SOURCE: Kaplan Virtual Education

Kaplan Virtual Education

February 18, 2010 17:08 ET

Winners Selected in "Your School, Your Documentary" Student Video Competition

Contest Empowered High School Students to Speak Out on Education

HOLLYWOOD, FL--(Marketwire - February 18, 2010) - High school students nationwide recently had the opportunity to use the power of video to share their views on the state of education. Students produced and submitted their videos to the "Your School, Your Documentary" Facebook competition. Conner Yakaitis, a 16-year-old homeschooled student from North Stonington, Connecticut was awarded the Judge's Choice Grand Prize and Adam Kostylo, a 16-year-old from Honolulu received the Viewer's Choice Grand Prize. The two winners will receive MacBook Pro laptops and eight runners-up will get Flip UltraHD video cameras.

Videos were submitted by students from across the country, including entries from Alaska, Hawaii, California, New Mexico, New Hampshire and Virginia. Topics ranged from cultural diversity to grading practices to daily life on campus.

Titled "A High School Like No Other," Yakaitis' video explored his home school program -- which he completes from the road. Yakaitis and his immediate family packed up their home and are traveling throughout the United States in an RV. His video highlighted the hands-on learning experience he's receiving. For example, when he studied the Grand Canyon he didn't just read about it, he climbed to the bottom.

"We selected Connor's video based on the creativity, relevance to the contest and production value," said Sarah Sizemore, director of admissions for Kaplan Virtual Education. "It expertly showcased what made his non-traditional high school experience viable and unique. His piece, which used a combination of video and photography, told an interesting story that stood out amongst the other submissions."

The "Your School, Your Documentary" contest provided students with a digital platform to participate in the ongoing debate about the future of education and a creative outlet through which to express their opinions to Facebook audiences worldwide. Facebook users were able to vote for their favorite video. They chose Adam Kostylo's piece on Henry J. Kaiser High School, which depicts student life and cultural diversity at the Honolulu high.

Judge's Choice

-- Alina Zdechlik's, "Hopkins High School," is a laid-back look into her high school.

-- Alyssa Royce's, "Welcome to San Mateo," provides a glimpse into why students think San Mateo High School is special.

-- Elizabeth Lee's, "Disadvantaged Students No More," chronicles the move to a 10-point grading scale within the Fairfax County Public Schools.

-- Kes Jones', "White Station High School," explores why students love their culturally diverse school.

Viewer's Choice

-- Andy Wood's, "Men in Orange," is a video about the power of school spirit at Lewis and Clark High.

-- Isaac Corpe's, "A Journey Through Grosse Ile High School," is a student-guided tour of the Michigan high.

-- Nicki Ricci's video is about attending a small high school located on the Northwest Florida State College's campus.

-- Sam Binning's "St. Charles Student Section," showcases students' enthusiasm for their school and sports teams.

Kaplan Virtual Education (KVE), a leading provider of online sixth through 12th grade education, hosted the contest. KVE offers flexible, individualized and high-quality curriculum and instruction to promote student success. KVE operates public and private schools that provide a wide variety of accredited learning options for middle and high school students, schools and school districts. Kaplan Virtual Education offers public school options in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, Arizona, Idaho, Wisconsin and Florida. KVE private schools, which are available to students across the nation, include Kaplan College Preparatory School, Kaplan High School and Kaplan University High School. KVE is accredited by AdvancED. For more information, visit www.kaplanonlineschools.com.

Kaplan Virtual Education is part of Kaplan Higher Education, which serves more than 100,000 students online and through more than 70 campus-based schools across the U.S. and abroad. Kaplan Higher Education also has online programs through Kaplan University. Kaplan Higher Education schools offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from high school diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan Higher Education is part of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO). For more information, visit www.portal.kaplan.edu.