Government Affairs News & Events
Below you will find news, information, and the latest updates from the Space Coast Association® of REALTORS Government Affairs. Have additional questions? Contact our Government Affairs office via email
or call 321-242-2211.
Eau Gallie High’s Aviation Fabrication and Assembly program celebrates new facility and certification opportunity
MELBOURNE, Florida—The Aviation Fabrication and Assembly program at Eau Gallie High finally has a permanent home. Furthermore, the school recently earned the distinction of being the only high school in the nation to become an approved training provider for the Aerospace/Aircraft Assembly (AAA) certification exam.
Dennis Soboleski, Career and Technical Education resource teacher, said: “It’s the only high school program of its kind in Brevard County and it is a hands-on assembly and fabrication program. Most other aviation-related programs at the high school level focus on flight and or avionics.”
The program is beginning its fourth year and, until now, students met in a locker room that was converted into a temporary classroom and lab, and they worked on aircraft in a fenced-in outside area. On August 17 at a ribbon-cutting event, doors officially opened at the school’s Aviation Fabrication and Assembly building.
The new building will provide students with the opportunity to work on aircraft in a professional industrial environment, which is crucial for their challenging tasks. Students have the unique experience of working on two single-engine airplanes, a 40-foot twin-engine jet and a small helicopter. Students dissemble, reassemble, repair, paint and work on engines and much more, all in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration standards.
There are currently 120 students in the program, which offers two industry certification opportunities.
• Aerospace/Aircraft Assembly (AAA) certification
• Private Pilot Ground School
In May, the National Center for Aerospace & Transportation Technologies (NCATT) confirmed Eau Gallie High met all the requirements to be an AAA training and testing center. NCATT provides the vehicle through which the United States aerospace industry identifies, develops and delivers comprehensive and current knowledge standards for the aerospace industry. In addition, if students pass the ground school exam, they only need to participate in flight training to earn their private pilot’s license.
Soboleski recognized program supporters including government, school and BPS leadership, and Heard Construction Company, Embraer Executive Jets, Career Source Brevard and The Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida’s Space Coast.
Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Space Coast EDC said: “The Aviation Assembly and Fabrication program will strengthen our workforce pipeline, ensuring Brevard County’s aviation and aerospace industries remain globally competitive. The EDC will continue working with BPS to ensure the program remains in line with our local industry needs to prepare our students for their future here on the Space Coast.”
To establish the program, BPS’ Career and Technical Education team submitted a proposal to the Florida Department of Education. Soboleski credits Eau Gallie High’s aviation instructor Bill Mcinnish for writing much of the FLDOE’s Aviation Fabrication and Assembly curriculum.
Soboleski said, “A program like this would fail without an extremely dedicated and knowledgeable instructor and leader.”
For more information, please contact Dennis Soboleski, Office of Career and Technical Education, at 321-633-1000 ext. 281 or Soboleski.Dennis@BrevardSchools.org
BPS responds to Gov. Scott’s school-security plan
VIERA, Florida - Brevard Public Schools applauded Gov. Rick Scott’s efforts to listen to students and educators in forming his plan to keep campuses safe.
“Our schools are still vulnerable,” Superintendent Desmond Blackburn said. “The governor’s proposals are serious ones that match what our students and staff say they need to be safe. We would embrace the challenge of making his ideas work.”
On the Space Coast and during visits with lawmakers, BPS students have called for professional mental-health services on campus, training on how to survive active shooters, more security ‘hardening’ of school buildings, and measures to keep guns away from mentally unstable people. All of those measures appear in the $500 million plan Scott proposed Friday in response to the Feb. 14 shooting rampage at a Broward County high school that killed 17.
BPS already has taken significant steps to improve the security of its students and employees:
- Hiring the Brevard Sheriff’s Office to manage school security. Deputies respond instantly – and frequently -- to any reported threat to school safety, including threats made in social media. They also assist principals with “lockdown” drills.
- Providing armed police resource officers to all high schools and middle schools across the Space Coast under contracts with cities and the sheriff. Several cities including Titusville, Rockledge and Satellite Beach assign police officers to elementary schools.
- Accelerating the installation of high-quality security fencing, remote-controlled entrance locks and video cameras at all schools with a goal of completion by April 2018.
- Publicizing a frequently used anonymous hotline -- 800-423-TIPS (8477) -- where tipsters can report threatening behavior to the Sheriff’s Office.
Blackburn was among the school leaders invited to Tallahassee by Gov. Scott to an emergency workshop on security Feb. 20. He and the Brevard County school board have worked recently to elevate student voices on security-related issues.
One week before the shooting (Feb. 8), BPS drove 16 high school student-government presidents to the Florida Capitol, where they advocated for state funding for professional mental-health services on campuses. Travel was sponsored by Parrish Health Network.
On Friday (Feb. 23), state Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, met with students at Astronaut High School in Titusville to hear their thoughts on school-security and gun bills on which he was expected to vote the following week.
Students at Titusville High, Heritage High and several other secondary schools have staged or planned peaceful “walk outs” to demand precautions against further school violence.
What’s next: Brevard Public School leaders continue to assess campus security with the Brevard Sheriff’s Office. The school board will respond as fast as possible to any laws passed by the Legislature.
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Florida Realtors Kicks Off ‘Amendment 2 is for Everybody’ Campaign
Florida Realtors, the state's largest professional trade association, officially kicked off its campaign to pass Amendment 2, which gives voters the chance to make a 10 percent cap on annual non-homestead property tax increases permanent. It will appear on the 2018 general election ballot.
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