More Than 500 Students Graduate from Online High School Texas Connections Academy

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Diverse and accomplished group of graduates celebrated achievements during in-person commencement ceremony.

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Online public school celebrates Class of 2019

These students have chosen the best path for their education to fit their own needs and passions, but it certainly wasn’t the easiest. It’s gratifying to see all their hard work and perseverance culminate in this commencement ceremony.

On Sunday, June 2, Texas Connections Academy celebrated the graduation of more than 500 students in the Class of 2019. This graduating class is a diverse and accomplished group of graduates who collectively earned more than $1.5 million in scholarships and awards. Students attending the full-time online public school gathered from across the state for an in-person ceremony with family, friends and teachers to celebrate student achievements.

“These students are certainly some of the best and brightest in Texas,” said Lea Ann Lockard, Texas Connections Academy Executive Director. “Texas Connections Academy curriculum is rigorous and challenging. These students have chosen the best path for their education to fit their own needs and passions, but it certainly wasn’t the easiest. It’s gratifying to see all their hard work and perseverance culminate in this commencement ceremony.”

The majority of graduates, 71%, plan to attend two- or four-year colleges or universities. Additional graduates have plans to attend vocational training programs (5.7%), join the military (5.1%) or enter the workforce directly upon graduation (13.4%). Students will head to various academic institutions including the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor University, George Washington University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Alabama, Berklee College of Music, Dallas Baptist University and University of Tennessee.

At the graduation ceremony valedictorian Matthew Whorton offered his classmates some advice: “As for what I can do to have an impact on your lives, I have some advice for wherever your journey takes you: never give up. You only lose when you have let yourself lose. If you work hard and are willing to adapt to your situation, you can do anything.”

Among the graduating seniors are:

  • Tori Loomis, the school’s salutatorian, who received an athletic scholarship for women’s gymnastics to Utah State
  • Legacy McDowell, the school’s Outstanding Male of the Graduating Class of 2019, who received more than $72,000 from Baylor University
  • Elydia Gonzales, who received a $60,000 scholarship from Howard Payne University and will be studying Early Childhood Education

“Any traditional brick and mortar school wouldn’t have allowed for me to pursue my rigorous gymnastics training. The flexibility of the online platform allowed me to train while getting a challenging education,” Loomis said. “Though it was challenging, there were always resources available to me to support me including my incredible teachers.”

With the ability to work anywhere there is an Internet connection, students hail from small and large cities in Texas – including Austin, Amarillo, Houston, Hemphill, Katy, Odessa, Dallas and Sugar Land.

Enrollment is currently underway for Texas Connections Academy’s 2019- 2020 school year. Details about upcoming information sessions and other events including dates and locations is available online. For more information about Texas Connections Academy, visit http://www.TexasConnectionsAcademy.com or call 888.410.6502.

About Texas Connections Academy
Texas Connections Academy @ Houston is a 3-12 online school authorized by Houston Independent School District (HISD) and the Texas Education Agency as a Texas Online School. Texas Connections Academy offers students statewide a high-quality, highly accountable, tuition-free, public education option. Texas Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience our online learning community from anywhere. The combination of state-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education.

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Michele Voelkening
Texas Connections Academy
702-222-2362
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