Tag: student

Student Highlight

Student Highlights: Nina Sederberg

NinaNina took her first MTDA course freshman year of high school. She wanted to do more academically, but the traditional class setting didn’t fully work for her.  At a small school like Roberts, the administrators and staff have the luxury of knowing their students well, and they knew Nina to be a student who was not going to fail, but would continue to struggle with attendance, so they decided to be proactive and enroll her in more MTDA courses. 

Over her high school career, Nina embraced virtual learning because MTDA helped her achieve her academic goals and take courses that her school wasn’t able to offer. She has taken several classes almost every term, from core classes to electives ranging from Health Occupations to Personal Finance. “We bought into personalized learning for students like Nina and ran with it. MTDA has allowed us to better serve students like her,” said Alex Ator, Roberts Superintendent, in a recent interview.

Nina believes that taking these classes has helped her prepare for college and the future in general by strengthening her time management and organizational skills. 

“My experience was rewarding; I impressed myself by accomplishing so much in a short amount of time. Taking these classes meant that I could work ahead and start taking college classes earlier,” Nina shared.

Nina is on track to graduate next June (2022), with many dual credit courses also completed. She plans to finish her associate’s degree in general education and then decide on a major, possibly psychology or counseling. Nina’s advice to other online learners is to “work as hard as you can and if you can work ahead, do it.” 

The performance of Roberts’ students in a statewide program like MTDA is a point of pride for Ator. The class of 2021 had a total of six graduates, four of whom were first generation high school graduates, two of them graduated with the support of MTDA.  “In the end, I get to hand them that piece of paper that no one can take away,” Ator said.

Student Highlight

Student Highlights: Matthew Phillips

matthew phillips
Matthew Phillips White Sulphur Springs High School, class of 2021 (enrollment 71)

Matthew graduated from White Sulphur Springs High School, a school with 71 students, this past spring as co-valedictorian with high honors. A previous principal was instrumental in introducing first his older brother and sister to MTDA and Matthew was eager to follow suit.

He started taking classes from MTDA his freshman year because he wanted to push himself further. Over his high school career, Matthew took 21 MTDA courses, ranging from American History, English III, and Creative Writing to finishing up with AP Calculus, AP Computer Science, and Joy and Beauty of Computing (Dual Credit) this spring. 

Upon graduation this spring, he sent a note to all of his MTDA teachers, 

“Thank you so much for all that you have done for those, like me, that wanted to push themselves further than traditional classes at their schools would have allowed. I hope that you continue your work, and know that you definitely helped me gain a higher education than I would have otherwise in high school. Once again, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to the students.”

Matthew is now attending Montana State on a full-ride scholarship (the Bair Family Scholarship), studying Computer Science with plans to work in software development.

Student Highlight

Student Highlights: Audrey Oltrogge

Audrey Oltrogge
Audrey Oltrogge
Stanford High School, Class of 2019

Audrey graduated from Stanford High School, a school with an enrollment of 30, in 2019. Her guidance counselor introduced Audrey and many of her classmates to MTDA to expand their academic options with a wider variety of courses than a school this size could offer locally. Stanford also supported these students by providing study hall periods and local teacher support.

As a result, Audrey took ten MTDA courses over all four years of high school, eight of which were world languages. She credits these language courses for broadening her global perspective and for getting into two different study abroad programs, including the Congressional Bundestag Youth Exchange in Germany where she spent her gap year.

Audrey became the very first student in Montana to be awarded a scholarship from the nationally recognized Future of School organization. This scholarship rewards students for their courage to forge new learning pathways using online learning to enhance their academic success.  Future of School required recipients to submit a self-produced video describing their education challenges and successes.  Audrey’s can be viewed at https://www.futureof.school/student-stories/audrey-oltrogge

Today Audrey continues her studies at the University of Utah, majoring in anthropology with an archaeological science emphasis. She plans to stay in school for a masters program and then work for the BLM or forest service. 

“I highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take online courses; they open doors for you that you would not have had otherwise, and if you have the chance, taking these courses can change your life in many different ways.” 

Montana Digital Academy
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education
The University of Montana
32 Campus Drive – Room 365
Missoula, Montana 59812
Phone: 406-203-1812
Fax: 406-203-1815

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