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
Who brought us to this Hill?
Yesterday at the Hill Center, the Board of Trustees held a reception to honor 30 years of devoted service by Shary Maskel. On Thursday afternoon from 3:15 - 4:15, the broader Hill and DA communities will get a similar opportunity to wish Shary well at a casual frozen yogurt party. All are welcome.
It is not hyperbole to say that Shary Maskel built the Hill Center we know and love today. Of course she's been helped by scores of dedicated and loving teachers, hundreds of happy and grateful parents, and dozens of generous donors and trustees. But Shary has been the thread pulling all those people together for three decades.
At the core of her success is a passionate belief in the potential of every child - especially those for whom school does not come easily. First as a consultant and curriculum writer, then as a teacher, and later as Hill's longtime Executive Director, Shary has used the interpersonal warmth of a mother, the data-driven curiosity of a scientist, and the passionate zeal of a crusader to build one of the world's best resources for struggling learners.
Having met Shary in 1992, taught one of her daughters and advised the other for four years, I have been proud to call her a colleague and grateful to lean on her as a friend and confidante. In this year of our transitions (hers out and mine in), Shary and I have been particularly eager to cement the bonds between the Hill Center and Durham Academy. As I suggested in one of my first blog posts this year, the Hill Center's work inspires me and multiplies the ways that DA can improve teaching and learning for students on and beyond our campuses. The Hill Center is one of the best things that ever grew from DA.
With a talented and energetic new leader waiting in the wings and a brand-new website launched last week, the Hill Center is poised to take some exciting leaps forward. As it does so, we will never forget that Shary Maskel has paved the way for that success. Here's to her astounding contributions and to a smooth and happy retirement!
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