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Rachel Pesta

Elementary Assistant Principal

Bachelor, Elementary Education and Early Childhood, University of Michigan-Dearborn; Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Saginaw Valley State University; Masters in Administration and Educational Leadership; Education Specialist Degree in Reading and Literacy, Madonna University

My Teaching Background

Rachael’s mother was a teacher so every year, she would help her set up her room and loved to design her bulletin boards. She always dreamed of having my own classroom. Then, in third grade, she had an amazing teacher who made a lasting impression on her. She was in an accident and visited her in the hospital and made sure that Rachael didn’t fall behind. That’s when she knew she was destined to be a teacher. Rachael wanted to make a lasting impression on the lives of children just like that teacher did for her. She began at Connections Academy in the 2020–2021 school year.

The Benefits of K-12 Online Learning

Students are given the opportunity to progress at their own pace and can redo assignments until they master each concept. When given this opportunity, genuine authentic learning occurs.

Additionally, we offer support to families for both the platform and the academics through our Learning Coach Series where families can come meet with the staff and administration to ask questions and receive additional support and training on an array of topics. Families are given opportunities for wrap around services for their students as well such as counseling. Lighthouse Connections Academy offers a village of support to all of our stakeholders.

The Online School Experience at Lighthouse Connections Academy

At Lighthouse Connections Academy, students can attend classes from any location. This allows schools to reach out to a more extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries and students get to make friends from all over Michigan. Additionally, Live Lessons can be recorded and shared for future reference. This allows students to access the learning material at their convenience and thus there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons, even if they are sick. Most importantly, Lighthouse Connections Academy can personalize the curriculum in many ways and can create a perfect learning environment suited to the needs of each student.

We have high expectations for all students and work toward supporting them to be career and college ready. Students who learn virtually get to meet and learn with children from all over the world and from different cultures and backgrounds. They have insights into how other cultures and people approach problem solving, which can help students to better their own skills. Our students learn new tech skills and become more proficient with the keyboard and applications. Also, with more businesses now shifting to virtual teams, having the knowledge of how to collaborate and learn remotely can be a definite plus in a future career.

I love that we are able to create an individualized educational plan for each child that is typically not possible in a brick-and-mortar setting.

— Ms. Pesta