South Carolina Connections Academy Celebrates Graduating Seniors

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Statewide online public school hosts virtual commencement for Class of 2020 today; graduates earn more than $1M in scholarship awards

Star person in circle with orange and red background and South Carolina Connections Academy to the right

South Carolina Connections Academy celebrates Class of 2020

We are incredibly proud of our graduates this year who despite these challenging times have remained dedicated to finishing their school year strong

Today, South Carolina Connections Academy, a tuition-free online public school serving students statewide in grades K-12, celebrated 585 graduating seniors. While graduates were unable to walk across the stage to receive their diploma as tradition holds, school administrators and teachers honored the graduates with proper pomp and circumstance during the virtual graduation ceremony.

With the online ceremony, family members, friends, teachers and administrators were still able to gather in the digital setting to commemorate this milestone and celebrate the many achievements of the Class of 2020. Fortunately, due to the school’s full-time virtual curriculum, seniors at South Carolina Connections Academy were able to maintain their education consistently and without interruption during the public health crisis.

The Class of 2020 spans the state, with graduates residing in cities and towns including Beaufort, Winnsboro, Aiken, Glendale and more. The graduates who plan to attend two- or four-year colleges or universities are headed to schools including Boston College, U.S. Naval Academy, Harvard University, Erskine College and more. The graduating class earned more than $1 million in scholarship funds.

Valedictorian Samantha Johns excelled in her academics while juggling challenging courses and playing competitive tennis. Upon graduation, Samantha will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy where she will play division one tennis.

“Attending South Carolina Connections Academy gave me the flexibility I needed to excel both academically and athletically,” Johns said. “My teachers always made themselves available to help me and they were incredibly willing to work with my schedule and ensure I was set up for success.”

Another standout senior from this year’s graduating class is Makiah Kennedy. Makiah travels the world competing in Taekwondo tournaments and even qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The flexibility to learn from anywhere in the world through South Carolina Connections Academy has been a major part of her success. Makiah is a Gates Scholar – a highly selective scholarship for exceptional minority student leaders and was accepted to several Ivy League universities including Harvard, Brown and Princeton. She submitted a delayed acceptance to Harvard to study to become a neurosurgeon.

“We are incredibly proud of our graduates this year who despite these challenging times have remained dedicated to finishing their school year strong,” said Joshua Kitchens, executive director at South Carolina Connections Academy. “Our teachers and faculty at South Carolina Connections Academy are confident that the education our students received, which remained uninterrupted this last semester, paired with their determination, will lead to a successful future.”

South Carolina Connections Academy currently serves approximately 5,440 students, providing them with a complete school experience through opportunities to develop social and emotional skills in addition to critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration abilities so they’re prepared to succeed now and as they progress through college, career and life. South Carolina Connections Academy’s scheduling flexibility allows students to arrange their daily schedule at times that work best for the whole family and benefit their ability to learn.

South Carolina Connections Academy is currently enrolling for the 2020-21 school year. For more information about South Carolina Connections Academy, please visit the school’s website at

About South Carolina Connections Academy
South Carolina Connections Academy is a tuition-free, high-quality, highly accountable virtual public school serving students in grades K-12 statewide. South Carolina Connections Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accrediting division of Cognia, formerly AdvancED. The school opened in 2008 and is authorized under state law by the South Carolina Public Charter School District. The combination of state-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives, technology tools and community experiences create a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. For more information, call 800-382-6010 or visit

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