A Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Color Guard from Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia presented the colors and then answered questions regarding the their JROTC program from the members of the Boonville R-1 School board at their meeting Wednesday evening. The meeting was held in the Boonville High School library.
The Boonville school board decided to begin an JROTC program in the spring semester of 2014. According to the defense.gov website, the JROTC program prepares high school students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities and privileges as American citizens. It is a stimuli for promoting graduation from high school and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities, that may benefit the student, community, and nation. The site states JROTC teaches young men and women the kind of self discipline, self-confidence and leadership skills that can help them successfully meet the challenges of adulthood. This program is conducted at accredited secondary schools throughout the nation, by instructors who are retired Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel.
Boonslick Technical Education Director, Karen Brosi, has been spearheading the effort to get such a program at the school. Brosi was asked by board member Jim Gann about what interest are students showing in such a program?
"I think we will have a good response. However, while we will start in January, we may not have as many students because of transfer issues regarding the semester," Brosi said.
She said the cadet commanders will work diligently to recruit members.
"It will take a substantial amount of time to get organized and to recruit but they will spend a tremendous amount of time talking to eight graders throughout the area. I think we will have a good number for the Spring Semester," Boonville R-1 School Superintendent Mark Ficken said.
Brosi said Smith-Cotton along with other JROTCs will assist in any way they can.
"I feel like we will have a lot of help there," Brosi said.
She added that computer equipment will be provided by the United States Army in addition to uniforms for the students.
"In the early 80s, Boonville High School had a JROTC program," Ficken said.
The board passed the measure to include a JROTC program in the school although board member Gene Reardon abstained.
In further news, the board decided to declare certain items as surplus property. These items include desks, school supplies, cabinets and even a couple lawn tractors. The board also decided to advertise for a bid for a walkin freezer, which will be located in the Boonville R-1 School headquarters near Laura Speed Elliott Middle School. The board will advertise bids for property and casualty insurance as well.