• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff Report

WCMS student wins first-place STLP award

DALTON WELLS, a seventh-grader at Woodford County Middle School, won a first-place plaque in aviation at the state’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) championship in Lexington on March 30. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Woodford County Middle School seventh-grader Dalton Wells says he’s always had a passion for aviation.

“I’ve always wanted to be a pilot,” said Dalton.

The 13-year-old can only fly model airplanes for now, but he credits his grandfather, who was an actual pilot, for inspiring him to fly higher.

“My grandfather died in a plane crash, but that hasn’t really hampered me from wanting to be a pilot,” Dalton said.

Knowing Dalton’s passion for aviation and flight, WCMS social studies teacher Tyler Murphy told the seventh-grader about the state’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) Championship in Lexington on March 30.

“I looked through all the categories,” said Dalton of his path to STLP success, “and I was like, ‘ooh, Aviation Challenge, I should be good at that.’ And so I signed up for it.”

Three weeks after he was told about STLP, Dalton brought home a first-place state championship plaque for his aviation knowledge and ability to plan three flights over unfamiliar areas of Kentucky.

To prepare for his Aviation Challenge at the STLP State Championship (grades 6 to 8), Dalton said he talked to pilots and collected information to bolster his general aviation knowledge.

Dalton, who aspires to fly cargo for the military one day, said, “I just love airplanes.”

Also at STLP, WCHS eighth-grader Brayden Miller earned a second-place award for his knowledge in technology quick-recall.

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