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The Four

Harbor Springs High School Drone Class takes students to new heights

The CTE Drone Class offered at Harbor Springs High School is soaring to new heights, allowing students to tap into a creative space and explore a hobby that could even turn into something much bigger.

“Started about eight years ago through the Charlevoix-Emmet ISD, they brought the idea to us as volunteers, and I volunteered. And NMC, some pilot’s instructors from it came over and we went through their program, and they taught us how to fly. And I really had to start up our own program. So, I went through, and I got my part 107 license. And so, we just kind of started teaching the kids. We asked kids who is interested and started it from there. And then about a year and a half, two years ago, started working with some people from Grand Rapids, and we were able to get the program CTE certified through the state. And so now it’s a state funded program,” said Drone Class teacher, Robert LaPoint.

A traditional classroom setting might not be for everyone, which is why the drone course gives students the opportunity for a more hands on learning experience.


“I think this class has been like building my foundations of drones. I’ve learned everything that I know from this class. I started off with nothing and now I think I have a really solid base, and this prepared me for what to expect coming forth and just studying the basic stuff,” said student, William Gretzinger.

Through the course. Some students even discovered their future career path.

“I think right now, Government contracting for like the development zones would be really neat and kind of encompass some engineering and some building and design,” said another student, Kirk Rose.

“I’m planning to go to college for it, to learn more about it and specialize more in it, and then hopefully out from there I’ll get a job doing inspections or something along those lines, using drones primarily as the main job,” Gretzinger said.


The drone class is giving these high schoolers useful skills to take into their future, whether it’s professionally or recreationally.

“I’ve seen a lot of opportunity for kids who may not be college bound kid and some for kids who are going to college. It’s just the drone industry is exploding, and I’d like to see our kids get on the forefront of it,” said LaPoint.

My plan right now is to go to Northern Michigan University. And I want this to continue to be a hobby and I think that it would be great if I could make some money through drones up in the U.P., where that’s such a beautiful place and all of the scenery and stuff and help out some like real estate companies or whatever. Just find some work because it’s a lot of fun to do,” said student, Evertt Baetens.


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