Meet Lionel Phoenix McCulloch, a PALCS senior who was named second place high school winner in the Philadelphia Young Playwright’s competition for 2018. Lionel does over six shows each year as an actor, director or designer. As an avid theater lover and practitioner, “this wasn’t Lionel’s first play, but it was the first one he’d entered in this competition”, says his mom, Aileen.
Meet the Leiphart family: parents Stacie and Brad, and children Reese, Raegan, and Rhett. Thanks to an amazing career opportunity, they have lived in three different countries and traveled all over the world, though they are now back home in Berks County, PA, where they grew up.
When Kieran Clark was in 6th grade, he was practicing and competing in gymnastics, which required about 20 hours a week. Every day, he would get home from practice at 9 pm, do his homework until 11 pm or later, and get up for school in the morning at 6:30 am. He was advanced in school, and one of his teachers commented that he could be doing a lot more in less time. The Clark family began to explore the different cyber school options and found PALCS.
Meet Heather Smarick of Westmorland County: a 12-year-old figure skater, PALCS 6th grader, daughter, sister and so much more. She is a young lady whose ambition and dedication can be seen on a daily basis.
Presidential Scholar nominee, PALCS graduating junior, scholarship winner, flutist, sister, and proud daughter are just a few terms to describe Audrey Emata. At only sixteen years old, Audrey has already accomplished so much, including being named as a nominee for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts Award, an honor that only 60 students in the entire country receive. We recently had the opportunity to speak to Audrey’s mother, Christina, about her talented daughter’s future goals and her journey to becoming a Presidential Scholar.
New to PALCS this year is 9th grade student Rachel Stern, a 14-year-old ballerina with the School of Pennsylvania Ballet, from Montgomery County. As a dedicated dancer, Rachel and her family needed to free up more time during the day for training, but making sure that they found an exceptional and challenging academic program for their daughter was just as important. We recently spoke to Rachel’s mother, Jennifer, about what all went into making sure PALCS was the right fit for Rachel.
Meet Kyleigh Guttman: a 13 year old 9th grade ballerina who is new to PALCS this year. Kyleigh has been practicing ballet for the past 11 years and is very dedicated to her craft, sometimes practicing over 5 hours a day. As a very ambitious young lady, Kyleigh has hopes to become a professional dancer. Continuing her education in a traditional brick-and-mortar school was not an option with her rigorous training schedule. This is why Shauna Guttman, Kyleigh’s mother, explained they needed to make the change to cyber school. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Kyleigh and her mother about the decision-making process when choosing the right school, Kyleigh’s dancing, and their goals for the future.
We recently had the chance to catch up with PALCS alumnus, Vinh Le, and learn about what he has been up to since graduating from PALCS. As a member of the Class of 2015, Vinh had first enrolled at PALCS in 2005 as a 5th grader. He was a member of the National Honor Society, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Student Government Observer, and was the chairman of the Student Legislative Initiative committee which drafted real legislation that was brought to the Pennsylvania Senate. Vinh has been playing the piano for the past 15 years; with a passion for music, he recently released his very first music video – a piano medley of the themes in the "Lord of the Rings" soundtrack.
Julia Zane, PALCS student and up-and-coming country singer, has been keeping very busy this summer with weekly performances around the tri-states area. She is even hosting her very first Open Mic Benefit, raising funds for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) on Saturday, July 22nd from 3 pm - 7 pm at the Red Iron Pub in the Crimson Lounge located in Springfield, PA.
Meet Carey and Doug Manternach: two caring parents who want the absolute best education for their three children, Kaylene, Kaleb and Sammi. The Manternach family had previously lived in Illinois for seven years before moving to Pennsylvania, where they were faced with some challenges when it came to educating their children. Prior to PALCS, they attended their local district’s brick and mortar school in Luzerne County, which did not meet their students’ individual needs. In 2015, they chose to enroll in PALCS and will now be going into their 3rd year with us this upcoming fall. Carey recently shared her family’s story with us and all that has changed since choosing PALCS for the education of her children.