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CCSD Students Selected for Elite Flight Academy

CCSD Students Selected for Elite Flight Academy

From top left, clockwise: From left, Etowah HS JROTC instructor Lt. Col. Stephen Bergey, Cadet Luke Foresman and instructor TSgt. Ciarra Malto.  From left, Cherokee HS JROTC instructor TSgt. Jody Van Ostrand, Principal Rodney Larrotta, Cadet Andrew Solano, mom Mary Solano and instructor SMSgt. Jeff Bise. From left, TSgt. Van Ostrand, Mr. Larrotta, Cadet Sydney Watson, mom Rhonda Watson and SMSgt. Jeff Bise.

Update 1/24/23 - Sydney Watson of Cherokee HS, who was an alternate, now has been named a full recipient!

Three Cherokee County School District students have been selected for an elite aviation program!

Cherokee High School Air Force JROTC Cadet Andrew Solano and Etowah High School Air Force JROTC Cadet Luke Foresman have won the competitive Air Force Chief of Staff 2023 Flight Academy Scholarship valued at $25,000.  Cadet Sydney Watson of Cherokee HS has been selected as an alternate.

The Flight Academy is an eight-week summer program designed for Air Force JROTC cadets to earn private pilot certification.  The program’s overall goal is to improve the recruitment, retention and diversity of the Air Force and aviation industry.

“Congratulations to these outstanding students on an impressive achievement,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said.  “I know your JROTC instructors, principals and families are incredibly proud of your success and your dedication to service.  We wish you all the best as you prepare for and participate in this prestigious program.”

The Cherokee HS AFJROTC program is led by instructors SMSgt. Jeff Bise and TSgt. Jody Van Ostrand.  The Etowah HS AFJROTC program is led by instructors Lt. Col. Stephen Bergey and TSgt. Ciarra Malto.  

More information about Flight Academy is online at

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