Seven New Members Join Board of Trustees
Bryan Brander is head of school at Hill Learning Center. He has served Hill as principal, director of studies and middle school faculty member, and was an auditor with KPMG, LLC, prior to beginning a career in education. Brander earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Elizabethtown College; a master's degree in special education from Millersville University; a master's degree in school administration from N.C. State University; and a doctorate in educational leadership from N.C. State. He serves on Durham Academy’s Learning Environment Committee and is the father of Elson, a rising DA third-grader, and Anya, a rising seventh-grader.
Hill Learning Center Ex Officio Member
Ashley Horton Freedman ’97 is a volunteer at Durham Academy and in the broader Durham community and is the mother of three DA students — Logan ’26, Hunter ’29 and Grayson ’33. She has served on the boards of Durham Habitat for Humanity and the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., where she served as the foundation’s director. At DA, Freedman has co-chaired both the Parents Association All-School Picnic and the Benefit Auction, and she currently serves on DA Parents Association as a Middle School Parent Rep and on the Parent Athletics Committee. She also serves on the Philanthropy Committee of the DA board and the Campaign Steering Committee. Freedman holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University.
Dan Gonzalez is the president and co-founder of District C, a nonprofit organization with a modern internship model in which teams of students develop solutions for complex business problems. Durham Academy adopted District C’s teamship program in the Upper School, where it is an academic elective. Gonzalez earned a B.A. in engineering from Dartmouth College and spent part of his career as a high school physics teacher. Prior to District C, Gonzalez worked for test preparation company Manhattan Prep, and became the company’s president shortly after it was acquired by Kaplan. He joined Kaplan Test Prep’s leadership team, overseeing operations to deliver education services. Gonzalez served on DA’s Learning Environment Committee of the board in 2021–2022.
Meredith White Howell ’97 is the new president of the Durham Academy Alumni Board and joins the Board of Trustees as an ex officio member. Howell is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She works in residential real estate with Peak, Swirles & Cavallito Properties. Prior to returning to Durham, Howell was the Director of Activities and Children’s Ministries at St. James United Methodist Church in Atlanta. In addition to serving on the DA Alumni Board, Howell is a sixth-grade parent representative and has served as co-chair of the Dine With DA program and as a second-grade parent rep. She is the mother of Lena, a rising sixth-grader; Lillian, a rising third-grader; and Hunt, age 3.
Alumni Board Ex Officio Member
Christian Lundblad is the Levin Distinguished Professor of Finance and the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He serves as associate dean of the Ph.D. program, director of research at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and director of the Center for Excellence in Investment Management. Lundblad previously served as a financial economist at the Federal Reserve Board, where he advised the Board of Governors on international financial market developments. He earned a Ph.D. in financial economics and a master’s degree in economics from Duke University and a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a long-serving member of the DA board’s Finance Committee and is the father of Connor ’23 and Lucy ’26.
Rasna Kaur Prakash has served as a lead project coordinator and curriculum reviewer and developer with a focus on learning management systems at the university level. She is the 2022–2023 Parents Association president and has served as a room parent at the Lower, Middle and Upper School levels, as a Middle School division rep and as a member of the Welcoming Committee. Prakash holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She is the mother of Veer ’22 and Aarav ’25.
Parents Association Ex Officio Member
Ashley Yetman is a partner and director of strategy at Baldwin&, a Raleigh-based branding, design and advertising agency. Yetman’s career in building and revitalizing brands spans 20 years; she has worked with brands from startups to global corporations, including brands like Apple, Audi, AAA and Callaway Golf. She has served in various roles on the Durham Academy Parents Association for the last five years, including co-chair of the Turkey Trot 5K & Fun Run and the Caring Committee and Lower School room parent. Yetman has served as a member of the Communications Committee of the board for two years. She earned a B.S. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Yetman has two children who attend Durham Academy — Finn ’30 and Bixby ’33.