Welcome to Mission-Driven, Durham Academy’s blog about everyday examples of the moral, happy, productive lives of our students, faculty/staff, families and alumni. There’s something special about the DA Experience, and we’ll share it with you here — defining who we are through our traditions, our hopes and our dreams for the future.


We’re committed to creating a community that fundamentally influences the character and trajectories of young lives through an exceptional academic experience that focuses on:

  • Morality — empathy, kindness, integrity, responsibility and courage.
  • Happiness — curiosity, engagement, authenticity, balance and joy.
  • Productivity — creativity, drive, resilience, generosity and wisdom.

How do we do it? By modeling persistence vs. perfectionism, by preparing our students for the road rather than preparing the road for our students, by helping our students be their most authentic, unique selves — guided by caring, selfless teachers who know and nurture them. 

Date Range
Ben Michelman

Salad on the floor, beef stew on bus seats, grease-stained shirts, torn paper flower decorations — these were some of the messes made by the seventh-grade class as they planned, shopped for, cooked and served a meal for 250 people in the community café at Urban Ministries of Durham.

Read More about Empathy