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North Clayton students learn about aviation jobs

Ursula Gordon's Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry class at North Clayton High School learned Wednesday about the aviation industry, and the array of career opportunities it offers.

Approximately 20 juniors and seniors were present during Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's "Careers In Aviation Preparedness Workshops" Wednesday morning.

"I loved it," said 17-year-old Jarvis Williams. "I learned more about the aviation industry, as far as careers, and what goes [on] around the airport, as far as safety."

Three speakers visited the school: Yasmina Platt, aviation planner for the Department of Aviation at Hartsfield-Jackson; Regina Boone, operations research analyst for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); and Linda Chatman, aviation and space education program manager for the FAA.

"It gives students a broad knowledge of career opportunities that are out there," said Boone. "This broadens their horizons."

Platt said the workshops appeal to 11th- and 12th-grade students thinking about their future after high school. "It keeps them encouraged and keeps them pumped and going," Platt said.

Platt explained during the workshop how commercial aviation, business aviation and general aviation fit into the overall aviation industry.

She also told students about different components of an airport, such as helipads, concessions, hangars and the air traffic control tower.

The speakers talked to students about careers involving air traffic control, aviation planning and development, and occupations tied to the aviation industry in the fields of law, fire/rescue and medicine.

North Clayton High School Principal Ray Hill said Gordon's Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry class was chosen for the workshop program because he wanted to introduce the advanced math students to different career opportunities.

"The biggest thing we wanted to do is give them the next century of aviation," he said. "They don't know about those key careers that people don't talk about."

Airport officials said the workshop program will continue with two workshops scheduled for both March and April.

Tracy Gilbert, special programs manager for Hartsfield-Jackson, said planning for the workshop program began in the beginning of the school year.

"He [Hill] mentioned many of the students ... were not really clear about the things that were available to them," she said.

Judy Nickel, the work-based learning coordinator at North Clayton High, said the programs Hartsfield-Jackson provides are valuable learning tools for students there.

"I think, simply put, it gets better ever year," Nickel said. "They just take great strides to accommodate our students."