Students from other public cyber schools from throughout Pennsylvania attended the commencement for 82 Commonwealth Connections Academy graduates Tuesday evening at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
The ceremony was one of four commencements for CCA graduates, which totaled over 400 students this year. The CCA is a non-traditional education option for approximately 1,300 students in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
The ceremony opened with "The Star Spangled Banner" and "The Pledge of Allegiance."
Tony Rusnak, assistant high school principal, greeted the class of 2012, families, friends, and staff.
This year's student speaker was Alexander Pirolli of Mountain Top.
Pirolli thanked his family and his teachers, especially his mother who was his home school teacher before he began attending CCA.
After congratulating the class of 2012, Pirolli spoke about the importance of the number 12 in his life. He and his classmates are graduating the 12th grade on June 12 in the year 2012. He also spoke about how he is one of 12 siblings.
"As we leave here tonight let us find the motivation to be the best person that we can be in whatever direction life takes us," Pirolli said.
Pirolli will be attending King's College and majoring in biology as a pre-med.
Greg Gettle, high school principal, told the graduates and audience members that over the years he has learned that there are many different reasons why students choose to attend a cyber school. He said whatever the particular reason might be, the students in the class of 2012 have completed a journey and the commencement ceremony is all about honoring them for achieving that mark.
Gettle went to where the graduates were seated and read a poem and a quote by Dr. Seuss.
The commencement address was given by Dr. Maurice Flurie III, CEO, who challenged the graduates with the question, "Now what will you do?"
He said their diploma will open many doors for them and asked that they expect great things for themselves and work hard to excel.
Dr. Flurie explained how CCA has grown over the years. In 2003, the first year for CCA, there was around 400 students total. Now there are over 400 students alone that comprise the graduating class.
He also thanked students, parents, teachers, and CCA board members for all their hard work.
Kristin Jachowicz, CCA master teacher announced the graduates.
Dr. Flurie and Gettle presented the diplomas.
After the presentation of diplomas, Rusnak lead the tassel ceremony and presented the class of 2012.
After the ceremony there were refreshments and music by a DJ.