Ohio Online School Graduates Largest Class in the Nation

Animal Expert Jungle Jack Hanna Addresses Graduating Students

Jun 04, 2012, 07:30 ET from Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 2000 Ohio graduates received diplomas from ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow), the nation's largest K-12 online charter school, in a ceremony Sunday, June 3 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.   

Animal expert Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, addressed the largest graduating class of any school in the nation with over 2,000 students in ECOT's Class of 2012.

"I've spoken to graduating classes before at colleges and high schools, but I must say this is a unique thing for me," Hanna said

The growth of the online school has been dramatic.  In ECOT's first graduation ceremony in 2001, only 14 students graduated.  The school now has over 15,000 enrolled students and is the largest charter school in the nation.

ECOT students, who work online from their homes all over Ohio, have the flexibility to learn in non-traditional ways and often take advantage of their flexible schedules to pursue hands-on learning adventures with their families.

"What ECOT is doing is allowing students and families to learn from home and that allows them to use the world as a living classroom," Hanna said.

This ECOT class has 16 valedictorians:
Alison Abraham, Wakeman, Ohio
Kennard Brown Jr., Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Lorena Davis, Highland, Ohio
Nuria El-Shwehdi, Springboro, Ohio 
Levi Hanson, Columbus, Ohio           
Katie Kehle, Wauseon, Ohio  
Olivia Lander, Hillsboro, Ohio
Kaitlin Long, North Ridgeville, Ohio
Lauren Maynard, Parma, Ohio
April McKinney, Bethel, Ohio
Chase Meerhoff, Dayton, Ohio
Firdaws Nashid, Cincinnati, Ohio      
Rebecca Perruci, Marietta, Ohio       
Charles Reese IV, Bedford Heights, Ohio
Abigail Vodicka, Columbus, Ohio
Dexter Wright, Oxford, Ohio


  • Class Graduation Speaker:  Katie Brown, Ashtabula;
  • The Coann Michael Scholarship: April Hall, Columbus;
  • Founder's Scholarship: Cassandra Geiger, New Albany;
  • Patricia Felts Scholarship: Hillary Faust, Toledo;
    The Sponsor Scholarship: Rebecca Perruci, Marietta;
  • The Ohio State University Scholarship: Brianna Simmons, Columbus;
  • First Generation Scholarship: Tricia Kauser-McMillen, Columbus

About ECOT
The largest full-time K-12 online school in the nation with over 15,000 enrolled students, ECOT opened its doors as the state's first online school in the fall of 2000. For more information, visit www.ecotohio.org.

About Jack Hanna
Animal expert Jungle Jack Hanna's hands-on approach has won him widespread acclaim as Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, conservationist, author, television personality, and lifelong adventurer. Recognized around the country as America's favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, Larry King Live, The Talk, The Maury Show, Fox News Programs, and CNN News Programs. He is the host of TV's Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures, Jack Hanna's Into the Wild, and Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown. For more information, visit www.jackhanna.com.

Media Contact: Nick Wilson (614) 333-2135

SOURCE Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow