What would motivate a high school principal to jump out of an airplane? For Guillermo Munoz, it was the opportunity to motivate his students.
Munoz, who is in his first year as principal at Homestead High School, said his jump was a lesson in getting over fear and anxiety.
“I’m telling the kids that again, we all have anxieties about doing things in our lives that may be dangerous or things we feel anxious about and all the kids have a test soon, and I want them to go ahead and understand they’re prepared," Munoz said. "Teachers have prepared them, so I want them to relax right now, have the confidence to take the exam and do the best they can.”
As Munoz explained, if he can get over his fear to skydive, his students can approach their upcoming FCAT writing exam with confidence.
Munoz was in good hands for his jump, which he did with the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachuting team, which trains at Homestead Air Base. The Golden Knights exist as a recruiting tool, showing off the army's best.
“I think it’s a great way to communicate with our students that they can join the military and there’s a life out there for them,” Munoz said.
The principal said many of his students will look to the military for career opportunities, like the parachuters did.
“What it does is allow us to talk to students and tell them about the many opportunities available to them in the United States Army, such as myself,” said Staff Sgt. Rich Sloan, an information systems analyst and Golden Knights member.
Munoz was on a tandem jump, attached to Sloan, who guided both of them to a soft landing on Terra Firma along with other members of Homestead High's administration.
“He did 'army strong' today," Sloan said. "He did an incredible job today."
Munoz said it was a team building exercise that will reverberate among the student body. He said he's planning to show the video of his and his staff's jump -- plummeting to earth from 13,000 feet and overcoming their fears in the process -- at an upcoming assembly in the hopes of spreading some motivation.