Irving High Aviation Instructor Named Air Force Association Teacher of the Year
Al Brooks, aviation instructor at Irving High School, was named Teacher of the Year by the Seidel Chapter of the Air Force Association (AFA). “Getting to work with Mr. Brooks is a refreshing experience due to his friendly, high-intensity delivery of education as well as his compassion and genuine interest in knowing that he has truly helped a student to experience the aviation niche of education they might never get to see,” says Shawn Blessing, Irving ISD director of Career and Technical Education (CTE).
Brooks, who grew up across the street for LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York and whose father worked in the aviation industry, says he has been around airplanes all of his life. After a year of college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served as a crew chief performing engine and aircraft inspections, line maintenance and flight control rigging. After his time in the military, Brooks obtained an airframe and powerplant mechanical license. He contracted with companies worldwide and several government agencies, before beginning his teaching career. He taught at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance for six years.
Brooks says he came full circle when he became an instructor in the Aviation Academy at Irving High School. “I have begun to teach the future of aviation the fundamentals I learned back in the Air Force,” he says. “This has helped me to develop a curriculum which will help the students advance into a number of different aviation careers. As an Irving High School instructor I can see firsthand how technology has played a large and vital role in aviation and the need for qualified technicians in the future. With these types of programs the future of aviation will thrive.” In addition to a $500 prize, he will be entered into the state level AFA contest.