High school senior Carrie Killebrew has an interesting life both in school and out.
Killebrew has been racing motocross bikes since she was 5. She competes on a monthly basis in Arizona and competes with other pro level riders nationally about five or six times a year.
The sport is a form of off-road motorcycle racing that’s usually held on dirt tracks around the country.
She competed at the American Motorcyclists Association’s Motocross Arizona Open in Litchfield Park earlier this month and was competing in a national race in Texas last week.
“It’s something different. It’s not a team sport,” she said. “I like that it’s all on you and no one else. It’s more exciting than traditional team sports.”
She said that some people who meet her for the first time are surprised at her interest in the sport. But for her it was a natural hobby for her to pick up because her father and grandfather have always had an interest in it. Her dad bought her her first motocross bike when she was 4 years old. Her dad also coaches and trains her and other motorcross riders.
In order to get practice time, Killebrew travels two to three hours on a regular basis to tracks in Buckeye, Peoria and Casa Grande.
With so much time spent on the road for practice and competition, keeping up with classes and homework became more and more difficult. Killebrew said she and her father found an alternative to the traditional brick and mortar school through Insight Academy of Arizona.
The school is entirely online, which allows Killebrew to take a laptop with her on the road and log in to her classes whereever there is wifi. She’s been using ISAZ since she entered eighth grade and she likes it.
“I tried a traditional school for about six weeks while I was a sophomore in high school,” she said. “But it takes a lot of time out of your day.”
With ISAZ, Killebrew logs into a livestream of one of her teachers several times a week with about 20 to 30 other students in the class. She can ask questions of the teacher and the teacher can respond. Killebrew also has homework assignments that must be completed on a daily basis, just like at a regular school.
Killebrew said the flexible schedule allows her to compete and complete her education. Her father insists that all of her homework be finished before she’s allowed to race.
ISAZ has all of the same core classes required by the state in traditional schools, she said. And she’s required to do the same kind of work in order to get good grades and graduate.
According to its website, ISAZ is a free, grades 7 to 12 public school that Arizona families can enroll their students in. The school provides books and other instructional materials to students, but does not provide school supplies like pens, pencils, printer ink or paper. Students have to go through an application and enrollment process before they are approved to join the school.
The online school is also accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement which is part of AdvancedED. AdvancedED reviews and gives accreditation to 32,000 institutions, according to its website.
Killebrew said that once she graduates high school she hopes to attend Northern Arizona University. She plans to major in nursing because of her interested in the medical field.