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Sun Coast High School Enables Mother of Four to Finally Achieve Her High School Education Goals–Inspires Daughter to Do Same

Shelly Marr exhibits a high level of enthusiasm for her online studies with Sun Coast High School. Established through a partnership between Education Dynamics (www.educationdynamics.com) and Smart Horizons Career Online Education (www.shcoe.org), Sun Coast High School (www.suncoasthigh.com) offers a career-based, interactive online education program for students such as Marr.


The 34-year-old mother of four began the online program on February 6th of this year and, less than 3 months later, has already successfully completed all the academic courses for her 18-credit high school diploma. As the world's first AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district, SHCOE provides internationally recognized credentials for Marr's diploma.

Marr, who lives in her hometown of Royal Oak, MI, is now moving at a nice pace through the career certification portion of her studies. Students who choose the Professional Skills Certificate option gain practical skills and knowledge they can apply to a wide variety of job settings. Sun Coast High School students can also choose to earn their Career Certificate in areas such as homeland security, office management, transportation, child care, and protection services.


Sun Coast High School is committed to preparing students for entrance into the workplace or college by delivering high-quality, supportive, and career-based online education. We are proud to be one of the only online high schools who also offers qualified students the opportunity to take their first online college course at no cost to them.


Our vision is to offer students an affordable, flexible opportunity to learn at their own pace and prepare students for careers and employment based on employer-driven, academic requirements.

"I've been at this for 8 to 10 hours every day," Marr said. "You could say I've been a bit of a recluse, but I'm doing it because I'm achieving something I've wanted for so long. The process has been hugely rewarding and I know I made the right choice with Sun Coast High School. People kept telling me I should just get my GED, but I would not have retained half of what I learned cramming to take one test."

As a teen, Marr left Royal Oak's George Dondero High School 2 months into her sophomore year.

"I left when I became pregnant with my first daughter and never went back," Marr said. "My daughter took up my life, but I always wanted to go back to school. I wanted to earn my diploma, just like my brothers and sisters. Not having a diploma has been a black flag over my head for so long and I can hardly wait to see my diploma hanging on my wall."

Marr's primary occupation for the past 18 years has been homemaker as her family has grown to a total of four daughters–Katrina, 18; Taylor, 15; Dixie, 12; and McKenna, 7. The three youngest girls still live with Marr and her mother, Lois. However, Marr has new career goals in mind as she prepares to conclude her studies with Sun Coast High School.

"I'd originally planned to go into cosmetology school, but now I've decided I want to become a counselor or therapist," she said. "I'd like to work with adolescents and I would especially love to work with young parents and single moms who aren't sure what to do and how to move forward in life. I want to help the world."

Marr is undecided about her exact post-secondary destination at this point, but knows she wants to keep the educational ball rolling.

"I was out of school for 18 years and it took a while to get up and running again, so I'd like to jump straight into college once I have my diploma," she said. "Right now, my brain is in study mode and I want to keep it moving. I have amazed myself by moving faster than I thought I could."

Marr said that Literature and Health have been her favorite courses in the Sun Coast curriculum. She also likes the videos that are part of her General Career Prep studies because they have grabbed her attention and kept her intrigued. She said the Literature coursework has gotten both her and her oldest daughter interested in reading some of the books that are discussed as part of the lessons.

"I was not looking forward to literature and ended up loving the lessons," she said. "I am a huge creature of habit and I don't like to stray from what I know, but taking these classes has caused me to branch out personally."

Marr had many positive things to say about the overall Sun Coast High School experience–an experience she hopes her oldest daughter will undertake for her senior year of high school.

"I've liked the availability and the pace of this program," she said. "I love how the lessons are written and explained and how it all made so much sense to me. My daughter has been attending an adult alternative high school and has gone through some self-esteem issues. She hasn't liked school but she thinks this program is great and is excited about it. That is super cool to me!"


Smart Horizons Career Online Education, founded in 2009 and located in Pensacola, Florida, is a private, AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district. AdvancED/SACS District accreditation signifies that SHCOE and all of its schools are fully accredited and that SHCOE is recognized across the nation as a quality school system. Smart Horizons Career Online Education offers 18-credit, career-based high school diploma programs that are designed to prepare students for entrance into the workplace. Career certificate offerings include Childcare Education, Office Management, Protection Services, Homeland Security, Healthcare (coming soon), Transportation Services, and Professional Skills.
For more information, visit our Web site at www.shcoe.org, call our office at 855-777-4265, or email our office at info@smarthorizonsonline.org

Contact:Dr. Howard Liebman, Smart Horizons Career Online Education, CEO & Superintendent of Schools, hliebman@smarthorizonsonline.org OR 305-962-6489



Education Dynamics, founded in 2005, plays a crucial role in serving both students and post-secondary institutions. EducationDynamics helps each institution reach potential students by providing information about what the institution offers and also providing information that helps the institution tailor its programs and services to meet the needs of potential students. The organization currently helps more than 1200 colleges and universities—not-for-profit, for-profit, traditional, online, private, public, large and small—find, enroll and retain students. EducationDynamics is the number one provider of marketing support services to post-secondary education.
Visit the Web site at www.educationdynamics.com

Contact:Mr. Richard Capezzali, Education Dynamics, Executive Vice-President – 561-445-8736 hliebman@smarthorizonsonline.org OR 305-962-6489

Education Dynamics