Last week between furious gulps of delicious Turkey we threw a spotlight on some of the key educators who have made Dream Flight Adventures possible. Today we give a shout out to another group of educators: the visionary administrators who open the doors and pave the way for revolutionary new experiences like this to exist. These unsung heroes quietly fight the daily battles against ignorance and apathy to ensure that the rising generation has every opportunity to succeed, whether they know it or not.
As with all successful educational experiences, Dream Flight Adventures has been blessed by its fair share of forward-thinking administrators. Most recently we’ve been working closely with the Shaler Area School District and its Elementary School to build our inaugural simulator: the Titan. Let’s peel back the curtain, shall we, and take a closer look at the visionary leaders who have made this possible.
Kara Eckert, Assistant to the Superintendent
I first met Kara Eckert at a curriculum coordinator meeting hosted by the AIU (another one of our awesome partners!). She expressed how Dream Flight Adventures fit in perfectly with other initiatives the Shaler Area School District was pursuing to give their students a rich and meaningful STEM education. Not long afterward she invited me to tour the Shaler Area Elementary School, where I was impressed by the bright display of student creativity that lined every square inch of the school’s hallways. But even more impressive was the way that all the kids seemed to know Kara personally, and she knew them in return! This was far beyond what I had expected for someone at the Superintendent’s central office, but it underscored Kara’s deep connection with the students, their needs, and the district’s hands-on approach to opening opportunities for them.
Cynthia Foht, Principal of the Shaler Area Elementary School
It wasn’t long before Kara introduced me to the principal of the Shaler Area Elementary School, Ms. Cynthia Foht. I was impressed by the decisive and thoughtful manner Ms. Foht ran her school. The challenges facing formal education in today’s environment were immediately evident—Ms. Foht had an enormous swarm of responsibilities surrounding her, calling for her attention, and competing for her time. Nevertheless, she handled them magnificently, addressing each issue with thorough but efficient care. She has been consistently conscious of the opportunities and challenges facing our program, and without fail she has opened doors and paved the way for our success.
It is my absolute pleasure to work with these outstanding educators who have established the Shaler Area School District and Elementary School as models for others to follow. Stay tuned for next time when we pop open the hood and share more details about the Titan and the wonders that await it.