Press Releases

PA Cyber graduates nearly 1,300 students during virtual ceremonies

Jun 14, 2020

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School CEO Brian Hayden today announced that 1,237 graduates in the Class of 2020 were honored during two virtual commencement exercises.

More than 250 students participated in the ceremony held for Western Pennsylvania graduates on Saturday, June 6, 2020 and almost 250 students from Central and Eastern Pennsylvania participated in the Wednesday, June 10, 2020 event. Typically, the school hosts on-site graduation ceremonies, but the COVID-19 pandemic precluded that opportunity.

"Across America, the Class of 2020 will share a unique distinction of attending their last year of high school in a historic time," Brian Hayden, PA Cyber CEO, said when he informed students of the virtual ceremonies. "Not having a graduation ceremony in no way diminishes your achievement. It demonstrates the grace, maturity, and optimism that make you a PA Cyber graduate."

Graduates heard messages about perseverance from 9-12 high school principal, Sean Snowden; about trust from Deputy Chief Academic Officer, Jennifer Shoaf; and, about gratitude from Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Francis Spigelmyer. Class representatives also addressed their fellow graduates. Hayden also spoke at the ceremonies.

Speaking for her fellow graduates during the Western Pennsylvania ceremony, Rachel Redinger began by acknowledging that being a senior was pretty odd this year.

"Even though we may not have had our 'perfect senior year,' we've completed years of accomplishments and we're leaving here today with our diplomas. Graduating class of 2020, you are the next generation of the world. You are unique, needed, and a pillar to society. You are the legacy of the 20s, and it begins right now," she told her classmates.

Redinger is the daughter of Bob and Wendy Redinger of Upper St. Clair. The 4.0 student who enrolled in PA Cyber in 2007 plans to attend college to study history and public relations.

Alina Sheikh of Bethlehem served as class representative for the Central and Eastern Ceremony.

"While this may not be the ceremony we were expecting, our journey is just as important as anyone else's," she said. "Remember what it took to get here and be proud of your perseverance and accomplishments. These last few years were filled with highs and lows, but as we close this door behind us, we're standing here as better, smarter, and stronger individuals. As we step into this next doorway, let's do so with confidence. We're ready for the challenges and opportunities awaiting us."

Sheikh is the daughter of Ashna and Aamir Sheikh. She enrolled in 2009, earned a 3.88 GPA and plans to attend Northampton Community College.

PA Cyber special education teacher Maria Mancuso sang "The Star Spangled Banner." PA Cyber student Steve Altomari performed Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" and Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman's "Time to Say Goodbye." The Pittsburgh Trombone Project also performed "Pomp and Circumstance." Teachers Marc Grandinetti and Melanie Rosenberger, who served on the school's graduation committee, presented diplomas.

The first statewide K-12 public cyber charter school in Pennsylvania, PA Cyber graduated 16 seniors in its first class in 2001. Approximately 10,000 schoolchildren from across the commonwealth are enrolled in the school.

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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 instruction 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.