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L-W North AFJROTC recognized by Secretary of Defense

Leon Panetta praises students for their commitment, service, leadership and academic excellence.

A group of Lincoln-Way North High School students was recently recognized by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for its commitment, service, leadership and academic excellence.

The school’s Air Force Junior ROTC Academic Team, led by Lt. Col. Michael Wingfield, received a letter from Panetta in late October recognizing students for their participation in the 2012 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Leadership Symposium and Academic Bowl in Fairfax, Va.

“It is not every day that we get the opportunity to honor an elite group that demonstrates the values of commitment, service, leadership and academic excellence,” Panetta wrote in his letter to students. “As cadets, you are developing the qualities that continually and significantly impact our society.

“Your self-discipline, dedication to community service and sense of patriotism make you all role models for your peers and reflect the characteristics of an outstanding citizen,” he continued.

Members of the Lincoln-Way North 2012 Air Force Junior ROTC Academic Team included Michelle Housh, Bryon Nush, Jack Quirk, Leah Rutz, John Scott, and Devin Werner. 

The team advanced to the final round of competition last school year by edging out nearly 200 other teams from across the nation in two fast-paced online rounds of qualifying competition. Students were tested on their knowledge of English, math, science, and social studies as well as questions related to the Junior ROTC curriculum. 

During the championship round, team members Bryon Nush, Jack Quirk, Leah Rutz, and John Scott had a very impressive preliminary round achieving a record of 4-2 and making it into the playoff round. 

In the playoff round, the team narrowly lost to the eventual second place winner, Earl Warren High School of San Antonio, Texas.

“The team’s performance was particularly impressive, considering the youth of our team,” said Wingfield. “Not only did this young team of three sophomores and one junior represent the Lincoln-Way school district in outstanding fashion, but their performance heightens the potential for even greater achievement next year.”

This was the second year in a row that North’s Air Force Junior ROTC Academic Team advanced to the final round of competition.  

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