Olympic bronze medalist snowboarder Arielle Gold will be the keynote speaker at her alma mater’s commencement on Friday, June 1, as Destinations Career Academy of Colorado (CODCA) celebrates the Class of 2018 with an in-person graduation ceremony on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
Gold, a 2014 graduate of CODCA (formerly Insight School of Colorado), took bronze in the women’s halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, in February.
“I chose Destinations because it allowed me to pursue my dream of being a professional snowboarder without giving up any part of my education – it allowed me to do both,” Gold said. “I lived a pretty nontraditional upbringing, traveling all over the world to compete, so online school enabled me to go to school while snowboarding at a high level.”
Forty-seven high school seniors will graduate from CODCA, the only online state-approved Career Technical Education (CTE) program in the state. CODCA offers CTE courses in the fields of agriculture, business management and administration, health science, information technology and marketing, offering students the opportunity to explore career fields.
CODCA is the first online school in the state to receive the top level of approval from the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE) for the business, marketing, health sciences and programming pathways.
Students statewide in grades 9-12 prepare to earn technical credentials and may earn college credits and gain workplace experience while still in high school. Other learning opportunities include interview preparation, team collaboration and effective communication. Graduates from CODCA are well prepared to enter a two- or four-year college or the work force.
Dakota Smith will serve as the Class of 2018 valedictorian. A concurrent enrollment student who has earned straight A’s throughout high school as well as a published artist, Smith plans to complete her associate degree at Red Rocks Community College this fall before transferring to Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design, where she will study interior design. Ashton Alston, CODCA’s salutatorian, plans to study graphic design at Pikes Peak Community College.
Three members of the Class of 2018 will address their classmates: Arbra Bailey II, who plans to attend either University of Colorado-Colorado Springs or Colorado Christian University; Bryan Velez plans to enter the Marines to become an infantry soldier; and Erin White, the school’s SkillsUSA chapter president, will attend Oklahoma City University to pursue a career in dance.
In addition, K12 vice president of school services Darren Reed and CODCA social studies teacher Tersh Jones will also deliver remarks.
Members of the Class of 2018 report that they have been accepted to a number of colleges and universities across the country, including University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Oklahoma State University, Florida State University, University of Tennessee, University of Wyoming, University of Arizona, University of Utah, Pueblo Community College, Pikes Peak Community College, Front Range Community College and Pickens Tech, as well as the University of Bristol in Bristol, England.
CODCA’s students have built strong relationships with their classmates during their time with the school. They interact with each other through their virtual classrooms, as well as discussion threads and instant messaging. Many students participate in various career technical student organizations. In addition, CODCA offers many in-person activities throughout the school year, including field trips and dances. Graduation allows the students to celebrate their accomplishment together.
Students choose online school for a variety of reasons, including a safe learning environment, advanced learning options and the ability to support extracurricular pursuits or medical needs.