JPS JROTC Cadets Celebrate End of Semester with Premier Formal Event

posted Jan 27, 2016, 12:32 PM by Unknown user

Erik Mallett
Errika Mallett, guest speaker for the 4th Annual JROTC Military Gala

Jackson Public Schools JROTC hosted the 4th Annual Consolidated Military Gala on Friday evening, December 18, 2015. A gathering of nearly 1,000 cadets, instructors, parents, school administrators and other guests dressed in formal attire convened at the Jackson Convention Complex, to socialize and celebrate the holiday season and the completion of a successful first semester.

"We were honored and grateful to have the president and several members of our JPS Board of Trustees, our Superintendent, Dr. Cedrick Gray, Mayor Tony Yarber, Police Chief Lee Vance, representatives from Jackson State University, William Carey University, Millsaps College, business and church leaders, and a host of supporters and well-wishers come out and support one of our premier events," said Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director of JPS JROTC. "However, we were most proud of the exceptionally professional manner in which our cadets facilitated the program, as well as the respectful and dignified behavior demonstrated by all throughout the entire program."

Guest speaker Errika Mallett delivered an inspirational and empowering message, highlighting the lucrative benefits as well as the need for more diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. Mallett is an industrial engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology with consulting, marketing and executive management experience in the technology industry. She is currently the Vice President of Operations and Partnerships for the Gifted Education Foundation.

JROTC Military Gala Group
JPS Supt. Dr. Cedrick Gray (center) joined Board members, school administrators, and more than 900 guests for the JROTC Military Gala held in December 2015.

The mission of JROTC is to Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens. 

The JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school. The average annual graduation rate for JPS JROTC cadets is 98 percent. Cadets are also expected to continue their education after completing high school and the JROTC program includes components that assist with preparing cadets for higher education. 

The percentage of JPS JROTC graduates who are formally accepted to post-secondary institutions of higher learning has steadily increased each year, reaching 99.1 percent.  Additionally, the graduating cadets earned an average of $3 million in scholarship offers annually.

"The planning and execution of the military gala was nothing less than outstanding," said Col. Willis. "It is a great testament to what our young people are capable of—the level of cooperation, fellowship and esprit de corps—when placed in a positive environment and allowed to be creative."

Three JROTC Cadets are National Scholarship Recipients

posted May 19, 2015, 8:09 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 20, 2015, 10:19 AM ]

Three JPS JROTC cadets are the recipients of National ROTC Scholarships. The scholarship recipients are cadets CPT Melvin Williams, Jr., MAJ Meshanna Marzette and Cadet CPT Melvin McCrory.

Cadet CPT Melvin Williams, Jr. is a graduating senior at Jim Hill High School and a recipient of the three-year advance Army ROTC scholarship. His scholarship amount is $153,101. He is in the Dual Enrollment program at Jim Hill with a Quality Point Average of 3.27, an ACT score of 22 and 455 community service hours. He is a member of the varsity track team, marching band and many JROTC activities. His scholarship amount is $153,101. He plans to attend Jackson State University (JSU) and major in Biology with a concentration in Physical Therapy, while in Army ROTC. Upon graduation from JSU, he plans to receive a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and train as a Physical Therapist.

Cadet MAJ Meshanna Marzette is a graduating senior at Jim Hill High School and a recipient of the three-year advance Army ROTC scholarship. She is in the International Baccalaureate program. She has a Quality Point Average of 3.89, an ACT score of 24 and has completed 678 community service hours. She has been a member of the varsity track team, varsity volleyball team and many JROTC activities. Her scholarship amount is $262,794. She plans to attend Mississippi State University (MSU) and major in industrial engineering, while in Army ROTC. Upon graduation from MSU, she plans to receive a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army or work as an industrial engineer in a major firm.

Cadet CPT Melvin McCrory, III, is a graduating senior at Lanier High School and a recipient of the four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship. He has a Grade Point Average of 3.2 and an ACT score of 28. According to Lt. Col Timothy Henderson, Professor of Aerospace Studies at JSU, Cadet McCrory is the first ever recipient of the Commander's Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend JSU. His scholarship amount is $252,658. He plans to major in computer engineering. Upon graduation from JSU, he plans to commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and train as a computer engineer.

"We're extremely proud of the accomplishments of these outstanding cadets," said JPS JROTC Director Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis. "We're very confident they will continue excelling to higher level as they continue their education at the college level and in the Senior ROTC program."

JPS JROTC cadets (from left) CPT Melvin Williams, Jr., MAJ Meshanna Marzette and Cadet CPT Melvin McCrory are recipients of national military scholarships.

Brigadier General Barbara Owens Visits Lanier High School

posted Apr 22, 2015, 1:13 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 23, 2015, 7:32 AM ]

Brigadier General Barbara Owens visited Lanier High School on April 7, 2015. The 1st Battalion Cadet Staff briefed BG Owens on Lanier's JROTC activities and asked her several questions about the success of her military career. An African American Army Officer later posted news of the visit on Facebook in a congratulatory manner.

JPS Salutes Hundreds of JROTC Cadets at Military Gala January 12, 2015

posted Mar 4, 2015, 12:29 PM by Unknown user

JPS high school JROTC cadets dressed in their best formal attire for the Annual Military Gala held in December.
Program guests included Gerald E. Harmon, MD, and Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray
(From left) Dr. William Merritt, CAO; Dr. Lorene Essex, Dep. Supt.; JPS Supt. Dr. Cedrick Gray; Dr. Josephine Kelly, CAO; and Dr. Michelle King, CAO

Over 900 cadets, instructors, parents, school administrators and other invited guests converged at the Jackson Convention Complex Friday, December 19, 2014, for the 3rd Annual JPS JROTC Annual Consolidated Military Gala.

The guest speaker for the event was Gerald E. Harmon, MD, a family medicine specialist for more than 25 years in coastal South Carolina. Dr. Harmon has served over 34 years in the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force, and he recently retired with the rank of Major General.​

In addition, Miss Mississippi Jasmine Murray was a featured speaker at the event and provided musical entertainment.

"We're very proud of the efforts made by our instructors, school administrators and cadets from all our high schools over the several months leading up to this event, as they demonstrated the highest levels of teamwork and cooperation to ensure a successful Gala," said JPS JROTC Director Colonel (Ret.) Paul Willis. "We're extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we continue receiving from our parents, school officials, former cadets and many others in our community."

According to Colonel Willis, the JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school. Included in his remarks were some outstanding outcomes for graduating cadets.

"The average annual graduation rate for JPS JROTC cadets is 95 percent. The percentage of JPS JROTC graduates who are formally accepted to post high school institutions of higher learning has steadily increased each year, reaching 99.1 percent last year. Our goal is to attain and sustain a 100 percent acceptance rate for our graduates," stated Col. Willis.

Additionally, the graduating cadets earn an average of $3 million in scholarship offers annually.

Lanier JROTC Student Receives Legion of Valor Award

posted Dec 10, 2014, 2:18 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 10, 2014, 2:18 PM ]

Legion of Valor Presentation Group Photo
Lanier High JROTC Cadet/Colonel Myuna McNair (center) accepts the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award. With her are Brigadier General (Ret.) Margarett Barnes (left) and JPS JROTC Director Colonel (Ret.) Paul Willis.

Army JROTC Cadet/Colonel Myuna McNair of Lanier High School received the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Award on November 6, 2014, at Lanier High School from the Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc. This is the highest award a JROTC cadet can earn and is presented annually to the top JROTC cadets across the nation who excel in academics, leadership and community service.

Cadet/Colonel McNair serves as the Cadet Brigade Commander for the seven Army JROTC units within the Jackson Public School District. Academically, she is ranked first out of 188 students in her senior class where she carries a 4.05 grade point average. This past summer, she attended Jackson State University's Interdisciplinary Center for Nanotoxicity. Last year, McNair became the first high school junior to earn the Cadet of the Year award for the Jackson Public School District.

Cadet/Colonel McNair is captain of the Lanier High School Army JROTC Academic Team and the captain of her unit's Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) competition team. During this past year, McNair performed over 90 hours of community service benefiting such organizations as the American Legion, the Sonny Montgomery Veteran's Administration Hospital, and local elementary schools.

McNair will graduate from Lanier High School in spring 2015. She plans to study pharmacy in college.

Lanier JROTC Joins Mayor Yarber for Career Day at Casey Elementary

posted Dec 10, 2014, 2:16 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 10, 2014, 2:18 PM ]

Mayor Tony Yarber and a Casey teacher
Mayor Tony Yarber speaks to fifth grade students at Casey Elementary during Career Day.

Mayor Tony Yarber spent the afternoon with fifth grade students at Casey Elementary for Career Day on November 10, 2014. The mayor ate lunch with the students and later talked to them about choosing a career path, sharing how his own path led him into politics.

Ironically, Mayor Yarber began his career in education as a student teacher at Casey, and two of his colleagues from that time are still teaching at the school. After teaching in several JPS elementary and middle schools, the mayor eventually rose to building administrator and served as principal of Marshall Elementary before entering the world of city government in 2009 when he was elected city council member representing Jackson’s Ward 6. He became mayor in 2014, after running in  a special election to replace Mayor Chokwe Lumumba following his death while in office.

Yarber ended by explaining to the students that whatever career they decided to go into, it had to be one that they loved. Mayor Yarber told the students he goes to bed and wakes up thinking about how he can make his city better. 

“I ran for mayor not because I wanted to be mayor, but because I’m passionate about my city. I love Jackson,” said Mayor Yarber. “Everybody wants to go to Atlanta, but I want to make Jackson better than Atlanta. I think we have the opportunity to do it because we have amazing fifth graders like you guys here at Casey.”

In addition to the mayor’s visit, the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) from Lanier High School was a part of the Career Day activities at Casey. Colonel (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director of JPS JROTC programs and Lieutenant/Colonel (Ret.) Jennifer Expose-Francisco, senior instructor, and several cadets from the Lanier JROTC unit spoke to students in second through fifth grades about careers in the military.

Casey Principal Leslie Coleman was proud of the Career Day program offerings provided to Casey students.

"Our counselor, Mrs. Christian, coordinated numerous opportunities for our students to be exposed to careers they didn't even know existed, said Casey Principal Leslie Coleman. We want our students to be aware of their options and help them set goals to aspire to." 

JPS Cadets Attend National Flight Academy

posted Sep 15, 2014, 8:21 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 8:21 AM ]


JROTC NFA Participants

Participating in the NFA program were (standing, from left) Jaquan Walker, Jim Hill; Vivian Sandifer, Murrah; Chelsea Dortch, Murrah; Haley Rucker, Murrah; Marquez Wilkerson, Wingfield; Aya Johnson, Jim Hill; Meshanna Marzette, Jim Hill; Mya Brown, Jim Hill; and Allen Cooper, Wingfield; (sitting, from left) Estrella Bucio, Jim Hill; Te'Ravius Wiley, Wingfield; Nwaynah Littleton, Jim Hill; Raquan Young, Wingfield; and Denisse Bucio, Jim Hill.

A group of 14 JPS JROTC cadets successfully completed the National Flight Academy's AIR Ambition program conducted at the Pensacola (Florida) Naval Air Station from May 25 through May 30, 2014.

The National Flight Academy (NFA) is designed to address the serious concerns of declining Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills and standards in our country. The Academy's mission is to inspire students who subsequently return to their original schools and seek out the more challenging courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Disciplines include aerodynamics, propulsion, navigation, communications, flight physiology and meteorology, along with core values, teamwork, and leadership skills development.

The cadets successfully met challenges in mathematics related to navigation and flight planning. They also applied principals of physics and aeronautical engineering to manage aircraft simulators in performing difficult tasks. The cadets exercised communication, collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking skills to plan, control and execute highly complex missions under stressful conditions.

Cadet Allen Cooper, a rising senior at Wingfield High School, elaborated on his experience at the National Flight Academy.

"I learned a lot about aviation such as movements and terminology. I got the chance to fly a simulator of an experimental jet. It was very exciting learning to control the jet."

Col. (Ret.) Paul Willis, Director, JPS JROTC, was very proud of these cadets and their accomplishments.

"To my knowledge, these are the first JPS JROTC cadets to attend this course and we certainly intend to provide this opportunity to more cadets in the future," said Col. Willis. "This is part of our continuing effort to expose our cadets to meaningful experiences, which enhance their personal development and academic skills."

The course costs $1,250.00 per student, however, students could apply for scholarships. All JPS JROTC cadets attending the course in 2014 applied for and received scholarships to cover the full cost of the course. 

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