Palmdale Aerospace Academy to receive facelift

Palmdale School District Superintendent Roger Gallizzi, right, talks with Debbie Dino about one of the areas on the campus that volunteers will be working on during the April 28 event.

PALMDALE – More than 400 local volunteers are expected to descend upon the new campus of The Palmdale Aerospace Academy (TPAA) on Saturday, April 28 to help with painting, landscaping, general cleaning, as well as hosting a food drive, officials announced at a press conference Thursday.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Lancaster East will join forces with members of AV YouthBuild to help prepare the campus for its August 2012 opening.

“Once again, the community is a recipient of the wonderful generosity of the Helping Hands Program and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” said Palmdale School District Superintendent of Schools Roger Gallizzi. “This effort will help beautify a very visible part of central Palmdale. We are extremely grateful.”

Landscape Architect Charles Strawter, left, describes the landscape plan for TPAA to Palmdale School District Board of Trustees President Carol Stanford.

“We are honored and excited to be able to participate in the ‘Mormon Helping Hands  (MHH) 2012 –  A Day of Serving Our Community’ by helping out at the Academy,” said MHH organizer Debbie Dino. “In addition to helping with the facilities, we will be hosting a food drive for SAVES. People are encouraged to bring their non-perishable food items to the campus on Saturday, April 28 between 8 am and 3 pm.”

A food drive for the South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES) will also be held that day as part of SAVES’ “50,000 Pounds @ 50”  campaign in celebration of the City of Palmdale’s 50th birthday.

The Palmdale Aerospace Academy is located at 38060 20th Street East, in Palmdale, on the old Cactus Elementary School grounds.

“Antelope Valley YouthBuild and its participants look forward to continuing our support for the restoration project located at the Palmdale Aerospace Academy,” said AV YouthBuild CEO Rossie Johnson.  “We will be sending 30 students from our AmeriCorps program to participate and contribute as part of the City of Palmdale’s Global Youth Day activities. AV YouthBuild gladly supports the efforts of the Palmdale School District and its leadership on this project.”

“This partnership of local agencies, faith based organizations, schools and the community in general is one of the great strengths of Palmdale,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “So much good is accomplished through collaborations such as this one.”

More on TPAA…

The Palmdale Aerospace Academy is a joint venture between City of Palmdale, The AERO Institute, and the Palmdale School District. It is a new independent charter school, which is scheduled to open in August of 2012. The academy is a project-based learning environment within a STEM-centric professional learning community. The mission of Palmdale Aerospace Academy is to prepare its graduates for college and careers in the 21st century, aligned with workforce needs in the local area and beyond. The educational program emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and views academics through the lens of aerospace. Challenging projects, hands-on activities and collaborative learning engage student interest to maximize learning potential. The Palmdale Aerospace Academy will thrive through partnership with aerospace industry employers, the City of Palmdale, the Palmdale School District and others who help develop an innovative, relevant educational option.

 More on Mormon Helping Hands…

April 28 marks a Statewide Day of Service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. All across California members will donate time and resources to give a day back to their communities. For more information on MHH, please visit

More on YouthBuild…

YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In Youth Build programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.

(Information via press release from the City of Palmdale.)

  3 comments for “Palmdale Aerospace Academy to receive facelift

  1. Quigley
    May 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Did anyone ever get a count on how many volunteers actually showed to beautify this campus that is “visible” because apparently the other 24 are hidden somewhere in Palmdale.

  2. George Blackstone
    April 28, 2012 at 9:49 am

    In theory, the Aerospace Academy (TPAA) is a great idea, but at what expense? I attended the Aerospace Institute and walked away with the clear message that the TPAA is the future due to the fact that Palmdale School District (PSD) Schools are not making the grade. There is something fundamentally wrong when you have a group of educators and supporting entities who are virtually ignoring the schools they were hired to support. PSD have assigned work crews who are already operating thin to beautify this campus while PSDs other 24+ campuses are being overlooked. And now PSD management is going to once again disrespect the bargaining process and contract PSD work out to volunteers without consulting with the bargaining unit who owns this work. PSD will also lose money in time when concession bargaining is on the horizon due to the PSD students vacating the district in favor of the Aerospace Academy. There are too many things wrong with this to list in a single letter. In a word, “shame” comes to mind because it is an absolute shame that PSD kids who apply to TPAA and do not make the “lottery” cut may now feel that they cannot make the grade. Shameful!!
    George Blackstone
    President CSEA Chapter #296
    Palmdale School District

    • Quigley
      April 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Well said Mr Blackstone. The majority of the PSD student’s live on the other side of the tracks…..”East Palmdale” I would think if the PSD really wanted to shine they would put their energy & tax $$ toward programs that would educate all of the students. The 400 pulled will leave 20,000 who need them most! Roger Gallizzi & his Board should be ashamed! I wonder if any of them have kids in the district they represent??

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