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Sarah Negovan Reflects on Her Online Experience

AZVA Valedictorian Sarah Negovan celebrates graduation with her family.

2016 Valedictorian Sarah Negovan truly found a home at Arizona Virtual Academy (AZVA). She began in the 7th grade and never looked back. Here are just a few reasons she loved her online experience:

The Academics

Sarah feels incredibly prepared for the Honors program at Northern Arizona University (NAU), which she will attend in the fall, thanks to the time management and self-motivation she learned from her time at AZVA. Sarah enjoyed having the flexibility to work at her own accelerated pace and loved being able to receive individualized help from teachers when necessary.

“These privileges came with responsibilities, which had to be met head-on: self-control, discipline, and determination,” Sarah said. “These responsibilities grew exponentially with my Honors and, later, AP courses, but I wholeheartedly believe it was worth it.”

All of her hard work paid off, as Sarah delivered her valedictorian address at AZVA graduation in May. Sarah incorporated AZVA’s 2015-16 school theme, “This is my time,” into her speech and was excited to reflect upon the growth of the entire class and online culture as a whole.

The People

“The material was so enriching,” Sarah said. “But, thinking back on it now, I realize that while the coursework itself was chock-full of good information, it was just that: information. What truly helped bring it all into that exciting perspective that’s so vital to learning were the live, teacher-led classes and my peers – separated by physical miles but joined together by our Internet connections – that shared part of my learning experience.”

Although Sarah was originally apprehensive to speak in her live classes, she became more confident, and was even convinced by a teacher to become a peer tutor. Through friendships with other peer tutors, Sarah was also given the opportunity to join AZVA’s student government.

“Through student government, I was able to help plan our very own prom night, and to bring real, in-person socialization to a region of the state where the plea for such had grown over the years,” Sarah said. “In retrospect, the only thing I would have done differently would have been to get involved earlier.”

The Opportunities

While Sarah looks back fondly on all she has accomplished and the laughs she shared with classmates, both in the classroom and at get-togethers held at Peter Piper’s Pizza, she is excited to take all she has learned and apply it to the next stages of her life at NAU.

“These educational and personal opportunities are more than ‘stepping stones:’ they’re facets of personal discovery and growth, as well as sources of treasured memories and connections,” she said. “Words don’t seem to be enough, but my gratitude goes to K12, its faculty, and anyone and everyone who has worked to support this emerging generation.”

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