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Aviation Academy to be featured on TV segment

by Grace Hooley - ghooley@chronicle-tribune.com

The Marion Regional Career Center (MRCC) Avi­a­tion Acad­e­my will be featured in a five-minute television segment on “Inside INdiana Business” this Friday and Sunday.

Aviation Academy instructor Scott Simpson announced during the Marion Community Schools (MCS) school board meeting Tuesday that WISH-TV filmed their class Tuesday. The videographer captured students working on flight planning with maps as well as students experiencing the two flight simulators the academy has available.

“This is a collaborative program our community can be proud of, and it offers unique opportunities to our students,” MCS Communication Director Patricia Gibson said. “A wider recognition of the program will undoubtedly broaden horizons even further for students now and in the future.”

On Thursday afternoon, Simpson and Blackford High School senior Emma Jacobs will be filming a segment on “Inside INdiana Business” with Gerry Dick.

Jacobs was in the Aviation Academy last year and was an intern at the Mar­i­on Munic­i­pal Air­port this past summer. According to Simpson, she plans on attending Purdue University for aviation management.

“When she came in as a junior, she said, ‘I did this because it was a novelty, and I thought it would be cool.’ She flew a couple times, and she said, ‘Flying’s not for me, but I love the management part of it,’” Simpson said.

The idea to feature the Aviation Academy on “Inside INdiana Business” began in February after the Aviation Academy received the Indiana Department of Education Partnership award. According to Gibson, the plans have taken months, but it was officially decided to film it this month.

Other than Indiana Wesleyan University’s WIWU-TV program “Crossroads,” this is the first time the Aviation Academy has been recognized on a broader level.

“They’ve done blurbs on different parts of the career center before, including the aviation program, but to be kind of a statewide platform, this will be the first,” Simpson said.

The Aviation Academy has a partnership with the MRCC, Marion Municipal Airport, Air Marion, City of Marion and the Jim McKinney Air & Space Foundation.

Students can participate in a two-year program in either aviation operations or aviation mechanics, and both programs are held at a hangar at the Marion Municipal Airport.

“There’s just so much good happening, and a win for Marion Community Schools is a win for the City of Marion. And a win for the City of Marion is a win for Marion Community Schools,” MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay said.

“Inside INdiana Business” always does a segment on education within the hour-long program. It airs on WFYI Channel 20 on Fridays and WISH-TV Channel 8 on Sundays as well as 13 other stations around the state.

The featured segment of the Aviation Academy will air this Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m.

“The reward of a teacher is seeing students succeed, and so when I see former students down at Indy Airport training to be pilots for Republic Air, when I see Emma, that this is going to be her career now because of the class that she took, I’m just humbled to be a part of it because I am helping to shape the futures of students and what they’re going to choose as a career for the rest of their life,” Simpson said. “And that makes me excited. That makes me proud and it makes me humbled that I get to be a part of their lives in that way.”