Parkway High School’s JROTC cyber team made the nation take notice when the six members of the LA-071 placed in the top one-percent in the CyberPatriot VI National Finals, held March 26-30 in National Harbor, Maryland.
Competing against 13 other All-Service cyber teams, Parkway garnered the attention of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who showed personal interest in their cyber security abilities.
Teams competed to secure and defend virtual networks and mobile networks from a professional aggressor team and faced off in three additional challenges. After all four competitions, the Parkway LA-071 JROTC cyber team ranked fifth overall, ranking them in the top one-percent.
Established by the Air Force Association, the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition is a one-of-a-kind cyber defense competition designed to inspire students to consider science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in their studies. Presenting sponsor of the CyberPatriot National Finals is the Northrop Grumman Foundation.
A particularly insightful moment came when corporate executives stated publicly they would hire each of the students today because of their advanced knowledge in the field of cyber security.
Parkway’s performance has not escaped the attention of state and congressional leaders. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and U.S. Congressman John Fleming from Louisiana sent congratulatory letters to the team, reiterating the value the competition means not only to students, but also potential cyber employers coming to the area.
Members of the Parkway cyber team are Austin Carr, Chas Chapman, Josh Hardacre, John Metz, Team Captain Jasper Sinagra and Brian Thiessen. Team Coach is MSgt. Bob O’Brien.