Leilehua Claims Second Straight National Cyberpatriot Title

Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Mike Herr (left), cadets Sharon Thepsenavong, Michael Grajales, David Williams, Seth Allen, Kawika Lavarias, and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nick Spiridigliozzi pose with the championship medals. Photo from the JROTC.

Leilehua High School’s Army ROTC has successfully defended its national title as the country’s best cyberpatriots.

The Mules’ five-person squad defeated more than 800 teams to win the Top U.S. Army Service Award at CyberPatriot V March 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C. The team advanced to the national championship after successfully completing three rounds of competition.

Leilehua’s cyber warriors included Sharon Thepsenavong, Michael Grajales, David Williams, Seth Allen and Kawika Lavarias.

CyberPatriot was established by the Air Force Association to educate and motivate high school students to study science and technology.

The contestants were required to develop solutions to real-life cyber security situations.

“We are extremely proud of our cyber warriors and coaches for their hard work and success keeping the top Army Service Award at our school,” said principal Aloha Coleman.

State Department of Education superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said the competition went a long way toward preparing the students for life beyond high school.

“Congratulations to Leilehua High’s Cyber-Patriot team for excelling at this prestigious competition for the second year in a row,” she stated. “More importantly, students are returning home with valuable hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects that will help prepare them for college and careers.”

Best in Service awards were presented to the top JROTC teams by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines, Civil Air Patrol and Naval Sea Cadets.

The team was led by coach and senior JROTC Army instructor Lt. Col. Nick Spiridigliozzi, team mentor Senior Master Sgt. (Ret.) Mike Herr, Master Sgt. (Ret.) Ramon Ramos and Master Sgt. (Ret.) Bryan Wyatt.