Every three to four years, Army JROTC programs around the country are evaluated as part of Army Cadet Commands ongoing certification process for these programs. The evaluation, known as the JROTC Program of Accreditation (JPA) uses AdvanceEd standards to determine a program's strength in the areas of curriculum, authentic assessment of cadet learning, interaction of JROTC instructors with peers and community, professional development, and presentations given by cadets.
When Southern Garrett's evaluation took place back on March 11, 2020, it represented the cumulative efforts of the cadets and their instructor that began over a year ago. Their efforts paid off with a rating of 93.87% out of a possible score of 100.
"A score between 70 to 100 in all areas indicates that the standards are being met," said LTC (Ret) Ralph Sheaffer, the cadets' instructor, "but we wanted to go for the honor unit with distinction ranking." Although the program didn't qualify for it, the cadets' efforts were demonstrated quite strongly.
Robert Dawson, the chief evaluator for the Maryland region, commented during the evaluation the cadets' strength with their service learning project and the demonstrated skills of the platoon drill leader and color guard leader.
Shawn Beckman led the service learning presentation in which the team explained how they planned and conducted the Elks Lodge Veterans Day program. Ethan Granke was recognized for the “well” execution of the 12-member platoon drill sequence and the training behind that event. Greg Helms led the color guard and was challenged to learn over 20 commands involving a team of four. Dawson also recognized 9th grader Misty Butcher for stepping up to the challenge for giving a presentation that normally involves third and fourth year cadets.
Shawn Beckman (far left)
#4142 Misty Butcher (far left)
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