The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

October 29, 2012

Fayette team fares well in international competition


— The Fayette Institute of Technology JROTC Academic Team competed in the National Academic Bowl and progressed into the final 12-team round, being edged out in tough academic competition by some of the top U.S. academic teams in the world. This competition lasted for two straight days of head to head academic competition in mathematics, science, English and social studies, on the George Mason University Campus in June.

The Fayette County cadets received the General George C. Marshall Leadership medals from the General George C. Marshall Foundation, in recognition of their achievement. This award is normally only awarded to a select few outstanding college ROTC cadets.

The team competing at the finals consisted of five cadets: Michael McGraw, Brandon Murdock, Nellie Vickers, Darin Shrewsberry, and Miranda Clark.

Students participated in several academic enriching programs including presentations by many distinguished speakers. They stayed in college dorms, ate in the campus dining facility, and used campus facilities, providing them a first-hand experience in college life. They also took a tour of Washington, D.C. with Major (Ret.) William Meador, seeing most of our national monuments and the Smithsonian Institute. On their travel to and from D.C., they stopped and toured several national parks and museums.

“It was a very tough academic competition, with Fayette County competing with several nationally recognized private schools and academic charter schools,” Meador said. “We in West Virginia should be proud of our young men and women.”

“I am extremely proud of our students and how they placed in a world academic competition,” FIT principal Barry Crist said. “Their achievement in the final round of the academic competition shows the positive aspects of our students , our school system and West Virginia.”

He also added this achievement is no surprise. The FIT JROTC unit has been recognized as an Honor Unit of Distinction (receiving the highest honor awarded) for 19 years in a row. He noted the Fayette team won in head to head competition with the team from Heidelberg, Germany.

The FIT team was one of only 24 teams that will competed at George Mason. They competed online in 2011 and 2012 against 1,583 teams from Army JROTC schools from the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense schools on Army bases located in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Japan, Korea and Germany.

They advanced in the spring semester of 2012 to Level II in the series of online against the top 746 academic teams in the winter of 2012. The FIT JROTC team moved onto the final level, Level III, of head to head team competition, having tied for first place with the other 23 JROTC teams.

This event is sponsored by the Army JROTC and conducted by College Options Foundation. The JROTC Leadership Symposium and Academic Bowl is a nationally recognized academic competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity. The competition creates tremendous opportunities for JROTC cadets by allowing them to demonstrate leadership and academic abilities.

One of the main goals of the JROTC Academic Bowl is to prepare students for high school graduation exams, as well as, the college entrance exams, such as the SAT and ACT. In each level of the competition, the fast-paced event tests the student’s knowledge using SAT/ACT-type questions in the areas of current events, English, math and science.  

College Options Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the academic development of high school students and assisting them in their preparation for higher education. Using academic competitions, college exam study guides, college admissions tutorials and personalized counseling, College Options Foundation has assisted the nation’s 1.1 million JROTC cadets worldwide.

“I see how hard our JROTC cadets work every day, and I am thrilled to see them getting national academic recognition,” Crist said.