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8th Grade TAMS Spotlight: MacKenna Durkee
Katy Nicketakis

Welcome to our 8th Grade Spotlights for 2021! We will be highlighting a wide variety of Thornton Academy Middle School members of the class of 2021 and featuring their accomplishments in the classroom, on the athletic field, in academic competitions, in the arts, and out in the real world. We are so proud of the resilience and dedication of this class in particular and are excited to share their stories. 

Today's spotlight features MacKenna Durkee from Dayton.


What's your favorite TAMS memory? 

Mrs. Cooney nominated me for the golden Trojan when I was in sixth grade. I was honored and surprised. This was a very important day for me because it was one of the first time I had been recognized academically. 

What clubs and sports have you done at TAMS? 

Softball, Indoor Track, Honors Club, Civil Rights Club, Dance Club 

What are hobbies/activities that you do outside of TAMS?

Softball and hanging out with friends 

What are you most proud of from your time at Thornton Academy? 

I am most proud of the education I got at TAMS, it has set me up for success. The teachers at TAMS are constantly coming up with new and fun ways to learn. Even through the pandemic the teachers at TAMS continue to give me dozens of superb assignments that show me what I am really capable of. 

Who's your favorite TAMS staff member? Why?

Although all of the TAMS staff members are amazing, Mr. Whiting goes above and beyond. He not only has challenged me academically but also has made me a better version of myself. Since starting his class at the beginning of the school year I have become emotionally and mentally stronger. He has shown me that I not only can achieve my dreams but I can help others along the way. He has made TAMS feel like home.

What is/was your favorite class at TAMS? Why?

Before arriving at TAMS I tried to just blend in, but as I got to know the students and staff at TAMS I learned that being myself is much better. As I started to feel more comfortable with who I was I began to realize the English class was where I belonged. I found myself lost in dozens of literary books but the thing that sparked my interest most of all was writing. I was taught that no matter what your write, the thing that makes writing unique is your voice. 

Why would you recommend TAMS to another student?

I would absolutely recommend TAMS for another student because once you go here, you are automatically part of the amazing TAMS community. Everyone here feels like they belong and that there is a place for them. Whether you are into robotics, acting, drawing, or sports, there are so many opportunities for you at TAMS and your passions are never forgotten. Whenever I walk into TAMS, I feel so safe and lucky to be going to a school that makes learning fun and exciting. TAMS was the perfect middle school for me, and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to attend here.