By Nick Freimuth
Zsa Zsa Tebon did something this school year no other student has ever done at Sturgeon Bay High School. The 17-year-old senior spent a few hours during every school day during her entire senior year learning how to fly.
Not only did Zsa Zsa take the class but she passed all the written tests, homework and 19-hours in the air controlling a Cessna 172 plane. Just last week Tebon took her first ever solo flight that lasted 30 minutes. Zsa Zsa said being in the air by herself made all of her work “real.”
After Zsa Zsa completed her first solo flight she participated in an aviation tradition. Her instructor cut off the back of her shirt. This ritual happens after every student “earns their wings.” Zsa Zsa said when her instructor told her she was going up by herself she said, “This is where I do it or I die. However, I was more relaxed than I thought I was going to be.”
Tebon worked with a certified instructor, logged airtime in the cockpit, and took her first solo flight. Sturgeon Bay Principal Bob Nickel said, “High school is supposed to be a stepping stone for whatever it is that you want to do next. We are here to help prepare kids for whatever it is they want to do in the future.”
Nickel said the partnership with the Cherryland Airport, Dan Lake and Jeff Tebon made this course possible. The course earned Zsa Zsa Tebon high school credit. Nickel said this is something so far out of the ordinary and it was the first time a student has done anything like this at Sturgeon Bay High School.
Zsa Zsa Tebon wanted to thank Mr. Nickel for making her dream a reality. She said she is a step ahead in her career because of him. She also wanted to thank her mom for pushing her to achieve these goals and her dad for his support, helping make it all possible, and coordinating the plane and flying time.
Zsa Zsa will be attending Oregon Community College in the fall. She said they are nationally renowned for their great flight program. She will be studying to achieve her commercial license first. United and Horizon Airlines have already contacted Zsa Zsa and talked to her about the tremendous opportunities for her as a female in a male-dominated field.
If there are other students interested in this program, contact Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Bob Nickel. He said this is definitely something they would offer again.
To listen to DoorCountyDailyNews.com’s interviews with both Zsa Zsa and Bob Nickel click on the audio links below.