Cady Looper's picture

K12 Teacher Profile: Cady Looper

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and this week on thinkTANK12 we’ll be sharing some amazing profiles from a few of the more than 5,000 online teachers in K12’s network of educators. K12 teachers work in a variety of school models including full time online public and private schools, innovative blended school programs, and classrooms. In all of these school models, K12 teachers are delivering individualized learning opportunities to students. These K12 teachers are committed to serving the needs of every student.

Today, we hear from Cady Looper of Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy…

When I was in the 1st grade, I completed an assignment that said, “When I grow up I want to be”, and I answered Teacher. I fulfilled that dream in 2004 when I graduated from Oklahoma State University. I have been teaching various elementary grades for 10 years. Next year will be my 5th year with Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA)!  My husband of 2 years, my dog and I live in Yukon, Oklahoma which is just outside of Oklahoma City. I love cook, read a good book, spend time outdoors, and watch my favorite TV shows! Also, my family loves to travel to Colorado in the summers every chance we get! Lastly, I love to teach. I especially love to teach reading.

Curiosity lead me to the position at OVCA. I was curious to see how teaching students in their own environments impacted their education.  Gaining valuable experience in many of my positions within the brick and mortar schools, I still wanted something more. OVCA has given me many opportunities to expand my knowledge of teaching. OVCA opened 5 years ago and has blossomed into a fully-functional school right before my eyes. I have been able to take part in developing and perfecting many of the policies and procedures that makes our school run efficiently. I do not feel I would have had those types of opportunities anywhere else. I believe that online teaching is the future of teaching. I am happy that I am a part of the beginning years in Oklahoma!

The most rewarding part of my day is building a lesson, teaching that lesson, and then the lesson helps a student grow with knowledge. Receiving kmails about how a struggling student mastered an objective because of a class connect I taught brightens my day and is a reminder of why I teach. Additionally, our school holds outings once a month and this is my chance to put a face to the little voice I hear on the phone or in class connects. It is still amazing to me the connections I am making or have made with students in the virtual world. 

Nate Davis's picture

Here’s to the Heroes, The Teachers Who Devote Themselves to Shaping Our Lives

This week, as America pauses to honor one of its most cherished group of professionals and celebrate their formidable accomplishments in the classroom and beyond; I am reminded of how important and instrumental our teachers truly are.  Just like so many successful leaders, entrepreneurs, humanitarians, world-class doctors and scientists, we are who we are because of the impact of many fantastic teachers during our childhood and young adult lives.
 

For me personally, as I navigated through elementary and high school and went on to pursue studies in engineering and eventually business, I was challenged, motivated and inspired every step of the way by remarkably dedicated educators who devoted their lives to mentoring and shaping mine.  Everyone remembers those teachers who will always stick in our hearts and minds. My best teachers were my role models - intelligent, compassionate, and engaging professionals who pushed me to do my very best and whom I admired and deeply respected (sometimes only later in life once I understood the relevance of their message). Like they did for countless students, year after year, the best teachers gave me their wisdom, their energy, their time -- but perhaps most importantly -- they taught me self-respect, gave me confidence and convinced me that through hard work, dedication, and passion I could accomplish any and every thing I ever wanted.
 

Each and every day, the teachers at K12 and our partner schools are becoming those same role models and making a difference for thousands of children across this country by giving them a chance at a quality education.  Thank you all for giving us goals to shoot for and for being an inspiration to so many. We owe you more than we could ever repay and we are incredibly thankful for your service and dedication.

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher
-Japanese Proverb

 

Nate Davis
K12 Chairman and CEO

 

Casey Swan's picture

K12 Teacher Profile: Casey Swan

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and this week on thinkTANK12 we’ll be sharing some amazing profiles from a few of the more than 5,000 online teachers in K12’s network of educators. K12 teachers work in a variety of school models including full time online public and private schools, innovative blended school programs, and classrooms. In all of these school models, K12 teachers are delivering individualized learning opportunities to students. These K12 teachers are committed to serving the needs of every student.

Today, we hear from Casey Swan of Michigan Virtual Charter Academy...

“Well hello 3rd graders!  Give me a smiley face if you can hear me and the volume sounds good…”

Yes, that is the way most of my classes begin here at Michigan Virtual Charter Academy (MVCA).  My name is Casey Swan and I am a K12 virtual teacher.  I have worked as a virtual teacher for the past 3 years and it has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding careers that I have had.  I started my teaching career when I was 23 years old, teaching 7th grade life science in Florida.  I continued to teach middle school science for the next 8 years in Virginia.  Once my husband and I had added two beautiful children to our family and moved back to our home state of Michigan, it made sense with the cost of daycare for me to stay at home.

I began doing some independent contracting work for a virtual university.  That is when I truly got “the bug” for working and teaching in a virtual setting.  I started working for MVCA in 2012 and 2 years later I am a lead teacher. Our school has under gone tremendous growth and I was happy to experience and be a part of that.          

I think the most rewarding part of my job is really giving my students and families the individual attention they need.  Working one to one with students allows me to enter their world and really get a handle on what it is they need from me.  Something that wasn’t able to do in a regular school setting.  I also LOVE telling people about what I do!  So often families and friends do not even know that this is an option for them, personally I could not be prouder of what I do and those that I connect with daily.

When I am not teaching, I enjoy “disconnecting” and spending time outdoors with my family.  We are avid boaters and love lake living.  You can find us tubing, swimming and paddle boarding during the summer months.  I love to read, so when I am not doing readings for graduate school you can find me curled up with my kindle.  I recently took up boxing and I am having fun learning new tactics, not to mention getting in shape!

Jeff Kwitowski's picture

Jeff Kwitowski, K12’s SVP of Corporate Communications, responds to NCAA’s notification of eligibility and lack of standards for digital courses

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a private membership-based organization, recently notified a number of schools affiliated with K12 Inc. that coursework from these schools will not be used in the initial-eligibility certification process for Division I and II athletics following the 2013-2014 school year. Eleven of the schools are part of a single network of schools in one state and two of the schools are full-time blended schools. All are approved public schools that meet state content and instructional time standards and graduation requirements. 

The individual schools impacted by this decision are currently waiting for the NCAA to provide the specific coursework they reviewed in making its decision. All schools have the option to appeal.

According to the NCAA’s revised legislation for nontraditional courses, students and instructors must have “ongoing access to one another” and “regular interaction” throughout the duration of the course. However NCAA does not provide schools any measurable standard or rubric used to determine what they believe is a suitable level of student-teacher interaction. Despite repeated requests, the NCAA will not publish specific student-teacher interaction guidelines for nontraditional courses, including online and digital courses.

These vague standards and unclear review process leave schools to only guess what passes NCAA’s eligibility test. This is a significant concern for all schools and districts that use digital learning programs.

In one case, the NCAA rescinded the eligibility of an accredited and state-approved online public school with over 5,000 students based on a review of old coursework from only two students, one of whom is a competitive diver and on the Dean’s List at a Division I school. Furthermore, the NCAA did not account for updated technology systems and new instructional models with increased student-teacher interaction.

K12 believes its teachers and courses meet NCAA standards. Teachers in K12-managed schools are state-certified and highly qualified. They have ongoing access and regular interaction with their students. Teachers provide direct instruction, evaluation, guidance and support to students, including direct instruction through real-time, web-based classes. In K12-managed blended schools, students gather together in a learning center every day to receive direct, face-to-face instruction with teachers – as is done in traditional schools.

Hundreds of student athletes have graduated from K12-affiliated schools and have been accepted into Division I and II colleges and universities. Many of these student athletes graduated with academic honors and continue to excel academically.  

Ashley Collier's picture

K12-TV: 2014 Academic Report

In this episode of K12-TV,  Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Margaret Jorgensen and leaders from K12's school services and education policy teams talk about the findings from our 2014 Academic Report and what that means for students, teachers and partner schools. Also, K12 Inc. Chairman and CEO Nate Davis sits down with Jeff Kwitowski to reaffirm K12’s commitment to putting student’s first and being accountable and transparent to the families we serve.

Check it out...

Related Resources

2014 Academic Report

Summary of 2014 Academic Report

Nate Davis on K12's unwavering commitment to Academic Achievement 

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