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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Throw me to the wolves and I will come back leading the pack

How can a man possibly grow more moral, happier, more productive (and better looking!) as his deadly disease advances?

Chris Rosati keeps telling us how.

I hope our students are listening.

Posted by in Alumni on Wednesday May 21, 2014
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Three cups of gratitude

On a recent Friday night, our Spring Alumni Reception capped an emotional day of multigenerational DA connections.

Yesterday the DA Alumni Facebook page posted three excerpts from the comments of our honorees:

What luck I feel to work, learn, and live in a community that generates so many reasons for gratitude and so many people willing to express it.

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Living fearless

Today Blue Cross and Blue Shield shared their version of DA alumnus Chris Rosati's Krispy Kreme heist story. It's called "Live Fearless" and worth four minutes of your time.

Click here to see Chris's new website for Inspire MEdia, whose BIGG challenge deadline is less than three weeks away.

Posted by in Other, Alumni on Wednesday March 12, 2014
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A BIGG month

Only 31 days remain to generate your BIGG idea. Click here to see today's Herald Sun article about Chris Rosati's Inspire MEdia challenge.
Posted by in Other, Alumni on Saturday March 1, 2014
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Tune in for BIGG news

WRAL news anchor and reporter Sloane Heffernan was at DA interviewing DA alumnus Chris Rosati '89 this morning. The interview aired today on WRAL’s 5 p.m. newscast. Click here to see it and read more.

Chris talked about the BIGG Student Challenge (Big Ideas for the Greater Good). He’s inviting Triangle-area students to dream up the most creative, bold and uncommon way to enrich the lives of others. Which DA student or group has the BIGGest idea in town?

Posted by in Other, Alumni on Monday February 3, 2014
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Donut Robin Hood returns

Tonight on the CBS Evening News (and again on Sunday Morning), DA alumnus Chris Rosati '89 will strike again.

In Chris, "On The Road" host Steve Hartman has found an able partner for finding and sharing uplifting stories.

I thought of Chris when I read the New York Times' inspiring article about Pete Seeger. It concludes:


Through the years, Mr. Seeger remained determinedly optimistic. “The key to the future of the world,” he said in 1994, “is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.”


To see Chris's next project, click here.

To see CBS's earlier piece on Chris's Krispy Kreme caper, click here.

To see one of my earlier posts about Chris's visits to the Upper School, click here.

Posted by in Other, Alumni on Friday January 31, 2014
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Spreading like viral donut glaze

The Huffington Post picked up CBS' story and summarized Chris Rosati's pair of recent visits to DA. Click here to see it and continue spreading the word. As Chris told me after his Upper School assembly remarks, "If I can convince just a few kids to chase their dreams - even the crazy and impossible ones - then I did my job today."

Posted by in Other, Alumni on Wednesday January 8, 2014
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On the Road Again

Happy New Year!

On our way home from a family reunion/vacation in Mexico (a much needed eat/read/play/sleepathon), we dashed into a Phoenix bar to catch CBS's "On the Road" segment about DA alumnus Chris Rosati. For those who missed it, here's the link to the article version, and here's the video link. Thanks to my alert wife Beril for the photo above.

Thanks to Chris Rosati for helping to launch us into an inspired 2014.

Posted by in Other, Alumni on Saturday January 4, 2014
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Hope and Doughnuts

Our Upper Schoolers continue to smile after yesterday's visit from Chris Rosati '89. Click here to see a great story from the News and Observer ("Durham Man Achieves Krispy Kreme Dream") and here to see one from the Herald-Sun ("Hope and Doughnuts").

Stay tuned for more from Chris' crew at Inspire MEdia, and from CBS' Steve Hartman and "On the Road".

Posted by in Upper School, Alumni on Wednesday December 4, 2013
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One dream true, more seeds planted

Today was one of the happiest days I've witnessed on the Upper School campus. Alumnus Chris Rosati '89 returned with a "stolen" Krispy Kreme bus and 1,000 donuts to share with our students - his attentive and inspired audience from his assembly remarks a month ago.

Most important to Chris today: that students heeded his challenge to "pay it forward" by sharing donuts with others in their lives, creating happiness wherever they can and chasing even the most crazy dreams imaginable.

Click here to see my earlier post on Chris, his remarks to the Upper School assembly, and his Facebook dream.

Stay tuned for more on DA's Facebook page, a story in tomorrow's News and Observer and, within a couple of weeks, a CBS News On the Road segment. Like Chris and his growing network of friends and admirers…

Posted by in Other, Alumni on Tuesday December 3, 2013
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