Pictured: Head of School, Kirsten O’Malley, English teacher, Susan Dix, Yeunsoo, Jihae (2019 graduate) and Edward Choi, History teacher, Dr. JD Wyneken
A day to celebrate – proud of our 2019 graduates!
One of the yearly highlights at Pacific Learning Academy is our Graduation Day, which is a truly unique event for an accredited one-to-one school like ours. Instead of hundreds of students walking across a stage to receive their diploma—an amazing achievement!—our graduations get to focus at length on each of our individual students. All Academy students have unique stories of challenges overcome and goals reached, and graduation is our chance to share their stories and accomplishments with parents, family, and Academy staff who gather to celebrate with them. This year, while we had two graduates, only one was able to attend the year-end BBQ and graduation celebration – and we had a blast!
Jihae Choi has a fiercely independent mind and spirit, which she put on full display in her classes with us. From World History to Literature, Jihae always approached her studies from unique directions and put together projects that captured her creativity as she met the requirements for the assignment. The Academy’s one-to-one focus between student and instructor allows for students to “craft” their own approaches to assignments based on their interests and skills (in Jihae’s case, drawing and other visual arts). Our instructors, recognizing Jihae’s need to be guided and supported on projects rather than given worksheets to fill out and hand in, worked with her each step of the way on each project. Sometimes the finished product turned out different than originally conceived—which works just fine at the Academy! This helped Jihae really own and love her assignments, which led to them becoming some of the most inventive and effective projects her instructors have seen!
On her graduation day, Jihae’s parents presented her with a beautiful lei and the Academy added an armful of flowers. Jihae’s instructors stood with her, sharing her achievements, and recounting their time and lessons with her.
Pacific Learning Academy is based on the idea that students can unlock their potential if we match them with the right instructor, a person who can help them figure out their own goals (and their own dreams).
Jihae’s instructors loved being a part of her academic journey, and finding her creative genius as she made her way through her high school path.Beaming ear to ear and decked out in full cap and gown, Jihae showed us all her witty sense of humor by starting off her graduation speech with, “I’d like the thank the Academy…” She then brought the assembled group to rapt attention with a heartfelt talk about how the Academy worked perfectly for her—how she thrived in and enjoyed her classes with us, loved that she could build rapport with instructors who trusted her to do things in her own way instead of being “force fed” assignments and outcomes. She thanked her instructors for being flexible and understanding when she encountered challenges with her work, and for then helping her through them. By the time she was done speaking, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!
Jihae’s experience is what the Academy exists to do—help individual students find extraordinary success through individual attention and support.
All of our students have gifted minds and hearts, and we love to help them connect with those, embrace them, and then apply them to their work. When our students find the confidence in their abilities to “find their own ways” through course material and succeed, the benefits go well beyond school. We hope to help our students find, then build, their confidence and enthusiasm for their emerging life paths, all while giving their families peace of mind.
Jihae’s story is why we do what we do, and why we’ve done it for such a long time! Congratulations, Jihae, and thank you for all the gifts you gave to US during your time as an Academy student! Your path is ready for you!
Pacific Learning Academy is a one-on-one school offering single courses and dual enrollment, as well as full-time middle and high school. Pacific Learning Academy is Washington State Approved via the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI — see listings HERE) and a nationally Accredited private school via AdvancED/Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). High School coursework is approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). We also offer tutoring in all subjects from 6th to 12th grade, including test prep, either in-home or local libraries across the Eastside (Issaquah, Sammamish, etc…). See more at www.PacificLearningAcademy.com