Six members of Parkway High School’s JROTC cyber team were among the top contenders in the CyberPatriot VI National Finals, held March 26-30 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Austin Carr, Chas Chapman, Josh Hardacre, John Metz, Team Captain Jasper Sinagra and Brian Thiessen make up Parkway’s cyber team, and MSgt. Bob O’Brien is the coach.
The students competed with 13 other all-service cyber teams from around the country, and shared their cyber security abilities with retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell, who served this country as Joint Chief of Staff and Secretary of State.
Teams competed to secure and defend virtual networks and mobile networks from a professional aggressor team and faced off in three additional challenges. After all four competitions, the Parkway LA-071 JROTC cyber team ranked fifth overall, ranking them in the top one-percent.
Established by the Air Force Association, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition is a one-of-a-kind cyber defense competition designed to inspire students to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in their studies. Presenting sponsor of the CyberPatriot National Finals is the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
A particularly insightful moment came when corporate executives stated publicly they would hire each of the students today because of their advanced knowledge in the field of cyber security.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Rep. John Fleming (R-4th District LA) sent letters to the team, reiterating the value the competition means not only to students, but also potential cyber employers coming to the area.