Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to: 

  • connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
  • share ideas about learning and human development;
  • spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy. 

Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing. 

Michael Ulku-SteinerHead of School 

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Setting the bars

While the massive steel beams of our new Upper School STEM + Humanities Center are the most conspicuous things on campus these days, I’m grateful that our students, alumni and parents never forget what really makes DA strong.

Teachers remain the beating heart of our school and the #1 priority in each of our last several strategic plans. As we put it in Goal 1 of the most recent Plan:

We will strive to create a faculty full of “life-changers”: genuine, curious, passionate, striving, generous and accountable teachers/learners who nurture, inspire, engage and challenge students and model the path to moral, happy, productive lives.

A key part of that work: clarifying our Standards of Professional Excellence for faculty and harmonizing the teacher evaluation rubrics across …

Posted by mulkus on Sunday October 29 at 07:26PM
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Newcomers and welcomers

This morning my colleagues in the Preschool and Lower School hosted an Open House for families considering applications to Durham Academy. Similar events – in all divisions - will follow in the coming weeks.

Seeing crowds of curious, hesitant strangers on our sidewalks reminds me just how formidable a challenge it can be to join a new school community. Whether parents, kindergartners or teenagers, we all faced the same daunting questions on arrival: Is this place right for me? Can I be myself here? Might I find an even better self here?  

What follows are remarks delivered recently to our Upper School students and faculty by a DA 10th grader. A little more than a year ago, she was one of those curious, hesitant strangers.

As you read her thoughts, I hope you’ll think …

Posted by mulkus on Tuesday October 17
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