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
The new school year brought 16 new faculty and staff members to the Durham Academy community. In addition to information about their educational background and professional experience, News & Notes asked each of them to share a fun fact or two to help the DA community know a bit more about them.
Sarah Goldstein is a teaching assistant in Nikki Graves’ pre-k class. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where her study included a semester in Montpellier, France. She has taught English at Lycée Xavier Marmier and Collège Malraux in Pontarlier, France. Goldstein has worked with DA’s Extended Day program since 2011, and serves as the program’s enrichments coordinator.
“This past summer I tried trapeze.”
Asha Patel is a teaching assistant in Sheri-lyn Carrow’s pre-k class. She is a graduate of Transylvania University, where she was a dean’s list student, and earned a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University. She has taught elementary school in Texas and Kentucky, and has been a library and media specialist in Texas and in the Durham Public Schools system.
“I enjoy sewing and quilting in my free time. I’ll be sharing my love with third- and fourth-graders by teaching beginner sewing and quilting enrichment classes. My favorite things to make are bags and quilts, and I’m now learning to sew garments.”
Cary Gentry is a teaching assistant in Amanda Dolan’s third-grade classroom. A graduate of James Madison University, she also studied in Italy. She has done volunteer work in Belize, interned in U.S. Sen. Mark Warner’s district office, worked as an au pair for a Turkish family in New York and was an assistant librarian at Norfolk Academy.
“I was the only person (out of 19,000 undergraduates) to graduate with a degree in philosophy from James Madison University in 2016.”
Courtney Hexter is a teaching assistant in Anna Larson’s fourth-grade classroom. A graduate of Bridgewater State College, she has taught in the preschool program at McMannen United Methodist Church and Duke Memorial United Methodist Church. Hexter has served as head coach for Durham Academy’s JV field hockey team. She will continue in that role and also will serve as head coach for JV lacrosse.
“I spent summers in high school and college as a professional ice cream scooper at one of the oldest and top-10 award-winning ice cream shops in the country, 4-Seas Ice Cream in Centerville, Massachusetts.”
Anna Larson is teaching fourth grade. She graduated from the University of Richmond, where she was captain of the field hockey team, and earned a Master of Arts in education from Pepperdine University. She has taught third and fourth grades at Little River Elementary School and taught in the summer program at The Hill Center. She is a 1996 graduate of Durham Academy.
“I once had Thanksgiving Dinner with Bob Barker.”
Kristin Stroupe is teaching physical education in the Lower School. She is an honors graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a member of the cross country and track and field teams, and earned a Master of Arts degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Stroupe taught and coached at The School at Columbia University and Trinity School in New York City, and has competed internationally in Ultimate Frisbee. She will serve as an assistant coach of DA’s varsity boys and girls cross country and track teams.
“I traveled to Prague to play in the Ultimate Frisbee world games!”
In other changes in the Lower School, Caroline Petrow, who has taught first grade since 2014-2015, will teach second grade. Jessica Soler will teach first grade after serving as a first-grade teaching assistant for several years.
John Adams is teaching Chinese in the Middle School. A Wake Forest University graduate, he studied at the Monterey Institute of International Studies and earned a master’s degree in teaching Chinese as a foreign language from Middlebury College. Adams has taught Chinese language and social studies at Westchester Country Day School and Summit School, and spent two years as a missionary in Taiwan.
“I used to raise chickens and have a goal to visit Antarctica because it’s the only continent I’ve not visited.”
Amelia Sciandra is teaching drama in the Middle School. She is filling in first semester for Ellen Brown, who is on maternity leave. Sciandra is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a member of Order of the Golden Fleece honor society, and holds a Master of Fine Arts from Birmingham School of Acting, Birmingham, U.K. She has worked with Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem, taught English and drama in the Dominican Republic and served as an interim Spanish teacher at the Middle School in the spring semester of 2017.
“I am still an active practitioner, performing in two different shows in Durham and Raleigh this fall. I'm also getting married in January; my fiancé is from England!”
Jason Wise is teaching seventh grade language arts and history and is coaching Middle School volleyball. He earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from the University of Virginia, where he was senior associate editor of the student newspaper. Wise completed a summer internship at the U.S. Supreme Court. He has taught at independent schools in Virginia and Texas, and was a teacher and coach at Cannon School. Most recently, he was a placement counselor with Southern Teachers Agency.
“I’ve traveled to more than 12 countries across four continents, including doing archaeological field work in Sicily and the U.K. Also, I'm engaged and plan to get married next summer."
In other changes in the Middle School, Mike Harris will be a sixth-grade advisor and history teacher after serving as a seventh-grade advisor and history teacher in 2016-2017.
Meghan Fulton is an athletic trainer who is based at the Upper School but will also work with Middle School athletes. A magna cum laude graduate of Northeastern University, she also earned an M.A. in athletic training from UNC-Chapel Hill. Fulton has worked as an athletic trainer at the University of Richmond and at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a teaching assistant in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science.
“I am the mom of two children (Oliver, 3, and Everly, 16 months). We like to travel as a family, and Oliver already has three stamps in his passport! My favorite place that I have traveled personally is Cape Town, South Africa.”
Stefanie Goyette is teaching French. She is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and holds a Ph.D. in French language and literature from Harvard University. Goyette has been a teaching fellow and lecturer at Harvard, Northeastern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a postdoctoral faculty fellow at New York University.
“I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, and my favorite authors are Ursula K. Leguin and Samuel Delany. I am also extremely good at arcade Tetris.”
Erika McCarthy is teaching English. She is a cum laude graduate of Eckerd College and has taught Advanced Placement and honors courses at Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida, a school that has been recognized for its AP program. McCarthy served as sponsor and coach of the school’s Brain Bowl team.
“I know how to putty, pick and buff a stained glass window (it’s very technical and very dirty). This is my first time living outside of Florida — which means looking forward to seasons!”
In other changes at the Upper School, Crawford Leavoy will serve as school store assistant in addition to coaching speech and debate. Leyf Starling, who taught robotics last year, will also teach physics.
Sarah Delk is a multimedia specialist in the Communications Office. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a dean’s list student and won awards for her editing and graphic design work. Delk did a year-long internship with McKinney advertising agency as an undergraduate and then worked with McKinney for two years after graduation, first as a studio artist and most recently as a premedia artist.
“I can whistle with an acorn lid. It’s really loud! I'm also engaged to be married next June.”
Mark Graves has joined the maintenance staff’s grounds crew with primary responsibility for The Hill Center. He is a graduate of Morehouse College with a degree in business administration. Graves has owned and operated a lawn care business and most recently was a grounds crew leader at N.C. A&T State University.
“My favorite quote is from Frederick Douglass: ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’”
Christine Lee has joined the Admissions Office as administrative assistant. She graduated from The Ohio State University, where she majored in international business and minored in Korean. Lee worked with Nationwide Brokerage Solutions and also with Nationwide Insurance Company, where she received a Customer Service Award.
“I love to play tennis and love going out to eat.”
Morgan Whaley is stewardship coordinator in the Development Office. She is a graduate of Wake Forest University — where she was a dean’s list student and a member of the women’s varsity volleyball team — and earned a Master of Arts from Georgetown University. Since 2012, Whaley has served as finance and operations coordinator at The Hill Center. She is a 1997 graduate of Durham Academy.
“For my DA senior project, I interned at The Hill Center, which was in the same brick building as my current office.”