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Dreyer, Barbara

Co-founder and CEO, Connections Education and pioneer in virtual learning


Barbara Dreyer is the president, CEO and co-founder of Connections Education® which she has led since January of 2002 to now serve over 50,000 full-time public school students through relationships with school districts and charter schools under its Connections Academy (for full-time virtual learning) or Nexus Academy (for full-time blended learning) school programs. Connections also works with hundreds of school districts, charter schools, state departments of education and private schools to provide individual courses, virtual speech therapy, services to homebound students, credit recovery courses and instruction, and private label virtual and blended school programs. Mrs. Dreyer is passionate about the continuing relevance and importance of teachers in virtual and blended learning models and has been active in advocating for more advanced data collection and growth measurement systems. For 12 years, Mrs. Dreyer was a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland University College, the largest public international provider of distance learning degrees, and served for 6 years on the Board of Visitors of Towson University, known for its teacher education programs, where she remains an emeritus member. In 2010, she was honored for “Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the field of Distance Learning” by the United States Distance Learning Association. In 2011, she received AdvancED’s Corporation and Distance Learning “Excellence in Education Award” and now chairs this international accrediting body’s Corporations and Distance Education Council. Her love of ongoing learning is shared by her wonderful family where her retired husband John has completed ten online university courses and is now an avid “MOOC” student; daughter Katie is a senior English and Religious Studies major at St. Mary’s College who has studied at Oxford; and daughter Chrissy is a freshman in the Brown University – Rhode Island School of Design dual degree program.

Barbara Dreyer at CER’s 20th Anniversary.