What year did you graduate: 2003.
Give us the highlight reel! What has changed since you transitioned from PCS student to PCS Alum?
Since it’s been almost 20 years, I really will stick to the highlights. After graduating from PCS, I went to Mississippi State University and got a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I joined ROTC my second semester of freshman year and earned my commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force with a pilot slot. I also met and married my wife, Whitney, while at Mississippi State. Over the past 15 years, we have lived in Panama City and Pensacola, FL, Enid, OK, San Antonio, TX (twice), Witchita Falls, TX, Fort Worth, TX, Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, and we are currently stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, NM. We are moving back to Mississippi next month where I will be stationed at Columbus AFB and instruct newly minted pilots in a program called Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals. Think Fighter Pilot 101. Along the way, I’ve flown the F-15C, DA-20, T-34, T-38, T-6, and F-16. I got my wings in 2010 and have remained flying ever since and currently have just over 2500 hrs of flight time with the majority of that in the single-seat, single-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft known as the Viper (F-16). I’ve flown the F-16 across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, employed weapons in combat in Afghanistan, and prepared a squadron to take the fight north if North Korea got out of hand. Of all the things I’ve done with my aviation career, though, being a fighter pilot instructor has been the most rewarding. While we were stationed in Enid, OK, we had our first kid, Winters, who just turned ten. We had our second kid, Laura Leigh, in San Antonio, TX and she just turned eight. We had our third kid here in Alamogordo. His name is Rhett and he just turned two. A deployment to the desert followed pretty quickly by a remote tour in South Korea is a good way to create a large age gap between kids. See the attached picture.
What is your most impactful memory of your time at PCS?
My most impactful memory from my time at PCS would have to be how much the teachers cared about the students and how much they truly enjoyed their jobs. I really do think that their enthusiasm played a key role in how I modeled my instructional techniques throughout my career. Starting the PCS football team is a close second.
As you look back upon your education through the lens of a biblical worldview, how has that shaped every good endeavor that you have invested your time, talent, and treasure in since graduation?
Getting educated with a biblical worldview was helpful because how you are educated is typically how you will end up living your life. Not everybody will, but at least they will have “heard the good news,” early on in life. Education based on a biblical worldview shaped where, how, and why I invested my time, talent, and treasure. I invested in myself by continuing my education in a field that I truly enjoyed including my Master’s in International Relations from Troy University. I found my talents through educational pursuits and was able to accrue the treasures of having a job I love and a beautiful family because of the foundation of a biblical worldview. The “Why” goes back to the chief end of man as defined in the catechism. The chief end of man is to glorify God AND enjoy him forever. I’ve taken that to mean I should find something that I love and pursue it with a passion and I believe I have done just that. Flying for me is like running for Eric Liddell. “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
How would you describe the impact of your PCS education to a family considering our school for their child?
I would say that PCS provided me with opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. Having the opportunity to learn in a Christian environment from teachers that care about the kids and are good at their jobs is priceless. I currently send my kids to a Christian school here in Alamogordo because of my time at PCS so you could say that it has had a generational impact.
What do the relationships you made at PCS look like today?
I have kept up with quite a few of my friends from PCS. There are probably around 15 friends that I still keep up with fairly regularly, which for a class of ~38 is pretty good.
What is your one piece of advice for a current PCS student?
I would encourage them to always have a thirst for knowledge. The education they are getting now is foundational to what their future will become.