On May 24, 2017, cadets from the Air Force Junior ROTC Program at Oxnard High School were recognized and honored for their achievements during the 2016-17 school year. Dr. McCoy, our Associate Superintendent for Educational Services, gave some opening remarks. He complimented the cadets on their accomplishments and challenged them to continue adding to their “skill set” to make themselves more marketable—above and beyond just a high school diploma.
The ROTC Awards Assembly honored the most outstanding among the 125 cadets in our Air Force Junior ROTC Program. We had three presenters from the community give awards sponsored by fraternal military organizations that recognize high-performing students at the high school and college levels. Colonel Robert Colbern gave out four awards: the Military Order of World Wars, (Cadet Luis Cruz), Military Officers Association Award, (Cadet Shawn Weatherwax), Reserve Officers Association (Karla Rojas), and the Sons of the American Revolution Award (Tim Frost). Mrs. Nancy Tabor awarded the Daughters of the American Revolution Award to Cadet De’Nece Merlos. Mr. Tom Melugin represented the Scottish Rite Association and recognized Dallas Hernandez for his accomplishments.
Other organizational awards were given by the Tuskegee Airmen (Nicholas Twine and Serenity Parrilla), the Air Commando Association (Milo Arevalo), the Fraternal Order of the Purple Heart (Julian Conde), the Sons of Union Veterans (Ray Montes), the Daedalian Award (Anahi Velasco), the Air Force Association (Hannah Quiroz), and the National Sojourners Award (Bri Storz).
Two parents were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the program: ‘Supermom’ Awards went to Mrs. Arlene Twine and Mrs. Barbara Bautista.
Major Weaver gave unit awards to the most outstanding first year (Aaliyah Williams), second year (Diego Duarte), third year (Serenity Parrilla) and fourth year (Andrew Felipe) cadets. The Air Force JROTC Cadet of the Year was awarded to Cadet Lily Dy—she worked extremely hard and did a phenomenal job organizing most of our key events. Our most improved cadet was Joseph Bautista, our Commander’s Award (for kindness) was given to Jose Perez and Betsy Leon, and Cadet Jonathan Pilotzi was recognized with the Navy Excellence Award.
The top 22 academic performers (GPA of 3.5 or higher) received certificates, as did the top 30 cadets who demonstrated sustained superior performance. Our team award for the best flight/class was given to our first period class, or Alpha Flight. Seven seniors graduated with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and are entitled to wear a blue cord around their gown during graduation ceremonies: Andrew Felipe, Shawn Weatherwax, Tim Frost, De’Nece Merlos, Luis Cruz, Lily Dy, and Hannah Quiroz.
The Awards Assembly was well-attended by many parents and several teachers, who brought students from their classes to share in the experience.
The cadets of the Oxnard High School Air Force Junior ROTC Program performed in an outstanding manner this year; their accomplishments were varied and many. They also volunteered thousands of hours of community service. Throughout the year, the cadets held their core values close to heart: integrity first, service before self, and excellence.