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Student Highlight

Emma Beebe of Gallatin High School

Emma came to Gallatin High School in the fall of 2020 when her family moved from out of state. During Covid, she chose the fully virtual option taught by GHS teachers because of family risk. She was no stranger to online learning; prior to Gallatin, she attended JeffCo Virtual Academy in Colorado. “Being in our small local high school wasn’t great for me so I tried this option.” She went on to say, “it helped me overcome the immediate challenges, but even more importantly and longer-term it has helped me mature and become a better student.” This school year (2021-2022) when GHS went fully back to in-person learning, Emma petitioned and was granted fully remote status. She enrolled in three MTDA courses in the fall and is currently enrolled in five this spring.

Patty Maddock, the Online Learning Coordinator at Gallatin High School, nominated Emma for this student spotlight feature because of her exceptional academic performance. “Emma is a remote-only student who received A’s in all of her classes last semester even earning 100% in Native American Studies. I’ve never seen a 100% in any class! She is on top of her work all of the time and communicates well if there is any kind of an issue.” 

“I have become so familiar with online learning now it suits me better,” reported Emma recently. She has appreciated MTDA’s format and the teachers, finding them very willing and eager to help, and more than happy to fill in any gaps and/or jump on a google meet. In fact, Emma chose MTDA’s program over other online options for her most difficult courses because of the strong teacher support.  

Personally, Emma loves the flexibility it has given her to be more involved in family life, especially with her sister living with Downs Syndrome. She also recognizes how online learning has made her more independent and she feels it has better prepared her for college. “It has made me take ownership of my own learning and taught me how to advocate for myself. This has made me stronger not just in school but overall communicating with others.”

Emma’s advice to other students taking an MTDA course for the first time? “Communication is key. Reach out to your teacher when you need them, don’t be afraid to ask questions.” 

After graduation this year, Emma will be going to Montana State University to study nursing. Her end goal is to be a neonatal nurse practitioner.