Kansas Connections Academy celebrates graduates

Judd Weil
Dodge City Daily Globe

On May 15, Kansas Connections Academy administrators and teachers made sure to honor nearly 130 of their graduating seniors, who were unable to walk across the stage to receive their diploma as they typically would, with a virtual graduation ceremony.

Kansas Connections Academy is a tuition-free online public school and has just finished its 10th year serving students in grades K-12 across the entirety of Kansas.

Family, friends, teachers and administrators were able to gather thanks to the virtual graduation to commemorate this milestone and celebrate the many accomplishments with the Class of 2020.

Seniors were able to reach this event, despite the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, due to them maintaining their education consistently with the school’s full-time virtual curriculum.

Sixty-four percent of graduates who planned to attend two- or four-year colleges or universities have already been accepted to schools, including Drake University, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, New York University, The University of Kansas, American University, University of Iowa and more.

Standing out, Kansas Connection Academy’s salutatorian, Dakota Simmons, of Dodge City, was able to balance his schoolwork as he simultaneously pursued a computer science degree from a local community college, while working full-time, in order to reach his aspiration of working in computer programming or cybersecurity.

“The flexibility that Kansas Connections Academy gave me had a big hand in my academic success,” said Simmons. “As someone who works five days a week for eight hours a day, I didn’t have much time during the day to dedicate to school, so the ability to complete lessons on my own schedule really helped me balance both work and school.”

Also excelling in the virtual school environment, Stormy Kaiser, an 11th-grade graduate, will continue to work independently and challenge herself with a variety of unique courses as she studies to become a neurosurgeon.

Kaiser was offered almost $600,000 in academic scholarship offers to universities including Carthage College, Seattle Pacific University, Drake University, American University, New York University, University of California – Davis, The University of Kansas and Kansas State University. Kaiser plans to attend New York University in the fall.

“We’re very proud of our 2020 graduating class and the incredible accomplishments they have made,” said Mandi Adams-Brazill, principal at Kansas Connections Academy. “Though our commencement ceremony was celebrated differently this year, we were thrilled to have so many family members, faculty and friends tune in across the country to support this resilient group of graduates.”

Kansas Connections Academy provides approximately 650 students with a complete school experience through opportunities to develop social and emotional skills in addition to critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration abilities to prepare them for success as they progress through college, career and life.

Kansas Connections Academy’s flexible scheduling allows students to arrange their daily schedule in ways that work best for the whole family and benefit their ability to learn and is currently enrolling or the 2020-21 school year.

For more information, visit www.kansasconnectionsacademyy.com or call 1-800-382-6010.