Newsome High School’s Katherine Metheny is this year's Hillsborough County Public Schools JROTC Cadet of the Year.
“It was such an honor to win this award,” explained a modest Metheny. “My goal was to carry on the legacy of Dylan Renfro.” Renfro won the same award in 2018; the second year in a row that a cadet from Newsome High School won this award. “He was such a tremendous mentor for me and I’m glad to be able to carry on this legacy on behalf of our unit.”
Metheny’s 10.58 GPA ranks first out of more than 600 at Newsome High School. In addition to her high school diploma, she will be earning her Associates Degree from Hillsborough Community College when she graduates in May.
She is the school’s Valedictorian, the Vice President of National Honors Society and has an abundance of community service hours.
As a member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and JROTC, Metheny credits her involvement in multiple school organizations for her success – especially during the panel interview portion for Cadet of the Year.
“Being a member of FBLA and JROTC has shaped me to be well balanced individual who speaks confidently in front of a panel,” explained Metheny.
“She has an obvious drive and determination to be successful. I see it, the other cadets see it and I’m glad the Selection Board saw it,” said Lieutenant Colonel Eric Deal, JROTC Senior Army Instructor at Newsome High School.
Finalists then appear before a Selection Board, turn in letters of recommendation and write an essay on the topic: “How JROTC is preparing me to achieve my goals in life.”
“All of the cadets represented themselves and their JROTC programs in an exemplary manner that reflected their immense talents and impressive attributes,” said COL Samuel T. Taylor III, JROTC District Resource Teacher and Director of Army Instruction for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
Taylor explained that Metheny’s impressive body of work went beyond her phenomenal GPA and outstanding essay. “Cadet Metheny was exceptionally poised and confident during her appearance (in front of the panel). She also scored higher than any other cadet in her responses to the questions that were presented to each cadet during their appearance before the Selection Board.”
As the unit’s Battalion Executive Officer, Metheny is the second officer in charge of the school’s 280 cadets.
Metheny also leads the program’s Armed Regulation Platoon where she calls out more than 50 commands such as “file from the right,” requiring her team of 12 cadets to change formations based on timing and coordination. This level of detail requires the team to practice after school for two hours a day from October through April.
Cadet Metheny will attend University of South Florida on a full scholarship. She plans to study Political Science and Economics and then pursue a law degree. She is a National Merrit Scholar, a scholarship only offered to students who score within the top 1 percent on the PSAT.
To learn more about Newsome High School: http://newsome.mysdhc.org/View Full Album