Two PA Cyber seniors selected as Class of 2019 representatives, commencement speakers
May 28, 2019
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School has announced the two seniors who will deliver speeches to their classmates at separate commencement ceremonies next month.
Morgan Osborne, of Brackney in Northeastern Pennsylvania, will be speaking to her fellow graduates at the Kutztown University venue. The daughter of Janet and Craig Osborne, she plans to attend college to earn her bachelor’s degree in software engineering.
Hunter Hardway, of Washington in Southwestern Pennsylvania, will be speaking on behalf of his fellow graduates at the Community College of Beaver County commencement ceremony. The son of Edward and Amanda Hardway, he plans to attend West Virginia University in the fall to study mining engineering.
PA Cyber CEO Brian Hayden lauded the students for having been selected.
“They went through a rigorous process,” he said. First, they’re judged on their grades, SAT scores, and an essay about why they should serve as class representative. After clearing that hurdle, they submit the speech they would deliver to their classmates if they’re chosen. My hat’s off to them.”
“It is a huge honor to speak for the class of a school that I was proud to be a part of,” Osborne said. “I want to include the whole Class of 2019 in my speech, not just myself. When I’m on the stage, I want to make it about everyone.”
Osborne says she will encourage her classmates to pursue their passions and discover their own paths.
“I plan to discuss the past, present and future of our class, and the choices we can make, and the lives that we can choose for ourselves,” she said.
Hardway was honored by the appointment too.
“After waiting multiple tense weeks, I got a call from PA Cyber announcing that I had won. I was ecstatic.”
In his speech, Hardway, who enrolled in PA Cyber in sixth grade, plans to draw on experiences in DECA club and advice from his soccer coach to motivate fellow graduates to never give up and give their all.
“My speech was inspired by my soccer coach. He had an idea that he would ask us to take a lap around the soccer field before getting a drink of water. He taught us that, if you get an opportunity to take the extra mile, do so. The people who took the extra lap were in better shape than those who didn’t.”
Always going the extra mile translated into Hardway earning his Eagle Scout badge in 2017, serving as president of the history club his freshman and sophomore years, and exceling as a DECA team member.
“I was able to work hard and place first at the district-level competition and placed first in the written exam at the state level competition,” he said.
“I want to be the class representative to hopefully inspire others. Using my own story I hope to inspire others to write their own,” Hardway said. “I believe that the message my speech will impart – to always take the extra mile – is important for people to hear no matter what their post high school plans are.
Osborne has been a lyrical and hip hop dancer for five years. As a junior, she volunteered to run the spring fair at a local elementary school and joined the Pay It Forward movement in seventh grade by feeding workers who were away from home on Christmas Day.
After enrolling in PA Cyber in 10th grade, Osborne said the school inspired her to pursue her goals in her own way. She plans to take a gap year and work before heading off to college. She said she is thankful for the unique educational experience she had with PA Cyber.
“I enjoyed being able to work at my own pace, which allowed me to better focus on my education, as well as have more free time.”
In addition to having the ability to work at his own pace, particularly during soccer season, Hardway said PA Cyber provided him opportunities he may not have had otherwise. In April, for example, he did a nuclear reactor tour at the Pennsylvania State University and attended a college-level gel electrophoresis lab (a form of analyzing DNA) the same week at Penn State-Behrend in Erie.
“It was an incredible experience for me,” he said.
PA Cyber CEO Brian Hayden also will be among the speakers at the ceremonies as will Chief Academic Officer Dr. Frances Spigelmyer, Deputy Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Shoaf, and grades 9-12 principal, Sean Snowden. The Pittsburgh Trombone Project will present musical performances at both events.
Commencement exercises are slated for Saturday, June 8, in Monaca, and Tuesday, June 11 in Kutztown. Approximately 350 students will participate in each of the ceremonies. There are more than 1,300 students in PA Cyber’s Class of 2019.
Casie Colalella / firstname.lastname@example.org
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.