Students from Dalton Public Schools recently participated in a student K-12 innovation competition called DIA (Dalton Innovation Accelerator) Pitch. The goal of this competition is to have students think like entrepreneurs to come up with and pitch innovative product ideas.
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This year, a Dalton Public Schools parent was chosen to serve on Georgia's 2020 State School Superintendent's Parent Advisory Council. Tanya Castro, who has students at Park Creek, Dalton Middle and Dalton High School, is one of 30 parents who will meet during the 2019-2020 school year.
Through Teen Maze, sophomore students in the area spend the day experiencing the consequences of various choices they will face during their adolescence first-hand, such as drinking and driving, teen pregnancy, dating violence or substance abuse. These lessons come at a crucial time as students begin driving and experiencing a higher pressured social life in their sophomore year.
In keeping with the state trend of increasing graduation rates, Dalton Public Schools graduation rate climbed to 81.6 percent, up three percent from 2018, and in line with the state graduation rate of 82.0.
Dalton Public Schools began a new internal recognition program this year to highlight staff members who exemplify the Dalton Difference.
Each year, Dalton High School successfully prepares students for their Advanced Placement exams. The school is now home to 72 AP Scholars for 2019, including four National AP Scholar.
“It’s taken me a long, long time to get where I am. I’ve applied for this scholarship three years in a row, so it took consistency. I was considering not applying again just because I hadn’t received it the past two years, but I’m so glad I did.”
Hannah Miller, a senior at Dalton High School, was mid-way through the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar when she heard the news. After three years of applying, she had finally received the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's flight training scholarship.
The $10,000 scholarship is awarded annually to 80 high school students from across the country. These funds help recipients pay for flight training as students work towards their primary pilot certificate.
"It's taken me a long, long time to get where I am," Miller said. "I've applied for this scholarship three years in a row, so it took consistency. I was considering not applying again just because I hadn't received it the past two years, but I'm so glad I did."
Miller has known she wanted to be a pilot ever since attending her first air show when she was three years old.
"I always wanted to be a pilot my entire life," Miller said. "No one in my family is in aviation, but I've always just had kind of a hunch for it."
Her love of flying led her to take her first flight lesson when she was just nine years old. However, due to the high financial cost of flight lessons, she wasn't able to consistently take lessons over the years.
"I've been off and on with my flight training just because it's so expensive," Miller said. "It is around $200 per lesson, so it's a big financial burden there, so I wasn't able to do it consistently."
Miller continued her involvement with aviation in the Civilian Air Patrol's (CAP) cadet program, a year-round program where cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. Miller said she has been involved with CAP for the past three years.
"I started my freshman year of HS and absolutely love it," Miller said. "I think the reason I received this scholarship is because of a lot of the work I've done in CAP. I've staffed leadership academies and I'm the leader of my squadron now."
Now that Miller has received the scholarship, she is required to complete her primary pilot certificate within twelve months.
"I started training in mid-July and I absolutely loved every minute of it, it's been absolutely awesome," Miller said. "I have three more hours approximately until I can do a solo flight. We're just waiting basically for some good weather."
Even though Miller is excited to receive this scholarship, she is already busy applying for additional scholarships. After finishing her senior year, Miller hopes to attend one of the few accredited flight schools in the country.
According to Miller, pursuing an aviation degree is expensive so she is working hard to get scholarship funding to help her complete her degree.
"It's so expensive out of state, so I'm trying to get some scholarships to some of these places," Miller said. "My plan is, after I finish my private pilot's license, I want to start on my instrument license, which is like flying in the clouds, not seeing out the window, that sort of thing. I want to start on that in February and work on it until I go to college, because it's cheaper to do it now than it would be in college."
For Miller, all the hard work is worth it to be able to pursue her passion.
"My favorite part of flying is right when the sun is going down, around sunset, it's so pretty," Miller said, "And I love the people at the airport. There's always fascinating people there with their fascinating stories."