By Thomas Sellers Jr.
As many students, faculty and administrators wore purple in honor of children of military personnel, Millington Central High School Principal Dr. Clint Durley was moments away from hosting the Student Military Commitment Ceremony.
Durley was joined by his administration team in the MCHS Library to recognize eight students preparing to joined the Armed Forces after graduation May 16.
“For us it’s a part of our ‘One’ motto,” Durley said. “Focusing and giving attention to a person who places service above themselves. That’s one of the things we try to instill into our young people.
“This particular group here you get them in as freshmen, we worked with them day in and day out,” he continued. “They work with us and we learn from one another on how to give back to different entities. I don’t think there’s any greater sacrifice for any individual to provide that service to another individual and to provide that service to your country in defense — placing the needs of others ahead of their individual lives or individual needs.”
The MCHS proudly honored Rosalba Perez-Leyva (Navy), Rockwell Karash (Navy), William Quillin (Navy), Macayla Vertz (Navy), Jamerio Jones (Army), Ky’Shawn Peoples (Army), Savannah Reece (Navy) and Tyuna Blackshire (Army National Guard).
The students were joined by parents, friends and other family members for the announcement of their futures with several recruiters present. There from the Navy was recruiters ABF2 Joshua Taylor, LS1 Joseph Rivera and ET2 Jacob Hayden and from the Army Staff Sergeant Jasmine Milligan and Sergeant Tameisah Sumpter of the Tennessee Army National Guard.
Durley noted the NJROTC program at MCHS has been top-notch for years. The program was evaluated to another level with the additions of new leadership.
“For us it was the passing of the torch, he said. “We had Bob Galloway and Pat Fontenot and Steve Sisung for many years together working hard to instill the importance of service, importance of civic duty.
“We had a passing of the torch to where you had Captain Cooper and Force Master Chief Tuck Williams,” Durley concluded. “They came in and took over making it a smooth transition. For me as principal, it was truly a nationwide search to find qualified individuals to come in and work with the students every day. When they have that type of exposure it does set stage up for success later in life. I think without qualified individuals to lead, qualified program to build leaders.”