Christian Thomas of Strongsville, Ohio, enrolled in Ohio Connections Academy (OCA) in 2014 in search of a more nurturing learning environment than he’d experienced at his previous school, where he was a good student but found the traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom very distracting.
Christian was entering the eighth grade when he first came to OCA, and right away he appreciated the ability to work at his own pace. He also liked the flexible schedule that enabled him to pursue his passion for music and the performing arts.
His first year at Ohio Connections Academy was very successful. He earned solid grades and appreciated the fact that the curriculum was very individually focused and that his teachers were always available when he needed help. Christian even performed the national anthem at the Connections Academy graduation ceremony.
But Christian and his parents were faced with the difficult decision of where to go for his freshman year. They worried about his missing many of the traditional high school experiences, such as performing in the show choir, and other opportunities in music. So, Christian returned to the local public high school, and unfortunately it wasn’t long before the challenges he’d faced before became a problem again.
Christian returned to Ohio Connections Academy midway through his freshman year, and he continues to thrive, not only in the virtual classroom but also on stage. Because of the flexible schedule that OCA offers students, Christian is able to rehearse and perform more often than he could in a traditional school setting, which has led to opportunities to perform with the Cleveland Opera Theater; on Broadway at 54 Below; and at Carnegie Hall.
Today Christian is a senior at Ohio Connections Academy, and he looks forward to earning his high school diploma and continuing his pursuit of a career in music and theater. He has been accepted into Baldwin Wallace University’s musical theater program, which is considered one of the nation’s top bachelor of music programs.