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Utah Virtual Academy Honors 198 graduates at Commencement

Valedictorian plans run as POTUS in 2040

Utah Virtual Academy (UTVA) honored 198 senior graduates from more than 75 cities and towns throughout Utah during commencement exercises Tuesday. UTVA is a full-time online public school for students in grades K—12.

Photos available here.

“We are so proud of the Class of 2023,” said Meghan Merideth, executive director at UTVA. “They have worked hard. In fact, more than 80 members of the class are honor or high honor students.”

The commencement keynote speaker was Representative Candice B. Pierucci (R-Riverton/Herriman) of the Utah House of Representatives. Rep. Pierucci is the Chair of the Standing Education Committee, Vice Chair of the Conservative Caucus and Chair of the Republican Women Lead PAC. Rep. Pierucci also serves on the Government Operations Committee and Public Education Appropriations.

“I would like to wish a big congratulations to the 2023 graduating class of the Utah Virtual Academy!” said Pierucci. “As someone who has spent their legislative service advocating for school choice and the need to empower parents with more learning options for their child’s education, I’m so grateful for incredible schools like the Utah Virtual Academy that allow students to customize their learning experience and meet their educational needs. I firmly believe that supporting education means supporting the best approach for educating each individual child in our state—UTVA empowers parents with the tools to do so!”

Kearns resident Madeline Kahl, UTVA Class of 2023 valedictorian, finished her UTVA high school career taking a few final high school classes along with college courses from the University of Utah. Not just a high school scholar, but also an athlete, she also competed with the Kearns High School swim team.

Kahl plans to become President of the United States in 2040.

Speaking on her ambitious goals following commencement, Kahl said, “After I get my bachelor’s degree, I’ll be going hopefully to Harvard Law School to study criminal law. After that I want to go into politics. I believe I can be President [of the United States] in 2040.”

When asked what it means to be valedictorian and how she accomplished the recognition, she said, “I worked really hard. I’ve pretty much had A’s for all of my life. And honestly, with being able to do online school, I’ve been able to work on not just learning, but also about the world, I’ve also been able to learn a lot about myself—like if I really set my mind to something I can do it as long as I’m in the right mindset.”

Kahl knows she has been able to get everything she needs from her online school experience.

“It’s a lot more fun than doing public school because you get to make friends online as well, especially if you’re an introvert like me,” she said. “The teachers are absolutely fantastic. They are truly the best of the best and they want you to succeed not only in class, but also in life.”

Regarding her fellow classmates, Kahl said, “They can do it no matter what background they come from—they can do it. They can continue on with life and they can be successful. They just have to want to be successful. And they don't always need everybody to like them. I know that's a huge thing getting everybody to like them, but they don't need to try and be good enough for everybody else. They need to be good enough for themselves.”

Merideth said these seniors have conquered UTVA’s mission to attain superior academic achievement with parental involvement, and innovative teaching. All within a virtual environment that embraces individual learning styles. “We are so proud to send our graduates out into the world to accomplish everything they set out to do.”

About Utah Virtual Academy

Utah Virtual Academy (UTVA) is an accredited online public charter school that serves Utah students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is accredited by Cognia Accreditation and Certification. As part of the Utah public school system UTVA is tuition-free and gives parents and families the choice to access the curriculum provided by K12, a Stride company (NYSE: LRN). Stride offers learners of all ages a more effective way to learn and build their skills for the future. UTVA also offers individual course options for high school students enrolled in their resident district programs, an approved charter school, private school or home school as part of the Statewide Online Education Program (SOEP). For more information about UTVA, please go to


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