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

20 tournaments into packed season, DA speech and debate enjoys continued success
Posted 04/03/2017 04:39PM

Members of Durham Academy’s speech and debate team have competed in 20 different tournaments around the country since the start of the school year — and there’s plenty of success to report.

A few of the more recent accomplishments follow:

N.C. State Championship

This year’s tournament was the largest it has been in 15 years, featuring more than 30 schools from around North Carolina.  

  • Emily Donaldson ('20) was a Finalist (Top 12) in Junior Varsity Congressional Debate.
  • Bhamini Vellanki ('18) was a Finalist (Top 12) in Varsity Congressional Debate.
  • Rohan Patel & Michael Li ('17) were Semifinalists (3rd Place) in Varsity Public Forum.
  • Alex Hoffman & Luci Jones ('19) were Octafinalists (Top 16) in Junior Varsity Public Forum.
  • Andrew Owens & Shan Wang ('20) were Double-Octafinalists (Top 32) in Junior Varsity Public Forum.
  • Collin Brown ('17) was 2nd Place in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Nechama Huba ('19) was 6th Place in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Yaakov Huba ('19) was a Semifinalist in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Safiya Gallaghan ('17) was a Quarterfinalist (Top 24) in Programmed Oral Interpretation.
  • Davi Sapiro-Gheiler ('19) was a Semifinalist (Top 12) in Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Davi Sapiro-Gheiler was a Semifinalist (Top 12) in Humorous Interpretation.
  • Emily Kohn ('19) was a Semifinalist (Top 12) in Humorous Interpretation.
  • Collin Brown was 4th Place in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Yaakov Huba was a Semifinalist (Top 12) in Impromptu Speaking.
  • Nechama Huba was a Semifinalist (Top 12) in Impromptu Speaking.

DA placed 11th in Debate Sweepstakes and 6th in Speech Sweepstakes. This resulted in an 8th Place finish in Overall Sweepstakes.

NSDA National Qualifiers

The team competed in the National Qualifying Tournament for the Tarheel East District. This tournament is the means by which students qualify to the NSDA (National Speech & Debate Association) National Tournament, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, June 18 to 23. The NSDA National Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world.               

  • Rohan Patel & Michael Li ('17) qualified to Nationals in Public Forum.
  • Nathan Dalva-Baird & Sheridan Kum ('19) are the 3rd Alternate in Public Forum.
  • Raksha Ramanan ('19) qualified to Nationals in both Domestic and International Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Yaakov Huba ('19) qualified to Nationals in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Carlton zum Brunnen ('20) is the 3rd Alternate in Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Nechama Huba ('19) was the 3rd Alternate in International Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Bhamini Vellanki ('18) qualified to Nationals in Congressional Debate.
  • Olivia Chilkoti ('18) is the 3rd Alternate in Congressional Debate and the 2nd Alternate in Lincoln-Douglas Debate.
  • Davi Sapiro Gheiler ('19) is the 1st Alternate in Humorous Interpretation

NCFL National Qualifiers

Throughout the year, the team has competed in a series of tournaments in order to accumulate points toward qualifying to the National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, May 27 to 28.   

  • Emily Kohn ('19) qualified in Dramatic Performance.
  • Safiya Gallaghan ('17) qualified in Dramatic Performance.
  • Davi Sapiro-Gheiler ('19) qualified in Dramatic Performance.
  • Collin Brown ('17) qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Raksha Ramanan ('19) qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Yaakov Huba ('19) qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Nechama Huba ('19) qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Carlton zum Brunnen ('20) qualified in Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Nathan Dalva-Baird & Sheridan Kum ('19) qualified in Public Forum.
  • Michael Li & Rohan Patel ('17) qualified in Public Forum.
  • Bhamini Vellanki ('18) qualified in Congressional Debate.
  • Dianne Kim ('19) qualified in Congressional Debate. 

Tournament of Champions Qualifiers

Throughout the year, the top competitors at the most competitive tournaments are recognized by receiving "bids" to the prestigious Tournament of Champions held by the University of Kentucky. 

“Acquiring ‘bids’ is a huge accomplishment in itself,” explained speech and debate coach Crawford Leavoy. “Acquiring enough bids to qualify to the TOC is the culmination of the most nationally competitive of our students.” 

Qualifiers to the Tournament of Champions:

  • Rohan Patel & Michael Li
  • Bhamini Vellanki
  • Raksha Ramanan

“What an amazing year for all of DA Speech & Debate,” Leavoy said. “Those that have qualified to the remaining three national tournaments are looking forward to the next several months of preparation.”

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