Student Features

PA Cyber students win honors in Lock Haven math contest

Nov 21, 2014

(L-R) PA Cyber math teacher Joseph Garrison, Kimberly McKee, Yeechian Low

PA Cyber Charter School students Yeechian Low and Kimberly McKee claimed high honors in the 7th annual Lock Haven University High School Mathematics Contest.

Competing against 90 juniors and seniors representing 11 high schools, Yeechian placed first in grades 11-12, and he and Kimberly as a team placed second in group competition for grades 11-12.

It is believed to be the first time students representing a cyber charter school had participated in the competition, which this year drew more than 150 students in grades 9-12 from a number of high schools across Pennsylvania.

Participants took two exams that tested their knowledge of algebra, geometry, number theory and advanced mathematical concepts. The one-day event was staged on Nov. 12 at Lock Haven University.

“Very few schools win more than one award. I’m very proud of the performance of Yeechian and Kimberly, and I know their math teachers will be proud to learn of their accomplishment,” said PA Cyber mathematics teacher Joseph Garrison, who took them to the contest.

Although he was aged only 13 at the time of the Lock Haven contest, Yeechian Low ihas earned enough credits to graduate from high school this spring. Because of his age, he could have competed against freshmen and sophomores, but chose to test with the juniors and seniors.

“Yeechian's performance at the LHU math competition was outstanding,” commented Dr. Muhammad Aslam, mathematics chairman at Lock Haven University.

Yeechian wants to become a forecast meteorologist and has already been accepted at two colleges. His parents are Meng-Yong and Kah-Chan Low of East Stroudsburg, Pa.

He and his older brothers, Yeeren and Yeeray, both now PA Cyber graduates, enrolled in PA Cyber in 2009. Yeeren, 17, is a junior majoring in physics and mathematics at Penn State University; Yeeray, 20, is a junior majoring in musical composition at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Kimberly McKee, 17, a daughter of Patrick and Stacey McKee, formerly attended Pleasant Valley High School in northeastern Pennsylvania. She was seriously injured in an automobile accident three days after Christmas 2013, and missed the remainder of her junior year. She enrolled in PA Cyber this year in order to make up classes and graduate on time this coming spring, according to her mother.

Kimberly plans to attend the Arts Institute after graduation. In addition to doing her school work, she works full-time at Camelback Mountain Resort in the Poconos.

“I attended this contest four years with students from the brick-and-mortar school where I previously taught. It gets bigger and better every year. Lock Haven has a very strong math department,” said Garrison. He is in his first year as a PA Cyber teacher.

“I am a Lock Haven University graduate, and organizers enjoy catching up with graduates and meeting their students. It truly is a great experience. Students make new friends and find out how they stack up against their peers.”

When Garrison volunteered to take students to the contest, he was put in contact with Mike Hissam, director of the PA Cyber gifted-talented program. Hissam provided him with a list of students who might be interested. A letter was sent out, and Kimberly and Yeechian volunteered to participate.

“This was an amazing opportunity for cyber students to participate in a mathematics competition with their academic peers from across the commonwealth,” said Hissam. “We appreciate the extra effort from teachers like Mr. Joe Garrison to create these opportunities.”

“I met Kimberly’s mother and Yeechian’s father and they were very proud of their children,” Garrison said. “It was a great day for them, to be sure.”

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.