Durham Middle School

Dr. Patricia Alford, Principal

Joshua Fowler, AP 6/7  | Shannon Thorpe, AP 7/8  | Dominique Terens, SSA

2891 Mars Hill Road
Acworth, Georgia 30101
Phone: (770) 975-6641
Fax: (770) 975-6643

Durham Middle School Administrative Team

Dr. Patricia Alford, Principal


It is my privilege to serve in my fourth year as the principal of Durham Middle School!   As you know, Durham has an outstanding reputation as a result of our focus on our student learning, high expectations, and character. I feel so fortunate to serve in this community where I grew up!  I am a product of the Cobb County School District, having graduated from North Cobb High School in 1995;  I also attended Awtrey Middle School and Lewis Elementary School. This is my seventeenth year serving in the Cobb County School District. I began my teaching career at East Cobb Middle School as a reading, language arts, and gifted teacher and later taught at Dickerson Middle School, where I served as the gifted program coordinator. Before becoming the principal of Durham, I served as an Assistant Administrator and Assistant Principal at Dickerson Middle School for six years. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from The University of Georgia in 1998, where I also played clarinet in the UGA Redcoat Marching Band. Go Dawgs! I hold a Master’s degree from Kennesaw State University, a Specialist degree from The University of West Georgia, and in 2011, I earned my Ph.D. in school administration and supervision from The University of Southern Mississippi. My husband and I have two boys who attend Cobb County Schools in the 9th and 5th grades. As partners in the education of our students, I welcome your input and your involvement. Fantastic things are happening at Durham, and it couldn't be done without your support. Let’s work together to make this an outstanding school year!

Shannon Thorpe, Assistant Principal


I'm thrilled to begin my second year as an Assistant Principal at Durham Middle School!  I am the 8th grade administrator and share half of the 7th grade as well.  I feel very fortunate to have spent my entire career with the Cobb County School District. I began as a reading and social studies teacher at McCleskey Middle School in 2001, then taught at East Cobb Middle School before opening Barber Middle School in 2005. While at Barber, I served in several capacities including teacher, reading coordinator, academic coach, and School Leadership Intern. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Illinois in 2001, and my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University in 2008. My husband and I have been married for seven years and have one son. I am looking forward to another outstanding year in the Durham community, and I encourage open communication in order to support your students.

Joshua Fowler, Assistant Principal

I am so excited to be entering my first year as an administrator at Durham Middle School!  This will be my 19th year in the education field.  I taught special education in Michigan for four years before moving to Cobb County in 2003.  I began in the Cobb County School District as a special education teacher at Palmer Middle School before transferring to Lost Mountain Middle School in 2006.  I graduated with my Bachelor's Degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 1999.  I received my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University in 2014.  I will be completing my Specialist's Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of West Georgia and will graduate in December of 2017.  I have been married to my wife, Mary, for eleven years, and we have two daugters, ages 9 and 6.  In my spare time, I like to be active outdoors.  I love to camp, hike, fish, and play golf.  I am eager to begin working with the Durham community to ensure all of our students have a successful school year!

Mrs. Dominique Terens, Support Services Administrator


I am very blessed to serve in my third year as the Support Services Administrator at Durham Middle School.  This year, I will be serving both the Durham and the Pickett's Mill Elementary communities. Before moving to Fort Walton Beach, Florida when I was in 8th grade, I lived and attended school in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After graduating from Florida State University in 1996 with my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Special Education, I moved to Cobb County to begin my career as a special education teacher. Now in my 22nd year in the Cobb County School District, I have worked at Garrett Middle School, McEachern High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School, and Allatoona High School, where I served as the special education lead teacher and department chair. In 2011, I became an Education Program Specialist serving Durham Middle School and Allatoona High School. For two years prior to joining the team at Durham, I served as the Special Education Supervisor serving Durham, Allatoona, Pickett’s Mill, Lewis, and Frey. In April 2014, I earned my Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of West Georgia. My husband and our two children, ages 14 and 12, are residents of the Durham community, and we are delighted that our children attend their neighborhood schools. I am proud to serve as an administrator for our community and look forward to strengthening existing relationships and building new ones in the coming year.