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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Sheppy's going-away present - to DA

Today on the DA Facebook page, First Grade Teacher/Filmmaker Rosemary Nye and our communications team posted the short story of Sheppy Vann's Ice Cream Social - a beautiful video about a beautiful woman doing beautiful work for the last 30 years. Click here to see the film.

In my column for the summer edition of the DA Record (due in mailboxes in a couple of weeks), I wrote about Sheppy, her trademark traits, and the ways in which she has shown us the path toward an even more caring, nimble, inclusive, and joyful learning community.

For now, let me just say this: those who wish to honor Sheppy can follow her instructions and make a donation to the Sheppy Vann Preschool Scholarship Fund, which aims to make the DA experience accessible to the widest range of children possible. We have raised…

Posted by in Lower School, Other on Wednesday June 18, 2014
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You have set the bar high

This morning was beautiful - cool, clear, sunny, breezy . . . and Memorial Day.

The morning grew even more beautiful when I read the following, an open letter to Sheppy Vann, retiring next month after 30 years of teaching and leading in our Preschool. It came from Dennis Cullen (Upper School Math Teacher, Math Department Chair, Varsity Boys and Girls Track and Cross Country Coach, and among the most astute appreciators around).

Enjoy the letter - and the far-reaching legacy of teachers who never stop learning.


Dear Sheppy,

On a late summer morning in 1990, I was in the teachers’ lounge at the 751 campus, putting something in the mailboxes of all the Middle School math teachers. Kevin, aged five, was with me. You walked in, carrying a few books. Kevin would be starting …

Posted by in Preschool, Upper School on Monday May 26, 2014
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Three cups of gratitude

On a recent Friday night, our Spring Alumni Reception capped an emotional day of multigenerational DA connections.

Yesterday the DA Alumni Facebook page posted three excerpts from the comments of our honorees:

What luck I feel to work, learn, and live in a community that generates so many reasons for gratitude and so many people willing to express it.

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An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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