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COOS BAY — Oregon Connections Academy, the tuition-free virtual public charter school, had its commencement ceremony at the state fairgrounds in Salem. Nearly 450 students were included in the graduating class of 2017, including local students from the South Coast.

South Coast graduates include:

Emily Chandler of Coos Bay

Joshua King of Coos Bay

Alexis Neketin of Brookings

Emily Spetzler of Brookings

Emily Lichte of Reedsport

This was the ninth annual graduation event for Oregon Connections Academy, which graduated 45 students in 2009 for the school’s first graduating class. ORCA serves around 4,000 students in grades K-12 across the state.

The total figures are still being tabulated for the class of 2017. However, it’s estimated that 55 percent of ORCA graduates plan to attend college, 31 percent are moving into the workforce, 8 percent are pursuing vocational training, 3 percent will join the military, and 3 percent have other plans for their future. Those who have higher education on their agenda have so far accumulated nearly $700,000 in total scholarships.

Enrollment is currently underway for ORCA’s 2017-2018 school year. Details about upcoming information sessions and other events including dates and locations is available online at: or by calling 800-382–6010.

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