This WTVD story about the North Carolina Virtual Academy graduation ceremony is a must read.

[Salutatorian Wyatt] Payne attended a brick-and-mortar school through 10th grade, but found the high school environment to be too distracting, and grew concerned about his dropping grades. That’s when he made the decision to transfer to an online school.

“I’ve actually been more active and have done more exercise since I’ve had the online experience. Because at the end of the day I wasn’t exhausted, I wasn’t worn out from dealing with other people,” Payne explained.

He was awarded a scholarship from NCVA’s Board on Wednesday, and has plans to attend Elon University. During his senior year, he dual-enrolled at Wake Tech.

Students like Wyatt Payne are why virtual charter schools are such an important part of North Carolina’s school choice landscape.