Meet Our Student Leaders

What is it really like to be a Durham Academy student? One of the best ways to find out is by getting to know members of the Student Ambassador Leadership Council! Collectively, these seven students are involved in all facets of life at DA, and they're eager to share about their experiences with parents who attend Upper School Tour and Information Sessions, and with prospective students who participate in Upper School Student Visit Days.

A group of students sitting on a bench and standing in a park 

Julian Adler

A portrait picture of a senior studentI am a senior here at Durham Academy. I came to DA in ninth grade from Phillips Middle School. These past few years have been a great experience for me! My favorite subjects are math and history, and here at Durham Academy I can enjoy these very different subjects to the fullest. I participate in many extracurricular activities here at DA. As a student-athlete, I am a part of the cross-country and ultimate frisbee teams. I am also a director for a free summer camp for students in the Durham community (known as SOCK Camp) and a leader for Science Olympiad and the Model United Nations clubs. I am looking forward to showing you our school and all it has to offer.

Davis Beischer

A portrait picture of a junior student in front of treesI am a junior this year and have attended Durham Academy since pre-k. I have enjoyed every minute of my time here at Durham Academy for many reasons. First of all, I love the community feel that this school gives off to all students, teachers, faculty, and alumni. I have always felt very comfortable and welcomed here at school, and I believe that is a result of this tight-knit community. I have also enjoyed my time here at Durham Academy because of the ways I have been able to get involved. For example, I played JV soccer for my first two years of high school, and I also compete on the varsity basketball team. I am involved in many clubs, which have allowed me to meet new students and create relationships throughout all of the student body and with faculty as well. One of the clubs I have been most active in is the Bundle Up Durham Club, which works to provide children in need with the proper winter clothing. As a result of all of these things, I have had a great school experience, and I cannot wait to share this place with you!

Donovan Herndon

A portrait picture of a junior student in a pink collared shirt

My time at Durham Academy has been brief, but very impactful. My first year (as a new junior) was last year, but I did not shy away from becoming involved in the school. For instance, I was vice president of the Habitat for Humanity Club, I was a student panelist for a parent tour, and I ran on the varsity track team. In addition to being a student ambassador leader this year, I will be an incoming leader to the RAISE (Raising Awareness for Inclusion and Social Equity) Club. Leadership is something that I enjoy, not to be in control, but because I believe that it gives me a better platform to be able to learn from and grow with my peers.

Nechama Huba

A portrait picture of a senior female student

This year will mark my 14th, and last, year at Durham Academy. I have truly loved every single year. Although I enjoy all the classes at DA, I especially like Spanish, English and history. I also am a Peer Educator, which means I co-teach ninth-grade classes about high school life! I am a leader of the Red Cross Club, RAISE (Raising Awareness for Inclusion and Social Equity — DA’s diversity club), and a captain of the speech and debate team. I also am very involved in theater, and have assistant directed the play and musical last year as well as the shows this year (The Diary of Anne Frank and Merrily We Roll Along)! Outside of school, I love to play cello with my twin brother, bake, and go to trivia nights. I’m so excited to meet you and welcome you to DA!

Raksha Ramanan

A portrait picture of senior female student at Durham AcademyI am a senior this year at Durham Academy. I was new to DA as a ninth-grader, but I quickly came to love our community! On campus, my favorite subjects are English and history. I am a leader of DA’s Diversity Club and Discussions Club and have been a member of the speech and debate team for the past three years. Aside from that, I love being involved with music! I play flute with DA's jazz-rock band In the Pocket and am a member of the Percussion Ensemble. I’m super excited to be a leader of the Student Ambassadors this year and show students our wonderful community!

Julia Villani

A portrait profile of a female junior student at Durham Academy

I am currently a junior at Durham Academy. I came to DA as a ninth-grader after attending Duke School for 11 years. During my time at DA, I have been able to take advantage of a variety of learning opportunities. I have participated in the theater program for the past three years, played on the varsity soccer team, and have really enjoyed many of my academic classes. I am a member of the Durham Academy Special Olympics committee, help run the Red Cross blood drives at our school, and co-lead the Women's Weightlifting Club. Outside of school, I play club soccer, sew and work as a lifeguard at the Duke Faculty Club. I look forward to showing you all the opportunities at our school!

Joseph Walston

A portrait picture of a male senior student at Durham Academy

I came to Durham Academy in kindergarten and am now a senior. As a fun ice-breaker to start each tour, I like to mention that my sister graduated from Durham Academy, and my father, uncle and grandmother attended the school. Therefore, I have been at Durham Academy a long time, and so I know a lot about the experience going between campuses. Since seventh grade, I have run the school’s insect club (Operation Entomology) with my best friend, who I met through the ambassador program. We are one of the most active clubs on campus and hold different various interactive activities to increase insect awareness. I have been taking art classes since seventh grade, and I am taking AP Art now as a senior. Art has proven to be one of my favorite classes because I am able to turn my passion for nature and animals into pieces of art. Additionally, I am a Peer Educator this year, which combines my passion for teaching and taking leadership roles on campus. Peer Educators teach classes to ninth-graders covering topics including identity adolescence and emotional health. I hope to become an elementary school teacher after college with an emphasis on animals and environmentalism.

An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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