Great River Connections Academy Recognizes 50+ Seniors in Online School’s Second Graduating Class

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Graduating seniors from all over Ohio celebrate accomplishments, take part in a virtual ceremony featuring speeches from famous Ohioans

Star person in circle with orange and yellow background. Great River Connections Academy to the right.

Great River Connections Academy Celebrates Class of 2020

We appreciate the opportunity that we had to work with each student individually and we are certain that the Class of 2020 is ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.

More than 50 high school seniors from Great River Connections Academy received their high school diplomas during the public online charter school’s commencement ceremony over the weekend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school held a virtual graduation ceremony instead of the in-person commencement that had been previously planned.

“Although this year’s graduation ceremony is significantly different than what we had planned, it doesn’t take away the pride our teachers and staff have for these students and the determination they demonstrated to reach this academic milestone,” said Great River Connections Academy School Leader Jason Swinehart. “We appreciate the opportunity that we had to work with each student individually and we are certain that the Class of 2020 is ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead.”

The Class of 2020 is the school’s second graduating class since it first opened for the 2018-19 academic year. More than half of Great River Connections Academy’s 2020 graduating class plan to attend a two or four-year college/university including Akron University, Kent State University, University of Cincinnati, Lorain Community College and Columbus State, while others plan to join the military or enter the workforce to start their careers.

During the digital ceremony, the students heard congratulatory messages from notable Ohioans such as former Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer and his wife Shelley as well as Miss Ohio 2019 Caroline Grace Williams and actor Brant Daugherty, who is best known for his role on Pretty Little Liars.

The students also heard from 2020 graduate Maleah Bigbee of Mason who plans to attend Miami University in the fall and study Early Childhood Education. Maleah came to Great River Connections Academy mid-way through her junior year. She believes the availability and one-on-one connection with her teachers, something that is unique to online school, benefitted her the most. In her remarks, she encouraged her fellow graduates to stay persistent and keep trying no matter what obstacles life presents.

"In life there are always going to be challenges. The important thing is we stay persistent and keep pushing,” Maleah said. “We should believe in ourselves enough not to listen to criticism of others, do what makes us happy and go after the dreams that will make us who we want to be.”

Great River Connections Academy is a tuition-free, fully online virtual public school that provides students statewide with a high-quality, personalized education. The online school combines certified teachers, a proven curriculum, as well as technology tools, and community experiences—online and in person—to create a supportive environment for those who want an individualized approach to education.

Enrollment for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently open. For more information about Great River Connections Academy and a listing of scheduled information sessions to hear from currently enrolled families and students, visit the school’s website.

About Great River Connections Academy
Great River Connections Academy is a tuition-free, public eSchool for Ohio students in grades K-12. Great River Connections Academy utilizes the nationally recognized Connections Academy® online school program, combining state-certified teachers, a high-quality curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences to create an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 1-855-741-5124 or visit http://www.GreatRiverConnectionsAcademy.com

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