Local students among Great River Connections Academy's Class of 2023

Jun. 12—COLUMBUS — Great River Connections Academy recently presented more than 180 students with their high school diplomas as members of the statewide public online charter school's 2023 graduating class.

The students were honored during the school's annual commencement ceremony at the Ohio Theater in downtown Columbus.

"It was wonderful to have this opportunity to celebrate our graduates and this academic milestone with an in-person commencement ceremony together with families and friends," said Great River Connections Academy school leader Jason Swinehart. "The faculty and staff at Great River Connections Academy are proud of the determination these students have demonstrated to find a learning environment that meets their needs and enabled them to succeed academically. We are confident the Class of 2023 is poised to do great things."

This is Great River Connections Academy's fifth graduating class since it opened in 2018. While more than one-third of the graduates indicated they plan to continue their education and attend a two or four-year college or university, others plan to join the military, pursue vocational training, or enter the workforce to start their careers.

The following students from Ashtabula County are among Great River Connections Academy's Class of 2023:

Gayle Skye Rae Edwards, Conneaut; Charles McFarland, Geneva; Alexis Medved, Ashtabula; Thomas Owens, Geneva; Hailey Schembre, Conneaut, and Emily Specht, Conneaut.

During the commencement ceremony, the graduates heard from Class of 2023 Valedictorian, Charles McFarland of Geneva, who enrolled in Great River Connections Academy as he entered his junior year.

"Attending Great River Connections Academy enabled me to have control of my own academic experience, through the courses that were offered and the ability to work at my individual pace," McFarland said. "I believe students should have the opportunity to go as far as their hard work will take them and this school offered me that chance."

Charles plans to attend Lakeland Community College in the fall.

Enrollment for the 2023-2024 academic year is currently open. Great River Connections Academy is hosting online information sessions for families interested in learning more about virtual education. For more information about Great River Connections Academy or to begin the enrollment process, please visit www.GreatRiverConnectionsAcademy.com or call (800) 382-6010.