In Brief: Aviation scholarships; ‘Horse’ author Brooks returns to Aspen; Vail Mountain closes later |

In Brief: Aviation scholarships; ‘Horse’ author Brooks returns to Aspen; Vail Mountain closes later

Local students win flight training scholarships

Eleven Roaring Fork and Aspen students have won 2023 Flight Training Scholarships funded by Atlantic Aviation.

The Flight Training Scholarship was created to support aspiring pilots in their pursuit of a career
in aviation. The scholarship provides $10,000 in financial assistance to each of the 11 students
to help cover the cost of flight training and is designed to help recipients achieve their goals
and take the first step toward a career in the aviation industry, officials said.

“We are thrilled to award these scholarships to such deserving candidates,” said Jonathan
Jones, general manager of Atlantic Aviation at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. “We believe
that these scholarship recipients have the potential to make significant contributions to the
aviation industry, and we look forward to seeing them achieve their goals.”

The scholarship winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at Atlantic Aviation, 69 East Airport Road.

“We strongly encourage the community to join us in celebrating these aspiring young pilots and
their achievements,” said Garrett Seddon, Aspen School District’s aviation director and instructor
of aeronautics. “This is an opportunity to show our support for the future of aviation and to
inspire the next generation of pilots.”

The scholarship recipients will receive flight training from the Aspen Flight Academy, a
non-profit for youth to learn about flying with classroom and flight training.

‘Horse’ author Brooks returns to Aspen next week

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will close out the 2023 Winter Words series in conversation with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles at 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at Paepcke Auditorium in Aspen 

They will discuss her writing life and her most recent novel, “Horse,” based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the talk at 6-7 p.m., and book signing to follow. Explore Booksellers will be onsite selling books before and after the event. Aspen Words members receive 20% of Winter Words book titles.

Parking is limited at Paepcke, so organizers encourage early arrival and to consider alternative parking options. 

Carbondale Middle School’s next principal chosen

Michael Logan is set to become the next principal of Carbondale Middle School starting in July, succeeding longtime Principal Jennifer Lamont who is retiring after this school year.

Logan has been with the Roaring Fork Schools for over 20 years and spent 16 of those years teaching math at CMS, according to a school district news release. 

“Over the course of Michael’s career in the Roaring Fork Schools, he has proven himself to be a thoughtful leader who deeply listens, approaches his work with both expertise and humility, and is sensitive to the needs of others,” RFSD Chief Academic Officer Stacey Park said in her letter to the school community announcing the move. “We are thrilled that Michael will be taking the helm next school year.”  

According to the release, interview committee participants noted his growth mindset, strong pedagogical knowledge, instructional coaching skills, and understanding of CMS having been a longtime teacher there.

He said he was “honored and humbled” to be selected to become principal of the school.

“My 20 years teaching experience and five additional years as an instructional coach give me a deep appreciation for the culture of excellence at CMS,” he said in the release. “I am aware of the tremendous efforts made by teachers, leaders, and community members that make CMS a great place to learn and teach.

Vail Mountain nudged into later closings starting Friday

The expression “better late than never” comes to mind as Vail Mountain has reviewed its operating schedule and decided to close most of its front side lifts at 4 p.m., starting Friday.

And the mountain will continue to open at 8:30 a.m. every day.

The 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. schedule on which the mountain is currently operating has been met with annoyance by some guests who have grown accustomed to an adjustment to a 4 p.m. closing time in the spring months on Vail Mountain.

Some years, that adjustment has come a full month earlier than this year’s March 17 schedule change.

Vail Resorts spokesperson John Plack said the decision on when to extend operating hours often changes year to year and depends on a number of factors.

“We’ve been tracking conditions, and after several days of warm temperatures and strong sun, we anticipate seeing a freeze/thaw cycle with the storm rolling in over the next few days,” Plack said. “Once this sets in, we tend to see guests start to ski and ride later in the day. With these conditions and anticipated shifts in visitation patterns we’ll be going to 4 p.m. on Friday, March 17.”

Vail goes inside for new police chief

On Thursday, Vail Town Manager Russ Forrest announced that Vail Police Commander Ryan Kenney has been selected as the town’s next chief of police. The vacancy was created earlier this year with the retirement of 21-year Chief Dwight Henninger, whose official last day is Friday.  

Kenney is a six-year veteran of the Vail Police Department. He previously served for 23 years with the Boca Raton Police Department in Florida.

During his tenure in Vail, he has served as the administrative commander and is currently the operations commander. He is credited with spearheading several highly impactful projects, including the three-year-old co-responder team, which brings together a community paramedic, a Hope Center clinician, and a police officer or deputy sheriff to handle behavioral health crisis incidents. This program has resulted in significantly better services to those in need and reduced the number of emergency room visits in Eagle County, officials said.

Henninger has accepted a newly created position with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as the senior law enforcement partnership advisor in Washington, D.C.