TPS celebrates new academy at Toledo Express
The Blade. Javonte Anderson. August 06, 2018.

As if on cue, the fighter jets roared in the skies overhead as the new Aerospace & Natural Science Academy of Toledo officially opened its doors Monday morning.

Toledo Public Schools held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new academy located at Toledo Express Airport. Dozens attended to celebrate the opening of the district’s fourth magnet school, including U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.

Students will explore and learn practical skills in several industries such as aviation, aeronautics, animal science, wildlife management, urban agriculture, and environmental sustainability. They will have the opportunity to earn college credit, industrial credentials, and associate degrees in those fields.

“These programs will have three to four associate degrees built into them,” TPS Superintendent Romules Durant said. “At TPS we are moving toward work-force education meaning we are aligning industry with the walls of our education system.”

The academy is located in the building that used to house the airport’s Flight Safety International pilot training program. The renovations and equipment for the new academy cost TPS about $4.5 million, a district spokesman said.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts overall employment for aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians will grow 5 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Mr. Durant said he’s eager to educate and train local students in hopes they stay in the region, and hopefully bolster the economy.

“This is a wonderful day for our region,” Mr. Kapszukiewicz said. “... We need folks who are going to be trained and educated here because those skills and jobs are going to make a difference between whether this economy, this city, and this region takes that next step.”

Incoming freshman Ellie Bennett, 14, said she’s eager to begin studying aviation and aeronautics.

Ellie, who wants to join the Air Force after graduation, said she believes the academy will prepare her for her hopeful career as an airman.

About 250 high school students from across Toledo and northwest Ohio will attend the school starting Aug. 20.

“This is genuinely one of the first times I’ve been hyped up about school beginning,” she said.

Visit the News Archive for more magnet school news.