The Lakeview High School Air Force JROTC held their 2022-2023 awards banquet on May 3. Attending the event were members of the Natchitoches Parish Schools including the Superintendent, Natchitoches Parish School Board members, Lakeview High School principals, the NPSO resource officer, representatives from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Daughters of the American Revolution Foundation, as well as family and friends of the Cadet Corps.
During the evening, the Cadet Corps Officers briefed the audience about projects they were involved in, community service they performed, and group achievements completed during the school year. Highlights included:
- 93% of Cadet Corps participated in 1 community service event
- 88% of Cadet Corps participated in 2 or more community service events
- The Cadets performed 1,233 community service hours (and still counting!)
- Academically, the Cadet Corps delivered an average GPA that was 15% higher than students who were not in AFJROTC
- 95% Cadet Corps participated in at least one AFJROTC after-school team activity
- They re-established the Drill Color Guard and established an unarmed exhibition drill team to enhance cadet retention and grow the unit’s esprit de corps (pride/fellowship)
- They participated in 3 parades and 3 drill competitions
- Marksmanship Team highlights included:
- LA State Marksmanship Tournament – 2nd Air Force division: #6 of 30 teams (all services)
- McMichael All Blue Tournament: Peyton Cunningham #3 of 167 competitors (standing position)
- McMichael All Blue Tournament: Lakeview Team 1 – #13 of 91 teams (Team 1: Peyton Cunningham, Dylan Fulton, Danny Smith, Sydney Thompson)
- The Cadet Corps also planned & executed a Bataan Death March Memorial Hike. Cadets hiked 14 miles to raise community awareness of armed forces service members’ sacrifices.
- During WWII, The Battle of Bataan began in January 1942 between the Imperial Japanese Army and the Allied Forces (American and Filipino service members) and ended 99 days later with the Allied troops surrender. The Bataan Death March took place over the next two weeks in April 1942 when the Imperial Japanese Army forced 76,000 (sick, starving, exhausted) Allied soldiers to march about 80 miles across the Bataan Peninsula (Philippines) to Camp O’Donnell. During this trek, prisoners were subjected to horrendous treatment. Only 54,000 prisoners survived the march to the camp. Of those surviving prisoners, an additional 27,500 died of torture, starvation, and disease while at the camp.
The cadets’ presentation was followed by Major Stacey Wiggins, USAF Retired and Chief Master Sergeant John Thomas, USAF Retired, presenting the annual and individual LHS AFJROTC awards. The annual award winners were as follows:
- Air Force Association Award – Kaytlynn Walsworth
- The Order of the Daedallions Award – Colie Killingsworth
- Daughters of the American Revolution – Dylan Fulton (also selected for Boy’s State)
- American Legion Scholastic – Natalee Lebrun
- American Legion Military Excellence- Sydney Thompson
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Award – Peyton Cunningham
- The Order of the Daughters of 1812 Award – Macey Jarnagin
- Military Order of World Wars Award – Warrick Ybarra
- American Veterans Award – Hailey Jarnagin
- Air Force Sergeants Association – Hannah Walsworth
- Tuskegee Airman Award – Carl Myart
- Celebrate Freedom Foundation – Tramon Lloyd
Cadets of the Year
- Freshman: Macey Jarnagin
- Sophomore: Colie Killingsworth
- Junior: Kaytlynn Walsworth
- Senior: Hannah Walsworth
- Female Cadet – Kaytlynn Walsworth
- Male Cadet – Warrick Ybarra
- Underclassman – Kyla Breaux
- Upperclassman – Kaytlynn Walsworth
The big announcement of the evening was that Cadet Kaytlynn Walsworth, the Cadet Corps Commander brought home a state title to Lakeview High School when she was selected by Headquarters Air Force as the State of Louisiana’s Cadet of the Year. She was 1 of 37 cadets out of 126,000 cadets worldwide to receive this honor. She will go on to compete for the Elite 8 cadets in the world.
Congratulations to the LHS AFJROTC award recipients (including many not listed above) and to all the LHS AFJROTC Cadet Corps for their group and individual accomplishments!
The Change of Command was conducted and Cadet Kaytlynn Walsworth handed over her position as the Cadet Corps Commander to Cadet Colie Killingsworth.
At the end of the evening, Major Wiggins presented a personalized LHS picture to retiring LHS Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer, Sergeant Kevin Lewis, as appreciation for his 11 years of dedication and service to the school and its students. The picture was signed by LHS AFJROTC cadets.
Lastly, a heartfelt thanks goes out to the following individuals who support our program and aid in LHS AFJROTC’s continued success!
- Dr. Grant Eloi, Superintendent of Natchitoches Parish Schools
- Mr. Chad Fredieu, Natchitoches Parish District 7 School Board Member
- Mr. Steven Harris, District 8 School Board Member
- Ms. Karla Renter, Lakeview High School Principal
- Ms. Kathy Canerday, Lakeview High School Assistant Principal
- Sgt. Kevin Lewis, Lakeview High School Resource Officer
- Ms. Dee Fowler, Commander of American Legion Gordon Peters Post 10
- Mr. Ted Fowler, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) J. C. Keyser Post 1962
- Ms. Francis Sylvia, Daughters of the American Revolution Foundation
- Family and friend of the NHS AFJROTC cadets