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All Hands on Deck at NJROTC

From left to right: NJROTC students Miracle Walker (10), Emmanuel Bryant (11), Valentina Gutierrez (10), Charles Caramanna (10), and Kalia Arretus (11) display their drill discipline in front of Cmdr. Brian Coyle.
Photo Jemima Jeantinor

Teachers of hands-on electives at Fort Lauderdale High School are enthusiastic for students to be engaged in their active courses.

Chief Daniel Tyson was among those eager to get back into his campus routine and stop teaching on screen.  He leads the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) program at Fort Lauderdale High School.

 “Having three to four students per class,  it was challenging to have the students engage,” said Chief Tyson. “ They weren’t wide awake… I don’t know if their parents were around. It was very hard to keep them motivated.”

Being back on campus shows another side of teachers who physically have to get hands on with their students and teach the concept.

“There’s always a point where you get discouraged. But you know what, it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. When you pull a person’s name over and over and over again, and they don’t answer you. It gets disappointing.” said Chief Tyson. “It feels like, you know, you’re there for them, but they’re not there for you.”

Being able to participate in their NJROTC activities allows the program to teach what it’s supposed to teach.  

“It’s nice to have my cadets back into class,” said Chief Tyson. “This is a program where we actually go out, we do physical training, we learn how to monitor and how to do facing movements.” 

It’s not just Chief Tyson who is enjoying being active again.  

“I am definitely enjoying the class,” said Amaris Zurita (9). “Between the semi-strict environment and the structure of the class it’s fun for me personally.”

“I chose NJROTC because I was interested in the discipline and military format of the class. I want to be involved in government law enforcement so I thought it would be a smart idea.” 

Those who have been in the program for a few years are happy to reap the benefits.

“Being able to go back to competitions, receiving graduation cords from this [amazing] experience, and representing FLHS,” said Executive Officer Maria Marquicio (12).   “[My future plans with graduating from high school,] is to go on into the military.”

Chief Tyson is proud of his program and how it has grown to represent and support FLHS and the community.

“So when you see escorts out here, and you see people doing color guard, it’s all NJROTC,” said Chief Tyson. “So we do all for the baseball games, football games, for the veterans, for different organizations on the outside.”

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