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Local NJROTC student graduates with top honors

Shawn Faile, a junior at CCHS and a third year member of the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC), graduated with top honors at the NJROTC area eleven Leadership Academy which is held each year at the Naval Station in San Diego, Calif. Faile was one of 309 students from across the United States selected to attend the academy.
   Each student undergoes extensive training in close order drill, sail boating, land navigation with orienteering, security watch responsibility, repelling techniques, leadership positioning with measurable objectives, water safety and drown proofing techniques and proper grooming standards with inspections.
   As this school is broken down into eight platoons (classes averaging 36 students each) an experienced career sailor or marine, with active duty and NJROTC leadership experience, dedication and supervision, lead each platoon.
   These instructors are not only recognized for their past and present experience, but more so for their willingness to dedicate large amounts of time, honest effort and limitless energy in the development and enhancement of tomorrow's leaders in today's world.
   Faile's success could not have happened without a hard charging drive and a "Can-Do-Attitude." Each day started at 5 a.m. and ended at 11 p.m. On any given day he would start the morning with an inspection (grooming standards in uniform), a couple hours of marching, followed by three to four hours of classroom instructions.
   Later in the afternoon he would practice his skills in a four person sail boat only to be tested later both orally and in writing. Faile completed the academy with an overall score of 429 (445 points possible), just one quarter of a point ahead of the runner-up student.
   The Leadership Academy lasted 14 days and was followed by an impressive graduation ceremony. Each graduate received a "Silver Rope" which they wear on their uniform.
   The silver rope that Faile will be wearing (along with many other CCHS NJROTC student graduates) is representative of successfully completing the NJROTC area eleven Leadership Academy. This silver rope carries with it a level of expectation.
   Leadership requires the setting of proper examples, putting others first, conducting duties for the betterment of his school and unit. Add to this knowledge the leadership traits of honesty, integrity, loyalty, attention to detail, physical fitness and military bearing to the execution of leadership, and you will clearly see the impact that such a charge carries.
   At the ceremony Shawn Faile was presented the "Overall Honor Cadet" award, the highest award bestowed to acknowledge his superior academic performance, by Commander John Garner, area eleven manager.
   Graduating with Faile at the academy was, CCHS freshman Dustin Palmer, junior Garrett Dickson, and freshman Katie Niewinski. CCHS junior Joshua Haskins (a 2000 academy graduate) attended the academy as one of the 14 students selected as academy staff.
   Haskins managed the administrative department for the academy single handedly. Due to his exceptional job, he was awarded the NJROTC Meritorious Recognition award.
   This award is the highest individual award a student can earn in the program and can only be awarded by the area manager.
   These graduates have taken the first step of a continuous leadership journey. This traveled trail will not be an easy trail to traverse, but these students have shown they can accept the challenge and achieve success.
   These students have been asked to wear that silver rope proudly as it represents honor and better belief in tomorrow.