Under the Oak 2022, 75th Anniversary

Duke School's 75th anniversary magazine edition

Duke School's 75th anniversary magazine edition


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<strong>Under</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oak</strong><br />

AUGUST <strong>2022</strong><br />

Celebrating 75 Years<br />




WHAT WE DO<br />

Inspire learners to boldly and<br />

creatively shape <strong>the</strong>ir future.<br />


Learner-Centered<br />

Learners are <strong>the</strong> center of a<br />

dynamic and collaborative<br />

learning, inquiry and<br />

discovery process.<br />

Active Inquiry<br />

Intellectual curiosity through<br />

project-based learning propels<br />

learners to explore multiple<br />

paths to creative solutions.<br />

Bold Thinkers<br />

A deep love of learning and<br />

respect for our community forms<br />

bold, critical thinkers for life.<br />

WHY WE DO IT<br />

To prepare <strong>the</strong> next generation<br />

of problem solvers for our<br />

complex world.<br />

Can you find Sparky <strong>the</strong> Dragon? Photo by Kyle McCue.<br />





Lisa Nagel<br />

6<br />

Lisa Nagel reflects on 75 Years of Duke School<br />



Maryssa Cappelletti<br />


Michaela Dwyer, Laura Thompson,<br />

Ca<strong>the</strong>rine Linford, Lisa Simmons, Claire<br />

Koerner, Cynthia Coward, Dr. Kenneth<br />

Chandler, Nicole Thompson<br />

Kathy Bartelmay, Candy Thompson<br />


Sarah Dwyer<br />

7<br />

A LOOK BACK ON THE 2021-22<br />


An inside look at campus happenings including<br />

project highlights, new leadership team<br />

members welcomed, and a donor spotlight<br />



Towards <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> school year,<br />

<strong>the</strong> entire Duke School community<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>red on <strong>the</strong> lower soccer fields<br />

to take a whole school photograph in<br />

honor of <strong>the</strong> <strong>75th</strong> <strong>Anniversary</strong>. While<br />

<strong>the</strong>re, Head of School Lisa Nagel<br />

lead everyone in a singing of “Happy<br />

Birthday” to Duke School.<br />

Special thank you to <strong>the</strong> Duke School Facilities Team of Sean Wilmer,<br />

Trent Smith, and Dan Epperson for <strong>the</strong>ir help in coordinating <strong>the</strong><br />

layout of <strong>the</strong> cover photograph. Their behind <strong>the</strong> scenes field design<br />

sketch is pictured above. Cover photo by Kyle McCue.<br />


Lucy Bradshaw<br />

Nancy Joyce<br />

Duke School publishes <strong>Under</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Oak</strong> annually for its alumni, parents,<br />

grandparents and friends. If you<br />

would like to add someone to<br />

our mailing list, please email<br />

communications@dukeschool.org.<br />

We also welcome news about alumni<br />

for future publications; please email<br />

information to alumni@dukeschool.org.<br />

28<br />


Congratulations to <strong>the</strong> Classes of 2026 & <strong>2022</strong><br />

for <strong>the</strong>ir graduations from Lower School and<br />

Duke School, respectively




38<br />

44<br />

45<br />

46<br />

62<br />

67<br />

Since 1947: A history of Duke School from <strong>the</strong> early<br />

days to today<br />

Project Work Since Day One: why Duke School builds<br />

its foundation on this education model<br />

From <strong>the</strong> Bivins Building to Erwin Road: five benefits of<br />

a Duke School preschool experience<br />

Retrospective of <strong>the</strong> Duke School archives<br />

Faces of Duke School: Honoring people of years past<br />

that made our school special<br />

Students reflect on what 75 years of Duke School means<br />

to <strong>the</strong>m<br />



68<br />

Spotlights on Duke School Alumni and celebrating <strong>the</strong><br />

Duke School Class of 2018’s high school graduation

Notes from Lisa Nagel, Our Head of School<br />

U.T.O.T Tree Ceremony June <strong>2022</strong><br />

This year marks an<br />

extraordinary<br />

milestone for Duke<br />

School: our <strong>75th</strong><br />

anniversary. A look<br />

back at our history<br />

reveals 75 years of<br />

strength and<br />

dedication to what<br />

defines us today: deep<br />

inquiry, risk-taking,<br />

social responsibility,<br />

and an approach to<br />

teaching and learning<br />

that engages our students au<strong>the</strong>ntically with one<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong>ir teachers, and <strong>the</strong> world around <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

More than seventy-five years ago, two women,<br />

Wally Reichenberg-Hackett and Dr. Katharine<br />

Banham led <strong>the</strong> launch of a clinical training<br />

program for psychology students at Duke<br />

University. In 1947, <strong>the</strong>se leaders established<br />

<strong>the</strong> Duke Nursery School. Throughout her time<br />

with Duke Nursery School, Reichenberg-Hackett<br />

argued passionately about <strong>the</strong> importance of<br />

childhood and teacher education, writing in her<br />

“Preschool Notes” to parents in 1964 that “<strong>the</strong><br />

child’s refreshing freedom of expressing feelings<br />

and emotions, [<strong>the</strong>ir] unconcerned and enthusiastic<br />

approach to <strong>the</strong> world around [<strong>the</strong>m], <strong>the</strong>ir curiosity<br />

and vitality, form <strong>the</strong> core of subject matter….<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is no substitute, no duplication, for<br />

living experience.”<br />

The fortitude, courage, skill, and insight of our<br />

leaders, educators, and parents that shaped our<br />

legacy also formed <strong>the</strong> cornerstone of our mission<br />

and core values. From our beginnings to now,<br />

we maintain a steadfast commitment to inspiring<br />

learners to boldly and creatively shape <strong>the</strong>ir futures<br />

in a nurturing, inclusive environment.<br />

Today, we remain at <strong>the</strong> forefront of progressive<br />

education, <strong>the</strong> leading project-based institution<br />

in our region, with a nationwide reputation. Our<br />

students thrive in a setting designed to cultivate joy<br />

and wonder in learning. A Duke School education<br />

equips students to contribute in consequential<br />

ways in our increasingly complex world.<br />

Collectively, we are all part of Duke School’s<br />

amazing story and shared history. So, just as we<br />

welcome you to celebrate our accomplishments<br />

of <strong>the</strong> past 75 years through this special issue of<br />

<strong>Under</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oak</strong>, we extend an invitation to our<br />

entire community to join us as we imagine toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

<strong>the</strong> next 75!<br />

Lisa Nagel, Head of School<br />

a look back on <strong>the</strong> 2021-22 school year...<br />


Our school accomplishes so much each year, and <strong>the</strong><br />

2021-22 academic year was certainly no exception.<br />

Our community and our shared commitment to staying<br />

safe and caring for each o<strong>the</strong>r contributed to ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

historic year for Duke School. We saw a return to some of<br />

our school’s rich traditions and developed new, innovative<br />

ways to ga<strong>the</strong>r toge<strong>the</strong>r as we marked two years of<br />

surviving and thriving as a school through <strong>the</strong> COVID-19<br />

pandemic.<br />

Our shared commitment to living our school’s values<br />

and mission each and every day revealed itself in small<br />

and monumental ways throughout <strong>the</strong> past year<br />

on campus.<br />

There were so many big and small ways to celebrate<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r this year, whe<strong>the</strong>r through in-person<br />

culminations, parent talks, coffee carlines, all-school<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>rings, or cheering for our school at a game. But, no<br />

matter <strong>the</strong> event, our Dragons flourished and always rose<br />

to <strong>the</strong> occasion.<br />

Join us in looking back at just a few moments and faces<br />

that made this past school year so very special.<br />

6<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />



EVENTS<br />

Duke School started <strong>the</strong> 2021-22 school year with record enrollment,<br />

welcoming 503 Dragons to campus on August 25, 2021. Throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

school year between classroom activities and culminations, <strong>the</strong> community<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>red (in many cases for <strong>the</strong> first time in-person in a few years), to<br />

celebrate traditions that make Duke School so unique.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> fall in honor of <strong>the</strong> LGBTQ Center of Durham’s Pride: Durham, <strong>the</strong><br />

Parent-School Organization (PSO) coordinated “Pride Day” where Dragons<br />

of all ages wore <strong>the</strong>ir rainbows and fourth graders flew our Pride flag at <strong>the</strong><br />

front of campus. Kindergarteners spent <strong>the</strong> first half of <strong>the</strong> year learning<br />

about counting from 1 to 100 leading up to <strong>the</strong> 100th day of school, when<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir friends and, families stopped by to celebrate <strong>the</strong>ir parade.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> fall and winter, we were able to administer nearly 700 vaccines<br />

(first, second, and booster doses), which was made possible through our<br />

partnership with Chapel Hill Pediatrics.<br />

This past spring, community-wide Earth Day celebrations took over campus<br />

from class outside and scavenger hunts, to visits from reading buddies and<br />

science experiments. Students spent <strong>the</strong> day learning about how to protect<br />

<strong>the</strong> environment, cleaning up campus, and enjoying each o<strong>the</strong>r’s company.<br />

We ga<strong>the</strong>red toge<strong>the</strong>r as Duke School families, faculty, staff, and friends at<br />

Parizade for Inspire & Ignite: A Year-End Community Celebration. With <strong>the</strong><br />

support of our sponsors <strong>the</strong> Kalenja Family, friends Georgios Bakatsias of<br />

Giorgio’s Group, and Mark Schmidt of Cyberlux, all proceeds went directly<br />

to Duke School’s tuition assistance program.<br />

Finally, from water balloon fights and field trips, to moments with friends<br />

and teachers alike, eighth graders spent <strong>the</strong>ir last morning of school sharing<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir special memories with <strong>the</strong> community at U.T.O.T—such a wonderful<br />

way to wrap up <strong>the</strong> 2021-22 school year.<br />

2021-22 PROFESSIONAL<br />



Duke School’s professional development<br />

this year centered around equity, justice,<br />

and belonging, and included workshops<br />

led by internationally recognized education<br />

consultant Dr. Derrick Gay. After leading<br />

sessions with our Board of Trustees and <strong>the</strong><br />

Leadership Team, Dr. Gay guided faculty &<br />

staff through a session regarding identity and<br />

<strong>the</strong> perspectives of o<strong>the</strong>rs.<br />


THANKS<br />

Throughout <strong>the</strong> year, classes across<br />

campus have sent thank you cards<br />

to <strong>the</strong> staff down <strong>the</strong> road at Duke<br />

Hospitals. Third graders got creative<br />

in <strong>the</strong>ir designs, applying pop-up<br />

construction techniques <strong>the</strong>y learned<br />

in art class!<br />

Special thank you to <strong>the</strong> Parent-<br />

School Organization (PSO) for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

support and initiatives throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

school year, ranging from conference<br />

snacks, parent talks and yoga<br />

classes, to spirit days and community<br />

collection drives.<br />

Duke School celebrated <strong>the</strong> amazing<br />

faculty & staff during Teacher<br />

Appreciation Week. From teaching<br />

and supporting our students, to<br />

leading this community forward, we<br />

thank <strong>the</strong>m for all <strong>the</strong>y do!<br />

8<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


a day in <strong>the</strong> life of a dragon...<br />


2021-22<br />


Tery Gunter<br />






During <strong>the</strong>ir Simple<br />

Machines Project, third<br />

graders investigated how<br />

simple machines can<br />

impact work. While taking<br />

a closer look at levers, a<br />

few students got <strong>the</strong> idea<br />

to build stomp boards.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> help of LS<br />

Specials teachers Marki<br />

& John, <strong>the</strong>y constructed<br />

and decorated <strong>the</strong> new<br />

toys as a project for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

preschool friends to use<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir playground.<br />




In preschool, music<br />

classes connect musical<br />

experiences with project<br />

work throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

spring. Students try<br />

instruments, create<br />

movements, and sing<br />

songs that relate to <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

class’s project topic.<br />

They sang with sombreros<br />

for R&D’s Hat Project,<br />

explored instruments<br />

in <strong>the</strong> music room with<br />

J&C’s class, tried all kinds<br />

of stringed instruments<br />

with E&E, and improvised<br />

with rainsticks in <strong>the</strong><br />

M&M class. In stories and<br />

games, <strong>the</strong>y practiced solo<br />

singing, experimented<br />

with high and low pitches,<br />

and engaged in creative<br />

expression.<br />





Fourth and fifth grade<br />

welcomed <strong>the</strong>ir first<br />

in-person author visit of<br />

<strong>the</strong> year. In partnership<br />

with Flyleaf Books in<br />

Chapel Hill, Newbery<br />

Award-winning Author<br />

Kelly Barnhill stopped<br />

by U.T.O.T to share her<br />

writing process, <strong>the</strong><br />

secret of 100 drafts, and<br />

what keeps her writing<br />

still.<br />

Her visit sparked some<br />

avid fans and has inspired<br />

many budding writers<br />

across both grade levels.<br />

Explore student<br />

work from Preschool<br />

through Eighth Grade<br />

at Duke School<br />

After 40 years as<br />

a teacher,10 of<br />

which at Duke<br />

School, Tery<br />

has decided<br />

to retire and<br />

enjoy life as a<br />

grandma and<br />

traveler. Our community has benefited<br />

from her passion for math education<br />

and care for every student!<br />

Juliana Thomas<br />

Juliana joined<br />

us for <strong>the</strong> 2019-<br />

20 school year<br />

after retiring<br />

from Exploris<br />

School in<br />

Raleigh. After<br />

lending her<br />

steady hand and providing such a<br />

robust science program for our Middle<br />

School, she will re-retire.<br />

Edie Poole<br />

Edie will<br />

retire from<br />

kindergarten<br />

this year to<br />

focus on being<br />

a first-time<br />

grandmo<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Edie has been<br />

part of <strong>the</strong> LS Team since 1996 as both<br />

a classroom teacher and long-term sub<br />

and we will miss her community care<br />

and twinkling laugh.<br />

10<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />



Go Dragons! Congratulations to all of Duke School’s Fall,<br />

Winter, and Spring Sports athletes (volleyball, soccer,<br />

cross-country, tennis, basketball, ultimate frisbee, lacrosse)<br />

on concluding great seasons—it’s wonderful seeing you<br />

support each o<strong>the</strong>r on and off <strong>the</strong> courts and fields.<br />


It’s always a great day in kindergarten when eighth grade<br />

reading buddies come to visit. Throughout <strong>the</strong> school year,<br />

eighth graders ventured across campus to <strong>the</strong> Lower School<br />

to visit with and read alongside <strong>the</strong>ir Kindergarten reading<br />

buddies. They also spent time on <strong>the</strong> playground toge<strong>the</strong>r and<br />

celebrated Earth Day as a group.<br />




Walk into <strong>the</strong> Lower School Library, and a colorful<br />

dragon run will greet you, a cheery array of display<br />

books, helpful signage, and even a dragon kite<br />

sailing across <strong>the</strong> ceiling. But along with that<br />

joyful welcome, we librarians think deeply about<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r each child walking into our library will find<br />

books that act as both “mirrors and windows” for<br />

various aspects of <strong>the</strong>ir own identity and those of<br />

o<strong>the</strong>rs not like <strong>the</strong>mselves.<br />

The phrase “mirrors and windows” was coined<br />

in a 1990 essay by educator Dr. Rudine Sims<br />

Bishop, in which she wrote, “Books are sometimes<br />

windows, offering views of worlds that may be<br />

real or imagined, familiar or strange….Literature<br />

transforms human experience and reflects it back<br />

to us, and in that reflection, we can see our own<br />

“Our books <strong>the</strong>n must reflect our<br />

wider world and all <strong>the</strong> beautiful<br />

differences encompassed within our<br />

school, our local community, and our<br />

global community.”<br />

lives and experiences as part of <strong>the</strong> larger human<br />

experience. Reading, <strong>the</strong>n, becomes a means<br />

of self-affirmation, and readers often seek <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

mirrors in books.”<br />

It is clear as children develop that finding books<br />

that act as both “mirrors and windows” is critical.<br />

Mirror books allow children to feel seen, heard,<br />

and rooted, while window books develop deep<br />

empathy for ano<strong>the</strong>r’s life experiences without<br />

ever leaving home. Our books <strong>the</strong>n must reflect<br />

our wider world and all <strong>the</strong> beautiful differences<br />

encompassed within our school, our local<br />

community, and our global community. Books<br />

have never been just stories. They teach our<br />

children that <strong>the</strong>y belong in this world. They start<br />

difficult conversations. They develop empathy and<br />

can act as critical tools for social justice.<br />

As Lower School librarians, we feel strongly that<br />

this concept of “mirrors and windows” should<br />

not be relegated to recognizing heritage months<br />

alone, but ra<strong>the</strong>r that it should be infused within<br />

all that <strong>the</strong> Lower School Library does. Within any<br />

given week, we librarians make a dizzying array of<br />

decisions regarding books:<br />

• Which books are worthy of ordering to make<br />

<strong>the</strong> most of our library budget?<br />

• Which books will we read aloud to our library<br />

classes or recommend to teachers for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

read-alouds?<br />

• Which books will we put on display,<br />

recommend to a student, “book talk,” and in<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r ways promote within <strong>the</strong> library?<br />

• Which books will we pull for grade-level<br />

project work or genre studies?<br />

Each of <strong>the</strong>se decisions is examined through<br />

<strong>the</strong> lens of finding, purchasing, and promoting<br />

“mirrors and windows” books for ALL of our<br />

students, but simple representation is not enough.<br />

We must go a step fur<strong>the</strong>r and deeply examine<br />

<strong>the</strong> type of representation in any<br />

given book.<br />

We must ask ourselves:<br />

• Regardless of representation, who is<br />

empowered in this narrative, and what<br />

message does that power dynamic send?<br />

• Who is represented in <strong>the</strong> illustrations, and<br />

what messages do those illustrations convey?<br />

• Are <strong>the</strong>re underlying stereotypes<br />

conveyed even if <strong>the</strong>re is visual or narrative<br />

representation?<br />

• How does this fit into <strong>the</strong> fabric of o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

narratives and visuals within our library’s unique<br />

collection?<br />

We take <strong>the</strong>se decisions seriously because we<br />

cannot underestimate <strong>the</strong> power of a story. The<br />

publishing industry is changing rapidly in response<br />

to <strong>the</strong> greater demand and urgent need for wider<br />

representation. In turn, <strong>the</strong> world of children’s<br />

literature is more magical than ever. When any<br />

child walks into <strong>the</strong> Lower School Library at<br />

Duke School, <strong>the</strong>y should find both “mirror and<br />

window” books that invite <strong>the</strong>m to delve deeply<br />

into that magical power of children’s literature.<br />

12<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


preschool project spotlight:<br />





Home is where <strong>the</strong> heart is and for <strong>the</strong> past<br />

two years it’s also where we worked, ate, slept,<br />

played and relaxed. For our preschoolers,<br />

many of <strong>the</strong>m came to this school year,<br />

2021/<strong>2022</strong>, familiar with <strong>the</strong>ir home, but not<br />

as much with <strong>the</strong> outside world due to <strong>the</strong><br />

pandemic. My teaching partner, Jennifer, and<br />

I decided to start <strong>the</strong> year off with a project<br />

topic <strong>the</strong>y knew a lot about and thus our<br />

Home Project began.<br />

In project work during phase one, we find out<br />

what our students know about our topic. In<br />

this case, we asked <strong>the</strong>m what a home was.<br />

Not surprisingly, many mentioned safety,<br />

warmth and family in <strong>the</strong>ir definitions of home.<br />

Being safe was a more frequent response than<br />

in a home project we did in<br />

<strong>the</strong> past.<br />

For phase two, we read books about different<br />

types of homes for people including houses<br />

from around <strong>the</strong> world. We began making<br />

representations of homes from a variety of<br />

materials including blocks, magnetic tiles,<br />

paper-mache, clay and cardboard. Many class<br />

parents visited as guest experts and guest readers to<br />

support our project and due to health protocols, we met<br />

our guests outside. They showed us tools and materials<br />

used to build houses, items used in interior design and<br />

pictures of home renovation projects.<br />

guidelines by having our culmination outside and by<br />

having families sign up for time slots to visit ei<strong>the</strong>r in <strong>the</strong><br />

morning or <strong>the</strong> afternoon to allow for social distancing.<br />

We used temporary walls to display our work and all who<br />

attended were delighted by <strong>the</strong> results.<br />



As <strong>the</strong> class cleaned out and explored <strong>the</strong><br />

raised garden beds on <strong>the</strong>ir playground, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

realized that soil would be an interesting topic<br />

to fur<strong>the</strong>r explore. To kick off <strong>the</strong> project, each<br />

preschooler shared stories related to soil from<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir own perspective and <strong>the</strong> class collected <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

wonderings in a soil web of words to start building<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir collective knowledge base. These questions<br />

became a guiding map for <strong>the</strong> entire project,<br />

adding <strong>the</strong>ir learnings from each o<strong>the</strong>r and from<br />

guest experts to <strong>the</strong> word web.<br />

Throughout <strong>the</strong> project, <strong>the</strong> class engaged<br />

with field experiences and learned from guest<br />

experts from around <strong>the</strong> community to continue<br />

building <strong>the</strong>ir knowledge. On a series of soil<br />

observation hikes around Duke School’s campus,<br />

<strong>the</strong>se researchers collected soil samples from<br />

four different locations with <strong>the</strong> help of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

teachers to bring back to <strong>the</strong> classroom for a<br />

closer investigative look. Applying <strong>the</strong>ir learnings<br />

from an environmental science guest expert, <strong>the</strong>se<br />

students documented <strong>the</strong>ir observations about<br />

which sample came from which soil layer, noting<br />

color and consistency.<br />

After painting <strong>the</strong>ir classroom soil habitat, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

created worms and o<strong>the</strong>r animals to live in <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

creation. From guest experts who are artists, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

learned how to make bowls out of clay and paint<br />

illustrations of soil layers.<br />

In preparation for <strong>the</strong>ir culmination, <strong>the</strong>se Soil<br />

Experts are working on visual representations of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir knowledge to share with <strong>the</strong>ir families at<br />

home. During morning centers, <strong>the</strong>y practiced<br />

sharing each phase of <strong>the</strong>ir project, from <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

wonderings and web to <strong>the</strong>ir investigations and<br />

representations, with o<strong>the</strong>r members of <strong>the</strong> Duke<br />

School community. Each soil expert will <strong>the</strong>n walk<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir families through each project phase, sharing<br />

both <strong>the</strong>ir own studies and those of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir classmates.<br />

Explore Student Work<br />

After learning about people’s homes, we decided to<br />

explore homes for animals. We discovered that animals<br />

use <strong>the</strong>ir homes in much <strong>the</strong> same way people do as a<br />

place to be safe, warm and with family. We took a walk<br />

around campus and through <strong>the</strong> woods to look for animal<br />

homes and discovered <strong>the</strong>re were many. Trees, holes in<br />

<strong>the</strong> ground, nests, and ant hills were some of <strong>the</strong> natural<br />

homes we found. Again, our parents visited to share <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

knowledge of coral reefs and caves in <strong>the</strong> ocean and<br />

farms.<br />

As our project came to a close, we were excited to host<br />

an in-person culmination—<strong>the</strong> first of its kind since <strong>the</strong><br />

beginning of <strong>the</strong> pandemic in 2020. We followed safety<br />

Our Home Project was a success, and we learned a<br />

new way of presenting and sharing our knowledge that<br />

offered many benefits. By having fewer attending at one<br />

time, <strong>the</strong> atmosphere was less overwhelming for our<br />

young students and being out of our classroom helped<br />

our class stay focused on <strong>the</strong>ir goal of sharing what <strong>the</strong>y<br />

learned. Our future culminations will likely be modeled<br />

after this one.<br />

During our study of homes, we went through <strong>the</strong> familiar<br />

steps of project work while making necessary adjustments<br />

to keep everyone safe and healthy. At <strong>the</strong> same time,<br />

we grew as a classroom community and created our own<br />

feeling of home right here at Duke School.<br />

14<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


fourth grade project spotlight:<br />





The Eno River is synonymous with Durham. The<br />

rambling waterway, named for <strong>the</strong> land’s original<br />

Indigenous inhabitants, snakes its way in and around<br />

our contemporary city; it laps up against suburban<br />

developments, offering an accessible escape for locals<br />

looking to hike, wade, and observe native wildlife. But<br />

<strong>the</strong> Eno’s proximity to Durham’s ever-increasing popularity<br />

is also what’s lured developers,<br />

especially in recent years, to<br />

propose altering its surrounding<br />

landscape.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> fall of 2021, local<br />

reporting and advocacy efforts<br />

went public about a local<br />

developer’s plan to construct<br />

nearly 400 single-family homes<br />

and townhouses across 60 acres<br />

of Black Meadow Ridge, just<br />

south of West Point on <strong>the</strong> Eno.<br />

(Attempts to build on <strong>the</strong> site<br />

have been successfully blocked<br />

by concerned citizens for nearly<br />

50 years due to environmental<br />

hazards.) The most recent<br />

advocacy group, Save Black<br />

Meadow Ridge, spelled out<br />

<strong>the</strong>se hazards, writing that a<br />

“large sprawling and densely<br />

packed development would<br />

devastate habitats, exacerbate<br />

stormwater flooding, disturb<br />

federally mapped wetlands, and degrade <strong>the</strong> region’s key<br />

watershed that flows into Falls Lake.”<br />

Then-fourth-grader Alexis Lau took note. After her mo<strong>the</strong>r,<br />

Amy Lau (who previously taught fourth and second grades<br />

at Duke School), shared with her <strong>the</strong> development<br />

plans and <strong>the</strong> respective protest campaign, Alexis deftly<br />

connected <strong>the</strong> issues at hand to <strong>the</strong> annual fourth-grade<br />

“River Rangers” project, which focuses on <strong>the</strong> nuances<br />

of river systems, ecology, and <strong>the</strong> interaction between<br />

humans and <strong>the</strong> natural environment.<br />

The fourth-grade teaching team<br />

of Geoff Berry, Kelia Evans, Beth<br />

Harris, and Tori Morton supported<br />

Alexis in presenting on <strong>the</strong> issues<br />

— including an original advocacy<br />

letter — to her class during<br />

morning meeting.<br />

“A lot of [my classmates] were<br />

unhappy about it, because <strong>the</strong><br />

Eno is a great place to go,” Alexis<br />

said, remembering that many of<br />

her classmates had referred to <strong>the</strong><br />

Eno as <strong>the</strong>ir favorite river during<br />

<strong>the</strong> River Rangers project. “We<br />

decided to write more letters and<br />

make drawings and learn about<br />

[<strong>the</strong> proposed development] more<br />

so that we could fight against it.”<br />

The students sent, as Alexis said,<br />

“a lot” of letters and drawings to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Save Black Meadow Ridge<br />

group in response to <strong>the</strong>ir call<br />

for public comment. The materials are a poignant<br />

representation of what’s at stake; one drawing depicts<br />

a “before,” filled with healthy, verdant trees, and <strong>the</strong><br />

“after,” a sparse collection of stumps; ano<strong>the</strong>r letter is a<br />

passionate defense of preserving wildlife habitats.<br />

More than just adding to <strong>the</strong> mass of concerned<br />

voices, Alexis said she and her classmates wanted to<br />

demonstrate that young people are concerned and<br />

knowledgeable about <strong>the</strong>se issues, too.<br />




Second graders spent <strong>the</strong> winter exploring <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

Architecture Project—studying what architecture<br />

means, how structures are created, and who are<br />

some famous architects.<br />

To begin <strong>the</strong> project, students shared about a<br />

familiar building, like <strong>the</strong>ir home or school. After<br />

creating a web of ideas and questions, students<br />

built representations of <strong>the</strong>ir stories.<br />

To help answer some of <strong>the</strong>ir wonderings, second<br />

graders learned from various guest experts and<br />

conducted fieldwork around campus.<br />

Throughout <strong>the</strong>ir research, students practiced<br />

ma<strong>the</strong>matical areas of geometry and<br />

measurement, and took a deep dive into how<br />

architecture has changed over time and<br />

across cultures.<br />

“I think if younger people are involved<br />

in it, <strong>the</strong>n it’s more powerful,” she said.<br />

Alexis and her classmates are, after<br />

all, <strong>the</strong> ones who will grow up and<br />

face <strong>the</strong> aftermath of large-scale<br />

developments like this one, should<br />

it be approved. (It’s a credit to<br />

<strong>the</strong> volume of opposition that this<br />

particular project proposal remains<br />

in limbo; in late July, <strong>the</strong> Durham<br />

Board of Adjustment will hear public<br />

appeals.) But one thing is already<br />

clear: from a small group of Duke<br />

School students to youth-led climate<br />

justice movements, young people are<br />

approaching timely environmental<br />

issues with verve, matching righteous<br />

anger with creative energy and<br />

holding onto hope. As <strong>the</strong> River Rangers project teaches<br />

students: it’s not only important to think about how<br />

<strong>the</strong> river impacts humans, but also how, as humans, we<br />

impact <strong>the</strong> river — and hopefully for <strong>the</strong> better.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> project, students collaborated<br />

to create a 3-dimensional city. Each second<br />

grader planned, designed, and created a<br />

business or structure for <strong>the</strong> city, and paired it<br />

with a persuasive essay encouraging community<br />

members to stop by for a visit.<br />

16<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


Explore Student Work<br />


eighth grade project spotlight:<br />



Eighth graders spent one of <strong>the</strong>ir last weeks at Duke<br />

School sharing <strong>the</strong>ir capstone project presentations<br />

with family, friends, and Duke School community<br />

members.<br />

Following weeks of finalizing research, identifying<br />

essential questions, interviewing experts, completing<br />

field work, <strong>the</strong>y each designed a full length<br />

presentation to culminate <strong>the</strong>ir work.<br />

Topics for <strong>the</strong>ir self-lead projects ranged from <strong>the</strong><br />

psychology of gaming and pottery to sleep science<br />

and visualization in sports.<br />

To wrap up <strong>the</strong> week, <strong>the</strong>se researchers hosted a<br />

tri-fold fair to share <strong>the</strong>ir self-designed posters.<br />

Well done and congratulations, Dragons!<br />

- Reaching New Heights: Diving into aircraft, rocketry & flight<br />

- Only Time Will Tell, or Can We? Asian<br />

religions and religious change<br />

- Setting <strong>the</strong> Scene: The technology<br />

and application of cinematography in films<br />

- From Cakes to Kugels: A study of Jewish Ashkenazi foods<br />

- The Balance of Beans:The background and ethics of coffee<br />

- Investing in a Better Future: The ins<br />

and outs of <strong>the</strong> stock market<br />

- Relax, Brea<strong>the</strong>, Perform: Harnessing <strong>the</strong> power of<br />

visualization, meditation, and yoga for athletes<br />

- On Target: The history and modern day uses of archery<br />

- Sleep On It: The science behind sleep research<br />

- The UPbeat: How music effects our mood<br />

- What’s Au<strong>the</strong>ntic? Diving into <strong>the</strong><br />

au<strong>the</strong>nticity of Chinese food<br />

- Cooking With <strong>the</strong> Melting Pot: What are <strong>the</strong><br />

stories of immigrants and <strong>the</strong>ir foods in Durham?<br />

- Digging Deeper: Uncovering <strong>the</strong> history of dinosaurs<br />

- Sure… But What’s Your Credit Score? Definitions of success;<br />

how <strong>the</strong>y affect <strong>the</strong> choices we make<br />

- Sour, Sticky, Sweet: What is candy, why do we<br />

like it so much, and what is it doing to us?<br />

- More Than Just Music: How hip hop is used<br />

as an outlet for social commentary<br />

- Ecosystem Overload: The world under <strong>the</strong> surface<br />

- Just Stringing It: The ins and outs of electric guitars<br />

- Food For Thought: The impact of<br />

veganism and baking made vegan<br />

- Tyranny, Treason & Terror:<br />

Misunderstandings of <strong>the</strong> Syrian Civil War<br />

- Get Me Outta Here! Escape rooms and<br />

what <strong>the</strong>y teach us about teamwork<br />

- Taming <strong>the</strong> Madness: Making a ma<strong>the</strong>matical<br />

method for predicting NCAA tournament outcomes<br />

- Cake It Til You Make It: Exploring cake design<br />

- Piece by Piece: The art of mosaic making<br />

- Can You Bottle <strong>the</strong> Sun? Fusion energy<br />

and how it could change <strong>the</strong> future<br />

- The Story Behind <strong>the</strong> Story: How<br />

storytellers craft <strong>the</strong> tales <strong>the</strong>y tell<br />

- The Thousand Dollar Hoodie: How streetwear<br />

has risen to <strong>the</strong> top of <strong>the</strong> fashion industry<br />

- No Bones About It: The occurrence of<br />

ethical taxidermy in contemporary art<br />

- The Past, Present, and Possibilities: The influences of<br />

African-American musical genres on music today<br />

- Can you (s)Pot <strong>the</strong> Difference?: A Journey Through Pots<br />

- One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, Blue Fish: Marine<br />

life, ecosystems, and <strong>the</strong> impact of humans<br />

- Warriors of <strong>the</strong> East: History of <strong>the</strong> Samurai<br />

- Do <strong>the</strong> Stats Ever Lie? Can advanced<br />

basketball statistics actually tell us <strong>the</strong> G.O.A.T.?<br />

- Rotting Your Brain: Are video games<br />

actually bad for <strong>the</strong> human psyche?<br />

- Don’t Follow <strong>the</strong> Rules: Exploring illusions and<br />

contradictions that will keep you up at night<br />

- Brick by Brick: Why you never grow out of LEGO<br />

- What Goes On Behind <strong>the</strong> Drive-Thru Window: The<br />

evolution and controversies of fast food<br />

- Egypt & Rome: A journey through <strong>the</strong> world of ceramics<br />

- Sushi’s Really on a Roll: The history and<br />

culture of sushi and how it caught on in America<br />

- Invest: It Just Makes Cents: Building<br />

wealth, one investment at a time<br />

- The H Stands for Health: Exploring<br />

<strong>the</strong> medical uses of herbalism<br />

- Walk It Off: Rehabilitation and<br />

injury prevents for athletes<br />

- On a Dark and Stormy Night: Developing<br />

dynamic characters for effective storytelling<br />

- Not Just Winging It: The intricacies<br />

and ethics of bird photography<br />

18<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


fifth grade project spotlight:<br />


Fifth grade students studied <strong>the</strong> relationship between<br />

humans and animals throughout <strong>the</strong>ir Animalia Project.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong>ir project kickoff, <strong>the</strong>y conducted a reading<br />

frenzy with teacher-curated articles and collaborated with<br />

Lucia, DS MS Art Teacher, to develop animal masks in<br />

art class.<br />

designer got feedback from peers and teachers on <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

initial plans. Designers <strong>the</strong>n started building prototypes<br />

of <strong>the</strong>ir creative ideas. During an open studio session,<br />

parents and community members stopped by to learn<br />

more about <strong>the</strong>ir designs and provided ano<strong>the</strong>r round of<br />

constructive feedback.<br />



The Eighth Annual Middle School Photography Show explored <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>me of “Texture,” featuring over 45 photographs from<br />

students, teachers, staff, and alumni. The word texture might immediately bring to mind very close up images that leave you guessing<br />

about <strong>the</strong> subject. But do clouds in <strong>the</strong> sky add texture? One interpretation of <strong>the</strong> word describes three types of texture: visual, tactile,<br />

and emotional. These photographers use images to represent what this word conjures for each of <strong>the</strong>m. A brief selection shared below:<br />

During a week-long guest expert blast, <strong>the</strong>y learned from<br />

various animal organizations such as Hope from Coon<br />

Rock Farm and <strong>the</strong> Duke Lemur Center. After welcoming a<br />

few more specialists, fifth graders worked collaboratively<br />

to explore <strong>the</strong>ir driving question, “how can we use design<br />

to better live in community with animals?”<br />

Students used design thinking principles to problem<br />

solve for a local organization of <strong>the</strong>ir choosing. Each<br />

In Performing Arts, fifth grade students studied animal<br />

folk tales, as part of <strong>the</strong>ir Animalia Project. Using <strong>the</strong><br />

animal masks, made in art with Lucia, <strong>the</strong>y worked in<br />

groups to devise some original animal tales of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own. They invited <strong>the</strong> preschool students to share a<br />

performance at U.T.O.T, and students took turns as both<br />

storytellers and as actors.<br />

20<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />

THE<br />

ALIENS<br />

IN THE<br />

WOODS<br />

Duck population investigations, syn<strong>the</strong>sizer music, and <strong>the</strong> return<br />

of in-person middle school <strong>the</strong>atrical productions at Duke School<br />

<strong>Under</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Oak</strong> Tree — or U.T.O.T, as it’s known in Dragon<br />

parlance — functions as Duke School’s signature outdoor<br />

learning and ga<strong>the</strong>ring space. Set where <strong>the</strong> upper field<br />

meets <strong>the</strong> woods, <strong>the</strong> site contains an array of benches<br />

facing a plank-wood outdoor stage. In daylight, <strong>the</strong> scene<br />

is bucolic, welcoming, dappled with sunlight and shade.<br />

Over a couple of nights last November, though, U.T.O.T<br />

was transformed into something o<strong>the</strong>rworldly as glitchy<br />

syn<strong>the</strong>sizer music rebounded through <strong>the</strong> woods, fog<br />

swept and rose between <strong>the</strong> trees, and a spaceship<br />

soared across <strong>the</strong> canopy, lit by flashing lights. You’d be<br />

forgiven for thinking a real alien invasion was happening,<br />

if not for slight glimpses of familiar faces behind face<br />

masks, large-scale puppetry, and behind two front-stage<br />

microphones where black-clad narrators wove a strange<br />

and poignant tale.<br />

The Aliens in <strong>the</strong> Woods, <strong>the</strong> 2021 middle school fall<br />

play, was a landmark event in every way: stewarded<br />

by middle-school performing arts instructor Mat<strong>the</strong>w<br />

E<strong>the</strong>rington and art instructor Lucia Marcus, <strong>the</strong><br />

production was devised from scratch by <strong>the</strong> students,<br />

who constructed <strong>the</strong> original story, costuming and props,<br />

and set design. Whereas <strong>the</strong> middle-school play typically<br />

works from an existing script and is performed indoors on<br />

a traditional stage, Aliens was intentionally site-specific:<br />

a new tale composed for what Mat<strong>the</strong>w and Lucia called<br />

<strong>the</strong> “special” site of U.T.O.T.<br />

The two instructors also took advantage of what <strong>the</strong>y<br />

described as a sense of openness and flexibility within<br />

<strong>the</strong> context of <strong>the</strong> ongoing pandemic. “I knew that I<br />

wasn’t going to find a written play that was perfect for<br />

<strong>the</strong> situation,” Mat<strong>the</strong>w said. “So we thought, why don’t<br />

we try and devise one ourselves and see what happens?<br />

It kind of gave us a bit of freedom in that we had <strong>the</strong>se<br />

limitations [due to social distancing]. Just as long as we<br />

had <strong>the</strong> kids engaged in doing something that was fun<br />

and productive — that was <strong>the</strong> goal.”<br />

Lucia and Mat<strong>the</strong>w both noticed an unprecedented level<br />

of collaboration and shared ownership amongst <strong>the</strong><br />

students as <strong>the</strong>y put toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> play, which was a more<br />

intensive undertaking than any previous productions.<br />

(Here’s <strong>the</strong> CliffsNotes version of <strong>the</strong> play’s plot: Duke<br />

School students begin to investigate <strong>the</strong> decreasing duck<br />

population in a nearby pond. Their initial inquiry quickly<br />

expands as <strong>the</strong>y learn <strong>the</strong> ducks are being eaten by alien<br />

refugees from ano<strong>the</strong>r planet, displaced by <strong>the</strong>ir lack of<br />

care for <strong>the</strong>ir home planet. By <strong>the</strong> end, Duke Schoolers<br />

22<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


and <strong>the</strong> aliens have reached a new understanding of<br />

each o<strong>the</strong>r and of how <strong>the</strong>y relate to and care for <strong>the</strong><br />

environments <strong>the</strong>y each call home.) To build <strong>the</strong> play,<br />

students commandeered a “writers’ room” and hurriedly<br />

work-shopped narrative elements. Everyone was involved<br />

in building <strong>the</strong> puppets, which ran <strong>the</strong> gamut from<br />

fantastical, glowing-eyed aliens to mad scientist-esque<br />

approximations of student-researchers. And when it<br />

came time to stage <strong>the</strong> play for <strong>the</strong> school community,<br />

everyone had a performance-based role, as opposed<br />

to only some students appearing on stage while o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

worked tech behind-<strong>the</strong>-scenes. As Lucia said, “everyone<br />

was a maker.”<br />

Mat<strong>the</strong>w and Lucia both think <strong>the</strong> process-based<br />

methods of devised <strong>the</strong>ater will inform <strong>the</strong>ir curricula<br />

going forward, regardless of whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y pursue an<br />

original play again for a mainstage production. They, and<br />

<strong>the</strong> students, were energized by its creative possibilities<br />

and challenges, and Mat<strong>the</strong>w has already observed its<br />

reverberations in more recent classroom work. Studying<br />

Brazilian <strong>the</strong>atermaker and activist Augosto Boal’s Theater<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Oppressed, students were working through scenes<br />

in a “more fluid” and more expansive way, Mat<strong>the</strong>w said.<br />

To deepen <strong>the</strong>ir collaboration between <strong>the</strong> performing<br />

and visual arts — and directly inspired by this devised<br />

project — Mat<strong>the</strong>w and Lucia traveled this spring to<br />

<strong>the</strong> mountains to attend a week-long shadow puppetry<br />

workshop at <strong>the</strong> Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville,<br />

NC. Professional and creative development opportunities<br />

like <strong>the</strong>se are, Lucia said, ano<strong>the</strong>r form of “walking into<br />

<strong>the</strong> unknown toge<strong>the</strong>r.”<br />

Fittingly, this line would’ve been at home in The Aliens<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Woods. Toward <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> play, accompanied<br />

by a live version of Imogen Heap’s eerie, existential<br />

a cappella tune “Hide and Seek,” <strong>the</strong> larger-than-life<br />

puppet-aliens began to descend upon <strong>the</strong> audience.<br />

They float-walked up <strong>the</strong> aisles, bending in to interact<br />

with <strong>the</strong>ir families and friends, forming and affirming<br />

a new version of community in <strong>the</strong> play’s fiction and<br />

in real life.<br />



Throughout <strong>the</strong> 2021-22 school year, two search committees worked diligently with <strong>the</strong> search firm StratéGenius, to find two new<br />

members of Duke School’s Leadership Team—Middle School Director and Director of Equity, Justice & Belonging (EJB). Committee<br />

chairs Claire Koerner (Middle School) and Cynthia Coward (EJB) reflect on <strong>the</strong> process and welcome <strong>the</strong>m members to <strong>the</strong>ir roles.<br />

Bob Robinson, Middle School Director<br />

A team of six Duke School faculty and staff worked to develop <strong>the</strong> criteria and<br />

assessment tools for reviewing applications, interviewing candidates, and sharing<br />

our campus with finalists. During this process we worked to be equitable in our<br />

evaluations, thoughtful in our process, and honest with ourselves and each o<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

Throughout <strong>the</strong> search, we met with several strong applicants and were impressed<br />

with <strong>the</strong>ir commitment to progressive education and Duke School. Ultimately, Bob<br />

Robinson’s extensive knowledge of <strong>the</strong> school, a desire to bring <strong>the</strong> middle school<br />

to <strong>the</strong> next level, and his ability to lead with integrity and trust of <strong>the</strong> community<br />

made him stand out from all of <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r candidates. We are thrilled to welcome<br />

him as our middle school director for <strong>the</strong> <strong>2022</strong>-2023 school year.<br />

Kimberly Shaw,<br />

Director of Equity, Justice, & Belonging<br />

The Diversity, Equity, Justice, & Belonging (DEJB) Search Committee consisted of<br />

seven faculty and staff members: Ben, Tori, Linda, Keandra, Eman, and Cynthia,<br />

who chaired <strong>the</strong> committee. The committee began <strong>the</strong>ir work by participating in a<br />

DEJB training with StratéGenius, a premier, BIPOC-owned candidate search group<br />

that partners with schools committed to equity practices. The training consisted of<br />

understanding <strong>the</strong> role of <strong>the</strong> committee, how bias plays a role in hiring, including<br />

<strong>the</strong> candidate search and o<strong>the</strong>r barriers to recruitment, and learning strategies for<br />

a successful search. From <strong>the</strong>re, <strong>the</strong> committee met to establish committee norms<br />

and plan <strong>the</strong> schedule for interviews and meetings.<br />

StratéGenius partnered with Duke School to begin a nationwide search for<br />

candidates. From <strong>the</strong>re, <strong>the</strong> committee focused on a group of nine very strong, diverse applicants. The committee<br />

met and selected six semi-finalists, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong>y interviewed <strong>the</strong> candidates via Zoom over <strong>the</strong> course of two weeks.<br />

The committee decided on five finalist candidates, and <strong>the</strong> finalists moved onto <strong>the</strong> next phase of <strong>the</strong> interview<br />

process, <strong>the</strong> on-campus visit. The committee and chair helped coordinate <strong>the</strong> finalists’ on-campus visits and evening<br />

dinners. The committee members welcomed each candidate with an evening dinner at a local restaurant before<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir campus visit, providing an opportunity to get to know <strong>the</strong> candidate in a relaxed setting. The day-long visits to<br />

campus consisted of finalists meeting faculty, staff, students, and parents, with each group providing feedback based<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir time with candidates. Each group had <strong>the</strong> opportunity to provide feedback. Based on that feedback and<br />

<strong>the</strong> committee’s observations, a recommendation was made to Lisa. The DEJB Search Committee worked diligently,<br />

dedicating <strong>the</strong>ir afternoons and several weekends to this extensive process. The committee is excited to welcome<br />

Kimberly Shaw to Duke School as our new Director of Diversity Equity Justice and Belonging.<br />

24<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />



Traditions and friendly competitions return and reshape in Duke School’s Middle School Library<br />

As a kindergartener, Cameron ‘23 noticed Battle of <strong>the</strong><br />

Books (BOB) as a middle school club in <strong>the</strong> yearbook<br />

and claims he knew <strong>the</strong>se were “his people.” Here was<br />

a “sport for people who like to sit inside on Sunday and<br />

read,” he remembers thinking. Fortunately, his experience<br />

on <strong>the</strong> team this year met his expectations.<br />

Adeline ‘22, one of 13 members of this year’s 7-8th grade<br />

team, echoes <strong>the</strong> community sentiment as a virtue of<br />

BOB. “I always like reading and talking about books so<br />

this is a cool opportunity.”<br />

Not surprisingly, many BOB team members appreciated<br />

<strong>the</strong> exposure to new books.<br />

Ananya ‘22 says BOB facilitated her connection in fifth<br />

grade to one of her all time favorite series, Cinder by<br />

Marissa Meyer. This year, she loved <strong>the</strong> thriller Bloom by<br />

Kenneth Oppel.<br />

Eliza ‘23, who initially worried about overextending herself<br />

by joining, “insta-committed” after her first meeting. “I’ve<br />

read all <strong>the</strong> books,” she says, which at 23 titles for <strong>the</strong><br />

‘21-’22 school year, is no small feat. The most surprising<br />

and fascinating book she read was <strong>the</strong> non-fiction title<br />

Undefeated by Steve Sheinkin.<br />

To accommodate Covid protocols, librarians and head<br />

coaches Elaine Cameron and Lisa Simmons modified <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

approach to BOB beginning March 2020, making it more<br />

informal, meeting exclusively<br />

outside with a smaller team and<br />

competing virtually one-onone<br />

against o<strong>the</strong>r area schools,<br />

instead of an all-day event with<br />

multiple teams as was done<br />

pre-Covid.<br />

This year, <strong>the</strong> long-standing<br />

DS tradition of <strong>the</strong> 7-8th grade<br />

team competing against a<br />

faculty team returned, allowing<br />

readers to experience <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

first in-person competition.<br />

Students narrowly edged out<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir teachers in a lively battle<br />

in May.<br />

Eighth grade Language Arts<br />

teacher Lauren Hiner has been<br />

involved with BOB every year<br />

while at Duke School and used<br />

her experience as an assistant<br />

coach to inform her approach<br />

as a competitor, knowing to look for context clues in<br />

questions.<br />

Math teacher Will Newman participated on <strong>the</strong> faculty<br />

team to encourage students’ passion for reading and<br />

to share his own passion for reading. Science teacher<br />

Cara Karra says she participates to give readers ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

chance to compete. “They’ve worked so hard,” she says.<br />

Additionally, <strong>the</strong> entire 5th and 6th grade competed<br />

against each o<strong>the</strong>r in advisories in June, not only building<br />

community around reading, but also allowing 7th and 8th<br />

BOB members to take a leadership role, selecting books<br />

and serving as coaches.<br />

Fifth grade Language Arts teacher Claire Koerner<br />

notes that BOB gives students “a time and place to<br />

be competitive that <strong>the</strong>y o<strong>the</strong>rwise might not have. It<br />

brings students toge<strong>the</strong>r as a team in a different way<br />

than athletics. This has been especially great for 5th<br />

graders during Covid so <strong>the</strong>y can feel that <strong>the</strong>y’re part of<br />

something bigger than just <strong>the</strong>ir grade.”<br />

Ultimately, Elaine says, “Battle of <strong>the</strong> Books at Duke<br />

School has always been about reading first, being<br />

on a team second, and lastly, getting a chance to<br />

compete. We are rewarded when, at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> final<br />

competition, our team is surrounding us asking about<br />

next year’s titles.”<br />

donor spotlight:<br />




For many years, current parents Clint and Kylie Harris<br />

along with Harris family grandparent Sandy McCay and<br />

current grandparents Vaughn and Nancy Bryson have<br />

been faithful supporters of Duke School. Their gifts have<br />

made a meaningful impact on our school annually. Still,<br />

both families wanted to leave an extraordinary gift at<br />

<strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> 2021- <strong>2022</strong> school year to Duke School<br />

in honor of <strong>the</strong>ir children and grandchildren graduating.<br />

These families saw a need at Duke School and decided<br />

to make a transformative gift that entailed providing <strong>the</strong><br />

lead gifts and challenging grandparents to raise matching<br />

funds to make <strong>the</strong> purchase of a new activity bus a reality.<br />

Thanks to <strong>the</strong>ir vision, lead gifts, and <strong>the</strong> generosity of<br />

96 additional grandparents, Duke School will be able<br />

to purchase a brand new 2023 activity bus, replacing<br />

<strong>the</strong> retiring 1999 diesel-powered version that has been<br />

a part of <strong>the</strong> campus fleet for several years. The new<br />

bus will be used for multi-purposes, including but not<br />

limited to field trips and transporting students for athletic<br />

events. Thomas Built Bus Company of North Carolina has<br />

constructed this activity bus with all <strong>the</strong> peace-of-mind<br />

features that come standard in larger buses. Their buses<br />

meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards<br />

(FMVSS) for school buses, making <strong>the</strong>m significantly safer<br />

than a typical 15-passenger van. It’s also easy to drive and<br />

maneuver while providing outstanding interior roominess.<br />

The activity bus is an efficient and maneuverable vehicle<br />

packed with all <strong>the</strong> safety features and sound engineering<br />

of bigger buses. Our goal was to ensure that this new bus<br />

was designed with ample safety features to protect your<br />

children and grandchildren.<br />

Clint and Kylie Harris have been current parents at Duke<br />

School since 2010. Their first child – William – graduated<br />

from Duke School in 2019 and currently attends high<br />

school at Virginia Episcopal School – in Lynchburg,<br />

Virginia. Their second child – Genevieve – graduated in<br />

<strong>the</strong> recent class of <strong>2022</strong> and will attend Cardinal Gibbons<br />

High School – in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Brysons have been current grandparents since 2016,<br />

when <strong>the</strong>ir grandson – Vaughn Bryson Moore – entered<br />

Duke School as a 3rd-grade student. Vaughn graduated<br />

in <strong>the</strong> recent class of <strong>2022</strong> and will attend The Loomis-<br />

Chaffe School, located in Windsor, Connecticut. Both<br />

families know <strong>the</strong> importance of academics and athletics<br />

and recognized <strong>the</strong> need to upgrade this aging vehicle.<br />

Dr. “C” Duke School’s Director of Advancement and<br />

Community Engagement worked closely with both<br />

families to secure <strong>the</strong> lead gifts. He thanks <strong>the</strong> Bryson<br />

Family, Harris Family, and all of <strong>the</strong> grandparents who<br />

rose to <strong>the</strong> challenge by sending in donations to make<br />

this acquisition a reality.<br />

A note from Dr. “C” — I am thrilled to be able to share<br />

this first of many donor profiles over <strong>the</strong> course of <strong>the</strong><br />

next year and <strong>the</strong> impact <strong>the</strong>se transformational gifts<br />

are making on <strong>the</strong> entire Duke School community. As<br />

you read about all of <strong>the</strong> incredible things taking place<br />

at Duke School, I hope you will take great comfort<br />

in knowing that our priority is <strong>the</strong> well-being of our<br />

community while continuing to deliver an exceptional<br />

educational experience.<br />

26<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


celebrating <strong>the</strong> achievements of <strong>the</strong> classes of <strong>2022</strong> & 2026...<br />


During <strong>the</strong> month of <strong>the</strong> 2021-22 school year, Duke<br />

School ga<strong>the</strong>red to celebrate two groups of students<br />

as <strong>the</strong>y took big steps in <strong>the</strong>ir academic journeys: <strong>the</strong><br />

classes of <strong>2022</strong> and 2026.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong>ir North Carolina Project culmination, Duke<br />

School’s fourth grade class, <strong>the</strong> class of 2026, ga<strong>the</strong>red<br />

with friends and family to celebrate <strong>the</strong>ir moving up to<br />

fifth grade and departure from Lower School.<br />

The two classes ga<strong>the</strong>red at U.T.O.T and Michelman<br />

Commons to share <strong>the</strong>ir favorite Lower School<br />

memories—moments ranging from guest experts in<br />

preschool to friendship building on <strong>the</strong> playground in<br />

third grade. Congratulations, Dragons!<br />

Later in June, <strong>the</strong> community ga<strong>the</strong>red at U.T.O.T to<br />

celebrate <strong>the</strong> eighth grade class on <strong>the</strong>ir graduation from<br />

Duke School. In a similar ceremony, each graduating<br />

Dragon shared <strong>the</strong>ir own special Duke School memories–<br />

one from <strong>the</strong>ir time as a student, and one unique<br />

moment with <strong>the</strong>ir Kindergarten Budd(y/ies) who were<br />

seated in <strong>the</strong> front row.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong> ceremony, <strong>the</strong> graduates ga<strong>the</strong>red with<br />

friends and family for a car parade through campus,<br />

cheered on by <strong>the</strong>ir fellow middle school peers. That<br />

evening, <strong>the</strong> Duke School community ga<strong>the</strong>red in <strong>the</strong><br />

Middle School Gym to formally celebrate each of <strong>the</strong>se<br />

graduates. We look forward to seeing where your journey<br />

takes you next!<br />

Class of 2026<br />

Moving Up Ceremony<br />


Join Duke School’s Alumni Facebook and<br />

LinkedIn Groups—forums for reconnection<br />

with former classmates and Duke School.<br />

Interested in updating your contact<br />

information? Email alumni@dukeschool.org<br />

28<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


CONGRATULATIONS, CLASS OF <strong>2022</strong><br />

Class of <strong>2022</strong> Graduation<br />

Celebration on June 9, <strong>2022</strong><br />

Celebrating <strong>the</strong> Class of <strong>2022</strong> and sharing <strong>the</strong>ir high school destinations:<br />

Camelot Academy<br />

Cardinal Gibbons<br />

Carolina Friends School<br />

Cary Academy<br />

Cedar Ridge High School<br />

Durham Academy<br />

Durham School of <strong>the</strong> Arts<br />

East Chapel Hill High School<br />

Eno River Academy<br />

Jordan High School<br />

The Loomis Chaffee School<br />

Montessori School of Raleigh<br />

Northfield Mount Hermon School<br />

Ravenscroft School<br />

Research Triangle High School<br />

Riverside High School<br />

St. Andrew’s School (Delaware)<br />

St. Mary’s School<br />

Trinity Academy<br />

Trinity School of Durham and<br />

Chapel Hill<br />

Woodberry Forest School<br />

30<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />


<strong>2022</strong> GRADUATION<br />

SPEAKER:<br />

NED PHILLIPS ‘98<br />

The <strong>2022</strong> Alumni Graduation Speaker Ned Phillips ‘98 reflects<br />

on his time on campus and attributes he built at Duke School<br />

Good afternoon Dragon graduates! My name is Ned<br />

Phillips and I want to congratulate you on this important<br />

and transformative day. I know how exciting it is to be in<br />

your seat because I was <strong>the</strong>re 24 years ago. This gym<br />

wasn’t here but that banner with my name on it was!<br />

You may have seen me wandering around campus with<br />

a camera in <strong>the</strong> recent months - that’s because I am a<br />

documentary filmmaker and was lucky enough to receive<br />

a call to come back to my alma mater to visit and help<br />

tell <strong>the</strong> story of this special place which changed my life<br />

and laid <strong>the</strong> groundwork for where I am today.<br />

I’d like to share a quote from one of my favorite poets,<br />

Charles Bukowski, that has specific relevance to me and<br />

my chosen path but I think will speak to each person here<br />

who is still discovering who <strong>the</strong>y are-<br />

“If you’re going to try, go all <strong>the</strong> way. O<strong>the</strong>rwise, don’t<br />

even start. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and <strong>the</strong><br />

worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you<br />

can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all <strong>the</strong> way. There<br />

is no o<strong>the</strong>r feeling like that. You will be alone with <strong>the</strong><br />

gods, and <strong>the</strong> nights will flame with fire. You will ride life<br />

straight to perfect laughter. It’s <strong>the</strong> only good fight<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is.”<br />

Now I would not advise digging deep into <strong>the</strong> works of<br />

Bukowski until you are a few years older but <strong>the</strong> message<br />

stands- find what excites you and pursue that to <strong>the</strong> ends<br />

of <strong>the</strong> earth.<br />

Duke School set me on <strong>the</strong> path to lead a creative life<br />

I once only dreamt of. The thing I love about film is<br />

that for me, it is <strong>the</strong> culmination of art- visual elements,<br />

writing and music all come toge<strong>the</strong>r in a way that<br />

creates a unique experience for an audience. Legendary<br />

director Robert Altman once said that “Filmmakers<br />

live a thousand lives” and I began putting those pieces<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> moment I stepped foot onto Duke School’s<br />

old Hull Avenue campus.<br />

In Beth and Melissa’s third grade class I wrote and<br />

performed an Elvis inspired blues song called “Head-lice<br />

Hotel” about <strong>the</strong> time our entire grade got head-lice. The<br />

song was co written and played on <strong>the</strong> piano by my best<br />

buddy at <strong>the</strong> time, Noah Sager, who went on to become,<br />

and still is, a professional jazz pianist.<br />

It was in Meg and Linda’s fourth grade class that I made<br />

my first documentary film - a biographical film about<br />

North Carolina governor Jim Hunt, shot and edited in<br />

camera on a VHS camcorder and set to a John Cougar<br />

Mellencamp soundtrack. Little did I know this first<br />

adventure into filmmaking would become my eventual<br />

life’s calling.<br />

During our 6th grade study of <strong>the</strong> Middle Ages I<br />

convinced Jane Ann it would be appropriate to put on<br />

a production of <strong>the</strong> musical Camelot. Despite knowing<br />

that King Arthur is <strong>the</strong> better role, I campaigned for and<br />

was cast as Lancelot because of his far more dramatic<br />

character arc and general hunkiness. I was never much<br />

of a singer but I can assure you that no one sang “C’est<br />

Moi” with more volume than I did.<br />

As a 7th grader, my rock band “Goats Where They<br />

Shouldn’t Be” had recorded our first demo and was really<br />

taking off. We had a monthly residency at Chapel Hill’s<br />

teen club Street Scene where I was paid 50 dollars a night<br />

on top of all <strong>the</strong> sprite I could drink. It was actually my<br />

first paid job. I invited <strong>the</strong> whole class to our headlining<br />

“This space [at Duke<br />

School], which allowed me<br />

to be creative, vulnerable,<br />

curious and supported,<br />

laid <strong>the</strong> groundwork for<br />

me to move through <strong>the</strong><br />

rest of life with confidence<br />

and empathy.”<br />

performance at CenterFest in downtown Durham. The<br />

day of <strong>the</strong> show I was so nervous I almost bailed out<br />

but my mom reminded me that as <strong>the</strong> drummer, I was<br />

<strong>the</strong> heartbeat of <strong>the</strong> band and I couldn’t abandon my<br />

bandmates. So I sucked it up and went and <strong>the</strong> show was<br />

a smash.<br />

Jan and Dan’s eighth grade really saw me in an Orson<br />

Welles period, flourishing creatively as I wrote, directed<br />

and starred in a play about Al Capone in prohibition<br />

era Chicago.<br />

One of <strong>the</strong> most important things to happen in my young<br />

life occurred here at Duke School in <strong>the</strong> sixth grade. I had<br />

finished a worksheet that needed to be turned in and I<br />

had some time so I started doodling on <strong>the</strong> edges of <strong>the</strong><br />

paper and pretty soon all <strong>the</strong> blank space was covered<br />

in abstraction. The next day, my teacher Jane Ann<br />

pulled me aside and gifted me a brand new acid free<br />

sketchbook with new colored pencils. She told me that<br />

she loved my artwork and that anytime, whenever I felt<br />

compelled to, I should pull out my sketchbook and draw.<br />

This thoughtful gesture, paired with <strong>the</strong> encouragement I<br />

got made me feel seen and valued. I knew <strong>the</strong>n it was ok<br />

to be myself and show o<strong>the</strong>rs who that was.<br />

I truly believe I would not be where I am today had I not<br />

had <strong>the</strong> experiences Duke School gave me. This space,<br />

which allowed me to be creative, vulnerable, curious and<br />

supported, laid <strong>the</strong> groundwork for me to move through<br />

<strong>the</strong> rest of life with confidence and empathy. Ultimately<br />

I was able to build a career for myself based on my own<br />

values, skills and interests.<br />

In my spare time I traveled to Japan, Brazil, New Zealand,<br />

Tanzania and dozens of o<strong>the</strong>r countries working as<br />

photographer and writer for an online travel magazine,<br />

where I had a monthly column about being an American<br />

Living abroad. I’ve shot music videos that won <strong>the</strong> Hip<br />

Hop Film festival in Harlem, I’ve edited television shows<br />

that received Emmy Awards and been through seven<br />

home births while filming a documentary about <strong>the</strong> last<br />

traditional midwife in Costa Rica.<br />

I tell you this not to boast but share with you what is<br />

possible when you keep an open mind and lean into<br />

your skills and interests. Being back here for a few<br />

days reminded me of what an exciting and important<br />

phase of life this is. I’m so excited for you to go on to<br />

whatever is next, armed with <strong>the</strong> knowledge and personal<br />

development you have received here. So many of my<br />

classmates, who I am still in touch with, have gone on to<br />

do incredible things and I have no doubt you all will do<br />

<strong>the</strong> same. You are now part of <strong>the</strong> illustrious Duke School<br />

Alumni, a distinction that carries weight far and wide! So<br />

thank your parents for all <strong>the</strong>y have done for you during<br />

this time, it’s a sacrifice you won’t truly appreciate and<br />

understand until you’re older. Be kind to and supportive<br />

of your siblings if you have <strong>the</strong>m and when your teachers<br />

offer advice or insight, listen close for it may change your<br />

entire trajectory in ways not yet known.<br />

Having said all that I’ll recall once again <strong>the</strong> words of<br />

Bukowski - “If you’re going to try, go all <strong>the</strong> way. There<br />

is no o<strong>the</strong>r feeling like that. You will be alone with <strong>the</strong><br />

gods, and <strong>the</strong> nights will flame with fire. You will ride life<br />

straight to perfect laughter. It’s <strong>the</strong> only good fight<br />

<strong>the</strong>re is.”<br />

Now go and make <strong>the</strong> rest of us Dragons proud!<br />

Thank you.<br />

A full profile of Ned Phillips ‘98 is printed in <strong>the</strong> “Staying<br />

Connected: Alumni News” section of this issue, located<br />

on page 71.<br />

Interested in speaking at a future graduation or want<br />

to update us on what you’re up to? Please reach out to<br />

alumni@dukeschool.org—we’d love to hear from you.<br />

32<br />


2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR<br />





“From my first day in preschool, to<br />

now, I never thought <strong>the</strong> day would<br />

come where I would be writing this.<br />

Throughout my 10 years at Duke<br />

School I have learned more than I<br />

can count, but what will stick with me<br />

for <strong>the</strong> rest of my life are <strong>the</strong> lessons<br />

I have learned and <strong>the</strong> friends I have<br />

made.<br />

Not only have I learned math,<br />

science, social studies, and language<br />

arts, but I have learned to be a critical<br />

thinker, to push myself to what I am<br />

capable of, and how to take <strong>the</strong>se<br />

lessons to high school and beyond.<br />

I will forever be grateful to Duke<br />

School for what it has taught me and<br />

helping me become <strong>the</strong> person I<br />

am today.”<br />


“I’m so glad that <strong>the</strong> past six years<br />

that I’ve been here have had [such]<br />

wonderful experiences. For <strong>the</strong><br />

foreseeable future, I’m still going<br />

to be a Duke Schooler, because no<br />

matter where <strong>the</strong> world takes me,<br />

I will always have something that<br />

reminds me of here.”<br />


“In my three years at Duke School, I<br />

have learned that you can be yourself<br />

and don’t have to change who you<br />

are just to be accepted. Duke School<br />

will bring out <strong>the</strong> best in you.”<br />


“For <strong>the</strong> past nine years, Duke School<br />

has been a home away from home<br />

for me. Since coming to Duke School<br />

in kindergarten, I have always felt<br />

welcomed, even though I was shy<br />

and still learning English.<br />

I feel that my experiences at<br />

Duke School have grown me as a<br />

person, helping me gain more self<br />

confidence. My teachers & my peers<br />

have always been supportive, and<br />

helped me grown academically and<br />

socially...<br />

Duke School has taught me <strong>the</strong><br />

power of problem solving and asking<br />

questions. I will always remember<br />

Duke School as <strong>the</strong> foundation for my<br />

learning.<br />

I will forever treasure <strong>the</strong> experiences<br />

and <strong>the</strong> people.”<br />

“I have been at Duke School since<br />

second grade, and I have enjoyed<br />

every moment here. I have so many<br />

fond memories and have made <strong>the</strong><br />

closest friends. I am so grateful to<br />

have gone to this school. ”<br />


“I know that Duke School has opened<br />

many windows for me. I now have <strong>the</strong><br />

power to speak my mind, and I can<br />

see people differently than I would if I<br />

wasn’t at Duke School. I will come out<br />

with an ability to see that everyone<br />

is different, that everyone has<br />

something that makes <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong>m,<br />

and <strong>the</strong>refore something that makes<br />

<strong>the</strong>m special.”<br />

34<br />



75 YEARS OF<br />


75 Years. That’s a lot of morning meetings, countless<br />

projects, thousands of culminations, infinite questions<br />

asked, and many ga<strong>the</strong>rings at U.T.O.T.<br />

On our <strong>75th</strong> <strong>Anniversary</strong>, we celebrate not simply <strong>the</strong><br />

strength of our School, but <strong>the</strong> people that have made<br />

this place so special for three-quarters of a century.<br />

We are a group of Upstanders, problem-solvers, and<br />

community-builders.<br />

What we do here matters and has since 1947.<br />

Our community is inclusive, vital, knows how to have<br />

fun, and lift one ano<strong>the</strong>r up. Every member of <strong>the</strong> Duke<br />

School family has helped shape <strong>the</strong> school in <strong>the</strong>ir own<br />

way, adding to our traditions and history.<br />

We hope you will join us throughout <strong>the</strong> year in<br />

celebrating all that makes Duke School a special place<br />

and remain a part of this family as we continue to write<br />

<strong>the</strong> history of our School for future generations to come.<br />


space expanded within <strong>the</strong> Bivins Building<br />

through <strong>the</strong> 1960s and 1970s as enrollment<br />

increased, and it added third grade in 1979.<br />

In 1982, Duke University decided to cease<br />

sponsoring <strong>the</strong> school, which was no longer<br />

used often for observation. School director<br />

Janet Clement and parents, with <strong>the</strong><br />

support of Duke President Terry Sanford,<br />

worked to continue <strong>the</strong> school by securing<br />

a lease for two plots of land owned by Duke<br />

University on Hull Avenue, as well as a loan<br />

for construction.<br />

Duke School for Children opened in 1984.<br />

Its buildings, designed and constructed<br />

in consultation with teachers, contained<br />

classrooms that opened to <strong>the</strong> outdoors as<br />

well as to common indoor areas.<br />

as well as academic and physical growth,” she said. “It<br />

was exactly what one studies when you go to education<br />

school.”<br />

After several years of parent interest and planning, Duke<br />

Middle School opened in 1992. The campus on Erwin<br />

Road was a former dairy farm surrounded by Duke Forest.<br />

The middle school served students starting in fifth grade<br />

and graduated its first eighth-grade class in 1995.<br />

School leaders preserved <strong>the</strong> lower school’s focus on<br />

building problem solving and collaboration skills in <strong>the</strong><br />

middle grades, along with <strong>the</strong> structure of two classroom<br />

teachers working with <strong>the</strong> same group of students<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> day.<br />

“In those early days, we were—to degrees wittingly and<br />

to some degrees accidentally—kind of developing what<br />

became <strong>the</strong> project curriculum,” said Middle School<br />

The school expanded to sixth grade<br />

in <strong>the</strong> 1985-1986 school year. In<br />

1990, <strong>the</strong> completion of additional<br />

classrooms, a library, and a gym<br />

allowed for fur<strong>the</strong>r growth.<br />

Before <strong>the</strong>n, limited space and<br />

resources encouraged teachers<br />

like Candy Thompson, who taught<br />

physical education for <strong>the</strong> elementary<br />

grades from 1988 to 2018, to be<br />

creative. “I remember doing dance,<br />

especially, on Case Street,” she said,<br />

referring to <strong>the</strong> dead-end road at <strong>the</strong><br />

bottom of Hull Avenue. “So we were<br />

literally dancing in <strong>the</strong> streets.”<br />

SINCE 1947: A HISTORY<br />


Thousands of students have passed through Duke<br />

School’s classrooms over <strong>the</strong> years, many of <strong>the</strong>m at <strong>the</strong><br />

nearly 40-acre campus on Erwin Road that <strong>the</strong> school now<br />

calls home. But <strong>the</strong> school’s roots stretch back 75 years<br />

to a room in <strong>the</strong> Bivins Building on Duke University’s East<br />

Campus.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> late 1940s, researchers at Duke’s Department of<br />

Psychology conceived <strong>the</strong> idea for a “laboratory” school<br />

where undergraduate and graduate students could<br />

observe normal development in young children. Duke<br />

Nursery School held morning and afternoon sessions with<br />

15 children each.<br />

The nursery school became Duke Preschool in <strong>the</strong> 1960s<br />

and later <strong>the</strong> Duke University Preschool and Primary<br />

Program when it expanded to kindergarten and first<br />

grade. School leaders based <strong>the</strong> curriculum on that of<br />

British Infant Schools, which used an integrated, projectmethod<br />

approach to teaching. The school’s physical<br />

The school’s integrated curriculum<br />

meant that many instructional<br />

<strong>the</strong>mes spanned classrooms as well as subject<br />

areas. “Integrating physical activity with project<br />

work gave me a whole new approach,” Candy<br />

said. “Having a movement <strong>the</strong>me that tied in<br />

with something <strong>the</strong>y were already learning about<br />

seemed to make a huge difference to <strong>the</strong> students<br />

and how <strong>the</strong>y bought into it. It really did change<br />

<strong>the</strong> way I taught.”<br />

The focus on project work was part of what<br />

attracted Curriculum Director Kathy Bartelmay to<br />

<strong>the</strong> school in <strong>the</strong> late 1980s, first as <strong>the</strong> parent of<br />

an incoming kindergartener, and later as an early<br />

intervention reading specialist.<br />

“Duke School just fit <strong>the</strong> bill for everything—in<br />

staying current with research, educating <strong>the</strong> whole<br />

child, paying attention to social-emotional growth<br />

38<br />


“Duke School just fit[s] <strong>the</strong><br />

bill for everything—in staying<br />

current with research, educating<br />

<strong>the</strong> whole child, paying<br />

attention to social-emotional<br />

growth as well as academic<br />

and physical growth”<br />

Teachers College to hone a workshop approach to<br />

identifying teaching strategies, trying <strong>the</strong>m out, and<br />

meeting regularly in groups to determine how <strong>the</strong>y<br />

were working.<br />

Over time, <strong>the</strong> middle school shifted to a<br />

departmentalized teaching structure, with each of <strong>the</strong><br />

four grade-level teachers specializing in math, science,<br />

language arts, or social studies. “We stopped having two<br />

different classrooms with potentially different programs in<br />

each and having <strong>the</strong> student experience be of <strong>the</strong> grade<br />

as a whole,” said Bob.<br />

Teacher-driven improvements to subject curricula and<br />

continuing collaboration with researchers like Katz, Chard,<br />

and The Curious Classroom author Harvey “Smokey”<br />

Daniels have allowed <strong>the</strong> school to continue building and<br />

innovating its instructional approaches.<br />

Division Director Bob Robinson. Bob joined Duke Middle<br />

School in 1994, first as an after school teacher and soccer<br />

coach, and <strong>the</strong>n as a middle school language arts and<br />

social studies teacher.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> late 1990s, <strong>the</strong> project-oriented curriculum grew<br />

with a professional development collaboration with Lillian<br />

Katz and Sylvia Chard, authors of Engaging Children’s<br />

Minds: The Project Approach.<br />

“It’s allowed our overall program, I think, to be really<br />

strong—not just <strong>the</strong> project work, but how it all fits<br />

toge<strong>the</strong>r,” said Kathy.<br />

For students, <strong>the</strong> project-based curriculum and school<br />

culture often have impact beyond elementary and middle<br />

school. “I think with my kids, it was this confidence to<br />

ask questions of o<strong>the</strong>r adults and a comfort in doing<br />

so that just serves you well, “said Kathy. “That’s a really<br />

important quality to have in any field.”<br />

Lower school and, later, middle school teachers began<br />

attending weeklong programs at Columbia University’s<br />

In <strong>the</strong> mid-2000s, school leaders and parents formed a<br />

task force to explore consolidating <strong>the</strong> lower and middle<br />

schools onto a single campus. “They had experienced<br />

1947<br />

Early 1970s<br />

1978<br />

1982<br />

Duke School, known <strong>the</strong>n as Duke Nursery<br />

School, opens on Duke University’s East<br />

Campus in <strong>the</strong> Bivins Building with educators<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Schools of Psychology and Education.<br />

The “Duke School Preschool Scholarship<br />

Fund” is launched with <strong>the</strong> purpose of<br />

engaging local families and increasing <strong>the</strong><br />

diversity of <strong>the</strong> school.<br />

Margaret Mason joins <strong>the</strong><br />

school as <strong>the</strong> first Director<br />

of Curriculum.<br />

Janet Clement joins <strong>the</strong> school as our<br />

first Director. She would go on to lead<br />

<strong>the</strong> school for 17 years.<br />

Our preschool program expands from thirty<br />

to fifty children while maintaining <strong>the</strong> childcentered,<br />

hands-on approach to learning that<br />

is central to our pedagogy<br />

1963<br />

The school adds first<br />

and second grades to<br />

<strong>the</strong> program.<br />

1974<br />

Thanks to a partnership between Duke University, its President Terry<br />

Sanford, and parents in <strong>the</strong> Program, Duke School for Children<br />

breaks ground on a new campus located on Hull Avenue in Durham,<br />

signaling a new chapter of independence for our school.<br />

1984<br />

40<br />


kids in both divisions and how <strong>the</strong>re just wasn’t <strong>the</strong><br />

seamlessness that <strong>the</strong>y knew Duke School could be,”<br />

reflects Kathy.<br />

In 2009, <strong>the</strong> lower school moved from Hull Avenue to <strong>the</strong><br />

Erwin Road campus.<br />

“The fact that it was on two campuses had a lot of<br />

parents thinking about <strong>the</strong> school as being two separate<br />

schools—<strong>the</strong>re was a lower school and a middle school,<br />

and it wasn’t Duke School,” said Dave Michelman, who<br />

served as head of school from 2006 to 2020. “So one of<br />

<strong>the</strong> big challenges was, even before <strong>the</strong> move, to create<br />

a whole school culture that was Duke School.”<br />

Building that culture involved a re-branding effort—Duke<br />

School for Children and Duke Middle School became<br />

simply Duke School. The school adopted an official<br />

song and poem, Jack Prelutsky’s “Once They All Believed<br />

in Dragons.”<br />

“The proximity [of one campus]<br />

has allowed us to really make <strong>the</strong><br />

experience of <strong>the</strong> school for both<br />

students and parents”<br />

and teachers—a real continuous one, with lots of different<br />

traditions to look forward to participating in,” said Bob.<br />

Despite <strong>the</strong> changes, some common threads still connect<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1940s laboratory school, <strong>the</strong> Hull Avenue lower<br />

school, and <strong>the</strong> prekindergarten through eighth grade<br />

campus of today. “Duke School is still a school that<br />

challenges students to think and gives <strong>the</strong>m agency,”<br />

said Dave. “Students love being treated like people and<br />

not like cogs in a machine.”<br />

The school also found ways to encourage interaction<br />

among older and younger students. The Kindergarten<br />

Reading Buddies program pairs eighth graders with<br />

kindergarteners to meet and mentor throughout <strong>the</strong> year,<br />

culminating in sharing special moments and memories<br />

at <strong>the</strong> end-of-year Tree Ceremony before eighth-grade<br />

graduation. Campus-wide events like Earth Day, Dragon<br />

Fest basketball games, and Fall Festival fur<strong>the</strong>r foster a<br />

sense of community.<br />

“The proximity has allowed us to really make <strong>the</strong><br />

experience of <strong>the</strong> school for both students and parents—<br />

Moving forward, <strong>the</strong> school’s curriculum and community<br />

continue to expand <strong>the</strong> project approach into “looking at<br />

ways that kids can become innovators, both in terms of<br />

seeing problems in <strong>the</strong> world and developing solutions<br />

for <strong>the</strong>m,” said Kathy.<br />

“Duke School has always committed to educating <strong>the</strong><br />

whole child, following kids’ interests, and having a<br />

deep, inquiry-based program where kids’ questions are<br />

honored—but not only honored, where <strong>the</strong>y learn to<br />

refine those questions and develop deeper questioning,”<br />

she said.<br />

1984<br />

1992<br />

1999<br />

2009<br />

Fall <strong>2022</strong><br />

Duke School for Children opens <strong>the</strong> doors<br />

at <strong>the</strong> new Hull Avenue campus for students<br />

in Preschool through third grade, adding<br />

additional grades each summer.<br />

Duke School Middle School<br />

campus receives its first<br />

students in <strong>the</strong> fall.<br />

Janet Clement<br />

Retires as <strong>the</strong><br />

School’s Director.<br />

Duke School’s Preschool, Lower,<br />

and Middle schools join toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

on an expanded single campus<br />

on Erwin Road.<br />

Duke School celebrates its<br />

75 th <strong>Anniversary</strong>!<br />

Duke School secures land off Old Erwin Road,<br />

a former dairy farm, that would eventually<br />

house <strong>the</strong> new Middle School. Jim Colavito<br />

was appointed <strong>the</strong> first Middle School Director.<br />

1991<br />

Duke School<br />

celebrates its 50 th<br />

<strong>Anniversary</strong>.<br />

1997<br />

Dave Michelman retires after serving 14 years as Head of School; Lisa<br />

Nagel joins our community as our newest Head of School. Duke School<br />

remains open throughout <strong>the</strong> COVID-19 Pandemic, offering Bridged<br />

Distance Learning and in-person learning opportunities for our students.<br />

2020<br />

42<br />


uilding a community around this education model...<br />


TOP<br />

5<br />


As we celebrate Duke School’s <strong>75th</strong> anniversary, I’ve<br />

enjoyed looking back at my personal history with <strong>the</strong><br />

school. John Dewey believed that schools must be social<br />

institutions where children are empowered to problemsolve,<br />

which inspired me to teach, so when I later<br />

searched for a school for my own children, Duke School<br />

seemed <strong>the</strong> only choice. I first came to Duke School as a<br />

parent but remained here as <strong>the</strong> Curriculum Director.<br />

Duke School’s commitment to helping students explore,<br />

question, investigate, and collaborate was everything<br />

I’d hoped for. When my daughter<br />

seemed disinterested in her first grade<br />

LEGO engineering project, her teacher<br />

Laurie Alexander built on Sarah’s love<br />

of playground time and suggested<br />

she design a new K-1 playground. She<br />

handed Sarah several LEGO people, and<br />

Sarah was hooked. Naming <strong>the</strong> figures<br />

after her friends Holt and Lilli, Sarah<br />

designed elaborate play structures from<br />

LEGO pieces. The model was completed<br />

30 years ago, but <strong>the</strong> problem-solving<br />

and persistence Sarah learned<br />

continued to serve her well years later in<br />

her practice as a clinical psychologist.<br />

Since <strong>the</strong>n, Duke School’s commitment<br />

to student agency and problem-solving<br />

has remained constant as we grew and<br />

improved our community. Striving to provide a consistent<br />

preschool-8th curriculum, we formally adopted <strong>the</strong><br />

Project Approach, a student-centered inquiry approach<br />

to project-based learning. We also began using <strong>the</strong><br />

approach in our professional development. Like <strong>the</strong><br />

students we teach, teachers notice areas of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

curriculum that need improvement, create study groups,<br />

and invite consultants to campus to help us refine our<br />

practice. And hoping to make project work accessible to<br />

all children, we created <strong>the</strong> Educators Institute at Duke<br />

How might<br />

we enhance our<br />

projects so that<br />

students develop <strong>the</strong><br />

agency to make<br />

<strong>the</strong> world a<br />

better place?<br />

School, where educators from around <strong>the</strong> world come to<br />

campus to learn about project work.<br />

It was through one of those teacher-initiated inquiries a<br />

few years back that we began our work with innovation<br />

and social justice. How might we enhance our projects<br />

so that students develop <strong>the</strong> agency to make <strong>the</strong> world<br />

a better place? Professional development included a<br />

deep dive into design thinking and an exploration of<br />

student agency with Upstanders authors Sara Ahmed<br />

and Smokey Daniels. To fur<strong>the</strong>r this work, Innovation<br />

Director Katie Ree developed our<br />

Innovation Grant program. When<br />

students observed a need at school,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y submitted proposals, which were<br />

reviewed by a committee of students<br />

and administrators and approved or<br />

sent back for fur<strong>the</strong>r iterations. When<br />

sixth graders Claire and Emma noticed<br />

lunch waste that couldn’t be recycled,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y wrote a proposal to create a<br />

TerraCycling program for <strong>the</strong>ir building.<br />

They educated classmates, made drop<br />

boxes, and enlisted drivers to help <strong>the</strong>m<br />

deliver <strong>the</strong> recycling items to Forest<br />

View School. The girls persisted with<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir work throughout <strong>the</strong> year and<br />

expanded it to <strong>the</strong> entire middle school<br />

<strong>the</strong> following year.<br />

As I reflect upon Duke School’s next 75 years, <strong>the</strong><br />

challenges of preparing students to tackle <strong>the</strong> waste in<br />

our environment, global warming, racial injustice, and<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r problems feel daunting. But if we stay focused<br />

on <strong>the</strong> school’s foundational mission and teach children<br />

to notice problems, be daring and persistent in finding<br />

solutions, and work collaboratively with people from all<br />

walks of life to solve those problems, I am optimistic that<br />

our graduates will make <strong>the</strong>ir world a better place.<br />

Beginning as a preschool, Duke School builds a strong foundation for our youngest learners. Check out our top 5 experiences in preschool:<br />

1<br />


As an extension to <strong>the</strong> classroom, <strong>the</strong><br />

outdoor learning spaces provide our<br />

preschool students with <strong>the</strong> opportunity<br />

to engage and freely explore throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir inside and outside learning environments. The<br />

outdoors are considered an extension to learning<br />

and <strong>the</strong> classroom. Adjacent to Duke Forest, students<br />

explore nature at it’s finest. Exploring forest trails,<br />

exploring and engaging in <strong>the</strong> natural environment,<br />

students learn about <strong>the</strong> natural world that surrounds<br />

<strong>the</strong>m. Though project-based learning, students listen<br />

to birds, identifying trees and leaves, and exploring <strong>the</strong><br />

ecosystems along Mud Creek.<br />

2<br />


Through project-based learning, students<br />

are engaged in learning kinetically as<br />

<strong>the</strong>y learn and investigate real-life topics.<br />

To enrich <strong>the</strong> learning experiences in<br />

our preschool program, guest experts share knowledge<br />

on <strong>the</strong> topic as students ask questions to acquire<br />

knowledge. Learning experiences afford students to learn<br />

and engage in <strong>the</strong> world around through project-based<br />

learning.<br />

3<br />


Students celebrate <strong>the</strong>ir own individual<br />

unique character traits and sense of self.<br />

A culture of respect of one’s similarities<br />

and differences in our preschool settings,<br />

creates a safe, secure, environment for young children to<br />

freely express <strong>the</strong>mselves as unique individuals. Through<br />

<strong>the</strong> Responsive Classroom (First Six Weeks of School)<br />

and throughout <strong>the</strong> school year, cultural awareness of<br />

ones, and learning about <strong>the</strong> world-view of o<strong>the</strong>rs, is<br />

discussed. Reading culturally diverse books, prompting<br />

in-depth discussions and conversations, exploring <strong>the</strong>se<br />

differences in project-based learning, and incorporating<br />

curriculums of <strong>the</strong> Anti-Bias Curriculum allow students to<br />

be culturally competent in a diverse world.<br />

4<br />


At Duke School, we recognize that<br />

development is not a race. Children<br />

learn and grow at <strong>the</strong>ir own pace;<br />

<strong>the</strong>refore, in our preschool programs<br />

we guide <strong>the</strong> individual child and not just <strong>the</strong> whole<br />

group. Children are exposed to a wide range of learning<br />

experiences which are geared to each child’s individual<br />

learning styles. Considering <strong>the</strong> various learning<br />

styles and developmental ranges of young children,<br />

differentiation of instruction and scaffolding occurs daily<br />

throughout our multi-age classrooms.<br />

5<br />


Preschoolers are able to experience<br />

additional experiences outside of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

classroom with additional experts.<br />

Students are able to learn about art<br />

through use of materials and techniques during art<br />

programming with <strong>the</strong> art teachers weekly. They are also<br />

engaged in music and movement activities weekly with<br />

our music teacher and <strong>the</strong>y participate weekly in physical<br />

education in <strong>the</strong> gymnasium, where <strong>the</strong>y work on physical<br />

motor skills in stations.<br />




Take a look back at our school archives as we celebrate all<br />

<strong>the</strong> moments that have added to <strong>the</strong> Duke School history,<br />

traditions, and culture of our community over <strong>the</strong> past<br />

75 years.<br />

Photographs from <strong>the</strong> early days in <strong>the</strong> Bivins Building at<br />

Duke University (pictured below and at right) parallel<br />

snapshots through <strong>the</strong> years up through <strong>the</strong> present-day<br />

community. While campuses and faces have changed<br />

over <strong>the</strong> years, foundations such as project work,<br />

collaboration, and community remain as a throughline<br />

throughout Duke School’s 75 years.<br />

Archival materials are courtesy of <strong>the</strong> Duke University<br />

Archives, <strong>the</strong> Durham Morning Herald (by Jamie Francis<br />

and Charles Cooper), <strong>the</strong> Herald-Sun Newspapers.<br />

Special thank you to Spee Dee Que Printing in Durham,<br />

NC for assisting in <strong>the</strong> digitizing of many Duke School<br />

archival materials. We encourage any with stories about<br />

photographs to email communications@dukeschool.org.<br />


On this page: snapshots of classroom life in <strong>the</strong> Bivins Building at Duke University. Students Amy & Sylvia<br />

share work toge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong> upstairs classroom, Fall 1973 (Top Left).<br />

Bottom Left: The “Duke Preschool Laboratory” (<strong>the</strong> first iteration of Duke School) was featured in <strong>the</strong><br />

September 1967 issues of <strong>the</strong> Duke Alumni Register. Photographs from this publication by Paul Seder.<br />

48<br />


On this page: groundbreaking<br />

ceremonies of Duke School’s campus.<br />

Dorothy Kitchen’s String School students<br />

performed as part of <strong>the</strong> festivities.<br />

Due to <strong>the</strong> efforts of parents working in<br />

partnership with Duke University & its president<br />

at <strong>the</strong> time, Terry Sanford), Duke School for<br />

Children gained independence from Duke<br />

University in 1984.<br />

Pictured Above: Terry Sanford initiates <strong>the</strong><br />

groundbreaking for <strong>the</strong> school where, at<br />

<strong>the</strong> time, <strong>the</strong>re were 55 students enrolled in<br />

preschool-third grade.<br />

Students took part in <strong>the</strong> groundbreaking and<br />

ribbon cutting, and learned from architects Jack<br />

Hebrank, Ann McCann, and Roger Barr about<br />

<strong>the</strong> new construction plans.<br />

50<br />


Pictured above: An early class photograph<br />

courtesy of <strong>the</strong> Durham Herald (estimated around<br />

1987).<br />

Pictured at right: The new school buildings<br />

under construction, viewed from Erwin Road, as<br />

well as <strong>the</strong> City of Durham road closure notice for<br />

Duke School’s early construction days. Initially,<br />

<strong>the</strong>se facilities hosted <strong>the</strong> Middle School students<br />

exclusively, while Lower School remained on Hull<br />

Avenue in Durham. Janet Clement and Jim Colavito<br />

(First Middle School Director) stand in front of <strong>the</strong><br />

newly constructed Middle School Buildings in 1992.<br />

52<br />


Classroom and playground happenings photographed at left, dates unknown. Pictured above: One of <strong>the</strong> buildings<br />

that comprised <strong>the</strong> Hull Avenue campus of Duke School. Located here following <strong>the</strong> gain of independence from Duke<br />

University, Duke School’s Lower School remained on Hull Avenue for a number of years before merging into <strong>the</strong> singular<br />

campus on Erwin Road. Pictured below: Duke School logos through <strong>the</strong> years.<br />

54<br />


Pictured clockwise from left: Duke School students work on a quilting project collaboratively in <strong>the</strong> gymnasium; Faculty<br />

& Staff work toge<strong>the</strong>r to relocate large benches for outside time on <strong>the</strong> Erwin Road Campus; Kindergarten students<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>r in Building A in 2018 to perform <strong>the</strong>ir 100th Day of School song for <strong>the</strong> eighth grade class; The Middle School<br />

community of 2004-05 photographed on campus.<br />


Pictured clockwise from left: The <strong>2022</strong> Duke School<br />

third grade class visits Durham City Hall as part of<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir Durham: Then and Now Project; students ga<strong>the</strong>r<br />

on campus; Duke School students featured in The<br />

Durham Sun in May 1990 for <strong>the</strong>ir work encouraging<br />

recycling on campus and in <strong>the</strong>ir communities; an<br />

alumni ga<strong>the</strong>ring on Erwin Road’s campus; Duke<br />

School Chorus Performance.<br />

58<br />


Student life from 2005-<strong>2022</strong>: featuring<br />

graduation, field trips, field research,<br />

community artwork, and lots of fun.<br />

Pictured below: Former Head of School<br />

Dave Michelman helps with <strong>the</strong> ribbon<br />

cutting event on Erwin Road—marking<br />

<strong>the</strong> unification of two Duke School<br />

campuses into one, thus relocating <strong>the</strong><br />

Lower School from Hull Avenue to<br />

Erwin Road.<br />

At left: The Duke School for Children<br />

Middle School “Wednesday Express”<br />

newsletter, featuring upcoming events<br />

and community wide initiatives, student<br />

announcements and artwork, political<br />

cartoons, and reminders about <strong>the</strong><br />

upcoming school year.<br />



So many individuals have helped shape our school <strong>the</strong>se past 75 years. From our earliest days<br />

on Duke University’s East Campus to our shared campus on Erwin Road, every member of our<br />

community contributed to creating <strong>the</strong> tapestry of our traditions, mission, and beliefs.<br />

The collaboration that defines our daily work on campus is seen in big and small ways through <strong>the</strong><br />

vision, leadership, guidance, and stewardship of <strong>the</strong> people in <strong>the</strong> pages to follow. Something that<br />

sets our school apart is that we all have a special place in our history, and we all know someone that<br />

made <strong>the</strong>ir mark on us during our time here.<br />

These are just a few of <strong>the</strong> people who left an indelible mark on our school since our establishment<br />

in 1947. We thank <strong>the</strong>m for <strong>the</strong>ir role in making Duke School a special place.<br />



BANHAM<br />

Founding educators and<br />

psychologists at Duke University that<br />

helped develop <strong>the</strong> Duke University<br />

Preschool & Primary Program, which<br />

would go on to be Duke School.<br />

“The child’s refreshing freedom of<br />

expressing feelings and emotions,<br />

his uncensored and enthusiastic<br />

approach to <strong>the</strong> world around him,<br />

his curiosity and vitality, form <strong>the</strong><br />

core subject matter of a laboratory<br />

course. There is no substitute, no<br />

duplication, for <strong>the</strong> living experience<br />

[of <strong>the</strong> child.]”<br />


Jim served as Duke School’s first<br />

Middle School Director from 1992-<br />

1998. Jim passed away recently in<br />

2021.<br />


Former Governer of North Carolina<br />

and Duke University President<br />

(1970-1985)<br />

“The school has been an integral part<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Duke community for 35 years.<br />

Duke University has been supportive<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Duke School for Children<br />

because we believe it is important<br />

to continue <strong>the</strong> goals and traditions<br />

which have evolved over <strong>the</strong> 37-year<br />

history of <strong>the</strong> program.”<br />

-Terry Sanford in a letter to <strong>the</strong> Duke<br />

Board of Trustees in February 1984<br />


Margaret began as a primary school<br />

teacher in 1978, eventually becoming<br />

<strong>the</strong> Director of Curriculum.<br />

“I first went to <strong>the</strong> Erwin Road farm<br />

with Janet Clement and Margaret<br />

Mason in late fall…At <strong>the</strong> top of<br />

<strong>the</strong> hill, <strong>the</strong> cars on Erwin Road, <strong>the</strong><br />

smells of cow pasture, and <strong>the</strong> old<br />

buildings disappeared, and were<br />

replaced by a broad blue sky over<br />

an open field ringed with distant tall<br />

pines. I remember Margaret saying,<br />

‘This would be a wonderful place for<br />

kids. They could…’ and she began<br />

inventing a curriculum”<br />

– Jack Hebrank, Former Duke<br />

School for Children Parent and<br />

Board President<br />


1982-1999, School Director<br />

“Janet led <strong>the</strong> Duke School for Children<br />

for seventeen of its most important<br />

years. She had just been hired as school<br />

director when it became independent<br />

of Duke University—a difficult transition<br />

in every way—yet she was able to hire a<br />

superb faculty and <strong>the</strong>n work tirelessly to<br />

keep <strong>the</strong> school true to its roots. Duke<br />

School for Children’s growth and success<br />

were her life’s work and we thank her”<br />

– David Carman, Former<br />

Head of School<br />

“Janet not only believed in Duke<br />

School’s mission, she lived it. One parent<br />

night, long before cell phones, Janet<br />

got locked in <strong>the</strong> faculty bathroom.<br />

She pounded and yelled, but it soon<br />

became clear everyone had left campus.<br />

‘I told myself that as <strong>the</strong> director of<br />

a school that fosters creative problemsolving,<br />

I could figure this out,” Janet<br />

told me <strong>the</strong> next day. I took apart <strong>the</strong><br />

paper towel dispenser and used <strong>the</strong><br />

handle as a tool to take <strong>the</strong> door off<br />

its hinges. It took a long time, but it<br />

worked.’”<br />

-Kathy Bartelmay, Duke School<br />

Curriculum Director<br />

62<br />






Duke School Teacher from 1987-2004<br />

A well-known and beloved teacher<br />

in both <strong>the</strong> Lower & Middle Schools,<br />

known for her teaching about<br />

<strong>the</strong> emergence of humans, <strong>the</strong><br />

development of civilizations, and<br />

her deeply held dedication to Duke<br />

School’s experimental, student-led<br />

learning model.<br />

Served as Duke School’s Head of<br />

School from 2006-2020.<br />

Taught third and fourth grades at<br />

Duke School. Started before 1996<br />

and retired in 2015.<br />


Former Duke School Parent, helped<br />

Duke School gain independence<br />

from Duke University and longtime<br />

supporter of our school.<br />

“I fell in love with [Duke School.]”<br />

-Vicky Patton<br />

“My teacher Jane Ann pulled me<br />

aside and gifted me a brand new<br />

acid free sketchbook with new<br />

colored pencils. She told me that she<br />

loved my artwork and that anytime,<br />

whenever I felt compelled to, I should<br />

pull out my sketchbook and draw.<br />

Longtime administrative assistant to<br />

Janet Clement, Sandy Gillespie, and<br />

Nicole Thompson.<br />

This thoughtful gesture, paired with<br />

<strong>the</strong> encouragement I got made me<br />

feel seen and valued. I knew <strong>the</strong>n it<br />

was ok to be myself and show o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

who that was.”<br />

-Ned Phillips, Duke<br />

School Class of 1998<br />


Third Grade teacher, 24 years at<br />

Duke School<br />

“Her special connections with<br />

students and families have been<br />

hallmarks of her time on campus!”<br />


Kindergarten teacher, 29 years at<br />

Duke School<br />

“Every year is an adventure [at Duke<br />

School]...Being able to take cues<br />

from <strong>the</strong> kids and learning alongside<br />

<strong>the</strong>m is really exciting. By sharing<br />

what we are learning, trying and<br />

finding success with everybody else,<br />

makes us all better. I think it puts<br />

[Duke School] in a unique place in <strong>the</strong><br />

community.”<br />

-Debbie Marshall<br />


Lower School teacher 1982-2011<br />


Lower School teacher for 20+ years<br />


Former parent & designer/builder of<br />

<strong>the</strong> original buildings on Hull Avenue<br />

as well as <strong>the</strong> older buildings on<br />

Erwin Road (G,H,J).<br />

64<br />






Madison: “1 million years old!”<br />

Duke School’s first Physical Education<br />

Teacher, 1988-2018; Worked<br />

part-time as multimedia specialist<br />

2018-2021.<br />

Middle School Physical Education/<br />

Athletic Director for close to 20 years.<br />

Retired in 2016 from Duke School<br />

Maggie: “65?” Amelia: “2000 years old”<br />

Harriet: “75! I<br />

remember because we<br />

took <strong>the</strong> school photo on<br />

<strong>the</strong> field”<br />

Lawrence: “100<br />

years old!”<br />

“I was surrounded by creativity and<br />

innovation every single day—it’s<br />

simply part of our culture…The most<br />

important factor, however, has been<br />

Duke School’s commitment to lifelong<br />

learning.”<br />

“I have often said that a Duke School<br />

education was <strong>the</strong> greatest gift that<br />

I could have given my children. We<br />

talk about fostering a love of learning<br />

here, but I saw it in my own children.<br />

The Project Approach, as well as<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir amazing teachers, led <strong>the</strong>m to<br />

an intrinsically motivated quest for<br />

knowledge. They were able to pursue<br />

interests and develop control and<br />

ownership of <strong>the</strong>ir learning within <strong>the</strong><br />

context of those projects.”<br />

-Candy Thompson<br />


First Lower School Spanish Teacher,<br />

started 2008<br />

“Through her creative and interactive<br />

methods, her students not only<br />

learned to speak and understand<br />

<strong>the</strong> Spanish language, but also<br />

gained an appreciation for Spanish<br />

culture and history. She was an<br />

invaluable member of <strong>the</strong> community,<br />

caring deeply for her students and<br />

colleagues and worked diligently to<br />

help everyone be successful”<br />



Clementine & Lawrence: “ With<br />

balloons! With a big party, just<br />

like summer camp!”<br />

Mac: “We should<br />

build a trampoline<br />

park”<br />

Lucas: “Make our<br />

own Dragon!<br />

Madison & Maggie: “We<br />

should probably have a<br />

cake! Decorate <strong>the</strong> school<br />

for a party!”<br />


ON THE 75 TH<br />



We interviewed a few Dragons at <strong>the</strong> end of<br />

<strong>the</strong> 2021-22 school year to get <strong>the</strong>ir takes on<br />

<strong>the</strong> upcoming 75 th anniversary celebrations.<br />

From suggestions on party decorations to<br />

predictions for what Duke School will look like<br />

in 75 years, take a look at <strong>the</strong>ir responses.<br />

-Candy Thompson<br />

66<br />


THE NEXT 75 YEARS?<br />

“More specials — maybe swim class;<br />

maybe we will change projects by <strong>the</strong>n?<br />

We might have treehouses all around <strong>the</strong><br />

school. Will it exist?” -Asher, Elina, Mia, Ellis



impact across <strong>the</strong> results of <strong>the</strong> environment—<br />

particularly climate.”<br />

After graduating from Duke School, Grover<br />

attended Riverside High School and studied<br />

finance at <strong>the</strong> University of Pennsylvania’s<br />

Wharton School. He interned at PIMCO while<br />

a graduate student at Stanford University and<br />

joined <strong>the</strong> firm in 2012 after earning his MBA.<br />

“I believe [Duke School] did seed sort of a<br />

continuous desire to be learning,” he said.<br />

“Without developing (1) some confidence and<br />

(2) appreciation for math at a young age, I<br />

probably would’ve had a very different<br />

career path.”<br />

celebrating <strong>the</strong> Class of 2018 and sharing <strong>the</strong>ir post high school graduation plans...<br />


University of California Berkeley<br />

NC State Engineering<br />

George Washington University<br />

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill<br />

Wake Technical Community College<br />

Princeton University<br />

Amherst College<br />

University of Hawaii<br />

University of Michigan<br />

Vassar College<br />

Virginia Tech<br />

Gap Year Prior to College<br />

Wake Forest University<br />

Middlebury College<br />

University of South Carolina<br />

Davidson College<br />

Case Western Reserve University<br />

Duke University<br />

Employment<br />

Wesleyan University<br />

University of Notre Dame<br />

Georgia Tech<br />


Join Duke School’s Alumni Facebook and<br />

LinkedIn Groups—forums for reconnection<br />

with former classmates and Duke School.<br />

Interested in updating your contact<br />

information? Email alumni@dukeschool.org<br />

Photo courtesy of Grover<br />

For Grover Bur<strong>the</strong>y ‘98, an early love of math and an<br />

interest in service have sparked a career exploring both<br />

international finance and <strong>the</strong> halls of U.S. government.<br />

As an executive vice president at investment<br />

management firm PIMCO, Grover oversees a team split<br />

among his office in Newport Beach, Calif., New York,<br />

and London. He often arrives at <strong>the</strong> office at 5:30 a.m. to<br />

coincide with east coast business hours.<br />

“It’s not for everyone,” Grover said. “It’s a demanding<br />

field. But it’s one where, if you do have a good base in<br />

math, if you like problem solving, if you like dealing with<br />

uncertainty, you can enjoy your job while also trying to do<br />

well for yourself and o<strong>the</strong>rs, as well.”<br />

Grover oversees PIMCO’s environmental, social,<br />

and governance portfolio, which he describes as<br />

“sustainability-oriented investing.” His job entails<br />

monitoring global financial markets and indicators to help<br />

investors make informed choices, along with assessing<br />

possible impacts from climate change, such as increasing<br />

flood or fire risks and potential regulation of fossil fuels.<br />

“It’s great to be able to work in an industry that’s private<br />

sector, that’s results oriented,” he said. “But hopefully<br />

in <strong>the</strong> course of our efforts, we can also have a real<br />

In 2017, Grover left PIMCO for two years to<br />

serve as deputy assistant secretary for policy at<br />

<strong>the</strong> U.S. Department of Transportation.<br />

“I’d always had an interest in public service,”<br />

he said. When a former classmate working at <strong>the</strong><br />

department asked if he would be interested in joining,<br />

Grover took <strong>the</strong> opportunity.<br />

Grover helped <strong>the</strong> department explore ways to<br />

incentivize investments in infrastructure and reduce<br />

barriers to authorizing new projects. He also administered<br />

grant and loan programs for state and local projects,<br />

including an expansion effort to relieve congestion on<br />

highway 405 in Orange County, Calif., where he now<br />

drives every day.<br />

“The best part of <strong>the</strong> job was learning about what<br />

different parts of <strong>the</strong> country viewed as important—<br />

thinking about what works for a town of 50,000 folks<br />

versus one with 750,000 folks,” he said.<br />

Grover said he also learned just how much public<br />

service matters.<br />

“It’s important that smart people, that motivated folks do<br />

try to do some sort of public service where <strong>the</strong>y can,” he<br />

said, whe<strong>the</strong>r that means running for office or working<br />

with a local government board. “Having more and<br />

more folks do it—and folks who are doing it with <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own communities and stakeholders in mind—are more<br />

important in terms of what matters at a local level.”<br />

68<br />





Staring out at a craggy expanse overlooking <strong>the</strong> Rio<br />

Negro in Argentina’s Patagonia region looking out over<br />

<strong>the</strong> city of Bariloche, Rowan Gossett ‘12 knows one thing<br />

for sure: she’s on <strong>the</strong> adventure of a lifetime. Since March<br />

<strong>2022</strong>, Rowan has been exploring Argentina as part of<br />

her Fulbright Fellowship. She is savoring every moment<br />

to see something new and broaden her already wide<br />

horizons. But exploring her passions and unique interests<br />

is nothing new for Rowan, something she spent much of<br />

her eleven years at Duke School doing.<br />

Since graduating from Duke School in 2012, Rowan has<br />

taken every opportunity to explore her passions with <strong>the</strong><br />

confidence and motivation she attributes to her time as a<br />

Dragon with influential teachers at every step of her Duke<br />

School journey.<br />

“Between having teachers who prioritized making<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves a friendly and open resource for students and<br />

a project-based model that encouraged us to take charge<br />

of our learning while embracing your own creativity,”<br />

Rowan “feels confident designing and executing<br />

projects,” which she knows has played no small part<br />

in her lifelong love of learning, which started in Duke<br />

School’s preschool classrooms.<br />

After graduating high school at Durham Academy, Rowan<br />

studied Human Rights and Latin American Studies at<br />

Columbia University and spent her summers working for<br />

an education non-profit in South Africa. She is taking a<br />

gap year from <strong>the</strong> University of Texas School of Law to<br />

complete her Fulbright Fellowship in Argentina. “I hope<br />

to pursue my passion for cross-cultural engagement<br />

and foster my academic and personal interest in Latin<br />

American feminist and Human Rights.”<br />

After spending twelve months on her Fulbright, Rowan<br />

plans to finish her legal studies, focusing on immigration<br />

law, children’s rights, and gender justice. Duke School’s<br />

emphasis on collaboration ultimately prepared Rowan<br />

to stay true to herself, noting that she instead relies “on<br />

internal ra<strong>the</strong>r than external validation, even in highly<br />

competitive and stressful academic environments.”<br />

A crucial path forged from her years at Duke School is<br />

one of self-evaluation, a skill she hopes future graduates<br />

take with <strong>the</strong>m in <strong>the</strong> years that follow <strong>the</strong>ir time at<br />

Duke School, “<strong>the</strong>y might feel silly or tiring at times, but<br />

knowing how to evaluate your own work critically – and<br />

how to identify your many strengths- will make you a<br />

better learner, team member, and person.”<br />

It’s been 24 years since Ned Phillips began his journey at<br />

Duke School, but with his finely-tuned documentarian’s<br />

eye, he can retrieve detailed anecdotes about his time as<br />

a Dragon like it was yesterday.<br />

He remembers one instance, in sixth grade, when he<br />

finished a test early and began “abstract doodling” in <strong>the</strong><br />

margins of his paper. When it came time to turn it in, his<br />

teacher, Jane Ann, called him over; naturally, he thought<br />

he was in trouble.<br />

Instead, Jane Ann praised and nurtured him. “She pulled<br />

out a brand new acid-free sketchbook and set of colored<br />

pencils and gave <strong>the</strong>m to me, saying, ‘Ned, if ever you<br />

feel like you want to draw, no matter what’s going on, just<br />

pull this out and start working,’” he recalled. “That was<br />

very, very transformative for me. I felt seen. She saw my<br />

values and encouraged [my creativity].”<br />

NED PHILLIPS ‘98<br />

Now based back at home in Durham in between filmrelated<br />

travel, Ned recently reconnected with his alma<br />

mater on a video project that documents <strong>the</strong> wide variety<br />

of daily curricular and extracurricular activities at Duke<br />

School. In his days at Duke School’s former Hull Avenue<br />

campus, handheld video equipment was just becoming<br />

more widely available — no comparison, he said, to<br />

<strong>the</strong> range of media technology now accessible to all<br />

grade levels and innovatively incorporated into Duke<br />

School’s cross-disciplinary curricula. (“Kindergarteners<br />

are making documentaries on <strong>the</strong>ir iPads!” he marveled.)<br />

Likewise, while watching rehearsals for <strong>the</strong> spring musical,<br />

Ned — who found a creative home in <strong>the</strong>ater at Duke<br />

School — was astonished by <strong>the</strong> depth of collaboration<br />

between <strong>the</strong> academic and arts departments and <strong>the</strong><br />

expansiveness of <strong>the</strong> set production.<br />

Though <strong>the</strong> tools and materials look different today, Ned<br />

recognized <strong>the</strong> throughlines that continue to set Duke<br />

School apart and empower its graduates to move fully<br />

into <strong>the</strong> world: its pedagogic emphasis on collaboration,<br />

its respect for student creativity, its commitment to<br />

Project work that models and interrogates real-world<br />

issues and solutions.<br />

The Project Approach “teaches you about long term<br />

thinking, how to plan, and how to be creative as far as<br />

putting different pieces of things toge<strong>the</strong>r,” Ned said.<br />

“Ultimately, what I do [in filmmaking] is move from one<br />

project to ano<strong>the</strong>r. To get your brain thinking in that sort<br />

of [project-based] mode early on — it’s huge.”<br />

Photo courtesy of Rowan<br />

This story may sound familiar to those who attended<br />

Duke School’s <strong>2022</strong> graduation ceremony, where<br />

Ned addressed <strong>the</strong> departing class with an energetic,<br />

affirming speech. As he narrated <strong>the</strong> wide-ranging,<br />

globe-trotting career he’s built in film and characterdriven<br />

storytelling — international travel magazine<br />

contributor, award-winning hip hop music videomaker,<br />

Emmy-awarded television show editor, documentary<br />

director profiling <strong>the</strong> last traditional midwife in Costa Rica<br />

— Ned urged <strong>the</strong> graduates to “keep an open mind and<br />

lean into your skills and interests.” When you embrace<br />

your whole self and all <strong>the</strong> wild diversity of what compels<br />

you, “anything is possible,” he said.<br />

Ned’s creative and working life revolves around this<br />

form of deep immersion; in his graduation speech,<br />

he excerpted a resonant quote from director Robert<br />

Altman: “Filmmakers live 1,000 lives.” Duke School, Ned<br />

reflected, “laid <strong>the</strong> groundwork” for this pathway: one<br />

that allows him to contribute his full range of expertise<br />

and interests to projects that tell bigger stories about <strong>the</strong><br />

world.<br />

How can today’s graduates find <strong>the</strong>ir own channels, <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own pathways? True to form, Ned’s advice to <strong>the</strong> Class of<br />

<strong>2022</strong> offered an encouraging answer: “Find what excites<br />

you and pursue that to <strong>the</strong> ends of <strong>the</strong> earth.”<br />

70<br />



DANA SMITH ‘01<br />

Photo courtesy of Dana<br />

When Dana Smith sits down after parsing interview<br />

transcripts and scientific research papers to write an article<br />

for <strong>the</strong> New York Times or Scientific American, she may<br />

not be using <strong>the</strong> story-structuring index cards espoused in<br />

her sixth-grade class at Duke School, but she’s relying on<br />

that toolkit none<strong>the</strong>less. She credits her early instructors<br />

with instilling in her <strong>the</strong> fundamentals of story-building that<br />

she uses on a daily basis in her current work as a science<br />

journalist.<br />

In true scientist form, Dana describes her beat in <strong>the</strong> most<br />

distilled terms: “anything related to <strong>the</strong> brain or body.”<br />

This includes physical health and medicine, including a<br />

large (inevitable) recent focus on COVID-19. But Dana<br />

gets especially energized about what she calls “really<br />

weird bodily science” that we’re only just beginning to<br />

understand, including how gut bacteria and <strong>the</strong> microbiome<br />

can influence human health and behaviors.<br />

It makes sense that she’s compelled by <strong>the</strong> wider and<br />

wackier realms of science; after Duke School, high school<br />

at Durham Academy, and college in Los Angeles,<br />

she pursued a PhD in experimental psychology at<br />

Cambridge. But in <strong>the</strong> process, she realized she<br />

“had a lot more fun writing about o<strong>the</strong>r people’s<br />

research than doing her own.” Her time as a<br />

graduate student coincided with a boom in science<br />

blogging, and she quickly picked up public-facing<br />

writing that allowed her to present and expand<br />

beyond her own scientific interests in a new way<br />

(and, shocking her at <strong>the</strong> time, get paid to do it).<br />

Dana has since worked between freelance<br />

journalism work and staff jobs at science<br />

publications and institutes — including <strong>the</strong><br />

Gladstone Institute at <strong>the</strong> University of California<br />

at San Francisco, where she researched and wrote<br />

on CRISPR, <strong>the</strong> gene-editing technology, as it was<br />

being developed. She returned to Durham from<br />

San Francisco in May 2020, having realized —<br />

again, thanks to her science beat — that we’d be in<br />

<strong>the</strong> pandemic for <strong>the</strong> long-haul, and wanting to be<br />

closer to family.<br />

These days, beyond her regular range of topics,<br />

Dana is thinking about how science journalism can<br />

bolster science literacy: in o<strong>the</strong>r words, how to<br />

thread <strong>the</strong> needle between accurately representing<br />

<strong>the</strong> iterative and fluid process of scientific discovery<br />

and informing <strong>the</strong> public with sound, clear<br />

scientific evidence and with <strong>the</strong>ir safety and wellbeing<br />

in mind. Covering COVID and its political<br />

ramifications over <strong>the</strong> past two years has only<br />

streng<strong>the</strong>ned this imperative.<br />

But this is Dana’s life’s work, and she’s confident<br />

as ever to take it on — a strength she can trace<br />

back to Duke School’s supportive environment.<br />

Having such “positive and encouraging” teachers,<br />

particularly for a young woman interested in <strong>the</strong><br />

sciences, was revolutionary.<br />

Leaving Duke School, she said, she felt like she<br />

could “do anything and be anything” when she<br />

grew up.<br />

always a dragon...<br />



Five Duke School graduates recently returned to campus in new roles—from classroom teacher<br />

to marketing & communications, <strong>the</strong>se Dragons reflect on <strong>the</strong>ir time as a student and what<br />

drove <strong>the</strong>m to come back to this special community to work at <strong>the</strong>ir alma mater.<br />

WILL NEWMAN ‘07<br />

Started school in lower<br />

preschool, returned as an<br />

eighth grade Math & Project<br />

teacher in 2018<br />

What is it like to work at your former school? What do<br />

you enjoy most about being on campus?<br />

I often say that <strong>the</strong> school doesn’t look <strong>the</strong> way it did<br />

when I was a student, but that it feels <strong>the</strong> same. While<br />

<strong>the</strong> school has grown and developed in significant and<br />

impressive ways, <strong>the</strong> people and ideas on campus remain<br />

rooted in <strong>the</strong> values <strong>the</strong> school has always cherished.<br />

The faculty are not just great at teaching but are a<br />

genuinely fun and supportive group to work alongside.<br />

The student-teacher relationships are collaborative in a<br />

way that’s unique to Duke School. Ideas and creativity<br />

are supported and encouraged; nothing has to be done<br />

a certain way just because it’s been done that way in <strong>the</strong><br />

past. Most importantly, it’s clearer than ever that Duke<br />

School wants everyone to be <strong>the</strong>mselves on campus,<br />

from <strong>the</strong> youngest preschooler to <strong>the</strong> most experienced<br />

faculty and staff.<br />

What is a favorite memory of your time as a student?<br />

Too many to choose just one, but <strong>the</strong> simulated crime<br />

scene investigation and mock trial from 8th grade and<br />

playing Titanic with Candy in lower school PE stand out. It<br />

also amazes me how much I can still remember about my<br />

peers, teachers, classes, and projects - all signs of a great<br />

place to grow up!<br />

Anything else to share?<br />

Peter Reichert and Carol Olausen were life-changing<br />

teachers in 7th grade - trips to Williamsburg, Sound to<br />

Sea, whitewater rafting, King’s Dominion, and Charleston,<br />

SC were formative experiences in Middle School!<br />

72<br />




What is it like to work at your former<br />

school? What do you enjoy most about<br />

being on campus?<br />

I genuinely love it- I think I would love<br />

working here even if I wasn’t an alum, but I can’t<br />

overstate how cool it is to spend my days with people<br />

I’ve known for almost half my life. There’s something so<br />

special about being able to reminisce with people who<br />

watched and helped me grow into who I am today (or<br />

just people who did it in <strong>the</strong> same place- even if we<br />

weren’t in <strong>the</strong> same class).<br />

What is a favorite memory of your time as a<br />

student?<br />

I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Makers<br />

Club; it brought so much good into my life and still<br />

does to this day. Besides that, I’d say <strong>the</strong> 5th grade<br />


PEMDAS unit with Lori (she brought in props and acted<br />

like a different character when teaching us about each<br />

letter), and <strong>the</strong> whitewater rafting and rock climbing on<br />

<strong>the</strong> Carowinds field trip stand out.<br />

Anything else to share?<br />

Started fifth grade in 2013, returned<br />

as a member of <strong>the</strong> Technology &<br />

Innovation team in 2021.<br />

I think it’s hilarious that <strong>the</strong>y let me be Sparky three<br />

times even though I was way too short for <strong>the</strong> costume<strong>the</strong><br />

fabric in <strong>the</strong> legs would bunch whenever I was in it<br />

because it was made for someone at least 5 inches taller<br />

than me.<br />

TRENT SMITH ‘14<br />

Started school in 2011,<br />

returned as an member of <strong>the</strong><br />

facilities team in 2018<br />

What is it like to work at your former school? What do<br />

you enjoy most about being on campus?<br />

The best part of returning to Duke School as an<br />

employee would be <strong>the</strong> advice I can seek from those who<br />

knew me well from my time as a student. Lucy, Nicole,<br />

Annie, and Brian G are perfect examples of those who<br />

have always been <strong>the</strong>re for me. Not only did <strong>the</strong>y help<br />

me as a student, but even more so now that I’m older<br />

and trying to navigate life as a young adult. Lastly, seeing<br />

my mom every day doing what she does best in <strong>the</strong><br />

preschool building is ano<strong>the</strong>r sweet addition to working<br />

at Duke School.<br />

What is a favorite memory of your time as a student?<br />

8th Grade DC Trip<br />

Anything else to share?<br />

Shoutout to all <strong>the</strong> OG’s that taught me and are still<br />

shaping young lives at Duke School! Annie, Becca,<br />

Michelle, Bob, Lucy, Brian G, Elaine, Lisa S.<br />

EMMA HALES ‘15<br />

Started school in sixth grade<br />

in 2012, returned as Camp<br />

Counselor & After School<br />

Coordinator in 2018<br />

What is it like to work at your former school? What do<br />

you enjoy most about being on campus?<br />

- I’ve been in this community since I was 5 years<br />

old when my mom started working here. I attended<br />

camps every summer and started here in <strong>the</strong> 6th grade.<br />

I’ve been with this community so long, that it feels like<br />

my home away from home. Some of <strong>the</strong> staff I’ve known<br />

since I was a child and <strong>the</strong>y have become an extension of<br />

my family. I enjoy working with children and being in <strong>the</strong><br />

place that sparked my passion for it!<br />


What is a favorite memory of your time as a student?<br />

Never losing a Middle School Basketball game—Let’s<br />

go Dragons!<br />

Anything else to share?<br />

For my 8th grade project, I studied <strong>the</strong> impact of Title<br />

IX, <strong>the</strong> college basketball recruiting process, and what<br />

that entailed. Throughout this project, I interviewed <strong>the</strong><br />

Duke Women’s Basketball team’s Director of Recruiting<br />

Operations, Michele Van Gorp in order to learn all that I<br />

could about <strong>the</strong> recruiting process. The highlight of this<br />

project was when a former WNBA player, Michele Van<br />

Gorp, standing 6’6” tall, entered Building A to attend<br />

my presentation.<br />

What is it like to work at your<br />

former school? What do you<br />

enjoy most about being on<br />

campus?<br />

For most people, <strong>the</strong> prospect of returning to your<br />

Middle School is something you might unpack with <strong>the</strong><br />

help of a trained clinician. But, for me, it was a dream<br />

come true. Returning to Duke School felt like such a<br />

meaningful way to take all I learned, both here as a<br />

student and in <strong>the</strong> many years since I left, and use it to<br />

better a place that means so much to me. Duke School<br />

today feels so much like it did for me in <strong>the</strong> 1990s,<br />

<strong>the</strong> same curiosity, wonder, and sense of belonging<br />

that defined my time here is evident in each student,<br />

teacher, and community member - I am thrilled to be a<br />

part of this special place once again.<br />

What is a favorite memory of your time as a<br />

student?<br />

There are so many- we had a class with 20 extra<br />

students (<strong>the</strong> infamous ‘bump’ class of 1999,) which<br />

led to many memories during my time here and<br />

friendships I nurture to this day. One memory stands<br />


Started in fifth grade at Duke School, returned<br />

<strong>the</strong> Director of Marketing & Communications<br />

in November 2021.<br />

out, though. After learning of <strong>the</strong>ir warmth and<br />

intelligence, we petitioned <strong>the</strong> Middle School Director<br />

for a school pet- a potbellied pig. Middle School<br />

administrators strongly considered our request but<br />

ultimately denied it.<br />

Anything else to share?<br />

My fifth-grade class (Peter & Bob’s inaugural ‘PeBo<br />

Land’,) produced a full-length production of <strong>the</strong> novel<br />

“Borgel” by Daniel Pinkwater that a Duffer bro<strong>the</strong>r<br />

may have directed. We filmed around campus and<br />

at various Durham 9th street locations (Elmo’s, White<br />

Star laundry, and possibly McDonald’s Drug Store.) My<br />

sixth-grade year was a true highlight- Jane Ann was<br />

a phenomenal teacher, and all <strong>the</strong> project work and<br />

representations we made that year still linger in my<br />

parent’s attic and hold a special place for me.<br />

74<br />




PAID<br />


PERMIT # 112<br />

<strong>2022</strong>/23 CALENDAR OF SCHOOL EVENTS<br />

AUGUST <strong>2022</strong><br />

NOVEMBER <strong>2022</strong><br />

FEBRUARY 2023<br />

MAY 2023<br />

8/20: Popsicles on <strong>the</strong> Playground<br />

8/24: First Day of School (½ Day)<br />

8/27: Screen on <strong>the</strong> Green<br />

11/17: Middle School Play<br />

11/29: Day of Giving<br />

2/9: Parent Speaker Series<br />

2/14: I Love Duke School Day<br />

2/23: Middle School Variety Show<br />

5/11: Parent Speaker Series<br />

JUNE 2023<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2022</strong><br />

9/15: New Parent Dinner<br />

9/22: Parent Speaker Series<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2022</strong><br />

12/1: International Potluck<br />

12/8: Parent Speaker Series<br />

12/15: Winter Concert<br />

MARCH 2023<br />

3/9: Parent Speaker Series<br />

APRIL 2023<br />

6/1: Spring Concert<br />

6/3: End of Year Party<br />

6/8: 8th Grade Graduation<br />

6/9: Last Day of School<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2022</strong><br />

10/17: Grandparent’s Tea<br />

10/22: Alumni Ga<strong>the</strong>ring & Fall Fest<br />

JANUARY 2023<br />

1/12: Parent Speaker Series<br />

4/20: Parent Speaker Series<br />

4/21: Earth Day<br />

4/27: Art Expo Reception<br />

4/28: Grandparent’s Day & Art Expo

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