Hillsboro’s “Flight Funday” Promotes Aerospace Education

After a nearly three-year absence, Hillsboro Charter Academy’s annual Flight Funday Fest returned last Thursday which is part of an ongoing effort to teach students about aerospace education. Students on the school’s playground watched as Paul Vickers, the school’s principal, flew over in a Civil Air Patrol Cessna as the day got underway.

He led the pupils in singing “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles from 1,500 feet in the air using his radio and a loudspeaker. Students throughout the day visited numerous stations taught by guest specialists, including Captain Stephen Caldwell, a retired Navy Pilot, and American Airlines Pilot, who demonstrated flying drones.

They also met with Miss Skyline Drive Mia Anderson, who is a student pilot and a student at Loudoun County High School. Melanie Jones, author of “Jet Boss” and a former United Airlines pilot, as well as Jim Hannam and other CAP Cadets, meteorologist Will Sellers, and pilots Hannah Rust and Skylar Culbertson, were also in attendance, as were Captain Laura Savino and former United Airlines pilots.

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The day culminated with a short film, “Miss Todd and her Flying Machine,” a lesson on NASA X-Planes, and finally DIY rocket launches lead by the fifth-grade class. Lastly, a private airshow featured two planes flying in formation and writing in the sky over the school. Organized by Megan Tucker, HCA Dean of Curriculum and STEAM Specialist and current National Air and Space Forces Association/Rolls Royce STEM Teacher of the Year, she stated Flight Funday was a success, and she is appreciative of the support from the community.

“It will go down in HCA history not just because of the pleasure and flying but because of the people and the passion,” she said.

Hillsboro Charter Academy

A rural, outlying area of Purcellville, Virginia is home to the Hillsboro Charter Academy, a charter school. The student population of Hillsboro Charter Academy is 144 and the school serves PK-5. At Hillsboro Charter Academy, 87 percent of students scored at or above the proficient level for math, while 82 percent scored at or above that level for reading. The school’s minority student enrollment is 19 percent. In comparison to the district average, the student-to-teacher ratio here is 18:1.
Fifty-five percent of pupils are male, with the remaining 45 percent female. There are 8 equivalent full-time instructors and 0 full-time school counselor.

Hillsboro Charter Academy 2021 Rankings

Virginia’s Best Elementary Schools list has Hillsboro Charter Academy at number 612. Schools are evaluated based on how well their students do on state-mandated assessments, graduate, and how well they are prepared for high school. Explore our methodology for ranking the Best Elementary Schools.

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