PITTSBURGH, June 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School graduated 1,200 members of the Class of 2015, the school's 15th graduating class. Commencement exercises were held in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.
Speaking for her class at the Philadelphia commencement, graduate Amanda Sciorillo of Yardley, Pa., referred to the computer technology, educational software platforms, and online connectivity that allowed her and fellow class members to be educated at home through a new definition of "school."
"We have made up the PA Cyber community, a community where thousands of students and teachers of different backgrounds, locations, and interests came together to learn," Sciorillo said. "Whether you were here since AT&T Connect, Elluminate, Edmastery, Schoology, or if you only know of BrainHoney, we all met or exceeded the requirements to take the next step today."
Christine Orlikowski of Dushore, Pa., speaking for her class at the Harrisburg commencement, spoke about choices.
"Our choices reflect the reality that we are the ultimate architect of our lives," Orlikowski said. "Somewhere along our life journey, my fellow classmates and I made the choice to break the conventional norms and attend the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. . . Not only was PA Cyber one of the best decisions that my family and I made, but it also taught me that choosing to do things differently can pay off in the end.
"Although we have not gone to school together in a conventional way, the senior Class of 2015 that I speak for today has interacted in a very special manner."
Graduating at age 13 and heading for Penn State University to study history and filmmaking as a way to tell stories, State College, Pa., resident Alan Shimp took the podium to speak for the Class of 2015 at commencement exercises in Pittsburgh.
"The amazing thing about narrative structure is that it's universal," Shimp said. "A single basic pattern of stories and narrative structure has repeated itself throughout history, both in fiction and in real life. We're all heroes. We're heroes of our own stories, and this moment, graduation, will be one of the key turning points in the story of our lives."
Shimp, mentored by his father Ed Shimp, has won a number of awards for video-making since enrolling in PA Cyber four years ago. He won $3,000 and a national first prize in a CSPAN StudentCam video competition, and, competing against high school students, first prize for Best Use of Technology in the Carnegie Science Center's iF Digital Video competition. In 2012 he and his father were chosen by YouTube as one of 10 national winners of the EDU Guru award for their innovative educational videos.
Shimp is founder and president of the Happy Valley Film Club at Penn State, where he has already earned 12 college credits.
Christine Orlikowski, a PA Cyber student for six years, is a member of the National Honor Society.
Passionate about dance, Orlikowski recently was hired as a junior apprentice with a New York City dance company. She trains five days a week and also teaches dance.
This fall, Orlikowski will continue her online education through Clarion University of Pennsylvania while pursuing her love of dance and acting. She already has 15 hours of credits from Clarion.
Amanda Sciorillo, a PA Cyber student for seven years, has been active in a number of PA Cyber student clubs and scholarly groups, including serving as the inaugural president of the school's student council. She helped launch the Assistant Student Teacher program, in which she assisted in co-teaching a biology course.
Sciorillo plays basketball, plays piano, and volunteers at a local elementary school. She is an intern at Philadelphia's Research Institute, where she is involved in research on neuroblastoma childhood cancer.
This fall she will enter Marymount College as a Claire Boothe Luce Scholar majoring in molecular biology. She has already earned 12 credits from Penn State and Bucks County Community Hospital.
"Our generation has many new opportunities due to technology and the interconnectivity of the world," Sciorillo told her classmates. "If you do not see an opportunity that fits what you want . . . create one."
Graduation ceremonies were held June 6 at Verizon Hall in Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, June 10 at The Forum in the State Capitol Complex in Harrisburg, and June 13 at a new location in Pittsburgh, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
(For photos from the three commencements, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/pacyber/albums)
The first statewide K-12 cyber charter school in Pennsylvania, PA Cyber graduated 16 seniors in its first class in 2001. PA Cyber now enrolls 10,000 schoolchildren from all parts of the commonwealth.
Contact Jill Valentine, 724.624.0473
SOURCE PA Cyber Charter School