Durham Academy Magazine Winter - 2018

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Winter 2018

Helping Others Takes on New Meaning When Students Understand the Root of the Problem

CONNECT WITH DURHAM ACADEMY View the magazine online at da.org/magazine The Durham Academy App is available in the Apple App Store

Thanks for Your Feedback Thank you to everyone who participated in our summer 2017 magazine readership survey! We had an amazing participation rate, with more than 800 readers responding. We hope that you see some of your feedback reflected in this issue, which is the result of a comprehensive redesign by editor Kathy McPherson and our new in-house designer, Sarah Delk. You can take a look behind the scenes of the redesign process on the inside back cover. We love to hear from our readers, so let us know what you think! Please send feedback, story ideas and suggestions to communications@da.org.

#DAflashback Alumni, pull out those scrapbooks from your Cavalier years, and give us your best shot! We’ll feature Instagram photos with the #DAflashback hashtag (be sure to tag @DurhamAcademy, too) on our social media platforms, and we just might include your photo here in the next issue of Durham Academy Magazine!

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FEATURES New Upper School Elective Takes a Deep Dive Into the City’s Past

16 — GETTING TO KNOW DURHAM DA junior Julia King thinks everyone should take this new course that combines learning about Durham’s history with learning how to do scholarly research. “They’re not just summarizing knowledge that’s out there, they’re doing research and creating new knowledge,” said Dr. Rob Policelli, who teaches the semesterlong seminar.



Serving a meal at Urban Ministries of Durham is a meaningful and positive experience, but students learn deeper lessons from that experience if they first understand the root causes of homelessness and hunger. A revamped Middle School program focuses not just on helping others, but developing a deeper understanding and helping solve real-world problems.

38 — ‘A DOLLAR MAKES A DIFFERENCE’ From the youngest to oldest, DA students pitched in to help communities ravaged by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Fourth-grader Cheikh-Abdou N’Diaye thinks “it’s good to feel like you’re helping somebody — more than one actually — and knowing you can make a difference in the world.”

45 — A PIECE OF PAPER THAT REPRESENTS SO MUCH The entire Upper School stood witness as 20 new Americans from 12 different countries became U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony held at DA. Having a certificate of naturalization means safety and stability, opportunities for education and employment, freedom of speech and religion.

On the Cover: Aaron Caveney ’23 was among the Durham Academy seventh-graders who volunteered with A Lotta Love, an organization that works to breathe life into homeless shelters by creating more home-like and dignified environments. Photo by Sarah Delk

Nathan Bullock ’24 was part of several sixth-grade advisories that gleaned sweet potatoes for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Photo by Patti Donnelly



Featured Contributors

WINTER 2018 Vol. 45 // No. 1 EDITORIAL Kathy McPherson // Editor Sarah Delk // Art Director

COMMUNICATIONS communications@da.org

Leslie King // Director of Communications Kathy McPherson // Associate Director of Communications Melody Guyton Butts // Assistant Director of Communications Sarah Delk // Multimedia Specialist

Jon Meredith Middle School Director The Middle School’s new service-learning program grew out of an exercise Meredith took part in while working on his M.Ed. The program helps students have greater understanding, empathy and impact.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lana Kalfas ’19; Jon Meredith, Middle School Director; Faith Hanson ’23; Mayah Ding ’23; JP Dilweg ’23; Abbey Kelley ’23; Kendall Harris ’23; Taylor Eppinger ’23; Zebee Jewell-Alibhai ’23; Alexandra Zagbayou, Executive Director of Student U; Karl Von Zabern ’14, Student U alumnus; Ritzy Chirinos ’14, Student U alumna

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Patti Donnelly, Middle School Language Arts; Ken Huth; Zoë Boggs ’18; Taylor Hunter ’20; Richard Rand ’20; Ella Virkler ’20; Patti Galloway; Nicole Willis Jenkins; Karen Richardson, Middle School Music; Melissa Mack, Middle School Language Arts/History; Kim Aitken, Middle School Math; Ben Michelman, Middle School Language Arts; Greg Murray, Upper School PE; Tamara Lackey Photography

PRODUCTION Theo Davis // Printer

Patti Donnelly Middle School Language Arts Donnelly is an excellent photographer who took the photo of students gleaning sweet potatoes that introduces a trio of stories on how the Middle School has reshaped its community service program.

LEADERSHIP Michael Ulku-Steiner // Head of School Brendan Moylan ’85 // Chair, Board of Trustees Garrett Putman ’94 // President, Alumni Board



Leslie Holdsworth // Director of Development and Alumni Affairs Tim McKenna // Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Special thanks to C.T. Wilson Construction Company, Girls Make Games, Durham County Library, onestopmap.com, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Princeton University

Alexandra Zagbayou Executive Director of Student U Zagbayou believes education has the power to be a revolutionary agent for people and communities, and is a means to create a just and equitable world. She has worked at Student U for seven years.


Photo courtesy of C.T. Wilson Construction Company

Klein was selected from more than 90 applicants. She comes from Pittsburgh’s Winchester Thurston School and begins work at DA on July 1.

14 — STEM WING MOVING TOWARD JUNE COMPLETION The Upper School begins its transformation and excitement builds as the new Upper School STEM and Humanities Center takes shape.

Faculty Spotlight

19 — DR. HARRY THOMAS Teaching at a high school isn’t the life Thomas imagined for himself, but “it’s been so fantastic. It lets me do exactly what I love doing.”

36 — STRONGHER TOGETHER Two DA moms created a program that aims to help girls from all across the Bull City pursue their dreams and support one another.



Senior Alexander Brandt combined a love of tennis with a desire to expand opportunities for children with developmental disabilities.


Staff Spotlight

Hiking the Appalachian Trail Solo


60 — MADDY MUMMA ’12

In his 37 years at DA, Baker has mowed miles of grass, repaired all kinds of equipment and removed the occasional black snake — but what keeps him here is the people.

Billboard No. 1 or Bust

51 — THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND A NEW VISION FOR THE FUTURE DA has been a proud partner as Student U has grown from a summer program for 50 students housed at the Upper School to 500 students with a campus of their own.

64 — JONATHAN CRAWFORD ’10 66 — ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME WELCOMES EIGHT NEW MEMBERS Her Goal is Elevating Global Health and Equity




Breaking Out of the Bubble


n children and teenagers, self-centeredness is developmentally appropriate. At the same time, one of the chief tasks of childhood and adolescence is to transcend narcissism — to internalize the mundane but astonishing truth that “The entire world, with one trifling exception, is made up of others” (John Andrew Holmes). When I was an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill, a fledgling organization called APPLES (Assisting People to Plan Learning Experiences in Service) helped me break through the narcissistic bubble of adolescence. On an obvious level, community service pulled my focus toward the needs of others. More profoundly, APPLES pushed me and my peers off the campus, away from the age-stratified, carefully filtered, preciously managed undergraduate domain and into the messy and real-feeling world of many ages, races, talents, challenges and surprises. What a thrill it was to help in a Head Start classroom in Carrboro! I can still remember my adrenaline as I entered the homeless shelter on Rosemary Street for the first time. I learned more from my “little buddy” in East Durham than I did from several courses taught by Ph.D.s. Stretching the envelope of the university also allowed us to expand our definitions of virtue, which had to that point been (understandably) based on scholastic, athletic or social achievement. A high GPA — like a fashionable backpack or the right Greek affiliation — was worth exactly nothing in a meeting with a community agency leader. Common sense and common decency proved more valuable in the real world beyond Franklin Street. There we encountered some of the town’s most potent leaders — people whose ages, skin colors, accents and political opinions were too rare on

campus. As we heard their stories and watched their leadership in action, we found common links where we did not expect them. APPLES offered some of my most lasting lessons in the universality of human goals and the foolishness of imagining that a fancy education guarantees virtuous citizenship. As Margaret Mead put it: “You’re unique — just like everybody else.” The other potent ingredient in APPLES’ secret sauce was its capacity to activate education. Textbooks combined with real people to make for powerful learning. Theory intertwined with action brought real changes in opinion — and occasionally, in the world. I can still remember the excitement I felt in Dr. Joel Schwartz’s “Race, Poverty and Politics” class as my classmates and I returned from our first week of volunteering to discuss our reading assignments through the lenses of our new experiences. I’m sure he chuckled at our sheltered naiveté, but his course opened the gates of the university and helped shove us across the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Dr. Schwartz also made eminently clear that all our hours of reading, writing and study had prepared us not only for more reading, writing and study, but rather for more ethical action. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good human should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius In this magazine, you’ll find abundant examples of DA students building substantive, lasting, reciprocally beneficial partnerships beyond our campus. With this kind of real practice in the real world, they accelerate their progress toward moral, happy, productive lives of service to causes greater than their current selves.

Michael Ulku-Steiner Head of School @MrUlkuSteiner

From the Blog Oct. 23, 2017

Joy By Lana Kalfas ’19

MORAL. HAPPY. PRODUCTIVE. Those words are at the heart of Durham Academy’s mission statement — and have been for almost 50 years —because at DA, character matters. More than homework or grades or SAT scores, character is what endures. What traits or characteristics are essential to living a moral, happy, productive life? The Durham Academy Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life is DA’s aspirational definition of good character that drives our daily work and sustains our students long past graduation.

Featured on thedagraduate.org/blog

Engagement Matters: How DA’s Service-Learning Lessons Impacted My Professional Development By Derek Rhodes ’11

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing By Michael Ulku-Steiner

Personally, I feel that joy can coexist with imperfection. My experience at Durham Academy is a reflection of this belief. Like any other community, DA has its flaws. What brings me joy is all of the opportunities we have to improve ourselves and the community we’re a part of. I am currently attending the School for Ethics and Global Leadership (SEGL) in Washington, D.C., with 23 other high school juniors from schools across the country. Many of my peers here attend college preparatory schools very similar to Durham Academy. However, in conversation with my friends here, I’ve realized a significant difference between Durham Academy and any other college prep school. Many of my friends are dreading returning to their home schools because they don’t believe that they will be able to change the problems in their home schools that they have pinpointed here at SEGL. While I may not be chomping at the bit to leave the strong relationships I’ve made here and wonderful experiences I’ve had in D.C., I am excited to return to Durham Academy because I know that I have the ability to change it for the better.

To continue reading, go to bit.ly/lanakalfas.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018


Obliteration Room A curious sight greeted Durham Academy Lower Schoolers at the beginning of this school year: a white “room” that materialized under their staircase while they’d been away for summer break. It didn’t take long for this mysterious room to begin to take on a new appearance — a very colorful and creative one. Lower School art teacher Pamela McKenney set up the space — The Obliteration Room  — during the summer, styled after Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s installations. Every single Lower Schooler participated by placing brightly colored polka dot stickers in the room, and they were joined by many students from other divisions, faculty and staff members, and parents. About 20,000 dots of varying sizes have been placed in the room. “This space is for them to interact in whatever way they want to,” McKenney explained. This fall, Lower Schoolers have studied Kusama’s paintings and installations in art class, and second-, third- and fourth-grade classes went on to create four collaborative paintings inspired by Kusama’s work.

Watch the Obliteration Room materialize at bit.ly/dotroom.



Photo by Patti Galloway


State Champion Girls Tennis Team The DA varsity girls tennis team, at the top of the private school tennis world all season, capped off a magical year with a 5–3 comeback win over Cary Academy in the state championship match on Oct. 28 at Salem Academy in Winston-Salem. The nail-biting, come-from-behind victory marked the first-ever state title for DA’s girls tennis program and the first state championship earned by any DA team since 2012. “I am really proud of the grit and fight this team displayed,” head coach Andy Pogach said. The contest got off to a tough start. Despite going 6–0 vs. the Chargers in doubles during the regular season, the Cavs started at a 3–0 deficit at the conclusion of the doubles matches. “But no one on the team let that affect them,” Pogach said. “In fact, it had the opposite effect. It made the girls fight a little bit harder, knowing we had no room for error.” They needed to win five of the six singles matches. Sophomores Renee George, Alexis Galloway, Taylor Hunter and Madeline Towning notched victories that started to turn the tide. The DA girls slowly turned what could have been a devastating upset into an epic championship win to end the best season in school history. George ended a brilliant season with her school-record 29th win on the year. Co-captain and senior Nicole Riepl trailed in her first set before winning 9 of the final 11 games. When Cary Academy’s shot went wide capping off her 7–5, 6–2 win, it clinched DA’s fifth singles match win —and the state championship.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

National Merit Semifinalists The National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognized 10 Durham Academy seniors as semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The DA seniors selected as semifinalists represent about 10 percent of the senior class: Zoe Boggs, Virginia Capehart, Austen Dellinger, Scott Hallyburton, Charles Hua, Lillia Larson, Ian Layzer, Eamon McKeever, Taylor Owens and Thomas Owens. Semifinalists were chosen by virtue of their performance on the 2016 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools who took the qualifying test, approximately 16,000 students were recognized as semifinalists —495 of them from North Carolina. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1 percent of all U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. In addition, 11 students received letters of commendation: Alexander Brandt, Ethan Goldman, Robert Hellinga, Sam Higgins, Jeanne Jung, Steven Kohl, Christi Mela, Markus Narten, Bennett Sampson, Sara Templeton and Alex Tsuetaki. About 90 percent of students from the semifinalist pool are expected to advance to the finalist level in February. About half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, with notifications beginning in April and concluding in July. An estimated 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth about $42 million, will be offered in spring 2018.

Middle Schoolers’ Summer Camp Project Scores Demo for Industry Gaming Execs For a budding video game designer, the idea of one day scoring a meeting with a Sony PlayStation exec might seem like a pie-in-the-sky daydream. But for DA sixth-graders Ama Mensah-Boone and Maddie King, that career milestone is already a reality. The two students and their three Team Dragonflies teammates worked for three weeks during the Girls Make Games Summer Camp in Durham last summer to create “PeaceMaker,” a video game that follows a princess’s quest to prevent a war between two neighboring kingdoms. The concept so impressed the Girls Make Games team that “PeaceMaker” was one of just five games (out of 35 designed at camps around the country) selected to present at Girls Make Games Demo Day, held in August at Sony PlayStation’s headquarters in San Mateo, California. The panel of judges — including the PlayStation Interactive CEO and execs from Xbox and Google VR — were similarly impressed and awarded the Dragonflies with the Best Narrative honor. Watch their presentation at bit.ly/girlsmakegames (Team Dragonflies appears at about the 11:00 mark).

Photo by Nicole Willis Jenkins

In November, the Durham Academy speech and debate team was honored with the National Speech & Debate Association’s Leading Chapter Award — the highest recognition a speech and debate chapter can achieve in the National Speech & Debate Honor Society. Only one school in each speech and debate district earns this honor each year. DA won the honor as the leading chapter in the Tarheel East district; only one other school in North Carolina was recognized this year. From more than 3,600 schools across the country, only around 3 percent of schools are recognized as Leading Chapter Award winners. The National Speech & Debate Association describes schools with this distinction as leaders among other schools in their district and as “flagship programs for novice speech and debate teams around the United States.” The award is bestowed on the school whose accumulated total of members and degrees is highest in each district. Members and degrees count toward a school’s progress in earning the award over time. This is the second Leading Chapter Award for the DA speech and debate team. The first was earned over the course of 58 years —from the establishment of DA’s first debate team in 1953 until 2011. The DA team earned its second Leading Chapter Award in a much shorter span of time —five years —in recognition of its performance from 2012 to 2017.

Photo courtesy of Girls Make Games




Fabiola Salas Villalobos Middle School Spanish teacher Fabiola Salas Villalobos, a doctoral candidate at UNC-Chapel Hill, won a $250,000 U.S. Department of Education grant in November, along with her team at the UNC School of Education. The threeyear award — one of eight Title VI International Research and Studies Program Grants offered — funds research on how dual language immersion programs strengthen student literacy.

Howard Lineberger

DR. HARRY THOMAS Durham Academy faculty, students and alumni attended the launch of Upper School English teacher Dr. Harry Thomas’ book, Sissy! The Effeminate Paradox in Postwar US Literature and Culture, at a reading and signing in October. The event was held at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Bull’s Head Bookshop. Thomas’ book — published by the University of Alabama Press in September — is an exploration of postwar representations of effeminate men and boys, from the writings of Truman Capote, to vampires in the Twilight book and movie series. Thomas discussed his book  — which was honored with the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Literature — as a featured guest on WUNC’s The State of Things in November. Listen to the interview at bit.ly/thomaswunc.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Culminating 13 months of research with the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP), Upper School science teacher Howard Lineberger helped present the results of his team’s work at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January in Washington, D.C. NITARP partners small groups of largely high school educators with mentor professional astronomers for original research projects. Lineberger was among just eight teachers from around the country selected for NITARP’s 2017 class. His team made use of Spitzer Space Telescope data obtained from the entirety of the Cryogenian era, looking for the most unusual and faintest infrared excess objects serendipitously detected. Lineberger’s NITARP teammates included three other high school teachers from around the country and mentor astronomer Dr. Varoujan Gorjian, a research astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Sharing in the research experience and attending the American Astronomical Society meeting were Durham Academy senior Lillia Larson and juniors Joseph Walston and Mekai Scott.

Karl Schaefer Middle School digital learning specialist Karl Schaefer won the Coach/ Mentor Award at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics qualifying tournament in November. Schaefer has headed up the Middle School’s FLL program since its inception in the 2014–2015 school year; in that time, the program has grown from a single team to three squads, and DA teams have qualified for the state tournament six times. For a video of Schaefer taking a victory lap, see bit.ly/schaeferfll.

Susan Ellis

For more on the team’s work, including research posters, visit bit.ly/linebergernasa.

Varsity girls soccer coach Susan Ellis won the United Soccer Coaches’ High School Coach of Significance Award in September. Ellis, who is also a Middle School physical education teacher, is among just 23 soccer coaches (of girls and boys teams) around the nation who comprise the award’s first-ever class of recipients. The High School Coach of Significance Award acknowledges high school coaches who go above and beyond the playing field by using their coaching position to teach life lessons and provide opportunities to develop outstanding young men and women.


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Kristen Klein to Join DA as Assistant Head of School Kristen Klein will serve as Durham Academy’s next assistant head of school. Klein, who now serves as upper school director at Pittsburgh’s Winchester Thurston School, will begin her tenure at DA on July 1, 2018. Klein’s appointment comes after a national search for candidates to replace Associate Head of School Lee Hark, who will become head of school at Greenhill School in Dallas in July. The search yielded more than 90 applicants. “Amidst a talented pool of nine semifinalists and four finalist candidates, Kristen distinguished herself as a passionate learner and an action-oriented thought leader,” Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner said. “Two days of on-campus interviews revealed her agile intellect, infectious sense of humor and deep experience with innovative teaching and learning models. Kristen’s colleagues in Pittsburgh, having watched her grow from teacher to department chair to academic dean to middle school director to upper school director, laud her steadfast commitment to student learning and well-being, her ability to navigate gracefully the most difficult conversations and her willingness to invest in teachers and help them grow.” Klein earned a B.A. in comparative religion from Trinity College and an M.A.T. in English education from Brown University. She began her career in education as an American Literature teacher at Classical High School in Providence, Rhode Island. She later taught English at Bristol Eastern High School in Connecticut and Winchester Thurston in Pittsburgh, where she has spent the last 14 years. In her current role, Klein oversees all curricular initiatives; serves on finance, development, academic development, wellness, admissions and facilities committees; develops parent education programming; and cultivates relationships with prospective families and donors. As English Department chair, she managed all English curricula and faculty in lower, middle and upper schools. She has also served as a student advisor and senior project coordinator. Since arriving at Winchester Thurston in 2004, Klein has taught AP English Literature, American Literature and British Literature. Her colleagues describe her as a hungry learner and dedicated teacher, popular with faculty, families and students. Klein’s strong sense of empathy, her support for innovative curricula and her ability to blend work and fun have persisted, regardless of the roles she has played. As one current colleague put it, “She’s always had what’s best for students foremost in her mind.” In her interviews with various DA constituencies, Klein revealed why she is so committed to independent schools: They have a unique freedom to build programs around distinctive missions and core values. DA’s values — particularly


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

a belief in life-changing teachers, a commitment to the broader community and the explicit inclusion of “happiness” in the mission statement — attracted her to the school. In turn, Klein’s deep expertise with instructional improvement, experiential education and student wellness was compelling to DA’s search committee. When asked about the essential components of a successful classroom, Klein put student engagement at the top of her list. She used concrete examples to speak of a move from content transmission and siloed skill-building to the exploration of real-world problems, with faculty helping students create and apply interdisciplinary solutions beyond the classroom. Klein’s expertise in this area grows from Winchester Thurston’s unique example of a private school with public purpose. Their flagship City as Our Campus program gives students in every single grade dedicated time in the daily schedule for partnerships with leaders from academic, cultural, scientific, nonprofit and business organizations in Pittsburgh. It’s an extension of their core curriculum that augments projects, units and courses, driven by faculty innovation. Klein is excited about the potential for new opportunities for community engagement at DA. Her expertise will help DA find ways to pair curricula with organizations in Durham to tap the passions of our faculty, spark the curiosity of our students and build bridges beyond the campus. “What you see is what you get,” said several of Klein’s colleagues and supervisors. She is “comfortable in her own skin,” confident to voice her opinions and consistent in her values. Throughout her career, Klein has put students at the core of her work. In her view, an educator’s primary responsibility is to help students develop strong academic habits and a sound ethical rudder — teaching them not what to think, but rather how to think. In Klein’s words, “we can work together to enable our students to become whole people, not simply repositories for content and skills.” Parents and colleagues at Klein’s current school admire that she models that wholeness with genuine warmth in all her interpersonal interactions. “During my recent visit to DA, I found a community of engaged learners,” Klein wrote in accepting the appointment as assistant head of school. “Passionate faculty warmly welcomed me to their classrooms, dedicated parents engaged in robust dialogue about DA’s strategic plan, and students spoke openly about their love for their teachers and their school. The warmth and energy of everyone I met let me know that DA is a special place. I am so grateful for the opportunity to join you in your mission to aid students on their journeys to moral, happy and productive lives.”

We asked Klein to share some details about herself that aren’t part of her résumé. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have!

Kristen Klein —  15 Things About Me 1 — I have one sibling: a sister named Lisa. She’s five years younger, and we talk every day. Lisa is an English teacher, too! 2 — My husband, Michael, and I are avid hikers, and we’ve traveled to Arizona and the Rocky Mountains on hiking trips. 3 — I sing. In college I sang with an a cappella group, The Trinity Pipes, but now I usually just sing along to the radio in the car. 4 — One of my favorite graduate school classes was a study of tombstone ornamentation. I got to go to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, to study the tombstones of the transcendentalists (Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau). This helped to inspire my life-long love of Emerson. 5 — Michael and I make really good homemade pizza. 6 — One of the best classes I ever got to teach was called “Literature of the Sea,” and we read Melville’s Moby Dick together. 7 — I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I actually met Jerome Bettis (the Bus) on my flight back from my interview visit to DA! 8 — I am also known as “Aunt Boo” or “Boober” to my 2½-year-old niece, Nora. She is the light of my life. 9 — We recently spent Thanksgiving in Las Vegas to celebrate the 21st birthday of my stepdaughter, Lillian. We were joined by my stepson, Henry, as well. Since both kids live away (at college and at work), we treasure any time spent together as a family. 10 — I have spent a portion of at least 35 summers in Cape May, New Jersey, our family’s beach vacation spot. 11 — I have a daily meditation and yoga practice. 12 — The last concert we went to was the Indigo Girls. Before that, we saw Jethro Tull. 13 — What I’m reading: Amy Dickinson’s memoir, Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things, and Essentialism by Greg McKeown. 14 — We are a foster family for rescue dogs (English Setters, mainly). We recently adopted Fancy, and we have a foster puppy coming at the end of February. 15 — Michael and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to come to DA and join such a warm community of learners!

Klein, her husband, Michael, and their niece, Nora, in Cape May, New Jersey. Photos courtesy of Kristen Klein



STEM Wing Moving Toward June Completion December 2017

Photo courtesy of C.T. Wilson Construction Company

STEM and Humanities Center Timeline June 2018

• Complete STEM wing.

Summer 2018

• Biology, chemistry, physics, robotics and math move into STEM wing. • Demolish Glaxo Science building. • Begin humanities wing construction.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Summer 2019

• Complete humanities wing. • English and history move into humanities wing. • Foreign languages move to Hock Center. • Demolish doubledecker building.

Fall 2019

• Begin capital campaign.



Building with STEM and Humanities Wings


Student Seating Capacity in an Interior Commons

Photo by Ken Huth

It’s almost hard to imagine what it used to look like. Last summer, what was the physics building was slowly reduced to rubble; throughout August and September, site work was done; in October, steel beams arrived; and since then, the skeleton of what will eventually become the STEM wing of the Upper School STEM and Humanities building has taken shape. Durham Academy’s Campus Plan calls for the STEM half of the new Upper School building, which will house science, robotics and math classrooms, to be completed by June, with the humanities half (housing English and history classes and a two-story commons) to be completed in summer 2019. But C.T. Wilson Construction, Cannon Architects and Gardner & McDaniel engineers aren’t the only ones hard at work in the interim. While they wait for their 21st century classrooms to be finished, DA’s faculty have turned their attention toward maximizing the instructive power of their new environment, and the ways class layouts, furniture and interdisciplinary space can shape teaching and learning. Upper School Director Lanis Wilson said now that the design

details are starting to come into focus, faculty members are anticipating a world of instructional possibilities. “They’re seeing it as part of their curriculum now as opposed to just a room that they inhabit. There’s excitement around — well, what are the details of the classroom, what is this going to allow us to do? The possibilities are exciting in terms of what this space is going to allow us to do.” Wilson says he anticipates that the humanities wing may come together more easily, since those classrooms are not as complicated as labs, and key elements like pipes, gas lines and power lines (which had to be relocated because they were too close to the site), have already been completed. “We’re at a place with the construction where I see something different every day. Sometimes when you’re looking at it every day, you don’t notice the changes. It’s still abstract. Once the STEM wing gets closed in … we’re at a point where there are going to be walls and then everybody’s going to get excited because then you can’t see what’s going on and the imagination takes over.”

7 1 2 5 5 4 2 1 3 6 2

Classroom/Lab Combinations Chemistry Lab Chemistry Classrooms English Classrooms History Classrooms Math Classrooms Small Greenhouse Areas Inspiration Lab Departmental Faculty Offices Small Meeting/Study Rooms Seminar Rooms


Total Cost




New Upper School Elective Takes a Deep Dive Into the City’s Past

Getting to Know Durham Durham Academy junior Julia King has lived in the Durham area nearly her entire life. But it wasn’t until this fall — while taking a deep dive into the city’s past through a new Upper School history elective — that she began to truly know Durham. She came to understand the indelible impact of the 900 slaves who once toiled at Stagville plantation, just 20 minutes from DA. She learned that the tiny railroad stop of Durham really got on the map after the Civil War, when soldiers raved about the tobacco they sampled while encamped here. She discovered that the sit-in movement of the 1960s has its roots in a lesser-known sit-in at Durham’s Royal Ice Cream Parlor in 1957. “This is the place where you are growing up and where a lot of your memories and earliest experiences are going to be shaped, so I think everyone should take it,” King said of the new History of Durham course. “I think that it’s just so important to know the place that you’re in, and know the history of it, and how you fit into that history.” The course, taught by Dr. Rob Policelli, is structured as a research seminar and is split into two halves: the first is filled with guest speakers and field trips, and the second is concentrated on student research projects. The course is a step toward two goals of DA’s 2015 Strategic Plan: more interdisciplinary opportunities and a school more connected to Durham. The nine guests who visited at the beginning of the semester brought a range of areas of expertise and perspectives on the Bull City’s past and present. Tom Magnuson of the Trading Path Association spoke about how people traveled to the area that would become Durham in the

17th and 18th centuries and their interactions with Native Americans. DA alumnus and parent David Beischer ’85 spoke about Durham history from the perspective of the Watts and Hill families, from whom the Beischers are descended. Fellow DA parent Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, director of El Centro Hispano, spoke about Durham from the perspective of recent Latino immigrants to the city. Isaac Green  —  father of a DA alumna and great-grandson of Dr. James E. Shepard, who founded what is now known as N.C. Central University  —  spoke to students about the geographic challenges that led to North Carolina being settled from the north and south in, rather than from the east in. “Most of the major cities of any age are along major rivers. South Carolina has the great port of Charleston, Virginia has the great port of Richmond, but in North Carolina, we have the ‘Graveyard of the Atlantic,’” he explained. “We don’t have good shipping from our rivers out into the coast because of the Outer Banks.” Until the late 1800s, rail service was very limited, so plantations needed access to water for shipping. The state was primarily home to “small farms and dirt farmers” until South Carolinians and Virginians began to push in and establish plantations in North Carolina, Green told the students. Among the largest of those plantations was Stagville, the remnants of which the History of Durham class visited early in the semester. The field trip was at the center of a study on slavery and historical memory, as well as

Downtown Durham’s Five Points, circa 1926. Photo from North Carolina Collection, Durham County Library, Durham Historic Photographic Archives



the plantation’s connections with the foundation and early growth of Durham. Other field trips included jaunts to downtown Durham — during one of which, the Upper Schoolers created video content for an iBook that second-graders later used on their annual field trip to downtown — and visits to Duke University’s Rubenstein Library and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, where they were introduced to historical materials relating to Durham history and taught how to use archives and special collections. In the second half of the semester, students were directed to dive into those archives and interview people who have lived through history as they worked on research projects. “That kind of off-campus research is new for DA, and I think it’s fair to say that they’re doing the work of real historians,” Policelli said. “This is what historians do: They figure out a question or a problem that hasn’t been fully answered and then they go to the archives. Especially when we went to Duke, I think it clicked for the students that they were doing history like a historian. Some of the old maps they were poring over and these really old books — I think when you actually touch these sources, it’s exciting for them.” King wasn’t sure what she wanted to focus her research project on until


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she stumbled upon a treasure trove in the Rubenstein Library — surveys that Durham County high school seniors took in 1955. They were asked about their socioeconomic status, their parents’ education levels and their plans for the future. Her research aims to better understand the systemic relationship that may have existed between socioeconomic status and education in Durham in the past — and to explore whether those factors are still at play today. “It’s great, because [the surveys were] just a completely accidental find,” she said. “There are like 1,500 pieces of paper from 1955. It’s so cool. It’s people’s handwriting. It’s wild.” Senior Tatum Teer-Barutio was interested in taking the History of Durham course because of her family’s deep roots in the city. It was in Durham that her great-great grandfather started his construction business, Nello L. Teer Company, which grew into one of the largest construction companies in the world. “My grandfather wrote a book on my family’s history in Durham and my great-great grandfather’s construction company is here, so I knew what the book told me, which was just specific to my family,” she explained. “But broader than that, I didn’t know a lot about Durham history.” Teer-Barutio’s research project is focused on Durham’s economic

booms and busts dating to the early 1800s and how those changes have affected restaurants — specifically how eateries have led to the revitalization of downtown’s Five Points area. “I would have no idea how to access the Duke and UNC libraries or understand what is possible through them if it weren’t for this class,” she said. “And I know that you get that in college, but there are only seven of us in the class and you get a very one-on-one experience learning how to research.” For Policelli, a primary goal of the History of Durham course is getting students comfortable with the idea of working with primary sources. Gesturing toward a bookcase filled with books focused on the city and North Carolina more generally, he said there’s a need for more such titles. “There’s a lot of Durham history that has not been written about, and that’s another opportunity I saw in this kind of course — that the students are actually writing genuinely scholarly research papers. They’re not just summarizing knowledge that’s out there, they’re doing research and creating new knowledge.”

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Harry Thomas Story by Kathy McPherson

Harry Thomas always arrives a little early for Durham Academy commencement at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall. It’s not because he wants a seat down front. He’s assured of that as a member of the Upper School faculty. He arrives early so he can visit a bench behind a building across the street from Memorial Hall, a bench where he sat in utter despair five years ago. In 2012, Thomas sat on that bench feeling lost. He had just invested seven years of his life working on a doctorate in English, the academic credential needed to fulfill his dream of being a college professor. But the academic job market was extremely tight. Thomas had applied for 50 or 60 jobs and had no offers, not even any interviews. “I was done, I’d finish the dissertation, I’d put in the paperwork to Carolina to graduate that spring. I had my teaching assistantship up through May, but I didn’t know what I was going to do after that. I remember just being lost. It’s kind of a funny thing because I was wandering around campus actually talking to my mom on the phone like I’m a 5-year-old: ‘Mom, I don’t know what to do, Mom, help!’” Because of the economy and the way that higher education was changing, tenure-track college professor jobs — “the kind of jobs that my advisors, many of whom were baby boomers, had in academia” — were vanishing along with Thomas’ hopes of landing one. “I think about how lost I felt and how nice it is to feel found. I really, really was lost.” Thomas was “found” when he was hired to teach English at Durham Academy in spring 2012, and he has truly found his professional home. Becoming a college professor was Thomas’ dream, but when he joined DA, teaching high school students hadn’t been on his radar, and a path to teaching wasn’t even part of Thomas’ career plan when he graduated from Emory University in 1999. He originally wanted to be a writer, so after graduating from Emory he moved to New York “and took what I thought was going to be my dream job at Rolling Stone because music was a huge part of my life in high school and through college and a little bit after college. “I had a big, fat mid-20s crisis about working in magazine journalism. I decided that I didn’t want to work in what a friend, who also worked in magazine journalism, jokingly called the ‘celebrity-industrial complex.’ I worked with really enormously smart, passionate, talented people who were out seeing live music in New York City every night and knew these amazing bands and knew all

this fantastic stuff going on. To pay rent, they were writing about what hors d’oeuvre Britney Spears served at her wedding kind-of-thing. The long and short of it was I just decided I didn’t want to wake up and be 50 years old writing about what hors d’oeuvre Britney Spears served at her 37th wedding or whatever she’s on at that point. I freaked out and went back to school, mostly because I wanted to write.” Thomas wanted to work on plays or short fiction and entered a Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Alabama. “That’s what let me teach, that’s what put me in the classroom. I really had no idea that I would like teaching. I sort of thought of it’s this thing I have to do and I mean, whatever, I’m here to write. But I really, really liked teaching. I remember teaching an American Lit survey at Alabama and thinking, oh wait my job today is to get up and talk to students about a Faulkner novel or about this Flannery O’Connor short story or about a Tennessee Williams play. That seemed like a really, really good gig, and I liked it a lot. As the M.F.A. was wrapping up, I thought, there’s not a huge market for the kind of fiction I write. I’m going to need to find some way to pay the bills. I liked teaching and I thought at the time I could never, ever teach high school, so if I want to teach I’ve got to get a Ph.D.” Thomas believed teaching in college was his only option. “I was interested in gender and sexuality, and I’m openly gay. I thought for all those reasons I can’t teach high school. There’s no high school that would ever let



me teach there.” It’s a belief he held right up until he was offered a job at DA. Mary Floyd Wilson, who was dean of graduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, reached out to Thomas about an opening for an English teacher at Durham Academy and urged him to apply. Wilson’s husband is Upper School Director Lanis Wilson, who was the Upper School dean of students and taught English literature, psychology and ethics courses at the time. “I didn’t know anything about DA and I was operating on a lot of assumptions that turned out to not be true about the place. I was like, these people are never going to hire me. … May was coming up, and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I didn’t know what I was going to be doing and where the money was going to come from, so I applied.” Thomas emailed one of his references, UNC Professor Joy Kasson, to tell her he was applying to a private high school she’d probably never heard of and that there was a remote chance she might be called for a reference. He was stunned when Kasson responded to say she had served as a DA trustee and that her son and daughter were DA graduates. Thomas interviewed with Lee Hark, who was Upper School director at the time, and English Department Academic Leader Jordan Adair, and was offered the job. “And it’s just been so great. I feel found. This isn’t a life that I would have imagined for myself, but it’s been so fantastic. It lets me do exactly what I love doing. I teach really, really smart kids in really small classes. I have a ton of freedom to be creative and do what I want to do in my classes. And it’s just a total pleasure. I work with incredibly smart, kind, giving, creative, amazing people. Being here has been the nicest thing. … It’s not at all the life that I imagined for myself, but it’s been so great. It’s been the happiest kind of accident.” The DA job also gave Thomas and his partner, Joe Cawley, some roots. Cawley already had a job he liked with an employer he really liked working for, and the Triangle is the favorite place they have lived, so Thomas says “to get to stay is really, really nice.” In addition to teaching English and serving as the department’s academic leader, Thomas is a faculty sponsor of the Upper School’s Urban Ministries of Durham service club and the student Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Thomas learned about Urban Ministries’ work when his advisory group was assigned there for community service several years ago. They sorted travel-size toiletries that would be used in hygiene kits for people who had no toothpaste, soap, deodorant or shaving supplies. “I remember being really struck by the need. If I run out of deodorant, I’m aggravated, I’m bent out of shape. But then I get in my car that I own and that has gas in it, and I drive to the store and I buy more deodorant with money that is in my bank account. To think that even in this area, which by most economic measures is booming, to think


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that there’s that much need, that people don’t have washcloths and toothpaste and deodorant was pretty striking to me. That work seemed really important and I wanted to do something to continue it. … I think sometimes we talk too much about poverty as a thing that happens far away, like poverty is the thing that happens in Africa, that happens somewhere else. I think UMD is really, really important to remind our kids that it happens here. There are people in real and profound need, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, here in Durham, in your town.”

“ Being here has been the nicest thing. … It’s not at all the life that I imagined for myself, but it’s been so great.” — Harry Thomas The Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is a student group that began before Thomas came to DA, and it’s a group that means a great deal to him. “I think a club like the GSA can be literally life-saving. … The fact that the school had a GSA, it’s not a thing I started, it was going on here, it was going strong way before I got here. That helped to know OK, this is part of the school culture. … To be able to do work here with young people that is aimed at reminding them that they’re OK and that they’re not alone, that’s really, really important to me. That’s far more important to me than whether a kid can figure out where to put a comma in a sentence, although that is important to me.” Thomas grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, in the 1980s and ’90s. “My parents’ house, that they still live in, that I grew up in, is a 10-minute drive from the Georgia line, so culturally it was very South Georgia and kind of the only thing to do there was FSU football, which I had no interest in.” He is close to his parents now, but remembers when “things with them were rough and rocky. They’re very conservative. They’re both from a small town in Tennessee. They certainly were not raised to be accepting of gay people, they certainly were not raised in a way that told them anything positive about gay people. They have come a

Photo by Melody Guyton Butts

really long way, and my relationship with them is a thing that I am enormously, enormously grateful for.” Thomas’ parents were at the Durham County courthouse several years ago when he got married. “It was super important to them that they would be here when my partner and I could finally get married. Things are so, so nice with them. They love me, they love my partner more than they love me. I’m still very, very close with them.” What helped Thomas navigate his younger years and initially find a sense of community was literature. “Maybe it’s a hyperbolic thing to say, but it’s not very much hyperbole to say that Tennessee Williams saved my life. … When I was a closeted kid in north Florida feeling really alone and miserable and I found Williams’ plays and read his letters and his diaries, my world cracked open, my world opened up. I was like, oh, I’m not the only one, other people have felt this way, here’s how they wrestle with these feelings, here’s how they navigated life. And it made me feel less alone. “… I certainly don’t expect every book that I assign every student to read is going to be that meaningful for them. But I hope that they can see, I hope what comes through in my classes is not a kind of pedantic the comma must go here — although it should and I want them to learn that too, and we do talk about that — but a sense that literature comes out of a particular time, in a particular place. It comes out of people trying to say this is what it felt like to be this kind of person, to be alive at this time, to be wrestling with or thinking through like these kinds of issues. And here’s my two cents on what that felt like and how I navigate that. I hope I can get students to see that and to see the value in that kind of connection.”

Thomas tells his English students “we tell ourselves stories in order to live. We are storytelling animals, we tell stories to make sense of our lives.” This fall, Thomas officially joined the ranks of those storytellers with the release of his first book, Sissy! The book, published by the University of Alabama Press, is an exploration of postwar pop culture representations of effeminate men and boys and has already been honored with the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Literature. Thomas describes Sissy! as a “kind of nipped and tucked and liposucked and filler-injected version” of his Ph.D. dissertation. He had been working on the book for years during summer breaks from Durham Academy. “It’s the dissertation that’s gone through a healthy make-over.” Thomas gave a reading and held book signing Oct. 26 at UNC’s Bull’s Head Bookshop that drew a large crowd of DA students, parents, alumni and faculty. “I think we live in such a commodified, such a utilitarian world, and the humanities are so out of vogue and out of fashion because how are you going to get a job with that. … But what are you going to do with it? You’re going to live. You’re going to think, you’re going to be in touch, you’re going to be less alone in the world, you’re going to realize that you’re not the only person that ever struggled with X or Y or Z or whatever it is you’re trying to think through. “Lee [Hark] came to my reading and bought a copy of my book and asked me to sign it. All I wrote was ‘Thank you for my life.’ I mean that. I mean, he made my life here possible, and it’s been really great.” In May when he revisits that bench, Thomas will have a lot to smile about.



What Does Supporting Veterans Mean?

Military Matters Photo by Sarah Delk Sixth-graders were held in rapt attention on Nov. 7 while learning about the military service of Maj. Anthony Forshier. As Veterans Day approaches each fall, the sixth-grade team invites a veteran to speak about his or her time in the military. Now serving as a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, Forshier’s service has taken him around the world, including to Iraq, New Zealand, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Students were quite literally leaping out of their seats to ask questions.

View more photos at bit.ly/militarymatters.

Common Goals Above Personal Interests Photography by Melody Guyton Butts Upper Schoolers heard from Capt. Jonathan Kralick at their Veterans Day assembly, also in November. Kralick studied engineering at West Point Military Academy and now serves as commander for 12 Special Forces operators who are serving across Africa. In 2019, he will return to West Point to teach. "Supporting veterans isn't a simple 'like' on Facebook or retweeting the latest support-our-troops shoutout, or putting a bumper sticker on your car," Kralick told the students. "… What does actually supporting veterans mean? It means that we are fully supporting this liberty and this opportunity that we have in this country and maximizing that to its full extent. … Put common goals above personal interests for a time."

As an introduction to the assembly, students in Jordan Adair’s Literary and Artistic Response to War course compiled photos and video clips for a video tribute to veterans. The video was edited by senior Ethan Wang: bit.ly/DAveterans.





It’s right there in the name: Durham. Academy. The Academy part is pretty straightforward: DA is an institution of study, but our name also says that the learning that happens here is grounded in the community of Durham.

Photo by Karen Richardson

Of course, DA has grown to welcome families from many places other than Durham, but that marriage of learning and community has remained central to the school’s identity for over 84 years. In every division of the school, students devote time, energy and resources toward giving back to our community in the form of food and supply drives, trips to local nonprofits and community service days. But recently the school began to investigate ways we can deepen the impact of the work we do in Durham and beyond. Can we extend a hand to help others and also better understand why that help is needed? We believe we can, and changes toward that end are starting to take root throughout the school. DA is making an evolutionary shift from being a place where students “do” community service to a place where service learning is the norm. The difference between community service and service learning is not just a matter of semantics. Service learning focuses on experiential education that allows students to achieve real goals for the community through a deeper understanding of the underlying issues related to a service activity. That understanding leads to more effective action —enhancing students’ engagement skills and addressing significant community needs. We are striving to not just engage our students in doing; we want them to understand why they are doing it. Serving a meal at Urban Ministries of Durham is a meaningful and positive experience, but children can learn deeper lessons from that experience

if they first understand what are the root causes of homelessness and hunger. Even more value is generated if that one experience is followed up with a long-term partnership with Urban Ministries. Education before a service event, discussion and reflection about it afterward, and opportunities to work in real-world contexts toward long-term solutions can provide a perspective that engaging once or twice a year cannot. By participating in service learning, DA students and the school develop longterm relationships that benefit students, the school and the community partners. Over the years, Durham Academy has shifted more toward service learning. Examples of this approach have been firmly intact in individual grade levels throughout DA, but the 2015 Strategic Plan directed the school to make more decisive steps toward a broader adoption. The strategic plan challenges DA to “Develop a coherent (intentional, continuous, sequential and focused) PK-12 curriculum for service learning that includes preparation, education, reflection and relationships that deepen over time.” To achieve such an ambitious goal, the Middle School looked at ways we could go beyond a limited number of community service days and a classroom experience. The desire for a

We are striving to not just engage our students in doing, we want them to understand why they are doing it.



Photo by Melody Guyton Butts

fresh approach to class trips set the stage for us to start exploring a solution that might accomplish that goal. The reinvention of Middle School community service could not be more timely. In 2015, the school was generous enough to support my enrollment at Vanderbilt University’s Independent School Leadership M.Ed. program. During one class, I worked with a group to propose a “repurposing of an existing system at your school to achieve a new goal.” DA’s Middle School start-of-year class trips seemed like the perfect project. Each Middle School grade level took time during the second week of school to leave campus for an advisory bonding experience. As rich as those trips were, I thought we could refocus at least one of those trips around service learning, which could give us a foothold to make a shift toward a strategic goal. My classmates and I had fun thinking about how that could happen and spent the better


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part of a day brainstorming. But after we finished, class moved on to other topics and the models we generated became just one of many thought exercises I had during two years of summer classes at Vanderbilt. That is, until a real-world application of that idea presented itself at DA. After summer 2016 at Vanderbilt, I returned to the familiar rhythms of a DA school year. Start-of-year trips left, returned and grade-level teams debriefed about their experiences. Unfortunately, the eighth-grade trip venue and the trip seemed to miss its mark. The activities that were designed to grow advisory bonds seemed tired, and the long drive west seemed to not justify what students and teachers were gleaning from their stay. Then, the conversation turned — what if rather than trying to get the camp to tweak the experience, we did something completely different for eighth-graders at the start of the year? Could we also better

Photo by Karen Richardson



refine and focus the entire eighthgrade advisory program around a theme of some sort? Excited about the possibilities, the eighth-grade teachers launched into a year-long conversation about how to reinvent the trip. It was quickly apparent that this was the perfect opportunity to make a significant step toward application of service-learning principles. During the 2016-2017 school year, a committee of eighth-grade teachers dreamed of ways to create a meaningful and fun start-of-year experience. That blue-sky exercise had to quickly come back down to Earth because come August 2017, 100 eighth-graders were going to need something purposeful to do! The pressure this timing generated proved to be auspicious, as a team led by Jeff Boyd, Ellen Brown and Ben Michelman settled on a plan that would model central service learning tenets (see page 34). It is a terrific tale of success. After a tremendous amount of legwork, the team developed The Durham Challenge, a three-day experience in which DA eighth-graders built relationships with local organizations, then used principles of design thinking to arrive at solutions to real problems facing the organization. On the following page, language arts teacher Kelly Howes and her

students explain how the seventh grade is using its start-of-year experience to inform a new, thematic approach to the seventh-grade advisory program. By connecting advisory activities to an overarching theme of “Looking Beyond Ourselves,” seventh-grade teachers are laying a foundation for service learning through age-appropriate empathy exercises that will, eventually, create a sequence to cement service learning as a consistent part of the Middle School experience. Sam Wells, former dean of Duke Chapel, once gave a sermon titled “What Must I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?” He discussed the Good Samaritan and talked about the difference between “doing for, doing with, and being with.” As Wells put it, “doing for” is good, but limited, just as is community service. The deeper the relationships, the more frequently we can “be with.” The more genuine the service is, the more good is created, both for the servant and the served. The steps the seventh- and eighth-graders took this fall represent examples of Durham Academy “doing with” and a move toward the ideal of “being with.”

The more genuine the service is, the more good is created.

Photo by Sarah Delk



LOOKING BEYOND OURSELVES “In seventh grade, our advisory program has been focused on the topic of looking beyond ourselves as we have done multiple activities to gain a better perspective of the community as a whole. One of the many things we have learned is the importance of having empathy for everyone and understanding the struggles and adversity everyone has to face. For example, we did a Hunger Meal where we simulated what life might be like for someone who does not have enough food and experienced their challenges. Afterward, we volunteered at a food bank to help the people who actually live the lives we simulated, which also gave us newfound appreciation for what we have. While being very insightful, the advisory activities we have done have allowed us to contribute to our community and make it a better place for everyone.”

“This year, the theme of the seventh grade is looking beyond ourselves. To me, our theme means thinking about other people and events outside of those that are a part of our daily life. The seventh-graders have shown care for other people and events in our community many times throughout the year. We participated in community service, such as volunteering at the food bank, Habitat for Humanity and A Lotta Love. At the food bank, we sorted and packaged potatoes. The potatoes would later be given to people in our community who need them. Also, while volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, the seventh-graders completed a variety of activities including painting sheds, picking up trash around the neighborhood and building the frame of a garden for a new home. Finally, for the Lotta Love organization, advisories painted a playhouse for families or helped decorate rooms in shelters to give them a more cheerful look.” — Faith Hanson ’23

— Mayah Ding ’23

Photo by Melissa Mack

“This year’s advisory program really enriched my experience at Durham Academy. One ‘project’ that I really thought was powerful was when we went shopping with a budget among our advisory. That really helped me understand how tough it is to be a working-class individual in America’s society today. We went to Harris Teeter and started shopping, having a budget in mind, trying to buy enough food for a week. In our advisory we split up into three groups: breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was a part of the lunch group. Since I am a kid and really didn’t know much about shopping, this was really interesting. It gave me new insight on this new world that I have yet to be exposed to, where you may not be able to afford those new shoes you wanted. Overall, it was a wonderful experience and I would undoubtedly do it again if given the chance.” — JP Dilweg ’23

“The seventh-grade advisory activities really made an impact on me, the rice lunch activity in particular. I was part of the group where we only had a small bowl of rice and a half-filled cup of warm water. I felt a little bit jealous that other people were enjoying such a fine meal while I sat with a tiny serving of rice that didn’t even taste good. More than that, I felt really sad and upset that this was the typical meal for about 70 percent of the world’s population. This made me want to do something, like support a charity or spread awareness. This activity along with the other activities made me realize that there are a lot of people hurting in the world, but we can do something about that.” — Abbey Kelley ’23

— Taylor Eppinger ’23

— Kendall Harris ’23

“Our seventh grade community service program this year worked with Habitat for Humanity and A Lotta Love, two organizations helping the homeless. We also helped those short of food in Durham. Did you know that 813 people in Durham (3 percent of the population) are currently homeless? That’s twice as many people as we have in our Middle School! I found it amazing that when all of us have so much to eat, there are still so many people who don’t have enough. I found myself wondering how I would feel waking up to another day with no shelter or food to eat, especially in freezing weather. Having learned about this, I gave some money to a homeless man standing on the side of the street. What surprised me, was that he was a war veteran with no home. He had served his country, but his country had not served him. Surely as one of the richest countries in the world, we can do better.” — Zebee Jewell-Alibhai ’23

Photo by Kim Aitken

Photo by Kim Aitken

“This year’s advisory program, focusing on “looking beyond ourselves,” has been very influential to me and many others. We started out with a very simple rice lunch. During the rice lunch, 10 percent of our grade was put at a table with luxurious food, drinks, and servers. Twenty percent were at tables with a sandwich and a milk, while the other 70 percent were at tables with cold rice. I was put at a table with rice, and it really opened my eyes up to how many people couldn’t afford what we can afford here at Durham Academy. It made me want to help them, which ties into the other presentation that I found the most powerful, the A Lotta Love assembly. Lotta Love helps shelters by redoing the rooms so that they can be a home-away-from-home for the homeless people that go to those shelters. Lotta, the woman who founded this organization, came and talked about this, and it did the same as the rice lunch—I wanted to help these people live a happier life. These two were the most moving to me, but all of the events in our advisory program have meant something to me and helped me really look beyond myself at the world around us.”

“How do you ‘Look Beyond Yourself’? It’s not something people normally do, but our DA advisory program has challenged us to be more open to this idea. … The most powerful advisory event that impacted me the most was the rice lunch. The rice lunch was an experiment and a representation of how people have different levels of access to food. I was placed at a table and served only a quarter bowl of rice and half a cup of water. I was on the lower level of food access, opposed to some students who were served plates full of spaghetti and salad, or sandwiches and chips. About 70 percent of the seventh grade was served the small rice portion that I received. This made me think about all the privilege I have and how little most people get. Seeing other students eating the food that I normally eat made me feel empathy for those who don’t get the options I get. “It was interesting to see how the different groups responded to this activity. For instance, some of the students who got the ‘privileged food’ felt guilty, but others boasted and acted as if it were a normal situation. I felt angry about their actions but caught myself being jealous. Overall, the most important part of the activity was that it gave a perspective of different lifestyles and how people react in situations of privilege.”

Photo by Ben Michelman

PARTNERING FOR A BETTER BULL CITY Kicking off the eighth grade’s new service-learning efforts was The Durham Challenge. Through this three-day experience at the beginning of the school year, advisory groups were paired with eight different community partners, building relationships with the organizations, learning about their work and challenges, and then using principles of design thinking to arrive at solutions for some of those challenges.

Latino Educational Achievement Partnership (LEAP) Durham

Challenge: Goal:


LEAP operates Durham’s first and only dual-language pre-k programs, as well as a tutoring program for elementary and middle school students. LEAP enhances children’s literacy with developmentally appropriate instruction and support, serving more than 50 children at two sites.

“ It was great because we could actually tell that we improved the waiting room. It made it easy to see how people might feel walking into it.” — Larkin Cashin ’22

How can LEAP redesign its entryway to be more informative, welcoming and educational? Students will use design thinking (a process for creative problem-solving) to generate new ideas for the layout of LEAP’s waiting area. LEAP wants to improve the organization of educational information about their mission and provide a more welcoming experience for prospective families during open houses.

Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Photo by Dalia Gheiler


Beyond the initial three-day experience, advisory groups have consistently dedicated advisory time to their community partners and are spending the year’s community service days working with the organizations. Read on for a taste of Janet Long’s advisory’s experience with LEAP.

Photo by Melody Guyton Butts


Wednesday, Aug. 30 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Information session with Dalia Gheiler, Teacher Mentor and Preschool Curriculum Coordinator at LEAP

9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Introduce challenge and tour facility

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Open House prep (organizing, unpacking, etc.)

1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Visit Primary Colors Early Learning Center and meet with staff, tour facility

2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Visit Bright Horizons in North Durham and meet with staff, tour facility, read to students

3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visit The Little School at Duke and meet with staff, tour facility, read to students



Friday, Sept. 1

Wednesday, Oct. 18

8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

• Janet Long’s advisory broke into three groups, with each group creating a 3D prototype of LEAP’s entryway to present to an audience of classmates, teachers and community partners, including Gheiler. She then provided feedback on the prototypes.

• LEAP gave the Long advisory feedback on their prototype, which allowed them to make revisions prior to the Middle School’s October community service day.

Thursday, Aug. 31 Open House prep at LEAP

9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

LEAP Open House (observations and interviews)

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Visit with DA Admissions staff (Middle School and Lower School)

• During the ideation phase, the group discovered a vertical filing cabinet might better organize cluttered paperwork. • Inspired by a visit to The Little School, a Reggio-inspired preschool that encourages child exploration, one student proposed “a more kid-focused design and open environment” for LEAP’s waiting area.


• Long and her students visited LEAP on Oct. 18 to help implement the finalized entrance design. • The group cleared out old shelves and assembled new shelves to replace them.

• The prototype incorporated a rug and beanbags for children to play on as their parents signed in.

4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Debriefing and reflections



STRONGHER TOGETHER Story by Melody Guyton Butts // Photo by Sarah Delk

The girls, all fifth-graders, live in all corners of Durham. They attend different schools, have different interests, face different challenges. But, most every day, you’ll find the girls messaging one another to check in on how school is going, to send birthday wishes, to just say goodnight. They come cheer one another on at musical performances. They send each other letters when times get tough. The girls have been drawn together by StrongHER TogetHER, a program that aims to help girls pursue their dreams, all the while being supported by one another. The nascent nonprofit sprung from conversations between Stacey Donoghue and Dr. Veshana Ramiah, two Durham Academy parents who wanted to find a way to help girls lift one another up. “As girls, we’re stereotyped as being catty, and snarky, and judgmental, and dramatic — we just have those labels on our foreheads,” Donoghue explained. “And this program is really geared toward helping us find a better way, to treat one another and to look at one another in a different way.” StrongHER TogetHER’s primary partners are DA, Durham Public Schools, Kidznotes and East Durham Children’s Initiative, with each organization nominating a handful of students for the program. The overarching goal of StrongHER TogetHER, Donoghue said, is to teach girls “to stick together no matter how different they are.” Girls and women sticking together and celebrating one another was at the core of Women of Durham, an event hosted by StrongHER TogetHER on Oct. 21, featuring first-person stories of how three Durham women have been helped along their journeys by other women. Featured speakers were Katie Wyatt, executive director of El Sistema USA; Esther Mateo-Orr, a parent advocate with East Durham Children’s Initiative; and Ogechi Onuigbo, a senior at Durham School of the Arts and fashion model. Two StrongHER TogetHER participants, including DA fifth-grader Giulia Laurenza, spoke briefly about the program. Along with DA fifth-graders Stella Edwards, Beckett Moylan and McKenzie Graves, Giulia said she’s enjoyed getting to know girls from around the Bull City. “We just really support each other and understand the need to stick together,” she explained. “We support each person’s talent and what they like to do.” “We have a girl in the group named Yaz, and she’s in her church choir, and we’re making plans to go see her sing,” Stella added. “I play lacrosse, and we’re making plans for everybody to come see a game in the spring.”


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StrongHER TogetHER’s first cohort of students was nominated in spring 2017, and the program kicked off in the summer with a get-to-know-you picnic, followed by a weeklong summer camp based at DA. In camp, the girls worked on craft and science projects, made a trip to Pelican’s SnoBalls, played games and, most importantly, formed the basis of the friendships that have become so cherished. Donoghue wasn’t aware that two of the girls would be playing violin in a Kidznotes concert on the Thursday of camp until they came to her the day before and expressed concern about having to miss out on the fun of camp. “So we put all of the other girls on the bus and took them to the concert and surprised these two girls who are part of our group,” Donoghue said. “And when I saw that happen, when I saw how the girls in the audience really got it, that it meant something that they were there, and how the girls who were performing reacted — that they weren’t missing camp because the camp came to them — I think that was for me, almost a birthday moment of the program. It really let us see that there was something there.” That “something” continued to blossom this fall, as the girls have gotten together every few weeks — from watching the girl-power documentary Step, to noshing on Nana Taco and decorating pumpkins in the park, to making care packages for a girls organization in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Getting the girls together — there are 15 in StrongHER TogetHER’s inaugural cohort — requires the use of a DA bus, and driving that bus is a man with a perpetual smile on his face: DA maintenance team member Mac McDonald. “When we get together on a Saturday, we take up his whole day. The girls absolutely love him,” Donoghue said of McDonald, known affectionately as Big Mac. “I told him, thank you so much, Big Mac, you’re taking five hours out of your weekend, and you’re hanging out with a bunch of 10-year-olds, and they’re putting headbands on your head. And he says, well, I can’t let the babies down. And that’s Big Mac in a nutshell.” In addition to McDonald and co-founders Donoghue and Ramiah, several other members of the DA community have lent their time to making StrongHER TogetHER a reality, including board members Dan Gilson, director of DA’s Summer Programs and Extended Day, and Dr. Cindy Moore, a DA learning specialist. The plan is for the StrongHER TogetHER girls to continue hanging out and supporting one another through their high school graduation, with a new cohort of about 15 rising fifth-graders added to the program each spring.


‘A DOLLAR MAKES A DIFFERENCE’ Bake Sales, Movie Night, Coin Drive Raise $5,061.68 for Hurricane Relief Exchanging a dollar bill for a homemade cookie bar and a brownie, Durham Academy fourth-grader Shelby Little thanked her customer: “A dollar makes a difference!” Indeed, a dollar does make a difference — especially when it’s combined with the hundreds of other dollars raised by DA Lower Schoolers and Preschoolers at bake sales they held to benefit hurricane relief efforts. The bake sales — Lower Schoolers set up on the Upper School campus and Preschoolers set up at the


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Middle School — and other fundraisers raised a whopping $5,061.68 for hurricane relief in October. The four days of bake sales were followed by a change drive at the All-School Pep Rally and a movie night fundraiser at the Middle School. $4,061.68 of the funds raised were directed to One America Appeal, and another $1,000 was directed to a nonprofit benefiting St. Maarten. “Several kids came to me when Hurricane Harvey first hit Houston, and said, ‘We want to help,’” Lower School Director Carolyn Ronco said. “They remembered things we did last year in response to Hurricane Matthew, and it was really on their hearts to do something, to think beyond themselves.” As planning for a hurricane relief project began, the need became more profound. Just a couple of weeks later, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in the Caribbean and Florida,


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and then Hurricane Maria proved catastrophic across the northeastern Caribbean — including Lower School Spanish teacher Mercedes Almodóvar’s native Puerto Rico. Almodóvar showed students dramatic before-and-after photos of her family’s home on the island, and energy galvanized toward a schoolwide fundraising project. The idea to host bake sales on the Middle School and Upper School campuses — with the sweet treats and sweet smiles offered by Preschool and Lower School salespeople — was hatched at a meeting of school directors, Ronco said, noting that older students are often more likely to have money in their pockets to spend. “I always want our Lower Schoolers to see themselves as Upper Schoolers one day — I want them to see themselves studying in the Learning Commons and all of the great things that are ahead for them,” she

explained. “Anytime we can walk up the hill for our kids to see that, I think is important.” A long table covered in brownies, cookies, cupcakes, crackers and popcorn was set up in the Upper School Learning Commons all week and staffed by a rotation of first- through fourth-grade classes, with parents volunteering to fill in any staffing gaps. Preschool classes made the short journey to the Academy Road campus via bus once a day, setting up two tables overflowing with treats during the Middle School’s morning break. Second-graders Stella Brown and Talia Savas got together to make brownies for the sale. Their choice was no accident, they explained. “Our teacher, Ms. Butler, likes brownies with Blue Bell ice cream, so we decided that brownies would be good,” Stella said. “Usually adults don’t like sweet stuff that much, but we thought that if Ms. Butler

“ I think it’s good to feel like you’re helping somebody — more than one actually — and knowing you can make a difference in the world.”

help,” ninth-grader Raguell Couch said. “And it’s nice to know I’m helping out.” DA’s hurricane -relief efforts continued with a change drive at the All-School Pep Rally. Students brought in coins or cash to drop into One America Appeal collection jars at the rally. In addition, a committee of Middle School students organized a movie-night fundraiser for that evening. Following the Homecoming festivities on the Upper School campus, the Middle School campus hosted games and an outdoor viewing of the film Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. The student planning committee suggested a $15 donation for the movie and also sold hot dogs, pizza, popcorn and other concessions as part of the fundraiser. Proceeds were split between One America Appeal

— Cheikh-Abdou N’Diaye

likes brownies, probably other people would too.” They knew that the brownies would be a hit. “On the front cover, it said that they are triple chocolate. After we made them, we tried one, and they were really good,” Talia added after she and her classmates finished their shift at the bake sale table. “Now, there’s only one brownie left.” Lower Schoolers weren’t afraid to use their inherent cuteness to their advantage, with several students fanning out around the Learning Commons and in the quad to hawk doughnuts and bar cookies. “I was like, I have to buy something because they’re all lined up with their cute little faces asking me to

and a foundation that supports residents of St. Maarten. Being able to do something to help people struggling in Puerto Rico and other areas hit by hurricanes “feels really good,” fourth-grader CheikhAbdou N’Diaye said. “I think it’s good to feel like you’re helping somebody — more than one actually — and knowing you can make a difference in the world.” In addition to a big fundraising total, one of the goals of the week’s efforts was a feeling of empowerment for students, Ronco said. “It’s great to see them here and excited about what they are doing, so that they feel like they have, in any kind of catastrophe or traumatic event, that they can do something. It can really help alleviate that stress, for one thing, knowing that they’ve helped.”




Senior Establishes DA-Hosted Tennis Clinic for Children with Autism Story and Photography by Melody Guyton Butts


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Lessons learned through athletics are immeasurable, from player-to-player cooperation to hand-eye coordination. But for children on the autism spectrum, opportunities to play sports can be limited. It’s a reality familiar to Durham Academy senior Alexander Brandt — who loves playing tennis and, through family members, is familiar with challenges faced by children with developmental disabilities. So when he heard about ACEing Autism, a national nonprofit that aims to enhance the lives of children with autism through tennis, he leapt at the chance to establish a clinic here in Durham. Three lessons into the first-ever ACEing Autism clinic on DA’s Upper School campus, ear-to-ear smiles — from children, their parents

and the many volunteers working with the athletes — tell the story of a successful start to the program. Lora Charles, mother of ACEing Autism participant Mateo, explained that her family has been on a quest to find appropriate after-school programs, from mainstream sports to YMCA programs, but they hadn’t had much success in finding a good fit for Mateo. “He needs a bit more one-on-one help and attention, and waiting in line can be hard. So when Alexander put this email out, we thought, perfect, this is something we can try,” explained Charles, whose older son, Alex, is a DA classmate of Brandt’s. “There are a lot of people out on the court to help out. I wouldn’t say it’s Mateo’s favorite sport, but he’s loving it. He gets to be

with high school kids and get some attention and exercise. And I’m hoping he’ll get to meet some other kids his age who live here in the area, maybe make some connections.” Making connections is at the heart of the ACEing Autism program. Before the day’s lesson began, Mateo practiced hitting balls with DA senior Nicole Riepl while the two bonded over a shared affinity for Star Wars. After all of the participants arrived, Brandt gathered the athletes and volunteers in a circle to explain the day’s agenda: a quick lap around the courts, stretches, groundstroke practice and hitting balls over the net. Such clarity — the itinerary is outlined with the aid of a schedule featuring photos — is intended to



1, 2, 3, we love tennis! tennis and it hasn’t been an issue at all,” he explained. “It might be as simple as putting a ball in a tee and telling the kid to hit it. It’s much more about the relationship than the tennis.” For Brandt, serving as an ACEing Autism program director is a marriage of two passions. A tennis player since the age of 5, Brandt is a standout on the Cavalier courts and competes in junior tournaments. He’s also driven to help people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Brandt has a cousin with autism, and his sister has some developmental issues that are similar to some of those exhibited by people on the autism spectrum. He previously taught tennis lessons to adults with special needs. So when his aunt told him about ACEing Autism, he immediately applied to be a — Ava Pacchiana program director. The only other Nine children were registered for clinic sites in North Carolina were in the fall ACEing Autism clinic at DA, Winston-Salem and Charlotte, and he comprising six lessons in September knew that the program could do a lot and October, and Brandt hopes to of good in the Triangle area. hold another clinic at DA this spring. “Physical exercise is a stress relievACEing Autism participants are typier and serves lots of purposes other cally asked to pay a small registration than just being physical exercise, and fee, but thanks to donations totalthat’s something that a lot of people ing nearly $3,000, both the fall and in the special needs community just spring DA clinics are to be offered don’t have access to,” Brandt said. free of charge. Rackets and all other “You can’t just join the rec basketball equipment are provided. league. You need programs like this.” One or two volunteers are typically After applying to establish a clinassigned to each athlete, and Brandt ic in January 2017, he has been hard emphasizes that they don’t need tenat work planning, fundraising and nis expertise to volunteer their time. recruiting volunteers. About 20 peo“I’ve had several volunteers this ple  —  mostly DA Upper Schoolers week and last week who don’t play in addition to several parents and give participants a sense of structure and alleviate any anxiety about what is to come. Flexibility is also key. If a participant prefers to skip the warmup and go straight to hitting balls, no problem. Others might not feel like playing tennis at all and prefer to engage in another form of play with the volunteers. “It’s just getting out there and socializing with other kids and other people and doing something that makes them happy and makes them feel capable,” explained volunteer Ava Pacchiana, a DA senior.

“ It’s so inspiring — these kids who have such great obstacles, seeing them go out there and put so much effort and determination into an activity.”


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community members — signed up to volunteer in the fall, and Brandt welcomes additional volunteers for the spring. Pacchiana had some experience working with children with special needs through her volunteer work at the N.C. Therapeutic Riding Center, and jumped at the opportunity to help with ACEing Autism. “It’s so inspiring — these kids who have such great obstacles, seeing them go out there and put so much effort and determination into an activity. It’s really helpful for them, to kind of remind them what they’re capable of.  …  It’s a really positive experience for the kids and for the people working with them.” ACEing Autism, which now comprises more than 50 clinic locations across the U.S., was founded in Boston in 2008 by Dr. Shafali Jeste, an autism researcher, and her husband, Richard Spurling. As Jeste explains in a column penned for autism news site Spectrum, tennis is an ideal physical outlet for children with autism in that it involves reciprocity: “A rally between opponents embodies a physical dialogue, with success often defined by players’ ability to read and predict the behavior of their opponent.” Social interaction is a key part of ACEing Autism, with each lesson ending with a group cheer — “1, 2, 3, we love tennis!” “I love doing it, and it’s the highlight of my week,” Brandt said. “I just enjoy seeing this group of kids — a population that otherwise might not have access to this activity — come out and have access to the sport that I love to play and have so much fun doing it. I’m glad that we’re able to help provide them with that opportunity, and I’m just really grateful that everything has worked out.”

20 New Americans from Around the Globe Are Naturalized at DA

A Piece of Paper That Represents So Much Story by Melody Guyton Butts // Photo Illustration by Sarah Delk

Before taking her seat on the stage of Durham Academy’s Kenan Auditorium, Antonia Lazaro paused to proudly display what she’d sought for nearly two decades — the certificate that once and for all declared her a citizen of the United States of America. For Lazaro and the 19 other new American citizens who took their Oath of Allegiance on Nov. 15, that piece of paper represents so much: safety and stability, opportunities for education and employment, freedom of speech and religion. “I won’t be scared because I can be sure,” explained Lazaro, who moved to the U.S. from the Mexican state of Guerrero 18 years ago to be with her husband. Her children were born here. “I can keep my family together forever in [the United States]. For education, my family, it’s different opportunities when you’re a citizen. … Now I have all the tools.” DA Upper School’s hosting of the naturalization ceremony was at the center of a month-long focus on citizenship, including programming in advisory groups and assemblies. At the annual Veterans Day assembly, Capt. Jonathan Kralick

Photo by Melody Guyton Butts

Photo by Leslie King

spoke about his unique perspective on citizenship as a U.S. Army Special Forces officer. In the Nov. 13 morning meeting of the student body, Upper School history teacher Thomas Phu, who escaped Vietnam with his family during the Vietnam War, shared about his experience as a naturalized American citizen. Anne McNamara, who taught AP U.S. History at the Upper School for many years and now serves as the Upper School’s director of community service, inquired about the possibility of DA hosting a naturalization ceremony after learning about such an event hosted by Loomis Chaffee School in Connecticut. “I saw this and thought, what a wonderful way to bring such a positive message to the school,” McNamara said. “We don’t realize that this is happening all the time. Every week, at

20 New Citizens from 12 Different Countries

least 100 people in our community are taking that oath, yet we have this feeling that it’s just happening far away. “This is us, and every part of our community is enriched by it,” she continued, noting that many members of the DA community are naturalized citizens. “Look at Constanza [de Radcliffe, French and Spanish teacher] and Liliana [Simón, Spanish teacher] and Thomas [Phu].” The idea was enthusiastically received by school administrators, and McNamara and Upper School Foreign Language Academic Leader Jennifer Garci set about planning every detail of the event to make it special for the new citizens and their families. The Upper School band and chorus performed patriotic songs to celebrate the occasion; student ambassadors welcomed and assisted new citizens and their loved ones while on campus;

DA Parents Association hosted a reception for guests after the ceremony; and students set up a voter registration drive for the new citizens. Upper School Director Lanis Wilson opened the ceremony by acknowledging the diligence and “undeterred will” that it took for the new Americans to earn the privilege that native-born citizens had conferred upon them as a birthright. “Your history and our history are now one,” he said. “We share a love for the Constitution, an admiration for the men and women — like George Washington and Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King and Susan B. Anthony — who represent the best of what it means to be a U.S. citizen.” Before taking the Oath of Allegiance and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the 20 soon-to-be citizens stood as



Russia Kenya

Mexico Colombia

the countries from which they hailed were named one by one: Kenya, Russia, Mexico, Zambia, Colombia, India, China, South Korea, Tanzania, Nigeria, Argentina and Poland. Delivering congratulatory remarks was Victoria Muradi, DA’s director of enrollment management and admissions. She noted that she stood in the same shoes as the new citizens on March 5, 1993, when she became a naturalized citizen as a high school sophomore. It had been over a decade since Muradi and her family fled Afghanistan because of political persecution and found refuge in America — or as they called it then, Amreeka. She recalled the treacherous journey that led them to the United States and some of the challenges she faced as a child and teenager with “a foot in both worlds but never really feeling like I quite belonged in either country.” For her parents, leaving behind danger in Afghanistan also meant leaving behind their entire identity — their language and literature, their history and education. While her father held an MBA and owned a successful business and her mother had worked as a second-grade teacher in Afghanistan, the only employment they could initially find in the U.S. was working as a busboy and a dishwasher. But with much hard work, Muradi and her family members found their place in their new home. “For my own family, Amreeka has meant everything,” Muradi said. “We live in safety, my parents’ hard work earned them their own restaurant and

the chance to become homeowners. They put my siblings and me through college and graduate school, and now my own children will have liberties that I could not even fathom. I am living proof of the American dream.” Among the 20 citizens naturalized at DA on Wednesday was Zambia native Luke Chirwa. He and his wife were among the lucky 50,000 people chosen from around the world to be part of the “green card lottery,” or Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. They’ve been in the U.S. since 2010 and “haven’t looked back since.” Chirwa’s wife was scheduled for her citizenship interview later in November. “It’s massive,” he said of the day’s significance. “It’s a big deal, just to become part of American society. It’s something that as a kid, seeing it on TV, being an American, it’s a big thing. I’m so glad that it happened today.” Manning the voter registration drive after the ceremony were junior Emily Kohn and senior Eamon McKeever, who said it was powerful to see the new Americans exercising their right to register to vote just minutes after earning it. “We’re sort of doing this together,” McKeever said. “I actually just filled out the form to register to vote last summer and voted in my first election this year. I think it’s really cool. Voting in a U.S. election is one of the defining aspects of being a U.S. citizen.” The ceremony meant a lot to McKeever, as his mother was born in Germany and became an American citizen when he was a child.

South Korea

The Nov. 15 naturalization ceremony was the first that Kohn had witnessed, and it was a powerful experience. “I’m a very proud patriot,” she said, “and it was just so beautiful for me to see them have worked so hard to get to where they are and become a part of our country.” In his address to students two days prior to the ceremony, Phu, the Upper School history teacher, urged students to cast aside poet Emma Lazarus’ description of immigrants as tired, poor “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” No immigrant wants to be so pitied, and such a description perpetuates a stale, one-dimensional narrative, Phu argued. “Immigrants, those who have and those who will put their hand over their heart on Wednesday, are hard-working, strong, resilient, smart, resourceful,” he continued. “… To make it in America, you have to roll up your sleeves. You’ve got to turn it on bright, you’ve got to stand tall. You’ve got to steady your heart, and you’ve got to go. And believe me, some people don’t quite make it, but a lot of them do. And they have made an incredible difference to make this union more perfect.”

Watch Victoria Muradi’s remarks at bit.ly/muradi.


Nigeria Poland China Tanzania Source: onestopmap.com

Staff Spotlight

Randy Baker Story by Kathy McPherson

Maintenance foreman Randy Baker has been working at Durham Academy for 37 years and is the father of a DA graduate, but were it not for a head poking around the corner of the business office, Baker wouldn’t be here at all. Baker worked as an auto mechanic after graduating from Jordan High School. He spent a short time making surgical instruments, and was looking for an opportunity after being laid off from Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company, and reaching the end of a six-month assignment with IBM. Baker was drawing unemployment when he heard Durham Academy was looking for someone to do general maintenance. He came to DA’s Academy Road campus inquiring about the job and was asked to come back the next day because the business manager, Jim Horner, was too busy to talk with him. Baker agreed but knew it was unlikely he would return. “I was fixing to leave when Mr. Horner stuck his head around the corner and said come in for just a few minutes. He probably spent 45 minutes to an hour talking to me. For somebody who didn’t have time, he took a long

“ I love the people I work with, the teachers, the kids, the parents are good to us. The kids are what it’s about.” — Randy Baker time! He asked when I could start work. I said tomorrow because I needed a job. He said how about Monday — this was Wednesday — so Monday morning I came to work on the 23rd of February 1981.” Baker spent his first 27 years working on the Academy Road campus, then moved to the Ridge Road campus as maintenance foreman when a co-worker retired. He has


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

set up thousands of tables and chairs, mowed miles of grass, changed hundreds of light bulbs, installed dozens of toilet valves, repaired all kinds of equipment and removed the occasional black snake from campus — but what keeps him here is the people. “I love the people I work with, the teachers, the kids, the parents are good to us. The kids are what it’s about.” There’s at least one student who would not have come to Durham Academy if it hadn’t been for Baker. “One day I was driving the Gator at the Lower School. I looked across the parking lot where the PAB [Brumley Performing Arts Building] is and there was a little boy pulling away from his mama. She was trying to get him to come in, so I pulled over there with the Gator and spoke to them. I asked the little boy if he wanted to get on the Gator. He got on the Gator and turned the steering wheel, then he got off and went inside with his mother. It was probably two years later the mother came up to me and told me that was one of the reasons they came to school here. He didn’t want to go in [for testing]. Something about being on that Gator, he must have gotten relaxed or felt at ease or something and she told me that was one of the reasons they came here. It makes you feel good because it’s not often that happens to you, not just to a maintenance guy but to a teacher or whatever. It made me feel good that she came back and told me that. I was glad to know that I had helped.” Baker grew up in South Durham when it was farmland with hogs and cows, not the commercial development that has since sprouted there. He lived across the pasture

from his grandmother’s farm and was surrounded by aunts and uncles who lived nearby. “I have a couple of acres there now. I’m the only one, everyone else is gone. I’m the last dinosaur left.” Baker and his wife, Becky, live in the same house his family moved to when he was just a year old. And that’s where they raised their daughter, Katie, a DA “lifer” who graduated in 2012. “I’ve been there my whole life in the same place, same area, Lowe’s Grove. I grew up poor. My father died when I was 6, so my mother raised my sister and me. It was pretty tough back in the 60s. … My daddy was a carpenter, he built wooden caskets. He did some fantastic work. I wish I could do what he did. I’m fair at carpentry, but he was an expert at it.” Lower School teachers would argue that Baker is more than fair at carpentry. He’s taken on many projects there, including building a large treehouse in the Lower School library. “When [librarian] Michelle Rosen came up to me and said, I want to run something across you — that’s scary words from her because I know, uh oh, what’s up.” She told Baker she wanted him to build a treehouse in the

library, showed him several kits and ordered the one they liked best. “I got to thinking it sure would be nice for every kid to put one screw or one nail in it, so they would feel like they were part of it instead of me just building it. I scheduled it class-by-class so every kid in the Lower School put a nail or screw in it. It took a lot of patience. I could have finished in a week or two and it took a month, but it was well worth it to have the kids be a part of it. Preschool kids even made the flowers that went into the flower boxes, that was their part.” The Lower School named the treehouse Fort Baker for the man who built it. “It was a treat for them to do that and it was an honor. They had a little assembly and it was sweet. I loved it.” If Baker’s carpentry skills come from his father, his devotion to gardening comes from his mother. “My mother worked as a receptionist at a dentist’s office then went to be a teller at Central Carolina Bank and Trust for 20 to 30 years. She’d also mow the grass at the bank to get extra money. She raised a garden, she loved flowers and I think

Photo by Kathy McPherson



that’s where I get my love for flowers. I love to see them bloom. I love to garden.” He also keeps chickens, and the single thing he enjoys most at Durham Academy is providing eggs that hatch in the Preschool science room each spring. It’s something he’s been doing for more than 30 years. “I have three different coops to make sure I’ve got fertile eggs [for the Preschool]. I’ve got three coops in case one rooster is not doing his job. I separate them so the roosters don’t fight, and I let a coop out every day when I get home. If you don’t put them in the coop you won’t have them, because a hawk, coyote, fox or something will get — Randy Baker them. I’ve had that happen. The Preschool used to order eggs and sometimes they wouldn’t hatch. The week I’m collecting them, I go home mid-morning and collect some, try to get some from each coop. We’ve had good results the last five to 10 years. I help get the incubator set up and adjusted so it’s the right temperature. It takes 21 days from when you put the eggs in there. We have to plan because you don’t want them to hatch on a Saturday or Sunday. You want them to hatch when the kids are there and can watch. I love to watch their expressions. I love it, too. I’m a kid, too.” There’s another way that Baker is still a kid: He loves taking things apart to see how they work. “When I was a kid, I would tear things apart. I never seemed to get them back together, but I saw how things worked and that has helped me in maintenance. I feel like if man built it, man can take it apart. That’s not always the case, but if you’re not scared to try to fix something, maybe you can. I fix some things, some things I don’t, but I’ve always taken things apart. I want to see how things work. Sometimes I take things apart and still don’t see how they work.” He is amazed at the workmanship he sees in farm equipment and household items “people made in olden days, from apple peelers to egg beaters.” A longtime collector of antiques, Baker has more than 100 pieces of cast iron cookware made by Griswold Manufacturing, a company that was in business from 1865 until 1957. “I used to go to a lot of antique shows. For 15 years, I’ve gone to the flea market at the State Fairgrounds. That’s my entertainment, to get away and walk through and look, see if I find anything, but just to get away, that’s my peace time. I get up at 6, get there at 7 or a little before, and I’m

“ When I retire I want to put my own plaque on a chair. That will be the last one I do.”


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Photo courtesy of Randy Baker

back home by 9:30 or 10. I have to go through DTs, withdrawals when State Fair is there [and not the flea market]. I always look forward to November when the flea market comes back.” Baker doesn’t particularly like to travel, but about 20 years ago he drove to Maine to visit Mr. Horner, the long-retired DA business manager who had hired him, and of course he checked out flea markets along the way. Most of his driving is to the mountains of southwest Virginia, where he owns a cabin and 14 acres of land. “I go up there and plant trees and flowers and bush hog and work. I planted a lot of red maples and Japanese maples trying to give it some color because it was all open. I like to see things grow. I take a picture now and another in 10 years, I can say this is what it used to look like. I could stand being there nine months a year — it’s the most beautiful place — but January, February can be tough; so can December and March.” Baker has seen a number of folks retire over his 37 years at Durham Academy, and it’s been his job to put a plaque with years of service on the chair that is given to a retiring teacher or staff member. He’s 60 now and is beginning to think about his own retirement. He knows how he wants to wrap up his long career at Durham Academy. “When I retire I want to put my own plaque on a chair. That will be the last one I do.”

The Past, the Present and a New Vision for the Future Celebrating 10 Years of Partnership between Student U and Durham Academy Story by Alexandra Zagbayou with Michael Ulku-Steiner

Durham Academy and Student U might be able to create a new vision for the future. Appropriately commemorating a decade of the unique partnership between Student U and Durham Academy requires looking back much farther than just 10 years. In the summer 2014 issue of Durham Academy Magazine, Student U founder, former executive director and now advancement director Dan Kimberg described the relationship’s origins: "Three ambitious, passionate and potentially naive and idealistic college students pitched DA administrators an idea of a new initiative to support Durham Public Schools. DA’s headmaster at that time, Ed Costello, and its Upper School director, Michael Ulku-Steiner, listened with open hearts as we shared our vision. Ed, Michael, DA’s Board of Trustees and the DA community as a whole took a chance on us and became our partners in building our program. … From countless DA Lower School supply drives, to $250,000 worth of in-kind donations from DA each year, to the mentorship and guidance of DA staff and administrators, to the Middle School and Upper School teachers

who make space for us prior to each summer session, we have succeeded because of Durham Academy." Student U welcomed its first class of 50 students and 16 teachers in the summer of 2007, the result of a collaboration between Durham Public Schools, Durham Academy, UNCChapel Hill, N.C. Central University and Duke University. Their shared goal was to provide an academic enrichment program for Durham Public Schools students that ensured all students realized their fullest academic and personal potential. What began as a middle school program grew to include high school and then college, with a focus on college access and success. Rising sixth-graders agree to commit to the Student U program at least through high school. The potential 11-year partnership includes the following: • A six-week summer academic enrichment program in a small group setting with an advisor. • Experiential education including field trips, summer grant programs, local internships and professional development opportunities. • A daily after-school program to reinforce academic concepts and develop study skills. • Out-of-school tutoring for high school students. • Weekly check-ins and quarterly family conferences to provide support, including dedicated in-school high school advocates to supervise

and ensure academic success during the school year. • College prep workshops for students and families, college tours. • Academic, financial and social-emotional support for students and their families during college years. The program connects passionate, dedicated teachers from N.C. Central, Duke, UNC and N.C. State University with students to support them in making their fearless dreams come true and reach their full potential. Durham Academy teachers, parents and administrators serve as volunteers, board members and advocates. A handful of young Durhamites (including two quoted in this article) have been full-time students at both Durham Academy and Student U. DA’s Middle School and Upper School campuses have served as Student U’s summer home and have helped establish the foundation for the strong organization Student U has become. During the 2017-2018 school year, Student U will work with more than 550 students (sixth grade through college freshmen) and their families. One hundred percent of Student U’s students have graduated from high school, and 97 percent of Student U’s high school seniors have enrolled in college. This spring, our first Student U cohort will graduate from college, including three students who graduated a year earlier than their peers. As Student U’s successful model grew, we realized the need for a

Over the Past Decade, Student U Has Celebrated these Phenomenal Accomplishments: •  Became a leading college access and success organization in the Triangle. •  Partnered with 550 students and their families on their path to and through college. •  Consistently outperformed peers in the Durham Public Schools on standardized tests scores. •  Graduated four cohorts of high school students with a 100 percent high school graduation rate. • Transitioned four cohorts of students into college, military or vocational schools.

•  Grown its full-time staff to 20 employees and its annual budget to over $3 million. •  Hired its own students as members of its part-time and full-time team. •  Shared its model with more than 20 communities across the U.S. for potential adoption/replication. •  Graduated three students a year early from college and will graduate its first full cohort in spring 2018.

centralized, permanent home and headquarters. In 2013, Student U opened its daily after-school program in the historic W.G. Pearson Middle School, built in 1928. In spring 2017, through a partnership with Self-Help Credit Union and a $4.25 million investment from Durham County, Student U purchased the W.G. Pearson building. We are proud to announce that in fall 2018, W.G. Pearson, which is currently undergoing renovation, will become Student U’s first permanent home! Ironically, even though the founding of Student U and Durham Academy took place decades apart, they both can now trace their original “homes” to the same man — John Sprunt Hill, a former teacher, Durham banker and philanthropist described as “an untiring worker for education.” In 1922, Hill donated the land that W.G. Pearson was built on, and in 1933, Hill’s son and daughter-in-law, George Watts Hill and Ann McCulloch Hill, founded the independent school that would eventually become Durham Academy. Born a slave in Durham County, William Gaston Pearson led Hillside High School for 18 years, presided over the first high school graduation of black students in Durham and became known as “Durham’s Black Superintendent.” He helped found the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and Mechanics and Farmers Bank in Durham’s “Black Wall Street.” Over the past decade, Durham Academy and Student U have collaborated to honor the underlying motivation of John Sprunt Hill, George Watts Hill, Ann McCulloch Hill and William Gaston Pearson — the creation of an educational environment for all students to succeed. To understand the impact of the DA-Student U partnership and to imagine what the next decade might have in store, we turn to two experts, Karl Von Zabern and Ritzy Chirinos. Both have been a part of Student U and Durham Academy. When describing the strength of the DA-Student U relationship, Karl said, “Student U fostered imagination and encouraged involvement in the Photos courtesy of Student U

outside community. DA provided a peer group that encouraged academic excellence, taught me the academic skills to succeed, and set a standard for me higher than I would have set for myself. Together, these programs exposed me to a wide variety of perspectives, encouraged me to dream fearlessly, and gave me the tools to achieve my dreams.” Ritzy added, “I loved the DAStudent U relationship because I got to be on a campus I adored yearround. I have countless memories having ‘family time’ at Student U in the summer where five years later I took a history course with my favorite high school teacher.” Perhaps the best way to honor John Sprunt Hill and the dual legacy he has left behind is by committing to follow Karl and Ritzy’s advice for the next decade: “ ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that we recited every morning our first summer at Student U on Durham Academy’s campus. We were reminded every day that we are powerful enough to make a change. Over the next 10 years, in order to improve the experiences of all students at both institutions and to improve Durham as a whole, Student U and DA students should model the change they wish to see in the world. They should have authentic dialogues about their realities, obstacles and aspirations.”

By understanding the past and talking openly about how the past still influences the present, Durham Academy and Student U might be able to create a new vision for the future. Karl and Ritzy are doing their part. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in May 2018 and spending a year in Chile teaching English, Karl plans to attend law school to prepare for a future in environmental and education policy. Ritzy will graduate from Meredith College in May and plans to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice. Through nonprofit work and focusing on immigrant youth issues, Ritzy hopes to fix what she believes is a broken criminal justice system. Leaders and board members from Student U and Durham Academy are beginning to shape the next decade of this unique partnership. Student U will continue to operate summer programming at Durham Academy, and DA is considering what programming it may offer at W.G. Pearson. With Durham Academy’s commitment to community engagement outlined in its strategic plan and Student U’s commitment to creating an equitable system of education in Durham, the next 10 years will be filled with opportunities for continued collaboration and celebration.

Distinguished Alumni Award

To Honor David Ravin ’89 and Charlie Wilson ’89 David Ravin and Charlie Wilson, both members of the Class of 1989, will be honored April 13 as recipients of Durham Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Not only are Ravin and Wilson DA classmates; both are involved in commercial development and construction, and both are active community volunteers. Ravin is president and CEO of Northwood Ravin, a real estate development company with offices in Charlotte, Tampa and the Triangle. Northwood Ravin has received national and regional recognition from the National Association of Homebuilders, Urban Land Institute, ICSC, CEL National Customer Service Company and National MultiFamily Housing News. The firm has many projects in the Triangle —

Photo courtesy of David Ravin


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

including downtown Durham, where Northwood Ravin is developing 555 Mangum, a 10-story office and retail building, as well as a second, mid-rise building with approximately 400 apartment units. Ravin earned a Bachelor of Architecture from UNC-Charlotte, a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in real estate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served on the board of trustees of Charlotte’s Providence Day School. Wilson is president of C.T. Wilson Construction Company, a 66-yearold Durham firm that has built and renovated a variety of structures in central and eastern North Carolina, including Revolution Mill

in Greensboro; Saxapahaw Rivermill in Saxapahaw; Golden Belt and Venable Center in Durham; and Durham Academy Upper School’s Kirby Gym, Learning Commons and STEM and Humanities Center. Wilson earned a B.S. in civil engineering from N.C. State University and an M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Texas, Austin. He is building division chair for Carolinas Associated General Contractors and a member of the board of trustees of the Carolinas AGC Foundation. He has served as board chair for Housing for New Hope and on the board of trustees for The Forest at Duke, N.C. Museum of Life and Science and Durham Academy, where he was chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Wilson


Alumni Reception Friday, April 13, 6 p.m. Upper School Learning Commons Join us as we present the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards to David Ravin ’89 and Charlie Wilson ’89 and recognize Lee Hark as the recipient of the 2018 Faculty/Staff Legacy Award. Come enjoy food and drinks and the opportunity to catch up with former teachers, staff and classmates. An invitation will be sent via email in late February, so if we do not have your current email address, please send it to Tim McKenna, Associate Director of Alumni Affairs, at tim.mckenna@da.org. Photo by Ken Huth

Lee Hark to Receive

Alumni Faculty/Staff Legacy Award

Lee Hark has had a tremendous impact in his 10 years at Durham Academy. He has served as Upper School director, coordinator of faculty recruitment and Upper School English teacher. During his eight years as Upper School director, he banished bells  —  convincing students and faculty they would indeed know the beginning and end of class periods, lunch, tutorial, etc. without the aid of an audible signal  —  and co-starred in DA’s now world-famous “Ice, Ice, Snow Day” viral video announcing a school closing. As associate head of school, he has been the driving force behind the The DA Graduate: A Mission-Driven Life project and the faculty’s curriculum-mapping work. Hark is both fun and fundamental and embodies DA’s mission to educate students for a “moral, happy and productive life.” On

April 13, he will be honored with DA Alumni Faculty/Staff Legacy Award. The award recognizes Hark for his extraordinary teaching and love of students; for his leadership as Upper School director and associate head of school; for his ability to connect and stay engaged with alumni over the years; and for being an ambassador for DA at major educational conferences, recruiting events and as an AP English exam reader. Hark will be the seventh recipient of the award, joining Dave Gould, who was the award’s initial recipient in 2012, former Headmaster Ed Costello, former Preschool Director Sheppy Vann, Middle School history teacher and former Middle School Director Tim Dahlgren, Middle School science teacher Barb Kanoy and Upper School math teacher/former varsity cross-country and track coach Dennis Cullen.


Alumni Events March 1, 6 p.m. Alumni Networking Social SAN FRANCISCO

March 7, 6 p.m. Alumni Networking Social ATLANTA

April 13, 6 p.m. Spring Alumni Reception

April 19, 6 p.m. Alumni Networking Social CHARLOTTE

April 26, 6:30 p.m. Alumni Networking Social NEW YORK CITY

May 15, 1 p.m. DA Golf Tournament






Homecoming 2017 Alumni had a blast reconnecting over barbecue and beer on the Friday evening of homecoming weekend, and alumni from classes ending in 2s and 7s gathered for reunion parties on Saturday evening at The Pit.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

1 — Morgan Edwards Whaley ’97, Carson Bloomberg Lutchansky ’97, Mike VanderWeide ’97, Michael Ulku-Steiner and Sara Mayes Kaplan ’97 2 — Will Anthony, David Pfaff ’82 and Taylor Diamond Anthony ’07 3 — Vicky Tran and Sean Lee ’07 4 — Sammy Hobgood ’12, Michael Kontos ’12 and Josh Chopper ’12 5 — Steed Rollins ’78, Sarah Rollins ’16, Louise Few Rollins ’82 and Carlton Rollins ’12




6 — Greg Murray and Sara Mayes Kaplan ’97 7 — Darin Little, Katie Moylan Little ’90, Lucas Little ’24 and Shelby Little ’26 8 — Christen Gillis, Kendall Bradley ’07, Nick Wisner ’06 and Ashley Greenleaf ’07 9 — Sam Mumma ’07, Beth Browning ’07, Becki Feinglos Planchard ’07, Stephani Tindall ’07, Christine Hardman ’07 and Sarah Ransohoff ’07

Photography by Sarah Delk, Kathy McPherson and Greg Murray


HOMECOMING 2018 Sept. 28–29 Reunion parties for classes ending in 3s and 8s



Appalachian Trail


Vermont New Hampshire Canada


Rhode Island Connecticut

New York

New Jersey Pennsylvania Delaware Maryland


West Virginia


Kentucky North Carolina

Tennessee South Carolina





Illustration by Sarah Delk Source: Courtesy of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Alumni Spotlight

Maddy Mumma ’12

Hiking the Appalachian Trail Solo

Just 15 percent of the hikers who set out to traverse the Appalachian Trail complete the 2,200-mile-long journey each year. Of those who do, the average completion time is six to seven months. And fewer than a third of the finishers are women. Those figures did little to deter Durham Academy alumna Maddy Mumma ’12, who hiked the entire Georgia-to-Maine trail in just over three months. And she did it alone. Mumma answered a few questions about her adventures before beginning her first year at Duke Law School.

Q — What have you been up to since graduating from DA?

Q — Why do you do what you do?

A — After graduating from Durham Academy as a “lifer,” I attended college down the road at Duke University and double-majored in Global Health and Psychology. While at Duke, I worked as a manager of the Duke men’s basketball team from my freshman year until halfway through my junior year. While it was a great experience, I wanted to explore other opportunities during the last year and a half of my time in college, including taking a semester abroad. After I left the team, I focused on extra-curricular activities that became highly important to me — including social activism on campus and the Durham Crisis Response Center off campus. I also spent my first non-basketball-related summer working for Bull City Fit, a nonprofit in Durham, and hiking throughout Southern Alaska. I then studied abroad in Rajasthan and Bangalore, India, for half of my senior year, taking classes and conducting public health research in the field for a local NGO.

A — I’m attending law school because I’m confident that knowledge of the law, the criminal justice system, and public policy will provide me with the tools I need to be of effective service to marginalized and underrepresented populations. Working with such groups will hopefully be the focus of my future law career.

After graduation in May 2016, I focused on the LSAT, applying to law schools, and interning for the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh. At the Justice Center, I assisted with research, policy and advocacy for healthcare equity in North Carolina, which further confirmed my desire to enter into a career of public service after attending law school. In late February 2017, I began my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which is a 2,200-mile trail beginning in Georgia and ending in Maine. After just over three months, I summited Mt. Katahdin and made my way back home, feeling highly prepared to tackle the challenges of law school. Q — What are you doing now? A — I just began my first year at Duke Law and am absolutely loving it so far, despite the somewhat jarring adjustment from life on the trail to the life of a law student (or lack there of). It’s great being back at Duke, and I’m excited to take advantage of the endless amount of opportunities Duke provides to its students.

Q — What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A — There are too many experiences to name, but the ones that stand out were my interactions with Durham Academy’s teachers, who, after 13 years, had more of an influence on my moral and intellectual development than anyone else in my life, outside of family. They never accepted less than my best effort each day and not only put me in a position for academic success in college, but also taught me the basic, yet crucial, lessons of life that form the base of my character today. Q — What are your interests away from school? A — Obviously, I’m quite an avid hiker, but I also love to run, read, watch documentaries and listen to podcasts, especially on current social issues, societal injustices and politics. While in law school, much of my time outside the classroom will be spent on pro bono opportunities in the Durham community. Q — What’s on the horizon for you? A — Naturally, making it through my first year of law school is the immediate goal and will require most of my attention this year. However, obtaining a summer position as a clerk or in a governmental organization in D.C., where I ultimately would like to live and practice, will be an important goal of mine for the foreseeable future. Having had the opportunity to attend great schools like Durham Academy and Duke University, giving back and helping to create opportunities for others will always be on my horizon.

Photos courtesy of Maddy Mumma



MARIE LI ’15 Marie Li ’15 most definitely did not throw away her shot … to sing at the home of none other than Lin-Manuel Miranda in October! The dream sequence began earlier in the month when the “Hamilton” creator and star emailed and tweeted at her Columbia University a cappella group, Notes and Keys, to invite them to perform at his father-in-law’s retirement party, to be held outside his apartment. Here’s more on the experience from Li: “His father-in-law is a big fan of a cappella, so Lin wanted to surprise him with our performance! He requested one song, which we arranged and performed, along with a few others from our set list. We met up with his assistant and she led us to his apartment, where we warmed up and got to meet his dog and see his piano. “Then, he came back from the party and met up with us, talked to us for a bit, and instructed us on how the gig was going to happen (when/where we would come in, how he would introduce us, etc.). We took a group picture and he let us play with his Grammy, Emmy, and Tony! “Then later when it was time to perform, his assistant led us outside and we performed for a bunch of his family, friends, and neighbors!”

Tim Johnston ’79 Congratulations to alumnus Tim Johnston ’79, who won the 2017 International Book Award for Best Short Fiction for his shortstory collection, Friday Afternoon and Other Stories. To learn more, go to bit.ly/timjohnston.

Kimari Jones ’14 Who’s that standing between Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine? DA alumnus Kimari Jones ’14! Jones will be among the inaugural graduating class of the University of Southern California’s Iovine and Young Academy in May, which the music moguls founded to bridge the gap between music and technology. Jones helped the music heavyweights celebrate the groundbreaking of a new building for the academy in October. Jones is working on ways to disrupt the arts with a video game where workers go head to head with their bosses. Learn more about what Kimari has been up to at USC at bit.ly/kimarijones.

Bryce Polascik ’16 As a Duke University sophomore, Bryce Polascik ’16 is already making a name for himself in the biomedical research field. Polascik is part of a Duke team that is evaluating the superficial and deep retinal vasculature of the eye; it’s believed that such imaging may be used as a biomarker to diagnose Alzheimer’s before a person develops symptoms. For more information, visit bit.ly/brycepolascik.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

John Pardon ’07


Dr. John Pardon ’07 was selected to receive $875,000 in research funding as a recipient of the prestigious Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. The fellowships are among the nation’s largest nongovernmental fellowships, and Packard Fellows have gone on to such accomplishments as the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Fields Medal. Pardon, a Princeton mathematics professor, will receive the funding over a five-year period to pursue his research. Earlier this year, he received the National Science Foundation’s Alan T. Waterman Award, which carries a five-year $1 million grant. Learn more at bit.ly/johnpardon.

Cameron Byerly ’15 warned against the perils of making snap judgments from the main stage of TEDx Cincinnati over the summer, looking back on his experiences circumnavigating the world during two Semester at Sea programs during high school and as a student at St. John’s College. “Considering strange new ideas should be considered an exercise, and for as long as we are out of shape, we risk traveling far and wide and only seeing and hearing what we expected to find,” Byerly warned.

Katie Ballou Gardner ’01 Katie Ballou Gardner ’01 was honored as an Apple Distinguished Educator in Houston in July. Gardner, an English as a Second Language teacher in Salisbury, was among just two educators in North Carolina and 125 across the U.S. to receive the Apple Distinguished Educator award in 2017.

Cam Ingram ’95 Congrats to Cam Ingram ’95 on his win in August at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show. Ingram runs Porsche restoration shops in Raleigh and Mooresville with Road Scholars, which handles about 60 cars each year. Road Scholars’ win in the Class O–1: Postwar Open category is the shop’s second Pebble Beach win.

Learn more about Cameron at bit.ly/cameronbyerly and watch his TED Talk at bit.ly/byerlyted. Photo courtesy of Princeton University

Learn more at bit.ly/camingram.



Alumni Spotlight

Jonathan Crawford ’10

Billboard No. 1 or Bust Q — What have you been up to since graduating from DA? A — After graduating from Durham Academy in 2010, I went to University of Pennsylvania, where I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE). I also minored in Music and received a certificate in Hispanic Studies. I had always known that I wanted to do something in music, but I didn’t know how. Upon graduation from UPenn in 2014, I moved to Washington, D.C., to work in government contracting as a management consultant for two years at Booz Allen Hamilton, where I spent as much time producing music in my bedroom as I did writing budgets for clients. I left Booz Allen in 2016, with some time left on my apartment lease. During that time, I began bartending at a nightclub in Georgetown while studying, practicing and composing music full time in my home studio. When my lease ended, my brother, Christopher, was graduating from Princeton. The two of us, along with our close childhood friend, Will, took the opportunity to travel Western Europe for almost two months. This was an unforgettable experience, throughout which my brother and I began talking seriously about plans to move in together in San Francisco, where Christopher would be starting his new job at Google as a software engineer. Once back in the USA, Christopher moved to San Francisco to begin working, and I moved back in with my parents for six months to continue producing, practicing, composing, bartending and saving. In April of 2017, I bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco with the intention to rent a house suitable for a professional home studio. After three weeks of staying in Airbnbs in Oakland, I found our house, returned home to pack my music gear into my car, and drove cross-country from Durham to San Francisco, where I currently live and work. Q — What are you doing now? A — Since moving to San Francisco early this summer, I have produced and released my debut record, an experimental piece called Depths, built my own online infrastructure, and booked my first live performance as Jonathan Crawford

“Billboard No. 1” — that’s what composer, producer, drummer and pianist Jonathan Crawford ’10 sees on his horizon, and he says his Durham Academy education is helping him get there. Crawford left a management consultant job in Washington, D.C., to move to California, where he released his debut EP and performed in his first-ever live show at Solvana Music Festival.

at Solvana Music Festival in Mendocino, California. In the meantime, I bartend at several venues in the city, which has proven to be a fun and flexible job to support myself as my career gets off the ground. Q — Why do you do what you do? A — My mission as a musician is to bring people together. Q — What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? A — Durham Academy was instrumental in shaping my interests as a musician. I was incredibly fortunate to not only receive a world-class education at Durham Academy, but also to have access to incredible peers and mentors who challenged and inspired me. Teachers like Michael Meyer, Trevor Hoyt and Pete Joyner encouraged me to participate in the rich musical offerings at Durham Academy, including In The Pocket, AP Music Theory, concert band and the lunchtime percussion ensemble. By my senior year, I would spend every free moment during the school day playing in the music room. I even audited, from start to finish, the Music Technology class during my free period. After all that I got from my musical experiences at Durham Academy, it meant a great deal to receive the Senior Music Award as well. Q — What are your interests away from work? A — These days I enjoy socializing, exploring the city and connecting new and old friends, who all seem to be gravitating to the Bay Area. Q — What’s on the horizon for you? A — Billboard No. 1.

Learn more about Jonathan’s musical influences in a Solvana Music Festival interview at bit.ly/soundsofcreativesouls, and check out his music at jonathancrawfordmusic.com. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Crawford


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Athletic Hall of Fame Welcomes Eight New Members This marks the third class of inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame, which was established in 2013 and will tap new members every other year. The new Athletic Hall of Fame members are Greg Murray, Phil Pearce ’77, Sherry Bartholomew Holtzclaw ’78, Conrad Hall ’89, Marshall Moore ’92, Hunter Henry ’97, Christine Suggs ’05 and Kelsey Kearney ’08. The new inductees were introduced at halftime of the varsity boys game vs. Charlotte Latin on Dec. 1 and were honored at a reception, hosted by the DA Alumni Board, after the game.

All-Conference and All-State honors. He holds the DA record for making 27 rebounds in a single game. He was the first member of DA’s 1,000-point club; he now ranks fourth of the eight student-athletes to have passed the mark. After graduating from DA, Pearce attended the University of Virginia, where he was a cheerleader. He now lives in Michigan. He was unable to attend the induction ceremony and was represented by his father, Dr. Phil Pearce.

Greg Murray has served as a Durham Academy coach and physical education teacher since 1979. Under Murray’s leadership in the 1980s, ’90s and 2000s, the varsity girls basketball team won 407 games, earned multiple conference titles, competed in six N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Final Fours, appeared in four state championship games and won two NCISAA titles. Murray continues to serve as the head coach for both the girls and boys golf teams, which have won a combined eight conference titles. His girls teams have been runners-up in the state tournament twice, and the boys program has won one NCISAA championship.

For a video from the induction ceremony and more information on the Athletic Hall of Fame, see da.org/athletichalloffame.

Phil Pearce ’77 was a three-sport standout athlete at DA. He earned AllConference and All-Region honors on the soccer field and competed in six different events over the course of his career as a track athlete, earning team awards in each sport. Pearce was the leading scorer of the 1976–1977 state championship basketball team, earning

Sherry Bartholomew Holtzclaw ’78 was an exceptional athlete in both track and volleyball. She remains among the top five long-jumpers and top 10 high-jumpers in Durham Academy history. Holtzclaw lettered in volleyball all four years of high school, earning AllConference honors twice and being named All-State as a senior — a year in which she led her teammates to the NCISAA state championship. Holtzclaw continued her volleyball career at the University of Virginia, where she was a team captain and still holds several school records. She now lives in Savannah, Georgia.

race. He holds the course record for DA’s old cross-country course and is a three-time winner of the Durham CityCounty Meet. Moore led the Cavs to six team NCISAA titles — four in cross-country and two in track and field. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and now lives in the Washington, D.C., area where he works as an orthopedic surgeon in the Navy.

Conrad Hall ’89 stands out in a long and storied history of Durham Academy’s cross-country and middle-distance runners. Hall is a five-time NCISAA individual event champion and is also a two-time Durham City-County Meet champion. Hall now stands among DA’s all-time top-three athletes in the 800meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter races, and he helped lead DA to four state championships in boys track and field and four state championships in boys cross-country. He was also a twoyear letterman in swimming at DA. Hall continued his running career at Duke University, where he ran cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track. He is now a NCISAA championship-winning track and cross-country coach at Cary Academy.

Dr. Marshall Moore ’92 stands among DA’s all-time outstanding distance runners. He is a seven-time NCISAA individual champion — including two championships each in cross-country, the 3,200-meter race and the 800-meter

Hunter Henry ’97 is counted among DA’s best all-around athletes ever, having earned 10 varsity letters in lacrosse, soccer and basketball. He was a twoyear letterman and team award winner in basketball. While wearing a Cavaliers soccer uniform, he earned multiple AllConference and All-State honors and helped lead DA to two state championships. However, Henry garnered the most acclaim as a lacrosse player; he was a three-time All-State player and a two-time High School Lacrosse AllAmerican, and he helped DA win three state championships. Henry continued his lacrosse career at Duke University, where he served as a team captain. He now lives in Dallas, Texas.

Christine Suggs ’05 is one of the alltime great DA field hockey players, and she also competed on the basketball, soccer and track teams. As a field hockey player, Suggs was named AllConference three times; All-State three times; Conference Player of the Year; and All-America two times. She is the DA field hockey program’s all-time leading scorer. Suggs went on to play field hockey at Wake Forest, where she earned All-Region and Freshman of the Year honors. She now lives in Louisiana.

Kelsey Kearney ’08 was a two-year varsity basketball letter winner, twice earning All-Conference honors, and she lettered in soccer five years. As DA’s goalkeeper, Kearney developed into the top goalie in North Carolina and led the Cavaliers to the state tournament each season, including a runner-up finish in 2006. A multi-year All-State player at DA, Kearney continued her soccer career at UNC-Greensboro, where she earned All-America recognition. She now works in fundraising for the University of South Carolina.

Alumni Spotlight

Francesca Tomasi ’11

Her Goal is Elevating Global Health and Equity Science Olympiad competitions and discoveries in Durham Academy classroom labs sparked a passion for science that has taken alumna Francesca Tomasi ’11 to spend many hours conducting research in labs at the University of Chicago, at the National Institutes of Health, and now at Harvard University. Her ultimate dream? Team up with twin sister Alessandra ’11 to develop and implement public health tools.

Q — What have you been up to since graduating from DA? A — I attended the University of Chicago, where I majored in Biological Sciences with concentrations in Microbiology and Ecology & Evolution. I also performed on-campus research in a clinical lab studying the molecular epidemiology of recurrent MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections and in a microbiology lab studying bacterial genetics behind Legionnaire’s Disease. I was a member of the University of Chicago varsity track and field team, where I ran the 200, 400, 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 2015, I accepted a research position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, in a tuberculosis drug discovery lab. I performed independent research there for two years, identifying the targets and mechanism of action of newly identified inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB. Q — What are you doing now? A — This summer, I moved to Boston and started my Ph.D. at Harvard University, in the Biological Sciences in Public

Health program (a joint program between the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health). I am doing research in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and just wrapped up my first of three lab rotations. In the spring, I will choose a dissertation lab. Q — Why do you do what you do? A — Science has been my favorite subject ever since I can remember. Over the years, as I gained exposure to global issues through classes and traveling, I became passionate about continuing to do science in pursuit of an elevated global standard of health and equity. I love being able to ask questions with implications for novel preventives, diagnostics or therapeutics, and developing the tools to answer them. Continuing in academic research with a focus on public health felt like a no-brainer after my time at DA, the University of Chicago and the NIH. Q — What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today? Photos courtesy of Francesca Tomasi


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Tomasi gained exposure to global health issues through her classes and through travel. She recently spent two weeks in Japan, starting in Okinawa and making her way up to Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo. She is pictured in the Southern Higashiyama district, which contains many of Kyoto’s major sights.

A — Without a doubt, the science teachers I had at DA were pivotal in nurturing my love of the field. From the classroom to Science Olympiad, I received so much enthusiastic support from teachers like Ms. Whiting, Mr. Parry, Ms. Newman, Ms. Kanoy and Ms. Ward. Being surrounded by like-minded peers both in school and on the track (special thanks to Mr. Cullen, Mr. Teagarden and Coach Irons) fostered a motivating environment academically and athletically. I also have to thank DA’s phenomenal writing program, which taught me from a young age how to express my ideas on paper. Two years ago, I founded a website, InfectivePerspective.com, which features articles by students on infectious disease news, research and policy. DA gave me the confidence in college to pursue writing outside of the classroom, which in turn led me to create this website and share a passion for spreading ideas and knowledge to general audiences. Q — What are your interests away from work? A — Outside of the lab, my interests include running, reading, writing and, now, exploring Boston. I also love traveling and hope that my research continues to take me to new parts of the world. I have also more recently become an

avid player of Settlers of Catan, and conquered a dislike for heights by going skydiving. Q — What’s on the horizon for you? A — That’s a hard question for someone just starting their Ph.D.! I expect to be here for the better part of the next half decade (someone, please check on me in 2023). Long-term, I would love to start a research lab of my own. Perhaps my twin sister (Alessandra Tomasi ’11) and I will one day combine our M.D. and Ph.D. degrees to create a clinical research initiative that incorporates cutting-edge technology and active fieldwork to develop and implement affordable, sustainable public health tools.

Check out Tomasi’s website, InfectivePerspective.com, for discussions on global infectious disease research and current events.



Far Right: Susie Benson Young ’11 and Ryan Young Immediate Right: Laura Zimmerman ’88 and Scott Zimmerman with family and friends including Alida Zimmerman ’12

Above: Drew Sutton ’06, Kent Sutton ’14, Natalie Sutton Alvarez ’11, Michelle Sutton Armenteros ’11, Javi Armenteros, Shelayne Sutton, Frank Sutton and Grant Sutton ’11 Right: Imani Hamilton Blout ’06 and Anthony Blout with friends including LaQuesa Gaillard ’06, Kyle Sloate Kirkland ’06 and Jordan Schiff ’06

Above: Albert Villanueva-Gomez and Blake Stafford-Gomez ’12

Alumni Weddings

David Palay & Emily Glick ’05

Albert Villanueva-Gomez & Blake Stafford ’12

Ryan Young & Susie Benson ’11

Marcus Porkert & Laura Milliken ’99

Aug. 20, 2016 CHICAGO, IL

Jan. 6, 2017 SPARTANBURG, SC

April 22, 2017 COLUMBIA, SC

June 17, 2017 PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MX

Left: Kevin Ji ’09, Andrea Stacy ’09, Laura Haynes ’09, Natalie Gallo ’09 and Kristie Chan ’11 Below: Robb Cadwallader, Kate Cadwallader ’73, Laura Milliken Porkert ’99, Marcus Porkert, Carrie Milliken ’01 and Jessica Milliken ’01

Above: David Palay and Emily Glick ’05 Right: Allison Kirkland Golightly ’01

and Paul Golightly

Scott Zimmerman & Laura Zimmerman Whayne ’88

Alex Miller & Laura Haynes ’09

Paul Golightly & Allison Kirkland ’01

Javi Armenteros & Michelle Sutton ’11

Anthony Blout & Imani Hamilton ’06

July 22, 2017 CHAPEL HILL, NC

Oct. 21, 2017 DURHAM, NC

Oct. 21, 2017 DURHAM, NC

Oct. 21, 2017 CHAPEL HILL, NC

Oct. 28, 2017 OAKLAND, CA

Alumni, Faculty and Staff Babies 2













1 — Elizabeth Bland, Kennedy and Jake Engebretsen ’06 2 — Hayes, son of Krista Gingrich-White, varsity girls basketball coach 3 — Kit, daughter of Maggie McPherson Weir ’01 4 — Cosette, daughter of Liz Lessey-Morillon ’00 5 —  Paul, Alice, John and Mary Cecelia, children of Emily Ballard Williams ’00 6 — John David, Madeline and McKenzie, children of Jamie Krzyzewski Spatola ’00 7 — Collin, son of Stephanie Callaway Ellison ’02 8 — Hayes, son of Pamela McKenney, Lower School art teacher 9 — Hannah and Walter, children of Natalie Kaplowitz Hutchinson ’98 10 — Tucker, son of Lauren Cavallito Lippman ’00 11 — Drew, Collin and Grant, children of Mike Dolan ’99 12 — Colin, Marin and Evelyn, children of Jason Sholtz ’99 13 — Grace, daughter of Kevin Cullen ’03 14 — Bryce, son of Jennifer Klaver, fourth grade teacher


In Memoriam

Christopher Scott Rosati ’89

On October the 18, 2017, after a long and open battle with ALS, Christopher Scott Rosati bid this world farewell. A husband, father and loyal friend to many, Chris was 46 years old. Chris died as he lived, inspiring his friends and thousands around the world to love one another and be the best version of themselves possible. Chris fought hard against ALS, a horrific and terminal disease that caused him and his family to endure more pain than can be imagined. Other than this one notation, there will be no mention of doughnuts, butterflies or other stories that the local and national media have admirably chronicled over the past several years. Chris was rightfully proud of his work at Inspire MEdia, but in order to truly know Chris, we’ll open the aperture of time, and maybe fill in some gaps as to who this remarkable man was. As you read this, please consider playing “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison. You see, Chris loved music, and loved no artist more than Van. While Chris loved a good laugh, and was blessed with a wicked sense of humor, he was not afraid to speak his mind on serious topics either. As we reflect upon his life, it seems appropriate to acknowledge the pain that not only Chris endured, but also that of his wife and children, his extended family and his friends, as he bravely walked down ALS’ terminal path. The early years after Chris’ diagnosis were among the best years one could hope for under the circumstances, because he willed it to happen. He lived a life free of regret and guilt and was liberated from the daily stresses of life. In the final year, however, unimaginable pain and the cruel reality that is ALS took its toll, and Chris chose to suffer publicly, revealing that Chris was above all else, human and mortal. Through this struggle, Chris gave all of his friends the gift of perspective and an unadulterated

appreciation for the unimaginable pain that ALS exacts on those who are touched by it. Early on, Chris handled his diagnosis with the nimbleness that he once displayed on the soccer field or while navigating black diamond slopes. But ultimately, demonstrating courage beyond description, he elected to say a long goodbye to family and friends, choosing the time and date that he would deprive ALS of its power over him and his family. As a final gesture and measure of support to those who suffer with chronic pain, Chris chose to leave this world at 4:20 p.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at peace with his life and with his wife Anna at his side. Chris was good at a lot of things. He played soccer, and went to Hampden-Sydney College to play there, which he did until he decided college had other things to offer that interested him more, ultimately graduating from N.C. State University. He could make it around the golf course pretty well too, even in flipflops as he did on more than one occasion. Even on days where he went low, he relished more the camaraderie of a round than his score. Chris enjoyed Thursday night poker with the guys, trips to Las Vegas, Emerald Isle, Cherry Grove, Lake Gaston and carving up the slopes out west. Chris was really good with words, both written and spoken, and used this talent to inspire thousands who responded to his candor, his openness and relatable vulnerability. Chris was an entrepreneur and a dreamer, and was constantly in search of ideas both big and small. He had thousands of them, it seemed. His mind was constantly working right up to the end. He was a dreamer but also a realist who was able to make his dreams of making the world a better place a reality. Chris had a successful business career in

Chris inspired thousands who responded to his candor, his openness and relatable vulnerability.


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

Photo by Tamara Lackey Photography

healthcare and healthcare information technology, applying his creativity in the field of marketing and business development. He also gave back, volunteering for his alma mater Durham Academy, the local chapter of the ASPCA (Chris was a dog lover), the Boys and Girls Club, and most recently as founder of Inspire MEdia. Big Ideas for the Greater Good (BIGG) was emblematic of Chris’ work at Inspire MEdia, which touched the lives of so many and will undoubtedly serve as a lasting legacy of a life lived well. More than anything, though, Chris loved his wife, Anna, and his daughters Logan and Delaney, who were his inspiration to be better and do better. He was a good father, worrying about their future like good fathers do, imploring his friends to take care of his girls after he was gone. Because of who Chris was, those friends will answer the call. Chris was so proud of you, Logan and Delaney, and know that whenever you get a call or a note from one of his

friends, it’s really your Dad calling. We are just messengers of his love. Chris accomplished a lot. He left a legacy of love, compassion and inspiration that will not soon be forgotten. Now that legacy lives on in his girls Logan and Delaney, the vast family of friends he brought together and the vision and inspiration he provided all of us to live better lives, love one another and dream like there’s no tomorrow. We will miss you, Chris Rosati, but will never forget you or the deeper understanding of life you gave us.

Learn more about the life and legacy of Chris Rosati through previous DA Magazine articles and a video created by Helen Morgan ’15 at da.org/rosati.

Editor’s Note: This tribute to Chris Rosati was edited from an obituary that was published Oct. 31 in The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun.



In Memoriam Dorothy Jean Linberg Sieker of Morehead City, formerly of Durham, died July 4, 2017. She was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Dr. Herbert Sieker. She was a vice president of Maplewood Citizenship National Bank in St. Louis, and after her move to Durham in 1948, she was one of two employees in the personnel department at Duke Medical Center and sang in the Duke Chapel Choir. She served as a member of the Durham Academy Board of Trustees, president of the Durham-Orange County Medical Society Auxiliary, president of the Hope Valley Garden Club, president of the Durham Kennel Club and secretary of the Durham-Orange County Heart Association. She was a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Durham and attended St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Beaufort. Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Deborah Sieker Boddiford ’69 and husband Dyches of Marietta, Ga., and two granddaughters.

Stuart Alan Wallace died Aug. 2, 2017, after a full life of seeking, searching and exploring the natural world and striving to make the communities he touched more aware of achievable social justice. He earned a B.A. from Williams College, an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from N.C. State University. He taught at Durham Academy, where he served as Upper School director and introduced an experiential education program that expanded to serve all four years of high school. The last decade of his career was spent at Durham Technical Community College, helping older students re-enter the system to pursue college degrees. There was never enough time to pacify his need to stay active in his retirement. He took and taught many classes in N.C. State’s continuing education program, served as president of Wake County Senior Democrats and was awarded the Wake County Senior Democrat of the Year award in 2016. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Jennie Harris Wallace, who also taught at Durham Academy.

Margaret Elizabeth Jones ’11 passed away unexpectedly Aug. 13, 2017. Elizabeth accomplished so much at such a young age, and had a zest for life’s experiences. She participated in an exchange program in Melbourne, Australia, during 10th grade. She loved the outdoors and completed two National Outdoor Leadership School programs in Wyoming and Alaska. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-Chapel Hill with dual majors in psychology and sociology. A passion for helping make the world a better place led her to a career in addictions research and clinical experiences at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation. A sports enthusiast, she participated on various teams throughout her youth and at Durham Academy. She took up running and completed two half-marathons and a full marathon. She will be remembered for a tender heart that cared deeply for her family and friends. She cherished her friendships and


Durham Academy // Winter 2018

nurtured those relationships with unwavering love. Survivors include her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Southgate Jones III, of Durham; brothers, Southgate Jones IV ’09 of Raleigh and Alexander Moyer Jones ’15 of Durham.

Christopher Scott Rosati ’89 died Oct. 18, 2017. Survivors include his father, Dr. Robert Rosati (Kitty); his wife, Anna Rosati; daughters, Logan Linley Rosati and Delaney Dell Rosati; brothers, Kenneth Rosati (Anne) and Francesco “Chess” Rosati ’14; sister, Robbin Gossman (Bill); and a large, loving group of friends. (Please see page 74 for more about Chris Rosati.)

Southgate Jones IV ’09 passed away unexpectedly Dec. 18, 2017. An accomplished junior golfer, Gate played on the Durham Academy golf team and competed at a high level, winning the Hope Valley Country Club championship with a final round 65 before moving on to college. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in risk management and a minor in Spanish. He pursued a career in finance and worked with Northwestern Mutual in the Triangle. His love of sports continued post-graduation, maintaining a scratch golf handicap. Gate loved his family deeply. He had a huge heart and always wanted the best for his younger sister and brother. While living his own busy life, he could readily be found attending his siblings’ important events cheering them on and being there for his family in a moment’s notice. He was a source of strength to his family after his sister’s death. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Southgate Jones III of Durham, and brother Alexander Moyer Jones ’15 of Durham. He was predeceased by his sister, Margaret Elizabeth Jones ’11.

Josiah Stockton Murray III ’53 died Jan. 1, 2018, at Duke Hospital. After attending Calvert Method School (now Durham Academy), Joe graduated from Durham High School and UNC- Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi and elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduation from Harvard Law School, he practiced law in Durham and also spent a number of years as senior vice president and general counsel for Liggett Group. In 1991, he was honored with Durham Academy’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He served on the Caring House board of directors and was a member of the Rotary Club of Durham. He loved the North Carolina Tar Heels, his rose gardens, Durham and North Carolina history, travel, cars and all animals. He is survived by his best friend and partner of the last 15 years, Elizabeth Patterson; as well as her son and his wife, Lee Patterson ’00 and Lucy; and their children, Davis and Lila Patterson ’30, whom he adored as if they were his own grandchildren.

A New Look


Photos by Melody Guyton Butts and Kathy McPherson

une 1975 marked a seminal point in time for Durham Academy — the school’s seniors were poised to become DA’s first Upper School graduating class. It seems fitting DA began documenting its own emerging history by launching a school magazine at the same time. The 12-page Issue 1, Vol. 1 of The Record, wrapped in a cover emblazoned with DA’s Celtic-inspired logo, promised to “appear at irregular intervals,” “usually feature at least one article of general educational significance” and “try to present a running account of the accomplishments and location of a distinguished alumni body.” Over the course of more than 40 years, The Record evolved with DA, and no one has been more responsible for its trajectory than Kathy McPherson. DA’s magazine has been nurtured for more than 30 years by a wise, talented, caring managing editor — an alumna who also happens to be the parent of two DA alumni. And while logos and layouts may have changed over the decades, one mantra has remained constant as Kathy’s barometer for content: “I’ve always aimed for stories that would be interesting even to people who aren’t interested in Durham Academy.” Last summer we asked for your feedback in our first magazine readership survey. The timing was intentional: We knew we were about to hire our first in-house graphic designer, Sarah Delk, to lend her creative talents to Durham Academy Magazine in ways we couldn’t even imagine. Here’s a look behind the scenes at the brainstorming process that brought the magazine into visual harmony with DA’s first-ever brand guide, incorporated new ideas based on your suggestions and brought our new design dreams to life. We hope you enjoy the results!

Leslie King Director of Communications

Kathy McPherson Associate Director of Communications Melody Guyton Butts Assistant Director of Communications Sarah Delk Multimedia Specialist

3601 Ridge Road Durham, NC 27705-5599

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Durham, NC 27701 Permit #1083

The DA community, including first-grader Evelyn Hudspeth, gathered on the softball field Aug. 21 to view the eclipse.

Photo by Kathy McPherson