Academy application season is back

Courtesy of district 158

Courtesy of District 158

Courtesy of district 158

By Jessy Gone

As students walk down the crowded hallways, many are too busy to stop and read the posters on the walls that advertise the different clubs and activities at the high school. Amidst the crowd, Vicky Evtimov glances at the poster advertising the Medical Academy and catches a glimpse into her future in the academy. 

The academies are unique programs offered at Huntley High School that give students a chance to explore specific fields of interest, including medical, fine arts, engineering, and global. Each academy allows students to be exposed to their preferred career and gives them a glance of what their futures will look like, all while still being in high school.

“It seems like a really great opportunity to get a little picture of what it would be like to go into a career in the medical field,” science teacher Alana Ferguson said.

During October and November, students begin the application process for the Medical and Fine Arts Academies. Prospective students follow the steps to apply and hopefully be accepted to their prospective academies. The application process includes two teacher recommendations, filling out the application form, an interview, and an essay only for the Medical Academy. 

Many teachers, even those who are not part of an academy, are requested by students to give them a letter of recommendation for their application. Students will ask current or past teachers who they feel will give them the best recommendation. Alana Ferguson has received over 15 requests for letters of recommendation this year.

“It’s an honor because they can only pick two teachers to ask, so I’m glad that they feel comfortable and confident enough to ask me,” Ferguson said.

Knowing the exclusivity of the academies, students will work hard to ensure their spot in an academy. Medical Academy offers Project Lead The Way classes and the Youth Residency Program, giving students the chance to shadow and be mentored by healthcare professionals. 

“Not a lot of high schools have academies like this and I know that colleges really like it. I feel like it’s gonna be really beneficial,” sophomore and prospective Medical Academy student Vicky Evtimov said.

The Fine Arts Academy allows students to pick from three different pathways including theater, music, and art. Students will be given the opportunity to further their education with projects in their field, including directing a show, creating a portfolio, and recitals.

Christine DeFrancesco, theatre teacher and director, explains how the Fine Arts Academy will provide students with an in-depth education in the area of the arts that they would like to go into, which they will not get anywhere else. 

“If you’re that kid that’s like ‘I love this, I love being around it, I love everything, I want to absorb it all,’ then this is the place for you,” DeFrancesco said.

Students will be finding out if they have been accepted into an academy in the next few months, but the application process will continue in the meantime.