Oct. 17, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Local business and government leaders joined students, educators and alumni from Raisbeck Aviation High School onboard a specially themed Alaska Airlines jet this morning for the grand opening of the new facility for the nation's first public, college preparatory, aviation-themed high school. The "Spirit of Education," a Boeing 737-900ER, is dedicated to the students and staff of Raisbeck Aviation High School and will fly for six months around the carrier's route network.
Among the passengers onboard Flight 9401 was senior Austin Spores of
, who commutes two hours to school every day. Spores, who is getting his private pilot's license, plans to pursue a career as a commercial pilot.
Like all students who choose to attend RAHS instead of a traditional secondary school, Spores had a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Last summer, he interned as a dispatcher for
-based Kenmore Air and hopes to study aeronautics at the
University of North Dakota
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
after graduating next June.
"I've been surrounded by aviation my entire life, so being in an aviation-themed environment like Raisbeck Aviation High School is a dream come true," Spores said.
Alaska Airlines employees have mentored and volunteered with students interested in commercial aviation since the school's inception in 2004. As a founding sponsor, the airline pledged
in a public/private partnership to build the
state-of-the-art school designed to educate the next generation of scientists, engineers, and other aviation and aerospace-focused professionals.
"Investing in Raisbeck Aviation High School is an investment in the youth of our community," said
, Alaska Airlines' president and CEO. "Students attending this STEM school are poised to bring much-needed innovation to our industry, which could further improve the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of commercial aviation." Raisbeck Aviation High School, part of Highline Public Schools, is located on the grounds of the Museum of Flight near Boeing Field to encourage partnerships with aviation and aerospace leaders and ensure relevance in the instructional program.
"Having this school on the grounds of the Museum of Flight, so close to more than 200 aviation industry businesses like Boeing and Alaska Airlines, gives our students something truly special — an unparalleled chance to be simultaneously immersed in learning and industry," said
, Raisbeck Aviation High School CEO and principal.
Highlights of Raisbeck Aviation High School:
- 400 students from 27 school districts travel by car, train, boat/ferry or bus to attend the public school, located in Tukwila, Wash.
- Students of RAHS consistently rank in the top 5 percent in Washington state assessments. The school's performance ranks 252 nd out of 22,000 nationwide high schools according to US News & World Report. About three-quarters of RAHS students intend to pursue STEM-related education at universities including Stanford, Harvard, Cornell and MIT.
- The school is designed for project-based instructional programs, with labs that enable students to build robots, rockets, model airplanes and even a real airplane.
- Rather than a traditional library, the school provides classroom libraries and access to the Museum of Flight's extensive archives and library. A computer is provided to each student.
- During the summer, the school will be used by the museum for science camps — assuring year-round utilization of the building as well as introducing younger children to Raisbeck Aviation High School.
- All RAHS students are connected with a mentor in an aviation/aerospace-related field. Students are also placed in internships in high-demand STEM workplaces such as Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port of Seattle.
Supporting education in its home state is a top priority for Alaska Airlines. Since 2007, the carrier has contributed more than
in cash and in-kind contributions to 303
educational institutions and organizations. Recent gifts include
Western Washington University's Institute for Energy Studies
Highline Community College
Foundation for student scholarships,
to the Independent Colleges of
University of Washington
Guests of the grand opening tweeted and uploaded photos from the day's events with #RAHSliftoff. High-definition photos of the "Spirit of Education" plane and the grand opening of Raisbeck Aviation High School are available in Alaska Airlines' online image gallery at
Learn more about Raisbeck Aviation High School at
Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in
, the Lower 48,
. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction Study
for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. For reservations, visit
. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at
SOURCE Alaska Airlines