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Georgia high school teacher receives 2016 A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Educator of the Year

General Joe Engle presents the 2016 Crossfield Award to Captain Kenneth Phelps.

Kenneth Phelps accepts $5,000 award during National Aviation Hall of Fame “Oscar Night of Aviation” on October 1 in Dayton, Ohio

(Dayton, Ohio – October 17, 2016)   On Saturday, October 1st, retired Delta Airlines Captain Kenneth W. Phelps, a Program Consultant and Instructor for the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Public Schools, received the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) 2016 A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Educator of Year Award.  Phelps was presented the $5,000 check and award in Dayton, Ohio, during the NAHF 54th Annual Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony.  Widely known as the “Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie gala included the induction of four new enshrinees to the Hall: former astronaut Robert L. Crippen; Air Force pilot and Medal of Honor recipient, the late Bud Day; NASA mission control creator, Chris Kraft; and former EAA Chairman and CEO, Tom Poberezny.

The Crossfield Award, founded in 1986 by NAHF enshrinee, engineer, and test pilot, the late A. Scott Crossfield, is a juried annual competition to recognize one K-12 teacher for his or her exemplary use of aerospace in their classroom curricula.  Phelps was recognized for founding an Aircraft Flight Operations Program taught at the Maxwell High School of Technology since 2009.  Students follow coursework and receive hands-on training that encourages their pursuit of pilot, Air Traffic Control, maintenance, dispatch, engineering or management aviation careers.  Phelps’ aviation lab incorporates many donated, state-of-the-art flight instruction simulators, hardware, and software, and emphasizes leadership in preparing students for higher education or positions in industry.  His program now serves a model being replicated throughout Georgia and in other states.

Former astronaut and 2001 enshrinee, Joe H. Engle, presented Phelps his award on behalf of the NAHF.  Engle knew Crossfield from their service as test-pilots on the X-15 rocket plane program. The black-tie dinner and ceremony took place in the NAHF Learning Center and the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force.  Among the 600 guests were former NAHF enshrinees Engle, Frank Borman (1982), Kieth Ferris (2012), Robert “Hoot” Gibson (2013), Joe Kittinger (1997), Dale Klapmeier (2014), Gene Kranz (2015), Russ Meyer (2009), and Dick Rutan (2002).   Former TV news anchor, David Hartman, served as emcee.

The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964.  Its mission is to honor aerospace legends to inspire future leaders, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, youth education and public outreach programs, its annual enshrinement ceremony, and collaboration with like-minded organizations.

Media Contact:

Ron Kaplan,  NAHF Enshrinement & Outreach Director

TEL: (937) 256-0944 x16

CELL: (937) 212-8847

[email protected]