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Two seniors chosen to speak at PA Cyber commencement

Jun 6, 2018

Speeches reflect on the past and future

Two Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School seniors will deliver speeches to their classmates at two separate commencement ceremonies this week.

Speaking for her fellow graduates at the Kutztown venue will be Lilly Marker, of York, who plans to attend LaRoche College to study biology with a concentration in forensics. She is the daughter of James and Maria Marker.  

Addressing the last class with students born in the 20thcentury, Marker’s speech will center on saying goodbye to the past and preparing for the future. 

“My message for graduation is a lot about myself and my fellow graduates learning to say goodbye to all of the things we have done throughout high school, but also about getting ready for all the exciting new things we are about to experience,” Marker said. “I want my message to inspire my fellow classmates to find something they are passionate about and pursue it, and never look back or have any regrets.”

Melanie Hulse, of Canonsburg, has been chosen by her classmates to speak on their behalf at the Beaver County ceremony. Hulse plans to attend Robert Morris University and study marketing and media arts. Her parents are George and Amanda Hulse. 

Hulse joined PA Cyber’s DECA chapter her sophomore year of high school, serving her senior year as president. Hulse said the club inspired her graduation speech, “Be Your Brand,” which is about personal branding and the importance for everyone to learn how to brand themselves.

“Whether you have been a PA Cyber student for one year or twelve years or any time in between, you have become part of the brand of the best and largest cyber school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You have become independent learners. You have practiced time management skills,” she said. “Today we accept a greater responsibility for creating our own personal brands defined by our recognizable names and reputations.” 

Both commencement speakers said they feel PA Cyber provided them with a unique education experience.   

Marker, who participates in all-star cheerleading, chose to attend PA Cyber after her family moved to Pennsylvania and she found herself in a huge brick-and-mortar school that made her uncomfortable. 

“PA Cyber made me feel welcomed and allowed me to find my own path and explore different subjects I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn in other schools. PA Cyber allowed me to work on my own and find my own way through school, but also gave me the support I needed,” Marker said.

In addition to DECA, Hulse participated in PA Cyber’s photography club and was a member of the National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society.

“The beauty of PA Cyber is that, at one point the slogan was ‘building a school out of choices, not bricks.’ I feel that rings true for the school,” Hulse said. “It’s about building opportunities for yourself and how to better your education and what works for you as an individual learner and student.”

More than 1,300 graduates are in the Class of 2018.  Nearly 300 students will receive their diplomas Thursday, June 7, at Kutztown University’s Keystone and more than 300 students will participate in commencement Saturday, June 9 at Community College of Beaver County. Graduates hail from 63 of the Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. 

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 all parts of the commonwealth are enrolled at 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 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.