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.
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.