Return to Headlines

Fire Academy Provides a Promising Future for Students

Kennedy Rowland was still in middle school when the Fire Academy was established at Sun Valley High School. When choosing electives at the end of her 9th-grade year, she began to have a plan in mind. By the end of her sophomore year, she had completed all 4 classes in the Fire Academy and gained all certifications. The state Fire certification allowed her to become a Jr. Firefighter and she began volunteering through the Stallings Fire Dept. during her junior year in high school.

These words from Mr. Joshua N. Simpson, Captain of the Stallings Fire Department, describe the impact she has had on so many!

Kennedy has been a breath of fresh air since she walked into the firehouse for the first time! She shows up ready to work everyday and she is always asking questions and wanting to train.  Her great attitude and bubbly personality lifts everyone up and makes the day so much better!  She has been an amazing addition to our group and I look forward to working with her for many years!  The attitude she has in wanting to better perfect her craft is amazing and she continually impresses me with the maturity she brings!

Over the last couple of years at SVHS, she has served as a peer tutor for the fire classes. Her presence and success in the Academy have helped promote that this is not just an area for males but offers an outstanding opportunity for females as well! Her instructor at SVHS, Mr. Chris Salter, says that all of the students look up to her and her leadership.

Future plans include working part-time at Stallings Fire Dept. while obtaining a 4-year degree in Fire Protection and ultimately beginning a career as a Firefighter at the Charlotte Fire Dept.  

Kennedy’s motivation is her father who was a former Fire Lieutenant and in the fire service for about 15 years. He passed away at the end of her freshman year. Her memories and time she spent with him, as well as wanting to make him proud have all resulted in her decision to become a firefighter. Her mother is her number one supporter and motivation and Kennedy strives to make her proud in all she does.

Besides averaging 30 hours a week at the Stallings Fire Department, Kennedy’s other interests include being Captain of the SVHS Volleyball team and being crowned Sun Valley Homecoming Queen her senior year!

Kennedy Homecoming

Kennedy Dad