Dispatchers & Flight Instructors

Dispatchers and Flight Instructors


Two full-time dispatchers and several student dispatchers join the aviation management team in keeping things running smoothly at the Flight Operations Center.

Flight Operations Center

Cate Jurek - Dispatcher
Phone: (801) 832-2910

Education: B.A. Elementary Education, English minor, Westminster College; ESL Endorsement

Hometown: Rock Springs, WY

Hobbies: knitting, sewing, photography, reading, all very boring and grandmother-ish

What I like about my job: I learn something new every day.

What I like about Westminster: It's the best school on the planet! It's big enough to be interesting and small enough to get to know everyone.

What I like about Utah/Salt Lake City: I love the variety of people and activities and the funky vibe in Sugarhouse.

Favorite Restaurant: Killer garlic fries at The Bohemian. Love, love, love The Bohemian. In the summer, you've gotta try the garlic burgers at The Cotton Bottom. (I'm sensing a theme here).

Aviation Goal: I'm working on getting my FAA Dispatcher's certification.

Link to college directory


Lisa Curless - Dispatcher
Phone: 801.832.2910

Education: B.A. Communications, Westminster College

Hometown: Logan, Utah

Hobbies: Landscaping, gardening, reading, hiking, camping, and skiing with my four children.

What I like about my job: It's different every day. There is always something to challenge me and I am constantly learning. I also love working with students, watching them set and achieve goals, and seeing them do great things.

What I love most about Westminster: I first experienced Westminster as a student and quickly fell in love with the camaraderie and sense of community the school provides. My professors were outstanding and went above and beyond in providing me with the best education. Now as an employee, I strive to continue the example that was set for me and ensure that students have the same incredible experience that I had. Westminster, simply put, is the most amazing school.

What I like about Utah/Salt Lake City: I love the variety of things you can do in Salt Lake. My family loves to hike and camp in the summer and ski in the winter, so we feel very blessed to live near such beautiful mountains.

Favorite restaurant: Bambara, Eggs in the City, and The Tin Angel.

Advice to students: Having gone back to school later in life, I learned that you can do absolutely ANYTHING you put your mind to, no matter how hard it seems. There is a lot of hard work that goes into getting your education, but if you put your heart and mind to it, you can accomplish great things.

Link to college directory


Flight Instructors

The following flight instructors work at the Flight Operations Center to provide the very best flight education experience for our flight students all year 'round.



Josh Bendixen - Flight Instructor 

Hometowns: Salt Lake City, UT and Hells Canyon, OR

Hobbies: spending time with my family, shooting, camping, working on trucks

What I like about Westminster: the flight program, the dedicated staff, and the well-maintained equipment.

Long-term aviation goal: Not sure. I like instructing.

Link to college directory



Samantha (Sam) Acosta - Flight Instructor 





 Michael Alley - Flight Instructor


Ryan Hock - Flight Instructor 






Neal Clayton - Flight Instructor 





 Cullen Burgess- Flight Instructor



Paul VanDerHoeven - Flight Instructor 

Education:  B.S. Flight Operations, Westminster College

Hometown: Lehi, Utah

Hobbies: boating, snowboarding, snowmobiling, hiking, football, and flying  

What I like about instructing: Being able to get paid for what I love to do, and being able to help others who share the same passion for flying as I do. The best part is when I have a student who is struggling with something and seeing their excitement when they finally get it right. That is the best feeling. 

What I like about Westminster: Class size. When your biggest class is twenty students, it really gives you a chance to connect with the professor and your classmates. It's even more the case in the Aviation Program; we are all really close. 

What I like about Utah/Salt Lake City: I am a little biased because I grew up here, but the mixture of the mountains and desert are my favorite. We have the greatest snow on earth in the winter and nice hot summers. I like the extreme seasons, summer and winter. But you do get a glance of spring and fall as well.

Favorite local restaurant: The Mandarin in Bountiful. It is similar to a P.F. Changs but a thousand times better. It is a little pricy, so it's definitely a special occasion restaurant. 

Aviation goal: Long term, I would like to be an international airline pilot. I would love to work for Delta Airlines, KLM, or Lufthansa. But honestly I just want to fly something big.   

Advice to students: Make it work. In college (especially aviation) you need to be flexible. If you are coming into the program with a passion to fly, your passion should come first. Get a flight block and a school schedule then work around that. Along with being flexible, if a flight cancels, be proactive about making up that flight. Even if your instructor can't meet, ask them if you could find another instructor just to cover that flight. But it is most important that you're having fun and enjoying your college experience. 




Kritpong Sivamoke-Flight Instructor

Education: B.S. Flight Operations, Westminster College

Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

About me: I am originally from Thailand and I've been in the states for the last seven years

Hobbies: I love to play ice hockey and I am also a hockey skating coach

What I like about instructing: I like seeing my students improve and achieve their goals. It is very rewarding seeing the student succeed.

What I like about Westminster: Westminster is a very structured and organized school which, in my opinion, really helps the student progress with their learning.

What I like about Utah/Salt Lake City: I like that Salt Lake City is a very well-rounded city. You can find everything that you need/want in SLC without the hassle of a big city.

Favorite local restaurant:  I really like Simply Sushi. It's a sushi buffet place; for the buffet price the sushi is actually pretty good.

 Long-term aviation goal: I would like to fly for major airline like Delta.

 Advice to students: Be consistent with your flying. Fly often and in the long run it will save you money.


Adam Sagers-Flight Instructor

Education: B.S. Flight Operations, Westminster College (after twenty years in the building industry).  


Hometown: Farmington, Utah (Lagoon).


About me/Hobbies: One of the reasons that the building industry attracted me was because it provided opportunity for travel and adventure.  I’ve lived all over the western US including a summer in Alaska.  I love motorcycling (desert racing), snowboarding, canyoneering, rock hounding, and any other outdoor activity that is exciting.  I got married a few years ago and have a nine year old boy.  Now my passions are traveling with my family and teaching my son all of the hobbies and sports that I loved to do.   


What I like about instructing: The Challenge.  I don’t believe you can be considered an expert at a specific skill until you are able to successfully teach it to others.


What I like about Westminster:  Westminster has very high standards but still maintains a down-to-earth attitude.  All of the chiefs and facility are approachable and willing to help with anything. 


What I like about Utah/Salt Lake City: I can’t live without my mountains and forests. 


Favorite local restaurant: The Red Iguana II for sure. 


Long-term aviation goal: Captain at Delta Air Lines.

Advice to students: Make flying your top priority and fly often.  Maintain good grades they are a good evidence of a great work ethic.  Stand out in a good way, be famous in any organization you belong to--this will pay off.  When opportunities arise your name just may come up as a candidate.  Make yourself valuable to Westminster even if you’re just a student.  



Joe Feichko - Flight Instructor 






Connor Hennebry - Flight Instructor 






Check and Simulation INSTRUCTORS

The following flight instructors work in the industry full time but help Westminster Flight Ops with stage checks or sim preps when needed. 


Orlando Avendano - Captain for SkyWest Airlines (CRJ 200, 700, 900)

Education: B.S. Flight Operations, Westminster College

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

About Me: I first earned my Associate degree at SLCC and then transferred to Westminster. I was one of the first flight instructors with Westminster Flight Operations and have enjoyed seeing the program grow. As a commuting pilot, I don't have a lot of free time to instruct, but I am often asked to help with sim preps for airline candidates who want some 142 practice before their interviews.

Advice to new students: This is a very rewarding career, but it also takes a lot of hard work and perseverance. See every experience as a new learning opportunity, and carry a spirit of teamwork with you where ever you go.






Mike Leaver - Flight Instructor, CFI, CFII, MEI; stage check pilot

Education: B.S. Westminster College

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

About Me: I am now employed by SkyWest airlines as a First Officer but help out with stage checks from time-to-time. Westminster was a great place for me to go to school and work and I'm happy to continue to help out.

Link to college directory




Brian Ottley - 

Education: B.S. Westminster College


About Me

Link to college directory





Taylor Byers - 

Education: B.S. Westminster College

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

About Me

Link to college directory





Julie Paasch- 

Education: B.S. Westminster College

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

About Me

Link to college directory