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Fly SPS students take flight this summer

July 10, 2024


At SPS, the sky's not the limit.

Glendale High School senior Thomas Brown's learning is taking off with Fly SPS, an innovative choice program and partnership with Ozarks Technical Community College and Premier Flight Center.

By the time he graduates, he'll earn his private pilot license -- at no cost to his family.

"Flying is the most fun thing I've probably ever done," he said, packing his flight backpack. "I'll be a senior this year, but soon, I'll be a pilot."


This summer, six Fly SPS students are learning in the sky in pursuit of their private pilot license. Flight hours, or instruction while operating an airplane, are essential to becoming a pilot. In addition to time in the air, students are engaged in aviation classroom work and simulator use at Premier Flight Center, located at Springfield-Branson National Airport.

"Fly SPS helps students gain skills to pursue a career in aviation, whether on the ground or in the air," said Dr. Katie Kensinger, director of college and career readiness. "But students don't just become pilots, they become more confident, dynamic leaders who have a goal and meet it every time they take off and land. It's amazing to see in 18 months how much students have achieved, and they're just getting started."