Laredo Independent School District recognized their top JROTC students during the Honorable Cadet Ceremony which was held at Cigarroa High School’s Library last week.
Nixon High School students Jennifer Rodriguez and Julianne Eller, Martin High School students Alexia Gonzalez and Sarah Aker, and Cigarroa High School students Sherlyn Gomez and Roel Merla were named LISD’s Honorable Cadets for their qualities and leadership skills as cadets who demonstrate outstanding capabilities as active members of their community through service, self-discipline, responsibility, and respect. The recognition was conducted by LISD’s ROTC Program and the LISD College, Career and Military Readiness Department.
LISD Superintendent Dr. Sylvia Rios offered a welcome message and some words of wisdom. Special guest speaker Laredo Police Department Officer Cesar Esquivel addressed the cadets on the importance of leadership, citizenship, and teamwork.
“A big congratulations to our cadets for their hard work and dedication. They represent the very best of their school, and they wear their uniforms with pride,” said LISD Superintendent Dr. Sylvia Rios. “These cadets were encouraged to go the extra mile and they have risen to the top as a leader on their campus and in our community.”
Cigarroa’s Sherlyn Gomez, who was inspired by her sister’s participation in the program, joined JROTC to develop her leadership and discipline skills. According to Sherlyn JROTC has taught her that leaders always put cadets’ needs first and that JROTC leaders are selfless and succeed when other cadets succeed.
Sherlyn is the Raiders Commander for the JROTC and is part of the Track & Field team. She plans to join the Air Force and become a dentist after graduation.
“Being recognized, it's actually a really great experience because it's my first time,” said Gomez. “JROTC has made me develop my leadership skills and has given me an idea of what I could be in the future.”
Sherlyn’s participation in JRTOC has helped her learn how to be more responsible and a better leader who motivates others. “JROTC has helped me be more disciplined and be aware of my surroundings. It’s also helped me motivate my cadets and those who are going to be in charge when I’m gone.”
Gomez plans to use JROTC as a springboard for her education and future endeavors.
According to Sherlyn JROTC has been very exciting for her as she hopes that this could help her with things in her future. “I want to attend A&M University and eventually join the Air Force or Army and I'm sure like this will benefit me probably like getting a higher rank or extra points,” said Gomez. “The Air Force I know it's a challenge and I'm just looking forward to going for it and learning things.
Rodriguez is the Logistics Officer for the Nixon JROTC. She credits JROTC for impacting her future. JROTC has helped her mature significantly in the last four years and allowed her to develop her leadership skills. Her most memorable experience is being under Lt. Colonel Feagin’s leadership. Jennifer plans to enroll in Laredo College after graduation and pursue a degree in Nursing.
Eller is an Executive Officer for the Mustang JROTC. Juliane was inspired to join JROTC by her sisters. She saw them develop their leadership skills and seized the opportunity to do the same. Her most memorable experience in JROTC was attending Summer Camp, where she was awarded the Best Battalion Commander recognition. Juliane plans to attend TAMIU and earn a degree in education after graduation.
Gonzalez was inspired to join JROTC after seeing other cadets in their dazzling uniforms helping at school events. Alexia serves as a Tiger JROTC Executive Officer. JROTC has impacted Alexia significantly, giving her a purpose and life goal. Alexia’s most memorable experience as a JROTC cadet is participating in Raider competitions and serving in the Honor Guard during last year’s graduation. Alexia plans to become a Marine after graduation.
Aker was inspired to join JROTC by her desire to inspire others. She remembers admiring the cadets’ helping others and wanting to be in their same shoes. Sarah credits JROTC with teaching her how to be patient, disciplined, and open to new experiences. Her most memorable JROTC experience is building memories with her teammates. Sarah plans to join the Navy after graduation.
Merla is currently ranked as Command Sergeant Major for the Toro JROTC. He credits JROTC for changing his character and making him a better citizen. His experience as First Sergeant inspired him since he experienced how the cadets trusted him and his leadership skills. As a result, he worked tirelessly to earn his current rank within the JROTC program. He hopes to inspire other cadets to grow into leadership positions as well. Roel’s most memorable experience aside from being appointed as Command Sergeant Major is being voted the Military Ball King. Roel plans to attend college after graduation.
The Cigarroa High School JROTC, under the direction of Stg. 1st Class. Conrado Martinez, presented the colors. Cigarroa High School student and JROTC Master Sgt. Chloe Barrientos led the Pledge of Allegiance. Guests enjoyed lunch which was prepared by the Cigarroa High School Culinary Arts students.
LISD created this initiative to recognize JROTC Cadets who are leaders not only in their squad/campus, but in their community as well. They are an evident example of the JROTC mission, “To Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens.”
Martin High School has 98 cadets and is under the direction of St. Sgt. Gilbert Gonzalez. The Nixon High School JROTC, which has 102 cadets, is under the direction of Lt. Col. Bennie Feagan. The Cigarroa High School JROTC, under the direction of Stg. 1st Class. Conrado Martinez, has 104 cadets.
Cadets from LISD’s three JROTC Programs were recognized every nine weeks. To be considered an Honorable Cadet, the student must have submitted a completed application with their information, resume, two letters of recommendation (non-JROTC Instructor) one recommendation letter from JROTC Instructor, essay, and cadet challenge score.
The Superior Cadet Ceremony will be held on May 17, 2023, at the LISD PAC in the Dr. Marcus Nelson Conference Center.
For more information, please contact LISD College, Career and Military Readiness Coordinators, Cindy Dominquez at 956-273-1864 or Mayra Garcia at 956-273-1863.