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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Writing the history and future of America

Last week I surprised one of our students by telling her she was on the front page of the Durham Herald-Sun. “No joke,” I said, showing her the picture at right and the story about her class’s poignant work with local veterans.  

As a project in Jordan Adair's "Literary and Artistic Responses to War" elective, students organized a public tribute ceremony during which they retold the stories of veterans. Click here to read the Herald-Sun story. Or click here to read an article in a recent DA Record about Adair’s work to honor veterans through annual Upper School assemblies.

Yesterday I was copied on a touching letter from the daughter of a veteran honored last week. Her words (shared here with permission) reminded me of the many connections between fathers and daughters, teachers and students, writers and citizens, past and future.

Dear Mr. Adair,

On behalf of my family I would like to thank you and your students for the wonderful Veteran’s Salute last Sunday.  My father and the other veterans you honored are now in a time of their lives where they are dealing with physical infirmities, financial concerns and in some cases bereavement. Many of them are caring for their wives who are suffering from dementia.  I see them demonstrating their bravery and positive mental attitudes daily.  It was wonderful to see them honored for their bravery so many years ago.

As a child I grew up looking at the many scars on my father from stitches and shrapnel.  I knew that freedom was not free and I applaud your efforts to remind others of this. 

On a lighter note, my father said he did not know how you could give any student a grade other than an A!  From the professional quality video in the beginning to the heartfelt personal tributes to each veteran……it was an A plus endeavor! Thank you for your continued leadership at Durham Academy.  You are turning your students into better writers and more importantly into better citizens. 


Cheryl Means Howlett 

Posted by mulkus on Sunday November, 23, 2014


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