Cedar Valley High School Takes Flight

Cedar Valley High School Takes Flight

Principal Courtney Johnson- “I loved what it did for me. It made the world make sense for me. And there are endless possibilities in the aviation field.”

The Cedar Valley High School Aviators have gone above and beyond to get ahead in their futures. As the only high school in Utah offering associate degrees in programs other than general education, Cedar Valley gives its students wings by allowing them to earn an associate degree in Aviation.

Cedar Valley High School opened in Eagle Mountain in 2019 under the care of Principal Courtney Johnson. Though the Aviation program was underway before the school had even opened. Principal Johnson, a pilot herself, felt that Utah needed a high school where students could get ahead in the aviation field if they chose. She received her pilot’s license as a senior in high school and went on to attend flight school. “I loved what it did for me. It made the world make sense for me. And there are endless possibilities in the aviation field.”

Through its partnership with Utah Valley University (UVU), Cedar Valley arranges for  UVU Aviation faculty and pilots to visit classrooms and attend parent-teacher conferences to discuss students’ futures. This allows students to create that connection to UVU early on in their education and career experience.

One of the biggest advocates of Cedar Valley’s Aviation program is Lloyd Nelson, a Marine Corps Veteran and a teacher at Cedar Valley High School since 2020. He has been foundational in building this program up to what it is, and his students and Principal Johnson could not say enough good things about him and his work. Nelson gives his students opportunities to learn at their own pace and to put his lessons into practice. In his classes, students engage in simulations and work to become pilots.  

Nelson also helps his students to develop their leadership skills by appointing students to be flight instructors or teaching assistants if they are ready to do so. Alan Raff is one of these students with this opportunity. Of his time in the aviation program, Alan said,

“There is no limit to what you can learn here.” He continued, “It’s genuinely a good place to be! It’s a good environment.”

Nelson’s students have gone on to become military, public, and private pilots. His classes, taught about aviation history, aviation safety, private pilots, aviation weather, and simulators, and further helped by Nelson’s personal experience in the military and flying, have helped his former students be prepared to go on to be pilots. When asked what his favorite part of his job is, he said, “When I get a letter requesting a letter of recommendation.” He continued, “When I see the light go on and they realize they can do it.”

As Cedar Valley High School is the only school in the area that offering an aviation program, they allow any students from the area to attend the aviation classes. Cedar Valley has partnered with UVU and Meta to create the best possible experience for their students, one that consists of lectures, assignments, and simulations.

Cedar Valley High School has shown their students have the ability to fly beyond the limit and to accomplish so much. We at UVU Concurrent Enrollment are so happy we get to be the co-pilot with these amazing students! Go Cedar Valley Aviators, and go Wolverines!