December 2012 Newsletter - Liberty University Online Academy

News You Can Use 



Christmas is just around the corner! We hope that you are taking time this season to celebrate the wonder of the Savior and the gift of His birth so many years ago. Merry Christmas from the Liberty University Online Academy family to yours!

College For A Weekend

Choosing a college will impact the rest of your life. Experience Christian college life at Liberty University's College For A Weekend (CFAW).


Attend college classes, stay at a residence hall with current Liberty students, explore the sprawling campus, and see why Liberty is home to nearly 100,000 students around the world, both residentially and online.


Feb. 21-24, 2013
April 11-14, 2013


Class of 2013
The Liberty University Online Academy Graduation Ceremony will be held at Liberty’s campus in Lynchburg, Va. on May 11, 2013. If you plan to attend the Saturday graduation ceremony, you’ll want to make your hotel reservations as soon as possible. Hotels are nearly sold out already!


If you would prefer to stay on campus for Graduation 2013, Liberty will be opening campus housing. Campus housing registration opens on Monday, Jan. 21. You can make your reservation for campus housing by calling (866) 470-3507. If you want a good deal, you’ll want to call and make your reservation for Graduation Weekend as soon as possible — these rooms won’t last long!


You will receive ordering information for caps and gowns in February. 




Meet the Faculty

Cynthia and Joey ColsonColson Family


High school sweethearts, Cynthia and Joey Colson, grew up in Charleston, S.C. Following high school, Cynthia and Joey moved to Lynchburg, VA to attend Liberty University.  While at Liberty U. the two participated as Prayer Leaders and then later as Residents Assistants. These university years ended with Cynthia receiving a degree in English and Joey receiving a degree in Music.


Marrying after graduation, the Colsons made Lynchburg their home for an additional seven years, and during this time, the Colson’s experienced many monumental occasions. The first was joyous with Cynthia earning her Master of Education from the University of Virginia and Joey earning his Master of Arts in Religion from the Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. The second, however, was much more serious with Joey being diagnosed with cancer. God’s gracious healing lead to the remission of the cancer. As of this year, Joey has been cancer free for six years. The third and fourth were once again joyous occasions—the births of Abigail (4) and Benjamin (1).


While living in Lynchburg, the Colsons joined Liberty Online Academy’s faculty. Cynthia, teaching English, was the first English teacher to be hired. Joey, a Bible teacher, joined the faculty shortly thereafter.

God’s call to ministry led the Colsons away from Lynchburg and back to South Carolina. Currently, Joey works as a Worship pastor and Cynthia serves as a co-director of a local Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) group.




Meet the Staff

Richard Garman

Richard Garmin


Richard Garman is our Liberty Online Academy math department chairman, and the friendly voice on the other end of the phone if you call in for math help. His walk with the Lord is evident, his excitement for math is inspiring, and his humor is contagious. Over a span of 36 years he has taught at every level, from elementary school to college. His passion is to help students understand difficult math concepts by systematically taking them through steps needed to solve problems. He says that math can be seen from different vantage points, and there are usually different ways to attack a problem.


He has been happily married to his beautiful wife Joanie for over 33 years. His daughter, Virginia, was home schooled and is now a junior at Liberty University.  Philippians 1:21 is one of his favorite verses “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He daily lives out 1 Peter 3:15 “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Garman is an inspiration and encouragement to everyone around him. Liberty Online Academy is blessed to have him as a vital part of the staff.





Out and About

Kelly, Heidi, Heather, and Nicole


This summer, four ladies from our staff went to Kenya to share the love of Christ with primary and secondary students. Nicole Smith, Heidi Dalton, Heather O’Hara, and Kelly Bingham traveled to Olooloitikosh, Kenya for two weeks to help put on a track and field camp. They also had the opportunity to spend time with Maasai girls at a rescue center where the Bingham family has worked for several years. One hundred children attended the track camp, and more than forty of them professed faith in Christ for the first time.  



In the Maasai culture, girls are typically sold into marriage between the ages of nine and twelve.  Because they are also no longer allowed to attend school at that point, there has never been a generation of educated Maasai women. The girls who come to the center are protected and allowed to stay in school through secondary school (12th grade) graduation. These girls love the Lord, thoroughly enjoy learning, and are very thankful for the opportunities they’ve been given. 


What a blessing this trip was! Before going home, the girls had an opportunity to take a brief safari, seeing lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes, and many other animals native to Kenya in their natural habitat.




One of Our Own

LUO Family

Homeschooling is not an easy job. In fact, you can say it takes the journey of a Crusader to travel this challenging road. God calls parents to be the shepherds of their children and to lead them into the gates and pastures of heaven. God spoke to Chris and Billie Pickford three years before they had children. He put a desire in their hearts to teach their children about Him at all times including education. LUOA has become one of the greatest resources for the Pickford family as they educate their children at home. In their effort to teach their children, LUOA has been a blessing from God.


Jeb Pickford will be the first of the Pickford children to graduate from LUOA next spring 2013. LUOA has been a great experience for him and his siblings. He is 17, his adopted brother Val is 17, his only sister Ashton is 15, and then there are three younger brothers, Conrad, 13, Stone, 11, and Cade, 8. With a ratio of 2:6, the parents work very hard and LUOA is there to serve. The flexibility in scheduling is a great asset to their education especially when Chris is called to active duty with the Navy.


Liberty University Online Academy offers the Pickford family many advantages to both current and future education; there is a Christian camaraderie of encouragement to succeed in what God has willed for their lives. LUOA 2011 Christmas Party gave everyone an opportunity to meet with fellow classmates and teachers; the Pickfords feel that the LUOA staff is kind and efficient in their many services. The Pickfords and LUOA share one objective, and that is to serve God by educating God’s children. Jeb and his siblings are very grateful for their LUOA education experience and its many advantages offered to dual enrolled students; Jeb looks forward to graduating in the spring. Jeb and the others are thankful for both their parents and LUOA. Thank God for parents who want the best education for their children.  May He bless their efforts and the staff at LUOA.


Information and comments provided by Jeb Pickford on behalf of the Pickford Family




Alumni Spotlight


Taylor BoswellName: Florence “Taylor” Boswell


Graduation year: 2012


Florence “Taylor” Boswell is a 2012 graduate of the Online Academy.  She attended LUOA for her last 3 years of high school while pursuing an acting career.  Concerning this career Taylor says, “LUOA provided me with the necessary flexibility to pursue my dreams of acting while continuing my high school education. Christian education was a high priority for me and Liberty Online Academy met that need.” 


Currently, Taylor, who eventually is considering pursuing a law degree, attends Liberty University Online. About that degree she says that “if I pursue a career in the justice system, I would like to become a prosecuting attorney.”

However, for now Taylor declares that her “main love is acting.”  Noting that she is not in control of her career, Taylor tells, “I pray that God will continue to use me in the entertainment industry.  I have been blessed with a very busy schedule and hope that God will continue to bless my acting career.” 


When asked how she feels LUOA prepared her for the future, Taylor shared, “The faculty and staff at LUOA were always positive and encouraging.  They provided the perfect balance between learning and support.  In addition to the people at LUOA, I found the curriculum to be challenging, yet fun.  Learning from the perspective of a Biblical worldview has allowed me to look at things in a much more positive way throughout the day. I am so thankful for the education and friendships that I made during my time at LUOA”.