Originally published in The Sundance Time – January 24, 2019
Parents know best!
When it came time to enroll my daughters, Grace Belize and Faith, in school, I knew that I wanted them to receive the best education possible. Fortunately, I came across online education and for 13 years it’s been the perfect fit for my daughters.
Because of their flexible schedule with Virtual School, both Grace Belize and Faith cultivated a passion for leadership, philanthropy and community service. Both volunteer at Blessings in a Backpack, where they help provide schoolchildren food on the weekends. And because they are not confined by a rigid class schedule, they also have the opportunity to meet with local and state government officials, as well as business leaders, during traditional school time to experience government in action and discuss their community efforts.
Throughout high school with Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA), Grace Belize served in numerous leadership positions including being elected as a District and State Officer of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and last year serving as FCCLA National President. In this role, she encouraged other students to explore personal talents that could turn into life-long careers.
She also was selected for the State 4-H Leadership Team. Her adaptable learning environment assisted in her ability to earn over 400 community service hours. Grace Belize just started her second semester at Liberty University as a Junior due to the concurrent enrollment and AP classes offered through WYVA.
Faith is now freshman with WYVA and balances her advanced online curriculum with a variety of activities, including FCCLA, art, music and athletics. Because online school is so portable, she is able to participate in multi-day events like leadership schools where teens learn firsthand government processes such as drafting and debating bills, running for office and working in committees.
Education is not one size fits all. Thankfully there are choices in Wyoming. In recognizing National School Choice Week, I am reminded of how grateful I am for everything online education has given my family.
I urge Wyoming to protect school choice so that others can have the same opportunities to choose the best education for their family. Online education has given my daughters a sense of independence and empowerment.
I encourage parents and students to explore the array of unique opportunities provided by online education, and to get facts from reliable sources when looking at options because there is a great deal of misinformation circulating about virtual education. I would welcome the opportunity to share our experience as a virtual school family, both the pros and the cons. To reach out find me in the Moorcroft directory or through social media.
Zeta Nuckolls Anderson
To learn more about Wyoming Virtual Academy, visit https://wyva.k12.com/