South Carolina Connections Academy Executive Director Honored for Outstanding Leadership and Excellence in Distance Learning

United States Distance Learning Association Recognizes Virtual School Leader Allison Reaves with the Most Prestigious Leadership Award for Distance Learning

Allison Reaves holding award plaque

COLUMBIA, SC (April 30, 2013) – Allison Reaves, executive director of leading virtual public charter school South Carolina Connections Academy, has been honored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) with the “Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning” award. Reaves was presented with the International Award at a ceremony held in conjunction with the USDLA’s 2013 National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on April 29.

"As a premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring Allison Reaves as a leader in the industry," said Dr. John G. Flores, Executive Director of USDLA. "Allison and the staff at South Carolina Connections Academy have raised the bar of excellence and we are truly honored by their contributions to the distance learning industry."

The USDLA’s prestigious International Awards are presented annually to organizations and individuals engaged in the development and delivery of distance learning programs. The awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite and blended learning delivery technologies.

“This USDLA award reflects the hard work and commitment of the entire staff at South Carolina Connections Academy to provide students across the state access to a high-quality, personalized public education option,” Reaves said. “It is truly an honor to work with teachers and staff members dedicated to helping students achieve academic and emotional success.”

Reaves joined SCCA’s administrative staff in the school’s second year (2009–10) as the principal for grades K-12; she was promoted to her current position as executive director in 2011. During the last four years, SCCA has seen a vast increase in student enrollments, growing from serving 680 students in 2009–10 to more than 3,000 in the 2012–13 school year. Under Reaves’ outstanding leadership, SCCA has been recognized by the South Carolina Department of Education for student achievement with the Palmetto Silver Award for performance growth in 2011 and for closing the achievement gap on state testing in 2013. In addition, the high school received a Cum Laude of Achievement for excellent performance on the ACT and SAT for both the 2010–11 and 2011–12 school years. Reaves was also instrumental in helping SCCA lead the nationwide charge to have virtual graduates recognized by the armed services as Tier 1 graduates.

Reaves’ award marks the second "Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning" honor bestowed upon a Connections Academy school leader. Superintendent of Ohio Connections Academy Ray Lambert (2011) and Connections Academy co-founder and CEO Barbara Dreyer (2010) both received this award from USDLA.

About South Carolina Connections Academy
South Carolina Connections Academy (SCCA) is a statewide virtual public charter school serving students in grade K through12. South Carolina Connections Academy is fully-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). The school opened as one of the state’s first virtual charter schools in 2008 and is authorized by the South Carolina Public Charter School District. South Carolina Connections Academy has received the Palmetto Silver Award for both performance growth (2011) and for closing the achievement gap (2013) on state testing. South Carolina Connections Academy provides students with the flexibility to learn from anywhere with an innovative curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. The combination of state-certified teachers, a proven curriculum, unique electives such as the Juilliard eLearning program, technology tools and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. The school’s teaching center is located in Columbia, SC. For more information, call 803-212-4712 or visit

About United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit association formed in 1987 and is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets. The USDLA trademarked logo is the recognized worldwide symbol of dedicated professionals committed to the distance learning industry.