Florida Virtual School Full Time Hosts Third Graduation
Over 200 Florida Virtual School Full Time students walked across the stage of the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida on June 4, 2015 to receive their high school diplomas.
About 1,500 family members of the graduates filled the stands of the arena, along with staff members from the school including board members, guidance counselors and instructors.
Also in attendance was Ronald Blocker, the school’s newest president and chief executive officer who replaced founder Julie Young after her retirement in 2014, and chief operating officer, William Gordon.
The class of 2015 marked just the third graduation from the school’s full time program and, with almost 500 graduating seniors collectively, was the largest thus far, according to the program’s principal, Katie Santana.
During the event, Kiara Bodnieks, Beau Harrison, Noah Schnacky, Robert Tonic and Daniella Dellisanti, the five students with the program’s highest grade point averages, were honored by sitting on the stage during the ceremony.
Harrison addressed the audience with opening remarks, followed by Bodnieks, who led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Student, musician and actor, Schnacky, sang the National Anthem at the event.
Taylour Farnsworth and April Alzamora, who were part of the graduating class, also spoke.
The program’s senior class sponsor, Jessica Middleton, hosted the senior class tribute. In her speech, Middleton spoke about historical, sports, cultural and entertainment statistics from 1997, the year the graduates were born. Middleton went on to share the accomplishments of the program’s graduating seniors, highlighting those who participated in acting, sports, entrepreneurship and high academic honors.
To conclude her speech, Middleton used text polling to involve the audience in the event by asking questions such as, “How much gray hair would you say you have acquired over the last month?” on the screen above the stage. Participants were then asked to text in their responses, which would create a live bar graph on the screen showcasing the popularity of each answer choice. The final question read, “How proud of your graduate are you at this moment?”
Many of the speakers from the event emphasized the fact that, for many of the students, this was the first time they came face to face with their instructors.
Ryan King, the program’s assistant principal, stated, “Our students and teachers build relationships over the phone, through email, and through live lessons, but at graduation we actually get to meet our students. It’s a special occasion for both the students and for our staff.”
This post was written by Florida Virtual School student Lauren Mackey. Lauren is the news editor of News in a Click, the FLVS student newspaper.