First in Ohio: TPS making aerospace/science Academy

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - “We will be the first and only in the state of Ohio to have a school of its own around aerospace,” Dr. Romules Durant told us.

Toledo Public Schools is more than doubling the size of its aviation program and turning it into an academy. It’s one of the few places that can teach you how to make $50 an hour, with just a little bit of experience. And now, it’s the only program of its kind in Ohio.

“Kids can come from all over. We’ve even expecting some kids to travel down from Michigan,” Dr. Durant said.

The magnet school will take the historic program from 80 to 200 kids, just to start.

“We’ve had this program since 1929… let’s get together with the Port Authority to develop a school of its own,” Dr. Durant said.

Other classes will be held in the now-empty Port Authority Flight Safety building.

“It’s going to be nice when everything is in one place, because then I won’t have to drive back to my home school,” Michael Humason said.

Junior Michael Humason drives 25 minutes each way to class. But next year…

“We don’t have to worry about transportation back and forth, like the other classes. So the core classes will be right here on site, now too,” Rich Naves said. Naves is the training director for the TPS aviation program.

Seniors can graduate with a two year college degree, and through a new BGSU program, can have a bachelor’s by age 20.

“Students can come here from anywhere in Ohio… everything is free. Normally it’s about a $50,000 program,” Naves said.

“I wanted that kind of experience, I wanted hands-on learning, and that’s why I came here,” Humason said.

Michael says core classes like English will tie into airplanes, drawing even more interest for a field that needs workers for its high-paying jobs.

“Natural sciences all the way to aerospace, and NASA all the way to the workforce,” Dr. Durant said.

This is a true “STEM” academy, the first of its kind in the Toledo area, teaching not just avionics, and aviation, but natural sciences and animal care. There is already a Maritime Academy in downtown Toledo, offering numerous opportunities in different fields.