Upcoming Middle School Events
|Music knows no age in collaborative New Horizons, seventh-grade concert|
On a recent Thursday afternoon, after most students were long gone, one could hear the trill of flutes and the rat-a-tat-tat of a snare drum emanating from the Durham Academy Middle School band room. The music being rehearsed would be familiar to the parents of diligent seventh-grade band members, but the musicians themselves? Their hair a bit grayer and quickly moving hands more seasoned than their adolescent counterparts, these musicians are members of the New Horizons Band, a group of music-loving retirees who will play with the seventh-grade band during its upcoming concert.
|Sixth-graders' hero project to culminate in FRANK Gallery showing|
Not all heroes wear capes and fly. Some earn "hero" status by putting others before themselves or pushing through adversity, according to Durham Academy sixth-graders. They honored these everyday heroes — from parents and siblings to teachers and friends — by creating pop-up books based on their lives. The finished products will be on display in a downtown Chapel Hill art gallery in March.
|Students make case for at-home productivity in Snow Day Video Challenge|
Thanks to the polar vortex, the winter of 2014 has been a particularly nasty one with more inclement-weather days than usual for Durham Academy students. In an effort to keep students' minds on academics between showers of snow and sleet, Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner issued a challenge: Make a short video "showing why snow days can be academically productive (and making the case for more of them)."
|Transition events slated for students, parents|
Moving up to the next grade level can be nerve-wracking. It may mean new teachers, unfamiliar classrooms, different expectations and maybe even a two-mile move to another Durham Academy campus.
|Test of emergency system will take place Friday, Feb. 14|
Durham Academy will test its emergency notification system around 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. All DA parents, faculty and staff should receive an email, text message and a voice message to mobile phone numbers indicating that DA is testing its emergency system. There is no need to take any action in response to the message, which will be sent to the email addresses and phone numbers listed in Veracross.
|All divisions celebrate legacy of Martin Luther King |
Durham Academy's commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights pioneers might best be illustrated by the sound of two seniors' soaring voices over the soft snapping of Lower Schoolers' fingers — some of the school's youngest and oldest students, gathered to honor those who have fought in the battle for civil rights. Each division marked Martin Luther King Day in its own way.
|DA students take time for an 'Hour of Code'|
Computer science is a top-paying college degree — yet it is estimated that there will be 1 million more jobs than students by 2020
. So, along with schools around the country, from Dec. 9 to 13, Durham Academy celebrated Computer Science Education Week, the highlight of which was an activity known as "Hour of Code" —an opportunity for every student to try their hand at computer science for one hour.
|Transition events slated for students, parents|
Moving up to the next grade level can be nerve-wracking. Here at Durham Academy, it may mean new teachers, unfamiliar classrooms, different expectations and maybe even a two-mile move to another campus.
|Jan. 14 parent coffee to focus on school security|
Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner will host a parent coffee on the topic of school security Tuesday, Jan. 14. The coffee is scheduled for 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. in the Brumley Performing Arts Building on the Preschool/Lower School campus.
|Students, faculty purchase gifts for more than 70 people|
Before heading off to spend winter break with their own families, Durham Academy Upper School and Middle School students and teachers looked to spread holiday cheer to other families in the Durham community through the Share Your Holiday Spirit program, purchasing holiday gifts for 70 individuals.
|Middle School celebrates maintenance crew at opening of new building|
For too long — longer than folks who have been at Durham Academy for three decades can remember — the Middle School maintenance crew had been working out of two small trailers in the rear of the Academy Road campus. Ensuring that everything runs smoothly on such a sprawling, outdoor-centric campus is a big job, and it wasn't easy in such cramped quarters.
|DA named Apple Distinguished School|
The Apple Education Recognition Program recently recognized Durham Academy as an Apple Distinguished School in recognition of the success of the Middle School's 1:1 iPad program.
|Box Tops add up to make a difference in Middle School clubs|
From boxes of granola bars and trash bags, to packages of oranges and applesauce, you've likely seen Box Tops for Education logos on items throughout your pantry and refrigerator. What you might not realize is that those ubiquitous pink logos, worth 10 cents each, can add up to make a real difference at Durham Academy; the Middle School's fall Box Tops drive garnered $210.70 to enhance the school's clubs program.
|Middle Schoolers help break Guinness record for sport stacking|
Two hundred and seventy-five Durham Academy Middle Schoolers joined with hundreds of thousands of cup-stacking students around the world Nov. 14 in breaking the Guinness World Record for "Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day."
|Middle Schoolers raise more than $1,750 for UNICEF|
With the last quarter counted, sixth-grade teacher Marian Saffo-Cogswell made a grand announcement two weeks after Halloween: Through trick-or-treating, door-decorating and costume-parading, Durham Academy Middle Schoolers raised a whopping $1,751.44 for UNICEF.
|A winning-the-lottery day for Lower School teachers|
Some days are better than others, but Nov. 12 must have been a gold-star, red-letter, winning-the-lottery day for Durham Academy’s Lower School teachers. “Have a grateful heart” was the theme of the day’s LS sharing assembly, but only LS Director Carolyn Ronco knew Middle School students would be on hand to tell what LS teachers had meant to them.
|DA sophomore's chickens are something to cluck about|
Keeping chickens isn’t a garden-variety hobby for a teenager who doesn’t live in the country. But it’s a hobby Felicity Walston, a Durham Academy sophomore, has embraced, taking care of three Ameraucana chickens she’s named Pepper, “the calm one;” Penny, “the feisty one;” and Ulu, “the clever and quick one.” Walston said she adores the chickens and can’t wait until they begin laying eggs in the spring.
|DA celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month in style|
The Durham Academy community celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, with activities ranging from the festive to the more purely educational.
|Sixth-graders Skype with Rich Miller, who raised first American flag at Ground Zero |
Most of the students in Doreen Johnson’s sixth-grade history class weren’t yet born on the tragic day when two planes flew into the World Trade Center, and much of what they know about the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, has come third-hand. So a Skype conversation with Rich Miller, one of two men who raised the first American flag at Ground Zero on the day after the terror attack, presented a rare opportunity for students to learn about the event from a primary source.
|Dance Club raises $650 for Komen through hair extension event|
The Upper School Dance Club raised $650 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation through its second annual hair extension event Oct. 9. Sixty-five people participated, each donating $10 to have a bright pink hair extension applied to their coiffures.
|Author Adam Gidwitz to speak Oct. 16 at Middle School|
Adam Gidwitz, author of the New York Times best-selling series A Tale Dark and Grimm, will speak to fifth- and sixth-grade students on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 8 a.m. in Taylor Hall. Durham Academy parents, siblings, faculty and staff are welcome to attend.
|Twelve new faculty and staff join the Durham Academy family|Note: An incorrect link in News & Notes directed readers who were looking for the "Seniors reflect on Lower School years in video" story to this page. Please view this page instead if you were one of those readers; if you would like to learn about our new faculty and staff, please see the story below. We apologize for the error.
The start of the 2013-2014 school year brought several new faces to Durham Academy, including nine new — or relatively new — faculty members and three new staff members.
|26 DA faculty, staff honored for a total of 425 years of service|
Twenty-six Durham Academy faculty, administrators and staff were honored June 6 at DA’s closing faculty/staff meeting for their years of service to the school. All together, they have been a part of DA for 425 years! Elizabeth Aldridge, president of Parents Association, presented each of them with a book to commemorate their 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years of employment at DA.
|Five Questions with Joanne Shang, MS and US Chinese teacher|
Joanne Shang joined the Durham Academy faculty in 2010 as a Middle School and Upper School Chinese teacher. Since her arrival, the Chinese program has added sections each year in both divisions, and she will teach DA's first-ever Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Cultures course in the 2013-2014 school year.
|Springtime is travel season for many DA students|
More than 70 Durham Academy students have set off on school-organized trips this spring to China, Spain, Nicaragua and France, enhancing their DA experience by creating international memories.
|Seventh-graders exercise their voices through letters, VoiceThreads|
By Kelly Howes,
Seventh-Grade Language Arts Teacher
In seventh-grade language arts, students learn about the importance of “voice,” both in the technical sense of developing a strong voice in writing and in the broader sense of using one’s own voice to express ideas and beliefs (while also listening to the voices of those around us). All these aspects of voice have been meaningfully blended in two recent activities.
|Ethan Goldman qualifies for state-level National Geographic Bee |
Seventh-grader Ethan Goldman will represent Durham Academy in the state level of the National Geographic Bee competition after outlasting his DA classmates in a school-level bee and then scoring high enough on a written exam to qualify for the statewide competition.
|Battle of the Books team wins independent school championship|
Durham Academy Middle School's Battle of the Books team won the independent school championship of the Battle of the Books competition March 20, earning one of only nine berths in the statewide championship May 9. It will be DA's first trip to the state tournament.
|DA chess players bring home five titles from state tournament|
Chess teams and individual chess players from Durham Academy shined in the North Carolina State Scholastic Championships, bringing home three team titles and two individual titles. The championships were held March 2 to 3 at the Raleigh Convention Center.
|All the way from Japan, visitors offer thanks for gesture of sympathy|
When an earthquake killed 185 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in February 2011, Durham Academy Middle School science teacher Barb Kanoy felt compelled to act, to do even a small thing, to show solidarity with those in mourning. The tragedy was uniquely felt in Durham, as 12 of those who perished were visiting from Toyama, Japan, a sister city of Durham's.
|Sixth-graders' hero project to culminate in FRANK Gallery showing|
What do mothers and fathers have in common with teachers and siblings? They're all heroes, if you ask Durham Academy sixth-graders, who immortalized their role models by creating pop-up books based on their lives. The finished products will be on display in a downtown Chapel Hill art gallery in March.
|Durham Academy debaters fare well in Charlotte tournament|
The Durham Academy Speech and Debate Team had, according to coach Robert Sheard, "without question our best tournament of the year against a national-quality field of competitors," at the Laird Lewis Invitational in Charlotte from Jan. 4 to 5.
|Middle School students weigh in on presidential race|
They may be a few years shy of swaying the outcome of the 2012 presidential race, but Durham Academy Middle School students came out in force for the school's mock presidential election, with 375 students and faculty members casting ballots.
|Durham Academy celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month through song and dance|
The Durham Academy community celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, in a variety of ways, from creating a wax museum of influential figures in Hispanic culture to welcoming the larger Durham community to the DA campus for an evening of Latin-inspired song and dance.
|Durham Academy's Halloween festivities feature cheers and BOOs alike|
There was a babe-in-arms dressed as a tiger, and a dad who came as a king. Librarians were outfitted as “Dewey” and “Decimal,” and one kindergartener was disguised as a venus flytrap. There was an ice cream cone. Harry Potter made an appearance. And there were enough super heroes and princesses to populate an entire network of cartoons.
|Middle Schoolers research and portray famous Hispanic figures |
Rather than simply study the lives of influential figures in Hispanic culture and history, students in Marianne Green's Spanish 8B class stood in their shoes — from actress Sofia Vergara's mile-high heels to soccer star Lionel Messi's cleats — for a day.
|Gone so soon? Start of school year means class trips for students|
Per Durham Academy tradition, Middle School and Upper School student sightings are scarce the second week of school, but fret not — learning is getting into high gear. During the week of Aug. 27, fifth- through 12th-graders were away on class trips, from a journey into the wilds of the North Carolina mountains to a bus tour through civil rights history landmarks.
|Middle School Olympics a celebration of sportsmanship, geography|
Once every four years, the Durham Academy Middle School celebrates feats of physical prowess and sportsmanship in its very own Olympics. The 2012 Middle School Olympic Games kicked off the week of Aug. 27 with all of the pomp and circumstance one would expect of the long-awaited quadrennial event.
|DA students operate a free, week-long camp for 40 kids |
Crafts, games, sports and plenty of attention from caring and fun counselors – it’s all part of a free, week-long day camp organized and operated by Durham Academy students. The campers are children from Forest View, Lakewood and Hope Valley elementary schools who otherwise might not be able to attend a summer camp.
|Parent Survey to be distributed in mid June|
Durham Academy’s parent survey will be distributed via email mid June. The survey, which should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, provides DA administrators, faculty and staff with valuable feedback that is used to evaluate various aspects of the school year and to improve the school. Please plan on participating in the survey as your feedback is valuable to ensuring Durham Academy’s continued excellence.
|Middle School students perform well on National Spanish Exam|
Seventy percent of Durham Academy students exceeded the national average on the National Spanish Examination this spring. DA seventh- and eighth-graders were among 40,000 students who took levels 01, 1 and 2 of the exam. The students scored very well, earning 14 gold medals, 21 silver medals, 15 bronze medals and 30 honorable mentions.
|Middle Schoolers earn top 10 rankings in National French Contest|
Congratulations to Durham Academy seventh- and eighth-graders who achieved top 10 rankings in the 2012 National French Contest.
Across the nation, 17,886 students participated in the Level 1A contest. DA seventh-graders earned these national rankings: Cyrus Rad, second; Katie Concannon, Minnie Kim and Tristan Ramage, fourth; Liza Aldridge and Rebecca Wade, seventh; Isaac Arocha and Sarah Bolognesi, eighth; and Ellie Farrin and Lauren Morgan, ninth.
|Sixth-grade advisory makes the most of Community Service Day|
Sixth graders in Patti Donnelly’s advisory helped make sure hungry children had food when they volunteered recently at TABLE, an organization that serves low-income families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Students in the Donnelly advisory donated 182 pounds of food and helped TABLE pack bags of food during the Middle School’s May 9 Community Service Day.
|Used book buyback and other textbook reminders|
Durham Academy families may sell back used books and turn in rental books Tuesday, June 5, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of Kenan Auditorium on the Upper School Campus.
|Closing exercises set for all divisions|
Between June 1 and June 8, each of Durham Academy’s four school divisions will hold closing exercises or commencement and send students to their next level of schooling.
|Middle Schoolers exceed national average on National Latin Exam|
Durham Academy Middle School students scored well on the National Latin Exam, with 18 seventh graders and 11 eighth graders scoring above the national average. The 40-question multiple choice test included questions about Latin grammar and translation, Roman culture, mythology, history and geography.
|Culture and Community Festival to celebrate diversity |
Come for food, live entertainment and fun as Durham Academy celebrates diversity at the Culture and Community Festival Friday, May 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Upper School Learning Commons and Courtyard. This annual event, which used to be called the Diversity Dessert, has grown into an all-school celebration and is open to the entire DA community.
|MS Science Olympians win seven medals at states|
The North Carolina Science Olympiad state competition in late April provided Durham Academy Middle School students the opportunity to shine as the combined sixth through ninth grade team brought home seven medals.
|DA is top performer at state chess championship|
Durham Academy was the top school in overall performance at the 2012 N.C. State Scholastic Chess Championships March 16 to 18 in Charlotte. DA chess brought home state championships for K-1, K-4 and K-12 U1300 teams; second places titles for K-5 and K-8 U1000 teams; and individual championships for first-grader Pete Crowley (K-1), sixth-grader Colin Grant (K-8 U1000) and 10th-grader Spencer Hallyburton (K-12 U 1300).
|DA students host French students after visiting France|
Durham Academy students enjoyed a glorious trip to France in early March, spending six days in Paris and staying with French families when they visited the Avignon area. Now they are returning the favor as they host their French counterparts in the United States.
|Fifth graders take a bird’s-eye view|
Fifth graders in Theresa Shebalin’s science classes were given the opportunity to build bird nests as an extra-credit activity during spring break. The students could choose any bird species in the world.
They were tasked with first studying their species to find out about its habitat and nest-building habits. Then they had to build replica nests using appropriate materials. More than 30 students took advantage of the opportunity, and their creativity is on display in the fifth-grade pod.
|Fifth-grader is youngest half-marathon finisher|
Fifth-grade student Neil Mosca was the youngest runner to finish the Tobacco Road half-marathon on March 18, completing the 13.1-mile course in one hour, 44.22 minutes. The 11-year-old Mosca’s sub-eight-minute-per-mile pace delivered him to the finish line in 11th place for the 19-and-under age division, which was the youngest age category for competitors.
|Sixth-grader competes in state level of National Geographic Bee|
Sixth-grader Josh Klein competed in the state level of the National Geographic Bee in Charlotte on March 30 and answered correctly on five of eight questions that came from the following categories:
Geography of North America
World Crop Production
Odd Item Out
Countries in the News
|DA sixth grader advances to state level Geographic Bee|
Congratulations to sixth grader Josh Klein, who has advanced to the state level of the National Geographic Bee. The competition will be held Friday, March 30, in Charlotte. Josh won the Durham Academy Geographic Bee on Jan. 10, and then scored high enough on a written test to qualify for the state competition.
|Seventh-grade boys basketball goes undefeated|
Durham Academy’s seventh-grade boys basketball team completed a perfect 13-0 season this year, defeating a combination of TISAC teams and some local opponents. The team capped its undefeated season with a 43-14 win against Trinity Feb. 8.
|DA community honors Chinese New Year with traditional food, dance|
Dragons and dumplings dotted the Durham Academy campus on Jan. 23 as the school community celebrated the Chinese New Year in traditional fashion.
Preschool students and teachers paraded through their building playing Chinese hand drums and waving red ribbons to celebrate the holiday. Students leading the parade imitated a traditional dragon dance, which honored 2012 as the Year of the Dragon. Click here
to watch video of the parade.
|Re-enrollment contracts to be handled electronically;|
contracts are due on Friday, Feb. 10
Durham Academy will be handling re-enrollment contracts electronically for the first time this year. Re-enrollment and tuition information for 2012-13 will be emailed to parents of current Durham Academy students on Jan. 24. Using the personalized Veracross link, families can re-enroll, submit tuition deposits via bank draft and update any medical information.
|Third annual meal-packaging event set for Jan. 16 at DA|
By Anne McNamara
Upper School Director of Community Service
The national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. will be observed on Jan. 16. Congress designated the holiday as a national day of service in 1994, making it the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. Durham Academy will observe this day by hosting the third annual meal-packaging event in conjunction with Stop Hunger Now.
|Unique production attracts media coverage for Middle School drama students|
Everyone has a story to tell. Thanks to Durham Academy’s seventh-grade drama students, residents of the Durham Regent retirement community saw their own stories brought to life. The DA students spent the fall semester visiting the senior citizens and listening to the stories of their lives. They then wrote a play about them and performed it for the residents.
The Durham Herald-Sun wrote about the unique project that bridged generations in December. Read the article here
|Transition events help students, parents prepare for next grade level|
Moving up to the next grade level can be nerve-wracking. At Durham Academy it means new teachers, unfamiliar classrooms, different expectations and maybe even a two-mile move to another campus. In order to help families with this transition, DA has planned a series of events geared toward both children and their parents.
|Ethan Grant ranked first nationally in Congressional Debate|
Durham Academy senior Ethan Grant is ranked number one in the nation in Congressional Debate. Speech and debate teammates Indira Puri and Alex Young are ranked fourth and 13th, respectively. In Congressional Debate, individual debaters model the legislative process of the U.S. Congress in a group setting. Students write legislation, decide what to discuss, debate the merits and disadvantages of each, and vote to pass or defeat the measures they have examined.
|Admissions Office schedules tour and information sessions|
Are you interested in admission to Durham Academy for next year? The Admissions Office is already recruiting new students for fall 2012.
Tour and information sessions have been scheduled for families to visit and ask questions while school is in session, and also speak with the headmaster, school directors and Director of Admissions Victoria Muradi.
|Sixth annual Fiesta Latina celebrates traditional music and dance|
Durham Academy hosted the sixth annual Fiesta Latina on Oct. 28 at the Brumley Performing Arts Building on the Lower School campus. The free community event featured Latin harpist Pavelid, the Charanga Carolina ensemble from UNC and a variety of entertainers from Latin America and South America performing traditional songs and dance routines.
|Speech and debate team keeps on winning|
Durham Academy’s speech and debate team is continuing its winning ways. Senior Ethan Grant was the champion in Congressional Debate at the recent Florida Blue Key Round Robin, a one-day tournament among select invited students before the regular tournament on Oct. 28-30. This is the fourth consecutive year that a DA student has won one of the round-robin events at Blue Key.
|Test of emergency notification system to take place Nov. 15|
Durham Academy will test its emergency notification system on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. In the event of an emergency that requires parents to come to campus during the school day, an email and a text message would be sent out using the Veracross system.
|Take a hard hat tour of the new US learning commons|
Hard-hat tours of the Upper School construction site and new learning commons are conducted every Tuesday. Anyone interested in taking the tour should be in the Kenan Auditorium lobby at 11:45 a.m. Following a brief introduction, the tour will begin at noon and will last about 20 minutes. You don’t need to make a reservation, but please wear closed-toe shoes. Hard hats will be provided.
|Best-selling author shares her journey with sixth graders|
“Do you know what you want to do when you grow up?” Frances O’Roark Dowell asked Durham Academy sixth graders on Sept. 19. Hands shot up. There were aspirations expressed of being a teacher, a forensic scientist, a doctor, a professional athlete, a lawyer and a writer.
|Speech and debate team has strong showing at Wake Forest tournament|
Durham Academy’s Indira Puri won the championship in Congressional Debate during the 2011 Wake Forest National Early Bird Tournament held Sept. 9-11 in Winston Salem, N.C. Puri’s victory marked the first Wake Forest title in Durham Academy history.
Ethan Grant and Alex Young also had successful showings at Wake Forest, with Grant placing fifth in Congressional Debate and Young advancing to the final chamber of Congress. Click here to view the tournament results.
|DA's updated strategic plan is now available on da.org|
The Durham Academy Board of Trustees approved an updated version of the school's strategic plan at its May meeting. Beyond Excellence, Durham Academy Strategic Plan 2.0 builds on the work accomplished towards many of the goals identified in DA's 2006 strategic plan. Much of that plan is still relevant today, and this latest version also includes an emphasis on the integration of technology into the educational program.
|Seventh-grade students hear from survivor of Sept. 11 attacks|
Durham Academy seventh graders received a first-hand account of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.
Andrea Roitman escaped the World Trade Center’s North Tower after the first airplane struck her office building at 8:46 a.m. She shared the story of her harrowing experience with the full seventh-grade class during a 20-minute talk on Friday, Sept. 9. Students had additional opportunities to interact with Roitman during lunch and recess.
“I think it’s important for everybody in the country to understand what happened that day,” said Roitman of her reason for visiting DA. “Sometimes you read something in a book and it’s not the same as learning from someone who has experienced it.”
|"Five Questions" with Middle School Director Jon Meredith|
You don't have to wait until his brown bag lunch sessions to start learning about new Middle School Director Jon Meredith. Check out this "Five Questions" video
, in which he addresses topics including what brought him to DA, his initial impressions of the school and which administrator he thinks looks best in a bow tie.
|Headmaster search committee appointed|
The second-longest tenure of any Durham Academy headmaster will conclude at the end of the 2012-2013 school year when Ed Costello leaves after 14 years of service. Only Bess Pickard Boone, headmistress from 1938 to 1957, served longer. In preparation for Costello’s departure, DA has formed a search committee with the goal of having his successor in place by Dec. 2012.
Brendan Moylan ’85, a member of the board of trustees, will chair the search committee. Also serving on the committee will be David Beischer ’85, chair of the board of trustees; Liz Gustafson, immediate past chair of the board; Anne Murray Lloyd ’82, vice chair of the board; Kip Frey, secretary of the board; trustees Jim Coleman and Laura Horton Virkler ’91; Margaret Jones, president-elect of Parents Association; Jamie Krzyzewski Spatola ’00, vice president of the DA Alumni Association; and faculty members Tim Dahlgren and Karen Lovelace.
|DA matches largest-ever enrollment|
By Victoria Muradi
Director of Admissions
The Admissions Office had reason to celebrate on the first day of school. With an enrollment of 1,145 students, Durham Academy was tied for the largest enrollment in the school's history.
DA continues to buck national trends in enrollment. Independent schools around the country are reporting enrollments down three percent from last year and four percent from the year before. Statewide, enrollments are down eight percent from just two years ago.
|Nineteen new faculty and staff members join DA|
Welcome to the 13 new faculty members and six staffers who joined Durham Academy.
Preschool and Lower School
Elizabeth Lyle is teaching Preschool art and cooking. She is a graduate of Grove City College in Pennsylvania and has done graduate work at Greensboro College. She taught art at Haw River Elementary for four years.
John Bacsik is teaching second grade. He earned a B.A. magna cum laude and a M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame. He worked at St. James Catholic School in Savannah, Ga., for seven years, teaching second grade and seventh grade.
Jeff Burch is teaching third grade. He earned a B.S. from Indiana University and a B.T.N.D. from West Cheshire College in England. He taught at Duke School for Children since 2001 and also has taught in public schools.
|MS teacher leads|
Program for Teachers"
Middle School science teacher Barb Kanoy was busy teaching this summer, but her students were other teachers. She helped lead "Earth Partnership for Schools Teacher Institute," a summer program sponsored by the N.C. Botanical Garden and the City of Durham Stormwater Services.
The week-long course drew about 20 educators from area schools and other environmental education programs in the state. Teaching with Kanoy were Grant Parkins, N.C. Botanical Garden; Laura Smith, Durham Stormwater Services; Sarah Palmer, Wiley Elementary in Raleigh; and Lee Mote, East Chapel Hill High School.
|Summer Programs provided|
125 sessions for campers
By Mike Ronco
Director of Summer Programs
Campers came from far and wide this summer to attend our summer programs. The longest commute award goes to a family from Wilmington who felt it worth the trip to have Bonnie Boaz as a math teacher. I agree.
We offered a record number of enrichment, sports and academic camps during the 2011 summer program, a total of 125 sessions for campers ages three to 18. Additionally, we lengthened our hours of extended care to meets the needs of all our working parents.
|Duke coach participates in anti-bullying tip-off at Middle School|
Associate Head Coach Chris Collins of the Duke men’s basketball team visited the Middle School on Monday, Aug. 29, to participate in the student kick-off event for the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Collins drew on his experiences coaching at Duke and with the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team to encourage students to create a culture of support for one another. He suggested that older students be leaders in this effort and recommended that everyone think in terms of “standards” of behavior as opposed to rules.
|DA adds girls golf; new team will play a full schedule this fall|
Durham Academy is pleased to announce the addition of varsity girls golf as an athletic option beginning fall 2011. In cooperation with other TISAC schools, girls golf will become an official fall season girls sport with a full schedule and probable TISAC championship match. This sports offering is open to Durham Academy girls in grades seven through 12. Golf experience is expected.
Greg Murray, DA boys golf coach, will coach the girls golf team and will begin the fall season with an organizational meeting on Thursday, August 11, at 4 p.m. at the Upper School gym. Coach Murray will distribute information and go over policies and procedures. Practice will begin Monday, August 15.
|MS supports our Sister City, Toyama, Japan, with 1,000 paper cranes|
and $3,109 donation
By Barb Kanoy
Middle School Science and
Student Council Advisor
Just as Durham Academy sixth graders were nearing the conclusion of a history unit on Japan, that country faced its largest disaster in decades. Sixth grade members of the Middle School Student Council – Mollie Zoffer, Ginya Marr, Evan Ballew, Michael Fitzpatrick, Nick Beischer and Trey Barnes – urged the Student Council to organize a “Coin War” to raise money for Japan relief. In a little over one week, the Middle School was able to raise $3,109 to donate to the Red Cross.
displayed their talents
at two assemblies of
Middle School chorus teacher Melody Zentner has been offering a solos/duets/ensemble assembly for 10 or more years, but this year so many talented kids sign up that she had to add a second assembly. The assembly gives seventh and eighth grade students an opportunity to perform, as well as learn to select a piece of music they are comfortable performing.
Any seventh or eighth grader can sign up. Each performer rehearses with Melody Zentner and writes a short introduction for their music. Students also run the lights and sound.
|28 French students will visit MS, US in April|
Twenty-eight French students will be visiting Durham Academy April 16-24, after spending two days in Washington, D.C. The students are ninth graders from Villeneuve-lez-Avignon in southern France. DA students visited their school last March while on a trip led by Middle School French teacher Teresa Engebretsen.
|What is your sentence?|
Fifth grade students in Karl Schaefer’s digital learning class were recently challenged with the concept of distilling the life of a person down to one sentence. Inspired by Daniel Pink’s book Drive, Mr. Schaefer asked students to create a sentence about several notable people they were to investigate. These steps lead to the students determining their sentence, along with answering Daniel Pink’s second question “Was I better today, than I was yesterday?” and, finally, to discover the name of two people who made the world a better place.
|DA Debate wants to develop depth in all events|
By Robert Sheard
Speech and Debate Coach,
Middle School Language Arts
As we headed into the final national-circuit tournament of the regular season – the Harvard Invitational – a look back at this year’s accomplishments for the speech and debate team provided a pleasant vista. This is my first year with the Durham Academy program after coaching a number of years for Pinecrest High School. And when I arrived, I knew I was facing a different challenge at Durham Academy.
DA has always been a relatively small program, but one with a history of outstanding competitors over the past decade. From Evan Donahue’s final-six performance in Extemporaneous Speaking at the 2007 National Forensic League’s (NFL) National Championships, through a series of top-caliber Public Forum Debate pairs, to the 2009 National Champions in that event – Josh Zoffer and Robert Kindman – the program has always boasted fantastic results.
|MS drama club works with Southwest Elementary to write and present an original play, “The Tornado”|
Middle School students in Drew Bowen’s drama club traveled to Southwest Elementary School this semester and provided eight creative writing workshops for first and third grade students. The Durham Academy students began each session by leading the elementary school kids in energetic, warm-up games that encouraged kids to express themselves and use their imaginations.
The group provided a much needed creative outlet that is lacking at many schools like Southwest, which have recently cut or do not offer classes in art, drama, music and dance. The DA students then worked one-on-one with the kids, helping them create their own original characters. Using these characters, the kids had the chance to write their own stories.
|10 MS students compete in National Geographic Bee|
Middle School students don’t just know geography, they can reel off answers to challenging geography questions before the entire MS in a game-show-style competition that’s part of the National Geographic Bee. Durham Academy held its 11th annual geographic bee on January 28, with 10 students competing for the opportunity to advance to state-level competition and to the national finals in Washington, D.C.
Fifth graders Davis Cromer and Drew Hantzmon; sixth grader Mollie Zoffer; seventh graders Lauren Hunt, Will Wiener and Rob Ziglar; and eighth graders Mark Cohen, James Grubbs, Amanda McClure and Justin Warren qualified for the competition through classroom rounds that involved every Middle School student. Sixth grader Collin Brown also qualified, but was sick and unable to attend school the day of the bee. James Grubbs was the alternate and took Collin’s place.
|Eighth grader Abhi Kodumagulla |
Is DA’s top scorer on math exam
One hundred-and-seventy Durham Academy Middle School students participated in the 2010 American Math Competitions annual contest for middle school on November 16. The AMC8 is a 25-question multiple choice test that is produced by the math department at the University of Nebraska. Approximately 300,000 students take the test nationwide.
Eighth grader Abhi Kodumagulla achieved the top score in the Middle School by answering 21 problems correctly. Jack Fitzpatrick and Hank Tucker tied for second place among eighth graders with 18 correct answers. Third place in the eighth grade went to Gabe Fox-Peck with 17 correct answers.
|Jon Meredith named|
Middle School director
Jon Meredith, an educator with 14 years experience in independent schools, had been named director of Durham Academy’s Middle School. He will follow Sid DuPont, who has served as interim MS director since 2008.
Jon began his career in independent education at Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J., taught at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga., and currently is serving as middle school principal at Frederica Academy in St. Simon’s Island, Ga. He has taught world cultures, ancient history and world history, and has coached crew, lacrosse and football. He served for 13 years as a counselor at a seven-week overnight camp for boys in New Hampshire.
|DA teacher in Beijing|
conducts her class via Skype
Chair, Computer Department
and Middle School Technology Coordinator
Durham Academy teacher Joanne Shang recently taught her seventh grade Chinese course from Beijing using Skype for video, audio and screen sharing. DA's Moodle was used to connect her VoiceThread so students could respond to the prompts and she could listen to their comments in Beijing. The screen sharing was useful as she shared an animation of writing characters and the students “air wrote” the characters.
It was a very natural learning exchange and not that different than a regular class except for the fact the teacher was in China and it was 2 a.m. there. It was great work by the teacher and students. This was without a doubt the most amazing use of Web 2.0 tools, as we combined all of our teaching and learning tools to make up for what started as the problem of not being able to find a substitute teacher while Ms. Shang was away. There is no substitute for a dedicated teacher and tools that work!
|Outdoor Club pedals the mountain biking trails|
Durham Academy Outdoor Club observed “Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day” with a late October ride through Lake Crabtree Park in Wake County. “We had 20 students from three different school divisions, seven parent riders and Middle School p.e. teachers Susan Ellis, Jon Lantzy and myself,” said Mike Keeney, event organizer and MS history teacher. “It was beautiful weather, no one got hurt and everyone had smiles on their faces at the end of the ride!”
For families looking for a place to ride mountain bikes, Mike recommends Lake Crabtree County Park as “the ideal location for all abilities, though it tends to cater to beginner and intermediate riders.”
|Grammy-nominated musician, storyteller Josh Goforth visits Middle School|
By Drew Bowen
Middle School Drama
The Middle School community had a special treat last week when professional musician and storyteller Josh Goforth came to visit. The western North Carolina native captivated the crowd with his hilarious storytelling, impressive musicianship and joyful spirit. During his performance Josh introduced us to his tobacco-chewing grandfather, played and sang a 400-year-old traditional English ballad, and accompanied himself on guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin.
In the words of seventh grade student Matt Mosca, “I really enjoyed his performance. He combined his talent on the stringed instruments with his good stories. I especially liked his story about his grandpa’s moat.”
|History classes, science, foreign language and fourth grade|
explored giant map on loan from National Geographic
By Virginia Hall
History, Fifth Grade
For most of September, Durham Academy was fortunate to have a giant traveling map of Asia on loan from National Geographic. The map, nicknamed “Genghis,” measured 26' x 33'.
DA's hard-working maintenance staff, with the assistance of Middle School Director Sid DuPont, carefully rolled out the map on the floor of Taylor Hall soon after it was delivered the last week of August. It would be the first of many times our maintenance crew dutifully laid the map out in our busy auditorium (in order to fit on the floor, the new seats of Taylor Hall had to be pushed back and folding chairs had to be put away; this was quite a task!).
|MS garden gets a nod in The Herald-Sun|
The beautiful photo at right, taken in Durham Academy’s Middle School garden, appeared in The Herald-Sun “nature snapshots” section on August 28. The photographer was MS French teacher Teresa Engebretsen, who joined with science teacher Barb Kanoy last fall to start GRO Club. MS students enthusiastically supported GRO Club and the result is a beautiful garden adjacent to the Academy Road board room!
“We planted a garden in what had been an empty space on campus,” Teresa wrote in a photo caption that appear in The Herald-Sun. “We have flowers, fruit and vegetables in our beautiful space. The flowers attracted this butterfly who paid me no attention whatsoever as I took his photo.”
Kudos to Teresa Engebretsen, Barb Kanoy, Gary Brichford of the maintenance staff and students and parents who helped to create this beautiful garden!
|MS’s Jeff Zentner is guest conductor and clinician|
at Georgia music festival
Middle School band director Jeff Zentner was invited to be a guest conductor and clinician at an adult music festival in Georgia. The five-day festival in April was sponsored by the New Horizons Band of Roswell, Ga., and drew about 150 musicians from all over the United States and Canada, including several from the Triangle area.
Jeff was one of 10 clinicians asked to work with various musical groups and was the only one from North Carolina. The festival featured two large concert bands, five jazz/swing bands, six German bands, four Dixieland bands and several small brass and woodwind ensembles. Classes were also taught in jazz improvisation, with each of the attending musicians participating in two to four groups. Jeff was assigned to coach two jazz/swing bands and a German band. He also was responsible for conducting the three groups in concerts held on the last two nights.
|MS students excel on|
National Spanish Examination
Congratulations to seventh and eighth grade Spanish students from Durham Academy who achieved national recognition for their excellent performance on the 2010 National Spanish Examinations.
Of the 129 DA seventh and eighth grade Spanish students who took the national exam, there were four gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals, as well as 42 honorable mentions. Special recognition goes to seventh graders Priyanka Purohit, Erin Seewaldt-Dietze, Amanda McClure and Derek Brown, who scored in or above the 95th percentile.
|Sixth graders explore international trade|
Michael Keeney’s sixth grade history classes recently participated in an exercise designed to teach them about the complexities of international trade in the Far East. Students chose which of 10 Southeast Asian countries they wanted to represent, then were allotted $100 American dollars which they converted to the currency of their country. They created currency cards and cards to represent each of their export goods. Once the currency and goods were created, students participated in several “international trade” sessions, all the while accumulating various currencies and converting back into U.S. dollars. On a beautiful spring day, the class moved outdoors for their trading session!
|MS Latin students excel on national exam|
Durham Academy’s Middle School Latin students excelled on the National Latin Exam, a 40-question multiple choice exam covering Latin grammar, translation, classical mythology, Roman culture and geography. DA students who scored above the national average were recognized. Seventh graders took the Introduction to Latin exam and eighth graders took the Latin 1 exam.
|DA teams bring home medals from state Science Olympiad|
Durham Academy’s Science Olympiad varsity team came home from state competition with a seventh place team finish and lots of medals.
“In a field of 46 teams from across the state, our team came in seventh place,” said Kari Newman, head coach of the DA varsity team. “Twelve of our 18 students got medals, including a first place in Ecology!”
|Fifth grade students use new software to share poetry|
Fifth grade language arts teachers Claire Lescop and Sarah Parry have collaborated with Middle School technology director Karl Schaefer to bring you an original poem written and performed by each fifth grader. VoiceThreads software allows students to interact with the screen as they record their poems and also to leave typed or recorded comments about their classmates’ poems.
|DA’s Katie Concannon creates winning design for NC Zoo’s Endangered Species Poster Contest|
Thanks to a poster created by Durham Academy fifth grader Katie Concannon, students across North Carolina and Virginia have become aware of the Rockhopper penguin, an endangered series. Katie’s colorful and informative poster won the NC Zoo Endangered Species Poster Contest for her age group.
Lower School art teacher Fran Savarin sponsored Katie in the poster contest. In addition to her artwork, Katie had to submit written information about the Rockhopper penguin and why the species is endangered.
|You can almost smell the heavenly aromas of Provence…|
Middle School French teacher Teresa Engebretsen took 16 Durham Academy students to France over spring break. You can read about their adventures cooking and eating French cuisine in this article in the Herald-Sun. Teresa is a regular food columnist for the Herald-Sun and also writes a food blog. Teresa’s newspaper column and her blog are called “The Sabbatical Chef,” a reference to fall semester 2008, when she was awarded a semester sabbatical from DA and spent that time as a chef’s assistant in Arles, France.
|Battle of the Books team competes for state championship|
The Middle School’s Battle of the Books team is headed to the state championship! Durham Academy won first place in regional competition on March 4, with DA scoring 127 points and second place St. Ann Catholic School scoring 89 points. DA will compete against Ravenscroft, Burlington Day, Canterbury and Asheville Christian on April 12 at Cannon School for the independent school championship.
|DA champ Ian Concannon advances to state-level geo bee|
Eighth grader Ian Concannon, winner of Durham Academy’s National Geographic Bee, has qualified for the North Carolina’s National Geographic Bee. Each school-level winner takes a written test to qualify for the state competition. Ian will compete April 9 in the state-level National Geographic Bee, with hopes of advancing to the national bee in Washington, D.C.
North Carolina’s National Geographic Bee is in Lenoir this year. “That would be a nice geography lesson heading west!” observed Virginia Hall, fifth grade history teacher and organizer of DA’s National Geographic Bee.
|DA teams prepare for regional Science Olympiad|
Durham Academy’s Science Olympiad teams have been preparing for regional competition for months. The teams got even more time to prepare when a snowstorm bumped the competition from February 13 to March 20.
They’ve constructed bridges, trajectories, trebuchets, water rockets that carry eggs, mousetrap vehicles, birds, planes and, of all things, salad dressings. And they have studied physics, anatomy, cell biology, forensics, chemistry, astronomy, ecology and various applications of those sciences.
|Record snowfalls don’t keep seventh grade from D.C.|
A winter of record snowfalls in Washington, D.C., didn’t keep Durham Academy’s seventh grade from making its annual trip to the nation’s capital. Seventh graders and their teachers piled on to buses early on February 17 for a three-day, two-night adventure in Washington.
They had tours of the White House and the United States Capitol, visited museums and memorials along the National Mall and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
The seventh grade has traveled to Washington since 1982, with the exception of two years following the 9/11 attacks when heightened security resulted in a trip to Williamsburg, Va.
|These Middle School students know their geography|
Middle School students don’t just know geography, they can reel off answers to challenging geography questions in a game-show-style competition that’s part of the National Geographic Bee. Durham Academy held its ninth annual geo bee in early January, with 10 students competing for the opportunity to advance to state-level competition and to the national finals in Washington, D.C.
|MS students excel in math contest|
Durham Academy Middle Schoolers have been recognized for their achievement on the American Mathematics Contest 8 (AMC 8) for students in eighth grade and below. The AMC 8 is a 25 question, 40 minute multiple choice test designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills. Approximately 250,000 students take the test each year, and DA students have been participating for 14 years.
Students achieving the highest scores were:
|DA chess teams sweep regional K-5 tournament|
Members of the Durham Academy chess team participated in a k-5 (U1100) regional tournament on December 13 and won first, second and third places! This was a “Heads Up” tournament meaning that the players are seeded according to team rank, much like tennis matches.
Team A, placing first, consisted of fifth grader John Heaney, fourth graders Robert Hellinga and Elias Tymas and second grader Christopher Chaves. Team B, placing second, was comprised of fifth grader Nijel Hunt, fourth graders Ian Layzer and Scott Hallyburton and second grader Will Staples. Finishing up in third place was Team C, whose members are fourth grader Eric Bradford, fifth grader Xavier Nonez, third graders Sheridan Kum and Jesse Tymas and second grader Leo Strebel. Congratulations to all of the team members!
|MS students glean a ton of sweet potatoes, assist Ronald McDonald House and more!|
By Jeff Parkin
Middle School Counselor
In all ways – from perfect fall weather to an outpouring of effort and generosity – the Middle School’s community service half day on October 21 was a huge success. The day’s collective work was a wonderful testament to the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
|Sixth grade students explore the science-literature link|
by Jennifer Longee
Middle School Librarian and English teacher
On September 18 the sixth grade class attended a talk by Duke Professor and Durham Academy parent Dr. Margaret Humphreys at the Durham Public Library on the links between Renaissance science and the Harry Potter novels. Dr. Humphreys designed a special presentation just for Durham Academy students in conjunction with the traveling exhibit Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine now showing at the library.
|The school year begins outside the classroom|
Outdoor education is an important part of the Durham Academy experience. Middle School and Upper School students begin the school year with off-campus adventures. Here are photos from the Middle School trips.
|Duke TIP recognizes|
23 seventh graders
Twenty-three Durham Academy seventh graders have been recognized by the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) for their outstanding scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).
They qualified for State Recognition with one or more of the four following scores on the SAT: at least 520 in Math; at least 510 in Critical Reading; at least 500 in Writing; or with any two of the three minimum scores of 510 in Math, 500 in Critical Reading and 490 in Writing.
|DA Latin students among tops in the country|
Durham Academy Latin students have had an excellent showing on exams given to students from around the country.
DA Advanced Placement Latin students took a competition test given by the Classical Association of the Middle, West and South, translating a piece of Latin poetry by a Roman poet they had never read before. Four DA students – Collin Burks, Devin Drewry, Will Parham and Max Ramage – placed among the top 30 in the country out of c. 800 top level students who took the test.
|MS and US teams place sixth in Science Olympiad|
Durham Academy’s Upper School and Middle School Science Olympiad teams each won sixth place in statewide competition held last weekend at N.C. State University. The US team competed against 45 teams and the MS team went up against 43 teams.
Medal winners for the US team were Hillary Rosen and Soph Tsang, sixth place in Dynamic Planet; Tyler LaBean, fourth in Egg-o-naut and second in Junkyard Challenge; Chris Eischen, third in bridge; Caroline Bodager and Collin Burk, fifth in Fossils; Jon Powers, sixth in Trajectory; and Nick Marek and Alexis Noel, fifth in Write it Do it.
|DA chess teams win first and second at states|
Durham Academy chess teams came home from the 37th North Carolina State Chess Championships with first place finishes for the K-1 and K-12 U1300 teams, and second place finishes for the K-3, K-12 and K-8 U1000 teams.
DA’s 37 chess players represented their school and themselves in outstanding fashion. “All of our teams were in contention to win state titles right until the end and we finished no worse than second place in any division we competed in,” said DA chess coach Craig Jones. “Many players beat, or in several cases crushed, their all time personal best ratings as the players continued to develop and improve!”
|MS Science Olympiad team wins 14 medals at regionals|
Durham Academy’s Middle School Science Olympiad team captured second place at the Regional Science Olympiad on February 14 and advanced to the state tournament on April 24-25. DA MS competed against 30 other middle school teams and won 14 medals. Here is a list of DA’s medal winners and their grade level:
|Skater Amanda McClure going to nationals|
Sixth grader Amanda McClure will compete at the U.S. Synchronized Skating National Championships March 3-7 as a member of Carolina Ice Synchro’s intermediate team. This is the first time a non-adult synchronized team from the southeast has qualified for the national championship.
Amanda’s 13-member team qualified for nationals by placing fourth out of 15 teams competing at the intermediate level at 2009 Eastern Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships. Team members range in age from 12 to 17. They skate to ’50s music with intricate footwork and formations including traveling circles, pivoting lines and blocks, flying camels and complex intersections.
|Fifth grader awarded deputy black belt|
Fifth grader Bryce Polascik has been awarded his deputy black belt in Sanshikai-Aiki Karate. Sanshinkai-Aiki teaching is the belief that all great techniques contain a balance of mental, physical and spiritual forces. Bryce has trained in karate for the last six years. He has participated in many local and regional tournaments and received awards in weapons, kata and sparring divisions.
|MS P. E. Department will honor female coaches, athletes|
on 23rd Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day
Durham Academy Middle School Physical Education Department will celebrate the 23rd National Girls and Women in Sports Day with a series of activities on Feb. 4. The day will begin with P.E. classes dedicated to understanding the impact of Title IX on women’s sports. Members of the MS community will share their experiences and accomplishments in sports.
All Middle School girls are invited to a brown bag lunch at 11:35 a.m. in the Academy Road board room. Mothers of MS students are encouraged to share their stories of participation in athletics.
|Middle School girls shine in Junior Olympics|
Fifth grader Lauren Hunt, sixth graders Alice Ward and Eliza Dekker and eighth grader Amanda Jowell participated in USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Cross Country competitions this fall. All four girls run for the Durham Striders. The four qualified and competed in the regional races at Pole Green Park in Midlothian, Va., on November 22.
Amanda had a strong run in the Youth 4 km race, earning herself a time of 19:39.97 and 47th place. Alice, Lauren and Eliza ran in the Midget 3 km race. Alice ran an outstanding time of 13:47.14 (42nd place). Lauren and Eliza qualified to run in the national Junior Olympic competition with times of 12:19.25 (10th place) and 11:17.17 (1st place) respectively.
The national races were held in Midlothian on December 13. Lauren had an excellent showing, running a time of 12:22, with her mile times averaging at 6:38. Eliza ran an unbelievable race, placing third in the nation with a time of 10:59 and an average mile time of 5:54.
|Kathy Pause and DA students perform at national Orff conference|
Fourth and fifth grade students from Durham Academy performed in front of 2,000 music teachers and parents at the American Orff-Schulwerk Association national conference in Charlotte on November 13. DA Lower School music teacher Kathy Pause was cool and collected as she led students from the three participating schools in providing the creative backdrop of music and movement for nationally renowned storyteller David Holt. Durham Academy’s 47 performers (21 fourth graders and 26 fifth graders) were joined by students from Cannon School in Concord and Rashkis Elementary in Chapel Hill. The culmination of nearly a year of work, the students were at ease with their parts and enthusiastic in their performance.
As part of her continuing effort to provide students with a joyful music experience, Kathy Pause created "A Patschwerk of Stories, Music and Song." The stories that made up Kathy's musical extravaganza were written by storyteller David Holt, who joined the students at the convention to narrate the tales.
|Middle School newspaper goes green|
In an effort to trim expenses and save trees, the Middle School newspaper is now an online publication with a link on the MS web page. This new format allows students to publish news in a more timely manner than the traditional print publication.
The CavOnline is written by Middle School students under the direction of Julie Williams and Carrie Williamson. The MS newspaper operates as a club that meets during regular club periods. Students submit articles and, once approved by the club advisors, they may then go live with their article! Also available soon will be podcasts, or recordings, created by the students. Students worked with MS technology teacher Karl Schaefer to create the newspaper through First Class, Durham Academy’s e-mail program.
|Sid DuPont to continue|
as Middle School Director
Sid DuPont has accepted Headmaster Ed Costello’s offer to serve as the Director of the Middle School until at least June 2010. “We have begun working on several projects which will take more than one academic year to complete, and I am grateful to Sid for his willingness to extend his watch for another year,” said Ed Costello. “This means, of course, that we will delay our Middle School Director search for at least one year.”
|Science Olympiad is looking forward to another award-winning year|
by Randee Haven-O'Donnell
Middle School Science, Middle School Science Olympiad Coach
We are an academic team of 18, seventh and eighth grade students who are looking for interested scientists and their parents to join us for the Regional Science Olympiad competition to be held in November. We meet during club periods and you will have the opportunity to choose from 23 events including, but not limited to: astronomy, disease detectives, egg-o-naut, trajectory, elevated bridge, the Wright stuff, science crime busters. After regionals, we may (like last year) have the opportunity to compete at the state competition in April. Visit our trophies in Randee Haven-O’Donnell's room and come to our student demo Sept 26 during club period. You will be dazzled by the secrets that await you!
|Middle School science teacher heads to Alaska on research expedition|
Durham Academy Middle School science teacher Gerty Cori Ward heads to Alaska in July to join a PolarTREC team of scientists studying the Beaufort Gyre, a major reservoir of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean. Gerty was featured recently in an article on the ABC News web site about the PolarTREC team.
Gerty Ward spent DA spring break in Alaska, working with PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers, Exploring and Collaborating) and learning the logistics of communicating science from remote locations in preparation for the expedition.
|MS closing exercises celebrate Class of 2012|
Ninety members of the Class of 2012 were awarded certificates at Middle School closing exercises on June 4. Alanna Heyer presented the valedictory address, and salutatorian Sarah Molina gave the welcome for closing exercises.
Also honored at Middle School closing exercises were: Toni Pappas and Vince Corwin, Female and Male Athlete Award; Fred Landis, Brumley Creative Writing Award; Katie Baker and Kameron Kooshesh, Effort Award; Ada Taylor, Gail Walker Spirit Award; and Mariah Young-Jones, Dick Forringer Faculty Award.
|Important end of year dates for Middle School|
May 28, 29 are exam review days for grades seven and eight. The entire Middle School will run a 0-Day schedule (with Day 1 classes) on these dates. If students normally drop their study hall on Day 1, they should report to the board room 8th period for their study hall.
|Used Textbook Buyback|
Wednesday, June 4
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
US Commons (next to the Bookstore)
This is the only day that used textbooks will be accepted. Families will receive a list of books being bought back and a form to fill out in mid-May.
Families who sell back their books will receive early admission to the Used Textbook Sale at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 11. The sale opens at 12 noon on August 11 for all other families.
|Middle School students place in high school math contest|
After taking top honors in the regional mathematics contest for geometry, DA eighth graders Nat Goldberg, Sam Goldberg and Ada Taylor placed among the top 20 math students in the state. The three eighth grade students competed against high school students from across the state on the geometry examination on May 1. Nat Goldberg placed sixth, Sam Goldberg placed seventh and Ada Taylor placed 14th.
|Duke TIP recognizes 25 seventh graders|
Twenty-five Durham Academy seventh graders have been recognized by the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) for their outstanding scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).
They qualified for State Recognition by scoring at least 520 on the math or 510 on the critical reading section of the SAT or at least 510 in math and 500 in critical reading. DA seventh grader Ben Taylor also qualified for Grand Recognition by scoring at least 660 on the math or 650 on the critical reading tests or a total score of at least 1270.
|Six graders create triptych tributes to their heroes|
Under the guidance of artist-in-residence Paige Williams Harris, sixth graders wrote a story about their hero and created a mixed media triptych that represented the heroic path of their subject. The root of the word triptych is the ancient Greek triptychos, and triptychs have been used throughout history to tell stories through art.
|Middle School science teacher heads to Alaska, Arctic Ocean|
Middle School science teacher Gerty Ward spent spring break in Alaska, working with PolarTREC (teachers and researchers, exploring and collaborating). She was learning the logistics of communicating science from remote locations in preparation for the PolarTREC science teacher expedition she will be going on this summer.
Gerty’s primary mission will be outreach, translating arctic science in the field to K-12 students in the classroom. She will be reporting on a wide range of educational information and will be posting to her PolarTREC blog before, during and after the expedition.
|MS team places second in Battle of the Books|
For the past five years, Durham Academy Middle School has participated in the North Carolina Battle of the Books program administered by the North Carolina School Library Media Association. The association sends out a list of 26 to 27 novels, and students in grades six through eight have 11 months to read the books.
Beginning in September, MS Librarian Jennifer Longee coaches DA’s team every Monday during lunch. Each week the team discusses two of the novels from the list and practices questions from the books. Between March and April, competitions occur across the state to determine which school teams know the most about the year’s books. Winners of district “battles” advance to regional competitions and ultimately to the state tournament at Elon University.
|Leven Thumps author visits Middle School|
Author Obert Skye came to Durham Academy’s Middle School library on March 6 to discuss his fantasy series Leven Thumps. Sixth and eighth grade students took part in his interactive presentation, and he rewarded them with numerous prizes. Students had the opportunity to ask questions and get books signed.
|A story of “Love, Politics, Religion and…Postage”|
When sixth and eighth grade science teacher Gerty Cori Ward began speaking at a Middle School assembly, she asked the girls to stand if they were named for their grandmother. About one third of the crowd came to their feet. Gerty said she, too, was named for her grandmother and told the story of her grandmother, a story she called “Love, Politics, Religion and…Postage.”
Gerty Radnitz Cori, born in Prague in 1896, was educated at home before entering medical school at age 18. The young Jewish woman fell in love with a fellow student, Carl Cori, who was Catholic, and they married against their families’ wishes.
|Sid DuPont named interim Middle School director|
Sid DuPont, an educator with 42 years of middle school experience, has been named interim director of Durham Academy’s Middle School for the 2008-09 school year. He replaces Jim Speir, who has decided to return to full-time teaching in 2008-09.
“Jim Speir has done an admirable job in his five years as Middle School director, and Sid DuPont will keep the Middle School moving forward,” said Headmaster Ed Costello. A search for a new Middle School director will begin in the fall.
|Anna Tabor is new MS administrative assistant|
Anna Tabor is the new administrative assistant in the Middle School office. She is already familiar with the Durham Academy community, as she is the mother of three DA graduates (John ’06, Julianna ’02 and Tess ’99).
“Anna brings a wide variety of administrative skills to this position,” said Middle School Director Jim Speir. “She is very well organized, detail oriented and exceedingly personable.”
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Anna worked as an administrative assistant for The Nature Conservancy in Hawaii and Seattle, Wash., before moving to Chapel Hill in 1995.
|DA donates 4,104 pounds of food|
Durham Academy wrapped up a week-long celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. with a tremendously successful food drive for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
DA’s Freedom Bus was loaded Tuesday with food from each campus: a total of 4,104 pounds of food! That represents 3,456 meals, based on a formula provided by the Food Bank.
Congratulations to the DA community for this very generous response to the perishable food drive. Special thanks to DA parent Jennifer Crawford, Diversity Coordinator Torsie Judkins and maintenance staff Pete Blackwell, Big Mac McDonald and Charlie Piekaar for helping unload the 4,104 lbs of food at the Food Bank.
|MS recognized for American Mathematics Competition|
In November, 165 Durham Academy Middle School students were among 300,000 students participating in the American Mathematics Competition for eighth graders and below.
The test consisted of 25 problems to be done in 40 minutes. Awards were presented to DA students who placed first, second or third place in their class.
Middle School Moodle Courses
Moodle is an online course management software. In order to view a course, you must be logged in as a student and enrolled in the course. This link is for Middle School students and teachers only.