The graduation ceremony is happening July 11 at 3 p.m. You can learn more about the event here.

Each year, we let our students submit speeches for the ceremony and select two. This year, we were really impressed with the submissions we received.

One graduation speaker will be Megan Iammarino, who graduated with a 4.1 GPA, despite challenges she previously faced.

We asked her a few questions to share with the Primavera community. Megan answered these for us while about to board a plane for a competition. Check out her inspiring story:

Meet Megan, Primavera grad & triathlete

“My name is Megan Iammarino and I just finished senior year of high school. I am an avid triathlete and cyclist. I spend a lot of my time training and I love both the analytical parts of the sport and the beautiful places it takes me to. Something I find unique about myself is that I chose to do senior pictures with my bike. In my free time, I love to read books and write; I also have two kitties that love to be on my desk with me while I work.”

How do you feel about being a Primavera graduation speaker?

Speaking at a graduation ceremony is an amazing opportunity and a huge honor. I saw it as a challenge I wanted to pursue to commemorate the past four years with my fellow students and reflect on what it took to get to this milestone. An online school may be a different path than most high schools but it still has the same prestige as earning any other high school diploma and this deserves recognition.

You graduated with a 4.1 GPA. How did you do it?

An online school requires a lot of dedication on the student’s part. One of the things that I found paramount to maintaining a high GPA was good note-taking skills. For me, color-coding my notes really helped me organize a large amount of information and study more effectively. In addition, I kept a planner of when assignments were due and included on there if I needed to redo or reattempt any assignments.

What made you decide to come to Primavera?

 I first chose Primavera because for years I dealt with bullying at a traditional school. Once I started high school, it began causing me a lot of anxiety and emotional disturbance that was greatly affecting my overall well-being.

One of my favorite aspects of Primavera Online was the six-week block courses. I found that this structure allowed me to better focus and comprehend the content; it felt like I was actually learning and not just memorizing content to forget it shortly after a quiz or exam. In addition, not having quarterly breaks meant that I wasn’t forgetting content to later have to spend time to refresh on it.

What are your plans after graduation?

For my post-graduation plans, I am taking a little bit of time off from school as I am just learning to manage a neurological disease. I plan on starting at ASU in the spring or fall of 2020 studying Pharmacology and Toxicology; later I would like to work towards a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.

Did you have a counselor or teacher who helped you here at Primavera?

My counselor, Mrs. Hochderffer, has helped me a lot during my time at Primavera. She showed me different options throughout my couple years here in scheduling courses that accommodated my needs; these ranged from communicating with my teachers about a 504 plan in place, to recovering from a concussion, to taking courses that were simpler when only having one hand to type with. In addition, the Friday counseling sessions she held for students were very informative and fun!

What advice would you give to the Primavera community?

One thing I would like to add is that there will be ups and downs not only in your educational path, but in life in general. These challenges can seem defeating and overwhelming in the moment, but I’ve learned that you shouldn’t take them personally. Sometimes it’s best to relax and take a step back instead of constantly working too hard and blaming yourself that you forget to care for yourself.