He’s not old enough to drive yet, but 15-year-old Shaughn Hirz is already headed off to college. In May, Shaughn graduated early from K12 partner school Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA) with an impressive 4.25 grade point average, making him the class salutatorian of the state-wide virtual school.
In addition to his academic achievements, Shaughn is a competitive gymnast and coach, as well as a talented classical pianist. He’s been learning online since fifth grade and says that his online school gave him more time to purse his interests, while also challenging him academically and teaching him self-discipline and motivation.
What’s next for this high-achieving student? Shaughn says he plans to continue his education at community college first, before completing his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and serving in the military.
In our interview, Shaughn and his mom, Tracie, share why they chose online school, how K12 helped Shaughn reach his goals, and offer some helpful advice for students and parents of advanced learners.
What was school like for Shaughn before enrolling in AZVA?
Tracie: Shaughn started kindergarten at the young age of 4. The teacher did not know what to do with him so they let me stay in the library, working on math strands on the computer. He was already multiplying and dividing while other kids did not know how to even add numbers. When he was in 4rd grade there was a gifted program but the program only allowed the kids to do the next year’s curriculum. He enjoyed the school because everyone wanted to be the “smart boy's” friend.