WASHINGTON, DC, July 2, 2007 – The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has selected Matthew Gonitzke as the recipient of the 2007 Edward W. Stimpson “Aviation Excellence” scholarship. Gonitzke recently graduated with honors from Winnebago High School in Winnebago, Illinois.
Gonitzke took his first flying lesson at age 12 and has met every aviation goal he has set for himself since that point, including soloing at 16 and receiving his private pilot license at 17 years of age. Even though his love of flying has always been evident, his real passion lies in engineering and design. He was a founding member of the school’s robotics team, which advanced to national competition this year, and took first in the engineering graphics competition at the state Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering competition.
Throughout high school, Gonitzke maintained a solid scholastic record while being involved in an array of extracurricular activities. He participated in several bands during high school and was a leader in his church and community.
Gonitzke will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida in the fall of 2007 as an aerospace engineering student. Although he plans to make a career out of designing and building airplanes, he also has aspirations of becoming a certified aircraft mechanic in the near future.
This annual award honors a top high school student who has been accepted to a college’s or university’s aviation degree program. The award honors Edward W. Stimpson, past president of GAMA and longtime supporter of aviation education.