Official tours Xenia High for possible ROTC program

Xenia school officials are working to be selected for an Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the high school, and Air Force officials visited the school Thursday to inspect the facilities and give a presentation.

STAY CONNECTED: Greene County News on Facebook

Wayne Barron, regional director of Air Force Junior ROTC based at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., spoke to students and staff members prior to touring the school. He said his first impressions are that an AFJROTC program would be a good fit in Xenia.

“There’s a lot of community support here,” Barron said.

RELATED: AFJROTC program coming to Beavercreek schools

With an enrollment of about 1,200 students, the minimum number of Xenia students who would need to be enrolled in JROTC is 100, according to the program’s requirements. Barron said they would like to see about 130 students enrolled.

The four-year program, which would be open to students in grades 9-12, would require the district to add two instructors to lead the curriculum. The salaries for those positions would be paid partly by the district and partly by the national AFJROTC program.

In addition to physical fitness activities, the coursework includes aerospace science and leadership education.

MORE: Investigator: Deadly Kettering house explosion left behind ‘ton of evidence’

A major driving force behind Thursday’s visit is Xenia High School senior Aaron Shirk, who petitioned students and has been working with school officials to add the program since he was a freshman.

Shirk said he likes the work ethic and team-building that happens in ROTC programs.

“I was a little sad that I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the program, but I’m excited to have it here for future generations to come,” he said.

Principal Henry Jackoby said it was a special day, with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base rock band Systems Go performing for the students. Guests included State Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), Ohio Sen. Bob Hackett (R-District 10) as well as local community leaders, including Mayor Marsha Bayless.

“Our students were the ones who pushed this,” Jackoby said. “The students absolutely need something that they know is going to instill leadership in them and give them a successful stepping stone into the future.”

MORE: New meeting rules draw criticism in Greene County

Barron said the program helps develop character and leadership qualities in high school students.

“We put cadets in charge of things, and if they break something, we can fix it. It’s a learning opportunity for all the kids,” he said. “We want to get them ready for the real world and whatever they’re going to do after high school.”

Barron added that AFJROTC is not about recruiting new soldiers in the military.

“We’re a citizen development program. We are not tied to recruiting in any way shape or form … less than 4 percent of our students who are in Junior ROTC actually join the military,” Barron said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83
Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83

There are many who have played a part in the landscape of country music, many who have added their talents to the tapestry of the music genre that has had an impact on so many lives. many who have affected the history of Nashville and country music and many who have left us sooner than we would have liked. >> Read more trending news  One...
One vehicle on fire after accident in Dayton
One vehicle on fire after accident in Dayton

Crews have responded to a two vehicle injury accident at West Hillcrest Avenue and Piccadilly Avenue in Dayton around 9 p.m. Monday night.  One vehicle is reportedly on fire, according to dispatchers.  We are working to learn more and will update this page as information becomes available.
Power restored after tree falls on power lines
Power restored after tree falls on power lines

Power has been restored to the nearly 200 DP&L customers who were without power Monday night, according to the DP&L Outage Map. A tree had fallen on power lines around 6:30 p.m. on Jaysville-St Johns Road in Greenville. Almost 200 DP&L customers are without power because of a fallen tree in Greenville Monday night.  A large tree fell on DP&L power...
Priscilla Presley shares new details about Elvis Presley’s final days
Priscilla Presley shares new details about Elvis Presley’s final days

Elvis Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, candidly opens up about the King of Rock-'n'-Roll’s final years, and his painful drug addiction, during the debut of “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” at SXSW. >> Read more trending news  Elvis Presley may have passed away more than 40 years ago, but the life that he lived continues...
Chief: Cause of Xenia house fire on Glen Kegley Drive under investigation
Chief: Cause of Xenia house fire on Glen Kegley Drive under investigation

UPDATE @ 9:30 p.m.: Investigators are working to determine the cause of the house fire on Glen Kegley Drive, Xenia Fire Chief Kenneth Riggsby said.  Crews dispatched on a report of a fire on the outside of the home found that flames caused extensive damage to the attic area, the chief said.  The two people in the home escaped without injury...
More Stories