To celebrate Black History month, students from several schools in the metro area –– including one from Clayton County –– were invited to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, to experience a day in aviation. They participated in an essay contest, too.
“Students experienced behind-the-scenes operations at the world's busiest airport,” said Judy Nickel, work-based learning coordinator for Clayton County Schools. “The event enabled them to gain insights from prominent African-American leaders in aviation, and visit with members of the Atlanta chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen.”
A class of students from North Clayton High School was among those attending the event.
Nickel said the visiting students were asked to write an essay, using the theme: "Imagine it's 1940s and you are a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.” They were asked to describe how they would overcome the obstacles the airmen faced.
Airport officials selected the top three essays from each school, and one overall winner. This year's first-place winner was Elijah Cantrell, and the first runner-up was Autumn Rice, both of North Clayton High School.
Cantrell won an Ipod-nano, and Rice won a digital camera. Some of other schools participating in the event were Tri Cities High (Fulton County), and South Atlanta High (City of Atlanta).
North Clayton High has been engaged in a partnership program with the airport, through Tracy Gilbert, manager of Special Events/Programs at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Gilbert is responsible for planning, scheduling and coordinating events for local high schools.
North Clayton has linked with the airport since 2001, and Gilbert has worked closely with North Clayton to develop several special events and educational programs throughout the school year.