NEW YORK and WEST CHESTER, Pa., June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 40 high school seniors in New York state have officially graduated this year from Laurel Springs School, a leading pioneer in online K-12 education, ending a universally unconventional school year on a high note.
While the fully online school's graduation ceremony has traditionally taken place in-person—originally slated this year for Anaheim, Calif.—the Laurel Springs Class of 2020 was instead honored with a virtual ceremony on Thursday, June 4.
"We are incredibly proud to see another amazing group of students begin their next chapter after graduating from Laurel Springs," said Megan O'Reilly Palevich, M.Ed., Head of School at Laurel Springs. "Our school aims to provide students not only a rigorous curriculum, but also the skills necessary to foster the independence, self-advocacy, and confidence they will need to succeed in college and beyond. The Class of 2020 serves as an exemplar of the core values of Laurel Springs, our staff, and our educators."
The Class of 2020 is the largest in the school's 29-year history with more than 500 full-time seniors earning a diploma and matriculating to top colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University, The New School, and Stanford University.
Members of the school's graduating class from New York state include:
Thea Belle Flanzer, 17, from Quogue, N.Y., attended the Academy at Laurel Springs for four years and will begin her freshman year at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., this fall, where she will study Theater and Performance Studies. For two years, Flanzer served as General Assembly President of the Model United Nations (UN) at Laurel Springs and as Secretary of the National Honor Society.
"My favorite part about Laurel Springs is all of the incredible students I have met during high school. When I traveled to London last summer, I was able to connect with my peers who lived there and meet them in person," Flanzer said. "All of the students are highly motivated people who are achieving remarkable things, making the Laurel Springs community extremely inspiring."
Sisters Calista, 16, andGracie Rounds, 18, of Ellicottville, N.Y., spent their senior year with Laurel Springs after attending multiple schools while their family frequently moved. Gracie will attend the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., to study World Languages while Calista takes a gap year to travel and volunteer.
"I never understood the value of online school in enabling a person to experience life as a teenager to the fullest without being stuck in a classroom for seven hours per day, five days per week," said Gracie Rounds. "I am so appreciative to have had Laurel Springs as my last school in the progression of all the ones I attended."
After seven years of study at Laurel Springs,Storm Snape, 18, of Long Island, N.Y., will matriculate to Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa., majoring in Economics and minoring in Pre-Law. Snape, an avid tennis player who will compete on the Ursinus College team, aspires to work as a sports agent.
"Laurel Springs has prepared me in many ways for college, such as time management on assignments, clubs, and having great communication with teachers and counselors," Snape said. "Attending Laurel Springs is one of the best things that could have happened to me, not only for the skills I learned, but also for the connections that I have made. I am grateful for my time at Laurel Springs."
This year's graduating class is expected to surpass the scholarship earnings of the previous year. Laurel Springs' Class of 2019 earned $9.7 million in scholarships.
About Laurel Springs School Laurel Springs School is a fully accredited private online school offering a challenging K-12 academic program that engages global learners and values students as individuals. Our school is designed for the college preparatory student who wishes to grow and excel academically and personally while maintaining a flexible schedule. Laurel Springs has an outstanding record of placing its graduates into selective colleges and universities of their choice in the U.S. and throughout the world.