Lt. Col Bill Powley, a retired Air Force officer and mentor to thousands of Air Force Junior ROTC cadets, has been named winner of the 24th annual A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year Award.
Powle received the award, along with a $1,500 cash stipend, at the National Aviation Hall of Fame President’s Dinner & Reception in July.
Powley, a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, has flown supersonic fighters, 347 combat mission and is twice a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. As a leader of award-winning Junior ROTC units, he’s helped literally thousands of students take flight through innovative flight orientation programs and leadership.
After retiring from the Air Force, Powley began teaching JROTC at Unicoi County High School in eastern Tennessee. Starting in this county without an airport, Powley – who later began a JROTC unit at Sullivan South High School in Kingsport, Tenn. – has now helped almost 4,000 students take orientation flights, soloed 33 cadets from 1992 to 1999, and has had a number of students go on to service academies, serve in the military or become professional pilots.
In addition, Powley led efforts to find grants and other outside funding for scholarships and to enhance his programs.
Along the way, Powley also earned an MBA from the University of West Florida, and an Ed.S degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
“His exemplary performance as my JROTC commander, my flight instructor and my ground school teacher resulted in true learning, beyond the walls of the classroom,” said USAF Capt. Seth Bennett, an Air Force Academy graduate. “This program affected my life in incalculable ways.”
Founded by famed research test pilot Scott Crossfield in 1986, the award is a juried competition open to current classroom teachers in grades K through 12. Nominations were examined by a review committee of aerospace industry and education professionals for documentation of a teacher’s effectiveness, creativity and ability to maintain high standards for their students and themselves with aerospace being the core subject matter or their curricula.
Scott Crossfield (1921-2006) was inducted into the NAHF in 1983 in recognition of his contributions as a naval aviator, aerospace engineer and test pilot. He was the first man to successfully fly at speeds above Mach 2 and Mach 3; the first man to fly the X-15; and contributed to the safety of manned spaceflight, among many other achievements.
For more information: NationalAviation.org or 888-383-1903, ext. 16.