Texas Virtual Academy Alum Is Top Finalist on ‘American Idol’

Ashley Collier, Learning Liftoff
M
arch 23rd, 2016

Photo: Courtesy Kiva Rapattoni; Dalton Rapattoni Headshot
Photo: Courtesy Kiva Rapattoni; Dalton Rapattoni Headshot

Dallas-area singer Dalton Rapattoni, 20, is rocketing to stardom as a finalist on American Idol. But his passion for music was ignited during his formative years at Texas Virtual Academy (TXVA). Dalton attended TXVA in 7th and 8th grades before attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and then moving to Los Angeles to pursue music full-time in the boyband, IM5.

Kiva Rapattoni, Dalton’s mother, credits the virtual academy for her son’s success during a stressful time.

“TXVA was a real blessing when we needed it.”

In 7th grade, Dalton was receiving treatment for bi-polar disorder and missed multiple weeks at his brick-and-mortar school. After learning her son would need to repeat an entire school year, Kiva opted to enroll Dalton at TXVA.

“We quickly learned that Dalton didn’t have any trouble getting started at TXVA and we ended up having a great experience.”

Photo: Courtesy Kiva Rapattoni; Field trip at Crow Asian Museum with TXVA
Photo: Courtesy Kiva Rapattoni; Field trip at Crow Asian Museum with TXVA

The Rapattoni family was drawn to the TXVA program for its flexibility. Dalton could do an entire week of lessons in a day and then move onto assignments at his own pace, allowing him time to hone his music skills.

Kiva reveals that while at TXVA she bonded with Dalton’s former teacher Paula Mobley, who brought creativity into her lessons to meet Dalton’s unique learning needs. Mobley shared that Dalton was a creative student who routinely chose to complete assignments using imaginative methods.

“I had an assignment on data conferences and asked students to turn in samples of graphs in PowerPoint format. I gave everyone the option to use a more creative format if they wished to,” said Mobley. “Dalton chose to write a song about data conferences. He turned on the microphone in our online classroom and sang the assignment!”

“Kiva and I have kept in touch through Facebook,” said Mobley. “I knew Dalton wanted to pursue a music career when he left TXVA and moved to LA.  I’ve watched his amazing progress on American Idol.”

Other TXVA staff members have also followed Dalton’s success on the hit television show and even rallied their colleagues to vote for Dalton week-after-week.

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