The Jetstream Journal

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Kadets Through the Ages, 60th Anniversary

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In 1958, when Kadets Louise Wade, Jack Werth, Kay Thompson, and Sandy Correll each won the Top Ten Dance Party contests held late that year, one of the prizes they received was a cigarette lighter. Now the very idea of the lighter being a prize in a competition for high-schoolers makes us cringe but then it was completely acceptable.

Air Academy has changed leaps and bounds since 1958. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Air Academy High School. This milestone brings many who had previously flown from  the nest to come back to their roots to celebrate with us this year.

Tiffany Noelle, a 1998 AAHS graduate and very prominent member of the Kadet Legacy Association, spoke with me about her vision for the 60th Anniversary. 

“The Kadet Legacy Association is proud to partner with Air Academy High School in celebration of our school’s 60th Anniversary,” Noelle said.  “Thank you to Principal Dan Olson and his amazing team at AAHS for hosting an incredible Homecoming, and congratulations to Kadet Football on the impressive victory.”

Noelle noted that the 60th Anniversary Celebration continues all year on the website ( with updated content from students and alumni. The celebration will culminate with the Time Capsule Unearthing and Reburial May 4th followed by the 60th Anniversary Gala at the Press Box on May 5th. She said six decades of Kadet Family members are ready to throw the biggest party of the year for our beloved school.

“Personally, this celebration brings me full circle with the time capsule, which my class buried during the 40th Anniversary,” Noelle said. “I am excited to retrieve the treasures we buried. I left my senior key in there. However, I am more excited about the opportunity to transition the time capsule vault to the next generation. Its time for someone else to occupy that space.

“Speaking on behalf of the Class of 1998, we are honored to hand over our time capsule vault to the Class of 2018. Enjoy your Senior Year Kadets! It only happens once.” 


Beginning this issue, The Jetstream Journal will feature  a few bibliographies of our more notable alumni.       

Ed Epler – Class of 1958:
Ed Lived in the Black Forest from 1953 to 1959.  Before the creation of School District Twenty, Ed attended school in Monument.  Ed was a member of the first graduating class of 1958.  Classes were held in the Carlton Mansion (Ed recalled that is was a country club at one time before it became the living quarters for the superintendent of the Air Force Academy).  During his senior year at Air Academy High School, he participated in football and basketball.  One of his memories of his senior year, Ed and 3 other students ditched school one day.  Ed was the only one caught.  His parents made him deal with Principal John Asbury, who Ed said, was a wonderful individual.  

After graduation, Ed went to work at a service station but was soon drafted into the military.  He joined the Navy, serving in the Vietnam War.  He was honorably discharged in 1966.  Returning to Colorado Springs, Ed worked for Deep Steam Carpet Cleaning.  While working two jobs and supporting his family, he earned his BA from UCCS in Political Science.  He was hired by the City of Colorado Springs and served as a supervisor for 34 1/2 years, retiring in 2004.  He has numerous grand kids and great grand kids and is proud of all of them, especially the ones serving in the military.  He and his wife enjoy retirement and still live in the Colorado Springs area.
Pat Forde – Class of 1983:
Pat Forde was a two-year letterman in both football and basketball at AAHS and the co-captain of both teams as a senior.  He received an honorable mention in the Denver Post All-State football team as a junior. Pat was also a member of the infamous powder puff cheerleader squad for homecoming 1982. He later graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and he was chosen as the outstanding news-editorial student in the graduating class of ’87.

After his years at the University, he worked 17 years at the Louisville Courier-Journal — two years covering high schools, one year covering regional colleges. He also spent two years covering the University of Kentucky and 12 years as a general sports columnist. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for an investigative series on academic failings in the University of Louisville Athletic Department and twice had stories published in the Best American Sports Writing anthologies.

He then went to work for ESPN in 2004, primarily covering college sports, however, he worked across all ESPN platforms — TV, radio, online — including regular appearances on “College GameDay” and “First Take.”

Forde went to work at Yahoo Sports in 2011 and is still working there today, primarily covering their college sports plus the Olympics, horse racing and golf. His official title is National College Columnist, he was also a college football analyst on the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports Radio. Not only is he well traveled, he has written two books: Rebound Rules, with Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino; and The Contract, with NBA guard Jimmer Fredette. Today, he lives in Louisville, KY, with wife, Tricia and their three children: Mitchell, a Missouri grad and former swimmer at Mizzou; Clayton, a student and swimmer at Georgia; and Brooke, a student, and swimmer at Stanford.

– Faculty –
Gayle Rappold:
We came to Colorado Springs via orders from the military, in our case, my husband’s assignment to teach at the AF Academy. I worked as a secretary in the beginning of our marriage, but I had been a stay-at-home mom with our five children for sixteen years. When a friend told me about an opening at AAHS, the timing was right for me to apply for a job having a complementary family schedule.

In August 1978, I was hired by Julie Fairley and George Bolte to join two others in the attendance office. Our duties were to record in pencil the presence of students in every class throughout the day and to call parents for any unexcused absences. We took this job very seriously, but not without memorable moments which still bring a smile. I subsequently worked in the counseling office, for assistant principals, and then my favorite job of all, the secretary to the principal. I interacted daily with that talented person who is ultimately responsible for assuring a safe and learning atmosphere in the school; I worked with capable assistant administrators, highly regarded faculty, excellent and troubled students, fellow staff members, parents and other district employees. It is a unique position and I loved every minute of it, even when I had to give up my beloved electric typewriter for that intimidating computer screen.

It was all a blessed time in my working life. Except for the esteemed Mr. Asbury who had already retired, I had the pleasure of working with every person honored in this anniversary award and know they either initiated or carried forward the enviable and special culture experienced at Air Academy High School. May it always be so!
I retired September 1, 1997, having worked my final four years with outstanding educator-administrators and staff at the District Office. 

Special Note: The 60th Anniversary of Air Academy High School is creating quite a buzz with the AAHS faculty some of whom have previously graduated from Air Academy. In this edition of the Jetstream Journal, the staff will be implementing a new category called Looking back. This category will be a chance for students from the present to debate topics with graduates from previous years. If you are interested in participating in one of the featured debates or reflections, be sure to look for the edition and reach out to me – Katlyn Blacksten – for future issues.

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Kadets Through the Ages, 60th Anniversary