ROBERTSDALE — It was another milestone for Robertsdale High School on Thursday, May 9 when 28 former and current RHS students participated in a military signing day.
“I am so proud of what these students have been able to accomplish,” said RHS Principal Joe Sharp. “I have been a principal for eight years (in Alabama and Georgia) and I have never seen this many students making this kind of commitment.”
The 28 signees, which included four who had participated in early graduation, leaving the school in December, accounted for $3.25 million in scholarships, said Petty Officer Edward “Theo” Theodoro, who has served as a naval science instructor at the school for the last seven years. Senior Instructor Commander Frank Starr and Petty Officer Erin Charles Pate are both in their first year as instructors for the NJROTC program, which serves students from Robertsdale and Elberta high schools.
“Today these boys and girls become young men and women,” Theodoro said. “When you make this kind of commitment, it shows that you have become an adult.”
Theodoro said the feat is a testament, not only to hard work of the students themselves, but also to the administration, faculty, parents, the community and the recruiters who visited the school campus on a regular basis.
“I was a recruiter and in all my years doing that and serving this school I’ve never once had a recruiter ask us what we needed,” Theodoro said. “All of these recruiters did that and I believe that’s why we’re here today honoring all these young men and women.”
Two RHS students, Keanan Lonnie Ard and Collin Glen Laird, who were not present for Thursday’s event, signed scholarships to continue their educations as well at institutes of higher learning.
Ard received two scholarships totaling just over $514,000, one a five-year Naval Preparatory Scholarship to the University of Notre Dame. He accepted a four-year Naval ROTC Scholarship to Embry Riddle University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Laird received a scholarship to the Marion Military Institute, a public military institute based in Marion, Alabama. Founded in 1842, Marion is the nation’s oldest military junior college, one of only four in the nation.
Others signing letters on Thursday included:
U.S. Air Force: Immanuel William Aaron Taylor, Cade Taylor Wallace.
U.S. Army: Dalton Tyler Benson, Olivia Dugger, Faith Lennell Fuller, Michael Ross Harding III, Nathan Wade Johnson, Gabrielle Nicole Orr, Kevin Scott Stanford, Ethan Ryan White.
U.S. Marine Corps: Joshua Skylar Abbott, Michael Bailey Blackburn, Kenneth Carbullido, Destiny Sierra Gardner, Britney Elizabeth Lee.
U.S. Navy: Nathan Wade Johnson, Brianna Nicole Lochrico, Sara Grace Lois Jean Lowry, Josephine Layne McCullough, Zane Austin McCurdy, Shianna Marie McMican, Austin Travis Skains, James Walker Starr, Shelby Elizabeth Waguespack.
Alabama National Guard: Chance Taylor Coleman, Zach Stracener, Peyton Tedder.