student and teacher working with letter tiles

It’s a Family Affair

By Brittany Kenney

Since their first daughter started preschool, Courtney and Andy Stephenson P’21 have been involved with their children’s education. Courtney helped with school events and fundraising and was on a first-name basis with many teachers. They were on a seamless course to graduation—or so they thought! 

When their eldest daughter, Katharine, was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia in ninth grade, Courtney and Andy’s beloved K–12 school couldn’t provide the support Katharine needed to succeed, so they got to work investigating other options. “We had very little guidance; we found Landmark via a Google search!,” Courtney remarked. 

“We visited schools closer to home, but none felt right. As soon as we walked through Landmark’s doors, we knew this was the place.” Landmark stood out because of the academic model, and also because of the people. “The admissions team was exceptionally kind, knowledgeable, and understanding, and the students were happy and engaged in learning. It was exactly what we were hoping for.” Boarding school had never been in the Stephenson’s plan, but they took a leap of faith and moved from New Jersey to the North Shore—and they haven’t looked back.

A Welcome Change of Pace

Some of the biggest changes they’ve experienced since coming to Landmark have been academic—Katharine has grown by leaps and bounds and has regained much of her confidence—but the family dynamic has also changed. Most afternoons had formerly involved shuttling to tutors and evenings and weekends revolved around seemingly endless homework. “Katharine didn’t have much time for extracurricular activities, except for one Saturday morning film class. We couldn’t do things as a family because we were always so focused on school work. Suddenly, everything she needed to succeed academically was happening in her regular school day. Katharine could devote afternoons to her passion for theater stage managing, something she never would have been able to do at her old school. Free evenings and weekends meant, for the first time in a long time, we were able to do more as a family.” 

The Stephensons arrived at Landmark in the fall of 2018 and have been involved, engaged, and supportive ever since. Courtney and Andy purchase raffle tickets, bid on auction items, sponsor events, and support the Landmark Parents’ Association (LPA). They also give their time attending parent events, including the Landmark fundraiser Making Waves, LPA meetings, and performing arts shows.

When asked why they support Landmark, Courtney said, “We understand how important it is to volunteer and financially support the independent school model. More importantly, Katharine finally sees herself as we’ve always seen her—a smart, talented, and capable person with endless possibilities, prepared for life after high school, college, and beyond. Landmark is a magical place that changes lives, and we’re happy to give every way that we can!”  

Courtney and Andy Stephenson Landmark School parents