U.S. Championship figure skater Emilia Murdock recently placed second at Nationals. She thanks K12 International Academy (iCademy) for being the key to her success because of her busy day-to-day practice and competition schedule.
“It really was the missing piece,” said her mother, Yalin Murdock. “We are from Darien, Connecticut, and Emilia trains in Boston. The year before we enrolled in iCademy, Emilia was at St. Luke’s School in New Canaan. St. Luke’s was incredibly accommodating but it wasn’t enough. I was waking up at 4 a.m. and driving her three hours to Boston, she skates for three hours, then I drove her back to school in New Canaan, Connecticut. She was in a car for six hours – it was crazy!”
The family has tried private schools and brick-and-mortar schools, but with Emilia’s practice schedule, the situation was becoming less than ideal.
After her mother did some research, she decided the K12 program sounded like the best fit. Yalin believes iCademy’s curriculum is excellent.
Emilia has been figure skating since she was two years old. Her mother was a skater, often bringing Emilia to her lessons when she coached.
“I used to sit on the ice and color, and I guess one day I needed her, so I got up and skated to her,” Emilia said.
Emilia is able to bring school with her wherever she goes. With this flexibility, she is able to train during prime hours when the ice rink isn’t crowded.
“Usually a typical day will start with me waking up and doing a class,” Emilia said. “After that I would go to the rink around 9 a.m. and be there until 3:30. While I’m at the rink, I try to get my reading done – either history or literature, depending on what I have. Then I have physical therapy or acupuncture from 4-5 p.m. Once I get home I go straight to my desk to start school. I will do three classes before dinner and usually two after dinner.”
The rising ninth grader is thriving in the program. Emilia received almost all A’s this past school year. She is going into her third year with the K12 program and she loves her teachers. She can do some high school-level courses alongside her middle school core classes.
“I feel comfortable she is getting a good education,” Yalin said. “It’s like anything in life. If you put in the extra work – for instance attending a study hall – you will get back all you put in. Emilia’s algebra teacher was superb. He was available to her at all hours. He really understood that she trained all morning and needed help at night, sometimes as late as 10 p.m. He made sure he was available to help her. He was patient and really spent the time to help her understand.”
Emilia skates with her best friend, Analise Gonzalez, who is also a student at iCademy. There are some other K12 students at the rink, as well.
“Analise is my very best friend,” Emilia said. “We train together and do homework sometimes together. It’s great because we are on the same schedule. We do everything together. We met competing against each other and our parents are good friends.”
Emilia has received many medals during her time on the ice. Some of her awards include 2015 national silver medalist, 2016 regional champion gold medalist, 2017 sectional champion, and 2017 national silver medalist.
“Emilia has dreamed of working with her coaches, Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, for a long time,” Yalin said. “It was her decision to leave home and her friends to move to Boston. They are tough and very strict, but they really care about all of their students. They are professional in every way. I was truly impressed after Nationals – Emilia broke her back and was off the ice for four months. They reached out nearly every day. They were positive and supportive. I don’t think Emilia could of had a more successful return to the ice without them. I have a lot of trust and confidence in their method. After one year of being with the program, Emilia won regionals and sectionals and placed second at nationals.”
Emilia’s iCademy teachers are supportive of her skating and flexible with her assignments. After Nationals, some of them sent her a congratulatory email.
“I am so grateful that we found iCademy; it made training in Boston possible for my daughter,” Yalin said.