Bridgeway Academy senior recognized by US Figure Skating Association for performance on the ice and in the classroom
Bridgeway Academy congratulates senior Morgan Bottesch on being an award recipient in the US Figure Skating’s Graduating Seniors Program! This program recognizes students who excel both on the ice and in the classroom.
It’s probably hard for Morgan to remember a time when she wasn’t out on the ice. Living across the street from the ice rink, Morgan’s mom enrolled her daughter in skating lessons to keep then-4-year-old Morgan busy while Mom was starting a company. Those lessons ignited a passion in Morgan, and by the time she was 7, she wanted to compete seriously.
When Morgan was 10, her family faced a tough decision. Morgan’s coaches were moving to a different city in Florida that was two-and-a-half hours away. Morgan didn’t want to stop working with her coaches, but her family couldn’t move. After a lot of thought, her parents made the difficult choice to let Morgan move with her coaches, stay with a host family, and continue to pursue her Olympic dreams. As Morgan’s mom tells us, “We said, ‘Let’s try it for a year and see how it goes.’ We set rules, like we’ll never go more than 6–8 weeks without seeing her. We’d drive back and forth throughout Florida in a weekend just so she could have ‘home time.’” Trying it out for a year ended up turning into the next 7 years, as Morgan progressed into an Olympic-level coaching team at the age of 13. Her training saw her move around Florida, then to Colorado, back to Florida, and then to Michigan.
Between constant moving and her training schedule (spending upwards of 6 hours a day at the rink), Morgan and her family knew she needed an alternative to “regular school,” so they turned to homeschooling to give her flexibility in her schedule and the ability to complete schoolwork where and when she could (often in the car on the way to competitions or in the dressing room of skating rinks). Morgan’s mom looked for programs that would prepare Morgan for college, that she would be comfortable with, that had a worldview mixing fact and science with religion, and where she would be accepted and respected for her beliefs. They found that with Bridgeway Academy. “Everyone is so respectful and welcoming at Bridgeway. Morgan really feels embraced and comfortable here,” says Morgan’s mom.
Morgan’s homeschooling situation might look a little strange to some people, since she and her mom live in two different states. Rather than having her mom there to guide lessons, Morgan does it all on her own. She gets the textbooks and tools to teach herself. Her mom receives the Bridgeway-provided Instructor Manuals so she can review and understand lessons and offer support from afar. Morgan completes the lessons, mails them to Mom, who reviews them and submits them to Morgan’s Bridgeway advisor. “Our circumstances are unique, but Bridgeway understands that. From the beginning, they have worked with Morgan’s schedule, and have supported and guided us. They understand the demands that elite athletes face, and her training is never an issue.”
In addition to liking that Bridgeway accommodates training schedules, Morgan loves that she has an advisor to whom she can turn when needed. “The world of skating is a tough one and can be isolating at times. But Morgan has never felt alone because she knows that no matter what she’s going through, she can turn to her advisor for support. And that’s incredible, to know that they care about your child that much.”
Because of that support and the flexibility of the programs, Morgan has been able to achieve excellence on the ice and keep her Olympic hopes alive. She qualified for the 2018 Solo Ice Dance Nationals and placed 6th in the nation at the competition. At the same time, she’s been able to keep up with her school studies and achieve top grades. We congratulate Morgan on her award from US Figure Skating and look forward to recognizing her achievements when she joins us at Bridgeway Academy’s graduation ceremony in June.