Dr. Andi Morency
I am Andi Morency, founder and now Executive Director/Principal of the Honors Academy of Literature. I have been passionate about education and the community throughout my career. I began as a classroom teacher, and saw the incredible influence I was able to have on the lives of the children in my classroom; however, it was my passion for teacher education that drove me to complete a Master’s degree from Penn State in Curriculum and Instruction with plans to go back into the school system as a literacy coach. The more I learned about the field of education, the more inspired I became to have a wider influence by pursuing a Ph.D. It was this decision that lead me back to Reno. While researching at Penn State, I came across many familiar names from my undergrad studies at UNR. I realized the profound impact the faculty in the literacy department at the University of Nevada were having on the field of education, and decided there was no place like home to work with the best in the field. I entered the Ph.D. program with plans to stay in academia upon the completion of the program, but again, my path took an unexpected turn. I often share the story of how I ended up deciding to open a charter school: "I was in schools doing research and found myself wondering where I was going to send my own children to school when they reached school age. I knew I was going to be one of those crazy moms…sure, we will do what you ask as long as you can present the brain research to back up the practice. Someone presented me with the idea of starting my own school, and at first, I just laughed it off...right, just what I have time to do as a doc student and toddler mom. But the idea resonated with me, and so I did it." I, along with my co-founder and committee to form, began drafting the charter application in June of 2011 and the school opened in August of 2012. The Academy is still the fastest school to have opened in the state.
Away from the Academy, my interests are varied. I teach an undergraduate class in literacy instruction at the University of Nevada. I also volunteers as the Assistant Manager for the Black Rock City Census, a group which works with academics and the Burning Man Organization to collect data a produce a report about the people who attend Burning Man. The report has been cited in academic research, literature, media, and is used with county and state officials for project planning and permitting for the annual event. Additionally, I donate several hundreds of hours yearly with the Reno Rodeo. I serve on the Finance Committee, Queen Committee, and Legacy Committee.
At home, I am a wife and mother to four amazing children ages 13, 11, 8 and 5. I stay involved in my children’s extracurricular activities, and manage to find some time to ride and work with my two horses.