Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to: 

  • connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
  • share ideas about learning and human development;
  • spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy. 

Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing. 

Michael Ulku-SteinerHead of School 


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Ropes, hearts, and tears

Our Lower Schoolers were skipping and pumping last week at Jump Rope for Heart, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. They have already raised more than $17,000, with pledges still rolling in.

The paragraphs below, exerpted from a letter to North Carolina schools by the American Heart Association's Youth Market Director Kimberly Burrows, captures some of the emotion invested in the event by our teachers and students:

Since it is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would leave you with a little story. Last Friday was the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. I was particularly emotional that day because I had been thinking a lot about my Dad. My father was a sports fanatic and he loved especially loved watching the winter Olympics (he could spend hours watching hockey and curling). I was upset because this was the first time he would miss the Olympics because he passed away from a massive stroke two years ago at age 61.

However, my sad emotions quickly became ones of joy because that day I also had the privilege of attending my first Jump Rope For Heart. The event was held at Durham Academy in the afternoon. I know every school does their event different and that is what makes them all so great. When I arrived at this event, I walked in and saw all of the students from the second, third and fourth grade classes jumping at once in the gym while the song “Be Brave” was playing in the background. I was so overwhelmed by emotion that I had to excuse myself for a minute. I never would have imagined such a beautiful picture…seeing all of these students with such joy and hope making such a difference. I was wearing my ducks and as I walked through the gym, many students came up to me and told me which ones they had already earned. They also told me who they were jumping for and there was even a wall of hearts with the names of the honorees.

This is why we do this…so we can make a lasting impact on the children we work with. Your students are the future and I appreciate you teaching them about healthy lifestyles and helping others.

I am looking forward to many more memories in the next few weeks as I visit more events. Please be warned, though, I may tear up then as well.


Posted by in Lower School on Saturday February, 15, 2014


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