Five years ago, a parent asked me what I saw as Durham Academy’s greatest threat. “Complacency,” I answered. Luckily, ours is a school of strivers — people willing to plan and work to make tomorrow incrementally better than today. “Humble and hungry” is deep-set in the DNA of DA.
Durham Academy Magazine Summer 2019
At the Lower School, he’s “the bug guy.” At the Upper School, he’s “the recycling guy.” And those nicknames do nothing but put a smile on Durham Academy senior Joseph Walston’s face. After all, he is a guy with a passion for saving the smallest of creatures among us and the earth they inhabit — and the monikers are proof that his message is getting through.
More than 80 Upper School students and two Lower Schoolers were part of the cast, crew, production team and pit band for the winter musical, Merrily We Roll Along.
“We are so proud of these student-athletes. Their hard work and skill lift the tide and profile of our athletic program, so we’re grateful for that and for how they have represented DA.” — Steve Engebretsen, director of athletics
“I study climate change and tell people depressing stories,” said Dr. Drew Shindell, Duke University Nicholas School professor of Earth Sciences and father of Olly ’20 and Leah ’26. He was the opening speaker for the Durham Academy Upper School’s winter seminar, and he was being modest.
“For me, the Humanities wing is more than a nice new facility. It’s a space that gives my colleagues and me the chance to pick each others’ brains and support one another every single day.” — Dr. Lauren Garrett, English teacher
Nemo: First day of school! First day of school! Wake up, wake up! C’mon, first day of school!
Marlin: I don't wanna go to school. Five more minutes.
Nemo: Not you, dad. Me!
On Aug. 20, a very similar scene will play out in the households of more than 70 kindergartners and their parents.
When Middle School teachers reconvened last August, there was no time to exchange summer stories. We immediately jumped into a workshop focused on incorporating design-thinking and service-learning projects into our curricula.
Do you remember being asked any meaningful questions while you were in school? As a math teacher, I ask a lot of questions every day, but not many of them will be memorable or meaningful decades later. They’re important to learning algebra, but not necessarily to living a purposeful life.
Life-changing teachers make a difference. Jessica Whilden is the epitome of a life-changing teacher who makes a difference. Thus, it is fitting that she is honored with the 2019 F. Robertson Hershey Distinguished Faculty Award.
Those saying goodbye have devoted a cumulative 305 years of service to DA.
Thirteen years ago, Durham Academy established its security team with a dedicated group of former Durham Police Department officers, led by Director of Security Larry Isaacs. With the conclusion of the 2018–2019 school year, the final five members of that inaugural security team are bidding DA goodbye.
Katie Ryan (Amick) Kantz ’98 was a “lifer” at Durham Academy, where she played field hockey and other sports passionately and was a student leader.
For Margaret Jones ’99, every day of work is “filled with promise” as she helps patients with neurologic injury to regain quality of life and independence. Her work has taken her to cities around the country, and along the way, she’s visited all 50 states.
Dr. Malinda Maynor Lowery ’91, the Rev. John Hage ’94 and first-grade teacher Debbie Suggs were honored with DA’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Alumni Service Award and the Faculty and Staff Legacy Award, respectively, at the Spring Alumni Reception on April 26.
Thanks to All Who Came Out for Our Spring Alumni Gatherings!
Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski offered advice to the 109 members of DA's Class of 2019.
LaQuesa Gaillard ’06, an Atlanta-based public relations professional, is passionate about exploring nature and different cultures, and she credits Durham Academy with showing her “how amazing adventures in nature can be.”
Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner has announced the appointment of Andy Pogach as DA’s new director of athletics, beginning July 1, 2019.
After planning and managing vehicle launches for BMW and traveling around the world, Whitney Zimmerman ’05 is passionate about helping companies work better.
When fourth-grader Ellen Brown auditioned for the role of a child in Greensboro Day School’s middle school play, it lit a spark for theater that has taken her from Greensboro to New York and back to North Carolina as the theater teacher at Durham Academy Middle School.
Steve Engebretsen’s 38 years at Durham Academy — a span marked by countless long hours and days, and shepherding the athletic careers of thousands of DA students and hundreds of coaches — truly represents a decades-long labor of love.
Durham Academy’s biannual magazine was first published in 1974. The magazine features articles written by various members of the DA community, including faculty, staff, administrators, alumni and students.
We want to hear from you! If you are interested in writing for a future edition of Durham Academy Magazine, want to pitch a story idea or provide feedback, please contact Editor Kathy McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org.