Alumni Profile: Anna Thorp Daley

Anna Thorp Daley attended Hill Learning Center from 2001-2007 and graduated from Hill and East Chapel Hill High School. She received her Bachelors in in Psychology with a minor in Child Development from Meredith College.

She taught first grade in Raleigh for four years before returning to school to pursue a Masters in Counseling at North Carolina State. She became a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Anna found her work as a counselor helped her learn that she is much more capable of learning and doing new things than she ever thought she was. But Anna’s heart was really in the classroom and in 2019, she became a first grade teacher at Farmington Woods Elementary School in Cary. “I love what I do, and I’m deeply passionate about educating young children and supporting their families. My training as a counselor has only enhanced my skill set as a teacher.”

In looking back over her time as a Hill student, Anna notes many changes that came about in her academic and personal life. “It’s hard to fully express how much Hill means to me. The biggest impact is my confidence as a learner and a person. Before coming to Hill, I felt deep shame and guilt around my ADD and LD in math.” Anna goes on to say that after graduating from Hill and in her career, she has felt empowered because of the relationships with her Hill teachers. “In my most challenging moments, their words always come back to me: ‘You aren’t broken or defective; you just learn differently.’”

Furthermore, Anna believes that Hill taught her how to advocate for herself. In college, that meant she got the accommodations she needed and connected with professors early in each semester. Now it manifests in how quickly, and how comfortably, she is able to ask for help or clarification. “It’s a gift to not only know myself but to be confident in myself and in advocating on my behalf!”

As Anna continued to reflect on her years at Hill, particularly in high school, she says, “My teachers at Hill shaped me in such profound ways. They knew me so well and always knew when to push me harder and when to just give me a hug. They never let me feel bad for myself or give less than my best.”

In 2019 Anna married Kyle Daley, and they live in Durham. They love to travel, explore new parts of Durham, and spend time with their families.

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