Helping Students Take Flight


Frank & Karen Gochenauer
Frank & Karen Gochenauer

Karen Gochenauer lost her husband Frank in 2017, but like an airplane’s cottony trail across a cloudless blue sky, Frank left much behind — such as students who followed in his footsteps in aviation, and a scholarship that bears his name.

Frank taught accounting, bookkeeping and law at Chambersburg High School and was a popular football coach who inspired his students through his love of the skies. One of his most promising students was G. Scott Shatzer, who graduated from Central Penn in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in aviation administration. After his beloved teacher’s final trip to the heavens, Shatzer worked with his wife Karen and Director of the Education Foundation Sandy Box to launch a scholarship in his name. He also helped to launch two other scholarships at Central Penn for family members and mentors.

Central Penn honored Shatzer for his generosity with a 2017 Philanthropic Trailblazer Award.

Gochenauer was Shatzer’s high school accounting teacher and also a private pilot. Frank had just purchased a Cessna 172 Skyhawk –an American four- seat, single-engine, high-wing, fixed-wing aircraft. Fascinated by aircraft, Shatzer flew many hours in the right seat of the C-172. Frank helped him find the aviation program at CPC.

Scott Shatzer
Scott Shatzer

Shatzer served close to 20 years as Vice President of Sales at Flexjet LLC. He is now Vice President of Aircraft Management at the Jet Agency and also a private consultant for GSS Consulting in Naples, Florida.

Shatzer said he literally started from the ground up, “marshaling aircraft for American Airlines at MDT (Middletown, PA) as well as vacuuming peanuts off the floor and emptying the lavatories on turns back to O’Hare.” He took an unpaid internship with USAir Express during his last term at Central Penn, which paved the way for the heights he has achieved in the industry.

One of Shatzer’s favorite memories of Frank involved a trip on board Air Force One, at the Hagerstown, Maryland airport. They were invited to come aboard the aircraft, which was serving President Ronald Reagan at the time, traveling to Camp David.

Gochenauer’s widow Karen now resides in Chambersburg and has donated faithfully to the scholarship in her husband’s honor for six consecutive years. Their son lives in Blue Bell, Pa. Karen, who taught kindergarten for 36 years, still gets emotional when asked what her husband’s scholarship means to her.

Noting that they marked their 56th wedding anniversary in August, she said, “It’s a tribute to his life that something is going to carry on his life’s work and help students. That’s who he devoted his life to,” she said. “If he knew, it would mean a lot to him.”

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