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Jessica Waldron was one of 391 Minnesota Connections Acadamy seniors to graduate recently. Waldron was one of three graduates from Elk River.

Special to the Star News

Elk River’s Jessica Waldron, Katherine Wilcox and Claire Caldon were among Minnesota Connections Academy’s 2019 graduating class of 391 seniors recently honored at the online public school’s traditional, in-person commencement ceremony at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The ceremony is one of the many face-to-face opportunities the online school provides for student socialization, along with field trips, clubs and community experiences, National Honor Society, prom, and student council.

“While our school offers a nontraditional approach to education, we feel it’s very important to offer our graduates a traditional ceremony so that they may celebrate with their families, friends, peers and teachers,” said Melissa Gould, principal of Minnesota Connections Academy. “We’re so proud of each and every graduate.”

Of this year’s graduates, 47% plan to attend two- or four-year colleges or a vocational school, 47% plan to enter the workforce, 3% are entering the military, and the remaining are undecided or taking a gap year.

Overall, the Class of 2019 received more than $1.2 million in college scholarships and awards.

Universities and colleges welcoming Minnesota Connections Academy grads this fall include University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Curtis Institute of Music, DeVry University in Edina, University of Minnesota Duluth, St. Thomas University, Normandale Community College, Winona State University, University of Denver, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, North Dakota State University, and Central Lakes College.

The K-12 online public school serves more than 2,800 students statewide and provides high-quality, personalized online education. Enrollment for the 2019-20 school year is underway. Real-time, online information sessions are ongoing. Visit to learn more.

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