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
In what Durham Academy speech and debate coach Crawford Leavoy calls "the best result of any DA team at the Tournament of Champions in the 11 years of the program," seniors Loften Deprez and Eilene Yang were named champions of the International Public Forum competition at the late-April tournament. Six DA students qualified to compete in the event, recognized as among the four national championships held each year for the high school speech and debate community.
Qualifying for the University of Kentucky-hosted tournament is a rigorous process, with competitors needing to have reached late elimination rounds in the regular season's most competitive tournaments — or have placed high enough at one of the national tournaments the previous year.
Also qualifying for the Tournament of Champions were sophomore Bhamini Vellanki (Congressional Debate), juniors Michael Li and Rohan Patel (Public Forum) and junior Collin Brown (quarterfinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking — top 24 in the country).
The International Public Forum event, in which Deprez and Yang competed, pits 50 of the best teams in the world against one other, ensuring a United States vs. international final round. In a 3-0 decision, Deprez and Yang were named champions, earning a trip to China over the summer.
Several students have also qualified for two other national championships.
National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Championship
Two students qualified to the NCFL Grand Nationals by being among the top students to compete in a series of qualifying tournaments in North Carolina throughout the regular season. This tournament is set for May 28 to 29 in Sacramento, California.
The following students qualified for the NCFL Grand Nationals:
- Raksha Ramanan ('19), Extemporaneous Speaking
- Bhamini Vellanki ('18), Congressional Debate
National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament
The NSDA National Tournament is the most prestigious national championship that the DA team has the opportunity to compete in and is the largest academic competition in the world. This year's tournament will be held in Salt Lake City from June 12 to 17.
The following students qualified for the NSDA National Tournament:
- Loften Deprez and Eilene Yang ('16) - Public Forum
- Michael Li & Rohan Patel ('17) - Public Forum
- Collin Brown ('17) - International Extemporaneous Speaking
- Collin Brown ('17) - Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking
- Emily Kohn ('19) - Humorous Interpretation
- Osezele Okoruwa ('18) - Congressional Debate
- Bhamini Vellanki ('18) - World Schools Debate
- Olivia Chilkoti ('18) - World Schools Debate
The following students are NSDA alternates:
- Raksha Ramanan ('19) - First Alternate - International Extemporaneous Speaking
- Raksha Ramanan ('19) - First Alternate - World Schools Debate
- Yaakov Huba ('19) - Second Alternate - World Schools Debate
- Bhamini Vellanki ('18) - First Alternate - Congressional Debate
- Safiya Gallaghan ('17) - Third Alternate - Programmed Oral Interpretation
"It's an amazing year for DA speech and debate, not just from the number of students competing at the top levels, but such a mixture of upperclassmen varsity and first-year novices," Leavoy said. "This year, the team is larger, and has grown faster than any other year since it was recognized with a charter in 2009."
The past couple of weeks have been busy for the team, with the regular season wrapping up and the championship portion of the year beginning.
Tarheel Forensic League State Championship
Thirty team members competed at the Tarheel Forensic League State Championship in March. As a team, DA placed fourth in the overall sweepstakes, the Governor's Cup. Individual results were as follows:
- Collin Brown ('17) was the state champion in Extemporaneous Speaking
- Alex Hoffman and Luci Jones ('19) were runner-ups in Novice Public Forum Debate
- Raksha Ramanan ('19) was sixth place in Extemporaneous Speaking
- Rohan Patel and Michael Li ('17) were semifinalists (top 4) in Varsity Public Forum Debate
- Loften Deprez and Eilene Yang ('16) were quarterfinalists (top 8) in Varsity Public Forum Debate
- Lena Maghraoui ('19) was a quarterfinalist (top 8) in Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate
- Osezele Okoruwa ('18) was 10th place in Varsity Congressional Debate
- Hebron Daniel and Thomas Owens ('18) were octafinalists (top 16) in Novice Public Forum Debate
- Collin Brown ('17) was a semifinalist (top 18) in Impromptu Speaking
- Safiya Gallaghan ('17) was a semifinalist (Top 18) in Programmed Oral Interpretation
Dogwood Speech & Debate Novice Championship
On April 23, 14 students competed in the Dogwood Speech & Debate League Novice Championship, open only to competitors in their first year of competition. Results were as follows:
- Raksha Ramanan ('19) was the shampion in Extemporaneous Speaking
- Thomas Owens and Gus Lascola ('18) were champions in Public Forum Debate
- Lena Maghraoui ('19) was the runner-up in Lincoln Douglas Debate
- Sarah Kim and Sarah Farrin ('19) were runners-up in Duo Interpretation
- Alex Hoffman and Luci Jones ('19) were semifinalists (top 4) in Public Forum Debate
- Maxwell Gray ('19) was fifth place in Lincoln Douglas Debate