Kate Meyer, an English teacher at Mount Desert Island High School, sits in the cockpit of a UH-60 Blackhawk with Sgt. Ethan Blake, the recruiter assigned to her school and a former MDI student. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALYSON PELLETIER

MDIHS teacher flies with National Guard 

A group of local educators takes a photo with a Maine Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk prior to their educator flight on Oct. 15.

AUGUSTA— The Maine Army National Guard (MEARNG) Recruiting and Retention Battalion hosted two civic leader flights this fall. During these events, community leaders learn about the National Guard and ride on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter over the local area. 

Teachers, administrators, school resource officers and local government officials are just a few of the groups that can participate in these activities. 

One of those educators in attendance was Kate Meyer, an English teacher at Mount Desert High School, and the 2020 Hancock County Teacher of the Year. 

“I come from a military family, so any chance that I get to learn more about the military, especially in our state, and to bring that back to my students, I jump at. This was one of those opportunities,” Meyer said. “When Sgt. Blake reached out and asked if I wanted to do it, I said ‘absolutely.'” 

Sgt. Ethan Blake graduated from Mount Desert High School and now serves as the recruiter for that community. 

“I’ve been assigned to the school for less than a year and with COVID, we haven’t worked as much together, but I had her for a teacher back in the day, so I’ve known Ms. Meyer for years,” Blake said. “And when I was assigned this school, it seemed like a perfect fit!” 

Donning masks, Blake and Meyer sat in the cockpit of a UH-60 helicopter, taking note of the large number of switches and gauges, and catching up with each other. 

“I love to see my former students and their careers,” Meyer said. “It’s great for us to see, and so this is a very good opportunity.” 

Meyer was excited, not only at the opportunity at seeing one of her former students, or flying in a helicopter, but also learning more about the Guard and bringing that knowledge back to her students. 

“I’m taking away more of an understanding about how the Army National Guard supports our state and our local communities, and that makes me really excited to take that back to my students, because our students are really community-oriented, she said. 

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