High flyer: Splendora High School senior earns pilot’s license

Judson Dean credits his grandfather, Clay Dean, for inspiring his love of flying. Judson is a high school senior in Splendora.

Athlete? Check! Welder? Check! National Honor Society member and pilot? Check, check!

Splendora High School senior Judson Dean is all that and more, but flying may be his true passion. Judson has played varsity football and baseball, showed animals, learned welding and, in November 2021, he received his pilot’s license.

“I started flying with my grandfather when I was younger, and I have loved flying ever since. I am a third generation pilot and I would like to fly either commercial airliners or private jets,” said the young aviator. 

Judson Dean aspires to one day work as a commercial pilot. He will graduate in May from Splendora High School.

Judson and his family have lived in the Splendora area since 2015, and Judson has attended SHS all four years. His sister, Brielle, is in her junior year at SHS, and a younger brother, Jersey, is in fourth grade at Piney Woods Elementary. Judson’s parents, Jennifer and Bo Dean, said Clay (Bo’s father and Judson’s grandfather) was the one who piqued Judson’s interest in flying. Clay Dean is the fixed based operator for Cleveland Municipal Airport.

At the age of 10, Judson would join his “Pepaw” on his Pilots for Patients’ flights. Pilots for Patients’ is a non-profit volunteer pilot organization based in Monroe, La., that provides free air transportation to patients needing diagnosis and treatments at medical facilities not available locally. Judson would sit on pillows to see over the cockpit during these missions with his grandfather. 

When asked about Judson, his counselor, Dawn White, said, “Talk about a senior soaring both figuratively and literally. Judson exemplifies what it means to cultivate exceptional people in this district. He is well rounded and driven towards his goals. I know Judson will be successful in anything he sets his mind toward. We wish him the best of luck!” 

For most people, the sky is the limit, but for Judson, it’s just a starting point, and he is ready to take flight!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.