Parents Association & Parents Council
The Durham Academy Parents Association supports the school's academic, social, fine arts and athletic objectives. Parents Association encourages volunteerism, raises and disperses funds, promotes communication and cooperation, and provides input to the school on issues of concern and interest to parents. All Durham Academy parents are members of the Parents Association.
The Durham Academy Parents Council is the governing board of the Parents Association. This group comprises members of an executive committee; division representatives; members of schoolwide committees on matters such as diversity, wellness and athletics; and parents who organize both community-building and fundraising events. See a list of the parents who serve on Parents Council.
Parents Bulletin Board
Allison McWilliams ’91 helps people, especially young people, identify their strengths and interests and create a path that allows them to use those effectively. She has written a guide book to help young adults make the transition from college to life after college.
Q: What have you been up to since graduating from DA?
A: After graduating I attended Wake Forest University, and then went to the University of Georgia, where I received a master’s and a Ph.D. I worked for the university, managing and teaching in leadership and organizational development programs, before returning to North Carolina and Wake Forest in 2010.
Q: What are you doing now?
A: I am the Assistant Vice President, Mentoring and Alumni Personal and Career Development, which basically means that I wake up every day thinking about how we are growing and developing our students, faculty, staff and alumni. I lead the Mentoring Resource Center, which is working to build a culture of mentoring at Wake Forest, and the Alumni Personal and Career Development Center, which helps our alumni, in particular our young alumni, to build their careers and lives after college.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: I think I always knew I was going to do something in education, I just didn’t know exactly what that would be. I really enjoy building capacity in organizations and helping people, especially young people, identify their strengths and interests and how to create a path that allows them to use those effectively. And, as someone who has been exceptionally well-mentored, I believe in the value of interpersonal relationships. I love that I’m part of an organization that both acknowledges and supports that work, in word and practice.
Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today?
A: Without question, DA gave me a great foundation upon which to build. I realized quite early into my first year at Wake Forest how well DA had prepared me for the educational challenges of college. I was surrounded by people who were valedictorians and salutatorians of their classes, and yet had no idea how to write or how to study. That is a gift that DA gave to me that I will always value. DA instilled in me the importance of learning, and that is something I carry with me to this day.
Q: What are your interests away from work?
A: I sort of have two full-time jobs, so I work a lot! But my job also allows me to travel, and I try to build in fun experiences to learn about new places. A number of years ago, I took up running, and I try to keep a race on the calendar so that I have to train. I love to read and write, and try to do as much of both as possible. And, one of the best parts of being back in North Carolina is getting over to Durham to see my family [including her dad, Pete McWilliams, a longtime teacher at DA Middle School] as often as I can.
Q: What’s on the horizon for you?
A: In August 2017, I published a book, Five For Your First Five: Own Your Career and Life After College, which is a guide book for young adults making the transition from college to life after college. I’m looking forward to using that both with our young alumni at Wake Forest and with other young professionals and universities around the country. One of the great aspects of my job at Wake Forest is that it allows me to do fun projects like this, which build on my strengths and interests. I’m definitely a lifelong learner, and I’m blessed to have a job that gives me opportunities to flex those muscles every day.