Ephraim Lizarraga from Taylion Online High School, and Madison Duchon-Voyles, from e-institute Charter High School, each stood before the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, and the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools (ASBCS) this morning to explain how enrolling in an alternative school, such as e-institute and Taylion, has given them hope and opened new opportunities to them.
Ephraim, who is working on his last two courses before graduation, expressed gratitude for the opportunity that the online school offers. He is now able to review his courses as long as he needs, ensuring he fully understand the material. He lamented that before enrolling in Taylion, he felt that he was a failure both as a student and as a son for not being able to keep up with his class. However, thanks to Taylion he now feels he can justify his parent’s pride in him and is set to start on his journey to becoming a radiologic technician soon after he graduates.
Madison, who recently graduated from e-Institute, confessed that she has always had difficulty reading and had almost given up on graduation. She transferred to e-institute and quickly found the support from teachers and software that allowed her not only to graduate but to do so ahead of her class. Her intelligence, she explained, was not lacking but rather the needed support for her was not always there. She expressed her gratitude towards the e-institute staff for not only being there for her as a student but, also now as a recent graduate. She appreciates the fact that although she is no longer a student the principal and staff still take time to meet with her and help her with whatever she needs to continue on her path to success.
Both Ephraim and Madison so impressed the Superintendent and the Board, that their testimony was often cited by the Board during later discussion. In his wrap-up, Curtis Gardner from the e-institute district staff rightly described them as only two of many success stories in e-institute’s student body. The two students, with humility and poise, demonstrated the great contributions that students can make when properly supported in their academic goals.