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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DA debate: rags to riches in a decade

Having watched coach Jeff Welty establish the first viable DA debate team just a decade ago, I have been so proud and pleased to see our speech and debate program flourish. And "flourish" is an understatement.

Jeff (who continues as an Assistant Coach) and his successor (Robert Sheard, who has distinguished himself as one of the nation's top debate coaches) have joined with scores of talented and dedicated students to create a speech and debate juggernaut.

The team's performance at the 2014 National Forensic League's National Speech & Debate Tournament was one for the record books. Perhaps most notable, recent graduates Will Ruff and Justin Katz wrapped up their DA debate careers in style with a second-place finish in Public Forum Debate. As a result, the pair clinched the season-long national points race championship, finishing the year ranked first in the nation.

Click here to read the fuller story of Will, Justin, and their teammates success in Kansas last week. The link includes a video of the final round of the Public Forum competition, which was streamed live around the world.

Posted by in Upper School, Other, Alumni on Wednesday June, 25, 2014


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