A Southwest Airlines pilot has come to the Johnson Elementary School Kaleidoscope class for three years, through a program which is geared toward fifth-graders to teach them career goals and aviation science.
Junior Captain Ron Creel has been involved in the adopt-a-pilot program for seven years and a Southwest Airlines pilot for 13.
Creel has been coming four times a year since 2017, and led the class on a paper airplane competition as well as a mini quiz bowl.
Creel read off questions to a pair of fifth-grade students seated at a table at the front of the entire classroom.
The student who buzzed in first and got the question right got to stay while the losing student had to sit down.
Questions about time zones, the science behind airplanes and call backs from previous experiments were some of Creel’s favorites as the Johnson students answered close to 100 of the trivia questions.
Connor Creel, son of the visiting pilot, helped his dad out by handing personalized goody bags to his classmates. Among the items in the bags was instructions for a paper airplane for a contest with the winner walking away with a small scale replica of a commercial jet.
Ron Creel said he used to coordinate the adopt a pilot program for the Atlanta area. He said there a several pilots around Atlanta who participate in the program however he is the only one in the Rome area who does it. The program is done on the pilot’s off day and is completely voluntary. Creel said he would be leaving Friday for his three day shift but is not yet sure where he will be going during that time.