Scott Battershall of Scottsdale plans to follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark.
He and his mother, Joanne, will take a six-day journey following the historic duo’s trail in Lewiston, Idaho, hiking 12 miles in two days, canoeing over the Lolo Creek and visiting sights.
"It’s based on the lessons learned from the experiences of Lewis and Clark," Joanne Battershall said of the journey, part of a Paradise Valley Community College course. "We’re so excited, but it’s going to be a challenge."
Scott Battershall said the trip is one way he’s preparing for the challenges he’ll face as he begins classes at the U.S. Air Force magnet high school in Gilbert on Aug. 14. The Gilbert Public Schools Technology and Leadership Academy, the second Air Force magnet school in the nation, welcomes its first class this year.
There are 117 freshmen and sophomores registered for the fourth high school within the Gilbert Unified School District.
Ninety of the incoming students participated in a summer camp this month in preparation for the academy. They learned survival skills, ate dried military meals and made life preservers from their ROTC uniforms.
The summer camp gave incoming freshman Samantha Tinny, 14, of Gilbert a preview of what her next four years will be like, said her father Bob Tinny, a member of the school’s growing booster club.
"I’ve seen a change in her," he said. "You could tell she really lit up. I’ve seen a lot of teamwork, pride in their school."
Preparations are ongoing at the school, which includes renovations at the 15-classroom building at Greenfield and Elliot roads.
"It still looks a little bit like a war zone, but we’ve done an awful lot of work to refurbish things," said headmaster Lt. Col. Ed Fox.
Teachers hired from the Gilbert district and two U.S. Air Force veterans are putting final touches on the curriculum, which will include honors courses, an extra year of science and a required eighth hour of tutoring created by shaving off minutes between classes.
There are still openings available at the school, at least 15 for the freshman class and many more for the sophomore class. For more information, call (480) 497-3300.