During morning Friday Explorations on April 22, Middle School teachers Ms. Mickey Celentano and Mr. Kelly Thompson took 10 students to the Pima Air and Space Museum, extending students' study of aviation and space based on their 7th grade reading of Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream.
The book chronicles 13 female aviators who were vying to become astronauts at the beginning of the Mercury program, the first phase of NASA's push to land on the moon. The women were skilled aviators and highly motivated, yet they were denied access mainly due to discrimination and technically because none of the women had test-pilot experience. However, they did preliminary testing and demonstrated that women have the "Right Stuff" to be astronauts. Though they didn't become astronauts, they paved the way for future generations of women who followed in their footsteps years later.
At the museum, students looked at planes, learned about aviation history, tried out interactive simulators, and Gordon Carr '27 contributed background information on many of the planes because planes and flying are a deep passion of his. He was a fantastic honorary docent!
"Teaching at The Gregory School lets me focus on what is best for students every day. Working with students in small classes offers me the opportunity to get to know each individual in order to meet their learning needs.I also have the opportunity to work with students outside of the classroom through explorations of community involvement. I feel like we are preparing students to be positive global citizens."
Mickey Celentano received her B.S. from Creighton University. She was appointed to The Gregory School faculty in 2016.
"At The Gregory School there are many ways to engage the students in meaningful activities. One of my favorite aspects of the school is to guide students in exploration and extracurricular activities. I am so honored to be able to facilitate their engagement in and out of the classroom."
Kelly Thompson holds an M.Ed. from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in History & Humanities from Northern Arizona University. He has been on The Gregory School faculty since 2019.