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Posted Thursday, Feb 7, 2019 3:43:00 PM
When fourth-grader Ellen Brown auditioned for the role of a child in Greensboro Day School's middle school play, it lit a spark for theater that has taken her from Greensboro to New York and back to North Carolina as the theater teacher at Durham Academy Middle School.
Posted Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 10:59:00 AM
Jake Kavanagh's design résumé may read like a who's who in the worlds of athletics, arts and entertainment, but the thrill of those bright lights couldn't hold a candle to his calling to teach, and that's what brought Kavanagh to Durham Academy in 2016.
Posted Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 2:30:00 PM
Jeff Peirce took his young daughters to his environmental engineering lab at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering long before there was a "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." He would take Leyf Peirce Starling and her sister into his lab on the weekend to help him.
Posted Thursday, Apr 26, 2018 3:17:00 PM
Sloan Nuernberger loved playing football and basketball with her two older brothers when she was growing up, but it wasn't until she was the mother of three young boys that she discovered running.
Posted Thursday, Apr 12, 2018 3:03:00 PM
Enthusiasm practically bubbles out the door of Ashley Hinton's second grade classroom, which is understandable because she comes from a family of teachers — her great-grandfather, both of her grandmothers, her mother and her aunts have all been teachers. But Hinton set off on a different path when she headed to college, in part because there were so many teachers in her family.
Posted Thursday, Mar 1, 2018 5:04:29 PM
Karl Schaefer views his life as "a long, circular path," from childhood on a farm in Wisconsin to home now on a 10-acre farm in Efland. Along the way he has been a railroad worker in the Midwest, dipped ice cream in Massachusetts and sold Toyotas in Kansas before finding his way to North Carolina as a teacher.
Posted Thursday, Feb 15, 2018 11:59:00 AM
Jazmin Garcia Smith was the first in her family to be born in the United States and the first to graduate from high school, and there was no doubt "college was something that was expected of me." She went to the University of Notre Dame, a school that "was the absolute right fit for me socially and academically," and since 2015 she has helped students navigate the college admissions process as Durham Academy's co-director of college counseling. And partly because of the college counseling program, DA students experience something vastly different than what Garcia Smith went through in applying to college.
Posted Thursday, Feb 1, 2018 4:07:00 PM
When Kristin Stroupe picks up her iPhone, two faces smile back at her: Stroupe's own beaming face and the equally beaming face of her high school coach and mentor, Leigh Cooper Wallace. She helped change the course of Stroupe's life and inspired her to impact the lives of others.
Posted Thursday, Dec 7, 2017 5:48:00 PM
Cindy Moore never doubted that she wanted to work with kids. "I was always a babysitter. I was always the person that the adults in my life left in charge of kids. I always have loved kids, even when I was a kid. I knew that I wanted to do something related to kids. I think I actually knew that it was either a psychologist or a pediatrician, and I was afraid of medical school."
Posted Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 4:00:00 PM
Harry Thomas always arrives a little early for Durham Academy commencement at UNC's Memorial Hall. It's not because he wants a seat down front. He's assured of that as a member of the Upper School faculty. He arrives early so he can visit a bench behind a building across the street from Memorial Hall, a bench where he sat in utter despair five years ago.
Posted Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 4:20:00 PM
Maintenance foreman Randy Baker has been working at Durham Academy for 37 years and is the father of a DA graduate, but were it not for a head poking around the corner of the business office, Baker wouldn't be here at all.
Posted Thursday, Oct 5, 2017 4:04:00 PM
Jean Coene was just 3½ years old when she began attending a small preschool within walking distance of her home in suburban Manila. It was run by Jesuit nuns, and her teacher set Coene on a path that would be her life's work.
Posted Thursday, Sep 14, 2017 11:17:00 AM
Karen Richardson doesn't remember a time when she wasn't singing. One of her earliest musical memories is sitting at the dining room table with headphones on — a 4-year-old listening to her mom and dad's records of Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt and Ella Fitzgerald — "just singing to my heart's content" to music that only she could hear.
Posted Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 5:43:00 PM
Jordan Babwah knew he wanted to be a physical therapist since sixth grade. He even charted an 11-year plan for his path to physical therapy school. But that all changed two weeks into his job supervising the Durham Academy's new Upper School weight room.
Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017 12:42:00 PM
Susan Ellis played for UNC's legendary women's soccer team for four seasons and won four national championships, an impressive accomplishment that becomes downright jaw-dropping when you discover Ellis didn't set foot on a soccer field until her senior year in high school.
Posted Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 4:42:00 PM
Baseball and music were James Bohanek's loves when he was growing up in Staten Island, New York. He was a fixture on the baseball diamond from Little League to midway through high school. He played the piano from age 7, and his schoolmates knew him as a musician. But all of that changed when he discovered theater.
Posted Thursday, Apr 13, 2017 4:30:03 PM
Jessica Soler doesn't shy away from change. She thrives on it. "I find change exciting. I like to try different things."
Posted Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 3:42:15 PM
A moral, happy and productive life is Durham Academy's goal for all students — it's part of the school's mission statement — and kindergarten teacher Janet Hampton thinks happy belongs at the top of the list. She believes children need to be happy to learn and that they learn better when they are happy.
Posted Thursday, Mar 2, 2017 5:51:00 PM
When Tim McKenna's basketball teams break at the end of practice or after a game, the players and coaches always say "family." Developing a sense of family is what it's all about for McKenna, whose 188 victories make him the winning-est coach in Durham Academy varsity boys basketball history.
Posted Thursday, Feb 16, 2017 5:17:00 PM
Texas-born and -bred Jeff Boyd envisioned a life in health care, and that's where he was headed. His path to teaching and to Durham Academy was anything but straight, but a series of "six degrees of separation" connections make it seem like Boyd was destined to be here.
Posted Thursday, Feb 2, 2017 5:49:00 PM
Constanza de Radcliffe grew up in Bogotá, Colombia, speaking Spanish with her parents and younger sister. From age 4 to 18 she attended a nearby French school where all her subjects were taught in French. But she never took classes in English until she got to Davidson College, a top-10 U.S. liberal arts college, where she graduated with a degree in comparative literature.
Posted Thursday, Jan 19, 2017 4:18:00 PM
If you think a music teacher must have grown up immersed in music — taking piano or violin lessons before starting first grade, having a mom or dad who was a musician or music buff — you'd best think again if the music teacher is Luke Hoffman.
Posted Thursday, Dec 1, 2016 5:00:00 PM
Victoria Muradi's earliest memory is hearing banging at the door of her Kabul home and opening it to see a blond, blue-eyed Russian soldier, Kalashnikov rifle slung over his shoulder, looking for her father.
Posted Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 3:48:00 PM
There are more than 1,000 books in Avery Goldstein's classroom library, all kinds of books for all kinds of interests and all kinds of readers — from biographies of sports stars, to books about climate change, to a series Goldstein describes as a "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor kind of story."
Posted Thursday, Sep 29, 2016 6:00:00 PM
When Lower School Director Carolyn Ronco asked third-grade teacher Jeff Burch if he would help represent the Lower School in the lip sync battle at Friday's All-School Pep Rally, his answer was only if he could be in charge. And was Burch ever in charge!
Posted Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 5:47:52 PM
Wanda Moore is a trailblazer. It's a role the African-American teacher is familiar with, a role she's comfortable with and a responsibility she feels she was born with.
Posted Thursday, Sep 1, 2016 2:15:51 PM
Ask alumni which teachers made the biggest impact on them, and Jordan Adair is a name you'll often hear mentioned. They talk about the Upper School teacher's passion and enthusiasm, and some say his class on war in literature is life-changing.
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2016 5:39:00 PM
Dancing on the stage of Kenan Auditorium was Mary Norkus' introduction to Durham Academy. It was in the early 1980s and DA provided performance space for Carolina Dancers, a community group of young adults who had a dance background.
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2016 3:26:00 PM
Karen Lovelace vows she was never good at math. In fact, she credits college-age tutors from Wake Forest with helping her through geometry and algebra when she was a student at Winston-Salem's Reynolds High School, but three numbers instantly come to mind about her career. This school year marks her 10th year in second grade, her 24th year at Durham Academy and her 37th year of teaching.
Posted Thursday, May 12, 2016 3:49:00 PM
Bonnie Wang began studying English as a 6-year-old in Changchun, a city of 3.4 million people in Jilin Province, an area of Northeast China that shares a border with North Korea. She spent 20 years in her hometown and grew up thinking she would teach English there.
An independent, coeducational day school, pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
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