Leilehua students back in CyberPatriot finals

Published On: Jan 31 2013 03:51:01 PM HST

From left to right: Coach LTC (Ret.) Nick Spiridigliozzi, Cadets Seth Allen, Kawika Lavarias, Sharon Thepsenavong, David Williams, and Michael Grajales, and Mentor SMSgt (Ret.) Mike Herr.

WAHIAWA, Hawaii -

The Department of Education says Leilehua High School is making a return to the national CyberPatriot Finals after finishing as the top Army JROTC qualifier in the nation.

The “Mighty Mules” will be one of 14 finalists in the All Service Division at CyberPatriot V -- the premier national high school cyber defense competition scheduled for March 14 through 15 in Washington, D.C.

The Leilehua JROTC team won the Army Service Division Championship at last year’s national meet.  The CyberPatriot team members are Sharon Thepsenavong, Kawika Lavarias, Seth Allen, Michael Grajales and David Williams.  They are led by coach and Senior JROTC Army Instructor LTC (Ret.) Nick Spiridigliozzi, team mentor SMSgt (Ret.) Mike Herr of the U.S. Air Force, Army Instructor MSG (Ret.) Ramon Ramos, Army Instructor MSG (Ret.) Bryan Wyatt.

This year’s two-track competition had public, private and home schools registered in the Open Division, while Junior ROTC units, Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and Civil Air Patrol squadrons filled the All Service Division. In all, more than 1,200 teams registered to participate, representing all 50 states, U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe and the Pacific, and Canada.

“Each year this competition draws in very determined students who demonstrate great energy, motivation and excitement in their involvement with CyberPatriot,” said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot Commissioner. “We have to congratulate all the students for their hard work, and we look forward to the great amount of enthusiasm they will bring with them to the National Finals Competition in March.”

The All Service Division began with 806 teams registered. After two spirited rounds of competition, 46 teams advanced to the third round.

Now, the group has been narrowed to the final 14, and each team will receive all-expenses-paid trip to the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, in National Harbor, Maryland, where teams will compete face-to-face and defend virtual networks from a professional aggressor team.

The Open Division also sends 12 teams to the National Finals Competition. The top team from each division will be announced at an awards banquet concluding this year’s competition.

CyberPatriot is presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation, with founding partners Science Applications International Corporation and the Center for Information Assurance and Security at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

CyberPatriot is also a member of the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), a national coalition of public-private sector entities collaborating to enhance the workforce with the next generation of cyber security professionals.For more information and a list of all the advancing All Service finalists, please visit the CyberPatriot website at www.uscyberpatriot.org.


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