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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Reading, teaching, and changing lives

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Annual Appreciation Dinner for the Augustine Literacy Project, with whom we partner to offer one of Durham Academy's best courses.

The picture above, captured clumsily on my phone, does no justice to the leadership ability of Debbie McCarthy, who followed a successful DA music teaching career with a spectacularly successful run as a non-profit leader and serial life-changer.

Click here to see my earlier post on the Augustine class, including some testamonials from our students.

Earlier this month Debbie shared the pre- and post-test results from the 2nd Graders at Hope Valley Elementary School tutored by DA Seniors. Among the reading skills assessed: Auditory Deletion Analysis, Yopp-Singer (phonemic segmentation), IOTA (word attack), Morrison-McCall (written spelling), and Sight Word Recognition.

The results were stunning. Students made up to two full years of progress in eight short months of intervention. Wrote Debbie:

"More important than these numerical gains are the relationships that developed over the course of the year. Watching your faces and the faces of the second graders never ceased to make our hearts sing. From children who were shy or sullen or just uncomfortable with you in September to children who are confident and joyful and trusting with you today...it has been a wonderful journey. It's a sure bet that neither you nor the children will ever forget each other."

Congratulations and thanks to our 2013-2014 DA Augustine Tutors:

Claire Collie
Bernadette Cooper
Peyton Dilweg
Carolyn Drewry
Alex Flores Burgess
Sydney Jeffs
Constance Leder
Lucy Marr
Ryan Peterson
Elizabeth Pope
Kent Sutton
Karl VonZabern
Posted by in Upper School, Other on Wednesday May, 28, 2014


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