The Newly Enrolled Huggler-Rachiele Family Finds Individualization, Safety & Flexibility

Posted by PA Distance Learning on 11/1/21 12:44 PM

Nicole Huggler, of Galeton, PA, is heavily involved in her children’s lives and, as such, wants the best for their education. Her 10-year-old son, Damien Rachiele, and her 12-year-old daughter, Autumn Rachiele, are excelling in their classes and are enjoying school, too. But, it wasn’t always this way. 


Nicole enrolled her children at PA Distance at the beginning of this school year after struggling to find a cyber program that worked for her and her children. After being previously enrolled in another cyber school last school year, Nicole, and her children, weren’t satisfied. 

“I talked with my kids and they decided that they liked the cyber experience but not with their previous cyber school,” she said, “I wanted a school that tended to each student as an individual.”

After doing a lot of research online, and even reaching out personally to parents of current students, Nicole found PA Distance. 

“I talked with PA Distance’s enrollment department quite a few times before moving forward with registration,” she said. The thing that got me to enroll was the excellent curriculum and the additional support teachers provide in math and reading.” 

unnamed-1(Pictured: Nicole's children, Damien & Autumn) 

“I am very impressed with how PA Distance isn’t one-size-fits-all,” she added. “The most important thing for us was an individualized education for my kids. I also wanted a safe learning environment where they could focus.” 

Nicole expressed that although cyber education has become more popular in recent years, due to the pandemic, the general public still doesn’t realize the vast benefits.

“I don't think that they are giving it a fair shot,” she said, of people she talks to about cyber school. “A lot of people just think its teachers post assignments to their Google Classrooms, the kids do the work, and that’s it. And, that’s not what this is.”

“We have live classes every day, they meet with teachers every day,” she added. “They get the same kind of instruction, actually better, because you can use different programs, as they would in a regular public [brick-and-mortar] school.”

“Some cyber schools are like that, but not this one,” she added. 

After suffering a recent family tragedy, Nicole and her family leaned on the support of PA Distance principals, counselors, and the community engagement team. 

“This school helps with my kids’ mental health. My children’s counselors have set up meetings with them to help them through what they’re feeling. They have been amazing, making sure they’re doing well, and even asking how I’m doing,” she said. “You don’t find that everywhere. They’re special people.” 

Accessibility is also important to Nicole and her kids. If Damien or Autumn have questions about a homework assignment, they don’t have to wait long to hear back from their teachers. 

“We can chat with the teachers whenever we want to. That wasn’t the case at their old school,” Nicole explained. “Damien had teachers but didn’t associate with them in a live class setting like they do at PA Distance. Getting ahold of his old teachers was next to impossible.”

Nicole has taken it upon herself to become an advocate for online learning, specifically at PA Distance. 

“I’ve talked to a lot of other parents who are interested in making a change in their children’s education, mostly because of bullying in their home district, and I’m telling them all about PA Distance,” she said. “We don’t have any issues with bullying here.” 

“We have only been enrolled for a little over a month, and my kids have improved dramatically when compared to their previous experiences with their old cyber school and their home district,” she said.

“I would recommend PA Distance because the teachers are amazing and accommodating. The curriculum is spot on. There is a lot of flexibility,” she noted. “The teaching matters, the well-being of the kids matters to the teachers, their mental states matter way more than it ever would anywhere else.”

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