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
A love of the outdoors and a commitment to serving others are trademarks of Seth Jernigan ’96, who helps lead a family-owned business that’s about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. He attended Durham Academy from Preschool through Upper School, and served as president of the DA Alumni Board from 2014 to 2016.
Q: What have you been up to since graduating from DA?
A: I attended N.C. State University, where I was initially enrolled in their forestry school. Since I’m an avid outdoorsman, a career in forestry seemed appealing. After one semester, I quickly decided that as much as I enjoyed “playing” in the woods, I didn’t want a career working in the woods. Therefore, I switched my major to business and graduated from State’s College of Management in 2000.
Immediately upon graduation, I accepted a consulting job with the Financial Services Division of Accenture in Charlotte. I spent most of my three years at Accenture working on the First Union/Wachovia bank merger. This was a great experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Accenture. The analytical and project management skills I learned could be applied to any job. I left Accenture in 2003 to move back to Durham and join the family business, Real Estate Associates. I also married my wife, Kelly, while living in Charlotte. She’s from Chapel Hill, so she was excited to be moving home.
Q: What are you doing now?
A: I’m still at Real Estate Associates, where I lead a team of commercial real estate professionals. We’re focused on helping individuals and companies with their commercial real estate and property management needs. We are headquartered in Durham, where we were founded, and next year we will celebrate our 50th year in business. I’m also heavily involved in civic and community work, serving on several nonprofit boards, and currently serving as president of the Rotary Club of Durham.
Q: Why do you do what you do?
A: As far as work, I do what I do because I enjoy it, it allows me to meet my family’s needs and it affords me the freedom to do other things I enjoy. My civic activities allow me to help those who need it the most. Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self,” and I try to live that through civic engagement.
Q: What DA experiences influenced you or helped you get where you are today?
A: Playing lacrosse for three years under Coach Joey Seivold is certainly at the top of the list. The bonds and friendships formed, and the experience playing for such a phenomenal coach has served me well. My English teachers at DA taught me to write well, including Mr. Ulku-Steiner, my freshman year English teacher and one of my favorites. This is a skill that I appreciate every day, and one that is not as common as we might think, coming out of DA.
Overall, looking back, the combination of a caring and challenging environment helped prepare me well for the next stages of life.
Q: What are your interests away from work?
A: I’m a huge outdoorsman. I love to hunt — deer, ducks, turkey … most everything. I killed my second wild turkey this past spring, and that has been one of the highlights of my sporting career. My dad and I hunt together, and now my son, Wyatt, has started hunting, and it is truly a joy to spend time doing what I love with family. I also enjoy the shooting sports, backpacking, fishing and F3 workouts.
Q: What’s on the horizon for you?
A: I hope to spend as much time with my kids and family as possible. I turned 40 this past August, and Wyatt is 10 and Stella is 7. I know in the blink of an eye, they’ll be grown and out on their own. I don’t want to miss out on this time together.
I also hope to continue leading and growing Real Estate Associates. I enjoy what I do, and there is so much opportunity in our area. I’m excited to lead the company into its next 50 years of business.