Contributed by Mike Petruzziello
Special to 21 Voices
Atlantic News, Friday, October 27, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- For the third consecutive year the Winnacunnet High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC (WHS MCJROTC) has been designated a Naval Honor School.
So what exactly does that mean you ask? Simply put -- it means that our school has one of the best MCJROTC programs in the country. How did we get to be so good? Our students did it the old fashioned way -- they worked hard and earned it!
Scoring a 96.6 percent on a comprehensive inspection of our students, instructors, administration and activities is just the beginning of the process. Add to that 17 community service activities, participation in 44 community / school events and 25 program-related trips and you begin to see the level of effort required to earn this honor.
The fact that many of these endeavors take place on weekends or outside of normal school hours speaks volumes about our students' dedication.
Earning the designation of Naval Honor School brings our school a nice letter and plaque to display. More importantly, however, our students become eligible to compete for "Honor School" nominations to attend our military service academies.
These nominations are not available to the general population and they provide our students with an opportunity that other students don't have access to.
We have received letters from the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy inviting us to nominate qualified students for these restricted nominations. In fact, last year one of our students was offered, and accepted, an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy after receiving one of these nominations.
Not content to rest on their laurels, our students continue to work hard and lead by example. Although you may never see them working, hear of their accomplishments or read about their many activities, please know that they're out there making a difference.
Even though it's early in the school year, they've been busy. To date our students have provided 20 color guards in support of their Winnacunnet classmates. Thirty students recently completed the sixteenth consecutive monthly clean-up of our section of Hampton Beach. We provide these clean-ups in coordination with the Blue Ocean Society. The Drill Team and Color Guard competed in our first drill competition of the season in Barre, MA. Students organized, planned and executed a "pot luck" supper for their fellow students and their families.
Our female color guard participated in the American Legion, Post #35 dedication of the Global War on Terrorism Monument on September 11, 2006. Sixteen students helped out as crossing guards during the annual Exeter walk for breast cancer. Somehow, they also managed to find time to climb Mt. Major and enjoy the spectacular New Hampshire fall foliage.
Our students' don't just learn about citizenship and leadership -- they live it! We're very proud of them and their accomplishments. We hope the WHS community will join us in congratulating them on their outstanding achievement.