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CCSD Students Graduate from Air Force JROTC Flight Academies

CCSD Students Graduate from Air Force JROTC Flight Academies

Cherokee County School District students recently earned their pilot wings through the U.S. Air Force JROTC Flight Academies!

Cherokee High School senior Sydney Watson and Etowah High School senior Luke Foresman both successfully completed the summer program to earn their private pilot’s certificates, as did Cherokee HS Class of 2023 graduate Andrew Solano.  The eight-week competitive scholarship program, conducted at partnering universities nationwide, is part of the Air Force’s joint initiative with the aerospace industry to develop stronger pipelines for pilot recruiting, retention and diversity.  

“Congratulations on this impressive accomplishment – we’re proud of your dedication to learning and to the Air Force,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “It’s an accomplishment to earn a spot in this program, and even more impressive to complete the program successfully.  We look forward to all that these students will do in their future military service and careers.”

Sydney attended the academy at East Carolina Universities in Greenville, N.C., and Luke completed the training at Tuskegee University.  Andrew earned his certificate at the University of North Dakota’s Aerospace Foundation Flight Training Center in Mesa, Ariz. and is continuing his education at Indiana University, where he serves with Air Force ROTC Detachment 215.

“It was an honor as well as a completely new learning experience to have gone through flight training under the Air Force JROTC‘s Flight Academy program,” said Sydney, her school’s JROTC student commander, adding it further inspired her to pursue a U.S. military service academy appointment.  “Flying has instilled an understanding of the incredible possibilities and responsibilities of being a pilot, and I hope to expand these possibilities and responsibilities at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where I will be able to serve the country that provides such astounding opportunities.  While the journey was challenging at times, the program allowed me to build confidence in myself and feel the importance of cooperation and teamwork on so many levels.”

Cadets currently enrolled in Air Force Junior ROTC programs in their high schools and who have a minimum 3.0 GPA may apply.  Cadets must be in good standing in their AFJROTC unit, take an Air Force aviation aptitude test, provide instructor and school endorsements and must have a strong interest in aviation and a “never-quit” attitude.

Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Bise and Technical Sgt. Jody Van Ostrand lead the AFJROTC program at Cherokee HS, and Lt. Col. Stephen Bergey and instructor Technical Sgt. Ciarra Malto lead the Etowah HS AFJROTC program.

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