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Sameer Romani shows you how to suit up

Sameer takes a selfie with mentors John Hornibrook (left) and Coleman Boettger (Right)
Photo Courtesy of: Sameer Romani

We all know senior Sameer Romani, if not by name, but by his attire. A suit. Every day. But Sameer dresses to impress, and he impresses a lot of powerful people.

“The mentors I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with range from all aspects of the industry,” said Romani. “I’ve met with international airline captains to Fortune 500 CEOs,” says Romani.

Most of Romani’s mentors share one thing in common.

“Just about all of them have a very strong influence in the world of modern aviation,” said Romani. “However, the most fundamental thing they all share in common is they’ve been humble and kind enough to mentor me.”

Throughout his four years at RAHS, Romani has met some very interesting people because of his networking skills.

“One of the most interesting would have to be either James Raisbeck or Ray Conner,” said Romani. “Dr. Raisbeck’s story is nothing short of impeccable; his dedication to engineering, his journey of entrepreneurship and leadership has been most inspiring and is worth hearing if the chance ever presents itself.”

Romani is also learning valuable life lessons from people who have come from nothing and rose to incredibly high positions.  

“Mr. Conner’s story is virtually unheard of,” said Romani. “From starting at The Boeing Company as a line mechanic to retiring as the corporation’s Vice Chairman, I was floored by the path his career has taken.”

Romani has weekly meetings with different mentors. Most recently, Romani met with John Hornibrook and Coleman Boettger. They discussed life in general, and Romani’s plans for after high school.

Coleman Boettger has been an Alaska Airlines captain for over 20 years. He currently teaches the Aeronautical Science Pathway program at the Museum of Flight, which Sameer is now a graduate of.  

“[My] overall opinion of Sameer’s networking skills is [that it is] outstanding,” said Botteger. “He has placed himself around a lot of Very Important People (VIPs).”

Aside from his mentoring prowess, Romani also tries hard as a student, and is also very strong academically. He is an “outstanding A+” student according to Boettger, and thinks all students can learn from him.

“Start by networking with Sameer,” said Botteger. “Have him as your teacher. There is no one better. I’m sure it has and will serve him well, like the VIP’s he has followed.”

Boettger is sure that the skills and connections Romani has built up over his four years in RAHS will give him an edge up in the real world. He also believes that these skills are valuable for future jobs.

“I’m sure the future has him one day as a VIP, CEO, [or] COO of a large company,” said Boettger.

Romani has a very easy way of making connections; he likes to establish the first contact. Mostly, he connects with prospective mentors online, but he sometimes meets them in person.

“To get mentors, I either send them an email or connect with them on LinkedIn,” said Romani. “On occasions, I’ll have the pleasure of networking with them in person.”

Romani is able to experience a lot of exciting events due to his connections with mentors. They range from casual lunch meetings to free flights.

“I was able to tour Emirates Airlines’ HQ and meet with their Pilot Selection Manager while visiting Dubai back in July 2015. I had a seat at ‘Table 1’ the first time I went to the Pathfinder Gala,” said Romani. “I toured the Deerjet 787 BBJ, toured Boeing’s Commercial offices, got a free airplane flight, and got a lot of free lunches!”

However, Boettger is most impressed with Romani as a whole. Romani has a great variety of skills, which he tops off with a fun personality and a great sense of humor.

“Of course, I think of him already as a VGP – Very Great Person,” said Boettger.

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Men look fly at Mr. Aviation

The men at Mr. Aviation preforming the dance.
Photo Courtesy of: Kenny Pham

On 27 Apr. 2018, Mr. Aviation, RAHS’ male beauty pageant, was held in the BPC. The contestants tried their hand at a dance, showcased their many skills in a talent show, and demonstrated how smooth of a talker they are when answering questions. The 2018 winner of Mr. Aviation, sophomore Chase Barton, will receive a cardboard cutout of himself, a free parking spot, and free tickets to every RAHS dance for the next school year.  

During this year’s Mr. Aviation Pageant, junior Kenny Pham, ASB President-elect and Mr. Aviation contestant, created the dance that all of the contestants perform at the beginning of the Pageant. Pham was the 2017 Mr. Aviation victor and is known for his dance moves.

“Mr. Aviation, to me, is an event in which family members and students can watch participants really strut their stuff, and showcase their unique personalities as they go through a fashion show, talent show, and finally a question and answer portion at the very end,” said Pham.  

For Pham, his favorite part of the pageant was the talent show.

“Over the years, participants have always thought up of incredible showcases of their personal talents, ranging from dancing, to singing, to spoken word, and it’s always entertaining to see the excited crowd cheer on each act.”said Pham.  “The energy levels are so high during this portion and it’s always amazing to see people cheer at the top of their lungs,” said Pham.

But Mr. Aviation isn’t just about competing for a prize. For a lot of the students, Mr. Aviation can be about releasing stress and watching fellow students

Since there is always such strong audience participation for the competition, Pham feels it is a crucial part of RAHS culture.

“Mr. Aviation brings people together for a night in which everyone can let loose and watch, and cheer on their friends while they compete for the Mr. Aviation crown,” said Pham.

One of the aspects of the competition that likely draws the large crowd of students is because it is totally coordinated by students.

“Mr. Aviation is all student run,” said Pham. “Whoever volunteers, creates the dance choreography for the opening number, and the event coordinators on ASB — who were [juniors] Erin Magarro and Caroline Tran this year — lead meetings with the participants to make sure the event runs smoothly.”

However, not everything about the event is decided by the organizers. The contestants can make major decisions as well.

“The participants are in charge of their fashion show attire, talent, and answers for the questions,” said Pham. “This entire event is run by the students, and the only involvement faculty has is that they rate and judge the participants.”  

One of the most anticipated parts of Mr. Aviation is how it can draw people together and have them focus on one common goal.

“It’s really amazing how so many people can come together to create this exciting and hype event,” said Pham. “It also brings out the hype in people, and it continues to build up this community we have, filled with diverse talents all around.”

For contestant senior William Schnaith, the competition is about showcasing his talents.

“Mr. Aviation is a way to express talents I wouldn’t be able to show off in a regular fashion,” said Schnaith.

Like Pham, Schnaith also said the talent show was his favorite part. However, a large part of what Mr. Aviation meant to Schnaith was being known to others in RAHS.

“Also, it’s a great way of getting yourself known in our school’s community,” said Schnaith.

Another thing Schnaith enjoys about Mr. Aviation is the impact one can make on the school.

“Whether it’s working with the ASB, other contestants, or showing off to the crowd, you can leave a positive impact on a lot of people very easily,” said Schnaith.

Overall, Mr. Aviation is a great outlet for the students of RAHS to express themselves and showcase their unique talents.

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New classes coming to RAHS next year

Mrs. McGuire works on a draft of next years schedule.
Photo By: Will Garren

Next school year, while the core part of the schedule will be the same, new classes will be added.
Over the past year, Office Manager Trish McGuire has been working on the new schedule.
“There are many new classes possibly being added for next year,” said McGuire.
There are a large variety of potential new classes being added to next year’s roster.
“Some of the new classes might include “Photography, Physics, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and two programming classes,” said McGuire.
Even though he is a senior, Sameer Romani is excited that some of these classes are being added to the RAHS curriculum.
“I think that the addition of Unmanned Aerial Systems would be very beneficial and fit the model of RAHS well,” said senior Sameer Romani.
Changes like this tend to shake up the school environment quite a bit. Additionally, teachers are being helpful and informing McGuire of the optimal time for classes
“I have not had any teachers ask to set their own schedules. I have had a few teachers ‘recommend’ what would work for them,” said McGuire. “I always welcome teachers to let me know what works for them. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”
There have also been no new teachers hired at the school which means that the schedule for next year will stay relatively similar to what is currently in place this year.
However, according to RAHS advisor Carper, “most of the staff would love to go back to the old schedule.”
The old schedule had advisory immediately following lunch on block days, but was changed for teachers to have longer breaks.
“We can advocate for that,” said Carper, “but there are certain things in our contract that we’re not allowed to change.”
Next year’s schedule is constantly being evaluated by staff members.
“Typically Mrs. Tipton, Mr. Holloway and a couple teachers who are interested will start coming up with ideas, brainstorming about what worked this year and what didn’t,” said Carper.
After a basic rough draft is done, other staff members look over it to make sure it encompases each teacher’s constraints. It’s also important to make sure the schedule is feasible.
“That would be me, Mrs. Tranholt, Mrs. McGuire and administrators that look at it and try to figure out how realistic it is, as well as the amount of teachers we have, and their constraints,” said Carper.
Dealing with the schedule is a hard task, especially when teachers are busy during the year dealing with students.
“It kind of all comes down to funding. In a small school we have fewer teachers and fewer courses so you kind of have to accept that there’s no schedule that’s going to work for everybody,” said Carper.
Hopefully with the funding the school has, a schedule with variety and fun engaging classes will be created for next year.

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