Pocomoke High School Principal flies with the Thunderbirds

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. –  Hometown Hero and Pocomoke High School Principal Jenifer Rayne took the skies with the US Airforce Thunderbirds, in recognition of her service to her students at Pocomoke High School.

It’s part of Thunderbird’s Home Town Hero program as the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) recently presented Rayne with the MSEA Human and Civil Rights Award at MSEA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Racial Social Justice Summit in Baltimore.

The award is in recognition of Rayne’s support of Speak Up, a student club at Pocomoke High School.

The MSEA Human and Civil Rights Award is given to educators who contribute significantly to the area of human and civil rights in the classroom or the overall school culture.

Pilot and Operating Officer Ryan Yingling says she handled the breakneck conditions inside the fighter jet like a pro.

“She felt forces from less than zero-G floating, a little bit all the way to 9.3 Gs, maneuvering around doing 360 rolls, going upside down numerous times, and all the 3D forces you can feel, she knocked it out of the park,” Yingling said.

Rayne tells us that the feeling of going straight up the plane felt like a rhino sitting on her chest, but she tells she hit her personal goal of staying conscious throughout.

“I was awake the whole time, they gave me the breathing techniques and the crew prepared me for everything we were doing today, the turns, the rolls, and going upside down, it was one of the best days of my entire life,” Rayne said.

Rayne wasn’t just a passenger, as she got a chance to steer the plane, and attempt rolls, dips, and other maneuvers.

“I got to fly twice actually and at first I gave myself an upset stomach, I guess I’m not the best flyer, I need a little more practice, but the second time I got it and I was able to do some rolls on my own,” she said.

Rayne’s flight path took her over to her own high school, where students gathered outside to cheer her on.

She tells us she wants them to take away the message that the sky is the limit for their potential.

“It is important our community is small it is 75 percent poverty and I’m always trying to get attention for them, we have the best students and the best staff and I’m honored to represent them,” Rayne said.

Those looking to see those maneuvers for themselves can visit the Ocean City Airshow this weekend in Ocean City.




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