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Leah Murphy Awarded 2022 NAFI/King Schools Scholarship

Scholarship Celebration Left to Right – King Schools CEO & Owner Barry Knuttila, NAFI Chair Karen Kalishek, 2022 King Schools/NAFI Scholarship winner Leah Murphy, Owners & Co-Founders of King Schools Martha & John King, Bob Meder, NAFI Chairman Emeritus

April 7, 2022, SUN ‘n FUN – Lakeland, FL For Immediate Release

Leah Murphy of Salisbury, MD is the recipient of the 2022 King Schools/National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) scholarship. Leah, already a helicopter CFI, will be using the scholarship funds to pursue fixed-wing ratings, including an airplane CFI certificate. The scholarship consists of $5,000 toward flight training and free, lifetime access to all King Schools courses, including lifetime Flight Instructor Refresher Courses (FIRCs). The estimated value of the scholarship is over $18,000.

Leah’s path to her present-day success has had some difficult challenges. She explains, “While working on my CFI-Helicopter certificate and in my final semester of my undergraduate degree at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, I was involved in a car accident that halted my flight training and completely changed the trajectory of my life. While my classmates were beginning their careers in the aviation community, I was recovering in a hospital bed. Instead of practicing autorotations, I was practicing walking up stairs. Fortunately, I was able to renew my medical and went on to earn my Helicopter CFI/CFII in less than a year from undergoing a spinal fusion.” Leah continued, “I am inspired by the diversity of Martha and John’s aeronautical certificates, and I am now looking to add to my flight experience as I pursue my fixed-wing ratings, including airplane CFI. I am incredibly grateful for the support system and opportunities the aviation community has provided me and hope to give back by means of instructing.”

Karen Kalishek, the Chair of NAFI, said, “Leah has accomplished so much, so fast, in her aviation career. Her extensive work for volunteer organizations and her track record of being out in front promoting aviation for young people is impressive. NAFI is an organization of teachers, and I am most excited by Leah saying that she wants to remain an active flight instructor. She will be able to mentor generations of pilots, and we see Leah’s career trajectory inspiring and fostering many future pilots. This is our 6th year of partnering with King Schools for this scholarship and I am looking forward to working with King Schools to offer more scholarships.”

L>R Barry, Leah, Martha & John

John King, an owner and co-chairman of King Schools, said, “Leah has overcome personal adversity, and scraped together savings for training to achieve so much. She just turned 30 and yet has a list of accomplishments, awards and work that would be enviable for someone at the end of an aviation career. Just imagine what she will still accomplish!

Applications for the 2023 NAFI/King Schools scholarship will become available in August of 2022. The deadline to submit scholarship applications will be January 4th, 2023.

For information regarding the King Schools/NAFI Scholarship visit –

To see a video about Leah’s job flying helicopters for WBOC TV –

King Schools

3840 Calle Fortunada • San Diego, CA 92123

Toll-Free (800) 854-1001

Worldwide (858)-541-2200




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