Pearson Online Academy Graduates Accomplished Seniors Worldwide

--81 Online Private School Graduates from More Than 7 Countries Receive Diplomas in Virtual Ceremony; Class of 2015 Awarded More Than $2.7 Million in Scholarships, Achieved 100% Graduation Rate

Baltimore, MD (August 11, 2015) – Pearson Online Academy, an accredited, online private school serving students in grades K-12 worldwide, celebrated the accomplishments of its 2015 high school graduates in a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 19. Friends, family, teachers and administrators logged in to recognize the achievements of 81 graduates, hailing from 28 states and 7 countries, including Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Ghana, and Japan. Keynoted by Fathima Dada, Global Managing Director of Pearson Schools, the ceremony featured Connections Education President Dr. Steven Guttentag, Pearson Online Academy Board Member Michael Wilmeth, and student remarks by the school’s valedictorian and student council president.

Many traditions of high school graduation were featured in the virtual ceremony, including the ‘presentation’ of diplomas, turning of the tassels and recognition of each and every senior. Among the class of 2015 are valedictorian Sarah Chiang, a globally ranked chess player headed to Washington University in St. Louis for pre-medical studies; Iliana Paleva, a Bulgaria-based student who will attend Cornell University and prolific gymnast Kiarra Alleyne, joining the Yale University gymnastics team. Among the class of 2015 graduates, 19 percent of students earned a GPA of 4.0 or above, including Chiang who earned a 4.59 GPA, the highest in the school’s seven-year history.

“Our graduating seniors this year have already accomplished so much – from academic excellence, to merit in the realms of sports and the arts,” said Principal Hannah Rinehart. “We’ve seen their dedication to collaboration, excellence and lifelong learning first-hand, and are thrilled to see what is to come. These young adults now have a solid base of education they are sure to use as a springboard to bright things ahead across the globe.”

The Pearson Online Academy class of 2015 achieved a 100 percent graduation rate for the 2014–15 school year. Sixty-six percent of graduates will continue their education immediately at four-year colleges and universities or community colleges. Graduates have been accepted into more than 100 colleges and universities, including higher education institutions such as: Brown University and Stanford University, among others, and have earned more than $2.7 million in scholarships. Approximately 11 percent will pursue performing arts or athletic careers, and 23 percent will attend vocational schools, enter the military, start careers or pursue other passions.

During her commencement speech, valedictorian Sarah Chiang discussed the parallels of attending online school and playing a game of chess: “One of the most important things I learned from Pearson Online Academy and chess is the value of planning,” said Chiang. “The lessons that we learned from our parents, teachers, and Pearson Online Academy have brought us to this position. We are 18 moves deep in a game that has an infinite number of endings. Each of us will lead our own lives and start making our own moves as we enter college.”

The school takes a personalized approach to learning with a high-quality U.S. curriculum, state-of-the-art technology, certified teachers and a secure easy-to-use online learning system. Students work at their own pace and can expand learning opportunities. College-bound students may tailor their schedules to accommodate exam preparation and applications, as well as take advantage of the school’s diverse course catalogue, including expanded AP classes and career technical education offerings such as Introduction to Law and Java Programming. Students may also 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 via the College Acceleration program. Three graduates in the Class of 2015 earned dual diplomas.

Pearson Online Academy currently serves more than 780 students across the globe, who learn from home, or anywhere there is an Internet connection. Certified teachers and supportive counselors provide one-on-one attention and guidance through the college application process, leading to acceptances at many exceptional schools.

Enrollment for the 2015-2016 school year is currently underway and virtual information sessions for interested families to learn more are taking place across the globe.

About Pearson Online Academy
Pearson Online 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, Pearson Online Academy’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).