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Amanda Durst
Durst

Gender

Female

Age

Unknown

Hair Colour

Greyish Blonde

Eye Colour

Blue

Occupation

Teacher

Nicknames

N/A

Portayer

Valerie Boyle


A veteran science teacher, Principal Amanda Durst attempts to bring order and discipline to Blake Holsey's chaos, and is a reluctant conspirator in Victor Pearson's activities.


Amanda Durst's career at Blake Holsey High began in 1977, when she became the school's new science professor. Although she probably did not know this at the time, the floor of her office (which later became Professor Middleton's office, and then Professor Noel Zachary's office) connected to a wormhole. The first student Durst ever "yelled at" was young Victor Pearson. The fact that she enjoyed this set the tone for her tenure as an educator and administrator.

As the school principal, Durst sets a high value on rules, and hands out detention as punishment when students break them. She has a rule book that dates back to the early years of the school, which she expects Professor Zachary and other teachers to help enforce. Some of this strictness has more to do with keeping the school's secrets and preventing disaster than with maintaining order, as when Lucas is shooed away from Middleton's office immediately after Middleton's disappearance, or when Durst makes attendance at a pizza party mandatory to keep students away from an investigation Victor is conducting in front of the school.

Although the members of the school's Science Club tend to think of the principal as an obstacle, someone to punish them if they get caught, there is much more to Amanda Durst than they realize. She is an expert tracker and mountain climber, and like Josie Trent she always hated all the female victims of literature. When her uninhibited side takes over after an experiment in chirality, it becomes clear that she enjoys science and is highly competent as a science professor. Furthermore, she genuinely cares about the students. Even after "Professor D" returns to normal, she takes it upon herself to design an independent study course for Josie, to fuel her "original thoughts." On another occasion, she shows sympathy for Josie's sensitivity to being teased about her height, likening it to her own problems with her weight.

Principal Durst's main problems on the job have less to do with students' misbehavior than with Victor Pearson and the wormhole. As the head of the school's board of directors, Pearson has the power to replace Durst as principal, and has done so on at least one occasion. Also, Durst knows as well as Pearson that the school's future depends on parents and other outsiders not knowing about the strange things that happen at Blake Holsey. (This fear of discovery turns out to be well-founded, as Josie's year-long disappearance causes a major drop in enrollment, so that ultimately the school is closed.) For these reasons, she reluctantly cooperates with Pearson's secret experiments and investigations, lies about the disappearances of teachers and students, and proclaims, against all evidence to the contrary, that "There is nothing wrong at Blake Holsey High." Victor is less than sympathetic to Amanda's situation, and often threatens or belittles her. Durst tries to relieve this stress by reassuring herself with affirmations, and by talking back to a ball with Victor's face drawn on it. When Lucas Randall temporarily becomes an adult after a mayfly bites him, he becomes aware of Durst's hard work and dedication, and encourages her to have more fun. Posing as a substitute teacher, Lucas also berates Victor for not treating Principal Durst with more respect.

Amanda Durst is not the first person from her family to serve as the school's administrator. When it first opened in 1879 under the name New Chichester Preparatory Academy, Blake Holsey High had a headmistress named Durst, who bore a striking resemblance to the present-day principal.

She is portrayed by actress Valerie Boyle

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