Officials from the Monterey County Office of Education and the Bob Hoover Academy gather with their awards, presented by the California School Boards Association on Nov. 30. (Contributed)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE), alongside the Bob Hoover Academy in Salinas, received a top state educational honor for the success of its ongoing partnership in providing Monterey County students with an exciting diploma track program.

On Nov. 30, the California School Boards Association (CSBA) presented a Golden Bell Award to the Bob Hoover Academy at MCOE, a unique aviation program that helps struggling high school students meet their graduation requirements while gaining STEM-based knowledge and hands-on experience in the field of aeronautics.

Located at the Salinas Airport, the model program not only provides an opportunity for students to learn to fly, but also inspires, motivates and builds a sense of purpose for students who have been unsuccessful in a traditional classroom setting.

“I am deeply honored to receive this prestigious award and grateful for the strong partnership we have built with MCOE, where we are working together to instill passion in our local youth,” said Bob Hoover Academy Chairman and Co-Founder Sean Tucker. “I share this recognition with each of our students who have embraced the exhilarating challenge of learning to fly. Their courage and commitment is their launching pad to success.”

Bob Hoover Academy
Bob Hoover Academy at the Salinas Airport. (Contributed)

In addition, the Monterey County Office of Education received the Apple For Excellence Award. This award is bestowed upon the top County Office of Education program that is a winner of the CSBA’s Golden Bell Award.

Monterey County Board of Education President Mary Claypool, alongside Tucker, accepted the Golden Bell Award, and Monterey County Superintendent of Schools Deneen Guss accepted the Apple For Excellence Award at the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

“This program is a bold and brave approach to inspiring youth to undertake what they never imagined they could do,” Guss said. “Through active collaboration, community support and a strong desire to succeed, this program is growing and expanding, and is filled with student success stories.”

Since 2016, the Monterey County Office of Education’s Alternative Education program has partnered with the Bob Hoover Academy, which funds the ground school, flight instructors and a full-time Operations Director that helps to organize the volunteers, coordinate field trips and provide essential resources to students. The program’s facilities, academic instructors and counselors are all funded through MCOE.

According to Guss, this partnership is a “great example of the public and private sectors coming together to provide opportunities for students who need them the most.”

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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