Last year, the Pennsylvania Fellowship Program for Special Education
Leaders granted one of 54 fellowships to Colleen Freyvogel D’14, assistant director of high school special education at Agora Cyber Charter School in King of Prussia. She has been with the school since 2017.
The goal of the Pennsylvania Fellowship Program for Special Education Leaders is to build the knowledge and skills of special education administrators to direct effective programming to ensure success for all students with individualized education programs.
“The impact of this fellowship and Dr. Freyvogel’s work at Agora is immeasurable,” said Michael Conti, CEO, Agora Cyber Charter School. “Cybereducation is often underrepresented in academia and that poses a challenge for educators who are looking to grow
these schools for the benefit of their student body. This fellowship is a definitive step toward the recognition of cyberschools on the same playing field as brick and mortar institutions.”
Freyvogel began her journey in education as a journalist covering education in Johnstown and Chicago. Looking to take a more hands-on approach to fixing the issues facing schools, she entered the Teach for America program before making her way to Philadelphia
to teach middle school. After pursuing a master’s degree at George Mason University, she moved back to Pennsylvania to teach students with exceptionalities and earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from IUP. She entered the world of cyber
charter institutions for Pearson, helping the company to build its special education program from the ground up before beginning her tenure at Agora in 2017.
For Freyvogel, this fellowship helps to fulfill two goals she has for Agora. “The fellowship program meets once monthly and encompasses some of the top educators from across the state. Having a presence there means that we can bring that state-level thinking
and information back to Agora and implement it each day,” she said. “It also places Agora at the forefront of education, not just within the cyber community, but on a much larger scale. In many instances, Agora is on the cutting edge of what students
need to be successful. Being able to represent Agora and shine a light on the great advances we’re making is an honor.”
Students at Agora choose a nontraditional path through elementary and secondary education for a number of reasons. In fact, almost 25 percent of the school’s total enrollment comes from students in the special education program.
“We’re always aiming to grow and improve Agora to give our students every advantage and tool for success,” Conti said. “Dr. Freyvogel’s opportunity with the Pennsylvania Fellowship Program brings forward the work we’ve already done and allows us to advance
it even more.”