Durham Academy News & Notes/March 5, 2015  
Durham Academy

Storyteller takes first-graders on a

week-long cultural journey to West Africa 

When Braima Moiwai arrives at Durham Academy, first-graders are magically transported to his native Sierra Leone by his deep and lilting voice, hands tapping rhythmically on a djembe drum and exotic, colorful clothing draping loosely over his tall frame.

The musician and storyteller has been a part of DA’s first-grade experience for more than 13 years. During his annual five-day workshop, he takes first-graders across the ocean to an unfamiliar land that’s both similar and very different from the world they know.

Moiwai takes the first-graders on a cultural journey that’s decidedly low-tech in a high-tech world. There are no keyboards, PowerPoints, SMART boards, recordings, iThis or iThat, not even a microphone — just the sound of his rich voice telling stories and teaching songs using musical instruments from Africa. Read More


Lowell Oakley '14 of 'The Voice'

pays surprise visits to alma mater

It’s not often that you get to be a groupie for one of your own classmates. But thanks to a series of surprise visits this week, Durham Academy students and teachers got to deliver a series of standing ovations to Lowell Oakley '14, the DA alumnus who went straight from final exams last May to facing off against 45,000 contestants, earning a spot on The Voice.

On Monday, Oakley returned to Kenan Auditorium to thank the Upper School community for its support as he advances to the second round of the NBC vocal competition show. Thursday’s Middle School reunion was a little more personal for Lowell. He serenaded a packed house in Taylor Hall to honor the teacher who first made him step into the spotlight and sing — chorus teacher Melody Zentner. View a video chronicling his visits, during which he thanks the teachers who helped him along the way.


Lower Schoolers celebrate

legacy of Dr. Seuss with ReadDA

Theodor Seuss Geisel would have turned 101 on March 2, 2015, and what better birthday gift for the much-loved Dr. Seuss than a celebration of lifelong readers? Lower School designated March 2 to 6 as ReadDA, and each day took its theme from a Dr. Seuss book. Monday featured “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” with a book always nearby so students could read wherever they might go. Green was the preferred color of dress on Tuesday, a nod to “Green Eggs and Ham.” Wednesday’s hat day honored “The Cat in the Hat,” and Thursday featured crazy socks for “Fox in Socks.” Popsicles are on the menu Friday, thanks to “Hop on Pop.” Take a look at these ReadDA photos and then go grab a book!

King of Spring lacrosse tourney, 

co-hosted by DA, set for March 6-8 

As a host of the King of the Spring Face-Off Classic lacrosse tournament, Durham Academy will play host to nearly 30 of the nation's top high school lacrosse teams from March 6 to 8. The sixth-annual tournament will support the efforts of Inspire Media, a nonprofit founded by DA alumnus Chris Rosati '89, that encourages people to perform bold and extraordinary acts of kindness that have the potential to inspire millions when their story is told. Read More


Battle of the Books team wins 

middle school competition

Durham Academy Middle School's Battle of the Books team won the regional Battle of the Books competition Wednesday — toppling five other independent schools and earning the right to compete in the independent school championship, set for March 26 at St. Thomas More School. 
Read More


DA in the News

American Libraries Magazine:
Upper School librarian Shannon Harris is one of the American Library Association's Emerging Leaders of 2015

The News & Observer:
DA boys lacrosse is a 'team to watch' 

Lowell Oakley '14 returns to school where he found his 'voice'

The Herald-Sun:
Chris Rosati '89 is honored with newspaper's Grit Award

Be Loud! Sophie Foundation:
Hope Boykin '94 leads dance workshop at UNC Hospitals


This Week's Events



Lower School

Middle School

Upper School


Upcoming Events and Reminders

Spring Break: No School
- Monday, March 9, to Friday, March 13

Used Book Sale Sort
- Wednesday, March 18,
8 a.m. to noon (drop in),
Middle School Tunnel 

Parents Council Meeting
- Thursday, March 19,
11:45 a.m., Upper School Conference Room 

Order Deadline for DA Night at the Hurricanes
- Monday, March 23 

DA Night at the Hurricanes
- Sunday, March 29, PNC Arena (order tickets in advance)

Snow Make-up Day:
School in Session

- Friday, March 27
(formerly Faculty Work Day) 

No School: Good Friday
- Friday, April 3

Snow Make-up Day: 
School in Session

- Monday, April 6
(formerly Professional Development Day)

Videos and Photos

Photos: Upper School Community Service

Video: Lower School Chorus, Movement & Orff Performance



©2015 Durham Academy
Durham, North Carolina | T: 919.493.5787



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