The Carrollton High School CyberPatriot team competed in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition Jan. 21 and the results are in — the Air Force JROTC team captured the first-place victory in the Silver Tier category — making the Trojans national champions.
After winning Georgia’s Silver Tier, the team qualified for National Competition with Venkata Koppireddy, Kenia Galves-Hernandez and Austin Ennis participating.
Coach Robby Blakemore said the team has come a long way since the start of the season and he is incredibly proud of the students’ hard work.
“Each student was new to this competition, but they worked hard and learned a lot throughout the season,” he said.
The first competition took place in the fall. Students were given six hours to find vulnerabilities in various virtual machines using Windows 10, Linux and Windows Server operating systems. Some tasks included ensuring users had strong passwords and setting up firewalls. But Blakemore said as the season progressed, the tasks became much harder.
“Our team has grown significantly since the start. Each challenge got increasingly harder, and we continued to rise to the challenge.”
Two teams represented CHS in the competition. The JROTC team advanced to nationals by winning first place in the Silver Tier for the Air Force JROTCs in Georgia. The team of Computer Science students finished in the top five of the Silver Tier, which earned a place at nationals.
The Computer Science students finished in the top 50 in the Silver Tier category in the national competition. Participants on that team are Joseph Ivey, Brantley Colquitt, Ben Cannon, Logan Moore and Kewin Wong.
Blakemore said both teams are looking forward to next year to build on the momentum from this year’s experience.
Georgia State Superintendent of Schools Richard Woods visited Carrollton City Schools Feb. 1 to recognize Marissa Ramos-Santana who is a recipient of the third annual Georgia Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award. The award honors those who provide exemplary service in public education.
Following his visit with Ramos-Santana, Woods visited Carrollton High School students who are part of the RaLin Construction Academy.
Accompanying Woods on his visit to the RaLin Construction Academy field lab were Carrollton High School construction academy instructor Chris Stone, CCS Superintendent Dr. Mark Albertus, RaLin Vice President of Field Operations Andrew Stewart and RaLin PWR Manager Tucker Reynolds to share about the RaLin Construction Academy.
During his visit, Woods spoke with students about what a typical day is like for them in the class. He asked what their plans are for utilizing the skills learned after high school and what their biggest gains have been in the program. The students expressed that one of the main things they have learned is how to work well as a group.
The RaLin Academy is the only one of its kind in the state which features a unique arrangement between a general contractor and a school system. The program began a few years ago after a conversation between Carrollton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Albertus and Ben Garrett, president of RaLin, concerning the need to develop trade skills locally in the future workforce.
Seniors are key, but underclassmen to get valuable experience
More than a dozen Carrollton High School swimmers who earned state qualifier status will compete Feb. 1 in the Georgia High School Association state swim meet at Georgia Tech, a historic event for the Trojans, sending the most qualifiers in school history.
This includes three seniors who bring with them experience from competing at the state level before – Canon Meyer, Zeke Ussery and Ella Barden. Canon also was a state finals qualifier last year, while Zeke and Ella competed previously in relays. The other seniors competing this year are Matthew Basil, Mark Johnson and Kaitlin Cappiello. Another senior, Luke Bradley, qualified as an alternate.
The team is also made up of several underclassmen who ensure the Trojan swimming legacy's future looks bright.
"This year we have the largest team of competitors going to state that we've ever had," said Kim Ussery, the Trojans swimming coach. "Our swimmers have done an amazing job at each meet this season, and I'm proud of each of them, whether they made a state cut or they worked to get a personal best by the end of the season. The constant support from the Athletic Booster Club as well as our swim parents has made a huge impact on the success of our swimmers. It's always a privilege to work with this group, and I look forward to cheering on our state competitors this Wednesday."
Ussery said senior Canon Meyer could have competed in most individual events by qualifying in six of the available eight, but because a swimmer can only choose two individual events to compete at state, he chose the 50 Free and 100 Fly. He also will compete in two relay events, the 200 Medley and 400 Medley Free.
Senior Kaitlin Cappiello qualified and will compete in the 100 Back. Sophomore Vito Cappiello qualified in five individual events, but chose the 200 IM and 100 Breast and two relay events. Ryder Griffin, another sophomore, will swim the 500 and 100 Free and two relays. Freshman Ellie Williamson qualified in four individual events, but chose to compete in the 200 and 100 Free.
The girls fielded two relay teams led by the two seniors, Kaitlyn and Ella. Joining them is junior Emma McBride and freshmen Mia Perez and Ellie. Emma Cook, another junior, will be on deck as an alternate.
Swimmers for the boys state relay teams include senior Zeke, who will swim in all three, the 200 and 400 Free and 200 Medley. Seniors Mark Johnson and Matthew Basil will also be a part of the 200 Free. Freshman Miguel Simon-De Feo will join seniors Zeke, Mark and Matthew in the 200 Free Relay.
"Going to the state meet is something we've all worked hard for, and I'm happy to get to do it with this group of incredible swimmers," said Mark. "Making it this far is a culmination of the time and effort that we, as a group, have put into this sport."
Ella is reflective about her experience as a swimmer athlete.
"I am very excited for the state meet, as a member of both girl relays and being on this team all four years of high school,” she said. “We have worked so hard and accomplished so much! Everyone swimming at state has put in the effort and we are all going to try our best. Hopefully the fire alarm won’t go off like it did at state last year, so that will already be a bonus!"
Ussery said over the course of the year the seniors did a good job of using their leadership status for the betterment of the team as a whole.
"They truly mentored their younger teammates, creating a real family atmosphere," said Ussery. "Hopefully the others will do the same when it is their time."
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