Alum’s aviation career lifts off from EVIT

Alum’s aviation career lifts off from EVIT
Posted on 12/22/2021
Alum’s aviation career lifts off from EVIT

The model airplane hanging in Taylor Izard’s garage is a reminder of where he got his start on a pathway to a successful aviation career: the East Valley Institute of Technology. Izard, a first officer airline pilot for Envoy Air, completed EVIT’s Aviation program in 2015. 

“There were lots of memorable moments,” Izard, 24, said of the Aviation program. “But I’d probably have to say flying model airplanes that we had built was one of the best parts … EVIT was a fantastic place to dive into something I’m passionate about.” 

EVIT offers over 40 career training programs at two central campuses in Mesa for East Valley high school students and adults. High school students pay no tuition; adult programs are tuition-based with financial aid available in some programs for those who qualify. 

Aviation is offered at the EVIT Power Campus, 6625 S. Power Road. Other Power programs include: Cosmetology, Future Engineers, Medical Assistant, Nursing Assistant and Veterinary Assistant. Starting in August 2022, EVIT will also be offering Aesthetics, Criminal Justice and Welding at the campus in southeast Mesa. 

The Power Campus is currently undergoing renovation and construction. The new aviation building, including a plane hangar, is scheduled to be completed by January. 

In the two-year aviation program, students learn about the history of aviation, job opportunities and hands-on skills required for careers in air transportation operations, air traffic control, airframe and power-plant maintenance, professional pilot, airport management and unmanned aircraft systems. Students have the opportunity to earn dual enrollment college credits through Chandler-Gilbert Community College, and in their second year, they begin flight training or participate in internships. 

After completing the program in 2015, Izard attended CGCC in partnership with the University of North Dakota’s aviation program and worked as a dispatcher at the flight school. He went on to become a flight instructor and charter pilot flying all over the United States and Caribbean, and being based in Phoenix, New York, Chicago, Miami and San Juan. 

Izard is currently an airline pilot and first officer for Envoy Air, where he flies the Embraer 175 out of Miami. “I use the skills I learned at EVIT every day,” he said. 

In January, he will start the next chapter of his career as a pilot for JetBlue Airways. “Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be flying to London on the Airbus 321,” he said. 

But even as he continues to move up and advance in his aviation career, Izard has fond memories of his two years at EVIT, where he had the opportunity to build an airplane and was awarded a scholarship to spend a week in Oshkosh, Wis., at one of the largest air shows in the world. 

His EVIT experience “provided me amazing opportunities I wouldn’t have had … It wouldn’t have been possible without the teachers who spend every day working with students to help mentor them through their lives and careers,” he said. “If you’re considering aviation or one of the numerous other fields that EVIT has courses in, you should check it out.” 

EVIT students have a 98% high school graduation rate, 2 out of 3 go on to college and 94% are in jobs related to their program, college or the military within a year of completing their training. 

High school enrollment for 2022-23 is underway. Start the process at:

Taylor’s Career Path:

  • Completed EVIT Aviation in 2015
  • Attended Chandler-Gilbert Community College in partnership with University of North Dakota aviation program
  • Worked as a dispatcher in flight school
  • Worked as a flight instructor and charter pilot in the U.S. and in the Caribbean
  • Currently an airline pilot and first officer for Envoy Air
  • Future plans: Starts as an airline pilot for JetBlue in January

Get started on a career while in high school:

How to enroll in high school programs at EVIT:

  • Complete and submit application online at
  • Parents/legal guardians of new students will need an active email account to access and use the online registration system
  • Upload attendance record, discipline record, current unofficial transcripts and proof of immunizations
  • Admissions office will inform students via email once application is approved or if more information is needed
  • EVIT is for all high school students – public, charter, private or home-schooled – who reside in one of 11 East Valley school districts: Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe
  • More information: Call (480) 461-4108

How to enroll in adult programs at EVIT:

  • Schedule appointment to meet with an advisor by calling (480) 461-4110
  • Complete online application form at
  • Tuition rates vary by program. Apply for financial aid by visiting and using school code 035723
  • Send questions about financial aid to [email protected]
  •  More information: Call (480) 461-4110