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  1. Life & Culture

Coast Guard copter drops in for Pinellas schools teach-in

Students at Curtis Fundamental Elementary School celebrated the Great American Teach-In on Wednesday in Dunedin with special drop-in appearances, including one that was quite a spectacle.

All day, the students were treated to visits from attorneys, emergency medical personnel, members of a bomb squad and others who shared their careers and passions with them. This year's highlight was the arrival of a U.S. Coast Guard Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, which landed on the field next to the basketball courts.

The students were able to talk to the pilots and rescue swimmer, and allowed to climb aboard the helicopter -- as long as they didn't push any buttons.

Lt. Commander Joe Boyes, a C-130 pilot who coordinated the arrival from the ground, said he felt fortunate to be part of the presentation.

"It reminds me of my own experience as an 8-year-old with a cousin who flew in the Air Force," Boyes said. "I was able to visit him at his base at the time and take a tour. And actually I got to sit in the cockpit of an F-15 and was very inspired to be a pilot."