INSPIRE, The Idaho Connections Academy Celebrates Class Of 2019 With Traditional Graduation Ceremony

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Online public school graduates set to receive diplomas during traditional in-person commencement ceremony at the Nampa Civic Center on Friday, June 7.

Graduates in line at podium

Online public school graduates Class of 2019

When students have the right tools, there is no limit to how far they can go. I am excited to see what the future holds for our Class of 2019.

INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy, a full-time, tuition-free statewide online public school, will be celebrating the accomplishments of its Class of 2019 on Friday, June 7 at the Nampa Civic Center. Over 65 graduates will don their caps and gowns and participate in this traditional in-person commencement ceremony, INSPIRE’s Class of 2019 has over 100 graduates. These self-motivated and impressive graduates earned over one million dollars in scholarship awards, and the number continues to grow as students receive word of scholarship opportunities secured.

“Our students use technology to gain skills and prepare for the future of today’s digital world, and we are so proud to have brought school to life for each and every one of them,” said Karen Haines, school leader for INSPIRE Connections Academy. “When students have the right tools, there is no limit to how far they can go. I am excited to see what the future holds for our Class of 2019,” she added.

Among INSPIRE’s Class of 2019 graduates are:

  • Emily Szurgot (Meridian, Idaho) – Emily has always been passionate about swimming, and two years ago she decided to start participating in triathlons. She's loved being a triathlete so much that when it came to deciding on a college she found one that offered a NCAA women's triathlon program. She received a scholarship to attend Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Emily plans to double major in biology and mathematics, and minor in computer science and data analytics as she pursues a career in medicine.
  • Lilienne Stafford (Genessee, Idaho) – Lilienne recently returned from a mission trip serving in the Philippines. This isn't the first time she's ventured to the Philippines; she spent time there two years ago and enjoyed her experience so much that she wanted to return with Young Disciples International. When she's not traveling the world, Lilienne volunteers at the Goodman Medical Center. She's also created her own youth retreat. Lilienne plans to become a nurse and continue helping people.
  • Cassidy Corta (Chesterfield, Idaho) – Cassidy has been participating in rodeos since she was five years old, she trains every day at the arena at her home and competes throughout the state. She received a full ride scholarship to attend Weber State University and she will continue competing in rodeos there. Cassidy plans to study English with a creative writing emphasis and hopes to become a teacher.
  • Cameron Henry (Moore, Idaho) – Cameron knew he wanted to enlist in the military during his junior year and says the opportunity jumped out at him. He will be joining the Navy and will be shipping out for boot camp at the Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois on August 27th. He has already been preparing and attending training sessions once a month. Cameron is following in his mother’s footsteps, as she served in the Army for three years.
  • Alyssa Titus (Boise, Idaho) – Alyssa was nominated for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards this year, a youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. Alyssa grew up in a military family and she has played an integral part in her family's non-profit in honor of her brother who was killed in action in 2004, the Brandon Titus Memorial Fund. Alyssa plans to get her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • Jakayla Walker (Harrison, Idaho) – After successfully raising $4,500 to help feed refugees in Southeast Asia, Jakayla spent two months last summer biking more than 4,000 miles from Seattle to New York City to bring awareness to the issue. She was recognized as a 2019 Distinguished Finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. She was also recognized and received the President's Volunteer Service Award. Jakayla plans to pursue justice studies at Lewis and Clarke State College.
  • Kendall Gray (Eagle, Idaho) – Kendall has been creating videos on her own YouTube channel for five years now as a creative outlet (her channel called Gray Amet has 1,657 subscribers). Kendall plans to attend the University of Idaho in the fall to study film and creative writing.

INSPIRE Connections Academy’s mission is to help each student maximize his or her potential through a uniquely individualized online learning program. In addition to core curriculum, students have access to a wide range of courses, including engaging electives, Career Technical Education courses, and honors and AP course options. INSPIRE Connections Academy students also meet regularly in online LiveLesson® classroom sessions and have opportunities to share ideas, work one-on-one with teachers, and have fun learning with their peers. Outside of schoolwork, students make friends and socialize through in-person field trips, online clubs and community activities.

INSPIRE Connections Academy has been bringing a fully accredited public online education directly to families throughout Idaho since 2005. The school currently serves approximately 1,025 students in Idaho because it is a public school, there are no tuition costs or fees to attend.

Enrollment for the 2019-20 school year is currently open, and INSPIRE hosts a variety of free sessions for prospective families and students who want to learn more about the engaging online program.

About INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy
INSPIRE, the Idaho Connections Academy, is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable statewide online public school serving students in grades K–12. Authorized by the Idaho Charter School Commission, INSPIRE Connections Academy is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). INSPIRE Connections Academy provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere in a safe, supportive learning environment. The combination of Idaho-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, unique electives, technology tools, community and socialization experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit

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Samantha Bryant
INSPIRE Connections Academy
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