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

Cutcliffe urges DA graduates to leave the world better than they found it
Posted 05/22/2015 04:00PM

Under a canopy of towering oak trees in an Alabama park, Duke University football coach David Cutcliffe learned a valuable lesson as a child, he said at Durham Academy’s 41st commencement exercises Friday. After an afternoon of playing, he and his five siblings had sprinted back to the family’s 1952 Chevrolet upon hearing their father’s whistle, ready to go home — but they were stopped in their tracks by their father as he surveyed the landscape.

“We are not leaving here until every piece of trash is picked up,” Cutcliffe recalled his father saying. When they finally piled into the car, the family had amassed enough trash to fill three 55-gallon oil drums.

He’s carried the lesson forward, passing it on to each Duke recruit — and to the 101 members of DA’s Class of 2015 on the stage of UNC’s Memorial Hall.

“You’ve been taught service, I know you have,” said Cutcliffe, parent of a DA Upper Schooler. “Leave wherever you go and whomever you’re with, better than you found it. That’s what our role is on this earth.”

DA’s graduates will continue their education at 55 colleges across the country, from Spelman College and Stanford University, to closer to home at Duke and UNC.

Caroline Wechsler, one of two valedictorians, said this time of transition has her thinking about endings. In the movie version of her high school life, the ending would be neat and tidy, but this story's conclusion is different, she said. The characters will move on and star in new plotlines separate from one another.

"Not having a neat ending is, in its own way, a really, really great thing. We get to keep going," said Wechsler, who will attend Harvard University. "We get to reinvent ourselves in college, or start a new project, or keep going just the way you are if the way you are makes you happy. The chance to start over and over and over again, and to make beginnings out of such endings, is a gift that that we are given as people that live in a very complicated and not-neat world.”

As the graduates move on to those new beginnings, they’ll inevitably face challenges, warned fellow co-valedictorian Elayne Wang, who will attend Duke.

"We have and will all go through hardships beyond our comprehension. ... But that isn’t all of life," she said. "There have been, and will be so many good and happy things in the future that I strongly urge everyone not to lose hope. Even though hope is a liability, and it is the repression of what seems to be inevitable disappointment, it is also possibility. And possibility is what makes life worth living."

View more photos from graduation on Flickr.

Learn more about the Class of 2015 at

View a video of seniors' reflections on their time at DA.

Parent Events
  • March 2019
    • MonMar25 CavClassifieds Ad Deadline
  • April 2019
    • SatApr06 Benefit Auction 6:30 PM
    • ThuApr18 Parents Association General Membership Meeting 8:15 AMBrumley Performing Arts Building
    • WedApr24 CavClassifieds Ad Deadline
  • May 2019
    • WedMay22 Parents Council Luncheon and Meeting Brumley Performing Arts Building (Lower School)
    • FriMay24 CavClassifieds Ad Deadline
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