The History of Trinity School
In the early 1990s, a group of Christians from different churches began to dream of a new school for Durham and Chapel Hill. Some were parents with children in public schools, some with homeschooling experience, and some with backgrounds in independent schools. Some were visionaries without school-age children. All shared a vision for education that integrated thoroughgoing Christian faith with the best teaching and learning.
In the winter of 1995, a group began meeting to craft a vision and explore the logistics of a new school. Trinity School was incorporated in the spring of 1995, and shortly after Labor Day of that same year, the school opened its doors for the first time to 39 students in three classes covering five grades, K–4. In its early years, the school met at Hope Creek Church on Erwin Road. The school expanded upwards to sixth grade, and then later up to eighth grade. The latter expansion was made possible by the purchase of twenty-two acres of land on Pickett Road.
In the summer of 2000, the school broke ground for its first permanent facilities, funded by Trinity’s first $5 million Capital Campaign. The new buildings included an academic building and a gymnasium, both of which were completed in 2001. In May of that year Trinity graduated its first class of eighth graders.
The years from 2001–2006 brought significant growth to Trinity School. Our Lower School grades doubled in size as the school expanded to two sections in each grade. The Middle School began to emerge as a distinctive division within the school. The school’s infrastructure was expanded significantly during these years; in particular, full-time senior staff were added. A task force worked hard to plan for the launch of the Upper School, which would be funded by a second major capital campaign, the $8.4 million “Growing Up” Campaign. After years of planning, the Upper School began in the fall of 2006. In the second year of the Upper School, a new academic building, the South Building, was completed. During this time the school also established a $1 million endowment for scholarships. The school saw the graduation of its first class of seniors in the spring of 2010 and has since graduated 200 students. The students of 2010 have now graduated from college and are finding their first jobs, attending graduate and professional schools, and richly contributing to their communities. A member of the class of 2010, Derek Skeen, teaches in our Upper School.
The growth of the Upper School marks one of our most significant highlights since 2010. In Trinity’s first seven graduating classes, eight seniors have been distinguished with full tuition, room, and board scholarships: three Morehead-Cain Scholarships at the University of North Carolina; a Teaching Fellows Scholarship; a Faculty Scholarship at Whitworth University; a David Bittle Scholarship at Roanoke College; and an ROTC Scholarship at Davidson College. Other accolades include five Division I athletic scholarships; eight Governor’s School placements; National Merit commended, semi-finalist, and finalist scholarships; and over $8.6 million in merit awards. Ninety-eight percent of our graduates have matriculated to a four-year college or university.
Our Senior Capstone program features semester-long independent research, guided by a faculty advisor and an off-campus mentor, on a problem or question from a discipline of the student’s choosing. Seniors’ topics have ranged from constructing a robotic arm for a UNC–CH marine lab to recording a CD of original music to studying the impact of humanitarian contributions on Third World development.There have been many advancements over the past seven years that have had a great impact on Trinity. Our robotics program experienced significant growth, engaging more than 45 Upper School students and even helping to determine some of their career paths.
The arts at Trinity also flourished over the past few years, with the opening of The HUB for both drama and strings performances. Incorporating outside performance space for our Upper School drama productions has allowed for greater creativity, production, and growth.
Our full-time college and school counselors were much-appreciated additions to Trinity. With increasing Upper School enrollment, our college counseling program greatly benefits students and families beginning in ninth grade and continuing through the college admission process. Trinity’s school counselor works with students in grades TK–12, offering a wide range of programs and services, including peacemaker training, anti-bullying awareness, and coping skills for anxiety.
Over the past few years, we have seen our faculty and staff grow to over 100. We have added an assistant headmaster, divisional deans, and department chairs.
More than 85% of our Middle and Upper School students play on one of our 30 athletic teams. We have won numerous conference and state championships, have moved from being a 1A division to a 2A division school, and have sent more than seven athletes to play at the college level in baseball, golf, volleyball, and swimming.