Graduates of Pacific Sands Academy–

January 2022

Congratulations to the January 2022 graduating class of our high school program:

nicholas lanz

Nicholas Lanz

Nicholas joined the Pacific Sands Program of West River Academy in the Summer of 2021, though it feels like we have been working together for years. He is a passionate self directed learner and has studied so many topics in his short career with our program: multi-dimensional analysis, the philosophies of Nietzsche and Socrates, Pre Columbian History, the US Constitution, Brain Science and Psychology, to name a few interesting topics. He is also a passionate and accomplished musician, playing the piano (mostly) and also the Euphonium. Nicholas also got a job in a grocery store as a bagger in August 2021, and was immediately noticed by his supervisor as exceptional and trustworthy, and within a couple weeks was promoted to the bookkeeper for the whole store! Nicholas is graduating after 2.5 years of high school and headed out to Midlands Technical College to earn an AA in the humanities. Nicholas is technically in the class of 2021. You can learn more about him in his portfolio.

graduate 2

Joe Jackson

Joe joined Pacific Sands Academy in the Fall of 2021 on a quick enrollment to graduation path. He has a passion for producing beats and recording songs, and he’s really good at his craft. He is a master at FL studio-and pays extreme attention to detail. You should see the complexity of his beats. Check out his Instagram account here. (I mean really, check it out.).  Joe is ready to graduate at almost 17 and start living. 

Look for 24Hour in the future; this is his artist name.

graduate 3

David de la Fuente

David (pronounced Daveeeed) joined Pacific Sands Academy last year. He grew up in North Texas, and enjoys fishing and hunting and has extensive local natural history knowledge about the animals he pursues. He is an excellent problem solver and fixer of things. He worked at a motorcycle shop for much of last school year and built his own motorcycle from scratch. He enjoys thinking about politics and  notices deep corruption in the current system. He also is well versed in stocks and cryptocurrency. David has been working at a car mechanic shop full time since August, detailing cars and doing mechanic work- rebuilding engines and transmissions, and everything they do there! He’s already been asked to help run a new second shop! David has been so impressive that they have asked his mom to work at the shop as well!  David is well on his way… learn more about him here.

graduate 4

Layne Hoffman

After a lifetime of homeschooling and unschooling, Layne joined the Pacific Sands Program of West River Academy. Layne enjoyed studying Comparative Government and English, and was very busy working at a tattoo shop and a gymnastics studio. As the fall wore on, Layne and I realized that Layne would be better served graduating early and continuing on with their life. Layne worked very hard to accomplish this.  Layne is very active and capable with a big background in dance and gymnastics, and  is also an accomplished make up artist, and horrified me with a particular look they created that you can see here. Layne loves all kinds of art, especially  tattoos and piercings, and likely has a future in this world. Layne also loves nature and the great outdoors, and has an adventurous spirit, that will serve Layne long into the future.

graduate 5

Marley Manfredi

Marley joined the Pacific Sands Program of West River Academy last year in the midst of Covid after completing all of her previous education in public school. Marley worked with a partner program Independent Minds Academy where she did daily check-ins. She enjoyed studying personal finance, business, cooking, government, and economics, and really appreciated the flexibility.  She also worked at a cookie decorating supply shop, as well as dog walking and babysitting. Marley loves outdoor activities like hiking and visiting beautiful sights and participating in community events. Marley’s relationship with God is beautiful and strong. She has learned so much this year studying the Bible and hanging out with friends who support her faith. Marley has a lot of dreams for the future, including travel, creating multiple streams of income, real estate and maybe even van life! You can learn more about Marley by visiting her portfolio. 

graduate 5

Maggie Fedor

Maggie comes from a large family of 7 kids, and  joined Pacific Sands Program of West River Academy this fall for a quick path to graduation. She studied Economics and Mythology and enjoyed being able to work at her own pace. Her Crash Course notes were perhaps the most complete notes I have seen a student take. A noteworthy part of Maggie’s high school education was her experience traveling to Guatemala and building a school and playground with School the World. She loves learning about new cultures wherever she travels.  Maggie has had several jobs in the restaurant industry hostessing and waitressing and works lots of hours every week (Over the summer, it’s more than full time.) Maggie will attend Norwalk Community college in the fall, and see where the rest of her education leads her. You can learn more about Maggie here.

graduate 5

Maya Pellegrino

Maya joined Pacific Sands Academy this fall for a quick path to graduation. She studied business skills, government and history. She has a full and wonderful rich life, performing in plays and musicals, dancing competitively, and singing.  She works interesting jobs as event staff in places like The Dickens Fair, Outsidelands, Bottle Rock,  San Francisco Opera, and Sonoma Drag Race. She has seen so many famous musicians, and even got to be personal security for Miley Cyrus! Maya loves beauty and fashion, and plans to go to esthiology school in the fall, and after this get her RN to eventually be a medical esthetician. You can learn more about her amazing experiences here.

graduate 5

Ezekiel Hinger

Zeke came to Pacific Sands Academy after a successful time in his small private Christian school- where he played varsity football as a Freshman and Sophomore, and even earned MVP his Sophomore year.  However Covid killed his enthusiasm for high school, and he joined our program, where he had more time to skate and surf, and study subjects like government and economics, and the corruption therein. This past semester he got his driver’s license and got a job as a courtesy clerk at a local grocery store. He will continue to work there for a few months and then start community college in the fall, where he will study to become an EMT, and eventually a firefighter. You can see lots more videos of Zeke skating here, and read his story.

graduate 5

Kayla Sterling

Kayla joined Pacific Sands Academy this fall for a quick path to graduation. She really enjoyed her portfolio project more than she’s vere enjoyed anything she’s ever done in school, and did a fantastic job with it! Kayla has always enjoyed many energetic activities such as surfing, skateboarding, gymnastics and paddleboarding. Now her real passion is horseback riding. She enjoys barrel racing and liberty riding- which involves not using a saddle or reins at all!  Kayla also enjoys photography and has taken some beautiful and fun photos. She likes capturing her friends in candid shots. Now that she’s graduated, Kayla is going to work on learning to drive, and then get a job at a stable working with horses, and continue her passion. You can learn more about her in her portfolio.

graduate 5

Saren Hawthorne

Saren grew up homeschooling and unschooling and learning from elders around her. She started Pacific Sands Academy last year, left and went to school in Montana, then returned to graduate this semester. She has enjoyed the freedom of Pacific Sands Academy, for sure. 

Saren is a magical forest fairy and who I’m so happy can be graduating now. She is independent and free-spirited, inspired by Western Shoshone elders and woodland forest gatherings of women. She loves being outdoors, and is interested in learning to surf, to speak another language, and to read mosses and mushrooms, through studying bryology and mycology.  Learn more about her here.

Pacific Sands Academy students enjoy their childhoods and teenage-hoods again, and find they have time to pursue their real interests and passions. Families find peace, freedom, and better relationships with their teens. Please visit Pacific Sands Academy for more information.

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