Testimonials for Durham School of the Arts

Story from parent Nancy Cox

Each December, teachers from DSA take students to Washington, D.C. to the National Portfolio Day hosted by the Corcoran Gallery. The teachers work with students to pull together their portfolios, in my daughter’s case, photography, and practice the short interview that will take place with Art programs from colleges across the country. My daughter interviewed with the School Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Rhode Island School of the Arts. The interview provides invaluable advice from the representatives on the quality of their portfolio and prepares them for the interviews they will have as part of their application process that they will undergo when applying to colleges. As this is an overnight trip, the students enjoy visiting museums and dining in D.C. as well as the camaraderie with fellow aspiring artists and their extraordinary teachers.

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Teacher Alexa Garvoille's story

Last year, my first group of freshmen at DSA wrote memoirs at the beginning of the school year, like all freshmen across DPS. However, when offered the opportunity to publish their life stories in a self-published book, these students took on a challenge. Using a publishing on demand company in Raleigh, the class of 2013 has published its own paperback book, Going on 15: Memoirs of Freshman, stocked with almost fifty memoirs written by these students.

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Story from Darrell Thompson, parent and photography teacher

The unique thing about DSA that is at risk of being lost is the availability of non-standard opportunities. With the seven period day students have three elective choices. In both the visual and performing arts, they can study one form for up to 4 years. In some cases more. If a student is talented in that area they can fine tune their skills to a point where they are seriously competitive for scholarship money at colleges that will allow them to continue to study their art form of choice.

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French, Spanish and ESL teacher Anabela Ançã Mendes's story

The faculty at the Durham School of the Arts (DSA) is neither slouching nor apathetic about their craft: they ignite by example a contagious fascination for the arts which goes beyond the classroom. They are models and leading learners, alive and vibrant about the subject they teach.

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