By Holly Brown, Redmond School District public information officer
REDMOND, Ore.- A classroom of students at Redmond High School considered their self images. They wrote sticky notes and covered the board with self-assessed strengths and weaknesses. Having “too much thought on my own image to others,” one Freshman student wrote.
Self image in high school is complicated to say the least, but two of the Junior class members said that self confidence is what they have gained in their years of participation in the RHS Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Course (MCJROTC).
Lexie May, cadet 2nd lieutenant and operations officer, and Keala Dickson, executive officer, both find value in the MCJROTC program. May has been in MCJROTC for three years.
“I did it freshman year and loved it and stuck with it,” she said.
May explained that the Junior classmen help the Freshmen in the leadership course and each trimester is different; for example, in spring they learn marksmanship and land navigation. The MCJROTC students maintain a weekly schedule that consists of drill on Mondays, academics on Tuesdays and Thursdays, uniform and knowledge inspections on Wednesdays, and on Friday they do physical training (PT).
“PT is not really that bad, we go to the weight room or gym, stretch, play games like dodgeball or join the regular gym class,” May said.
Dickson was inspired by her older brother to join the MCJROTC basic program in 8th grade at Elton Gregory Middle School. She said not only is MCJROTC super fun, but she has also learned a lot of skills such as how to talk to people and manage people.
“I think it’s been a really good experience because I’ve gotten to get community service hours, do color guard for games, freshman orientation, and it gets me more involved with things with the school,” Dickson said.
The upperclassmen are in charge of planning the numerous activities of MCJROTC throughout the year. One type of event request for MCJROTC is for their drill team to perform color guard. The drill team is an extracurricular activity that MCJROTC students can choose to participate in.
“I’m up at 4 a.m. to get ready and walk to school,” said Aidan Waterman, a Junior who is in his second year of MCJROTC.
Drill team practices five days per week at 6 a.m. Students are marched by experienced drill team members and they work in large and small groups on exhibition moves. The team competed several times last year and they are participating in their first competition of this year on Nov. 4.
Waterman is also a member of the marksmanship team, another extracurricular activity that practices four days per week after school. Eight students on the team compete regularly against other schools from around the country. The team has an indoor, electronic range that allows students to compete in real time.
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Doug Seal, MCJROTC instructor, said that marksmanship training is actually teaching the students about a lot more than hitting targets. The students focus on breathing and calming their minds prior to competing.
“It’s a good stress reliever,” said Deedee Lopez, who has been in MCJROTC for three years. “I try to block everything else out.”
Freshman Hayden Andrews said that marksmanship is teaching him mental discipline to stay focused and still. And when it comes to the leadership course, Andrews feels it is helping the start of his high school career. He said the course has helped him think about decision making and about choosing his friends and influences.
Both May and Dickson recommended that other students try MCJROTC for a semester to see if they like it.
“Give it a shot, it’s a great way to build more relationships and get involved in the school,” said Dickson. “There are a lot of things you can learn and try out that can prepare you for college or life in general.”
For more about the marksmanship team, check out this recent article published by the Redmond Spokesman: Redmond marksmanship team sets its sights on nationals.
Redmond School District | 145 SE Salmon Drive. | Redmond, OR | 97756 | P: 541.923.5437
Notice of Non-Discrimination
Redmond School District is committed to equal opportunity and non-discrimination in all of its educational and employment activities.
The District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.
The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination:
District 504 Contact:
Tami Nakamura, Executive Director of Student Services | Email | (541) 923-8258
District Title VI, Title IX, Age Discrimination & American Disabilities Act Contact:
Kelly Hicks, Director of Human Resources | Email | (541) 923-8922
Heather Petersen, Assistant Director of Human Resources/DEI Specialist | Email | (541) 923-8924