LHHS eyes JROTC program

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By MIKE EDDLEMAN

In the ever-expanding world of educational opportunities, Liberty Hill High School has identified another path that may help some students prepare better for life after graduation.

The high school will host a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 4, to discuss the establishment of a program in Liberty Hill, gauge further interest and answer questions from parents and students.

“We’ve had a bunch of interest from the younger kids and we have a bunch of kids at the high school interested,” said Principal Jonathan Bever. “So we sent out a survey to see what the interest would be and we got back over 10 percent interest among the student body.”

In researching what it would take to build a JROTC program at LHHS, administrators made a visit to Copperas Cove High School to see its program.

“We went over to Copperas Cove and met with Chief (Enrique) Herrera and his leadership team and they were all kids,” Bever said. “It was incredible. They were talking about being able to advance and go into the military at a higher rank due to a bunch of different things that would prepare them.”

To help make sure everyone’s questions are answered Monday, representatives from Copperas Cove will be at the Liberty Hill meeting.

“Chief Herrera and his leadership team are going to come Monday and talk to people and their kids about the processes, how it strengthened them in leadership and how they’ve been able to grow,” Bever said. “This can be just one more piece of the puzzle in helping our kids be stronger leaders.”

The program has not gained final approval from the school board, but Bever said there is support and solid interest.

“It’s coming. I think financially we’re in a position where the district has said we can move forward on it,” he said. “We’ve just got to make some decisions as far as how many instructors we have to have and how many kids we will have that are interested. This is more of an interest meeting to see who could be involved.”

Across the country, there are JROTC programs at more than 1,700 schools and institutions. Bever said it is not only about preparing students for military service, but about important life skills.

“This is about leadership,” he said. “This will help the kids be better citizens, learn better discipline and structure.”
With more and more career training options, and extensive academic programs in place, adding a JROTC program is just one more way to reach more students and meet their needs.

“We’re all about connection,” Bever said. “And I think there’s a group here that could totally have a better connection with the campus, the high school and the community if they were involved in JROTC.”

The town hall meeting will be in the high school Performing Arts Center. Anyone who has questions about the meeting should contact Assistant Principal Monica Miller at (512) 260-5518.

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