Alumni Stories: How One Academy Student is Achieving Success in College


    Just weeks into her first semester as a freshman at the University of Arizona, 19-year-old Kate Martin strives to do it all. A ‘direct admit’ to the college’s Eller School of Business with a significant merit scholarship to boot, Kate is already challenging herself to achieve academic excellence—thanks to her stellar performance on her AP exams, she’ll be classified as a sophomore by Christmas—while participating in a number of club programs across campus.

    While Kate is busy running the world, it may leave some of us wondering: how does she do it all? The answer—according to Kate’s mom, Becky Martin—was her education at Laurel Springs School, an accredited online private school.

    Brick-and-Mortar Beginnings

    As a young child, Kate studied at a brick-and-mortar school, but as she grew older, Becky says, the brick-and-mortar lifestyle no longer appealed to the family. They decided to try homeschooling instead.

    After a few years of homeschool education, Kate’s parents realized that they wanted her to enroll in an accredited academic program without sacrificing her ability to pursue her passions and interests. An elite tennis player, Kate’s coach recommended Laurel Springs School, and the rest is history.

    Life in the Academy at Laurel Springs School

    Kate enrolled as a student in the Gifted & Talented Academy at Laurel Springs School, where she harnessed an innate need to complete quality work. From her first days as an Academy student to her graduation from Laurel Springs in 2019, Kate maintained a 4.4 grade-point average (GPA).

    However, her ability to achieve impressive grades wasn’t her only crucial takeaway: she also learned to work independently through her course material and manage her time.  Now, as a college student, she is excited to learn in physical classrooms with teachers—however, she comes prepared with the ability to manage her education in ways her peers have not.

    “Kate realizes that if she had been in a brick and mortar setting for all of high school, she wouldn't have been so excited and fresh for the college experience,” said Becky. “She also feels very prepared in all of her classes, thanks to the challenging work she completed at Laurel Springs.”

    “Kate sits in the front row and is an excited participant in her class discussions,” Becky continued. “We couldn't be happier with her outcome. For us, Laurel Springs School provided a high quality education at home, while still developing relationships with teachers and counselors. We had confidence in knowing that she had experienced counselors advising her through high school and into college. It gave us the flexibility to travel extensively as a family and allowed our daughter to learn many new skills and maintain interests through high school which will serve her into her future.”

    As a result of her Laurel Springs education, not only has Kate been completely prepared to excel in the university honors classroom setting, but she has also been afforded the time to become an accomplished tennis player, a ‘ball kid’ at professional tennis tournaments, a Shakespeare actress holding the lead role in more than four performances, a knitter, a wool spinner, a vegan cook, and a website creator. She's been both a student and a counselor at a tennis academy in Spain. She's a painter, a yoga and dance student, and she even held a part-time job during her senior year as a tennis tournament site director and employee in a tennis pro-shop. All the while, Kate has maintained and enjoyed a close relationship with her family.

    “All of this would not have been possible if she had had to spend her teenage years sitting in a brick and mortar school,” said Becky.

    If your child is interested in pursuing their dreams while achieving academic excellence like Kate, please contact Laurel Springs School today at (800) 377-5890.