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For This Well Traveled WYVA Student, the World is his Classroom

WYVA student Raphel Tucker at Cinque Terre, Italy

Being in a military family means that there is a possibility that your family will have to frequently move. What people don’t realize is that the children of these families often have trouble maintaining a stable education. This was the case for Raphel Tucker before joining Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA).

After living in Japan for the first seven years of his life, Raphel's father, who is a master sergeant in the Air Force, was re-stationed to Wyoming. After starting 2nd grade at his new brick and mortar school, his teachers quickly noticed that Raphel was too advanced for 2nd grade and wanted to move him to the 4th grade at only 7 years old.

“We didn't want to do that to him. We recently moved from another Air Force base and he was just getting adjusted to his new classroom, but we also didn't want him to be bored in school and not challenged enough,” said Raphel’s mother, Tina.

This situation made Tina look into other schooling options that may better suit Raphel. Together, they thoroughly researched alternative schools and found that WYVA could be the perfect fit. They applied and enrolled as soon as they could and he has been there ever since.

“Raphel can work at an advanced pace and is constantly stimulated and learning. There are many classes for him to choose from including AP and honors courses. He pretty much can take as many classes and electives as he can handle,” Tina explained. “Even though he has Class Connect lectures he attends with multiple students, he benefits from the one-on-one attention from his teachers, as well as from teacher office hours for further guidance if need be.”

When Raphel’s father began getting stationed around the world again, WYVA was there to provide an educational option that was the best fit for the family. In 2011, his family moved to Aviano, Italy, where they are currently stationed, and Raphel was able to make the transcontinental move without interfering with his education.

K12 Inc.'s picture

Watch the Olympics? You Probably Noticed this iCAD Student



iCademy student Eric Beigel.


Does this boy’s face seem familiar? If so, it’s probably because you noticed Eric Beigel in a Samsung Note 7 TV commercial that garnered a great deal of air-time during the Rio Olympics! Eric, and his siblings Adam and Cara, are all actors at K12 International Academy. 


Having three kids with three styles of learning and a busy work schedule makes for challenges,” said Jac Beigel, the children’s mother. “Our academic advisors and teachers have been there for us to work through the challenges, find new ways to schedule school work, and provide tools to master tough subjects via Class Connect and Skype conferences. The teachers proactively reach out if we get behind or struggle with a subject to send a motivational messages and to keep the kids moving forward academically.” 


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How TXVA Keeps This Student on His Toes

Jason McClung working with Alexander Proia at Regional Dance America in Baton Rouge, L.A. 


Jason McClung travels the world to pursue his ballet dreams with the help and flexibility of virtual learning at Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA). This year, he is honored to be training at Houston Ballet Academy (HBA) in its Professional 1 Division. 


“Every year brings new challenges, but TXVA allows Jason to pursue his dream full-time and receive a quality education that fits within his hectic schedule,” said Jason's mother, Julie McClung. 


Over the past year Jason, who started dancing when he was 8 years old, has trained at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., and attended ballet summer intensive programs in Louisiana, San Francisco and London. At London's Royal Ballet White Lodge school, Jason was the only boy from the U.S. in the senior level class out of 30 male dancers selected for the program. 


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How Online School Inspired My Passion for Politics: MGLVA's Avalon McKinney "In Her Own Words"


Avalon McKinney is interviewed before a political rally


Avalon McKinney was the salutatorian of the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA) Class of 2016. She credits MGLVA for nurturing her passion for politics, which led to her running for precinct delegate for the Wayne County Republican Party in Livonia, Michigan. While she didn't win, she plans to remain involved in politics and will attend the Michigan Republican Party Fall Convention this weekend. With election season in full swing, Avalon checks in with us about the importance of being involved, no matter what your age: 


On April 13, 1743, one of the most influential men in American history was born in the colony of Virginia. By the age of 19 he began studying law, and at 26 he joined the Virginia House of Burgesses. During pre-Revolution times he gained credit for his eloquent writing style by writing “Summary View of the Rights of British America. This was the gateway to his career, and in 1775 he was elected to the Continental Congress. At the age of 33 he changed the course of history by writing one of the most historic pieces of all time, calling it, “The Declaration of Independence. By 47 he had had his fill of politics, but he humbly accepted the post of Secretary of State under President George Washington. In 1801, he succeeded John Adams as the third President of the United States. This man has marked the pages of our history books and symbolized our patriotism and love for self-government. Thomas Jefferson is one of many examples of people getting politically involved and fighting for their future at a young age. 

Ana Berry's picture

LAVCA-A Lifeline for some Flood Victims

August 2016 has been a difficult month for the folks in the state I have called home for 31 years, Louisiana. As many as 40,000 homes and businesses have flooded and thousands of residents have been displaced. The unfortunate irony of the timing is not lost on many as eleven years ago this month New Orleanians, like myself, had to flee our homes as Hurricane Katrina made a beeline for our town. Once again, residents are being forced to evacuate as areas of the state experience historic flooding. Some of my family and friends who moved from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina have, for a second time, suffered through a “once in a lifetime” flooding event.

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GWUOHS Student of the World Continues to Make an Impact

Sarah Hesterman inside the United Nations General Assembly Hall

Sarah Hesterman, a 2016 graduate of George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS), is a “student of the world who is eager to make an impact. While living in Qatar for two years, she started the first-ever Girl Up program in the country, and she has served as a teen advisor with the organization. 

“I believe that attending GWUOHS really allowed me to grow as a person and allowed me to take on these large leadership roles that I wouldn’t have been able to if I was in a traditional school,” she said during her  speech at the GWUOHS graduation this spring.

Sarah, who will attend Long Island University’s Global College this fall, was inspired to attend last week’s United Nations Youth Assembly because of her capstone project at GWUOHS, and she wrote about her experience:  

 As someone extremely interested in human rights and gender equality, I've always hoped to attend the Youth Assembly at the United Nations. The event is meant to empower young trailblazers from around the world to achieve sustainable development at both a local and global level. Youth Assembly speakers are powerful leaders from the education, health care, economic and environmental sectors , and there are different break out workshops in between plenary sessions that facilitate discussion focused on tackling the world's greatest issues. It truly is a dream come true for someone who has always aspired to work at the United Nations one day.

Ashley Fryer's picture

Why the Best Teachers Never Stop Learning


KS TeachersLora Johnson (left), Ashley Fryer (right)

I think I am a good teacher, but I know that there is always room for improvement no matter how much experience you have. One way that we can build our skills is by talking and networking with others in our profession. Recently, I collaborated with a teacher I really admireShe’s one of the few who has been at our school since it opened-and we are lucky to have her! Teachers know they can always go to her for honest, helpful advice. Students love her live classes and she has great attendance and participation. I have personally witnessed many high school students seek her out at face to face events.

Lora Johnson is a HS teacher and has taught 9-12 grade classes ranging from Pre-Algebra up to Calculus. This is her ninth year teaching on-line. For the 2016-2017 school year, Lora will be teaching Developmental Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus.

Nate Davis's picture

An Election Year When School Choice is Ignored

(This article was first published on

It's bad enough that during two straight weeks of Republican and Democratic conventions, we never really grasped a true sense of what newly nominated presidential contenders would do to improve the uncertain state of K-12 education in America.

Worse — especially since then — is that we have yet to see a solid reform-driven or innovation-focused commitment from candidates as the solution to our education crisis. A sorely needed exchange on parental choice and access to creative online learning platforms is, perhaps, the most significant missing policy deep-dive since the presidential cycle began in earnest over a year ago. For the most part, presidential candidates have steered clear of any focus on choice in K-12 as a main prescription to constant problems plaguing our school systems and challenging our kids.

Jennifer Richardson's picture

Personalized Learning and the Power of Partnership

This summer I was privileged to attend the Northeast Florida Educational Consortium’s Summer Leadership Conference (NEFEC). The leaders of NEFEC did an amazing job and put together an excellent conference. The conference featured keynote speakers Dr. Tim Hodges from Gallup Education and Dr. Dylan Wiliam, a world-renown education researcher and speaker. NEFEC also created several concurrent sessions that ranged from the use of social media to expand an educator’s professional learning network to the creation of a district’s Digital Classroom Plan. 

The Northeast Florida Educational Consortium is a group of Florida school districts who are working together to accomplish specific educational goals and objectives. As many of NEFEC’s districts are small and rural, the group finds power in partnership. From the buying power of their collected community to the ability to network with educators and leaders for professional development and beyond, NEFEC is doing important work in Florida. 

K12 Inc.'s picture

How Online Schooling is Making This AZVA Fifth Grader's Dreams Come True

School can change the lives of those students who let it, which is exactly what happened for Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA) fifth grader Hannah.

Virtual schooling has helped Hannah in more ways than one - from escaping bullying at a brick and mortar school to providing the flexible schedule that she needs to do the activities she loves so much.  This is why her family chose to transfer to a K12-powered school when Hannah was in first grade. 

“Brick and mortar school just wasn’t for us," said her grandmother and learning coach.  "At AZVA, it’s a very intensive program. It’s a lot of work, but she really learns there and she actually enjoys it!”