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
Twenty-two Durham Academy seniors were granted membership in the school's chapter of the Cum Laude Society — the highest academic honor that the school can bestow — on Monday. The distinction is made in recognition of students' grades, strength of academic schedule and contributions to campus intellectual life.
Seniors who were inducted into Cum Laude on Monday were Isha Arora, Alyssa Barber, Marta Beramendi-Conde, Zoe Boggs, Alexander Brandt, Kendall Bushick, Virginia Capehart, Alex Charles, Olivia Chilkoti, Austen Dellinger, Ethan Goldman, Scott Hallyburton, Cat Horrigan, Josh Klein, Steven Kohl, Lillia Larson, Ian Layzer, Christi Mela, Eamon McKeever, Cat McNish, Thomas Owens and Elise Palmer.
Not pictured: Alex Charles
The inductees represent about 20 percent of the graduating class.
Upper School Director Lanis Wilson opened the ceremony by lauding the inductees’ dedication to scholarship and demonstration of good character.
He quoted a line from the British TV series Doctor Who, written by showrunner Steven Moffat and spoken by the character Nardole: “Only in darkness are we revealed. Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis.”
The success of the Cum Laude inductees isn’t due only to intellect, Wilson said, “but also to stamina and determination and dedication. Truly, virtue in extremis. The scholar often labors without hope or witness or reward, but tonight, we recognize those who have committed themselves to academic pursuits. Tonight, we honor that virtue.”
Also addressing the audience of students, family members and teachers were Bushick and history teacher Jim Speir.
Bushick acknowledged that she and her fellow inductees have accomplished a fair share of successes in order to merit their induction into the Cum Laude Society. But the path to success is often paved with failures, she said.
Failure can inspire greatness, Bushick said, reflecting on her own experiences on the soccer field. And in the classroom a missed shot might make one feel like she has failed her team, “but it is in those moments, when I am upset and feel like I did not do enough, that provide the important lessons from which I grow.
“The feeling of not being my best motivates me to be better,” explained Bushick, who will play soccer at Davidson College. “So, I hope you, too, can look back at times where you felt like you weren’t your best or didn’t do your best and see them for what they are — an opportunity to learn, grow and become better.”
Referencing DA’s mission — “to provide each student an education that will enable him or her to live a moral, happy and productive life” — and the 15 characteristics that comprise The Durham Academy Graduate — among them, integrity, wisdom and courage — she suggested that failure can contribute to each.
“Without failure, success wouldn’t feel so good,” Bushick said. “There is something about failing and then succeeding that gives me a greater sense of accomplishment. Just like you can’t have happiness without sadness, you can’t have success without failure. Without the negatives, you can’t have the positives.”
Speir reflected on the merits of historical fiction — from E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, to the Broadway sensation Hamilton.
“Reading historical fiction causes us to think,” he said, noting that he is in the midst of reading Laura Hildebrand’s Seabiscuit: An American Legend. “The book contains a lot of history and a few events that ‘could have happened’ or ‘must have happened’ or ‘might have happened.’ Historical fiction encourages us to find truth and at the same time appreciate alternative narratives. It encourages us to see a larger picture, complete with a myriad of possibilities.”
Speir encouraged the inductees to consider how the ideas of historical fiction might apply personally as they flip the page to life’s next chapter — considering how their lives will interact with history and the climate of opinion in different periods of time, and the myths and realities that will come to define periods of history.
“My hope for you is that reading, writing and all of the various forms of scholarship will not just occupy your time in the years ahead, but enhance your life as well,” he said. “Your story will be made complete by interjecting an individual narrative into a historical context. A context that will most certainly contain myth and reality, fiction and truth.”