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Photo Information

Blue Angels allow their Key Influencer to sit in the passenger seat during the demonstration practice aboard MCAS Beaufort. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Hernan Rodriguez)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Hernan Rodriguez

Blue Angels Key Influencer

11 May 2021 | Lance Cpl. Hernan Rodriguez Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

Dr. Frank Rodriguez, Beaufort County School District Superintendent, reached new heights last week as he flew with the U.S. Navy’s premier flight demonstration squadron, the Blue Angels, aboard MCAS Beaufort, April 21. 

Rodriguez was in for a ride of a lifetime when he soared the skies in the backseat of the Blue Angel’s F/A-18 Super Hornet. “It was amazing. The flight was awesome,” Rodriguez said. “I was super excited to experience a little bit of what the Blue Angels do.”

With many accomplishments throughout his education career, Rodriguez was selected to participate in the Key Influencer program and invited to fly with the Blue Angels. The purpose of the Key Influencer Program is to highlight people who help shape attitudes and opinions of youth in their communities. He has been working in the education field for over 25 years and is continuing to help the students within Beaufort County School District.

Before being elected as the superintendent of Beaufort County School District, he supervised 54 schools and 58,000 students in Palm Beach County, Florida. Under his leadership in Florida, student achievement had improved and high school graduation rates had increased to 91 percent.

“My plans for Beaufort County School District is to continue to push us to excel and to provide our kids with a great education and a great opportunity,” Rodriguez says. “One of the things that I've been working hard at is to get our school district identified as a Purple Star District.”

The Purple Star School Program is a state-sponsored recognition designed to emphasize the importance of assisting military children with school transition. The program also develops procedures that recognize the value of military service and civic responsibility.

With the school district being identified as a Purple Star District, military-connected students transition successfully with measures that help them feel welcome and familiarized with their changing environments. Purple Star Schools are committed to supporting the unique educational and social-emotional needs of military-connected children. 

Rodriguez says that with the two military installations here, he wants to make sure that they’re meeting the needs of the children of our service members. 

“I think that education is the key to providing opportunities and equity for all of the students that we're privileged to serve. Making sure that they get a great education will position them to reach their highest potential,” Rodriguez said.

The positive impact Dr. Rodriguez has on the youth within Beaufort County is appreciated by both the civilians and service members of MCAS Beaufort. What he has done and continues to do is not only important to the future of our community, but the future of our children as well. 

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