PALMDALE – Robert “Bob” Johnstone, who passed away Nov. 8, 2014, was among Antelope Valley’s most recognized advocates for educational systems emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
He played a key role in helping promote the broad STEM-based educational opportunities that students have in the Antelope Valley.
In his memory, The Palmdale Aerospace Academy will present the inaugural Bob Johnstone Award, with the first recipient being Johnstone himself, at its Friends of the Academy Dinner on April 23.
The award will annually honor those who go above and beyond in advancing STEM-based education in the Antelope Valley.
Johnstone’s wife, Barbara, will accept the award on his behalf.
“Bob dedicated himself to creating better educational opportunities in the valley that prepare students for the challenges of the future,” stated Barbara Johnstone. “I am proud that his legacy will be remembered and will continue to inspire others.”
Johnstone’s legacy is steeped in efforts to address the shortage of locally-trained engineers and other high-tech professionals to fuel the local economy.
A retired base-planning official for Edwards Air Force Base, Johnstone became one of the founders, as well as the chairman, of the Mathematics Science Engineering Technology Consortium, and began to implement pre-engineering programs through Project Lead the Way.
Johnstone’s efforts helped establish the foundation of STEM education in nearly a dozen schools, as well as the establishment of college programs that serve to bridge graduating students to the jobs of the future. He also served as an administrator for the Edwards Community Alliance/East Kern Educational Resource Network.
“Bob was an innovator that helped create the aerospace education system we now boast here in Antelope Valley,” stated Palmdale Aerospace Academy Superintendent Dr. Laura Herman. “The Friends of the Academy Dinner is a fitting acknowledgment to Bob for his dedication to our future leaders.”
The Friends of The Academy Dinner will be held April 23 at the Larry Chimbole center. Community members are encouraged to attend the event by purchasing tickets or sponsoring a table at www.tpaa.org.