Lindy Brooks, Tayah Bates, Spencer Donellson, Anthony Hudson, Thomas Reinhardt (Top 5% Leadership Achievement)
By Stephanie Edwards
LSHS staff, families, and cadets turned out for the annual Air Force JROTC Awards Night and Recognition on Wednesday March 29. The event was held in the LSHS Performing Arts Center and hosted by Colonel Rick Milligan.
“Our main purpose is leadership and academic achievement,” Milligan shared before handing out awards for the cadets. Character and discipline factor into the assessment for the awards given, he said. The awards given were handed out from national organizations. As each cadet was called to the stage to receive their award, details about their activities, service, and grade point averages were given.
Many of the awards were given out by representatives of the organization. One such presenter, dressed in Revolutionary War garb, turned and spoke to the entire group of cadets before he left the stage. “Reach for the starts, because the stars belong to you,” said Steve Sullins, representing the Sons of the American Revolution.
Recipients and awards on the national level were: Anthony Hudson, Air Force Association award; Lindy Brooks, Daedalian Award; Jacqueline Brammer, American Legion Scholastic Award; Thomas Rienhardt, American Legion Military Excellence Award; Tayah Bates, Daughters of the American Revolution award; Andrew Huggins, American Veterans (AMVETS) Award; Christian Moreno, Reserve Officers Association award; Anthony Hudson, Military Order of World Wars Award; CJ Davis, National Sojourners Award; Jared Ash, Military Officers Association of America Award; Garrett Deshazo, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Award; Dimitri Maroudas, Sons of the American Revolution award; Alex Bostick, Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction award; Sam Seal, Order of the Purple Heart; Emily Edwards, Air Force Sgt. Association award; Halle Soucie, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War award; Zaria Jackson, Tuskegee Airman Award; Mattison Thieverge, Daughters of the American Colonists award; Caleb Brigman, Air Commando Association Award; Kyle Andes, National Society of United States Daughters of 1812 award; Connor Dalrymple, Retired Enlisted Association Award; Johnathan Marselik, Celebrate Freedom Foundation award; and Lexi Ault, Celebrate Freedom Foundation award.
Local level awards were handed out next. Cathy Kilingsick was recognized with the Cadet of the Term award. Jo Cummins was given the Achievement Award. Thomas Reinhardt received the Leadership Award. Outstanding Cadet Awards were given to Halle Soucie, Anthony Hudson, Jared Ash, and Christian Moreno. Top Performer Award honors were given to Christian Moreno and Spencer Donellson. Superior Performance Awards were given to CJ Davis, Christian Moreno, and Anthony Hudson. Jared Ash received a Distinguished Cadet Pin.
The following cadets received Presidential Fitness recognition: Abigail Rumas, Caleb Bringman, Alex Arth, Jermimia Prowant, Sean Matlock, Kyle Hale, CJ Davis, Dalton Sterbenz, Devin Smock, Jaryn Jacobs, Greg Rule, and Christian Moreno.
Booster Club President Brook Donellson handed out two $1,000 Presidential Scholarship Awards to Cj Davis and Dalton Sterbenz. Tayah Bates received a Girls' State Nomination. Christian Moreno received a nomination to Boys' State. Christian Moreno was recognized for his appointment to the United States Naval Academy.
The awards ceremony ended with the bittersweet recognition of TSGT Joel Estes, who in 1995 founded the AFJROTC program in Lee's Summit. Cadets Anthony Hudson and Sean Getchell spoke of his 42 years in uniform, and the impact his service has had. “This is my whole life,” Getchell said. He recalled watching the seargeant, who is also his grandfather, ready for drill practice at 4 a.m. only to return home some nights late into the evening.
“I am happy to have done it,” Estes told the crowd. “It has been a great ride.”
Col. Milligan introduced Msgt. Todd Holbrook, the new N.C.O. during the awards ceremony.