Day 106 February 9, 2023 – New Adventures

I tell my students that high school is a time to try a lot of different things. In my own high school days I was involved with sports, theatre, vocal music, and the speech team. As I look at my friends from over the years they encompass all of those groups and more. I was also involved in several things outside of school. I wasn’t really spectacular at anything but I experienced an assortment. As a direct result, I have sponsored or been a part of many groups on my second trip through high school. The most unlikely has to be the CyberPatriot group. How I got involved was a fluke but it matched my philosophy of trying everything. An assistant principal got an email and just forwarded it to me because I was teaching computers. It was from the Air Force Association about some kind of competition. It was a cybersecurity competition and even if the instructors didn’t have a background they could find mentors. I answered it on a whim and that email completely changed the trajectory of my career. At the time I was teaching Multimedia, Web Design, and Business Law classes. I was doing a lot of coding with HTML and Javascript. This new idea of cybersecurity sounded fun. I formed two teams and we started. We did have a mentor from Northrop Grumman and I was excited because this was not my computer background. We had two teams but we were only allowed one. I convinced them to allow us to have two teams but they had to be different coaches.

The CyberPatriot competition was in its third year and year 1 and 2 was for only ROTC programs. 2010 was the first time they allowed the open division. Since we had two teams I had to convince a friend to serve as the second coach. He agreed but it was in name only and the program was the mentor and me. There were a random few hundred teams around the country and has grown to several thousand teams. This one group and experience was the beginning of my deep dive into engineering and computer science. This year my classes are engineering, beginning programming, and 2 levels of cybersecurity. There will be additional stories about the CyberPatriot group but it is important to pay homage to the beginning of the last thirteen years of my career.