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The new Gateway Center on the Middle School Campus

For decades, Durham Academy’s Middle School managed to thrive on a campus that didn’t quite make sense. Middle School students have been king of the castle — i.e. the sole occupants of the Academy Road campus — since 2002, but the campus was far from ideal.

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Mathematical modeling at Durham Academy has blossomed from a club to a course, and the excitement and engagement have led to major awards for students who recently competed at the international level. A team of four Upper Schoolers — Claire Hong ’24, Michael Hansen ’24, Riley Kim ’24 and Sarah Muir ’24 — represented DA in the HiMCM (the High School Mathematical Contest in Modeling), hosted by the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.

Read More about Mathematical Modeling Team Notches Honors in International Contest
Students chat in an Upper School computer science class.

The 2024–2025 Durham Academy Upper School Curriculum Guide features several firsts. There’s a fresh catalog-style design showcasing a plethora of new courses marking the full debut of the Upper School’s Advanced curriculum — comprising 52 intellectually rigorous, internally designed courses. It also represents an emphatic commitment to what DA does best: delivering top-flight, real-world instruction to curious and enthusiastic students.

Read More about New Upper School Curriculum Guide Champions Rigor, Independent Problem-Solving

At a time when the nation's blood banks at at the lowest they've been in many years — with the lowest number of people donating in the last 20 years — your donation matters more than ever. You can do your part to help save lives Tuesday, Feb. 20, and Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Durham Academy’s annual spring blood drive. The event will be held in the lobby of Kirby Gym on the Upper School campus from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days.

Read More about Spring Blood Drive is Feb. 20–21
On Jan. 9, Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner kicked off a new annual tradition with a State of the School virtual address to discuss Durham Academy’s priorities, progress and the performance of the school in ways that help our community understand the school’s day-to-day work supporting the student experience and DA’s commitment to excellence.
Read More about State of the School: 2024

One of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Trustees is to advance the school’s mission through oversight and support of the Head of School. For the past decade, we have seen the benefits of Michael Ulku-Steiner’s tireless, mission-driven work — including the development of a strong and collaborative Administrative Team, an outstanding faculty and staff, a rapidly-improving campus, and a curriculum that is preparing each student for life in more purposeful ways than ever.

Read More about Investing in our Head of School
Author Caralena Peterson Speaks to the Perils of Effortless Perfection in Talks with DA Students, Faculty and Families

Peterson is well aware of the tropes of perfectionism: an endless need for validation, a steadfast belief that there’s only one path to success, a persistent fear that any stumble will thwart success forever. She lived it as an undergrad at Duke University, where a series of health setbacks — disordered eating, anxiety attacks, a depressive episode — were all the result of trying to be perfect without appearing overwhelmed. She shared her story Wednesday in a visit with DA Upper Schoolers and faculty, as well as parents and caregivers, to put a name to the pervasive feeling that so many young people experience in middle and high school: the need for effortless perfection.

Read More about Author Caralena Peterson Speaks to the Perils of Effortless Perfection in Talks with DA Students, Faculty and Families