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-Steiner, Head of School
Among the reasons my wife and I decided to move back from Switzerland was Durham Academy’s powerfully positive culture for athletic girls.
Whether thinking of our sporty twelve year-old daughter and her classmates or our ninth-grade son and his male peers, we know that female athleticism does healthy things for gender roles and school cultures in general.
Here we take for granted that girls can be academic, artistic, athletic, and service-minded as they choose.
While few other schools can boast the levels of success we’ve had in girls’ sports (click here, for example, to see this year’s highest-profile university-team-bound athletes: all females), American high schools generally open more doors for sporty girls than do schools in other countries.
Things are changing, however.
Last week we hosted the future national women’s soccer team from Jordan. As part of a tour organized by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society, these young athletes watched the NCAA College Cup (Women’s Final Four) in Florida and trained for several days in Chapel Hill with Cindy Parlow Cone (four-time All-American, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and winner of the Women’s World Cup).
During their tour of the Upper School, the Jordanians and their coaches took careful note of many things we take for granted at DA: the women in our Athletic Hall of Fame, the girls in our weight room, the healthy mix of male and female coaches, the preponderance of female Cavaliers playing varsity sports in college, and the general culture in which young women find open playing fields wherever they turn.
Click here to read more about last week’s visit – one step in an important journey for the girls and future of Jordan and an important reminder for the girls and boys of DA.
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