February 2013 Newsletter - Liberty University Online Academy
During the month of May, we will be utilizing the Stanford 10 Online Test for our standardized testing. According to the Pearson website, “the online version of the Stanford Achievement Test Series allows for automated capture of student responses and real-time reporting and scoring, providing immediate, reliable data to evaluate student performance and plan effective instruction.”
The Stanford 10 Online Test results help Liberty University Online Academy measure the success of our curriculum when compared to other students nationwide. The results are not reported to anyone but Liberty Online Academy administration, and they are helpful in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of our program. In March you will receive more information on how to register your student.
Class of 2013
The Liberty Online Academy Graduation Ceremony will be held on Liberty University’s campus in Lynchburg, Va., on May 11. 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!
For a list of area accommodations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, you will receive ordering information for caps and gowns.
Liberty Online Academy has students in all fifty states and more than twenty countries, so it is not unusual that one of the teachers lives abroad. Rachael Williams-Mejri presently lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and teaches English, Spanish, French, and communication courses.
Rachael says, “I have always wanted to live overseas and experience other cultures firsthand. After finally deciding it was now or never, I did some research and applied for a job in Dubai. Dubai is a little bit more ‘western’ than I wanted, though, and I am already looking at my next move to a more ‘cultural’ experience!”
Along with her time in Dubai, Rachael has taught for eleven years in four different states. She also teaches French in a local school to students in grades 7-11 in a classroom in Dubai. Her teaching experience ranges from pre-kindergarten to university-level courses. When she is not in the classroom or teaching online, Rachael enjoys scrapbooking, traveling, knitting, and crocheting.
As part of expanding her résumé, Rachael has also begun to study Arabic and Persian. Her passion is ending human slavery and she supports Christian organizations A21 Campaign and Hagar International. Her favorite verse is 1 John 4:10, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
The Liberty Online Academy team of academic advisors plays an integral part in the success of the academy. They advocate at every level helping students, parents, and the administration by tackling tasks from explaining curriculum and testing to organizing office procedures and ensuring that processes run smoothly.
Leading the cadre of academic specialists is Heidi Dalton. Heidi was one of the first staff members to be hired in 2009, and she has been instrumental in the growth of the academy. Heidi grew up in Hurt, Va., just south of Lynchburg. She attended Liberty Christian Academy (LCA) and graduated from Liberty University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences.
For the next two years, Heidi taught history to middle and high school students at LCA. When given the opportunity to join the staff of Liberty Online Academy, she stepped up to the challenge and has kept up with the hectic pace ever since. Over the years Heidi has shown a great work ethic, superior leadership skills, and strong character. She makes sure that everything around the academy works smoothly, overseeing everything from student progress to the details of the annual Christmas party.
During the summer Heidi was able to combine two of her personal passions — traveling and working with the less fortunate. She and several others from the office went to Kenya to spend two weeks serving at a girls’ rescue center. Her heart for others is evident in the way she lives her daily life. When Heidi is not hard at work during the week, she uses her spare time helping others. Her involvement in the Big Brother Big Sister program has changed lives. She is also very active in her local church in Lynchburg’s inner city. On Sunday mornings you will find Heidi leading the children’s ministry for ages 5-12. Heidi is passionate about seeing places where world history actually took place, and she has traveled to Korea, Italy, Canada, England, France, and Africa. Her desire is to one day combine her passions for traveling and serving children by working at a rescue center full time. For now, we are glad she is so intimately involved with the day-to-day operations here at the academy.
Avery and Mackenzie Hall, Seniors
For the second year in a row, twins Mackenzie (Mac) and Avery Hall are attending Liberty Online Academy. Seniors this year, the boys live in Boiling Springs, Tennessee with their parents, Mike and Jennifer Silvio. What makes this family unusual is that they run an antique motorcycle museum. Mac and Avery's step-dad is one of the few experts on restoring antique motorcycles in the country and since the boys help out in the museum, taking their classes through Liberty Online Academy fits their schedule perfectly.
Avery plans to attend college after graduating, and although he hasn’t decided exactly where yet, Liberty is one of his top choices. He is undecided on a degree, but is interested in several subjects including English, music, computer science/engineering, and Spanish. Outside of time spent on his studies, Avery enjoys playing the guitar, watching TV, reading, and sketching on occasion, as well as playing video games.
Mac, like his brother, is musically inclined, spending time practicing and playing the piano. He also plans to attend college after graduation, majoring in computer and electrical engineering with a focus on computer engineering. Additionally, he plans on participating in mission trips where he can use the skills to benefit others. Mac says, “My favorite thing about Liberty Online Academy is the faculty and staff. I have recently had the pleasure of meeting several of my teachers and academic advisors; they are the ones that make Liberty Online Academy so wonderful.”
When Avery and Mac are not helping run the motorcycle museum, they enjoy participating in Airsoft military simulation matches. They also have enjoyed their studies in Old and New Testament, something they did not experience in the public schools they have previously attended. Another unique thing about Avery and Mac is that their brother Bailey passed away when the boys were eight years old. Up until that point, the boys had been triplets. Thankfully, they are able to rejoice that their brother is home with the God of all creation and His Son, Jesus Christ. Mac tells us, “My life has been a really interesting and blessed one filled with a healthy variation of lifestyles growing up. I trust in God always, and I am excited to see what plans He holds for my future.” Likewise, Avery says, “I hope to fulfill God’s calling and purpose for my life while spreading God’s Word to others.”
Bridget Lane is just one of the bright stars shining both for Christ and Liberty Online Academy. Bridget graduated from Liberty Online Academy in Spring 2012, and she continued her academic career by beginning her studies at George Mason University in Northern Virginia for the Fall 2012 semester. She is currently enrolled in the honors program where she is majoring in computer engineering and minoring in English.
Bridget has an ambitious plan for the next few years. "I have an 11-year-plan," she says. "I would like to be accepted into the Accelerated Master's Degree program here at Mason...attend the School of Law...then enter GMU's Ph.D. program...in Electrical and Computer Engineering." After completing this intensive program, Bridge would like to work in law, then retire and become a college professor. She has already taken the first step toward her dream by being recommended by her computer science teacher for a position as an undergraduate teaching assistant.
The flexibility of home schooling and the wisdom and insight of her mom gave Bridget the ability to pursue the subjects that she was most interested in at a higher level. She was able to work in two of NASA’s programs (INSPIRE and VASTS) where she continues to work as a mentor for high school students in the INSPIRE program. Bridget says, “Liberty combines a strong curriculum with freedom to bend work to the student, all on a foundation of Christian morals. Liberty gave me space to find out what I wanted to do with my life. Home schooling, or being online in a curriculum with Liberty, allows you freedoms people in public school don’t get. You can explore physics and math in new ways. Even now in college, I sometimes return to my high school home physics curriculum to reference something I need to know.”
We look forward to hearing how God leads Bridget as she pursues her life’s aspirations.