Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Blue Devil Battalion cadets competed Nov. 2 at the Lebanon (Ore.) High School Drill and Rifle meet and brought home top honors in individual and team categories.
More than 350 cadets on drill and marksmanship teams from a dozen regional schools competed.
"Our cadets worked hard and competed well and earned trophies, medals and ribbons for their efforts," said retired Army Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, who coaches the Walla Walla drill teams and is senior army instructor for the program.
The Blue Devil Marksmanship Team fired outstanding individual and team scores.
"Our precision rifle team took first place, with cadet Sgt. Sarah Jameson, a junior, claiming first place, and cadet Capt. Emily Bendix, a, senior taking second place," said shooting team coach, retired Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes.
The sporter team garnered third place. In individual sporter categories, the team swept the top three slots, with cadet Pvt. Samantha French, a junior, in first; cadet Cpl. Olivia Holm, sophomore, second; and cadet Pvt. Evan Jameson, freshman, third.
Cadet first Lt. Chris French, placed third in the Individual Armed Exhibition Drill.
Cadet Lt. Col. John Gossett, a senior who serves as battalion commander, said his right-hand man Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Brandon Webster took third place in the Armed Drill Team Commander category.
Wa-Hi JROTC cadets learn military history, precision drill and ceremonies, marksmanship and leadership skills. The Blue Devil Battalion competes in drill and ceremony and marksmanship events around the region.
A Walla Walla University graduate program has been available for a dozen years to students in Billings, Mont., through a branch campus there.
The two-year Missoula master of social work program was extended to Billings in 2001 to bring graduate social work education to the state's eastern half.
Shawn Byrne, chief operating officer of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch in Billings, found the program a perfect fit for his needs, according to an Oct. 21 Billings Gazette article by Mary Pickett
He worked full time and took classes all day on Mondays and one on Sunday to earn his degree.
As a professional in the human services field, his professors demanded much and pushed him hard, according to the story.
"It wasn't very fun, but it was rewarding," he said.
His supportive wife and his employer, who paid his tuition, made a difference. He started 14 years ago as a case management director at the ranch.
He now oversees community programs for emotionally disturbed youths and their families in their homes, schools and communities around Montana.