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News Maryland Howard County Ellicott City

Howard superintendent surprises students with parachute jump

Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose wants students to dream big.

On Thursday, she traveled 13,500 feet high in the sky to inspire Atholton High School students to be all that they can be before parachuting onto the school's football field with the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team.

"We have such talented, dedicated students and I believe that everybody can reach their highest potential," she said shortly after touching down.

Foose joined the Golden Knights for an hour-long air show at Atholton, which featured eight Golden Knights gliding into the Atholton stadium.

Most students were unaware that Foose would be joining the Golden Knights until the event.

Foose acknowledged being nervous while the plane was circling the field multiple times before lining up the jump. Initially after jumping things were "very fast," Foose said, and on video from the Golden Knights, she can be seen giving a thumbs-up and playing air guitar.

Atholton principal Jennifer Clements called the event a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity for students.

"When we were presented with this opportunity, we certainly couldn't turn it down," she said.

She said Foose's participation was great and connected with students in a unique way.

"I think they have a lot of respect for her and it's just going to build the respect that they have for the school system and the respect that they get from it," she said.

The school system was contacted about the opportunity after a student, whose father is a Golden Knights commander, signed up for the JROTC program, according to Col. Jim McGrory, Atholton JROTC commander.

"It was perfect, you couldn't have asked for a better day," he said of the Golden Knights' performance.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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