APUS President & CEO Wallace Boston Keynotes 2014 International Connections Academy Commencement
Baltimore, MD (June 18, 2014) — International Connections Academy (iNaCA), an accredited, online private school serving students in grades K-12 in the United States and across the globe, is celebrating the graduation of its senior class at the end of this 2013-2014 academic year. Some 65 graduates from 30 states and 4 countries including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the U.S., gathered with family, friends and school officials to mark this milestone in the school’s fully virtual Commencement Ceremony.
Dr. Wallace E. Boston, president and chief executive officer of American Public University System (APUS), delivered the commencement address at the ceremony which featured many hallmarks of a traditional high school graduation, including turning of the tassels and recognition of the 2014 iNaCA Valedictorian, Kayla Turner, who will attend Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, this fall on a full athletic scholarship for volleyball. Additionally, the ceremony featured remarks from graduate Alexandra Hayden, president of the iNaCA’s National Honor Society, and Hannah Rinehart, Director of School, who oversaw the official ‘presentation’ of diplomas.
“I commend these high school graduates for fearlessly embracing 21st century learning in a true school of the future,” said Dr. Boston. “Hats off to the graduating class for demonstrating a commitment to ‘anytime, anywhere,’ lifelong learning at such an early age, which should help them more readily achieve their future personal and professional goals.”
iNaCA’s 2014 graduating class of 65 students reflects the rapid growth of the international virtual school program. More than 75 percent of iNaCA graduates will continue their education and immediately enter four-year colleges and universities or community colleges and approximately 23 percent will attend vocational schools, enter the military, start careers or pursue other plans.
During her commencement speech, valedictorian Kayla Turner asked her fellow graduates: "How many students get to say that their classmates literally live all over the world? How many students can say that about their teachers as well? We were all brought together, teachers and students alike, and we were able to complete this spectacular high school adventure together," she said.
2014 iNaCA graduates have been accepted into more than 45 different colleges and universities, including higher education institutions such as: Baylor University, University of Georgia, University of Kansas, University of South Carolina, University of Washington, West Virginia University, and more.
“This group of students truly exemplifies the self-directed and reflective learners who will actively participate in our global society. We wish the class of 2014 continued success as they enter college or pursue their post-secondary passions,” said Rinehart.
“Our certified teachers and school counselors have worked to prepare iNaCA’s graduates for the rigors of higher education and life after high school. It has been our privilege to serve the educational needs of all of our students including those whose families live, work, or travel internationally.”
Hallmarks of the virtual private school include personalized learning, high-quality U.S. curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, certified teachers, and a secure easy-to-use online learning system. iNaCA students also have access to innovative electives and programs like Juilliard eLearning online music courses—developed by Connections with the famed conservatory. In addition, the College Acceleration program allows students to concurrently earn both a high school diploma and an American Public University (APU) associate degree in four years, or earn college credits toward a bachelor's degree through University of Maryland University College. This year’s class featured the first iNaCa/APU dual-enrollment graduate.
“By choosing to attend iNaCA, our opportunities have been innumerous due to the flexible schedule,” said Alexandra Hayden, iNaCA’s National Honor Society President, in her commencement speech to the graduating class. Hayden received the gold level 2014 Graduating Senior Award by the U.S. Figure Skating Committee, which is awarded to students who have worked hard to pursue figure skating while maintaining their academics.
iNaCA students learn from home, or anywhere there is an Internet connection, and work with teachers who are licensed and specially trained in online instruction. Students in grades K–12 can enroll full time or part time—choosing to take one class or a full course load—depending on their scheduling needs. Experienced school counselors guide students all over the globe through the college application process, leading to acceptances at many outstanding schools.
“If there is anything I learned by attending iNaCA, it's that our differences make the world round,” said Turner. “I have learned to keep my heart and mind open to new experiences, new adventures, and new cultures.”
Enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year is currently underway and virtual information sessions for interested families to learn more are taking place across the globe.
About International Connections Academy
International Connections Academy is an accredited, online private school serving students in grades K–12 throughout the United States and abroad. Recognizing individualized instruction as the key to student academic and personal success, iNaCA’s highly trained, certified teachers offer instruction tailored to each student’s strengths and challenges using an award-winning computer-based curriculum, real-time instruction, and time-tested course materials from leading publishers. Our parent company, Connections Academy, a division of Connections Education LLC, was founded in 2001 by educators and innovators who recognized the power of online learning to transform K–12 education. Connections Education is part of the global learning company Pearson (NYSE:PSO). For more information, visit www.internationalconnectionsacademy.com.