PA Cyber
On the left, a gold statuette. On the right, a blue circle with the Communicator Awards logo within it. It reads: The 30th Annual Communicator Awards, Award of Excellence.

PA Cyber Receives Communicator Award for Student Story

May 22, 2024

This month, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) received international recognition for creative excellence. The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) awarded PA Cyber its highest honor, the Award of Excellence, in the 30th annual Communicator Awards for a profile article about a 2023 PA Cyber alumnus titled “Simply Remarkable: Esteemed Student Finds His Voice at PA Cyber.”

The story of Jonathan Smith and the way the school communicated his story stood out to judges. Smith graduated from PA Cyber in 2023 with a 4.0 and nearly a year’s worth of college credits, setting him up for a successful start at Geneva College. His former district school would not honor his individualized education plan, and when he enrolled at PA Cyber it was a “180-degree difference,” said his mother. He went from experiencing selective mutism to becoming a social butterfly, gravitating toward leadership roles and community service. Jonathan received the Lori Conkle Memorial Scholarship from PA Cyber’s Special Education Association, the Passavant Memorial Homes Foundation Community Service Scholarship, and a merit-based scholarship from Geneva College. Jonathan plans to become a psychologist so he can treat people with disabilities and mental health issues. “I will be better able to relate to others with challenges since I have autism spectrum disorder” and other mental health and medical challenges, he said.

Other recipients of Awards of Excellence in the General-Profile or Tribute category include the Department of Veterans Affairs, Brandeis International Business School, Washington Gas, and the American Society for Engineering Education.

With over 3,000 entries received from across the U.S. and around the world, the Communicator Awards is one of the largest and most competitive award programs honoring excellence for communications professionals. The annual competition honors the best advertising, corporate communications, public relations, and design the industry has to offer.

"PA Cyber's Marketing team is thrilled to have been awarded the highest recognition given at the Communicator Awards,” said Scot Rutledge, director of marketing and communications for PA Cyber. “Jennie Harris led this effort, and her talents define excellence in the communications profession. PA Cyber celebrates her success and the stories we are honored to tell."

The Communicator Awards are judged by the AIVA, an assembly of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media. Please visit to view the full winners list.


Jennie Harris /


Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School is the most experienced online public school in the Commonwealth. PA Cyber’s online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and curricula choices connect Pennsylvania students and families with state-certified and highly qualified teachers and rich academic content 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 to any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families.

A male graduate wearing a navy cap and down and decorated with many-colored cords and stoles..

The story of Jonathan Smith and the way the school communicated his story stood out to judges from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.