Eglin AFA Hosts 2019 Education Recognition Night

Eglin AFA Hosts 2019 Education Recognition Night

The Eglin Air Force Association (AFA) recently hosted the 2019 Education Recognition Night honoring local scholarship winners and the Teacher of the Year at the Air Force Armament Museum. 

Eddie McAllister, Former President of the Eglin Chapter of the Air Force Association, thanked the Niceville High School Junior ROTC Honor Guard for posting the colors, the Choctawhatchee and Niceville High School JROTC for assisting with parking and logistics, Chief Master Sergeant Reginald Washington of Choctawhatchee HS for his moving rendition of the National Anthem, and to past Eglin AFA Chapter President, Jeff Fanto for the Invocation. Superintendent of Schools, Marcus Chambers, was the guest speaker.

“The Eglin Chapter’s Aerospace Education Foundation is now in its 47th year, and has provided over $1.5 million in scholarships to extremely worthy students like those here tonight,” said McAllister. “Tonight’s recipients were selected from nominations provided from our area high schools, the selections being made by a committee from the Foundation’s board of directors. The competition was tough, and although we are only recognizing a few of the total pool of applicants, they are all top notch students with extremely bright futures ahead of them. When you hear about their accomplishments and look at their vision for the future, you can only conclude that our future is in extremely capable hands.”

$5,000 Maggie Hsu and the $5,000 Bill Kirk Scholarships

Dr. Paul Hsu generously created these scholarships in recognition of the importance of higher education and to honor his wife Maggie and his dear friend Gen Bill Kirk. His wife Maggie, whose sacrifices and unwavering support allowed him to pursue his vision of becoming a successful entrepreneur and his dear friend Bill Kirk, who for many years led our Aerospace Education Foundation.  

$5,000 Maggie Hsu Scholarship - Cadet Colonel Cassidy Bassett, Fort Walton Beach High School

Maggie Hsu Scholarship - Cadet Colonel Cassidy Bassett, Fort Walton Beach High School

Cassidy has been accepted by the Air Force Academy and will enter basic cadet training this summer. Her goal has always been to serve her country and she hopes to serve the US Air Force as a pilot or a meteorologist. 

$5,000 Bill Kirk Scholarship - Cadet Major Yolanda Stallworth, Niceville High School

Bill Kirk Scholarship - Cadet Major Yolanda Stallworth, Niceville High School

Yolanda has been accepted to the University of Central Florida and plans to major in Pre-Law & Political Science. She has enrolled and been accepted to AFROTC Detachment 159 “Flying Nights.” Her goals include becoming an Air Force Officer, attending Air Force Law School and serving as a career JAG officer.

$4,000 Jimmy Doolittle Scholarship

Cadet Colonel Diamon Gipson, Choctawhatchee High School 

Cadet Colonel Diamon Gipson, Choctawhatchee High School

Diamon plans to attend Northwest Florida State College for 1 year and then transfer to Cambridge University, with hopes of entering the medical field, as well as study Social and Political Science. 

$3,000 Jerry Nabors Memorial Scholarship

Cadet Lt. Colonel Myles Sellers, Fort Walton Beach High School

Jerry Nabors Memorial Scholarship - Cadet Lt. Colonel Myles Sellers, Fort Walton Beach High School

Myles plans to attend The University of West Florida and has been accepted in UWF’S AFROTC program.  His goal is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and serve as a career officer in the US Air Force.  

$2,500 Loyal Weaver Scholarship 

Cadet Colonel Anna Canavan, Niceville High School

Loyal Weaver Scholarship - Cadet Colonel Anna Canavan, Niceville High School

Anna plans to attend Colorado State University and study Natural Resource Management.  

$2,00 Senior Leadership College Scholarship

  • Cadet Lt. Col Paola Bravo, Choctawhatchee High School - Paola is graduating Cum Laude and has been accepted to Northwest Florida State College to pursue a degree in Nursing.  

Cadet Lt. Col Paola Bravo, Choctawhatchee High School

  • Cadet Lt. Colonel Faith Clatchey, Niceville High School - Faith is planning to attend Northwest Florida State College this fall. 

Cadet Lt. Colonel Faith Clatchey, Niceville High School

  • Gabriel Mercado, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Okaloosa Aerospace Academy, Choctawhatchee HS campus - Gabriel plans to attend New Jersey Institute of Technology and major in Computer Engineering. 

Gabriel Mercado, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Okaloosa Aerospace Academy, Choctawhatchee HS campus

  • Andrew McFarren, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Okaloosa Aerospace Academy, Crestview HS campus - Andrew plans to attend to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach and major in Aeronautical Science.

Andrew McFarren, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Okaloosa Aerospace Academy, Crestview HS campus

$3,000 University of West Florida AFROTC Scholarship

Cadet Lt. Col Myles Sellers, Fort Walton Beach High School

University of West Florida AFROTC Scholarship - Cadet Lt. Col Myles Sellers, Fort Walton Beach High School

Myles plans to attend The University of West Florida and has been accepted in UWF’S AFROTC program.  His goal is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security and serve as a career officer in the US Air Force. 

Northwest Florida State College Endowed Scholarships

For the past 10 years, Northwest Florida State College has awarded worthy students approximately $20,000 in Scholarship funds from endowments created by Eglin AFA’s Aerospace Education Fund. These funds have been named after leaders at the Chapter, State and National level who have served AFA and the Aerospace Education Foundation.  Last year the Eglin AFA announced that we have added a fifth endowed scholarship named the Pigott/Patterson scholarship, named for AFA secretary and vice president for programs, Shirley Pigott, and retired Colonel Robert Patterson who served many years in both foundations.

$1,000 Bill Kirk Endowed Scholarship - Chloe Settle, Niceville High School (Not pictured) - Chloe will be attending NWFSC, seeking a degree in Computer Information Technology.

$1,000 Clyde Wood Endowed Scholarship - Jason Delap, Niceville High School (Not pictured) - Jason will be attending NWFSC this fall. 

$1,000 Bennie Putnam Endowed Scholarship - Faith Clatchey, Niceville High School - Faith will be attending NWFSC, seeking a degree in Computer Science. 

Bennie Putnam Endowed Scholarship - Faith Clatchey, Niceville High School

$1,000 Jim Shambo Endowed Scholarship - David Santarosa, Choctawhatchee High School (Not pictured) - David will be attending NWFSC, seeking a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

$1,000 Shirley Pigott & Bob Patterson Endowed Scholarship - Wade Ramby, Niceville High School (Not pictured) - Wade will be attending NWFSC, seeking a degree in Engineering Technology & Mechanical Design. 

2019 Eglin AFA Chapter Teacher of the Year

This Eglin AFA Chapter Teacher of the Year award is given in the spirit of Christa McAuliffe for demonstrated excellence in education and in recognition of sustained & outstanding performance as an educator and unequaled dedication to ensuring that America’s students are prepared for future aerospace technology challenges. Our Teacher of the Year receives a certificate of appreciation and a check for $1,000 from the Eglin AFA Aerospace Education Foundation.  

The 2019 Eglin AFA Chapter Teacher of the Year is Tasha Bates, Choctawhatchee High School

2019 Eglin AFA Chapter Teacher of the Year is Tasha Bates, Choctawhatchee High School

Bates began her teaching career in 1996 in the small Texas town of Marfa. She is certified in speech, English, and computer science, just to name a few. She received two Masters degrees in Library Science and Computer Education and Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas and went on to teach in several districts across the state. Tasha relocated to the Florida panhandle in 2013 and among the many courses she teaches at Choctawhatchee High School are computer science and cybersecurity. She was recently recognized for her efforts in STEM education with a grant from The HSU Foundation as part of their Teaching Excellence Awards.  With over 23 years in Education, Tasha continues to make a significant impact on our students and is the Eglin AFA Teacher of the Year.

Junior ROTC Instructor Certificates of Appreciation

  • Lt. Col. Charles K. Farmer, Niceville High School, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor

Lt. Col. Charles K. Farmer, Niceville High School, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor

  • Sgt. Danny Hensley, Niceville High School, Aerospace Science Instructor (Not pictured)
  • Colonel Mark Batcho, Fort Walton Beach High School, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor   (Not pictured)
  • CMSGT Jacquelin Houston, Fort Walton Beach High School, Aerospace Science Instructor  

CMSGT Jacquelin Houston, Fort Walton Beach High School, Aerospace Science Instructor

  • Maj. Scott A. Bates, Choctawhatchee High School, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor  

Maj. Scott A. Bates, Choctawhatchee High School, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor

  • CMSgt Reginald Washington, Choctawhatchee High School, Aerospace Science Instructor  

CMSgt Reginald Washington, Choctawhatchee High School, Aerospace Science Instructor

  • SMSgt Cornell Davis, Choctawhatchee High School, Aerospace Science Instructor  (Not pictured)