• Second-grade students connect with pilot

    captbA former U.S. Navy aviation commander turned captain with Delta airlines made his way virtually to the second-grade classrooms at Benner Elementary School to participate in a conversation with students about various careers, including being a pilot.

    Teacher Lata Anantheswaran said she met Capt. David Busse on her way home from Los Angeles last summer. He was the pilot and she was at the gate waiting to board when their conversation led into information about her being a teacher and him getting involved in youth education. She even had the chance to tour the cockpit and share photos with the classes.

    “It was a really unique way of meeting,” Anantheswaran said. “It was crazy, but I contacted him last month (March) and he said that he would absolutely be up for talking with students. It’s a connection I think we’ll have forever.”

    With Busse based in San Diego and pandemic restrictions still allowing for virtual education opportunities, using online applications such as Zoom have been convenient and positive ways to connect with others from the classroom. The half-hour planned video chat turned into more than an hour that Anantheswaran said kept the students engaged, followed a lesson on careers, and emphasized the importance of learning other academic skills such as reading and writing that benefit all types of jobs.

    “It was really fun, and he found subtle ways to include how important it is to learn reading and writing, and found a nice way to stress that, which the kids understood,” Anantheswaran said. “They asked so many questions and were engaged the whole time, and he answered them all.”

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD. Some photos provided by Busse and used with permission.