The Central Florida Aerospace Academy’s Class of 2018 Senior Recognition was a celebration of achievements and honor. This year’s class of 58 students continued the tradition of 100% graduation rate as well as raising the bar for earned scholarships to continue their educational pursuits. The evening was marked with the recognition of the 10 year partnership between CFAA and the Aerospace Center for Excellence, best known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN Fly-In and Expo fundraising event.
Brandon Alderman – United States Military Academy at West Point Appointee
CFAA attained a “first” with its inaugural student appointment to West Point. Major (R) Charles H. Cook, Florida State Congressional District Coordinator USMA Directorate of Admissions was on hand to appoint Brandon Alderman. Being accepted for admission to the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point is an exceptional honor reserved for our nation’s most promising students who are intelligent, physically fit and of outstanding character. Those who are selected to attend USMA receive a college education that is unparalleled in the world with tuition, room and board, and expenses fully paid. Go Brandon! GO ARMY!
Top Gun Citation of Merit Winner
Unique to CFAA is the TOP GUN Citation of Merit which is presented to the student that consistently demonstrates outstanding scholastic accomplishment, exemplary character, motivating leadership, and service within the community during their tenure at CFAA. The Top Gun’s standout performance and work ethic in all areas define them as an influential moving force in the future of the aerospace industry, supporting the SUN ‘n FUN and Aerospace Center for Excellence mission of building “A Brighter Future Through Aviation. This year’s recipient, Luke Liptak, was welcomed on stage by not only the award sponsor, Bill Young, but along with the 3 previous years’ winners. The TOP GUN award includes a $4,000 scholarship to a college of Luke’s choice.
CFAA’s Senior Class of 2018 set a new record of College Scholarships awarded with over $30,000! This is a testament to the caliber of the program as well as the depth of support these students receive from the Aerospace Center for Excellence and its benefactors. Many of these scholarships are renewable on an annual basis so the actual potential total is $90,000 for attaining a 4 year degree for these students:
Cameron Glenn – JSFirm.Com Engineering Scholarship Recipient
– Public Service Scholarship – Monica Rodriguez
– JSFirm.com Engineering Scholarship – Cameron Glenn
– JSFirm.com Airframe Scholarship – Andrew Pitman
– Latino Pilots Association Scholarship – Luke Liptak
– James C. Ray Continuing Education Scholarship:
– Angelo Aguilar – Polk State College
– Justin Dal Colleto – Polk State College
– Luke Liptak – Polk State College
– Slade Rosamond – Florida Polytechnic University
A very moving moment for the entire audience was when Major Cook asked all the retired / active military and reservists to stand and be recognized. Those standing ranged from stoic grandfathers to proud mothers. The CFAA students who have enlisted and were recognized were asked to stand, turn and face their fellow-veterans with the encouragement that they are now our nation’s front line of defense. The CFAA students that were recognized for enlistment include:
– United States Navy – Kevin Brown
– United States Air Force – Brenton Fugitt
– United States Marine Corps – Craig Nolen
– United States Marine Corps – Logan Peterson
Congratulations…and we are all grateful their choice to serve in the U.S. Armed Services.
Assistant Principal Keith Smith receives recognition from CFAA Senior Class
The CFAA Senior Class recognized Assistant Principal Keith Smith for his impending retirement with a custom-made CFAA flag that had been flown over the school, signed, and framed by them. The Class also recognized Pam Anders for her 10 years of dedication to the growth of CFAA and her impending retirement with a framed 10 year anniversary shirt.
Personal messages of life experiences relating to aviation were shared by Scott Franklin, Commissioner, City of Lakeland, John “Lites” Leenhouts, President / CEO SUN ‘n FUN Fly-in Inc, Chris Hallstrand, Assistance Airport Director, Lakeland Linder Airport, and Rick Garcia, President CFAA Consortium. Other speakers included Ernest Joe, Kathleen High School / CFAA Principal and Marc Hutek, Deputy Superintendent.
About Central Florida Aerospace Academy:
The Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA) is an Aerospace Academy and part of the Polk County Public School System in Lakeland Florida. In partnership with the Aerospace Center for Excellence for 10 years, it is located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus, home of the annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo. CFAA inspires and prepares future aerospace leaders through 4 primary educational tracks: 1) Aerospace Technologies (professional pilot); 2) Airframe and Powerplant; 3) Aerospace Engineering; and 4) Avionics. CFAA currently has 360 students enrolled and touts a 100% graduation rate. For more information, www. flycfaa.org.
About Aerospace Center for Excellence:
The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that strives to provide aerospace-related educational opportunities to people of all ages through its programs and scholarships. Housed on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo fundraising event as well as Aerospace Discovery, the Florida Air Museum. ACE is the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and programs that touch over 20,000 students a year. For more information, www.flysnf.org.