Randolph-Macon senior plans to fly to new heights
FRONT ROYAL — Randolph-Macon Academy senior Parker Overstreet is leaving high school satisfied with his experience, and with high hopes for the future.
Overstreet plans to eventually work in the airlines industry. He is going to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in the fall.
Originally from Luray, Overstreet said that he went to Randolph-Macon his junior year because he wanted to go to a private school with stronger academics than the public high school he had been attending. He didn’t know he’d be able to fly an airplane there.
“I had never even dreamed of flying or even having the opportunity,” Overstreet said.
When he attended an open house at Randolph-Macon Academy, he learned about the flight program there. And even then, he didn’t know he would be able to fly a plane.
“I thought they were talking about simulators or drones or things along that line,” Overstreet said. “I didn’t know they were talking about planes.”
When he realized he would be able to fly an airplane, he decided to take part.
“I thought it was too good of an opportunity to miss out on,” Overstreet said.
Since then, Overstreet has fallen in love with flying.
Asked what the feeling is like, Overstreet said, “I can’t describe it. It’s just surreal in a way. You really feel free up there. Everything else that just bothers you on the ground is just gone.”
Overstreet has increased the amount of time he’s spent flying since starting at Randolph-Macon last year. He said that he didn’t fly much his junior year because of a high workload but spent more time his senior year flying.
He wound up flying once or twice per week to once or twice a month this year, he said. That number increased in the last month, however, because he was training for his private pilot certificate.
He is most looking forward to being able to fly every day at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Although he is excited about starting college, Overstreet described the experience as bittersweet.
“I’m somewhat excited, you could say,” Overstreet said. “But a little bit nervous and a little bit sad to leave all my friends behind.”
In addition to flying, Overstreet played trombone and euphonium for the band. He also ran cross-country and was a swimmer.
When: 10 a.m. Saturday.
Where: Melton Memorial Gymnasium.
Number of graduates: 59 seniors, 2 post-grad graduates.
Speakers: Maj. Gen. Mark Anthony Brown; Dongeun “Amy” Go.
Valedictorian: Dongeun “Amy” Go, of Korea.
Salutatorian: Lucas Costa, of Monmouth, Oregon.
Senior Class President: Stephen Okonkwo, of Nigeria.