Emil Tapper knew that a public education would not allow him the time to pursue his many interests. Homeschooled from the start, he jumped into online high school his freshman year. Emil enrolled in JMHS after transferring from another online school that didn’t meet his needs.
“The free time and schedule flexibility that JMHS gave me allowed me to start my writing career and to write my first book,” he said.
Emil published his first novel, Forgive Us, a post-apocalyptic survival thriller, in December of 2020. The book, which is available for purchase on Amazon, Lulu.com, and Barnes & Noble, was written while he was working towards his high school diploma.
Now, writing is under way for his prequel, Abandon Us, which is scheduled to be published in 2022. Aside from writing, Emil was able to become a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as expand his knowledge of Norse history.
Online learning also helped Emil, who was diagnosed with dysgraphia, a neurological disorder that impairs writing ability and fine motor skills, learn in a way that worked for him.
“Online education helped me a lot because I could use a keyboard for everything, which is the easiest way for me to communicate and process information,” he said. “I can type a sentence without looking at the keyboard, but when I use a pencil [or] pen I struggle to write down basic words.”
Emil also credits JMHS with helping him become a better student. When it came to studying, Emil usually reviewed the materials provided for the class, took notes, and then proceeded to do quizzes and exams while the information was fresh in his head.
“JMHS made my education jump leaps and bounds, allowing me to graduate with a 4.0 grade,” he said.
The user-friendly Student Portal also allowed Emil to comfortably navigate his classes, noting it was also easy to check his grades if he needed to. Nodding to the fact that self-paced learning takes discipline, Emil liked that he was in control.
“...No one got in my way except me,” he said. “No one's schedule except mine got in the way, [I] didn't have to deal with classrooms or anything like that. Just me and my education.”
Now, Emil plans to enroll in Ashworth College where he’ll study marketing. Earning a college degree online at his own pace will allow Emil to continue making strides as an author.
“JMHS allowed me to have the time to start my author career, and also gave me the educational foundation to easily get into college,” he said.
Autumn Granza earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Marywood University. Autumn puts her writing skills to work every day in our in-house Marketing Department as a Marketing Communications Specialist. She works to produce content that informs and encourages readers and helps them pursue their academic goals.
Outside of work, you’ll often find Autumn with her camera creating work to display within the local art community. A lover of nature, she often spends her weekends outdoors hiking. Autumn enjoys day trips and any sort of travel. Her favorite thing to do is explore somewhere new. An avid reader, Autumn appreciates relaxing with a good book at her favorite coffee shop.
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© 2023 James Madison High School,
a division of Ashworth College.
All Rights Reserved.