Air Force Thunderbird crew members took a break from their busy training and traveling schedule to drop by their alma mater...Judson High School. Their visit was in conjunction with the Thunderbird show back in November, but they felt it was important to go back to their roots. Both Major Christopher Scheibler and Staff Sergeant Matthew Gips spoke to about 30 members of the JROTC program about what their experience has been and how they got there. Both had some great advice for the students...giving 100 percent of themselves if they really want something...go for it with everything they have. They also talked about some great teachers who pushed them to help them realize abilities they didn't know they had. Both men not only are Judson graduates, but they also went to Olympia Hills and Kitty Hawk Middle School. Scheibler is a flight surgeon for the Thunderbirds while Gips is in the administration end, but also assists in recording the shows for video promotional material. JISD is appreciative of their visit.
Judson ISD has a long tradition of ties to the military and Wagner High School now has its first student prepping to go to the Air Force Academy. Patricia Patterson was accepted admission to the prestigious program. The Air Force will indeed be getting a bright package of energy with Patricia. Along with this achievement, she has been a part of the Lady T-Birds Varsity Basketball team, a member of the National Honor Society and is in the top three percent of her class. Patricia is also a First Sergeant of Bravo Company in Wagner's ROTC program. Along with all those activities, she is also a Certified Nurse Assistant and stays active help others. Congratulations to Patricia!
The Wagner ROTC has developed a lot of tradition over the years and that is never clearer than at the Annual Military Ball. This is the 10th year for the affair and as in years past it is totally cadet led. The young men dress in their Formal Military Uniform (white shirt and bow tie) and the young women wear evening dresses. It all started with introductions...including new JISD Superintendent Dr. Carl Montoya, along with the Cadet Battalion Staff and the posting of the Colors. After a toast to all Fallen Patriots who paid the ultimate service to this country, the Guest Speaker for the evening, Joana Martinez, addressed the group. She is a former cadet and graduate of Wagner who received a full scholarship to St. Mary's University and after graduation will become a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army this May.
One very interesting part of the evening was when Cadet Seniors wrote themselves a letter stating where they would like to be and what they want to be doing in 10 years. They placed the letter and an item of significance into a chest which will be opened up again at their 10 year reunion.
Also, you can't have the Military Ball without the First Cut. That's where the highest ranking and the lowest ranking Cadets share the duties of making the first cut of the cake. That symbolizes the concept that it takes every Cadet performing his or her duties in order for the whole battalion to be successful.
The evening was capped off by Mr. Stewart and his wife crowning this year's Military Ball Court with the help of the Sabre Team of course... then it was time to show the moves on the dance floor.
While many schools in the Judson ISD were offering tributes to those who have or are still serving in our military, there was also a big show of support for the families that make sacrifices too. JISD Military Family Appreciation Day was hosted by the district at the Performing Arts Center and focused on those family members that have to go for long stretches without their parent because of deployment. Both Judson and Wagner ROTC Color Guards presented the Colors with Star Lang of Olympia Elementary School leading the pledge of allegiance and the Wagner drum line performing as well. Judson High School Principal Jesus Hernandez was on hand to welcome the guests with Kitty Hawk Middle School students Kamali Jack and Jose Allende delivering the Veteran's Day Message. The keynote speaker was Aric Bostick, who is a former Judson ISD teacher and a best-selling author who spoke about Setting Goals and Achieving Dreams. Many thanks to Sylvia Greenwood, JISD Military Family Engagement Specialist. Thank you vets...and thank you family members for your contribution to this country.