By Jul DeGeus
We’ve all had that one teacher. You know, the one that was so cool that we didn’t really consider them a teacher. I mean, yeah, we were learning from them, and all, but it didn’t feel like it was their “job” to teach us; they did it because they sincerely wanted to see us succeed. They wanted us to be who we wanted to be and would give us every tool they had at their disposal to help us to get there. We’ll never be able to thank that person properly, but in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day on May 9th, we’d like to thank some of our instructors who are making a difference in all that they do:
“At AIM Houston, Mr. Michael Riccardelli has been instrumental with providing his skills and expertise to our students. He has especially been an important influence on our A&P Skill Competition Team, the Houston Hawks, who recently placed first at the PAMA Olympics and 2nd at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition in Orlando. His hard work and dedication to our students at AIM Houston is imperative in the success of our Skills Team and all our graduates. AIM Houston would like to thank Mr. Riccardelli and all the AIM Houston faculty for the hard work they do every day. Every one of you is truly appreciated.”
– Aaron Armendariz, Campus Executive Director, AIM Houston
“Mr. Robert McRight was selected as AIM Orlando’s Instructor of the Year 2017 due to his professionalism, dedication and attention-to-detail; He raises the bar for excellence. His unselfish example exhibits him as a team player, which is always evident in his willingness to go above and beyond what is expected. The students that Mr. McRight taught consistently rated his professional and caring teaching style among the best they had received. The manner in which he conducts himself reflects total dedication to the mission of the school. He is most deserving of a job “well-done” recognition!”
-Jerry Moore, Campus Executive Director, AIM Orlando
AIM Kansas City
“Mr. Decker has been an instructor at AIM Kansas City for just over a year. In that short amount of time, he has had a great impact on the students. Mr. Decker once sat right where our students sat, as he is a graduate of AIM Kansas City. Mr. Decker creates a class environment that leads students into additional exploration of advanced subject matter above and beyond the standard curriculum. He won instructor of the year at AIM Kansas in his first year, and is always looking at ways to improve the campus. Keep up the great work Mr. Decker!”
-Adrian Rothrock, Campus Executive Director, AIM Kansas City
“Tom Oriole is the resident “helicopter guy” and one of our finest instructors at AIM Atlanta. Having received his A&P license in 1972, Tom has worked all over the world including Nuevo Leon, Mexico and Jiangxi Province, China. Tom joined the faculty at AIM Atlanta in September of 2012 and quickly became an invaluable asset to the school. Whether introducing new students to Aerodynamic Fundamentals in block 1 or showing a student in block 5 how to calculate sheet metal bend allowance, Tom exhibits the skill, patience, and natural ability to excel as an instructor. Tom has the respect of the students, the faculty and staff and we’re proud to acknowledge him on Teacher Appreciation Day.”
-Ben Sitton, Campus Executive Director, AIM Atlanta
“Mike Morgan was selected as the AIM Indianapolis instructor of the year for many reasons. Mike has been instrumental in developing new training aids, such as the JT – 8 engine with functional thrust reverse and the Cabin-Atmosphere mock-up improvements. Mike works on projects outside the bounds of normal class hours and is always successful in getting students involved with the extra projects. Mike is an excellent instructor in the classroom and while students claim they are joking about switching shifts to ensure they have class with him, I think they are only half joking. Mike is a mentor and role model for his students and co-workers. We are proud to have Mike on staff at AIM Indy.”
-Andy Duncan, Campus Executive Director, AIM Indianapolis
“James Heaver has worked on 8 different aircraft fleet types, for 3 different Airlines and has been an instructor for the past 12 years. James has held many position in the aviation field, such as Airline General Maintenance Manual Instructor, Engine Run & Taxi Instructor and FAA FAR Part 147 Director of Education, which make him a well-rounded educator for our campus. In April of 2017, we honored James by choosing him as AIM Manassas’ “Instructor of the Year.” Thank you for all that you do!”
– Marion Dobbins, Campus Executive Director, AIM Manassas
Written by: Jennifer Butler, Edited by: Jul DeGeus
It was a “welcome home” worthy of heroes as the Aviation Institute of Maintenance Houston Skills Team returned to their campus the Monday morning after the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) Olympics. Collecting 4 awards, including 1st place individual and 1st place overall, the team was met with a path of adoring students and proud faculty, whose cheers of support and pride echoed throughout the hangar.
The weekend of February 25th, the Houston Hawks flew to the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas to take part in the PAMAs, rivaling against strong competitors such as: Texas State Technical College, TULSA Tech, Tarrant Community College, Letourneau University and even their sister campus, AIM Dallas. Most of the opposing teams had worked together for several years and had multiple PAMA wins under their belts. But this year was different; this year a technical school from Houston, Texas stepped up to the plate and challenged the winning streak of Tarrant County Community College and Letourneau University:
This year was and is Houston’s year. The Hawks took 1st place Individual, 3rd place Individual, 1st place Overall Team and 2nd place for Operation C.H.A.O.S. In my opinion it was a sweep. This is a first for PAMA, AIM Houston is the only technical school that has ever won the PAMA Olympics. The Houston Campus Instructors were very instrumental in prepping this team and it takes an awesome team to become a winning team. This was a win for all of AIM! – Mike Riccardelli, Houston Hawks Coach (2nd Place Operation C.H.A.O.S.)
It’s no surprise that an AIM school would win with such sweeping success. The PAMA Olympics is an example of a remarkable opportunity encouraged by AIM Houston for students to network with members of the community and to grow as individuals and we’re so proud of AIM Houston’s Skills Team and all of our students that make great strides every day. It takes each individual to make a campus strong. We believe that all individuals are capable of great accomplishments and success.
The Houston Hawks showcased immeasurable pride with strength and determination. This was a momentous occasion for such a talented group of future Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics. But this success isn’t AIM Houston’s alone; this accomplishment is for all AIMs. The Houston Hawks will attend the Aerospace Maintenance Competition, April 24-27 in Orlando, FL. The world is at our doorstep and together, AIM shall take the next adventure, one step at a time.
By Jul DeGeus
Imagine this: Your final paper on ”The History of Cleaning and Corrosion Control” is due tomorrow but you forgot to cite the book you used, and even worse, you forgot the name of the book. You make an emergency trip to the library, but when you walk in, no one is there. A building abandoned, books are scattered everywhere, piled atop of one another with no rhyme or reason in how they are categorized. Will you find the book in enough time to turn in your paper?
Thanks to the hard work and organization skills of librarians, this is an unlikely situation to find yourself in. April 4th is National School Librarian Day and here at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, we wanted to take the time to recognize some of our all-star librarians:
Rebecca (left) assists a student with homework.
“Rebecca Crosby has been working for AIM Atlanta for nearly 14 years. She is a superstar on campus and we are proud to have her as our librarian. Rebecca became interested in Library Science as a high school student. She took five years of Library Science courses while attending Berkmar High School in Lilburn, GA.
Rebecca began her career at AIM as a receptionist. The campus was based out of a hangar called “Briscoe Field” and had no library. When AIM Atlanta moved into its new campus building nine years ago, Rebecca made the leap to Campus Librarian. Rebecca loves working in the library because she is able to help students and connect with them on a daily basis. Like almost every other librarian, she also loves to read! Rebecca’s favorite book, for now, is “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks. “
-AIM Atlanta Staff
“Shout out to the amazing Mrs. Leah Veal, our Librarian and PSI proctor. No matter the task or project, she is always willing to assist wherever she is needed. Even if that means hunting down a missing manual; she will look for it and she will find it. Both students and staff appreciate you and your enthusiasm when helping others. Thank you, Leah, for everything that you do!”
-AIM Chesapeake Staff
“Valerie Harris has worked at AIM Dallas as the campus librarian since 2015. Prior to that, she worked in education for over 25 years. She graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science and minored in History. Valerie has improved our library processes and coordination. She is always willing to provide a helping hand to students searching for specific information or material. Thank you for always making sure the library remains a quiet haven for our students to study. “
-AIM Dallas Staff
“Lucero ‘Lucy the Librarian’ Rosales began her career at AIM Houston as a part time receptionist and was promoted to Assistant Librarian shorty after. Lucy is very creative and always willing to help any student or staff member. She currently attends Houston Community College where she is studying pastry arts and plans to open a bistro after college. We’re so proud of all of your hard work, Lucy!”
-AIM Houston Staff
AIM Kansas City
Frederick Douglas Thomas
Aptly named after the famous Frederick Douglass, AIM Kansas City’s Frederick Douglas Thomas is treasure to our school. A man of many titles, Fredrick is the Librarian, Career Services Coordinator, director of FAA test proctoring, and head of the graduation committee. He is a constant rock of support for his students and colleagues, encouraging excellence, honor, integrity and humility. He challenges everyone he interacts with to become their best selves and does it all while looking like a million bucks! Thank you for all that you do!”
-AIM Kansas City Staff
“Karoline received her BA in History from the University of Central Florida and her Masters in Library Science from San Jose State. Karoline became a librarian because, ‘I have a deep love for history and books; this is a career that allows me to fulfill that passion and share it with others.’ We’re lucky that our library is the one you get to share your passion with!”
-AIM Oakland Staff
“Noreen started at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Orlando on January 26, 2015 and plays a dual role. She is the testing proctor in the afternoons and the Evening Library Assistant, accommodating students with their Learning Resource Center needs. Noreen comes from New York, likes to keep busy and ‘loves to help people.’”
“Ruth is the Daytime Library Assistant at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Orlando. She started at the campus on May 12, 2016 and ‘loves working with our students.’ Originally from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Ruth enjoys cooking and singing gospel music in her spare time. “
-AIM Orlando Staff
The 6th Annual Southwest Region FAR 147 PAMA Olympics was held March 28th and drew nine regional school participants. Tarrant County College once again played host to this year’s competition and welcomed teams from across the southwest, to include our own teams representing AIM – Dallas and AIM – Houston.
Each team consisted of five ‘Olympians.’ Competition consisted of twelve 20‐minute labs, with judges scoring each contestant. They would move to their next lab. The contestants were given a five minute evaluation time, reading the next lab sheet without touching the equipment.
An annual favorite of coaches and students alike, Operation C.H.A.O.S. presented team coaches with a pile of miscellaneous parts and minimal tools, and were then challenged to design a specific assembly. The event, the brainchild of John Eslinger, is judged by a simple vote by team members.
The competition’s focus has always been to bring the various FAR 147 schools together to exchange ideas and allow the students to interact and network with other like-minded future aviation professionals. And, of course, have a good time.
Congratulations to all the contestants!
Students from AIM Houston (AMH) recently had the opportunity to compete for this year’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) SportAir scholarship, a $500 award that can be used for any purpose related to their education. We would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s winner, Phat Tran, for his short essay addressing the topic of, “Challenges of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.”
Although multiple students entered the competition, Tran’s essay was selected for its superior content and presentation.
EAA is a growing and diverse organization of members with a wide range of aviation interests and backgrounds. EAA was founded in 1953 by a group of individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were interested in building their own airplanes. Through the decades, the organization expanded its mission to include antiques, classics, warbirds, aerobatic aircraft, ultra-light sport aircraft, helicopters and contemporary manufactured aircraft.