Faculty & Staff Profiles

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Posted Thursday, Mar 3, 2016 4:02:00 PM
Robert Wilson was teacher of the year for Durham Public Schools in 1989-1990 and he received Durham Academy's Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award in 2000. But that doesn't begin to compare with the honor he felt when a DA student chose to write about him for the sixth grade's annual My Hero project. That happened not once but three times — in 2013, 2014 and 2015 — and Wilson proudly displays the colorful "My Hero" books on his office bookcase.
Posted Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 4:11:00 PM
When Michele Gutierrez was in first grade, she had a feeling that she wanted to be a teacher one day — not because she enjoyed school so much, but because she didn't want other kids to feel the way she felt in school.
Posted Thursday, Feb 18, 2016 6:45:00 PM
Liliana Simón wants to cultivate curious students, and she hopes her Upper School Spanish classes will help them have the confidence to satisfy their curiosity.
Posted Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 6:01:00 PM
It's not surprising that Kelly Howes brings a global view to her language arts classroom at the Middle School. She lived on five continents and taught school in Mozambique, Nigeria, Taiwan, Portugal and Argentina before arriving at Durham Academy five years ago.
Posted Thursday, Feb 4, 2016 5:19:00 PM
Lots of kids have a lemonade stand, but Pamela McKenney sold artwork on the side of the road when she was a kid.
Posted Thursday, Jan 28, 2016 6:09:00 PM
Greg Murray loves being part of a team. In 37 years at Durham Academy, he has taught students from Preschool through Upper School, coached five athletic teams, chaired the physical education department, directed the Senior Challenge program, advised the yearbook, led summer camps and served as DA's unofficial photographer.
Posted Thursday, Jan 21, 2016 4:13:00 PM
Doreen Johnson remembers watching with envy as her brothers and sisters did their homework around a giant table in the family kitchen. The eighth child in a family of nine, Johnson "couldn't wait until I had homework. I always loved school."
Posted Thursday, Jan 14, 2016 4:43:00 PM
When Denise Shaw changed careers and went back to school for a master's in education, she had to make up two courses she hadn't taken as an undergraduate, economics and physical education. Economics was no problem but physical education was a challenge, and Shaw credits that PE class for giving her "my most important lesson in teaching."
Posted Thursday, Jan 7, 2016 5:14:00 PM
Dan Gilson is a laid-back sort of guy. You're likely to spot him wearing a DA Summer Programs T-shirt and an easy, welcoming smile. He wound up in Durham in 2004 because a friend thought he'd like it here and found him an apartment. Gilson signed a lease, faxed the papers and headed south.
Posted Thursday, Dec 10, 2015 5:07:00 PM
Thomas Phu thinks he's a very lucky person. He wouldn't change a thing about a life that's taken him from a childhood in war-torn Vietnam to refugee camps in Thailand to resettlement in Louisiana to college as a pre-med major to a career as a high school history teacher.
Posted Thursday, Dec 3, 2015 6:11:00 PM
Teresa Engebretsen has had a love affair with French since she was 15 years old.
Posted Thursday, Nov 19, 2015 3:52:00 PM
Lower School Spanish teacher Mercedes Almodovar knows how her students feel when she speaks to them in Spanish and they don't understand. "I try to put myself in their shoes because I was in that position before."
Posted Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 3:15:00 PM
When Shannon Harris was about to graduate from UNC's School of Information and Library Science, she put her research skills to work preparing for an interview for the Upper School librarian job at Durham Academy. She didn't know much about independent schools, but as she delved into DA's faculty she was impressed by how long many of them had worked at DA: 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and even more.
Posted Thursday, Nov 5, 2015 3:29:00 PM
"I love what I do. Some people think I'm joking when I say this, but there hasn't been a day in 10 years where I hit the snooze button and say to myself 'Man, I don't want to go to work.' I love my job."
Posted Thursday, Oct 29, 2015 2:26:00 PM
When kindergarten classmates came to Jessica Crowe's house for a play date, they always knew they would be playing "school" because that's all she ever wanted to do.
Posted Thursday, Oct 22, 2015 4:37:00 PM
After 15 years as a commodities trader, Tom Barry had pretty good instincts when it came to managing risk. In 2005 he took a huge one — transitioning from trading oil, gas and electricity for Fortune 500 companies to a job teaching Durham Academy fourth-graders. Now instead of trading the building blocks of the global economy, his commodity is his beloved students, and he's fully invested in their transition from Lower School to Middle School. Barry says he couldn't be happier.
Posted Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 1:15:00 PM
Ask Meg McNall about teaching at Durham Academy and you'll get this reply: "I feel guilty for cashing my paycheck."
Posted Thursday, Oct 8, 2015 3:42:00 PM
When Virginia Reves came to Durham Academy as a sixth-grader in 1984, she was not happy to be here. The 11-year-old had left friends and her much-loved Highlands Day School behind in Birmingham, Alabama, and she was mad at her dad for necessitating a move to Durham when he accepted a job at Duke.
Posted Thursday, Oct 1, 2015 5:01:00 PM
Nikki Graves didn't know quite how to take it when her fourth-grade teacher said she had a very commanding presence. "But I figured out pretty fast that meant somewhere down the line I was supposed to be in a leadership role."
Posted Thursday, Sep 24, 2015 3:38:00 PM
Beth Roberts loves teaching physical education, but don't look for her at the Preschool or Lower School on Friday. She'll be taking a well-deserved day off to spend time with her husband, Brandon, whom she hasn't seen since late January. Brandon returned Thursday morning after serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq. The couple had been married for just eight months when Brandon deployed to train Iraqi troops, and his return comes a month earlier than expected.
Posted Thursday, Sep 17, 2015 3:05:00 PM
Kevin Schroedter grew up speaking Spanish and English, has near-native fluency in French, his favorite romance language, and if he were back in high school he'd pick up Japanese as an Asian language and Russian as a Slavic language.
Posted Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 5:00:00 PM
Gib Fitzpatrick figured he'd be a doctor like his grandfather, and that's what he wrote about when his high school English teacher/soccer coach assigned a "What do you think you'll do for a living someday" essay. "When he gave it back to me, he said 'This is all fine and good, but what would you do if all salaries were the same? Forget what you think you should do and think about what you want to do.' "I said 'I think I'd be a math teacher and soccer coach.' I thought it was funny at the time. I never really thought I'd do that." But that's exactly what Fitzpatrick did do, though it took him a while to realize that teaching math and coaching soccer was his calling...
Posted Thursday, Sep 3, 2015 12:51:00 PM
Meet Preschool Art & Cooking Teacher Elizabeth Lyle - artist, crafter, singer, runner, Instagrammer and mentor to our "tiny human" artists!
An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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