PA Cyber
The Poly Award, a glass trophy in the shape of a pentagon with the award's title engraved into it

PA Cyber’s Poly Awards Recognize Excellence in STEM Education

The Poly Award, a glass trophy in the shape of a pentagon with the award's title engraved into it

May 2, 2023

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) Polytechnic Academy honors exceptional students and its partners with the debut of the Poly Awards. The award ceremonies, which will take place in five cities throughout May, celebrate students who have demonstrated excellent participation as well as staff, universities, and education partners who have grown the school’s STEM programming in the past year. The Poly Award serves as a symbol of the recipient's impact and a reminder of the importance of continued innovation and progress.

“The success and rapid growth of PA Cyber’s Polytechnic Academy has been a direct result of enthusiastic participation from many students and PA Cyber staff members, as well as a variety of higher ed and industry partners from across Pennsylvania and beyond,” said Supervisor of STEM Education Tom Brambley. “The Polys are an opportunity for us to recognize some of the most dedicated and instrumental people involved in that growth.”

A committee reviewed nominations and selected the most deserving candidates. PA Cyber will recognize several of its staff members as well, for an overall total of 15 awards.

  • Elementary School Student of the Year - Everette Wilson
  • Middle School Student of the Year - Amina Shafi
  • High School Student of the Year - William Duvall
  • Advocate of the Year, Regional Representative - Jolene Frazell
  • Partner of the Year, Higher Education - Dr. Prahlad Murthy, Wilkes University
  • Partner of the Year, Higher Education - Dr. Peter Skoner, Saint Francis University
  • Partner of the Year, Higher Education - Beth Peters, University of Pittsburgh
  • Partner of the Year, Program Provider - Kristin McMahon, Challenge Island
  • Partner of the Year, Program Provider - Evan Moorehead, Science Explorers
  • Teacher of the Year, Erin Butler
  • Workshop Advisor of the Year, Joel Cilli
  • Support Personnel of the Year, Lori Phillips
  • The Visionary Award, Brian Hayden
  • The Catalyst Award, Dr. Deborah Lange
  • Teammate of the Year, David Veon

The Poly Award is not just a recognition of achievement; it's a celebration of creativity, curiosity, and perseverance. Each Poly Award stands as a crystalline pentagon—as the light reflects off the surface, it creates a kaleidoscope of colors, reminding us of the multifaceted nature of STEM. Each angle offers a different perspective, just as each person brings unique skills and insights to the field. The gear, which is engraved on the front, represents the interlocking components of STEM disciplines and how each person's contribution is essential to progress.

PA Cyber’s Polytechnic Academy allows students to be critical thinkers and creative problem solvers through experimental, hands-on, and project-based learning. “One of the significant initiatives PA Cyber has taken over the past few years was the creation of the Polytechnic Academy,” said CEO Brian Hayden. “Through a variety of in-person and virtual programs, including the Polytechnic Mobile Lab and activities at our regional offices, we continue to offer STEM learning for all ages and interests. Already, students have experienced the benefits, including several who have discovered career paths and received college scholarships.

As the Supervisor of STEM Education at PA Cyber, Brambley creates engaging opportunities for students in all grade levels. “He has always placed an emphasis on ensuring students have an opportunity to apply what they are learning in a fun and creative way,” said Deputy Chief Operations Officer Eric Woelfel.

See photos from the awards ceremonies.

Text that reads "Congratulations to the winners from these higher education and industry partners." Below are logos for Wilkes University, University of Pittsburgh, Saint Francis University, Challenge Island, and Science Explorers.

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instruction methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families.