DEL NORTE- The Astronaut Kent Rominger Airport in collaboration with the San Luis Valley Pilot’s Association (SLVPA), Airport Owner Pilot Association (AOPA), and Sargent School District will be hosting an Aviation education program next fall for high school students enrolled in the district.
Airport Supervisor Jay Sarason spoke to Rio Grande County Commissioners about the program during their end of month meeting in November and announced that the Sargent School Board agreed to help facilitate the program. Sorenson stated that he and one teacher from the Valley attended the APOA Aviation STEM Symposium to learn more about the program and to get information about the curriculum.
“The school board has approved the class for a trial basis that will start in the fall of 2020. The AOPA is very interested in perpetuating aviation safety, development, education and legislature throughout the country and this is an excellent program for students who may want to pursue a career as a pilot in the future. There is a huge need for pilots in this day and age and not only does this class offer life skills, safety and accountability training and decision making curriculum, it also gives students a chance to get the training and hours needed to later obtain a pilot’s license,” said Sarason.
The class is based on a four-year curriculum that once completed, should put a student in a position to begin flight training or, with the right support, obtain their full pilot’s license. “We have been working on this for some time, trying to figure out the correct avenue to introduce the idea to schools. Having worked at the Sargent School as a coach, I knew the right people to begin the conversation and now we can get the program off the ground, test it out and see about future expansion to other districts or even colleges,” explained Sarason.
First year students in the Freshman grade will begin the class with aviation fundamentals, learn about safety and decision-making skills, as well as, a complete run down of planes and basic mechanics. The program continues through the Senior year, when, if all goes well, students may actually begin training in actual flight hours needed to get a license. “By the end of their Junior year, students should be prepared to take their pilot’s exam and then proceed, if they want to get their license. This class can also cover drones, private piloting or set them on the road to getting a commercial license.”
“We are actively out seeking sponsors for the program and anyone who would be willing to help teach the curriculum can contact me. This will prove to be a highly beneficial program to interested students and we already have a high number of students wanting to sign up for the class.”
Sarason will be helping to teach the first year of the class in partnership with the SLVPA. For more information or to sign up as a sponsor, contact Jay Sarason at 719-850-1411.