Pocomoke High School Principal Set to Fly with USAF Thunderbirds- Jenifer Rayne Chosen as ‘Hometown Hero’


 OCEAN CITY, Md. (June 6, 2023) – An award-winning principal from Pocomoke High School has been selected to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as part of their “Hometown Hero” program that honors deserving local people, OC Air Show officials announced on Tuesday.

Jenifer Rayne (@jenifer_rayne) / Twitter

On Friday, June 9, at 11 a.m. (from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia) Jenifer Rayne will get to experience the ride of her life in the backseat of an F-16 with Thunderbird#7 Lt. Col.Ryan Yingling as her pilot.


On her 45-minute flight, Rayne will experience the thrill of hitting up to seven G’s, along with the accompanying twists, spins and turns of the best roller coaster ride imaginable.  


“I am incredibly excited and honored to be given this opportunity,” said Rayne.


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.


The Speak Up group was launched during her first year as principal at Pocomoke High School. She was looking for ways to make sure students’ voices were being heard when a senior expressed interest in leading a group to celebrate diversity. They decided the new group would focus on elevating student voices and would be open to anyone interested in making the school a better place for everyone.


In recent years, the club has grown from just five students to 25 students. It explores the history and culture of all marginalized populations, has done murals, helped with Black History Month activities, and even developed professional development opportunities for educators.


The Thunderbirds will headline the 16th annual OC Air Show which will also feature the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team, F-18 Rhino Demo Team, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the Red Bull Air Force, among others.


The OC Air Show is the fourth stop on the 2023 Air Dot Show Tour (https://air.show/), which will include future shows in New York; Atlanta; and Orlando.


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