DA Lifer Returns as New Director of Summer Programs
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. After attending High Point University and the National Outdoor Leadership School, she transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill, where she earned her undergraduate degree and met her husband, Glenn. She went on to earn an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia.
As head varsity field hockey coach at Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, Kantz twice earned “Loudoun County Coach of the Year” honors. After spending three years as director of residential life at Leysin American School in Switzerland, and one year at St. Albans School, where she served on the admissions team, Kantz returned to Foxcroft, where she earned a Mindful Educator certification and helped develop a wellness curriculum.
At Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, since 2016, Kantz has been director of Student Activities and Summer Programs, coordinated the school trip program and served as dorm head, teacher and coach. She has loved living in the D.C. area and enjoys sports, running, cooking and the outdoors.
Kantz, her husband Glenn, daughters Caroline, Mackenzie and Charlie, dog Vevey and cat Caesar are thrilled to be moving to Durham to be back at the school she has always loved. “I feel grateful to be part of the DA community during this exciting time for Durham Academy.”
15 Things About Me
- I was born and raised a Duke fan. Then I saw the light (blue) — go Tar Heels!
- I loved DA Senior Challenge so much that I later took a semester off in college with a semester in the Rockies on NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), then later led a NOLS Canyon expedition with my husband and 10 of our students through Utah’s Canyonlands.
- I’m the youngest of four siblings, all who attended DA, I was a “lifer” here and I am so glad to return and send my own children here — Caroline, grade 6, and Mackenzie, grade 1, and hopefully eventually Charlotte (Charlie) age 3!
- I was once on an episode of the David Letterman show when he prank-called a random phone booth in Baltimore harbor and videotaped me running over to pick up the phone. It was a hilarious conversation!
- I met my husband at UNC-Chapel Hill. My favorite class there that we took together was on the classical music of Bach and Handel.
- I am forever installed as a “Fox” at a school named Foxcroft in Virginia (my first teaching job), where you are either a Fox or a Hound for life (very Harry Potter, which I also love). I was the leader of the Foxes and got to hunt the other half of the school (the Hounds) at midnight before big sports competitions, to keep them awake!
- I chaperoned 18 students on a trip to Vietnam as my first school trip. I was so nervous I had to number them on their hands with a Sharpie and make them count off everywhere!
- I enhanced my North Carolina skiing skills in the Swiss Alps, where I accompanied students twice a week as part of our school day while working at a boarding school.
- My dog, Vevey, is named after my favorite Swiss town. He is a bernedoodle — half Bernese mountain dog/half standard poodle — how appropriate!
- I love to cook international food, the spicier the better, but I once got a nosebleed eating the spiciest chicken wing — I had to sign a waiver!
- My favorite book that has guided me in life is: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. I also enjoy studying and discussing philosophy.
- I once went parapenting and have it on videotape — there is a very special landing you have to see in-person to believe!
- In 2013 in Madrid, I completed a personal goal by running a full marathon. I still love to run competitively, and for fun.
- I practice mindfulness and am a mindful certified educator.
- I love a good, clean, witty prank (one of my favorite holidays is April Fool’s Day), and I’m always up for an adventure. Most of all, I love spreading laughter and joy!