DA Welcomes 17 New Faculty and Staff

Durham Academy welcomes 17 new faculty and staff members to our school community.


Elizabeth Parry, kindergarten teaching assistant (Nuernberger class), is a 2013 Durham Academy alumna and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied in the honors program in the School of Education. She previously taught in the Asheboro City Schools and is a candidate for a Master of Education from American College of Education.

Lower School 

Jaqueta Abbey, first-grade teaching assistant (Suggs class), is a 2004 graduate of Durham Academy. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in communication studies and earned a Master of Arts in interactive media from Elon University. She has worked with the Triangle Literacy Council and as an English as a Second Language instructor.

Edie Evans, third-grade teaching assistant (Dolan class), is a 2016 graduate of Durham Academy. She earned a B.A. in education from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has served as a teaching assistant with Durham Academy Summer. While a student at DA, she was lead director of SOCK Camp, a tuition-free DA summer camp for children from low-income families.

Meg Goodhand, Lower School math specialist (interim), earned a bachelor’s degree in exceptional education from Ohio University, a Master of Arts in deaf education from Gallaudet University, and a Master of School Administration and Doctor of Education from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has taught in the Durham County Public Schools, and most recently served as principal of E.K. Powe Elementary.

Kim Hackman, fourth-grade teaching assistant (Larson class), is a graduate of Davidson College, where she was a member of the lacrosse team, and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught at the Ellis School in Pittsburgh, opened a school to provide classes and tutoring to the community and her three children, and coaches lacrosse with Carolina Flight.

Middle School

Chris Mahoney, hybrid learning coach, is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University and earned a Master of Education from the University of Massachusetts. He has been executive director of charter schools in California, and has served as an administrator and teacher at Charles Armstrong School, Friends Select School and Buckley Country Day School. Most recently, Mahoney was a college athlete mentor/learning specialist at Duke University.

Upper School

Adam Cluff, English teacher, is a graduate of Williams College with a degree in American studies and earned a master’s degree from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. He has taught at Noble and Greenough School, where he was the varsity boys basketball coach and also taught in the Upward Bound summer program. 

Lauren Foster, math teacher, graduated from Bates College, where she played varsity field hockey. She earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, was a teaching fellow at St. Paul’s School and served as head coach of a 19-and-under field hockey team.

Jen Look, chemistry teacher, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and history from Rice University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She has taught at San Francisco University High School, where she was head coach of the Science Olympiad team, and has served as an assistant professor at Mercer University.

Katie McEnroe, dean of college counseling, is a graduate of Bates College, where she was captain of the varsity field hockey team, and earned a master’s degree in psychology from Washington College. She most recently served as associate director of college counseling and head field hockey coach at Holton-Arms School.

Paul Slack, history teacher, graduated from Clark Atlanta University with honors in history and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching from the College of St. Scholastica. He has taught at Minneapolis College Prep and most recently taught at Breck School, where he was co-developer of a new ninth-grade world history curriculum.

All School

Caylan Ashworth, assistant director of family philanthropy, graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in graphic design and was captain and MVP of the women’s tennis team. She has worked at Duke University, most recently as senior director of endowments and analytics with the Iron Dukes.

Gem Gates, consulting nurse, graduated cum laude with a B.S. from City University of New York, where she also earned a Master of Public Administration. She is a graduate of Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing and holds a physician assistant certificate from Harlem Hospital Center. She has been a school nurse in New York and New Jersey and served as program director of the physician assistant program at Harlem Hospital Center.

Pat James, social media strategist, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism. He worked as a feature writer, digital storyteller and social media manager for UNC Athletic Communications and as the lead writer for UNC’s 28 varsity teams at GoHeels.com. He worked for Golf Carolinas in website management, weekly newsletter production and feature writing; served as a reporter for The Charlotte Observer; and covered the Atlanta Braves and produced social media content for MLB.com.

Amber McCray, payroll technician, graduated from Ashworth University with a B.A. in accounting. She has worked as plant executive administrator at GKN Driveline and in human resources at Jabil Packaging Solutions, both in Mebane, and most recently was payroll administrator at Thalle Construction in Hillsborough.

Charise Neal, finance director, earned a Master of Science in Accountancy from UNC-Wilmington, where she worked as a graduate assistant. She comes to Durham Academy from RSM US LLP in Raleigh, where she has been a senior auditor. She is awaiting board approval for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.

Vicki Rennecker-Nakayoshi, assistant director of annual philanthropy, graduated from Averett University with a B.S. in sociology: cultural anthropology. She has been assistant director of development and alumni relations at Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) and prior to that was director of alumni relations and special events at NC State University’s Poole College of Management.