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Fri, Apr 18, 2003

CAP Awards to Super-Educators

Women Dominate in Crown Circle

Five educators are the latest inductees to Civil Air Patrol’s National Congress Crown Circle for Aerospace Education Leadership, a select group of leaders in the field of aerospace education.

The five were honored earlier this month in Cincinnati (OH) at the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education, which is sponsored each year by CAP and the U.S. Air Force. The inductees were Ann Grimm of Colorado Springs, director of education for Estes Rockets and Cox Aviation; Judith Wehn of Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, director of educational programming for the United States Air Force Museum; Dale Eash of Nashville, an aircraft maintenance technology teacher at McGavock Comprehensive High School; Alfred Hulstrunk of Rexford, N.Y., special projects coordinator for the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville, N.Y. and Kaye Ebelt of Missoula, Mont., who was named this year’s A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year.

Established in 1979, the Crown Circle for Aerospace Education Leadership is the highest award presented by the National Congress each year. "The Crown Circle award winners are the crown jewels of education in this country," said pioneer aviator A. Scott Crossfield, who was on hand for the induction.

Grimm, a private pilot, first brought her passion for aerospace into the classroom as an elementary school science teacher in the early 1970s. She went on to become a National Eisenhower Lead Science Teacher and mentored other educators developing aerospace programs. In her current position with Estes Rockets and Cox Aviation, she presents workshops to thousands of students each year. Grimm, who called the Crown Circle award "a career highlight," also works with more than 900 volunteer workshop leaders who in turn go on to teach more than 8,000 new teachers a hands-on aviation and model rocketry curriculum each year.

Wehn has created a partnership between the Air Force Museum and the National Education Association’s "Read Across America" program, linking aviation stories with aircraft on display. She has also created "discovery" programs tied to aviation events, including the World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous and a three-day kite festival. Wehn developed an aerospace educator workshop in conjunction with the University of Dayton and has also helped develop adult course in aviation history. Under her direction, the museum has grown to offer nearly 12,000 programs, reaching more than 80,000 visitors.

Ebelt introduced her students to aviation and aerospace subjects even during her early career in elementary and middle school classrooms. After earning her own private pilot’s license, Ebelt joined Civil Air Patrol and transferred her teaching skills to a new role as director of aerospace education for the Montana Wing. Ebelt has now worked in aerospace education for more than a decade, giving presentations to students and teachers throughout Montana. In 2001, the Montana Aeronautics Division named Ebelt the Aviation Educator of the Year. This year, she was additionally honored as the A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year.

Eash was originally an industrial arts teacher who became interested in airframe and powerplant repair. As a result, he became Tennessee’s only aircraft maintenance technology teacher. Today he continues to teach at McGavock Comprehensive High School in Nashville (TN), where his program includes FAA-authorized training in aircraft repair and prepares students for aerospace careers.

Hulstrunk was for ten years the producer of a television program on basic science, Science Adventures. He later worked with the NASA Space Mobile program and became a director and research scientist with Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, where he managed the Cloud Physics Laboratory and flew weather modification research flights. Today he continues to coach teachers, CAP units and students.



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