Air Force Brigadier General flies her way into the West Hall of Fame


Air Force Brigadier General Heather W. Blackwell speaks before the upperclassmen of Greeley West High School.

Alan Lozano Munoz, Staff Writer

Greeley West High School hosted Spartan alumnus and Air Force Brigadier General Heather W. Blackwell on Monday, February 27, as a guest speaker due to her induction into the Greeley West Hall of Fame.  Blackwell came to let her story be known to the students. “It’s been a magical, awesome, and amazing journey,” Blackwell said

Blackwell shared stories about her leadership, opportunities, and the hardships she has gone through during her time in the Air Force. Blackwell’s message was meant to be inspirational and inspiring. She stated, “You’d think that after going through so many leadership positions I’d be brave, and bold, and ready to do all these things, and I’ve still had loads of opportunities [to become better].”

Blackwell has a lot of close relations with the Greeley West community. Her sister, Assistant Principal Amy Zulauf, has been a major influence in Blackwell’s life. Zulauf said, “Even though she’s shorter than me, I do look up to my older sister. Like I mentioned before, she’s someone who has taken positive risks, become a leader, and she now has an amazing impact on a lot of people. She’s making the world a better place in her own way. I want to do that too. I get to watch and learn from her, ask her questions, and take her advice.”

Blackwell can be a role model to many in our community, as even her sister allows her to be. Zulauf mentioned, “I think my sister can be a role model for anyone. She has been one for me because she makes me think in different ways. We have different jobs, but we are both leaders. I can get some cool insight into my own role and my own job from learning about what she does as a leader.”

Students can really get a lot from this speech, including ideas for the future. For example, they might want to follow Blackwell’s footsteps and go into the Air Force themselves. Senior Martin Uribe Federico stated,“Blackwell’s speech was very influential and motivational. The main point I got from this speech was to never doubt your ability to achieve your goals in life.” 

But even if the Air Force doesn’t seem like a future you want, there’s still value to be had in Blackwell’s speech. Zulauf commented, “I want students to hear her message about being brave. My sister does not identify as a confident person, but she takes risks and tries new things anyway. Being brave doesn’t mean you are confident. Being brave means that you take the next step in your life, even if it is scary, because it can lead to the life you want.”