Monday, November 16, 2009

Online High School Founder Wins Award for Contributions to Field

Keith Oelrich, CEO and founder of Insight Schools, was honored yesterday for his contributions to K-12 online learning at a Virtual School Symposium in Austin, Texas. The event was sponsored by iNACOL, a national nonprofit membership organization based in Washington D.C.

Oelrich was recognized for his development of a “student-centered high school alternative.” In 2005, he founded Insight Schools, a national network of accredited. tuition-free, diploma granting public high schools based in Portland, Oregon. Insight now enrolls more than 9,000 full-time students in eight states. It promotes individualized learning programs and differentiated assessments to allow students the option of demonstrating the knowledge of a subject area “through assignments catered to their learning styles,” it states.

"I'm honored to receive this award and continue to be very excited about the future of K-12 online learning," said Oelrich. "Many students today are looking for an educational environment that fits their interests, their lifestyle, and their goals. If you approach the solution with the student's needs first, the rest is easy .... I truly believe online education will be a reality for every high school student in the next decade, both in virtual and traditional classrooms.”

Insight is a subsidiary of the Apollo Group, which also includes the University of Phoenix. Before forming Insight Schools, Oelrich was President and CEO of Apex Learning and CEO of KC Distance Learning. "A long time ago, we were lone voices in the wilderness," said Oelrich. "Now, distance learning is a national industry, with national awards.”

iNACOL’s Virtual School Symposium attracts more than 1,200 representatives from national, state, district, private and other virtual school programs and is the industry's leading event in K-12 online learning. It states it is the only national conference focused solely on K-12 online learning and virtual schools.

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