The Durham Academy Alumni Board has selected two accomplished alumni and a beloved faculty member to honor with distinguished awards.
Whether through the arts, education, health care or food drives, Durham Academy alumni are reaching out to help others as COVID-19 is drastically changing life around the world. Below are just a few of the ways they are putting their varied talents to work. In next week's News & Notes, we'll feature several other alumni who are helping out in this crisis.
DA moved online on March 18. At that time, we could not have predicted the many ways in which this pandemic would affect our students, families, faculty and staff. But our mission and community remain as vibrant as ever. We have not changed who we are, just where we are.
Bernadette Cooper Vereen ’14 credits Durham Academy with equipping her with skills she has used to navigate college and the start of her career in maternal health and social work. Now a graduate student, she hopes to become a perinatal social worker and address racial disparities in childbirth outcomes, with an ultimate goal of opening a natural birthing center for low-income families.
Six alumni were inducted into Durham Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Dec. 6. This marks the fourth class of inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame, which was established in 2013 and taps new members every other year.
From the time Nina Varela ’13 learned to read and write, she knew she wanted to be a writer. She is grateful to the Durham Academy teachers who “who encouraged me and took my writing seriously — even when I didn’t.” Her debut novel, Crier’s War, was released in the fall, and now she’s finishing up edits for the sequel and outlining her third book.
As a coordinator for clinical trials at Duke Cancer Institute, Marco Reyes ’10 sees “the good in humanity” as patients participate in trials that may one day benefit people they’ll never know.
Durham Academy challenged Yates Sikes ’08 to think of different ways to problem solve. Now, as a mechanical engineer, he’s using that skill to innovate and modernize rail cars that impact riders in major cities across the U.S.
Alumni reconnected on campus, and classes ending in 4s and 9s gathered for a reunion party at Boxcar Bar + Arcade.
DA grounded Emma Edwards ’08 with a strong work ethic. The math major decided to apply her mathematical background to engineering after researching wave energy, and had never taken an engineering class before she began her Ph.D. work at MIT. Edwards’ love for adventure has taken her to Scotland and Australia, and prompted her to shift from cycling as a means of transportation to participating in national championship races.
Nick Livengood ’08 spent his entire pre-college educational career at Durham Academy. And now, he has returned to his alma mater as the 2019–2020 Alumni Board President.
Six alumni athletes will be inducted into Durham Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Dec. 6. This marks the fourth class of inductees for the Athletic Hall of Fame, which was established in 2013 and taps new members every other year.
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.