Located just north of the city and ninety minutes from Bark Bay, the Academy is a world-renowned private secondary and prepatory school. Founded in 1769 as a seminary, the Academy has graduated two future Vice Presidents, a dozen United States senators, scores of successful professionals, even a few notable professional athletes and entertainers.
The campus consists of mostly brick ivy-covered buildings, which look as old as they really are on the outside yet are also host to modern technology on the inside. Large verdant fields, gently rolling hills, and enormous sentinel oak trees are all around.
In addition to traditional academic subjects, the Academy’s curriculum requires studies in music and athletics. And while fencing is just one of many sports at the Academy, it’s one of the most prominent. While fencing has largely vanished from most public (and even some private) secondary schools in the region, the Academy’s fencing program has remained vibrant and competitive (and very well-funded), with a long tradition of championships at state tournaments.
The Bark Bay fencing team has an uneasy relationship with the Academy team. Annie has a brother who attends the Academy, and she has befriended several fencers through her association with him. (That her family only sends sons to the Academy, with daughters going to public schools, has not been an issue for Annie — yet.) And while Academy fencers have welcomed the Bark Bay team, they are never seen as equals.