News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Guest Opinion: Thankful for departing board member

During this season of thankfulness, it’s important to recognize those who serve on local school boards. Rozanna  Eckstein, from Scio, was a member of Willamette Connections Academy’s charter school board and a dedicated  learning coach. She’s recently moved on to other endeavors, but we are forever grateful for her years of service.  

Rozanna’s daughter Hailey was enrolled in Connections Academy schools in Oregon throughout her K-12  education. Hailey spent her last two years with Willamette Connections Academy and graduated with honors in  the Class of 2022.  

Education is a top priority for Rozanna. She wanted to be involved with her daughter’s education like a traditional  homeschool family but felt more supported knowing that state-certified teachers specially trained in online instruction would be teaching for our online school.  

The Ecksteins live on a farm that’s been in the family for generations. Over the years they’ve volunteered for a  local animal shelter, organizations for homeless individuals, helped elderly neighbors and other community service  projects. They’ve made a similar investment in Hailey’s school, assisting other parent-Learning Coaches and  students along the way.  

Like many parents, Rozanna appreciated the flexibility of online schooling so her daughter could volunteer in the  community or take her schoolwork with her when the family traveled. 

Rozanna helped other families realize the myriad ways students and families can socialize when their child attends a full-time virtual school, such as  extracurriculars, in-person field trips, and events and online clubs and activities.  

Rozanna remains a champion for school choice and has shared her views with legislators. She always maintained online learning may not be the best option for every student, but it can be a good option for many.  

Having Rozanna as a parent representative on our school board was even more special since the Scio District sponsors our charter and they’ve been a been a leader providing exceptional online learning options for decades. 

 We’re very proud to have such a great district partner, and supportive parents like Rozanna, in addition to being thankful for all our wonderful students.

Chris Long, school leader

Willamette Connections Academy

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