Student Spotlight: Lincoln Wallace, #3 Midfielder

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Lincoln Wallace, Adventurous Student Athlete 

ASU Prep Digital student and California native Lincoln Wallace doesn’t come from a soccer-playing family, but when his dad was deployed in the military, his mom got him involved in a soccer camp. He jokes that at the young age of five, “everyone’s good,” but Lincoln really was good and has continued to play competitively since.

Playing as a midfielder, Lincoln is positioned between the defenders and the forwards, being involved in both assists and attacks. “A midfielder has to be diverse,” he explains, and that seems to be Lincoln’s take on life as he broadens his experiences, trying new things and learning important lessons.

Skillfully Managing Soccer and School 

Lincoln was attending his local public high school and playing on a club soccer team when he was invited to play at a tournament in Spain, which is how he spent the first few months of his freshman year. Then a summer soccer tournament took him to Germany, and shortly after returning to the United States, the International Soccer Academy invited him to come play for the Integrated Academy U17 team at the prestigious Bundesliga soccer club Hertha Berlin. 

Within days of the invitation, Lincoln was heading back to Germany to train with other talented 16- and 17-year-old players from around North America. Registered in ASU Prep Digital’s flexible online school program, he was also set up to successfully complete his sophomore year. 

Lincoln thrives on the independence this experience has granted him, explaining, “My favorite part is having to manage my own day. I’ve got to go to two trainings, but besides that, I could go to the store or I could do school. I could just do anything on my own time, which is really nice.”

Lincoln says that all of his ASU Prep Digital teachers were really nice and easy to contact, always there to help if needed. His favorite classes were Forensic Science and Spanish, and he says he looks forward to trying something new by taking Photography next year. 

“My favorite part is having to manage my own day. I’ve got to go to two trainings, but besides that, I could go to the store or I could do school. I could just do anything on my own time, which is really nice.”

Life Lessons

Living away from home and family while juggling soccer and school seems like it could be a really challenging experience for a 16-year-old, but Lincoln insists it was relatively easy. 

“What makes it worth it for me is I’ve always wanted to play soccer all day and just keep improving. I’ve improved on everything like soccer, meeting new people, getting comfortable in new spaces and situations.”

When it comes to big life lessons, Lincoln says, “Well, I always say if you fail or if you mess up, the only thing that matters is your reaction. It works on and off the field. Like for example, you lose the ball on the field or if you get a C on a test, you can’t do anything about it. It’s the reaction after. You train or study harder.”

Considering that motto, Lincoln reflects on his favorite moment from his eight months in Berlin: a comeback against RB Leipzig’s academy team. “Early in the year, we lost to them. Then, right before the end of the year, we went back. They’re a really big club, one of the biggest. As a team, we all worked so hard, and we demonstrated everything we learned the whole year, and we beat them! It was just a really great experience.” Lincoln will cherish not only the big win but the chance to feel like a professional player competing against a prominent team at an impressive arena with a photographer in tow to capture every special moment. 

“I’ve improved on everything like soccer, meeting new people, getting comfortable in new spaces and situations.”

Up Next

Lincoln is back home in Southern California for summer break, although he’s still working hard. He’s signed up for boxing class and plans to run track, hoping that mixing up his training will help him to become an even better soccer player, more coordinated with faster acceleration and quicker movements. 

Also on Lincoln’s to-do list: participating in the Nexen Manchester City Cup in San Diego, an annual youth soccer tournament that hosts over 10,000 players, ages 6-18.

More than pleased with his experience at Hertha Berlin with “the awesome atmosphere, fans, facilities, players, and coaches—everything” and his academic success with ASU Prep Digital, Lincoln will return to Hertha Berlin in the fall, working toward his ultimate goal of playing professionally in Europe. 

Student Spotlight: Hugh Eaton, #19 Forward

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Hugh Eaton, Taking Power Shots

Hugh Eaton, 17-year-old ASU Prep Digital student athlete, is taking power shots when it comes to his future, getting a jump start on his professional soccer career. Overseas. While still in high school. 

Because of ASU Prep Digital’s flexible and personalized online curriculum, Hugh is able to continue his schooling while also playing forward for Hertha Berlin’s elite Integrated Academy team in Germany. Hugh was recruited for this prestigious opportunity as part of the International Soccer Academy, a program that brings talented North American players to Europe to train on dedicated teams at top Bundesliga and La Liga youth soccer academies.  

Giving 100 Percent to School and Soccer

Hugh says he’s loved soccer since he started playing at around eight years old and knew he wanted to play professionally after watching the World Cup tournament. As for his family, Hugh says, “They fell in love with soccer when I started playing. They love watching the game. And they know that it’s my dream to become a professional, so they’re 100 percent behind me.” 

“You’ve got to be independent. You’ve got to be mature and disciplined. You’re coming all the way from the USA to Germany to do this, you’ve got to work really hard on it.” 

Hugh himself has learned about giving 100 percent. He says that to be a part of this program, “You’ve got to be independent. You’ve got to be mature and disciplined. You’re coming all the way from the USA to Germany to do this, you’ve got to work really hard on it.” 

For Hugh, this means moving away from Southern California for eight months to develop as a youth soccer player. He had previously traveled to England and Spain to play soccer but only for two weeks and with the company of his parents. This time, he was living in dorm-style housing with teammates while balancing classwork and training.

As part of his ASU Prep Digital curriculum this year, Hugh took on German, Chemistry, and Precalculus. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot more in online school because for the most part, it’s very independent,” explains Hugh. “You meet with teachers regularly, and they have been great and very supportive,” he says. Regarding the nine-hour time difference with his ASU Prep Digital teachers, he explains that they’ve been flexible about scheduling meeting times for Discussion Based Assessments around his soccer training and competitive matches. At ASU Prep Digital, Hugh has been able to be a successful student earning high academic marks and balancing the demands of taking his soccer skills to the next level.

Hugh says playing for International Soccer Academy at Hertha Berlin has given him a glimpse into what it will be like to play professionally, with access to the best coaches, physical therapists and training facilities while also playing with and against fierce competitors. Getting to attend professional Hertha Berlin matches has also been a bonus.

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot more in online school because for the most part, it’s very independent.”

Having Some Fun

Hugh says the friendships he’s made have been a highlight of his time in the program. When arriving in Berlin, he did not know any of his teammates, but the camaraderie came naturally through shared experiences like traveling, practices and games, and meals at their “hotel” — the Berliner Fußball-Verband.

He laughs, remembering when a smaller teammate scored a header, and everyone ran to him, jumping on him, celebrating. Talking about his teammates, he says, “They’re like best friends now because I’ve spent almost every minute of the last year with them.” 

Up Next

Hugh has returned home until August and is looking forward to spending time with family and friends and his former coaches. 

Lucas, his former roommate, a fellow ASU Prep Digital student, is also from Southern California, and they both are returning after the summer for a second year of intense training at International Soccer Academy — this time at FC Schalke 04. He’ll also be completing his senior year with ASU Prep Digital.  

Forbes names ASU one of Best Large Employers in US

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Originally published on ASUNews

February 15, 2023

On Feb. 15, Forbes listed Arizona State University as one of America’s Best Large Employers for 2023.

In partnership with Statista, a global provider of rankings and large-scale polling, Forbes surveyed approximately 45,000 U.S. employees at companies with more than 1,000 workers.

Five hundred U.S. employers across 25 industry sectors were recognized and evaluated based on respondents’ willingness to recommend their employer to friends and family.

Michael G. Latsko, ASU’s vice president and chief human resources officer, said the Best Large Employer title reinforces ASU’s reputation as a company that provides excellent employment opportunities on a national level.

“This honor, especially because it results from employee feedback, is a meaningful testament to ASU’s position as a national destination for top talent,” Latsko said.

“At ASU, we are focused on nurturing our unique, inclusive culture of belonging where employees feel valued, can thrive in their careers and support genuine societal impact. Our culture and people make ASU one of the best places to work in higher education and the country.”

ASU was also named one of America’s Best Employers By State for 2022 by Forbes in August.

Forbes and Statista collected direct recommendations from employees as well as indirect recommendations from workers in the industry. Since the employee experience can vary greatly depending on an organization’s size and the individual worker, the final list ranks the 500 large employers that received the most recommendations. Beginning in 2015 with America’s Best Employers, Forbes and Statista have since expanded the coverage to include those employers considered best for diversity, women and new graduates.

Math program at Willis producing impressive results

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This was originally published on the website

A program that was started to help close the learning gap caused by the pandemic is working so well at Willis Junior High School, the principal wants to expand it.

Arizona State University Prep Digital and the state Department of Education came up with the Math Momentum partnership. It was originally expected to last for three years and cost $9 million.

Willis teachers started using the program last school year and say they’ve already seen significant results. As part of the program, each student is required to take three assessments each year.

“So, 14% of students have closed gaps in 10 weeks,” said Sarah Wiese, a pre-algebra teacher at Willis. “I would say maybe of my 80 to 90 kids in there, only one or two didn’t show any sort of growth between August and Thanksgiving.”

Math Momentum is essentially inviting a second teacher into the classroom for more individualized learning. Wiese teaches her pre-algebra class with Jennifer Cooke, who lives in Montana and works for ASU Prep Digital.

After an introductory period of the class, students break up into three groups: Four work with Cooke online in a Zoom classroom. Four work directly with Wiese. And the rest, maybe 10 or so, work on their own. After 15 minutes or so, they switch.

Wiese said the students who do not need as much individualized attention and have passed all the requirements for whatever lesson they are working on, are given more fun things to do. The students who feel they could use some additional help will often sit in her group.

“The reason I’m talking to you, and the reason I was talking to my superintendent, and the reason I will talk to anybody about this is this model is not limited to grant money,” Wiese said. “I think this model is something that you could implement outside of the math subject area and is very feasible and doable.”

Her principal is on board.

“The most effective thing that happens is that they’re continually assessing kids,” Principal Jeff Delp said. “And so through that assessment piece, they have data to see where specifically kids are struggling, and then they’ll group kids based upon what they need.”

“And so we’ve seen some dramatic shifts in terms of gains that kids are making and growth that are that kids are making, just because of that targeted approach.”

Julie Young Receives ‘Power of Women’ Award for Innovation

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Julie Young, vice president of education outreach and student services and managing director, ASU Preparatory Academy and ASU Prep Digital, was named a Power of Women Innovation winner for 2023 by the ASU+GSV Summit. This award recognizes female CEOs, presidents, and founders leading and achieving successful outcomes for companies in the learning and talent technology sector.

Leading voice for global K–12 online education

Young is a leading voice around the world for revolutionizing K–12 online education. As the founding President and CEO of Florida Virtual School, she and her team grew the organization from a handful of students in 1996 to a highly acclaimed online school. Now at ASU Prep, she continues to create new school models that meet the evolving needs of students, leveraging connections between high school and college to promote lifelong learning.

A representative from GSV wrote this about Young: “Well over 250 million learners have been impacted by your work and the work of this group. We are so proud of the critical role of female leaders in building the “PreK to Gray” education and skills innovation sector where we handily beat other sector averages for equality, access, and representation. Your work contributes hugely to our mission that ALL People Deserve Equal Access to the Future and that innovations in education and skills are critical to achieving this.”

The ASU+GSV Summit started in 2010 as a collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) and Global Silicon Valley (GSV). It connects leaders focused on transforming society and business around learning and work. Young and other exceptional female leaders will be honored at the annual ASU+GSV Summit on April 17 in San Diego.

Jamaican Ministry of Education and Youth Meet with ASU Prep Digital to Share Resources for Change, Educational Opportunities

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Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean and school is primarily modeled on the British education system. The Government of Jamaica and the Jamaican Ministry of Education and Youth (MoEY) recognizes that education must be accessible to all students. “Every child can learn, Every child must learn” is something MoEY strongly upholds.

Building relationships around the globe

Although the distance between Arizona State University and Jamaica is about 2,348 miles, there’s a common purpose that unites them—help children gain access to a quality education

Jamaicans complete an average of 11.7 years of schooling that is equivalent to 7.2 years of learning when benchmarked against top-performing systems. This reveals a learning gap of 4.3 years, felt largely by students from poorer households. This was the findings of the Government of Jamaica Transforming Education Summit: Commitment Statement.

Prior to the pandemic, the Honourable Fayval Williams, Jamaican Minister of Education and Youth (MoEY), reached out to ASU as a global leader committed to providing quality education and flexible school program alternatives to serve families. They began discussion on how the two partners could be a resource to one another.

One of their leading priorities is to close the inequality gap in students’ learning experiences and outcomes. The relationship grew from thoughtful conversations and an invitation to visit once travel could resume. 

In late September, the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica sponsored 12 delegates to come to Arizona State University to learn more about what they can do to continue transforming the education system in Jamaica. The delegates consisted of members of the Jamaican Ministry of Education and Youth, principals, and university faculty. They met with multiple stakeholders and education leaders from ASU Prep Digital, ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, and ASU University Design Institute

Opening doors through conversation


Angela Zhao, ASU Prep Digital Director of International Programming, introduced the delegates to various digital elements and different classroom models. She shared how ASU Prep supports both students and teachers through technology and the resources that can enact change in various settings.

“Helping global communities is in the interest of all of us,” said Zhao. “What was so nice about this visit was that it wasn’t to showcase us. Yes, we shared what we do well and what we can help with, but we got a lot of great questions that will help us grow too. We’re learning a lot through this relationship.” 

Meghan Gibson, ASU Global Outreach & Extended Education Program Manager, Special Projects & Initiatives, said ASU was thrilled to be able to continue the relationship and meet in person for further discussions on how they can work together.

“For ASU, it provided an opportunity for continued collaboration and partnership, and leverage methods that continue to provide positive returns that will benefit others, especially in the area of education,” said Gibson. “Rather than recreate the wheel, let’s leverage the work that’s already been done, and the lessons learned to support others in the desires to strengthen their educational systems.”  

Discover ways to partner with ASU Prep Digital.

Looking ahead

This visit provided a unique opportunity for the Jamaican delegates to come together and have serious conversations regarding what strides they can take toward equitable access to education.

Regardless of geographical location, we know education systems globally are experiencing similar shockwaves—lack of resources, decreased teacher capacity, and high expectations of teachers to not only educate, but develop, mentor, and counsel all students in preparation for their future,” said Gibson. “Our door is always open, and we’d love to help Jamaica and more school systems across the nation and world.”  

ASU Prep celebrates the Jamaican Ministry of Education and Youth for leveraging global resources to unite in a shared vision to help children gain access to a quality education

Jamaican Ministry of Education and Youth
The Ministry of Education is the government entity responsible for the management and administration of public education in Jamaica. Their main office is in Kingston, Jamaica. To learn more, visit

About ASU Prep Digital       
ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K–12 school with more than 850 national and international partners in 24 countries. For more information, visit

Louisiana Partnership Expands Educational Opportunities for Students 6–12

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Communities have been hit hard these past few years. Cost of living increases. Decreased supply of goods and services. Affordable housing. Struggling businesses. Personnel shortages. Schools, teachers and ultimately students have felt the heavy burden placed on education. Smaller rural communities have been especially hit hard.

Callout: How is a school district to manage the delicate balance of providing quality instruction and advance learning, all while navigating the social-emotional needs of students?

East Baton Rouge Parish sought a creative solution to meet the needs of its 40,283 diverse learners and 2,200 teachers—they leveraged resources available to them outside of their community. 

Finding solutions

Dr. Sito Narcisse, superintendent for East Baton Rouge Parish, faced the challenge that plagues many schools in the U.S., a nationwide teacher shortage. With many families seeking remote education options, Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Virtual Academy (EBRVA) had quickly grown to 1,400 students; nearly half that number in grades 6-12. To help support these students, he knew he needed an innovative solution.

Narcisse was familiar with ASU Prep Digital, an accredited online K–12 school that is part of Arizona State University, the college ranked #1 in innovation for the last eight years by U.S. News & World Report. To help keep students learning and on pace to graduate, he asked for assistance and formed a multi-year partnership with ASU Prep Digital for EBRVA’s 6-12 program last spring. 

Customized model    

In this partnership, ASU Prep is the instructional provider for the school, providing curriculum and quality teachers certified in the subject areas they teach. The ASU educators are completing requirements to also become teacher certified in Louisiana. EBRVA is the students’ school of record and classes operate on East Baton Rouge Parish’s school schedule.

Discover other ways to partner with ASU Prep Digital. 

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with this community and this partnership helps us serve others and expand and create new learning models,” said Dr.  Christy Cleugh, Director of National Partnerships for ASU Prep Digital. “Their goal is our goal—to provide outstanding educational opportunities for students and provide excellent teachers well versed in the digital atmosphere.”

For all collaborative partnerships, like the one with East Baton Rouge, ASU Prep meets with the school and district’s leadership to first understand the needs of their community of learners. Then, they customize the support and make adjustments if needed along the way.  

Student-center focus and personalization

Dr. Christy Cleugh, Director of National Partnerships at ASU Prep Digital “We strive to get to know each student as an individual and treat each classroom as a classroom of one,” Dr. Cleugh said. “We see a great deal of engagement and have lots of positive feedback. We hear, ‘thank you, we know you care about us’ from parents and students a lot. It feels like we’re building nice solid relationships with the families.”

Dr. Christy Cleugh, Director of National Partnerships at ASU Prep Digital

Providing student-centered focus to ensure all students have the opportunity for success no matter where they live is a core credo at ASU Prep.

Rachel Maleski, Rachel Maleski, Digital Partnership Principal for ASU Prep Global, said, “We know the importance of keeping students at the center of every decision we make—it’s what will lead to the best outcome for students. The core of our mission as an organization is to constantly iterate new models for educational success and increase academic achievement for all learners.”

Rachel Maleski, Digital Partnership Principal for ASU Prep Global

Working together achieves more

Prior to the pandemic, Maleski said she felt educators and schools often worked in silos and competition. But she said she feels a shift now and there is more partnering and emphasis on the importance of collaboration.

“Collaborating really strengthens possibilities. When you partner with us, you are not alone,” she said. “We work together to ensure all students have equitable access to quality instruction. We think about who we are including and how we can make it work for them. It’s a two-way collaborative endeavor. Our partners learn from us, and we’re learning from them and with them.”

ASU Prep is proud of the continued progress students are making at EBRVA, and celebrates East Baton Rouge Parish for leveraging resources and relationships to build bright futures.   

EBREast Baton Rouge Virtual Academy
East Baton Rouge Virtual Academy (EBRVA) is a free, online EBR School System public school for students in grades PreK through 12. Enrollment is open to all families within the East Baton Rouge School district. Learn more at

Partner with ASU Prep Digital
ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K–12 school providing districts with professional development options customized for their needs, including virtual teacher mentoring. For information on ways ASU Prep Digital can help with teacher shortages and other needs, visit our Teacher Mentoring webpage or email