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Mark Lowell, father of 13-year-old Isabelle Olivas-Lowell of Monrovia, California, always knew his daughter was something special. Yet both he and Isabelle were consistently frustrated by Isabelle’s traditional school experience.

“From Kindergarten through 5th grade, I asked her teachers not to put Isabelle in a box. I don’t think they truly understood what I meant,” Mark said. “I found that the teachers tended to treat the students all the same when indeed they are not.”

Then one day, Isabelle approached her father with K12’s phone number. “I was connected with iQ Academy of Los Angeles. Within a week Isabelle was enrolled and we were blown away!” Mark said.

Isabelle has now been with K12 for 2 ½ years and is a straight A student. Online public schooling has allowed her to thrive in an environment that is tailored to both her work ethic and hectic schedule.


“This model of schooling lets Isabelle study independently and it just works so well,” Mark said. “We travel a lot for her sports. We take the computer, find internet and she has everything she needs. I couldn’t expose her to all of these things if she was in a brick and mortar school. What’s more, her classes are like corporate conference calls. Yet, Isabelle is personally interacting with fellow students!”

iQ Academy also exposes Isabelle to new hobbies. She recently joined both the yoga and photography clubs.

“Online schooling gives Isabelle more freedom and creativity,” Mark said. “In the brick and mortar model, often teachers hound the students. ‘Get to class! Did you finish this? Here’s your homework. Go to the next class!’ In contrast, personalized learning empowers students.”

Mark also has high praise for iQ Academy’s curriculum and his ability to stay up-to-date on Isabelle’s studies.

“There are not enough words in the English language to describe how I feel about the curriculum,” Mark said. “I can see on my cell phone what Isabelle is doing and what she has completed. Her assignments are there from August to June so we know what we are doing all year. It’s phenomenal!”

Mark is so impressed, he’s now an advocate for school choice and working to counter stereotypes attached to online schooling.

“My daughter is doing so well, her test scores are great, both in school and regulated state testing,” Mark said. “Why take that away from parents? We are all different and have different ways of thinking and learning. Thanks to online public school, Isabelle is learning the way that suits my daughter to a tee.”

About The Author

Donna Savarese

Donna Savarese is Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for K12. Savarese also manages executive speechwriting and internal communications for the company. Previously, she served as a Senior Media Relations Manager within Lockheed Martin’s Worldwide Media Relations (WMR) department. She is a two-time Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and twice won the Edward R. Murrow Award for journalism while serving as the 6 pm nightly news anchor for five years at KMOV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri. Savarese is the recipient of seven Emmy nominations, including a nomination in Sports and as ‘Best On-Air Talent’.

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