SOW: Jordan Potterton January 26, 2009
Fruita Monument senior follows his big sister as Air Force Academy student
Jordan Potterton wants to follow in his sister’s footsteps even when they lead to the cockpit of a fighter jet.
Potterton, a senior at Fruita
Monument High School, will attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, thanks to a recommendation from Congressman John Salazar.
He will join his sister, Chelsea Tompkins, who will be a senior at the academy.
“I wanted to serve my country,” Potterton said. “The Air Force teaches you to become a leader.”
Potterton and his sister are establishing a previously non-
existent military tradition in his family, but there won’t be any sibling rivalry when the two are at school together.
“We’ll get to hang out,” he said. “She will help me through the tough times.”
Potterton said his parents couldn’t be happier that he chose a military career over a traditional four-year college.
“They didn’t want me to go to school and get off on the wrong track,” he said.
But with Potterton’s schedule, it’s hard to see how he could have time to go off in the wrong direction.
Potterton is working toward his Eagle Scout ranking this year and has chosen to remodel the foyer of his church as his community service project.
The project is still in the planning stages, he said, and will take a couple months to complete as he has secures materials donations and finds volunteers to help him.
Potterton also runs cross-country and track at Fruita Monument, which fills up his calendar with training sessions almost every day of the year.
To be recommended for the Air Force Academy, Potterton said he had to maintain high grades, write numerous essays and pass physical exams.
Flying, however, is one thing that will not be new to him.
Potterton is part of the Civil Air Patrol and has flown gliders as well as received aerospace training.
“It’s like a crazy roller coaster, only 10 times better,” said Potterton of piloting a glider.
While he would like to be a pilot for the Air Force, Potterton said he would be interested in designing equipment for NASA or working in other aerospace engineering.
“I don’t know how many pilots they’ll need in the future,” he said.
Until then, Potterton is saving what little time he has for volunteering at his church.
Every summer, church members travel to Mexico to build a house for a less fortunate family, he said.
“We work so hard, and it makes me feel so good,” Potterton said. “Even with a little house, that person feels like they have the world.”
Parents: Denise Potterton and Saul Tompkins
Preferred college: Air Force Academy
Where he sees himself in 5 years: in the Air Force
Favorite music: everything except country
Favorite TV show: House
Personal hero: his sister
Why?: “She’s tried very hard to get where she is,” he said.
I’m most proud of: being involved in my church