MINDEN, Nev. — Two Carson High School teachers, Billy McHenry, Math and Entrepreneurship, and Matt Morgan, AP U.S. History, were nominated by their peers as Blue Angels’ Key Influencers: people who help to shape attitudes and opinions of youth in their community.
As part of the honor, this morning they both had the opportunity to fly tandem with the US Navy’s Lieutenant Commander Andre Webb, pilot of the No. 7 Blue Angels F/A – 18 Hornet.
Both McHenry and Morgan felt the need — the need for speed — after donning flight-jumpsuits and undergoing the pre-flight briefing. After strapping in to the five-point safety restraint system and properly fitted with a “Maverick or Goose” semblance helmet and visor, the two teachers each gave a thumbs up as the canopy of the cockpit closed and the supersonic, twin-engines flared loudly. Following the vertical takeoff, a few barrel rolls, a couple hard-banked 2-G turns, a 7-G bank and more than 45 minutes of flight over Tahoe, Carson City and Minden, the two teachers were less than thrilled to admit who lost their lunch and who passed out.
The teachers were first nominated by their colleagues as teacher(s) of the month at Carson High School during the 2017-2018 school year. Being selected to fly in a jet with a Blue Angels pilot was, in their words, a chance of a lifetime.
“We are fortunate to have teachers like Mr. McHenry and Mr. Morgan,” said Richard Stokes, superintendent for the Carson City School District. “They each provide valuable and dynamic support to both the administrative teams at the High School as well as the students they inspire and help each day.”
The high school made the Blue Angels’ Key Influencers announcement to the school in the library Tuesday morning. The flights were offered Wednesday morning at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. The Blue Angels will later deliver a presentation about their “Culture of Excellence” at Carson High School this Friday morning from 8:30-9:15 in the big gym. Below are individual bios of both teachers to outline why they were selected for this honor.
Billy McHenry has been teaching and coaching for 27 years. While always dedicated to working in the classroom, he has dedicated thousands of hours outside the classroom as a coach and advisor. He taught 6th grade for four years. He taught high school math for 16 years. He has been teaching Entrepreneurship at the high school for the last 7 years.
He was the Carson High School Teacher of the Year for 2007. One reason he received that award was his work with students to help them pass the Math High School Proficiency Exam. He is credited with helping hundreds of students obtain their high school diploma that would not have earned it without his support and instruction in his proficiency math class.
For the last 7 years he has been running the business classes at Carson High School. During that time, he has been the Future Business Leaders of America Advisor. He also created, organized, and ran the Carson High Shark Tank Competition. In this competition Carson High School students are required to create a business plan or product and sell it to a panel of community members. This competition has been a huge success and has resulted in Carson High School students competing at the state and national level in business competitions.
He has been a football coach for 24 years of the 27 years that he has been teaching. He has coached at all levels and has a reputation as a fiery leader that inspires his players to work hard. Despite the different ability levels of his players, he has made sure that no single player was more important than the team. Players that work hard were given the opportunity to play despite physical limitations. He demands hard work and effort and the players respond to his expectations.
Over the last 5 years he has been one of the Alpine Ski coaches at Carson High School. He coached track for 10 years. He has been an advisor for Fellowship of Christian Athletes for 20 years. In 2007, he was the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coach of the Year.
As the Carson High School Entrepreneurship Teacher he strives to bring community business leaders into the classroom, so that his students see what it takes to be successful in business today. He guides and inspires students to create their own business plans. He teaches students about personal finance and helps them create budgets to create fiscally responsible young adults. He has taught students that have gone on to compete at national competitions for Future Business Leaders of America. He is passionate about business and inspires his students to go further than just the classroom. He was selected as the Northern Nevada Junior Achievement Teacher of the Year because of his dedication and ability to inspire youth. He was one of nine teachers out of a staff of more than 100 teachers to earn teacher of the month at Carson High School during the 2017-2018 school year.
Matt Morgan has been teaching at Carson High School for the last 17 years. As a teacher, Morgan began the AP U.S. History program at Carson High School and taught AP U.S. History for over a decade. He also started the Honors U.S. History program at Carson High School and has been teaching it for the last four years. He was one of nine teachers out of a staff of more than 100 teachers to earn teacher of the month at Carson High School during the 2017-2018 school year. One reason he was nominated by his colleagues came from his work with special education students in the classroom. He has adapted his instruction to meet the needs of all his students.
While teaching at Carson High School, Morgan has set a high standard in the classroom. He has been a model professional and has impacted the lives of thousands of teenagers as they learn about U.S. History.
Morgan doesn’t just impact students in the classroom. He started, coached and ran a youth baseball feeder program for kids (9-13 year-olds) that fed into the Carson High School baseball program, the Carson Capitals.
He also started, coached and still runs a middle school baseball program for teenagers (13-15 year-olds) for Carson Blue Jays. He has impacted hundreds of young people outside of the classroom through the summer and off season.
Morgan has been coaching varsity baseball at Carson High School for over a decade. When he is not teaching, preparing to teach, grading or coaching, he is working to maintain one of the best high school baseball facilities in the state. Maintaining the field includes grading, raking, weeding, mowing or fixing facilities so that Carson youth can have a great experience in Carson City.
The Blue Angels will perform this weekend at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Go here for ticket information.