Connections Home School Program Principal Lee Young left the school along with the 2015 graduating class.
At the commencement ceremony held at Soldotna High School, Young sent off his last group of students before heading into retirement from the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.
“It was a wonderful class full of hard workers and dedicated students,” Young said. “They have bright futures and goals and I am extremely proud of them.”
Each year, Young introduces the individual graduates on stage with a brief summary of their achievements and plans for the future. The student is also given the option to thank the people who provided the education they received so they were able to graduate.
“Home-school, I believe, is about options and choices,” Young said. “We want to invest time in our students and their special accomplishments. We love to hear about the kids.”
When Jonathan Bruxvoort spoke he recognized the two entities he attributed his education to.
“I would first like to thank God who guided me all through my years, especially through high school and all my decision,” Bruxvoort said. “And my parents for putting up with more for 18 years and encouraging my education.”
As a home-schooled student, Bruxvoort was able to spend more time on personal interests having a flexible schedule such as learning the piano. He was also able to pursue his faith in God without pressures from public school.
Bruxvoort also said he was happy to have extra time with his family.
Young said home-school provides a diversity of avenues through which students can receive their education. It encourages developing a variety of hobbies and skills, he said.
Colton Shepard, whose interests include welding and camping, found time to become an EMT 1 and Firefighter 1 while in high school. Jacqueline Weaver enjoyed riding “jacked up four-wheelers” through the Alaska wilderness to reach remote glaciers, and will be pursuing a degree in botany at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Maia West, who graduated at 21, said Connections was what got her through school. She said she struggled to finish at other high schools, but through home-schooling was able to meet state requirements.
In the commons area, following commencement, Sam Scheller said, while he still deciding what to do next, he is relieved his high school days are done.
“I am excited I passed,” Scheller said. “My parents were a big inspiration.”
Scheller said he was able to learn dance, play the drums and “met incredible people,” throughout his home-schooling.
HOMER CONNECTIONS GRADUATES