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Hanscom ALS holds virtual PME course

Hanscom ALS holds virtual PME course

Col. Katrina Stephens, installation commander, provides her remarks during a virtual Airman Leadership School graduation ceremony July 30. Throughout the five-week professional military education course, Airmen attended lessons via Zoom and completed all work online. (U.S. Air Force photo by Mark Herlihy)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. –Airman Leadership School officials here held a virtual graduation ceremony for 12 junior enlisted members July 30.

The five-week professional military education course prepared Airmen to become first-line supervisors.

“Teaching ALS virtually allowed us to demonstrate to the students the importance of flexibility and innovation when it came to accomplishing the mission,” said Staff Sgt. Sonia Severino, Hanscom ALS instructor. 

Throughout the first virtual Hanscom ALS class, students attended lessons via Zoom and completed all course work online as COVID-19 prevented in-person classes at the school.

"Now more than ever, strong leadership is essential in our day-to-day lives,” said Senior Airman Adriana Genovese, ALS Class 20F student. “ALS is a building block for future leaders. I’m eager to take what I learned in this class and apply it in my professional life.”

Master Sgt. Brandon McCarty, ALS commandant, said the feedback and suggestions made from this class will help improve the experience for future virtual sessions.

“I am really proud of the students of Class 20F,” he said. “They exceeded my expectations on how well they adapted to a virtual learning environment. We could not have asked for a better mix of students to be the first virtual Hanscom ALS class.”

During the ceremony, school officials announced the names of three Airmen who received awards.

The school’s top award, the John L. Levitow Award, went to Staff Sgt. Maxwell Lehmann, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Detachment 12, Cambridge, Massachusetts. This award goes to the student who achieves the highest overall standing from a combination of academic scores, performance evaluation and leadership qualities. It's the highest honor awarded to an enlisted professional military education student.

The Academic Achievement Award went to Senior Airman Hillary Bliss, 459th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. This award goes to the student who achieves the highest summative scores throughout the class and who displays characteristics of an effective leader. The recipient also must have fostered teamwork within the training environment.

Senior Airman Carter Cianci, 102nd Cyberspace Operations Squadron, Cape Cod Air Force Station, Mass., captured the Commandant Award. This award goes to the student who displays all the characteristics of a leader. Once all other factors are considered, the ALS commandant renders the final judgment on who receives this award.

The following Airmen also completed the course:

Senior Airman Christopher Betheaboone, 66th Security Forces Squadron

Senior Airman Nicholas Buckner, 190th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Forbes Field Air National Guard Base, Kansas

Senior Airman Adriana Genovese, 337th Airlift Squadron, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

Senior Airman Kacy Hikel, 101st Medical Group, Bangor Air National Guard Base, Maine

Senior Airman Larry Jarrell, 459th Operations Support Squadron, Andrews AFB, Md.

Senior Airman Ashley Mitchell, 180th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, Missouri

Staff Sgt. Alfonso Ochoa, 66th Air Base Group

Senior Airman Matthew Powell, 66th Medical Squadron

Senior Airman Daniel Sullivan, 439th Civil Engineer Squadron, Westover ARB, Mass.

Each graduate received the U.S. Air Force Noncommissioned Officer PME Graduation ribbon.