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Circle of excellence


  Richards High School student Gabriel Frausto receives a Circle 10 Award of Excellence as fellow award-winner Rama Al-Ali shakes hands with retired Navy Cmdr. Douglas Groters, a senior naval science instructor at Richards, during an inspection by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Kerley.
  The annual inspection includes a review of Bulldog Company’s uniform appearance, platoon alignment, marching precision, and hundreds of other bits of minutia. Kerley and Lt. James Wightman graded the Richards program with an overall mark of “Outstanding” for the third straight time.
  As a Naval officer who regularly reviews JROTC programs, Kerley meets some of the nation’s finest and most motivated high school students; so his words this week at the close of the inspection hung heavy in the air.
  “I’ve had the chance to visit a lot of Navy JROTC programs for evaluations,” Kerley said. “To all the parents and school officials gathered here tonight, I want to tell you how much pride you should feel in these young people. This is the best day that I’ve ever had at a JROTC program.”
  Inspection featured a review of our administrative, supply, financial, and operational programs. The visiting officers also conducted a personnel inspection of more than 100 cadets. Randy Flaherty and Kylla Pate, the two highest-ranking students in Bulldog Company, delivered a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the unit’s goals, achievements and future plans.
  Students who earned the Circle 10 medal of excellence included Emily Bargouthi, Donald Jones, Cameron Smentek, Thaddeus Sprynal, Qwamarria Covington, Alex Villafuerte, Craig Buckner, Oleksandr Gorobets, Rama Al-Ali, Gabriel Frausto, Margaret Kowalski, Randy Flaherty and Kylla Pate.