Courtney and Karen Duncan: Academy Family

By Stacy Duncan
Mother of Courtney (Dance ‘17) and Karen (Visual Arts ‘21)


Our eldest daughter Courtney felt lost in the crowd at our neighborhood high school. She was determined to take control and find something better. She grew up with a love for dance, a desire to be on stage and a strong thirst to learn. She joined the Dance Department for her sophomore year, and thrived academically and artistically as she grew to know and love her teachers. The close knit classroom environment at The Academy created the perfect opportunity for her teachers to challenge her individually. With their encouragement and guidance, she soared beyond everyone’s expectations. She graduated with an increased sense of confidence earned during her countless hours of dancing in the studios, and a proven record of academic success. Her teachers helped to prepare her for college and she is now studying Computer Engineering at University of Illinois.


Our youngest daughter Karen has always had her own sense of self. From mix-matched socks to stripes and polka dots; she knew what made her happy and had her very own unique of the world and wanted to find ways to express it. She joined the Visual Arts Department as a freshman. Her amazing teachers have inspired her to keep an open mind and are constantly helping her develop analytical thinking, problem solving and challenging her to explore new levels of artistry.

The Academy provides and amazing environment with awe inspiring sense of community and purpose. Every member of the faculty and staff clearly demonstrate their genuine interest in and support for our students. The number of students attending might be limited by the size of the building but the resources of the faculty, staff, board members and alumni are seemingly endless. They have given our daughters the tools necessary not to survive, but to thrive! We consider ourselves fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group of miracle workers.