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Learning to fly with Red Jacket superintendent Charlene Dehn

When Charlene Dehn talks about her students taking flight, she means literally.

The superintendent of the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District has turned her longtime passion for the skies into a new school club — one of its kind in New York state — where students can potentially earn their private pilot’s license by the time they graduate.

The Red Jacket Flying Club took off last fall after being approved by the Board of Education on Nov. 8.

Dehn started having parents’ meetings in December, and the club really got off the ground in January with five members who are the first Red Jacket students to complete ground school training: Connor Clark, Nadine Fox, Brock Hill, Karlie Malone and McKenzie Schaertl.

“This is no easy task,” Dehn said. “Keep your eye on these student pilots as they work toward their goal of obtaining their private pilot certificate by the time they graduate from high school. These club members have been researching career opportunities ranging from search and rescue, remote animal rescue, business-to-corporate transport, to military options where they can put their aviation skills to use.”

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