By Joan Murray

PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – On a Friday morning, former US Navy chopper pilot Brian McDonald is at the board giving students at Flanagan High School a visual lesson on landing a plane. The students listen intently.

“In this day and age, the aviation industry is hurting. There’s a need for airline pilots, helicopter pilots, commuter pilots, there’s so much there,” said McDonald.

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The avionics program is one of several specialized electives students can sign up for as part of the massive Broward school choice program for the fall of 2022.

Whether it’s avionics or the arts, marine science or forensics, the district offers more than 170 choices at area schools. But it requires an application to be filed online.

Students have until February 1 to fill out the forms.

A student can apply to a competitive magnet school, specialized experience programs like the aviation program at Flanagan, which may require you to transfer (reassignment), the NOVA schools and the collegiate academy which allows you to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from Broward College.

“School choice is based on space and you can apply to different programs through different applications,” said Janis Wint, Broward School Choice Director.

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“Parents can learn more about the programs by calling the school directly and some magnet programs have open houses,” she adds.

Flanagan sophomore MayaLynn Magliore is in the aviation program and hopes to follow in her mother’s pilot footsteps.

“She adopted me and yet found time to multitask. She would take me to the airport and I would see the prop planes. It was fun,” she said.

Principal Paula Peters says the choice programs offer a world of possibilities.

“High school is about exploration and finding yourself. This is a chance to find out what a career will look like.”

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For more information on school choice, including application information, go to