Gwyneth Katker

The new auto body building has now opened, and the students have been working on the Seminole High school plane, along with many other mechanics.

Kruthi Munugeti, Reporter

It’s a bird, it’s a plane–no need to go any further, it’s a plane! Seminole High School has just acquired its own aircraft in the Career Center, which has been the talk of the campus since its arrival. The Cessna 150 is 52 years old and has the potential to be flown. For the students in the Aviation Maintenance class, also known as Pilot Ground School, the plane is a great tool for practicing and showcasing their aviation skills.   

To the students who learn there, the Career Center is a safe haven: a place of encouragement and the start of a bright future for many students.

The instructor of the class, Mr. Norman Johnson, is a former Marine and a first year civilian teacher. His experience as a Marine greatly influenced him to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation.        

“I decided to become a teacher because I figured that [since] I have been flying for 30 years now, it’s about time that I give some of [my] knowledge [about aeronautics] back,” said Johnson. “There is a shortage of mechanics right now, and I want to prepare the next generation.”

Johnson is not the only one who feels inspired; many of his students are energized to prepare for their future by taking this class and gaining first-hand experience with the airplane.This class steers its students in the right direction by helping incorporate aviation into their profession later in life.

“This class is definitely helping me prepare for my future. You go out there. You are hands-on. It is a very amazing class,” said junior Matthew Nelson, an aspiring fighter jet pilot.

Before the implementation of the new plane, this class was similar to a typical science class. The Aviation Maintenance class curriculum has been transformed the new plane. Although it is more than half a century old and currently not in working condition, the plane serves as great help when the young pilots are learning new concepts. Many students are on course to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exam and earning their private pilot’s license.      

“It is not going to be much different than our regular tests, except this test goes on my record and gets me the job I want,” said junior Devan Herrick about the FAA exam.

In addition to helping students get certified, students use this class as their creative outlet and a break from their stressful schedules.

“I have taken many other aeronautics classes with Seminole High School, and I have enjoyed taking these classes. I have a rough schedule this year and this is one of the classes I enjoy. It will [ultimately] help me,” Herrick said. 

Needless to say, the new Career Center has lived up to its name and has sparked the minds of bright aviators. This class provides students with first-hand experience with a plane, and they are almost ready to become a pilot after the course is complete. With the guidance of Mr. Johnson, Seminole High School is about to have a new group of pilots flying straight off the runway!