If you think about your traditional high school setting, there are about 30 students to a class - six periods along with a lunch break. You won't find Devynn Chapman and John Miller with this schedule.
They are two of the three students who received their education through the Calcasieu Parish School Board's virtual program, housed at Lake Charles-Boston Academy. Though unorthodox, it's a program Principal Beth Fraser said fits a particular mold of student.
"For students that need extra credit, who needed courses that were not offered at their home schools," said Fraser. "It is for those students that just need something that is a better fit for them than their home high schools."
"Congratulations, you are all pioneers, in a sense," said Mayor Randy Roach.
They are the first students in Calcasieu Parish to graduate from the virtual program, after completing 100 percent of their curriculum online.
Chapman's parents are proud.
"This was his opportunity to be a leader and to dig deeper into his education and we're excited because he took total control," said Dominique Chapman.
John Miller has Asperger's Syndrome, which affects his ability to socialize and communicate. His diploma will be from Sulphur High School.
"He was just very dedicated and he puts it as his first priority - before he eats or anything," said Jamie Miller, his father. "It's every day, 100 percent dedication."
Chapman earned three college hours through the program, and he addresses the skepticism that students who study online don't work as hard as students in a traditional classroom setting.
"Just because you don't have to go to school every day, doesn't mean you don't have to do your work," said Chapman. "You still have the same amount of work to do."
The third student who graduated from the program was Jasmine Baker.
For more information about the virtual program, click HERE.
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