Our Team

We can't wait to get to know you and your family this summer! At Durham Academy Summer everyone has a place, is welcome and included. We hope you will reach out with any questions and/or attend an Open House and get to know us better.

Director of Summer: Katie Ryan Kantz

Katie Ryan Kantz

I'm the director of DA Summer and an assistant JV field hockey coach. I earned a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in social foundations of education from the University of Virginia. I have 15 years of experience at U.S. and international boarding schools — most recently at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where I served as director of activities, trips and summer programs, history teacher, dorm head and field hockey coach.

I love new technology, yard work, detailing a car and I especially love to cheer on local sports teams.

Contact info: 919-489-3400 ext 6114, email

Read more about Kantz.

Director of Summer Business Operations: Jennifer Thornton

Jennifer Thorton

Experience at Durham Academy: My DA journey started as a member of the third-grade team. During this three-year period, I helped launch our Lower School service team (which continues to be active to date). I joined the DA Summer’s office staff in 2007 and have been an Assistant Director of DA Summer for the past 10 years. I am excited to contribute to the team this year in my new role as Director of Summer Business Operations.

Education: I worked as a summer counselor for St. Catherine’s Academy, a private, K-8 Catholic boy’s school, throughout high school and college. Having a passion for history, I worked in the archive department at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum while earning my undergraduate degree and continuing into graduate school. I was also a long-term substitute and media specialist at St. Pius Elementary School (which I had attended as a child) while in graduate school. When I moved to North Carolina in 2007, I took a long-term substitute position at Eno Valley Elementary. After working at DA part-time for three years, I took a full-time position at Voyager Academy, a Durham K-12 charter school, as their media specialist overseeing their library.

About me: I grew up in California where I attended Whittier College (B.A.) and California State University, Fullerton (M.A.). I moved to North Carolina 13 years ago. My family and I love to travel and explore, and we are constantly taking trips to the mountains and beaches. I love to read, organize and scrapbook, so I particularly enjoy our crafty camps. I love working at DA Summer because it allows me the opportunity to share our camps with my two daughters. It is so much fun to see our return campers every year, and they provide us with feedback about their experience. I am looking forward to meeting all of our campers this year and helping everyone enjoy a fantastic summer at DA!

Random fact: I have traveled all over the United States (the only state I have left to visit is Alaska).

Contact info: 919-489-3400 ext. 6357

Director of Summer Athletic Programs: William Edwards

William Edwards

I grew up in the mountains of Tennessee with two younger brothers and attended The University of the South – Sewanee (B.S.). After spending 12 years working with development organizations such as the Peace Corps and the United Nations in California, West Africa, the Solomon Islands, and Turkey, I relocated to North Carolina to pursue a career in education. Since 2004, I have been teaching biology at Durham Academy Upper School, as well as working as the assistant director of DA Summer Programs with a focus on our sports programming. My two sons, Jed and Zeke, as well as my daughter, Stella, have also been a part of Summer Programs with me, serving as campers, camp helpers, and Summer Programs staff over the years.

Summer is a great time at DA — I love the positive energy and enthusiasm that our campers bring to Summer Programs. I am also continually in awe of the level of expertise and professionalism that our lead counselors bring to their individual camps. One of the highlights of camp for me has been running a Dodgeball Camp with my sons. I look forward to being a Big Kid with all of our Summer Programs campers this summer!

Contact: 919-489-3400 ext. 6313

Read more about Edwards.

Summer Office Manager and Lead Customer Service

Lower School Programs Coordinator

Middle School/Upper School Programs Coordinator

Summer Health and Safety Coordinator

Summer Coordinators of Interns: Katie Ryan Kantz and Costen Irons

Katie Ryan Kantz
Katie Ryan Kantz

I'm the director of DA Summer and an assistant JV field hockey coach. I earned a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in social foundations of education from the University of Virginia. I have 15 years of experience at U.S. and international boarding schools — most recently at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where I served as director of activities, trips and summer programs, history teacher, dorm head and field hockey coach.

Contact info: 919-489-3400 ext 6114

Costen Irons

Summer Before Care Coordinator

Summer After Care Coordinator

Summer Communications

Summer Scholarship Coordinator

Say Hello!

You can email us or reach us via phone at 919-489-3400.

Important Dates

Open Registration for Durham Academy and Hill Learning Center families
  • Nov. 29
Open House: Durham Academy Lower School
  • Dec. 7, 2–4 p.m.
  • Feb. 1, 2–4 p.m.
Open Registration for All Families
  • Dec. 14
Open House: Durham Academy Upper School
  • April 4, 2–4 p.m.
Bubble and Bounce Open House for Summer: Durham Academy Lower School
  • May 2, 2–4 p.m.