Skip To Main Content


Student and Faculty Accomplishments Summer 2022

Seniors Earn Major Scholarships

The list of scholarships earned by members of Durham Academy’s Class of 2022
is long, including several all-expenses-covered awards.

  • Maya Caldwell ’22 has been named a John B. Ervin Scholar at Washington University in St. Louis, which comes with an annually renewable full-tuition scholarship and $2,500 stipend.
  • Mukta Dharmapurikar ’22 is among 150 Coca-Cola Scholars selected nationwide from an initial pool of more than 68,000 applicants. Dharmapurikar will apply the $20,000 scholarship to her studies at Harvard University.
  • Molly Hunter ’22 has been selected for the Forty Acres Scholarship Program, the premier full-ride, merit-based scholarship for the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Mirella Kades ’22 has been selected for the Stamps President’s Scholarship at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Covering the entire cost of attendance for four years, it is the top undergraduate scholarship offered at Georgia Tech.
  • Charles McCain ’22 was awarded the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, which covers all expenses for four years of undergraduate study at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as
  • a distinctive program of summer enrichment experiences.
  • Zoe Sinclair ’22 is the recipient of a Light on the Hill Society Scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill. Four $2,000 Light on the Hill scholarships are awarded each year, and they are renewable for up to three years.

Avery Davidson ’22 Named Triangle Rising Stars Finalist

Senior Avery Davidson, who played the role of Orsino in Durham Academy Upper School’s winter musical production of Twelfth Night, was among 20 area high schoolers selected as finalists in the best actress and actor category of the 2022 Triangle Rising Stars Awards. The program, which is open to central North Carolina high schoolers, serves as the qualifying competition for the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (the Jimmy Awards), each summer in New York City.

Davidson and the other Triangle Rising Stars finalists performed onstage at the Durham Performing Arts Center on May 11 in a showcase event. Jordan High School’s production of Bright Star won awards for both Best Student Orchestra and Best Musical — which was meaningful for Davidson, who as an aspiring conductor, conducted the Jordan orchestra when judges were present.


Kumar Sisters Stun at National Girls Chess Championship, Prepare for Worlds

Asha Kumar ’25 placed first in the 2022 Kasparov Chess Foundation All-Girls National Championships in Chicago in April, competing in the 16-and-under category. Meanwhile, her sister, Arya Kumar ’23, tied for fifth in the 18-and-under category.

“The likelihood of having two sisters on board one in the last round of a national championship event is remote, to say the least,” said Durham Academy chess coach Craig Jones. Arya is the highest ranked female chess player in North Carolina history, and reached that feat by the age of 13 years and 4 months.

“Asha is a brilliant technician, meaning she can transfer one type of situation into another similar but different situation, which is very difficult to do, and few master this level of thinking,” Jones said.

Both Arya and Asha Kumar have been invited to represent the United States at the 2022 World Youth Chess Championships, scheduled for Sept. 15–18 in Mamaia, Romania. The sisters earned this honor by meeting the peak post-tournament rating and activity criteria in the girls under-18 and -16 divisions, respectively. Of the 160 youth players selected from across the U.S., Arya and Asha are two of three from North Carolina.


Crawford Leavoy is State Speech and Debate Coach of the Year

Durham Academy speech and debate coach Crawford Leavoy was named the 2022 Mildred Hussey Coach of the Year at the Tarheel Forensic League State Championship tournament in April.

This award is presented annually to a coach selected by their peers for their outstanding work both with their own team and in the greater North Carolina speech and debate community. This is the third Hussey Award for Leavoy, who previously won in 2018 and 2020. He joins only three other coaches in the history of North Carolina who have been recognized three times as Coach of the Year.

Leavoy was also recognized this year with the Jenny Cook Mentorship Award at NSU University School's Sunvitational tournament. This award is given to two deserving speech and debate coaches who dedicate countless hours to mentorship.

“I never set out to be a mentor to others, and I [am] certainly still shocked that some folks see me that way. …” Leavoy said. “I'm honored to be thought of as a mentor.”


Ella Simmons ’23 Named Robotics Dean’s List Finalist

Junior Ella Simmons ’23, a member of Durham Academy Upper School’s DARC SIDE robotics team, was named one of two area FIRST Dean’s List Finalists for robotics. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is the leading, not-for-profit STEM engagement program for students worldwide. Similar to the National Merit Scholarship Award, the FIRST awards recognize student leaders who have led their teams to increase awareness for FIRST and its mission, and achieved personal technical expertise and accomplishment.


Jenna Kim ’27 Wins Drive, Chip & Putt Golf Competition at Augusta National

Durham Academy seventh-grader Jenna Kim placed first in her division of the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals, hosted at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia in April. Kim won the Girls 12–13 division of the nationwide skills competition, which is presented annually by the PGA of America, United States Golf Association and Augusta National.

Drive, Chip & Putt competitors advance through local, sub-regional and regional qualifiers, culminating in the nationally televised National Finals at Augusta National the Sunday prior to the Masters Tournament.

See more from WTVD-ABC11