asked about Chris’s speech. Chris has been living with ALS, a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain, for three years and was called to speak to the students about life. His message was truly unbelievable. I have never been prouder to call him my friend. The event was bigger than words and will live in the hearts of those fortunate students for many years to come. Looking back 25 years, my classmates and I won the lottery when Chris Rosati transferred to DA in our early high school years. From the start, he enlightened our worlds with optimism, curiosity and the most genuine kindness one will ever know. When you meet Chris, you are instantly drawn to his comforting smile and eagerness to make this world a better place. He has an infectious spirit, which was passed along when he spoke at the Upper School assembly. Chris opened with a hilarious story of his experience taking an English exam in the same auditorium where we were gathered. He spoke of past teachers, insinuating that he was probably not one of their “star” students. Chris concluded his introduction with an example of his academic ingenuity by describing when he quoted the 1980s rock band Rush in his English exam when, in reality, the quote was from none other than William Shakespeare (which was quickly noted by his teacher). The students roared with laughter. He had his audience. He then said, “I am Chris Rosati, and I am going to die soon.” We were all hanging on his every word. Just at the point where tears were welling up in the eyes of his audience, Chris would weave humor through his poignant narrative. He was brilliant. He urged us to “worry less.” He told us to “live, love and try,” and with levity and seriousness, he exemplified how he lives, how he loves and how he tries. Toward the end of his speech, Chris spoke of a recurring daydream he had prior to being diagnosed with ALS. In the dream, he steals a Krispy Kreme delivery truck and like a modernday Robin Hood, he spreads happiness, one doughnut at a time, throughout Durham. Little did the students know that Chris would soon make this dream come true. He also made them a part of the dream by enlisting their help in distributing the doughnuts to people in need of a reason to smile. I had the opportunity to see Upper School students again during the surprise Krispy Kreme heist, and they treated Chris like a movie star. They stood in line to shake his hand and have their picture taken with him. It reminded me of how we felt as a class when he joined us at DA. Everyone wanted to be around Chris, somehow sensing our lives would be bigger by sharing his benevolent spirit. He is our own celebrity, one who has challenged us to live, love, try and chase our dreams. Chris’s awe-inspiring speech at the Upper School was nothing short of life-changing. His message was effortless because he lives true to his words every moment of his life. He is a loving son, brother, husband, father and friend who is teaching us all how to live much more fulfilling lives. And to overuse the phrase once more, it is just too difficult to describe how much Chris and his family mean to me. I love you, buddy!



Photos by Melody Guyton Butts

LEFT TO RIGHT: An appreciative crowd celebrates the first inductees into Durham Academy’s new Athletic Hall of Fame: (from left) Rob Hershey, Becca North ’94, Katie O’Connor ’95, Rick Dike, Mollie Pathman ’10, Matt Crawford ’99, Steven Edwards ’98 and Dennis Cullen.

Athletic Hall of Fame welcomes inaugural class B Y S T E V E E N G E B R E T S E N , D I R E C T O R O F AT H L E T I C S


alk of an Athletic Hall of Fame had been making the rounds at Durham Academy for years, and the “hall” is now open. The inaugural class of three women and five men was inducted Dec. 6 at halftime of the DA varsity boys game with Charlotte Latin. An appreciative crowd of students, alumni, faculty, family and friends cheered as loudly for the honorees as they cheered for the DA team that was one up on Latin with 4.5 seconds to play in the game. These Durham Academy greats — some competing as recently as 2010 and others going as far back as 1976 — are the first of what will be many deserving former athletes, coaches and administrators to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But since this is the inaugural class, these eight are extra special. • Matt Crawford, from the class of 1999, was a fourtime all-conference soccer player, a three-time all-region player and a two-time all-



state player for Durham Academy, and he led two Cavalier teams to N.C. Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) state soccer championships. Matt played soccer for four years at UNC where he won an NCAA championship, and he later played several years of professional soccer. Matt graduated from medical school at the University of California at San Francisco and is currently an orthopedic resident at Duke University. • Dennis Cullen has been the varsity track and cross country coach at Durham Academy since 1976 and is one of the most respected and accomplished high school track and cross country coaches in North Carolina. Under Coach Cullen, Durham Academy has won 39 NCISAA state championships in boys and girls cross country and track. Included in these championships is a streak of 13 straight boys cross country titles in the ’80s and

’90s. In addition, Dennis and his staff have coached 193 individual state champions in track and cross country. Dennis continues as our high school track and cross country coach and as chair of the math department. • Rick Dike was the athletics director at Durham Academy from 1981 to 1991. As the first full-time athletics director, he helped grow the program by adding 16 teams to DA’s program during his 10 years as AD. He led the program through his work in the then-recently-formed NCISAA, spending 16 years on the NCISAA managing board. Durham Academy won 28 state championships and dozens of conference championships during his tenure as athletics director. Rick also coached track at Durham Academy from 1981 to 2013. His 31 years coaching at Durham Academy brings to 50 his total number of years as a high school track coach! Rick is retired and lives in Durham. • Steven Edwards, from the class of 1998, was an outstanding track and cross country athlete at Durham Academy who won four individual NCISAA state track championships, and also helped DA to two NCISAA state team championships in track. His times in the 400 and 800 meters and with his teammates in the 4x400 relay are still DA records and remain among the best-ever high school times in North Carolina for those events. Steven had an outstanding career for four years on the track team at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a sports agent and now lives in Portland, Ore. • Rob Hershey served as headmaster at Durham Academy from 1978 to 1988. He was responsible for the development and growth of our young athletic program through his interest, planning and support. His efforts in funding and hiring, and knowledge that a strong and relevant athletic program was instrumental in the overall growth at Durham Academy, helped develop our school and athletic program into one of the most respected in North Carolina. Rob has remained a friend of Durham Academy. He now serves as the head of school at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va.

• Becca North, from the class of 1994, was an all-conference player in field hockey, basketball and softball. A two-time allstate player in field hockey and softball, she earned 13 varsity letters as a Durham Academy athlete. She helped Durham Academy win two state championships in basketball and compete in two state championship games in field hockey. Becca played field hockey for four years at Princeton University. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and a master’s in public affairs and is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in psychology at the University of Texas in Austin. She is writing her first book. • Katie O’Connor, from the class of 1995, was the state champion in the high jump as a freshman at Durham Academy and an all-conference field hockey player. She was also a threetime all-conference and two-time all-state basketball player. She was named a high school All-American in basketball in 1995 and is the all-time leading scorer in Durham Academy basketball history with 1,468 points. She holds eight other Durham Academy basketball records. She helped Durham Academy to two NCISAA state championships in basketball. Katie was a four-year basketball starter at Virginia Tech University. She is now an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Kansas and lives in Lawrence, Kan. • Mollie Pathman, from the class of 2010, was a five-time all-conference and four-time all-state soccer player at Durham Academy. She was twice named a high school soccer All-American and was named the 2010 North Carolina High School Player of the Year in soccer by the NC Soccer Coaches Association. She is a two-time Gatorade North Carolina Soccer Player of the Year, and in 2010 she was named the Gatorade National High School Women’s Soccer Player of the Year. Mollie is a senior soccer player at Duke University and has earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors each season. She is a member of the U.S. Soccer National Team Program.



Working together to save lives in a war zone



B Y M A R S H A L L M O O R E ’ 92

n Schwarzenegger’s classic movie Predator, Arnold and a buff Carl Weathers join up for a paramilitary operation in Central America. On first seeing one another, they clasp hands in a bravado howdo-you-do that becomes a friendly battle of wills in a standing arm wrestle. When I reunited with my brother Jeremy ’96 on military orders to Tarin Kowt, a remote part of Afghanistan, we spontaneously recreated this scene to script. Already a month in the war zone, Jeremy just so happened to be blazing down a dirt road in an armored Land Cruiser as I shuffled through gravel near the airstrip on my first day. He skidded to the shoulder and jumped out in a dust plume. He sported dark ballistic Oakleys and a tan that matched the oxhide chest holster of his 9mm Beretta. Afghanistan had seasoned the kid in short order. The Uruzgan Province is nothing less than a cauldron, a high desert bowl at 4,500 feet with thin air and less than a half-inch of summer rainfall. The isolated town of Tarin Kowt is a stone’s throw from our FOB [forward operating base], one of dozens throughout Afghanistan, our whole region set in a saddle-like valley crowned by mountains. When the late evening sun cuts through the desert smog, the unmarred geologic permanence is striking. Unaffected and indifferent to development, the views here are what the Sasanian Empire, Genghis Khan or even Alexander the Great beheld as they overran this vulnerable region — a reminder that this war-torn patch of badlands is a vital piece of central Asia as it rises up from the Indus Valley in Pakistan and on northwest to the Iranian plateau. My seven-month tour in Afghanistan is the culmination of a 21-year career in the Navy, which began about a month after I left Durham Academy in the spring of ’92. As part of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, I serve as an orthopedic surgeon for a 20-person trauma team. Our primary mission is to stabilize injured Navy Special Warfare Forces (SEALs) and other NATO Forces. This and our secondary humanitarian mission have made the experience here unique. Despite the ragtag look 8

TOP ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Jeremy Moore in Afghanistan. • Inside the hospital where Jeremy served as an anesthesiologist for a trauma team. • Jeremy’s room at Camp Holland, an Australian Special Forces outpost. • The Uruzgan Province is a high desert bowl with thin air and little summer rainfall. BOTTOM ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Brothers and Army physicians Jeremy Moore and Marshall Moore reunited in Afghanistan. • Marshall at Jeremy’s place at Camp Holland. • Jeremy’s desk had the essentials. • The hospital at Camp Holland.

his hands and expertise would prove vital. He arrived and immediately went to work. But traveling to another trauma ward was like going to work in someone else’s garage — every tool was in a different place, and with the patient dying on the table, the entire team looked to him to work miracles. I Jeremy’s camp is renowned for the best and freshest food around. Managed by had put him on the spot, in front of an internationthe Australian military, I wouldn’t dare al audience, with a man’s life in his hands. Having thrown him in this, I could do nothing call their food “rations” — it’s cuisine. but hope for his success, as I was occupied by Every meal, Jeremy and his pals bet on another patient on a nearby bed who was bleeding how many different types of meat will out from a cut artery in his left arm. The medics be available. It’s not uncommon to find salmon, lobster, lamb, steak, chicken, pork on the scene had bandaged him, unaware of the and duck at one dinner; not to mention spurting artery. Without so much as a simple tourniquet, he’d lost half his blood volume through the charcuterie (yes, charcuterie). that wound. Jeremy managed to stabilize his patient, place a breathing tube and haul him back Plain luck landed Jeremy a half-mile away to the OR. Once I had staunched the bleeding in at Camp Holland, an Australian Special Forces the other man’s arm, I left that casualty to join outpost, where he’s an anesthesiologist for a partnered trauma team. Emergencies often bring Jeremy in the OR. Over the curtain, Jeremy and I met eyes. The our teams together, whether it’s a member of the instant grabbed us — here we were in the middle Afghan Police Force, the NATO-led Coalition of Afghanistan, in a war, doing what we’d trained Forces or a local child. Surgical emergencies to do — and together. Strangely, though the work can be as simple as playground injuries, or as was different, our camaraderie was fundamentally complex as mangled limbs and life-threatening unchanged from the torrid summer afternoons gunshot wounds. we’d spent painting our high school campus in In early July, a suicide bomber on a bicycle rode into the Tarin Kowt bazaar a few miles from the ’90s with DA maintenance. Veterans often our FOB. The blast killed those in the immediate return home to a loving and supportive family who nevertheless cannot relate to war experiences. vicinity, and sent shrapnel at more than a Jeremy and I are lucky to be exceptions to that. thousand miles per hour through the chest, Life here at Tarin Kowt is notably different, gut and limbs of almost a dozen men, women yet surprisingly similar to life at home. Most of and children. Overwhelmed, the local hospital our time is spent “inside the wire,” a term for immediately sent the five most seriously injured living within the security of the FOB. Americans to our three-bed trauma bay. and Afghans cooperate to man every security Jeremy was the first person I called. With more patients than we had anesthesiologists, checkpoint, the latter wearing distinctive khaki

of our tottering medical shacks, we are the preeminent medical facility for a hundred square miles and the trauma center for the surrounding population.


uniforms and toting burnished AK-47s. And despite this conspicuous layer of security, doctrine still mandates loaded 9mm Berettas or Sig-Sauers for everyone else. Occasionally, an alarm will sound as a rocket launched from miles away spirals onto the base, giving us only seconds to take cover. Before long, these threats become routine, yet we guard against complacency. Though Tarin Kowt takes some getting used to, it does become home. And like home, food, rest and entertainment are parts of daily life. We have access to Internet, Skype, PS3, thousands of movies and even a salsa night on Saturday evenings, followed by cigars on the roof for those who are game. Four hot meals per day and 24-hour access to iced coffee and Clif Bars comforts us. Jeremy’s camp is renowned for the best and freshest food around. Managed by the Australian military, I wouldn’t dare call their food “rations” — it’s cuisine. Every meal, Jeremy and his pals bet on how many different types of meat will be available. It’s not uncommon to find salmon, lobster, lamb, steak, chicken, pork and duck at one dinner; not to mention the charcuterie (yes, charcuterie). Outside the FOB, the austere environment plays an all too visible hand in the lives of the Afghan people. With a life expectancy of just 42, the rigors of the high desert are ingrained in their character and customs. Our professions bring Jeremy and me in contact with the local population in very intimate ways, and through these experiences we hope to bring our two cultures closer together. As I spend time with the Afghans, care for their children and loved ones, I learn bits of their language, culture and religion, and find the foreignness dissolving. Trust in this environment can be difficult for

both sides, yet I’ve begun to see similarities rather than differences. Cultures merge within the walls of our FOB as well — we’re virtually embedded with SEALs and Australian Special Forces. As an elite arm of the military, the SEALs get everything you see in the movies, and even things you don’t — distinctive gear, special weapons, freedoms that rank-and-file soldiers cannot imagine. Even the working dogs, handsome canines who can attack combatants and sniff out bombs, have their own treadmills. The Special Warfare arms of our NATO Team are truly extraordinary, distinguished by their combat versatility, presence of mind and calm professionalism.

Last June, we treated a child with a broken leg who, thanks to a donation from the Durham Academy community, left with a bag of toys and a DA Lacrosse Camp T-shirt. I can’t think of a better symbol of Durham Academy’s spirit of altruism and community, than our bright green and white finding its way to the high desert of central Afghanistan. The Australians, or Aussies as they are known, took over for the Dutch at Tarin Kowt in 2010. Our medical teams have developed a gray market for various creature comforts, capitalizing on the complementary strengths of our neighboring camps. At my camp, we have a limitless supply of coveted high-end protein shakes. At the Australian camp, they have a limitless supply of Red Bull and fresh whole milk. The duress of trauma surgery and imminent dangers of combat have fostered not only comradeship and a thriving trade network, but new perspectives on medicine and culture. I muse on my mothballed life in

Washington, D.C., and reflect on how natural it is to forget about the world at large amid the bustle of a stimulating urban life. It is ironic that harsh conditions bring people together, yet the ready conveniences of city life can be isolating. It’s common to resist the unfamiliar, and it has taken a deployment to Afghanistan to push me across the inadvertent boundaries I’d drawn. Venturing into the unfamiliar engenders an authentic empathy grounded in experience. I believe we’re empathic by nature, and by reaching out we understand, and by understanding, we’re more willing to reach out. As excited as I’ll be to return to my country and my wife Erin, I regret that the lights will go out soon for our humanitarian mission here. Life will go on in Tarin Kowt, as will its strife. I hope that the good our medical team has done will perpetuate itself among the people, and in time, prevail. Last June, we treated a child with a broken leg who, thanks to a donation from the Durham Academy community, left with a bag of toys and a DA Lacrosse Camp T-shirt. I can’t think of a better symbol of Durham Academy’s spirit of altruism and community, than our bright green and white finding its way to the high desert of central Afghanistan. Serving our country here has been a privilege, and among the most enriching experiences of our lives. If Jeremy and I both return safely, and I happen to reunite with him on some other deployment, in some other part of the world, perhaps we’ll get a chance to put our personal stamp on an old Humphrey Bogart film — “Of all the FOBs, in all the towns, in all the world, you show up at mine.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Marshall and Jeremy Moore are now safely back stateside — much to the relief of their mother, Middle School French teacher Wanda Moore — and both are stationed at Fort Belvoir near Washington, D.C.



The science of changing one’s life



recent morning found Kari Newman scouring countertops, cleaning sinks and emptying trashcans to get rid of a pesky smell her Durham Academy Upper School students had created in the chemistry lab. It was a typical day in the life of a chemistry teacher. A year prior, Newman’s life was anything but typical as she prepared for a one-semester sabbatical and made a decision that would permanently alter her body and her life. When Newman applied for Durham Academy’s sabbatical for spring semester 2013 — a program that pays a teacher’s full salary for one semester or half salary for two semesters — she wrote that she wanted time to lose weight, get healthy and work with a trainer. A talented and popular teacher who had been on the DA faculty since 2000, Newman was obese, suffering from diabetes and had had two surgeries for arthritis. From the time her sabbatical began in January 2013 until school resumed in August, Newman lost more than 100 pounds and went from size 26 to size 8 clothing. At opening faculty meetings, the change was so dramatic that several colleagues introduced themselves because they thought she was a new teacher! “Kari has been inspiring Upper School students for almost 15 years,” said Upper School Director Lee Hark. “Leave it to her to choose a sabbatical that would inspire us all! I remember discussing her application with Ed [former headmaster Ed Costello], and he said, ‘This could be the most meaningful sabbatical this school has ever funded.’ There is no question Kari made the most of this opportunity. This is an example to us all of what sheer force of will and determination can accomplish.” Newman had gastric bypass surgery three days into her sabbatical, a procedure that sectioned a small pouch from her stomach and forever changed the way she would eat. For three weeks post-surgery she could ingest only liquids and could have only


two ounces of liquid at a time. “I was drinking out of a medicine cup,” Newman said. She advanced to mushy foods, then solids as she could tolerate them. “Now I can eat half a cup of soup without feeling sick. I had to practice how to chew again, and I have to take small bites.”

“Kari has been inspiring Upper School students for almost 15 years. Leave it to her to choose a sabbatical that would inspire us all! I remember discussing her application with Ed [former headmaster Ed Costello], and he said, ‘This could be the most meaningful sabbatical this school has ever funded.’ There is no question Kari made the most of this opportunity. This is an example to us all of what sheer force of will and determination can accomplish.” —

I was a lot bigger than I thought I was.” Now more than 100 pounds lighter, Newman enjoyed a family camping trip this summer. “I have




Breakfast is usually a protein shake, then yogurt and small portions of meat throughout the day. Newman needs 60 grams of protein a day and eats 1,000 to 1,200 calories daily, far more than she could eat post-surgery. Her diabetes has disappeared, and her arthritis doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. But it wasn’t health concerns or unhappiness with her life that motivated Newman to lose weight. “I’d been the same size for about six years, and most of my happy times were when I was heavy. I wanted to lose weight to show my daughters [a second-grader and a 14-year-old stepdaughter] how to be outside and enjoy things like canoeing,” said Newman. In the past she could not go canoeing unless she brought her own life jacket because outfitters would not have had one her size. “My eyes opened and I realized


more energy to do things.” Losing weight, getting healthy and working with a trainer were part of Newman’s sabbatical plan, but weight-loss surgery was not. When Durham Academy changed the employee health insurance “year” from the calendar year to July 1 — June 30, Newman had an additional six months after she had met the policy’s out-of-pocket deductible and it became financially feasible to have gastric bypass surgery. “It wasn’t an easy decision,” said Newman. “I knew it would permanent alter my body, but the timing was right and the opportunity was there.” Durham Academy gave her the semester


T he New Me

EDITOR’S NOTE: Faculty members returning from sabbatical usually give a brief report on their time away, and this was Kari Newman’s update at the August opening faculty meeting.

1. If there is empty space, it will get filled (or nature hates a vacuum). It doesn’t matter

if you go to work or not, your “extra time” will be spent transporting your children and yourself to various doctor appointments, birthday parties and training sessions. I think I spent just as much time in the car as out of it. Losing weight was definitely a full-time job! At least I know I will be able to maintain the crazy lifestyle!

2. Not all Greek yogurt is the same. It took a long time to figure out which brands and which flavors I like the most. Since I need to consume 60 grams of protein every day, yet can only consume 1,000 calories, every bite matters! Even my snacks have to have a protein snack.

3. I can’t live without a blender! I use it to make everything from smoothies to pudding

with protein powder. When I couldn’t eat much (that 1,000 calories is A LOT compared to what I was eating!) I had to puree my meats with sauce.

Photos by Kathy McPherson

4. Don’t take on so many life-changing events in one year unless you want to go slightly

LEFT: Kari Newman teaching chemistry during spring semester 2010. ABOVE: More than 100 pounds lighter, Kari Newman at the white board in December 2013.

off and helped pay for a trainer from February to May. She worked with the trainer two or three times a week, and in between would go to the YMCA for workouts or water aerobics. She’d drive over from her home in Wake Forest on weekdays, drop off daughter Ally at the Lower School and head to the Y or to the library to work on the new AP Chemistry curriculum or catch up on her reading. “Every few weeks I’d go to the thrift store and buy new clothes; I was changing sizes and it was changing seasons,” Newman said. As she neared her goal weight, she tutored to earn money for an all-day shopping spree at the mall to get clothes for the new school year.

insane. Not only did I take on the weight-loss journey, I became a full-time parent to my husband’s teenaged daughter and for some reason we thought getting a pit bull puppy was a good idea. I think we mostly survived the process!

5. Be grateful for the little things. Every small victory made this journey worth it. When

I moved down a size and had to go to the thrift store for clothes I was jumping for joy in the dressing rooms. “I haven’t been this size since ___” was all I could think about! When I could get on a carousel horse with my daughter or sit in a theater seat without having to push the armrest out of the way, I was ecstatic!

6. Getting new pictures taken is FUN! I used to dread getting pictures done, and there

were some years when I “forgot” to go to yearbook photos. Looking at those pictures was bad not because I thought I looked bad, but because I didn’t like to be reminded of what I used to look like! Some of my best times happened when my weight was highest, but I was unable to do some of the things I wanted to do because of the weight.  I am so thankful to DA for allowing me the opportunity to change my life! I’m looking forward to finally being able to do the high ropes course at High Rocks this year. I’m going to attempt Senior Challenge when my advisee group gets there in two years (if we can get a handle on diet by then). I’m going to teach my daughter how to love being outside canoeing and bike riding. I’m going to enjoy my new wardrobe and try to break the habit of walking first to the plus-sized clothes in a store! — K ARI NE WMAN

“Some people say weight-loss surgery is the easy way out; it really is not,” Newman said. “I did a lot of research long before I made the decision. You also need to know

what your game plan is on the other side. I exercised. I was given the time; I couldn’t have done that if I had had to work. Weight loss, for me, really became my full-time job.”



Celebrating a birthday with the 70.3 half ironman in hawaii




t was hot, and I was struggling. I had been on the Kona Half Ironman course for just under eight-and-a-half hours, and as I turned the final corner of the running course, I could see the bright colors of the finish line arch. A course volunteer told me that it was about a quarter-mile away and I had about four minutes until the cutoff — the end of the official timing for the triathlon. Soon, I was able to hear the announcer counting down the time remaining in the race. There was only one thought in my head: There was no way that I was not getting a medal. I was completing a very challenging — some later called it brutal — triathlon consisting of a 1.2-mile ocean swim, 56-mile bike up and down hills and 13.1-mile run with its own share of tough hills. It all began two years ago when my good friend, Tim Dahlgren, suggested that I apply for a Durham Academy sabbatical grant. I had trouble thinking of something big enough to require an extended absence, but with a “significant” birthday around the corner I finally came up with the idea of a long-distance triathlon. With great trepidation, I decided upon the 70.3 Half Ironman. My son, Mark, advised me to go somewhere fun for the race, and then stay the week after for vacation. Hawaii it was! It was an added benefit to have Mark and his wife, Lauren, do the race also, and have my husband, Dave, and daughter, Heather, serve as photographers, cheer squad and allaround fabulous help. Unfortunately, I did not get the sabbatical, but I was already so psyched to do this that Dave advised me to take a leave of absence and go for it! I was very grateful when DA offered to help me by paying for my coach and entry fee. I began training in July 2012. I taught, coached and trained until November, taught and trained until mid-January, and then gave all of my time to training beginning Jan. 18, 2013. What a gift it was to have the job of getting in the best shape of my life.  I interviewed a few coaches to help me with this endeavor and found that Lauren, although living in Miami, was the best fit. She scheduled two and sometimes three different workouts each day, consisting of swimming, biking, running, strength training and yoga. When I was not training, I spent a lot of my time trying to relearn French. I had just visited France with a group of women and was determined to speak to some of the friends I had met, en français. I also had time to read and sew a little. However, it was surprising to me just how much of my time was consumed by training. Several times throughout the spring semester, I emailed the Preschool and Lower School faculty to let them know what I was up to. I titled the emails “Is she really training or just eating bonbons?” The series of emails turned out to be a pretty good chronicle of my life during the semester.



ABOVE: Judy Chandler said there was no way she was going home without a medal, and she achieved her goal, coming in as the last official finisher in a grueling, 70.3 Half Ironman triathlon. TOP RIGHT: Mark Chandler ’03 and his wife, Lauren, a former Lower School teaching assistant, also competed in the triathlon. Heather Chandler ’01 served as photographer, cheer squad and all-around helper. BOTTOM RIGHT: Judy’s bike ride began with a flat tire in the first mile and continued for 56 miles, up and down hills.

My first training run was the Miami Half Marathon in March. I went out too fast and cramped at the end, not hitting my ideal goal time, but hitting my secondary goal of finishing under two hours 10 minutes. Note to self: Pace yourself. My next test was the White Lake International Distance Triathlon. This would be my longest race so far in open water. This was a chance for me to make sure that I was pacing myself correctly and not going out too fast. Unfortunately, I had not planned on cold water. I found out a few days before the race that it was wetsuit legal. The only time I had used a wetsuit, I cramped and couldn’t swim. I opted for cold instead of cramping. Race morning came, but the sun did not appear. The water temperature was revised to 66.5. The race was delayed while they waited for some late-arriving swim support. While we were waiting inside the main building, two young guys, 20-ish, who also didn’t have wet suits, came in and disqualified themselves from the swim. I knew exactly what my husband was thinking and was glad he didn’t say it, as I was having the same thoughts. The swim went well, not as fast as I had hoped, but probably great for the conditions. The bike went into a headwind for about 10 miles, then, I swear, circled around and was

Photos by Dave Chandler

Race Day: Kona, Hawaii, June 1, 2013. The race begins. The swim was mostly flat, although some complained about rough water. There was nothing flat after we left the water. We got on the bikes and began pedaling uphill. We got on the Queen K highway, and within a mile I got a flat tire. Yes, I had practiced changing a tire several times before I left Durham, but luckily, help arrived before I even got the tire off. The bike course was up and down hills the entire 56 miles. Eventually, I made it to the transition area and began the run. I know that I practiced running after biking, but ... my legs were not cooperating very well. At mile one of the run I realized I couldn’t walk the whole 13.1 miles and finish before the cutoff time. From that moment on, I mostly jogged and walked some.  So here I was, just yards from the finish with no legs left and the clock ticking down. As the announcer continued counting down, I realized that I needed to sprint in order to finish by 8:30. When I crossed through the arch, the time read 8:30:02. I wasn’t certain that I had gotten a medal. I got lots of hugs from Dave and the kids and had to hang on to the fence because my legs were not working very well — actually not working at all. The kids went off to see if I had finished in back in my face on the return leg. It felt great time. They came back with medal, T-shirt and hat that said “Finisher” to get off the bike and for me. I MADE IT ... DEAD LAST official finisher. I had achieved my start running. I ran from goal!  water station to water From “Training or Bonbons” email #8 (final issue): “To say that this station, getting a drink whole experience was incredible is an understatement. [Lower School Director] Carolyn Ronco reminded me before I left to enjoy the journey and I tried to make every mile and “goo” every two. This strategy sure that I did that. The one thing that I made sure to accomplish during my leave worked very well and I of absence was to slow down the pace of my life and to leave stress behind. Since finished the way I had this was a high priority for me, I didn’t get all the lists of things accomplished that I hoped — strong! Very might have. Any regrets ... NONE! The lists are still there and can wait for another tired, but feeling like I day to get checked off. I feel more relaxed than I have in I don’t know how long.”  ran a good race.  So now what? Although I spent many, many hours studying French, listening to videos and podcasts doing flashcards and taking By this time, notes, surprisingly I am not fluent, but I have begun again with a the workouts were renewed commitment. lasting more than four I will miss hanging out with my best friend, training companion hours. The last race before Kona was a super and lifeguard, Bailey. She and I have become very close with her going sprint, and my goal was everywhere with me except on my bike. to push myself as hard Words of wisdom? Along my journey, I have found that some as I could and do a good days I can do things better than other days and that is OK. I found that if you exercise a lot, you can eat most anything you want, but you job in the transitions are usually craving the foods you need — the healthy ones. I found between swimming, biking and running. As that if you believe you can do something, it helps your success rate. I the top swimming group was called, I walked toward the pool and found that yoga is a great way to begin a day, especially if you have a Dave overheard some youngsters comment, “She’s that old and in the wonderful teacher. I learned that if you really want to do something top group.” (Our age is in magic marker on our calf.) The other one and are willing to work very hard to accomplish it, there is nothing to get in the way of your success. I realized that I work with a wonderful said, “Yeah, but did you see her shoulders?” How funny is that? At the end of the race I was spent but happy with myself. Things were coming group of people who are exceptionally supportive when you are trying together, and my confidence was good. In my head, I knew that I could to challenge yourself. You all helped me so much when Dave was do this, the day just had to arrive so I could get it done!  traveling and I was lonely. I never felt like I was doing all this alone! And From “Training or Bonbons” email #7: “The last hard week of training I found that there is always more “in the well” if you reach deep was awesome especially Friday’s 3 hour bike/1 hour run. The weather was windy enough and want it badly enough! A special thanks to the DA community for your support. To but gorgeous and I was so grateful that I was training on such a beautiful day. I Mark, Coach Lauren, Heather and especially to my husband, Dave, I rediscovered the joy of running that I thought was lost. Bailey and I cruised through couldn’t have done this without your love and encouragement. the miles like I remember I used to be able to do.” 



Durham Academy named Apple Distinguished School B Y T R E V O R H O Y T, D I R E C T O R O F T E C H N O L O G Y


hen I think back over the 15 years I have worked with technology at Durham Academy, a day I will always remember is the opening of school in August 2012. This was the day we handed out Apple iPads to all 365 students at the Middle School. Our faculty and staff had worked hard for months to prepare for the launch, but we knew there would be many questions. Would iPads enhance student learning? Would students use the iPads responsibly, both at school and at home? Would teachers embrace the new technology in their classes? Would DA’s network survive the constant barrage of traffic from hundreds of devices? Would half the iPads end up being broken after a few weeks? Now, with the Middle School 1:1 iPad program well into its second year, we are seeing clear signs of success in many areas. And it appears that the folks at Apple are impressed with our progress, too: We recently received the news that Durham Academy has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished School for 2013 to 2015 for our iPad Digital Learning Program. The Apple Distinguished School designation is reserved for programs that meet criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence, and demonstrate Apple’s vision of exemplary learning environments. The selection of DA as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment. Although our iPad program is still fairly new, like many successful projects it evolved over several years and required vision and shared leadership from our teachers, administration and technology team. The story starts back in the early 2000s, when WiFi was just beginning to become commonly available. DA had been using WiFi-equipped laptops in the Middle School science program since 1999, and we provided all teachers with a laptop beginning in 2001.


Would student laptops follow soon after? Some independent schools were testing the waters by giving each student a laptop. Former Headmaster Ed Costello clearly saw the potential for technology to transform many aspects of education. I recall Ed being very excited early on about the possibility of every student having a device that would carry their textbooks, assignments and handouts — all in digital form. This would in turn lead to less reliance on paper and thus lighter backpacks for our younger students to carry to school each day. Ed was also very interested in touchscreen and tablet-based technology as a way to incorporate hand-written work into this “digital backpack.” He tested a number of these devices, including Palm Pilots, tablet PCs and digital pens, but he was never completely satisfied with the way any of them worked. Ed wisely understood that there were many formidable obstacles to deploying a 1:1 student laptop program. In the early- and mid-2000s, the size and weight of the laptops were comparable to those bulky textbooks. Battery life was sufficient for only a couple classes before needing a re-charge. The laptops were not easily affordable and would require hiring extra staff to maintain them. The teachers needed an easy-to-use system to distribute assignments and organize their classes digitally. And even though we all wanted digital textbooks, they were almost non-existent in the K-12 market. Fortunately, technology tends to evolve at a pretty fast clip. In 2007, I traveled to San Francisco for the MacWorld conference with Preschool Director Sheppy Vann; Karl Schaefer, Middle School digital learning coordinator; and Michele Gutierrez, Lower School digital learning coordinator. We woke up at 4 a.m. to stand in line with hundreds of other techies waiting to get into the Steve Jobs keynote. When Jobs took to the stage and revealed the ground-breaking features of the new iPhone, it was clear to all of us that mobile technology was about to take a turn


in an entirely new direction. The folks at Apple invited a Durham Academy group to attend a corporate briefing on educational technology at their headquarters in Cupertino in spring 2007. We spoke with experts in educational technology at Stanford University and heard from John Couch, Apple’s vice president of education. The DA faculty, administrators and trustees came away very excited about the possibilities opened up by the next generation of mobile technology: blended learning, online collaboration and flipped classrooms.

Durham Academy would have to adapt to these new modes of learning to better prepare our students for a future that requires strong tech skills. At the same time, we had to make sure that this new emphasis on technology would complement the teacherstudent interactions that are the heart of our school. Our technology leadership put into place a long-range strategic plan to devote more attention to professional development in technology for our faculty. We also needed to modernize our IT infrastructure to eventually be successful with a 1:1 mobile device program. In addition, all DA teachers began using the open-source Moodle system to organize their classes digitally. In 2010, Apple released the first

Photos by Melody Guyton Butts

LEFT: Sixth-grader Maggie Fitzpatrick works intently on her iPad in science class. Use of the iPads is incorporated into nearly every aspect of the Middle School curriculum. ABOVE: A few dozen sixth-graders join faculty, administrators and technology staff in celebrating Durham Academy's recognition as an Apple Distinguished School.

generation of iPads, essentially packing the power of a computer into the form of a book. The fact that it also had a touch-screen display and could go 10 hours on a single battery charge made it the perfect choice for classroom use. Teachers at every division wanted to test them out, including sixth-grade language arts teachers Patti Donnelly and Julie Williams. Patti and Julie were interested in using the iPads to promote collaboration between their students. Together with Karl Schaefer, we created a pilot program to test the use of iPads in the sixth grade. Patti and Julie evaluated numerous apps and digital books; Karl helped with problem-solving and training students; and I just tried to keep everything working as best I could. It was quite an exciting challenge, and we learned a lot about the best practices of using and deploying iPads through our pilot program. Julie and Patti became convinced that the iPads were fostering an environment

where students could take increased responsibility for their own learning. And they had plenty of evidence to back that up. They shared their findings with other teachers, with the DA Learning Environment Committee and with Ed Costello and Middle School Director Jon Meredith. Ultimately, it seemed that the digital backpack concept Ed had envisioned years ago was finally a reality in the form of the iPad. When the time came to roll out iPads to all Middle School students, Karl and Jon crafted a special opening day schedule designed to enlist the support of the entire Middle School community in making the roll-out process a success. The iPads were distributed in advisory classrooms, and each advisor led their students through the “iPad Passport,” a Google Site designed by Karl to guide students and teachers through everything they needed to know about their iPads. Of course, there was a lot of behindthe-scenes work required to ensure that first

day ran smoothly. DA’s technology team of Forrest Beck, Anne Benson and Shea Craig spent long hours throughout the summer installing WiFi access points, configuring hundreds of iPads and testing everything to make sure it worked. To learn more about our Middle School iPad program, please see the iBook we produced as part of our application to the Apple Distinguished Schools program. It has some illuminating video messages from Karl, Patti and Julie as well as Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and Jon Meredith. To access the iBook presentation, the iBooks app on either an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) or a Mac laptop/ desktop computer running OS X version 10.9 (“Mavericks”) is required. The text of the presentation (sans videos) is also available in PDF format. Look for a link to our iBook presentation on the DA website: I hope you will enjoy the presentation as much as we enjoyed creating it!



Lessons in compassion at ‘the house that love built’


“ hen you do something nice for someone, it always makes you feel good inside,” says first-grader Anneke Schmidt, and her classmates heartily agree. Durham Academy first-graders start their school year with reading, writing and math, but there is another part of the curriculum that is equally important: caring for others in our community. Right away, students learn how they can play an important role in helping families who are going through the most difficult time in their lives. The first grade’s very first field trip in September is to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham, also known as “the house that love built,” where they tour the house, learn why families stay there and what they can do to help. Since 1980, the house has served families whose seriously ill children must undergo extended treatment at Duke Hospital. It provides a place to stay during stressful times, but the house is so much more than just a roof over their heads. From family game nights to community dinners, the house strives to be a special and comforting home-away-from-home for every family who stays there. The house shelters and provides comfort to 55 families every night. First-graders at Durham Academy have long-standing ties to the Ronald McDonald House of Durham. First-grade teacher Debbie Suggs remembers how it all began. When she started teaching at DA, she brought the community service project along with her, a favorite connection from the days of leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. “For my first year, the first-graders made things and we [teachers] or parents delivered them to the house. It wasn’t the same as being there and touring the house and physically doing things to make the children and families feel better,” Suggs recalls. “Realizing that the experience could be enriched by us visiting the house, I asked for special permission to bring the whole first grade. For them to let 77 children come through the house was a big deal!” Durham Academy first-graders have


been touring and decorating the house for 18 years now. The students know the Ronald McDonald House is a special place. As they enter the living room in the main part of the house, the excitement is palpable. The students are drawn to the wall-sized photo mural featuring many of the children and families who have stayed here. Happy voices ring out as they spot babies, children their own age and even that famous icon, Ronald McDonald, in the many pictures. The atmosphere becomes more somber, however, as they settle in to watch an informational video explaining why families are there. Afterward, the students ask important questions with serious faces: Why do some of the children in the video have no hair? How long do families stay here? Why can’t they go home? Most often during our tours, the house


Melody Guyton Butts


Kathy McPherson

B Y E L I Z A B E T H A L L A N , F I R S T G R A D E T E AC H E R

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE LEFT: Each of Durham Academy’s first grade classes visited the Ronald McDonald House in December, bringing holiday decorations they had made and supplies they had collected for the house. • Firstgraders celebrated the Ronald McDonald House by tracing their handprints on construction paper and gluing them onto a rainbow. • When Elizabeth Allan’s class visited in September, the students became more somber as they watched a video about why families come to the house. • First-graders transform milk cartons into mini Ronald McDonald Houses, and use them to collect soda pop tabs to help raise money for the house.

Kathy McPherson

Melody Guyton Butts

that look remarkably like tiny apartments, the fully stocked kitchen (“How many refrigerators do you have?”) and kid-friendly playrooms. The students consider quite seriously the expansive dining room we will soon be decorating for the holidays, visualizing the cheerful addition of their artwork for families to enjoy. They admire the sunny window seat and cozy nooks where children can snuggle up with a good book, and marvel at the miniature classroom where child-patients keep up their studies during long hospital stays. They just can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner. The first field trip isn’t all fun and games, however. The significance of the house for the families who stay there comes alive for the kids with this experience. “The benefit of taking the tour is that it made a real impression, and it’s continued to spur regular conversations at our house and in the car,” says parent and field trip chaperone Amanda Lacoff. “[Ben]’s gone from thinking that a kid or family is lucky to stay at Ronald McDonald House because it’s ‘fun’ to stay in a ‘hotel’ to realizing that it’s a comfort to have a homeaway-from-home rather than need to stay in the hospital — and that there’s really nothing lucky about being one of those families.” Other first-grade families agree. “Touring the Ronald McDonald House in person is key for children this age to connect to their classroom discussions and pop tabs collecting — and to the world larger than themselves,” says parent Mary Galvez. “As a chaperone, I saw the ‘light bulb’ go off as the first-graders pictured what it would be like to stay in that room and how they could help

is quiet. Families are away at the hospital with their children, or resting after long, exhausting nights. Today, however, we are lucky: As we stand up to begin our tour, a father is just arriving home from the hospital with his infant son. The first-graders are thrilled to see the baby — nearly as thrilled as his dad, who tells the group happily that, after living in the hospital since birth, the baby is finally allowed to come “home.” It is his son’s first day in a big new world, and a momentous and wonderful step for his family. The first graders admire the baby’s baseballthemed onesie. They wave and smile, making silly faces in an effort to get a laugh. Nobody seems to notice or mind the tubes trailing from beneath the baby’s blanket connecting him to his oxygen tank. The rest of our tour is filled with firstgrade enthusiasm as we visit bedrooms suites

make dinner in this kitchen. In this way, the students begin to draw on their developing empathy to understand the mission of the Ronald McDonald House. “As new parents to Durham Academy, we are happy to find that the school’s community service commitment is real, pervasive and school-wide — not simply an afternoon class project that might be forgotten over the weekend but a year-long undertaking incorporated into aspects of the curriculum,” Galvez continued. “This commitment to helping students develop an awareness of and responsibility to their community and world is one of the aspects that drew us to DA.” The first grade has a year-long connection to the Ronald McDonald House. In addition to decorating the dining room and delivering donations around the holidays, first-graders create mini-Ronald McDonald Houses on Unity Day in September, which they use to collect soda pop tabs throughout the year. The house takes the tabs to a recycling center to raise funds to purchase the things that they need. Our class sorts and counts tab donations during math lessons throughout the year. So far, the students in our room alone have collected more than 5,000 pop tabs! Collecting small, shiny objects comes naturally to first-graders, but it’s not all fun and games. Students remember that their small contributions add up and earn money for the house. “We want to make them feel comfort so that they won’t be scared,” says first-grader Stella Edwards. “Since you’re caring about people, you don’t only help them, you help them get well,” adds classmate Janna Cloninger. Many students and families maintain their connection with the house long after first- grade. It is not unusual to see second-, third- and fourth-graders bringing pop tabs to their old first-grade classrooms. Older students’ donations arrive via inter-campus mail. Every donation is appreciated. Regardless of age, the Durham Academy connection to the Ronald McDonald House remains strong and benefits those on both the giving and the receiving end. First-grader Stewart Hall sums it up: “We feel better because we help them feel better by doing kindness to them.”



Stretching and expanding the american promise: experiencing diversity through Film

careers. After a thought-provoking screening, DA faculty and staff participated in two of the following workshops: • Encounters with “The Other” — Tina Bessias, Upper School English Durham Academy’s curriculum is full of encounters with “The Other,” especially in language arts, history and foreign language lessons. From preschool picture books to high school texts, we introduce and teach these BY KEMI NONE Z, DIREC TOR OF DIVER SIT Y encounters. Participants identified key elements A N D M U LT I C U LT U R A L A F FA I R S of encounters in their own curricula and identified patterns that can help students and adults engage productively with “The Others” in their lives.   ariety is nice; we all like a bit of variety in • Recognizing Micro-aggressions and our lives. Shouldn’t the same be said about Micro-assaults: Fostering a Safe Classroom For diversity? More diversity, plus more inclusion, must equal a multicultural school! This scenario All Students — Naa Adom, Upper School English and Diversity Coordinator sounds simple enough, but diversity cannot In this session, faculty and staff examined just encompass race, ethnicity and religion. It micro-aggressions which are “commonplace is imperative that as a school we continue to daily verbal, behavioral and environmental stretch the definition of diversity to include indignities, whether intentional or unintengender, culture, socioeconomics, sexual tional.” Participants examined common and orientation, cognitive ability and more. group-specific forms of micro-aggressions, and Durham Academy has awarded me the suggested strategies to overcome them on an opportunity to work in an environment that individual and institutional level. recognizes and appreciates the benefits of • Cultural Capital: Asset, Liability or Both? a multicultural school community. Often a — Barbara Potter, Former Director of Graduate school’s success can be determined based on Support, Durham Nativity School its cultural competency and ability to embrace On Wall Street, brokers trade in stocks, diversity and inclusion. Last spring I was charged bonds, hedge funds, etc. On Main Street, with the goal of orchestrating a school-wide people trade in cultural capital. Like financial professional development day centered around wealth, cultural capital is often inherited; the theme of diversity. An essential part of my however, not all cultural capital is created equal. strategic plan was to foster an environment Faculty discussed the types of cultural capital that would encourage faculty and staff to have that make educational and social success more open and perhaps some difficult dialogues on diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion. So, I set or less likely. • Building a Beloved Community — Dan out to do just that, and on Aug. 15, faculty and Kimberg, Student U Founder and Executive Director staff candidly and constructively shared their Martin Luther King, Jr. used the phrase views, ideas and perceptions on the challenges “Beloved Community” to describe an some of our students and families face while environment in which all people are respected attending an independent school. and valued for who they are as individuals To fully conceptualize the difficulties and are inspired by who they can become of sustaining a culturally competent school collectively. Participants explored how Student environment, all faculty and staff were invited U strives to create a Beloved Community and to screen the critically acclaimed film American the lessons learned that could be translated to Promise. An extraordinary documentary about Durham Academy. race, parenting and education, American Promise • Code Switchers — Owen Bryant, Upper was a 14-year project. The film follows the School History and History Department Chair educational path of two male African-American How do students from diverse backstudents from their first day of kindergarten at grounds navigate academic and social life in an The Dalton School, a prestigious New York City independent school setting? In this workshop, independent school, through their high school




we explored the topic of code switching from both a historical and contemporary perspective using case studies and scenarios. • The “New” IQ — Cindy Moore, PreK-12 Learning Specialist A student’s ability to focus, hold and work with information simultaneously can possibly predict their future success in and out of school. In this workshop, participants learned the importance of executive functioning skills and why it’s being called the “new” IQ. Cindy Moore led the conversation about what works best for the “typical” DA student as well as how to best support and communicate with all types of families around their child’s academic difficulties.  • If You’re Colorblind, Am I Invisible? — Jennifer Rogers, EnGage Consulting, LLC A single educator cannot experience being every race, religion, gender, ability and sexual orientation. We often teach through selfreflecting kaleidoscopes and hope for the best. Have you ever wondered about the view from your students’ kaleidoscopes? In this workshop, Jennifer Rogers pointed out the intricacies of childhood ethnic and racial identity through the lens of the popular elementary school game “Who’s that Baby?” • Interventions that Work — Alexandra Zagbayou, Student U High School Program Director As students go through their high school experience, they are likely to experience obstacles that may hinder their academic and social development. Student U’s Alexandra Zagbayou worked with faculty on ways to develop individualized intervention plans that support and empower students and their families.  Culminating the day’s events was a question-and-answer session with American Promise filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson. Brewster, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, and Stephenson, a Columbia Law School graduate, discussed and answered questions about the complexities of sending their African-American son to a prestigious independent school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The resounding message to faculty and staff was to continue to create and implement a culture of diversity that permeates every aspect of the DA community. Parents, students and alumni are invited for a public viewing of American Promise on the evening of Feb. 20. Viewers will be stretched to expand their own definitions of diversity with the captivating stories told in American Promise.

Fast-growing summer programs offers camps to suit every fancy Kathy McPherson



ABOVE: Technology camps are always popular at DA Summer Programs.

ant to learn about song-writing or being a DJ? Durham Academy’s got camps for that. Does your child like making doll clothes or other arts activities? DA’s got camps for that. Is chess or technology what excites your son or daughter? DA’s got camps for that. Interested in volleyball, golf, swimming, basketball, slacklining or almost any other sport? DA’s got camps for that. Want to learn a new language or need a boost with academics? DA has camps for that, too. DA Summer Programs will offer 187 halfday camps from June 9 to July 25, with offerings for 3-year-olds to high school seniors. For the littlest ones, there is “All about Me: I’m Three,” and at the other end of the age range, there are SAT prep camps. Enrichment camps are offered on a weekly basis, with academic camps running for six weeks. This summer’s lineup includes 165 enrichment camps and 22 academic camps. New this year is a week-long “Research and Information Literacy” enrichment camp taught by DA librarian Shannon Harris and assistant librarian Emily Harkey for rising ninth-graders. It will be the first camp to offer academic credit. The camp covers information taught during the school year to DA ninth-graders, so students who take the summer camp will have an additional free period during the school year. “We’ve got almost any kind of camp. Any kid will find something they enjoy,” said Dan Gilson, director of DA Summer Programs and director of DA’s Extended Day program during the school year. Durham Academy has been offering summer camps and classes for more than 30

years, with the program growing tremendously in recent years. Gilson said Summer Programs drew 847 campers last summer, an increase of 150 campers from summer 2012. Growth is likely to continue, with 18 additional camps offered for summer 2014. The 2014 Summer Programs website,, has been online since December, and registration for camps opened in early January. Morning camps run from 9 a.m. to noon, and afternoon camps from 1 to 4 p.m. A supervised lunch period is included when campers are registered for both morning and afternoon sessions. In addition, before care is offered from 7:45 to 9 a.m. and after care from 4 to 5:15 p.m. Summer Programs draws families who may not otherwise set foot on campus, as well as those who are part of the DA community. “We have kids coming from Korea for our summer programs, and a girl from Saudi Arabia attended camp while her brother was receiving medical treatment at Duke,” Gilson said. He believes coming to summer camp is especially helpful to children who will be new to DA in the fall. “They get familiar with the campus, know where the bathrooms are, meet other kids,” Gilson explained. “They play here, have fun here. It makes a difference.” Kara Henderson-Jeffries sent her son, P.J., to DA Summer Programs before he began Pre-K in 2011. “It was a great way to transition him, get him accustomed to the school and get to know some of the teachers — and he loved it,” she said. “It was so convenient; I signed up online, the offerings were great and I felt it was on the

cutting edge with Lego camps and technology camps.” This past summer, Henderson-Jeffries sent P.J.; younger son, Parker, who was entering Pre-K; and two nieces who were visiting from Toronto and Chicago to DA Summer Programs. She has also used Summer Programs to “bridge the gap — to keep P.J. from losing skills he learned during the school year and get him ready for the next year. P.J. went to summer math camp with Jessica Soler. When school started, she was his teaching assistant for first grade, and he already knew her.” Summer Programs also is a way for families to become interested in DA. “We have kids who come to camp and then apply to DA the following year,” Gilson said. He believes a sense of community is an important part of DA Summer Programs. Kids aren’t segmented into “their” particular camp, but have an opportunity to spend time with other campers. “Our teachers know each other and they interact,” he said. “A P.E. camp may play a dodge ball game against a drama camp. These are connections that bring a sense of community to camp. Kids from different camps mix during the camp day on the playground and in before care and after care. During recess campers might watch an egg drop or robot racing.” “Our Summer Programs offer low-risk, accessible opportunities for community members to dip their toes in the culture at Durham Academy,” said Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “They also offer our faculty some fresh chances to teach precisely what they love to students they may not see during the school year. “I also like that Summer Programs makes good use of facilities that would otherwise go unused during the summer. This is an aspect of sustainability and equity that we might overlook. Our terrific campus ought to be used for learning — by as many students as possible, whenever we can make it happen!”



CELEBRATING UNITY AND HELPING OTHERS The Lower School Unity Day is a time to have fun together and help others. The day began with songs and skits in Brumley Auditorium, including using construction paper to form a giant “U.” Each grade level completed a service project – fourth graders made sandwiches for Urban Ministries’ soup kitchen – and the entire school brought in school supplies for students at Durham Nativity School. PHOTOS BY MELODY GUYTON BUTTS



Those little plastic tiles have gone digital DA TEACHERS’ APP IS IN THE iTUNES STORE B Y K AT H Y M C P H E R S O N , A S S O C I AT E D I R E C T O R O F CO M M U N I C AT I O N S


Photos by Kathy McPherson

arcy Cook is a rock star when it comes to kids’ math. Instructional materials she created in the 1980s are used all over the globe — laminated sheets and little number tiles about the size of Scrabble pieces. It’s definitely old school. The materials may have more in common with 1950s Dick and Jane readers than today’s digital world, but teachers say they can’t be beat for helping children better understand the concepts behind math applications, sharpening reasoning skills and forcing children to become better problem solvers. Durham Academy was using Marcy Cook materials long before Tom Barry and Chris Mason joined the faculty in 2004. They were huge admirers, but as technology became more and more a part of DA classrooms, the two fourth-grade teachers began thinking about the digital possibilities for those laminated sheets and easy-to-lose tiles. It took time, effort and cross-country travel, but an idea Barry and Mason had been thinking about since early 2011 is now an app available through the iTunes app store. Marcy Cook had had others approach her about possibly creating an app for her material, but it wasn’t until her meeting with Mason and Barry in the living room of her Balboa Island, Calif., home in August 2012 that she felt she had partners with a like-minded vision for her tools. “People had been knocking on her door, but no one was truly looking at it from the teachers’ or kids’ point of view, which was so important to us,” said Barry. “She saw where we were coming from … No one seemed to have presented to her how to do this the ‘right’ way.” “We were in the weeds, we were teachers,” said Mason. They had tailored their fourth-

grade math classes around Cook’s concept-based tile math and, with the increasing use of digital devices, a Marcy Cook app was the next logical step. With her blessing secured, Barry and Mason began working with Durham-based Open Software Integrators in January 2013 to develop the code necessary to replicate her hard-copy sheets. It was nearly a 12-month process. “We had to work very closely with the developers to get to this final product. There were a lot of revisions and changes over that one-year time frame,” said Mason. The finished app was approved by Apple and went live January 4, 2014. “I love it,” said Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “Teachers collaborating with each other, with technological tools, and with experts in the field to engage their students more fully and (we hope) help thousands more around the world. Chris and Tom’s work on this app represents the best of who we are as a faculty.” The app is about problem solving and reasoning, and that’s what sets it apart. Mason said a high percentage of math apps are fact-based, testing students’ knowledge or memorization of math facts. The Marcy Cook app he and Barry created “forces kids to become better problem solvers by using the lessons they

ABOVE: Fourth-grade teachers Tom Barry (left) and Chris Mason created a Marcy Cook math app that’s available through the iTunes app store. FAR LEFT: The app gives nearly instant feedback, allowing students to progress without waiting for a teacher to check their work. LEFT: The app includes 20 work sheets each for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

have learned. It forces them to truly understand what’s behind the recipe of computation and it does it in an ageappropriate way.” Barry and Mason saw the value in developing problem solvers, and they recognized that students have been learning differently in the last 10 years than they were before. “We saw this as a natural fit of getting this great stuff in digital form,” said Mason. The app is intended for students in grades four through six, as well as for younger students looking for more challenge and older students needing additional practice before mastery. It includes 20 tiles sheets each of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. One additional benefit they’ve found is that rather than having students wait for a teacher to check their work, the app gives nearly instant feedback. Students can progress as quickly as they want, and teachers can spend more time helping others master a concept. The 20 sheets increase with difficulty as students work through them.



Learning from the best in the business


hen most people talk about what makes Durham Academy an exceptional school, they inevitably mention excellent teaching. Our school has been fortunate to have had visionary leadership, bright students and strong support from dedicated families, but the quality of the faculty remains the most significant driver of DA’s success. We have a high standard for classroom teaching here, and because students and families at DA should expect nothing less, we need to constantly be working to keep our faculty invigorated, current and growing in the craft of encouraging learning. Thankfully, evidence abounds to show that teachers here are pushing themselves to be better. Every year, DA spends approximately $120,000 on professional development. Most of those dollars go toward sending teachers to various conferences — which are usually worthwhile but sometimes hit or miss. This year, teachers in the Middle School are participating in a professional growth exercise that challenges them to grow by observing masters of the teaching trade. They are furthering their growth and development as educators by learning from some of the best in the business: each other. This project was inspired by a groundswell of desire to have meaningful contact time with colleagues. Over the last two years, I heard from many teachers that they wanted more interaction with their peers. The physical layout of our campus has many advantages, but it does not lend itself well to regular or easy collaboration. I kept hearing that people felt sequestered in their corner of the school, and sometimes went months without having significant contact with anyone other than the teachers in neighboring rooms. The comments that I had heard about this were confirmed when Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner polled the faculty over the summer. One of the top requests from teachers was to have more professional interaction with their colleagues.  I wanted to facilitate that interaction, but knew there had to be a balanced approach


to it. I chose to not pursue extreme options such as Professional Learning Communities, which require significant schedule changes and a fundamentally different approach than our grade-level, team-based system. I did, however, want to encourage collaboration that could facilitate introspective change among our characteristically very thoughtful teachers. I heard a series of TED talks on collaboration that stuck with me and helped me consider how to get more meaningful interaction into the ebb and flow of a Middle School year. One talk was from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, in which he shares the beauty and value of collaborative work. That was juxtaposed by Jason Fried’s talk about the dangers of too much collaboration; he explains how too many meetings can squelch productive work. Considering these points, I looked for a way to reduce the number of afternoon faculty meetings while increasing the frequency of significant contact with colleagues. After discussing these ideas with the poor few colleagues who stopped by for what they thought was going to be a quick, casual visit over the summer, I settled on the idea of asking teachers to observe each other teaching several times throughout the year then gathering with peers over lunch to debrief what they learned — and the professional collaboration lunch idea was hatched. The plan evolved to include four peer-to-


Photos by Melody Guyton Butts


peer observations. Once in the fall, teachers were to visit another teacher in their academic department. Twice in the winter, faculty members were asked to observe peers who don’t teach the same subject. In the spring, the final observation is to be back with a different colleague from the same department. Each time teachers observed a class, they were to fill out a simple form on which they could journal about the visit. The questions are: “How is learning

• CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Math teacher Jim McGivney chats with a fellow teacher at a collaboration lunch. • Teachers Patti Donnelly (from right) and Robert Sheard listen to colleague Gib Fitzpatrick during at one of the gatherings. • Science teacher Gerty Ward addresses her class of sixth-graders. Each Middle School teacher is both observing and being observed by peers this year as a new collaborative professional development exercise.

facilitated in this class in ways that are similar to how you facilitate it?” “How is learning facilitated in this class in ways that are different than how you facilitate it?” And, finally, “Did you notice any interactions, strategies, techniques or activities that you might consider incorporating into your teaching?” The purpose of the forms was primarily to encourage teachers to consider ways they could better themselves, but this also provided a way to collect ideas and see if patterns emerged. In addition to completing the forms, teachers gathered in groups over lunch to discuss what they learned and compare their observation experiences.  This project was intended to be

WHAT THE TEACHERS HAD TO SAY • “Collaboration lunches are a win-win for the teacher observing and the teacher being observed. I try to choose colleagues to observe that students tell me are their favorites, so I can ‘steal’ some techniques from them. I really enjoy observing teachers who use technology that I am not familiar with. The collaboration lunches also serve another purpose: collegiality and mutual respect.” — R A N DY B R Y S O N , S C I E N C E T E AC H E R

• “When I left the classroom to pursue educational assessments and consulting, I was a lone educator in an environment where I was certainly learning but in a different way. At Durham Academy, our collaboration lunches provide an opportunity for me to meet with peers to share successes, questions and ideas in a way that makes the foundation for the path our students journey down not only stronger but with the feeling of a cohesive community. I am grateful for the chance to reflect and connect.” — PAT T I D O N N E L LY, L A N G UAG E A R T S T E AC H E R • “I have found the collaboration lunches and observations to be a great chance to reflect on my own teaching and to connect with my colleagues. It’s both rewarding and inspiring to have this structured opportunity to talk to other teachers about learning and strategies for classroom management. By having an open agenda, our history department meeting covered many topics we may not have addressed if we had come with prior concerns; instead, we were able to digest what we had observed and share what works and what we hope to achieve with our students. I am looking forward to my next lunch with teachers outside of my department!” — V IRG I N I A H A L L , H I S TO R Y T E AC H E R

• “Despite our emphasis on collaborative learning in our classrooms, we teachers rarely have the opportunity to practice what we preach. Observing other teachers and students, and then sharing our insights at the collaborative lunches, was a unique and valuable opportunity. I especially appreciated the chance to gain more knowledge of where my students have come from and where they are going (when visiting same-subject classrooms at other grade levels) and about their daily experiences and learning in their other, current subjects. Reflecting on all of this with other teachers will surely enrich and inform my teaching. — K E L LY H O W E S , L A N G UAG E A R T S T E AC H E R

“professional development,” and while it is far from perfect, it has given teachers the chance to see how their colleagues do things differently. This has served as an extension of what we did as a faculty last spring when we learned about our personality types; it is interesting to see how a respected colleague manages students and delivers content in ways that differ from our own. Teachers have reported learning from small habits (interactive games, filing systems, seating arrangements) to more substantial lessons (group work vs. traditional individual learning, pacing of content delivery). Just being in the rooms of others has evoked meaningful observations about the way physical space is used and the importance of purposeful placement of visual materials. The experience of sitting where the students sit has allowed us to have a better understanding of what our own students are exposed to in other parts of their day … and has allowed us to have more empathy for colleagues as they work to inspire meaningful learning. As with most first-time projects, there is much that can be done better. There is untapped potential in facilitating more contact between the observer and the observed, and we can certainly avoid some of the scheduling mistakes we made this year. We may also consider focusing our visits on solving a problem or addressing a specific topic, perhaps something that emerges from our divisional audit later this winter. We will evaluate this process in the spring to discuss what has been most valuable and adjust our approach accordingly. At the start of the school year, we calculated that our Middle School teachers had more than 981 years of collective teaching experience. That impressive number is just one indicator of how deeply this faculty understands how to reach the students on this campus. By facilitating a series of visits between each other, we have had a chance to learn and grow from proven practitioners … who happened to be accessible via a short walk rather than a long car drive or a plane flight. As we continue to work to improve our curriculum, stay current, maximize the potential of the iPad, etc., etc., this project has allowed us to fortify our most important asset — our teachers. 



Ultimate frisbee takes off Ultimate Frisbee has grown rapidly in the Middle School to the point that the most common recess “accessory” is a Frisbee. The team — actually two teams this year — grew from about 20 players last year. Durham Academy is fortunate to have two outstanding coaches this year, with 48 Middle Schoolers participating — both boys and girls playing side-by-side in this truly coed sport. While Ultimate Frisbee is not an official interscholastic sport, DA's teams compete against several other independent and public middle schools in the area. — Jef f Parkin, Middle School counselor







Preschool Director Sheppy Vann’s 30-year run at Durham Academy will end when she retires this summer. She joined DA as a kindergarten teacher in 1984, was named Preschool Director in 1990 and is a much-loved member of the DA community. “Replacing Sheppy is a mission impossible,” said Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. “As a colleague and a grateful parent of two of her kindergartners, I'll sorely miss her combination of authentic love (for preschoolers and the simple pleasures of their lives) and professionalism (with colleagues, parents and visitors to the school). As Sheppy herself recognizes, however, this transition opens the door for another extraordinary educator to lead our Preschool forward in some key areas.” Three finalists for Preschool Director will visit DA in February, and a new director is likely to be announced by Feb. 20. Serving on the search committee are: Sherilyn Carrow, PS teacher, former PS parent, former Lower School Director and Middle School parent; Lee Hark, Assistant Head of School, Upper School Director and PS/ LS parent; Kara Henderson, PS/LS parent; Enrique Neblett, PS parent; Kemi Nonez, Director of Diversity, Admissions Counselor, former PS parent and US parent; Sarah Schultz, PS/LS/MS parent; Jamie Krzyzewski Spatola, alumna, PS parent-to-be and trustee; Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School, former PS parent and MS parent; and Jessica Crowe Whilden, alumna and PS teacher. Though not on the committee, Vann will be involved and active throughout the process.

• SOPHOMORE GALA TAYLOR IS AMONG 35 WINNERS OF NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AWARD Durham Academy sophomore Gala Taylor was one of 35 female high school students honored by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) in December 2013. The winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing were selected from more


than 2,300 applicants from across the nation. The honor comes with a $500 cash prize, a laptop computer and plaques for both Taylor and Durham Academy. In addition, an unnamed benefactor has offered Taylor a $1,000 college scholarship. Taylor was the sole North Carolinian to be honored. Her technology experiences include competition with five FIRST and Google XPRIZE robotics teams; participation in the Theoretical Computer Science Program at Princeton University; and teaching computer programming to middle and high school students as part of her Shodor Education Foundation computer science apprenticeship and internship. Taylor earned a perfect 2400 on her SAT in October 2013.

are expected to commit five to seven hours to a single GOA course. Since course participants are scattered across time zones, classes meet asynchronously, with no set class time. Students work collaboratively on projects and discussions. The individual attention that students enjoy in their traditional DA classes won’t be lost over the Internet connection, GOA promises: Teachers hold regularly scheduled virtual office hours, and all classes are capped at 18 students. GOA launched in April 2011 with 10 members schools and five online classes. The consortium now includes more than 35 leading independent schools from around the world, including Sidwell Friends School in Washington; The Blake School in Minneapolis; The Dalton School in New York; and Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico. DA is the first North Carolina school to join GOA.



Imagine: A Durham Academy student pens an early-morning email to a classmate about a group project for their philosophy class. In a few hours, her classmate responds from a computer on the campus of Lakeside School in Seattle. Meanwhile, their teacher is just finishing up his school day at King’s Academy in Jordan. Sound like the distant future? Not so much. This new world of academic opportunities is made possible by a partnership DA has formed with Global Online Academy (GOA), a consortium of independent schools that aims to replicate in online classrooms the rigor and excellent instruction for which its member schools are known. One Upper Schooler is taking a GOA course this spring, and Upper School Director and Assistant Head of School Lee Hark expects that several more DA students will choose to follow suit in the fall. Students receive credit from DA for GOA classes, and many of the courses qualify for college-level credit as well. Upper School English teacher Tina Bessias and math teacher Jarrod Jenzano are serving as GOA instructors. In a typical week, GOA students

Stanford University’s Teacher Tribute Initiative has honored Durham Academy Upper School physics teacher Lou Parry for his influence on DA alumna and Stanford freshman Ashley Jowell ’13, who lauded Parry’s “passion for physics and life” in a nomination essay. “Durham Academy is lucky to have a teacher as caring and passionate as Mr. Parry,” she wrote. “A defining experience with him occurred during our final AP Physics class. While describing his Peace Corps trip to Fiji, he encouraged students to take chances, to move beyond their comfort zones, to find joy in the mundane and always to create beautiful things. This experience is emblematic of how much he cares about his students.” Parry, who has taught at Durham Academy for more than 30 years, “invests in his advisees by creating strong bonds and always reminding them to laugh,” Jowell continued. “He is well adored and his passion for physics and life never fails to inspire those around him!” The annual Stanford Teacher Tribute Initiative recognizes outstanding teachers and mentors who have been nominated for

recognition by incoming freshmen and transfer students. The program website encourages students to nominate one person “who went the extra mile for you.”


The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognized 16 Durham Academy seniors for their performance on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Six were named semifinalists and 10 received letters of commendation. Kyle Bushick, David Pierce, Rasika Ramanan, Rahul Sharma, Ambika Viswanathan and Catherine Yang were named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Of the 1.5 million entrants, about 16,000 students were named semifinalists. Receiving letters of commendation were Arif Caner, Ian Concannon, Spencer Hallyburton, Alex Herrle, Christen Howlett, Justin Katz, Tommy Monson, Ezra PakHarvey, Breanna Polascik and Will Ruff. Their scores placed them in the top five percent of students who took the test.

• JOSH ZOFFER ’10 WINS WORLD UNIVERSITIES DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH HARVARD TEAMMATE Durham Academy alumnus Josh Zoffer ’10 and his debate teammate from Harvard University, Ben SprungKeyser, won the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) in Chennai, India, on Jan. 4. Zoffer and Sprung-Keyser’s victory is the first win by Americans in more than a decade, and the duo is believed to be the youngest-ever team to win, as champions are typically graduate students. The WUDC is the largest debate tournament in the world, with 1,200 college students from 350 universities in 60 countries competing. In April 2013, Zoffer and Sprung-Keyser won the American Parliamentary Debate Association’s national championships, and Zoffer and former debate partner Coulter King are the current North American Debate Champions.





























Kim Bullock Ionescu ’99 to receive Distinguished Alumni Award


ABOVE: Kim Bullock Ionescu ’99 influences coffee trade policy and sustainability practices throughout the world.


urham Academy will honor Kim Bullock Ionescu ’99 as its Distinguished Alumni recipient April 11 at the third annual Spring Alumni Reception. Ionescu was a DA “lifer,” and she attended Tufts University, where she received a B.A. in English and Latin American studies. Ionescu is the coffee buyer and sustainability manager for Counter Culture Coffee, a Durham-based company whose mission is to seek coffee that not only tastes good, but also does good — from the local community to the communities around the world from where the coffee is sourced. Ionescu strives not only to improve the quality of coffee the company buys and roasts, but also to develop and strengthen relationships with producing partners all over the world. As a main architect of Counter Culture’s Direct Trade Certification and a driving force of the annual Transparency Report, Ionescu encourages and inspires sustainability initiatives closer to home with her research into seed-to-cup greenhouse gas emissions and as a founding member of Counter Culture’s in-house sustainability committee.Thanks to her work, Counter Culture is on track to completely offset its carbon footprint, and is also moving toward a goal of sourcing and roasting exclusively organic coffees. Ionescu has become a thought leader in specialty coffee because of her unique skill set. She is a bona fide coffee expert, taster and buyer, but this is combined with a strong moral purpose and vision for sustainability. She is an in-demand advisor and speaker. Her advice is sought by many, and she is helping guide the industry. Far beyond Counter Culture Coffee, she influences coffee trade policy and sustainability practices throughout the world. Ionescu and her husband, Kieran, live in Durham with their daughter, Adelaide, and an evermultiplying brood of chickens. During her visit to DA on April 11, Ionescu will speak at an Upper School assembly and have lunch with faculty and students. She will be honored at a 6 p.m. alumni reception in the Upper School Learning Commons. For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Award and Spring Alumni Reception, please visit

distinguished alumni FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 6 P.M.



associate director of alumni affairs,

at for more information.





LEFT: Class of 1964 as sixth-graders in 1958, first row (from left), Harriet McIver, Marion Ross, Louis Wade, Mike Cary, Linda Brame, Mrs. Evans; second row, Cappy Callaway, Ann Orgain, Olive Jenkins, Jim Price, Joan Milliken; third row, Peggy McPherson, Caroline Cottingham, Mary Helen Peakock, Mary Evins, Margaret Hart; fourth row, Betty Ann Baldwin, Margaret Ann Emory, Tom Graham, Judy Reeves and Trude Lowenbach. Not pictured: Janet

50th Reunion Holley and Lea Couch.

50th reunion for Class of 1964 set for May 4, 5 N By Marion Ross Godfrey ’64

one of us were actually at Durham Academy to graduate in 1964 since there was no high school then. Our kindergarten year at Calvert Method School was 1951-52, and Calvert became Durham Academy in 1959. In the fall of third grade, Hurricane Hazel sent us home from school early. Around fourth grade, Dr. Lowenbach told us about his time as a ship’s surgeon on a whaling ship. In sixth grade, the Russians launched Sputnik. Five boys and 17 girls graduated from sixth grade in May 1958, with Mary Helen Peacock as valedictorian. Music teacher Lola Williams directed our graduation ceremony, which included music by Wagner, Beethoven and “Our Loyal Devotion,” the alma mater. Mrs. Williams wrote the words to that song. We were the first class to have the opportunity to attend seventh grade at Calvert, but the school stopped at ninth grade. Some “went away” to school, and others continued in the Durham and Chapel Hill public schools. From Child Training Class (now known as pre-k) to ninth grade, Durham Academy has the names of 70 people who were in our class for one or more year. On May 4 and 5, we’ll have a chance to meet together again, remember old times and see the outstanding school that Durham Academy has become. Please help us find members of the Class of 1964. Anyone who was ever in this class, even if just for kindergarten year, is welcome to join us! Please send your contact information to Marion Ross Godfrey at or 302-658-5151. Of the 22 students who graduated with us in 1958, we have not yet located Mary Helen Peacock and Miles (Mike) Fairfax Cary, Jr. Please help us locate these and any other class members you may know! We remember classmates Keith Grimson, Andy Julian, Joannie Milliken, Jim Price and Diane Weatherby, who have died.

In the fall of third grade, Hurricane

Hazel sent us home from school early.

Around fourth grade, Dr. Lowenbach told us about his time as a ship’s surgeon on a whaling ship. In sixth grade, the Russians launched Sputnik. Five boys and 17 girls graduated from sixth grade in May 1958, with Mary Helen Peacock as valedictorian.





The heart, spirit and soul of Calvert School By Marion Ross Godfrey ’64


or 16 years, Calvert Method School students during the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s were very fortunate to have an outstanding music teacher, Mrs. Lola Williams. She taught every student in the school every week. In early 1958, there were 260 of us. She knew us each by name and greeted each of us then, and also when she saw us much later as adults, as though we were very special to her. She worked with us in Pickard Hall, and she produced many musical programs and many plays, with kindergarteners through sixthgraders performing. Mrs. Williams taught us to sing together, and she encouraged some to sing solos. In the early grades, we felt the beat of music, using sticks, triangles, bells and clanging cymbals. We learned to read notes using plastic tonettes in fourth grade, graduating to wooden recorders in fifth grade. Using her little black pitch pipe, Charlotte CunninghamRundles ’61 remembers Mrs. Williams “pushing us to do better, stay in tune, sing louder and to sing with clear enunciation.” She worked hard to get the very best out of us, and we worked hard for her and for our parents and teachers who came to listen and watch. Trude Lowenbach Lawrence ’64 especially 28


remembers the Christmas concerts where we stood up on risers at the end of Pickard Hall, wearing white choir robes and our best shoes. Fred Callaway ’62 remembers getting to do a solo of “The Old Chisholm Trail,” wearing a wonderful new green and gold cowboy suit. Margaret Emory Haynes ’64 remembers Mrs. Williams standing on her tiptoes on a chair, reaching high up, trying to get us to reach the highest notes! Janet Holley Wegner ’64 recalls dancing, singing along when a certain theme appeared or illustrating significant pieces when she hears those pieces of music still today, more than 50 years later! She connected our lessons to our souls and psyches with her memorable productions. In 1976, when she was no longer teaching full time, former headmistress Bess Pickard Boone asked Lola Williams to write a history of Calvert Method School, the school that became Durham Academy in 1959. As part of this 25-page history, Mrs. Williams wrote one page about her own work at Calvert. Of course, she tells it best! “Setting aside modesty and diffidence, I refer to my own work now. For better or worse, I’ll warrant I was there. At first as a part-time music teacher, then to sixth grade, and after

Williams that, spreading (like a disease?) to include music, rhythms, dramatics, a little writing, whatever goes in the child experience as free expression. In the more stilted terms of adulthood, we call it art, with the help of Mrs. Pickard and all the teachers, we developed a sequential program which did not neglect the disciplinary aspects (the music-reading, the instrument playing, the symphonic and song literature) but which consciously placed its emphasis elsewhere. The vocabularies of movement, color, sound were taught as best we could, and then there was strong encouragement toward individual expression. John’s way. Joan’s way. My way. All were elicited and accepted. Variety and not conformity was encouraged. For the best curriculum without the balance of free expression bears the danger of becoming oppressively formalized. We tried to keep very close to the curriculum and to the childlife, to add the depth and refreshment of the child-arts, to suggest the importance of doing one’s own thing. “This developed naturally into public programs, hundreds of them, all written and designed cooperatively within the school. A class studying nature might observe the movements of creatures and clouds and trees in the wind and structure them into dance. The first-grade doings of Dick and Jane and the second-grade of Apollo and Minerva were turned to original song and dance and dramatized. The folk song and dance of the history

lessons were researched and learned and the geography of countries. ‘Acclimitization,’ as Hillyer said, ‘in time and space.’ The most elaborate production was ‘Adam of the Road,’ a novel that we dramatized from Elizabeth Grey’s story of a medieval minstrel’s son. I saw Tate Sanders recently and we recalled it. ‘Great play,’



we did some square dancing, some bop and some jitterbug. The Germans danced for us, we sang them our Calvert song, and then we had to say goodbye. For several years, we went to the North Carolina Symphony’s children’s concert several miles away on Duke Street, in the Durham High School gym. We sang “The “For better or worse, I’ll warrant I was there. At first as Happy Wanderer” one year a part-time music teacher, then to sixth grade, and after and “This Land is Your Land” that, spreading (like a disease?) to include music, rhythms, another year, with students dramatics, a little writing, whatever goes in the child from all over Durham. experience as free expression. The vocabularies of movement, Lola Williams was the wife color, sound were taught as best we could, and then there of a Duke professor, J. Wesley was strong encouragement toward individual expression. Williams, and the mother of John’s way. Joan’s way. My way. All were elicited and accepted. three sons: Jim, Winston and Variety and not conformity was encouraged. For the best John Derek, whom she called curriculum without the balance of free expression bears the Jackie. However, when she was danger of becoming oppressively formalized. teaching at Calvert, she made We tried to keep very close to the curriculum and to the child- her students feel as though we life, to add the depth and refreshment of the child-arts, to and our accomplishments were suggest the importance of doing one’s own thing.” of paramount importance. Many thanks to her family for sharing her with us! We learned said Tate. ‘You made John “Mrs. Williams is teaching so much from her that is still Hart stand on his head and us music every day now.” In very much a part of us. sing Sellinger’s Round while fourth grade, there was a play Each year at bouncing a ball on his heels.’ about flags and a program that I don’t believe a word of this. included Mozart and a princess, Christmastime, when I have the opportunity to sing “Go John is a doctor now and not a who I named as my favorite Tell it On the Mountain,” member of Ringling Brothers, character. In fifth grade, there Barnum and Bailey. (He played were plays about Helen of Troy my mind’s eye pictures Mrs. Williams standing in front of the part of the low-class, show- and Demosthenes. That year, off minstrel.) But Tate said the we also had a special visit from us atop a chair so we could all see her, pulling our best words I longed to hear: ‘We the German Obernkirchen lived in the Middle Ages. We Children’s Choir that spent part children’s singing voices out were inhabitants.’ Isn’t that of a day with us at school. Mrs. with her incredible energy and contagious enthusiasm. pretty much the point of it all?” Williams was able to persuade Page Wilson ’63 said it Yes! Trude Lowenbach to welcome so well, “I am confident that I Mrs. Williams taught some them in German. We were speak for hundreds of Calvert of us writing at Calvert. She impressed! School alumni when I say that clearly enjoyed being able to We had a Grand March express herself, and encouraged to the kindergarten building in Lola Williams was the heart, us to do the same. She praised which we divided into partners. spirit and soul of Calvert for all of us.” when it was good, but when I had a 15-year-old girl who EDITOR’S NOTE: Lola it wasn’t so good, she helped knew broken English. She had us understand what we could long black pigtails. After lunch, Williams died July 30 at age 99. do to make it better. She was a strong, wiry woman with an intense enthusiasm that she conveyed to her students of all ages. In looking through the bound books of my own Calvert work, there are countless examples of how she excited us. In second grade, I write with obvious pleasure,






Lawrence in London A

ABOVE: Lawrence and his son, Sebastian, enjoy skating at a London ice rink.

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fter 13 years in Australia, London called. What could we do but answer, “yes”? So my wife, Genevieve, and our two kids, Sebastian and Eloise, did just that. So I’m now senior lecturer in Medieval English Literature at King’s College London, and Sebastian follows the Arsenal “Football” team closer than the Blue Devils hoops squad. London is great for all sorts of reasons, but for me the main attraction is that the greatest collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, especially at the British Library, are just a tube ride away. And the things you find when you begin to look at those manuscripts are pretty amazing. Earlier this year, I published a book called The Myth of Piers Plowman: Constructing a Medieval Literary Archive (available for free online!), a lot of which just tells stories of those things. I found myself writing one chapter about a literary forger who “translated” portions of this excellent 14th century poem into modern English around 1802, and another about the possibility that this serious religious poem’s author had cut his teeth translating a wild romance about a werewolf and lovers in bear suits from the French. Mrs. Engebretsen totally ought to assign the original! (Guillaume de Palerne — come on Mrs. E., it’s only 7,000 lines!) More recently, a big-shot scholar over here announced that a manuscript in the British Library was in the handwriting of its early 15th century poet, so I went to have a look. No way. It doesn’t look like his writing at all! It’s full of the kinds of errors that scribes make but authors don’t! It doesn’t have the pretty pictures we’d expect in such a manuscript! So I’m writing that up now, giving papers, making waves. That’s the kind of thing that you get up to in my world when you’re not teaching or sitting in meetings, an often bizarre and always interesting place, which could only be better if someone would steal a Krispy Kreme truck and bring me some free doughnuts every now and then.

— L AW R E N C E WA R N E R ’ 8 7





NOTES FROM THE CLASS OF 1993 By Rosemary Nye ’93


rden Henderson Ward

and her husband live in Shelter Island, N.Y. They have two little boys, Christopher (almost 3) and Tucker who is 14 months. Courtney Prentis Glenn and her husband live in Decatur, Ga., with their two boys (ages 1 and 5). Courtney is a school social worker in a specialized program for children with severe emotional behavior disorders. Lauren Jacobi finished her doctorate at NYU in spring 2012 and spent last year teaching in New York and for Dartmouth. Her field is preindustrial (i.e. late medieval and Renaissance) Italian architectural history. This fall she started a position as assistant professor of architectural history at MIT, in their architecture and planning

school. She lives near Cambridge, so if anyone from our class passes through the Boston/Cambridge area, she would love to get in touch. Robert Tyler and his wife are celebrating the birth of their

spring networking Socials

Charlotte, Boston, Washington, New York City Mark your calendar and plan on joining us for a fun evening of socializing, food, drinks and hearing from Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner. For more information, contact Tim McKenna, associate director of alumni affairs, at Charlotte • March 6 – 6 p.m. • The VUE Charlotte on 5th • 215 North Pine Street • Charlotte Boston • April 3 – 7 p.m. • CafeTeria Boston • 279a Newbury Street • Boston Washington, D.C. • April 24 – 6 p.m. • Buffalo Billiards – Patio Room • 1330 19th St. NW • Washington New York City • April 30 – 7 p.m. • The East Wing • 306 E. 76th Street • New York

third child. I (Rosemary Nye) am enjoying my 10th year teaching first grade at Durham Academy. I hope to catch up with friends and classmates from ’93 as you visit the area and return to see how Durham Academy has changed over the years.












2 0 1 3

Classes ending in ’3s and ’8s gathered on Saturday night, Oct. 5, at Tobacco Road Café to exchange stories, recall memories, enjoy delicious food and share a drink or two. More than 120 people attended the reunion party, coming from as far as Texas and Florida to be part of this fun-filled weekend, which also included an alumni barbecue at Durham Academy on Oct. 4 and an alumni basketball game on Oct. 5. To see additional photos, please visit P H O T O S K A T H Y





B U T T S ,








Sharing little pieces of the world with adventure travelers

Roberts RIGHT: Snow Roberts on the Mont Blanc Circuit,

a trail system that goes through Italy, France and Switzerland


lot has changed about the CavDome in 20 years, but a lot has stayed the same. I find myself in a familiar place as I pace the sidelines watching my niece play on DA’s varsity basketball team. Back in the early ’90s, I was watching as my own team played. I became a permanent fixture on the end of the bench, and it was from this birds-eye view that I began to understand teamwork and leadership. I was fascinated by what happened with group dynamics as they traveled the world, and I wanted to be a part of these experiences.

It’s an amazing experience to be part of something big — in 1993 our team not only played in UNC’s Carmichael Gymnasium, we won the state championship. I didn’t clock any playing time in that game, but I started to see how each member of our team 34

brought a unique value. You won’t be seeing my induction into Durham Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame, but I will always value those experiences of forging unlikely friendships and helping me understand the many forms of leadership. It was this type of transformative small group experience that fueled my interest in adventure travel and launched me into a graduate degree from N.C. State in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. I was fascinated by what happened with group dynamics as they traveled the world, and I wanted to be a part of these experiences. I found a local adventure travel company for teenagers, talked my way into a job stuffing the mail and set my sights on becoming the director of the organization. It was a big leap from my starting position, but I worked my way to the top of the company pyramid. I spent 11 years planning international


trips for teens, learning best practices in risk management and employing the leadership skills that I discovered on DA’s basketball court. More than 5,000 teenagers saw the world under my watch. It was an amazing ride. 

tiny Dutch island of Texel on a Holland-style touring bike passing sheep and windmills along the way. I watched waves crash down around me from the deck of a 45-foot catamaran with some of my closest friends as we gallivanted around the Caribbean. I’ve always liked closing I experienced the Wonderland a chapter with some Trail backpacking around personal exploration, Mount Rainier. It’s been an so for the last year I’ve been incredible year. packing in the adventures.  Now I’m ready for the capstone of these experiences, I’ve always liked closing tying everything together into a chapter with some personal a new venture: Blue Highway exploration, so for the last Adventures. It’s all my own year I’ve been packing in the and I could not be more adventures. I watched hundreds excited to share little pieces of balloons become tiny dots of the world with active adult in the sky at Albuquerque’s travelers ready to unwind and Balloon Festival. I hiked by rejuvenate. We’re going places. hoodoos in Bryce Canyon Join us! and through the infamous To learn more about what Narrows slot canyon in Zion I’m up to, check out www. National Park. I tried my or hand at rock climbing on find us on all of the popular Joshua Tree’s Interception social media avenues.  Rock. I circumnavigated the — S N O W R O B E R T S ’9 3


From Durham Academy to the Big Apple A

s I traveled on Amtrak back to New York from my 10th “People Of Color Conference,” I had a chance to reflect on my journey from Durham Academy to my current position at the Town School in N.Y.C. While at the conference, I saw former DA Headmaster Ed Costello, one of the most influential people in my career. Seeing Mr. Costello reminded me of all the wonderful people from DA and all lessons I learned as a student and a faculty member. In 2009, after nine wonderful years at DA, serving multiple roles, I accepted a job at Rye Country Day School in Rye, N.Y., as the director of financial aid and assistant director of admissions. At RCDS, a pre-k to 12 school in the suburbs of N.Y.C., I interviewed applicants, ran the tour guide program, served as an upper school advisor, coached varsity boy’s basketball, served on multiple committees and was in charge of the $4.5 million financial aid budget. Overseeing the financial aid program provided me the resources to help change the lives of hundreds of students who otherwise couldn’t afford private school. It was extremely fulfilling to see kids from urban schools in areas like Harlem and the South Bronx graduate from RCDS and go on to attend Ivy League colleges. While working at RCDS, I earned my master’s degree in educational leadership from Manhattanville College. After four great years at RCDS, I accepted the position of director of community and diversity at the Town School, a nursery

ABOVE: Torsie Judkins takes time out of his day to read to students at the Town School on New York’s Upper East Side. LEFT: Twins Ella and Arlee keep Torsie and wife Bria very busy.

to grade eight school on the Upper East Side. I currently sit on the senior administrative team and oversee the school’s diversity efforts. This includes curriculum work, student/parent/alumni programs, admissions, service learning and much more. Town School takes diversity very seriously: This is the 10th year the school’s director of community and diversity has been a senior administrative position. Working in N.Y.C. has been an amazing experience, so many amazing families with diverse backgrounds. While my educational career has been wonderful in New York, none of it compares to becoming the proud father of my twin girls, Arlee and Ella. The stress of working in N.Y.C. can be difficult and I occasionally miss the simpler life in Durham, but no matter how stressful my day, there is nothing better than spending time with my girls. Being a dad has made me a better man, husband, educator and friend. — T O R S I E J U D K I N S ’9 1







Passing forward the gift of devotion S itting in Mrs. Engebretsen’s eighth-grade French class, I decided I wanted to be a French teacher. While in the Upper School and learning from other extraordinary teachers, I knew that becoming an independent school educator was the path for me. Thanks to Mrs. Cleaver’s guidance, I chose Vanderbilt, where I benefited from top education professors. After spending a semester studying in the south of France, I took my newly earned degree and all my passion and accepted a one-year faculty intern position at Culver Academies, a boarding school in rural northern Indiana. It was a perfect introduction to the profession, plus I met my now-husband, Walt Hutchinson, who happens to be a Charlotte Country Day alumnus. After my stint at Culver, I decided to accept a position at Nichols School in Buffalo, N.Y. There, I was given fantastic opportunities to learn from exceptional mentors. One such mentor was the freshman dean, who took me under her wing. After three great years, Walt and I missed North Carolina and decided to make the move to Charlotte. I had just accepted a position at Cannon School in Concord and was eager to continue teaching in my home state.

Cannon’s upper school was young, and a new, highly experienced head of school had just arrived. After two years of sharing my ideas with him, he decided to give me the opportunity to be the dean of students and shape the student life program. We developed a new advisory program and curriculum that became the hallmark of the upper school. Through the relationships that faculty fostered with students, we designed new activities and events that became highlights of the student experience. Five years into the position, I felt we had accomplished something great. Then, last fall, Walt received an Natalie Kaplowitz alumni email from Charlotte Country Day Hutchinson stating that the longtime dean of students was retiring. We joked about me applying, but as I thought about it more and consulted my most trusted friends and mentors, I decided to go for it. Now, a semester into my new position at Country Day, I realize the impact my teachers at DA, professors and mentors not only had on my career but on my life, and I feel fortunate that my parents provided me with this education. I’m devoted to students because my teachers were devoted to me and to my growth, and I’m thrilled every day to pass it forward. — N ATA L I E K A P L O W I T Z H U T C H I N S O N ’9 8

CHECKING OUT KIRBY GYM “I was working in my new office in Kirby Gym in early December, when after a knock on the door, I looked up to see three familiar and smiling faces! I was thrilled to see Katie Coleman Helmer ’89, Emily Coleman Dodart ’90 and Matt Coleman ’92. Katie, Emily and Matt had come to visit and check out the new facilities. Since all were good athletes at DA (Emily played field hockey at Davidson), they were as happy to get a tour of Kirby Gym and the Learning Commons as I was to give it! We spent an hour catching up and I learned that Katie, her husband and two daughters and Matt, his wife and young son all live in northern Virginia; Emily, my former advisee, lives in New Orleans with her husband and three children. It’s always so great to see familiar faces and I’m looking forward to my next surprise visitors!” — Steve Engebretsen, Director of Athletics






Nick Gallo’s passion for sports led him to NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder


By Natalie Gallo ’09

ABOVE: Nick Gallo shoots a Thunder Insider clip at the Boys and Girls Club. RIGHT: Nick Gallo interviews 6’ 10” Thunder player Nick Collison during a charity event.


hen my brother, Nick Gallo ’06, and I were little, I knew he would end up in the world of sports. He recreated scenarios from Duke games in our driveway, rattled off player stats from five years prior faster than remembering what he ate for breakfast and even commentated a basketball game once in his sleep. He grew up with a love for sports and a critical eye, able to analyze the Xs and Os, a player’s mental state and the coach’s strategy before I could even pronounce “Krzyzewski.” This passion and understanding developed far past Nick’s years in the CavDome and Durham Academy baseball field. After holding two summer internships with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans public relations department and working two seasons with the New York Jets, Nick found himself driving halfway across the country to work in the NBA. He joined the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2011-2012 season as the team’s basketball writer — an integral part of the organization’s media relations and communications team — whose key responsibilities include writing articles for the website

and doing on-screen analysis for Thunder Insider, Oklahoma City’s weekly television show on Fox Sports Oklahoma. A typical day involves interviewing players at morning practices, followed by diligently watching and taking notes of that night’s game, conducting post-game interviews and writing game recap articles by the next morning.  Some days a handful of players participate in community events like serving Thanksgiving meals at a homeless shelter or reading Christmas stories at an elementary school, which Nick covers for the Thunder’s website. The next day, Nick will be on cross-country flight for the start of a long road trip. No matter the day, Nick is there, recorder in hand, preparing himself for his next article on which player has given the team an emotional spark or what changes in the offensive scheme enable new lineups to emerge and thrive. Perhaps most important of all, his job requires gaining the trust and respect of some of the NBA’s most high-profile players and coaches. After countless hours of dedicated work, he’s earned that trust. Decades after Nick passionately taught his 7-year-old sister a team’s zone defense strategy and recruiting prospects, he gets to share his knowledge with an entire fan base, and much more eloquently, I might add. If you want to check out any of Nick Gallo’s work, head to to find articles and Thunder Insider video clips.




Calvin Brett ’10 inspires as DA artist-inresidence

Melody Guyton Butts


By Anne Gregory-Bepler, Upper School Art RIGHT: During his artist residency at DA, Calvin Brett ’10 encouraged Upper School art

Brett students to “go for it,” explaining the only way they could fail was not to try “stuff.”


hat if I told you to “paint the sky?” Would you call up the giants of the celestial paintings looked like “poo.” Needless to say, lively dialogues and realm, from Apollo to Superman and the Creation Crow? Fly astute observations ensued. The students were hooked, and so was I. a skywriting plane through the ether? Or gaze at the heavens For a teacher, it doesn’t get much better. Durham Academy through hot-pink glasses? colleagues, who rarely cross the studio threshold, stopped in to visit In October, artist Calvin Brett ’10 took on this very task, Calvin. Students not enrolled in art classes popped in to paint beside assigned to him by the Pleiades Gallery in downtown Durham him. It was a creative art fest of sorts that continued after school with for the gallery’s November exhibit. As fortune would have it, stimulating conversations about art, artists and the creative process. my art students and I had the privilege to watch Calvin’s “sky” How did Calvin get to this point in three short years? With paintings develop before our eyes during his two-week artist relentless work, passion and sky-size drive. In his year at the School residency in the Upper School art studios. The studios were of the Museum of Fine Arts, a division of Tufts University, he was nothing less than transformed. given full access to the Boston Museum’s storage rooms of fabulous It is magical to watch a professional artist at work. In masterpieces. With hungry eyes, Calvin’s case, the speed and Calvin observed up close how color, It is magical to watch a professional artist at spontaneity with which he slapped brushstroke and light on canvas were work. In Calvin’s case, the speed and spontaneity on paint, scribbled cray-pas, drilled, laid down by the likes of Van Gogh. with which he slapped on paint, scribbled cray-pas, glued and cut wood and metal kept He then spent the next few years drilled, glued and cut wood and metal kept us us (and sometimes him) guessing painting around the clock except to eat (and sometimes him) guessing where the massive where the massive wood and and sleep. wood and paint constructions were going; yet, paint constructions were going; Today, Calvin is open to creative like alchemy, they emerged as accomplished, bold, yet, like alchemy, they emerged as accomplished, bold, colorful images, colorful images, both raw and sophisticated at once. opportunities. His goal is to make art, whatever form it takes, and to both raw and sophisticated at once. exhibit and share it. He collaborates with his brother in Chapel Hill, Calvin expended tremendous creative energy in those has sights set on an innovative artist residency in Greensboro and two weeks. He freely shared his philosophy of art-making and regularly shows in the Triangle, most recently at St. Augustine’s encouraged timid students to “go for it,” explaining that the University. The future is wide open. There is talk of a move to Los only way they could fail was to not try “stuff,” to not let go. He Angeles, where collectors have bought his work, but for now the embraced their feedback about his own work, telling them to one thing that is certain is there’s no stopping him. be honest, that it wouldn’t hurt his feelings if they thought his 38


Maggie McPherson and Chard Weir were married by former DA Middle School teacher Peter Carey

Rebekah Brenner and Ben Mark D A


ALUMNI WEDDINGS Jonathan Hang and Soshana Furth ’06 Nov. 3, 2012 • Chapel Hill, N.C. Kathryn Willoughby and Bob Brownlee ’97 March 29, 2013 • Charleston, S.C. Ben Mark ’03 and Rebekah Brenner ’03 Sept. 1, 2013 • Durham, N.C. Chard Weir and Maggie McPherson ’01 Nov. 16, 2013 • Durham, N.C.



BABIES 1. Lila and Davis, children of Lee Patterson ’00



2. Everett, son of Laci McDonald, Upper School dance

3. Caden, son of Lindy Krzyzewski Frasher ’95, Upper School psychology 4. Isla, daughter of Elizabeth Graham Gonzalez ’02 5. Jared, Dylan and Wendy Stiles Brooslin ’00




6. Katie Parks, daughter of Kate McAllister Taylor ’92 7. Caroline, daughter of Jessica Crowe Whilden ’00, Kindergarten

8. Mateen, son of Victoria Muradi, Admissions Director









Lindsey W

ill Lindsey ’10

Will Lindsey

was awarded a Harry

S. Truman Scholarship in spring 2013 for his

academic, leadership and public service accomplishments.

in memoriam • Lola Marler Rogers Williams died on July 30, 2013, in Durham after a short illness. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University, she began her teaching career at Oak Grove School at age 20 and later taught English, literature, writing and music at Calvert Method School (now Durham Academy). She wrote the lyrics for the Durham Academy alma mater, “Our Loyal Devotion.” She is survived by her sons, James Marler Williams ’58 and John Derek Williams ’65, and was predeceased by her husband, James Wesley Williams, and a son, Winston Rogers Williams ’63. A service celebrating her life was held Nov. 3, which would have been her 100th birthday.

Lindsey, a history and political science at UNC-Chapel Hill, has studied abroad in Oxford and London through Honors Carolina.

He was one of 62 Truman Scholars who were selected

• Leonard E. Staunton ’86 died July 26, 2013, in Durham. He attended Durham Academy and graduated from Appalachian State University. He was employed at T.E.A.C.C.H. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was an avid reader. Surviving are

from among 629 candidates nominated by 293 colleges and

his parents, L. Jack Staunton and Sally Furr Staunton of Durham;

universities. The Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000

and his sister, Jaci Staunton Pergerson ’87.

in support for graduate school toward a public service-related degree. Lindsey plans to pursue a joint-degree program in law

• Irving Brinton Holley, Jr. died Aug. 12, 2013, in Durham. He served on the board of trustees at Durham Academy, and was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University and

and public administration. After graduate school, he hopes

a Major General, US Air Force (ret.). He is survived by his wife of

to work for a North Carolina senator or representative in

68 years, Janet Carlson Holley, and his daughters Janet Holley

Washington, D.C., or serve as legal counsel for the General Assembly. “Will received the Congressional Award Program’s Gold

Wegner ’64 of Garrett Park, Md., Jean Holley Schmidt ’66 of Greenville, S.C., and Susan Holley of Clover, S.C. • Luca Daniel Paschetto Harrell ’10 died Oct. 2, 2013, in Raleigh.

Medal for service in 2010, and it comes as no surprise,” said

He was a senior at North Carolina State University in the School of

Mark Crescenzi, associate professor of political science and

Design. He is survived by his parents, Stephen Harrell and Daniela

chair of UNC’s Truman Scholarship selection committee. “In his time at UNC, Will has worked for Congresswoman

Harrell, and a brother, Jonathan Harrell ’06. He is remembered by all who knew him for his great love of learning, his passion for art and music, and his quiet but cheerful demeanor.

Virginia Foxx and recently interned with Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore of the North Carolina Senate. His sustained dedication to public service and the university community makes him an excellent choice for the Truman Scholarship.” A graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., Lindsey volunteered with the Duke Morris Cancer Clinic, Meals on Wheels and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. 40


• Lois Darwin Hutchinson Vick died Dec. 11, 2013. She taught English at Durham Academy Upper School, where she designed and taught the first Advanced Placement English classes and was the charter secretary of Cum Laude academic honor society. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University, earning both B.A. and M.A. degrees. She was predeceased by her husband, Marvin Vick, and her son, Mark Vick ’76.


Sixth-grader Isaiah Caldwell soars as he looks to leave his mark in the long jump event at the Middle School's field day. The unseasonably warm December day also featured relays, kickball and enthusiastic cheering all around. 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


TURKEYS BIG AND SMALL Kindergartner Ashley Slomianyj high-fives Turkey Trot master of ceremonies Dennis Cullen as she crosses the Fun Run finish line. A record 535 people participated in the Nov. 16 event, raising approximately $10,000 for Parents Association. P H O T O





The Record (Winter 2014)  

The Record is Durham Academy’s biannual magazine.