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As the school year is ending for Sand Springs students, and seniors are eagerly anticipating college life in the fall, one former Sandite and 1988 graduate of Charles Page High School is proving that it’s possible to go from starving college student to project manager for the most recognizable aerospace company in the world.
Timothy Wright is a project manager for Spacecraft Thermal Protection Systems with Jacobs Technology, the largest NASA contractor at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But before he made it to NASA, he was a resident of Applegate Estates, located off of State Highway 97 between Sapulpa and Sand Springs. He lived in the area from 1980 to 1988, attending Allen Bowden Elementary School, Clyde Boyd Junior High School and Charles Page High School. After graduating from high school in 1988, he set off for college at Florida’s Institute of Technology, graduating in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Wright explains that his decision to work for NASA was originally due to the close proximity to his school.
“(The Kennedy Space Center) was in close proximity to my college, Florida Institute of Technology,” he says. “I was a starving college student, and I got a job as an engineering intern my senior year of college. Once I witnessed a shuttle launch at (Cape Canaveral), I knew I wanted to be part of the program.”
From then on, Wright held numerous positions at the Kennedy Space Center, both as an engineer and as a manger. He worked for Rockwell International as a space shuttle payload integration engineer, responsible for the electrical and mechanical interfaces between the space shuttle and its various payloads. He held the position of lead payload integration engineer for STS-30, STS-67 and STS-75, and was recognized by astronaut crews for his significant contributions that resulted in the success of these missions.
Wright was recently back in Sand Springs, where he was honored by the Sand Springs Education Foundation and inducted into the Sandite Hall of Fame. While he visited his former home, Wright met with students throughout the Sand Springs Public School District.
“The best part of my recent visit to Sand Springs was sharing my experience with nearly 2,000 students in Sand Springs schools,” he says. “I hope one of them will follow in my footsteps to help put Americans on Mars.”
During his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, Wright recalled his visit with the students and teachers.
“It was … fun for me to be able to talk to several Sand Springs students at their schools this week about my experience,” he said in his speech. “They are bright kids, and asked some tough questions. I was (also) impressed with the administrators and teachers I met this week. Even when the final bell rang, many were still at the school working with the students on special projects. This type of dedication will make this community even stronger in the future.”
Wright thanked one teacher in particular he had in high school, leaving a lasting impact on his life.

“One particular teach that had a tremendous influence on my life was Mr. Moguin. I really wanted to be in his high school physics class, mainly because they won the Spring Fling every year, and I wanted to know the secret of running up a greased ramp with an egg in your hand. He did a great job of making learning fun and interesting, and his class gave me the confidence that I could succeed as an engineer,” he said.
Aside from work, Wright is an avid surfer. He lives in Satellite Beach, Fla., within walking distance from the beach, allowing him to surf frequently when the waves are good. He has also traveled to California, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama in search of the perfect wave. He is also an ice hockey player and has played in the Spacecoast Hockey League for 20 years, where he has been awarded for his sportsmanship and high standard of playing ability. He has been a part of multiple championship teams with the league.
Wright’s other hobbies include snowboarding, wakeboarding, jet skiing, skateboarding, snorkeling and riding rollercoasters. He also enjoys volunteering, and has volunteered thousands of hours of his time coaching youth soccer and basketball.
When asked what he misses most about Sand Springs, Wright’s answer is simple.
“The people and pride they have in their schools and city. I miss my friends there … and Braums,” he says.
Wright is most proud of his family. He and his wife Jamie have three children — Jason, age 10; Megan, age 15; and Nicole, age 18. He says Nicole plans to follow in his parents’ footsteps and will attend Florida Institute of Technology in the fall to study software engineering.