Van Horn High School - Home of the Falcons

Van Horn JROTC Cadets Earn End of Year Awards and Recognition

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 75 cadets and approximately 100 friends, special guests and family members attended Van Horn Army JROTC End of the Year Awards and Recognition program.  This event continues to grow as additional organizations sponsor awards and recognition devices for presentation to well motivated, outstanding cadets and cadet leaders. 

The first part of the ceremony, thirty-four civic, historic societies, patriotic organizations or soldier support organizations presented medals on behalf of their national organizations and membership.  The following awards were presented: 

Vietnam Veterans of America Medal – Cadet Karen Carrete

Warrant Officers Association Medal - Cadets   Seth McGrew, Erick Valencia, Racquel Merino- Hill and Joshua Ramirez

Korean War Veterans Association Medal – Cadet Jacob Martinez            

American Military Retiree Association - Cadet Matthew Harris 

Celebrate Freedom Foundation Medal - Cadet Elizabeth Engle

Military Order of Foreign Wars Medal – Cadets Raymond Kistner and Destiny Marquez

Jewish War Veterans Association Medal - Cadets Mika Lee, Jacob Dykes, Devin Friend and Jose Medina-Jacquez

101st Airborne Association Medal – Cadet Jacob Burch

82nd Airborne Association Medal – Cadet Jacob Burton

Daughters of American Colonist Medal - Cadet Mika Lee           

Daughters of 1812 Medal - Cadet Tyler Sattler

American Military Retirees Association - Cadet Mariah Jones

Order of Founders and Patriots of America - Cadet David Knouse

Military Order of Foreign Wars - Cadet Ezekiel Pedrino and Cadet Cheyenne Engle

Military Family Support Trust - Cadets Emily Ochoa, Richard McDonald and Nicholas Dunlap

Sons of the American Revolution Medal – Cadet Raymond Kistner

Military Order of World Wars Medal – Cadet Jordan Winn

Daughters of the American Revolution Medal – Cadet Jonathan Chapa

American Legion Military Excellence Medal – Cadet Dominick Conkling and Haley Godfrey

American Legion Scholastic Excellence - Cadet Travis Reiley and Brianna Durham

National Sojourners Medal – Cadet Destany Williamson

Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Medal – Cadet Jose Medina-Jacquez

US Army Recruiting Command Medal - Cadet Nicholas Hickman

US Army National Scholar-Athlete Medal - Cadet Tamera Carroll and Cadet Garrett Maurice

Noncommissioned Officers Assoc Medal - Cadet Timmothy Fenton

Association of the US Army Medal – Cadet Zebikiah Lityma

Military Officers Asoka of America Medal - Cadet Matthew Harris

Reserve Officers Association Medal - Cadet Daniela Valencia

Military Order of the Purple Heart Medal - Cadet Anthony Krantz

Veterans of Foreign Wars Medal - Cadet Dominyk Chavez and Cadet Daniela Valencia

American Veterans (AMVETS) Medal - Cadet Aja Leigh Marshall

Retired Enlisted Association Medal - Cadet Jennifer Dominguez

Daedalian Society Medal – Cadet Selena Barron

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Medal - Cadet Jonathan Fenton

Daughters of Founders and Patriots Medal - Cadet Kayla Villareal

The US Army Superior Cadet Medal -  1st year Cadet Brianna Durham, 2nd year Cadet Haley Godfrey, 3rd year Cadet Timmothy Fenton,

                4th year cadet:  Cadet Joshua Ramirez

Van Horn High School was honored to have on hand the following individuals and special guests who made award presentations for organizations or on behalf of organizations:

American Legion Post 21, Independence Missouri:  Phil Greco, George Scarborough, Mike Sweeney, Charles Stapleton, Noel Tyler, Bonnie Sweeney and Cecile Eli

Tuskegee Airman Inc Heart of America Chapter:  Omer Rogers

Westport Camp, Sons of Union Veterans:  Richard Crandell

Sons of the American Revolution Harry S Truman Chapter:  Robert Grover

Military Order of the World Wars: Captain Jim Anderson, USMC Retired

Daughters of American Colonists Slater Chapter:  Marsha Miller

Daughters of the American Revolution:   Jean Liska

Veterans of Foreign Wars:  Nikki Green

US Army Recruiting Command:  Staff Sergeant Travis Turner     

The second part of the ceremony, Mr. Patrick Layden, Principal of Van Horn High School presented the Army JROTC Physical Fitness Awards to the top three male and female cadets.  This award is presented based solely on the score achieved by the cadets on the six-event Army JROTC physical fitness test.  This test also determines which cadets earn the Presidential Physical Fitness and the National Physical Fitness awards.  The six events that make up Cadet Challenge Fitness Test are; 1-mile run, shuttle run, pushups, sit ups, pull ups, and V-Sit Reach.

The top three male fitness achievers were Cadet Logan Putthoff, Cadet Jacob Burch and Cadet Garrett Maurice. 

The top three female fitness achievers were Cadet Jane Naiuli, Cadet Haley Godfrey and Cadet Daniela Valencia.

The last part of the ceremony three cadets were recognized for special achievements.  Each was presented with a congratulatory letter from Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri, Fifth District in recognition of their special achievement. 

Cadet Zebikiah Lityma was selected to attend the eight-day Missouri Boys State.  Cadet Garrett Maurice was selected to attend the Missouri Cadet Patrol Academy, a weeklong in resident training program conducted at the Missouri Highway Patrol Academy.  Both cadets were sponsored by the Tiery J Ford American Legion Post 21, Independence Missouri. 

During the final portion of the evening’s ceremony the Cadet Battalion Commander, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Ramirez presented individual promotions to several cadets in recognition of outstanding duty performance in JROTC throughout the school year. 

Promoted to Cadet Private First Class - Cadet Truman Ezekiel Pedrino

Promoted to Cadet Corporal - Cadet Tyler Sattler, Cadet John Fenton, Cadet Nathan Lambirth

Promoted to Cadet Sergeant - Cadet Jonathan Chapa, Cadet Selena Barron

Promoted to Cadet Staff Sergeant - Cadet Zebikiah Lityma, Cadet Jordan Winn

Promoted to Cadet Sergeant First Class - Cadet Jacob Martinez, Cadet Haley Godfrey, Cadet Dominick Conkling

Promoted to Cadet Master Sergeant - Cadet Anthony Krantz, Cadet Richard McDonald

Promoted to Cadet Captain - Cadet Garrett Maurice

The final award presentation of the evening was the presentation of the Lee Currier Memorial JROTC Scholarships.  The Van Horn Class of 1964 established this scholarship in the memory of their classmate, Gordon LeRoy “Lee” Currier.  Like many of his classmates, Lee started college but his college opportunity was interrupted when he was drafted into military service.  He completed his basic combat training at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.  Following that training he was assigned to the 981st Military Police (MP) Company stationed initially at Fort Carson, Colorado where he began to train sentry dogs to patrol and detect explosives.  The 981st deployed to the Republic of Vietnam on 6 December 1967.  On 31 January 1968-the first day of the Tet Offensive, and exactly one week after his 22nd birthday—Private First Class Lee Currier, accompanied by his canine partner Satch, were  guarding a section of the Ammunition Supply Depot at Long Binh when he was overwhelmed by an enemy attack on the facility.  Both Currier and Satch fought to defend their position, fighting bravely in an effort to repeal the attack.  As a result of enemy small arms fire and mortar fire, both Currier and Satch were fatally wounded.  For his valor, PFC Currier was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and other awards.  In 2006 the US Army memorialized PFC Currier by naming the newest military working dog kennel located at Fort Meade, Maryland as the Gordon Lee Currier, Jr. Kennel.

The Van Horn Class of 1964 was proud to award two scholarships in PFC Lee Currier’s name, each valued at $1,500, to two outstanding JROTC cadets; Cadet Joshua Ramirez and Cadet Aja Leigh Marshall.  On hand to make the presentation of the scholarships was Mr. Joe Currier, brother of PFC Gordon LeRoy “Lee” Currier

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Van Horn High School established 1955

Van Horn opened in 1955 and the first class graduated in 1956.  It was originally constructed in 1955 on the site of Honeywood, house of former Civil War era Kansas City mayor, Robert T. Van Horn, a prominent newspaper publisher and statesman. 

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1109 South Arlington Avenue  Independence, Missouri 64053

Main Line: 816.521.5360 

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The students, faculty, and staff of Van Horn High School welcome you to our learning community. Van Horn High School opened its doors in 1955. At the start of the 2008-2009 school year, Van Horn joined the family of the Independence School District. Independence is committed to ensuring that each graduating class of Falcons fulfills the school motto and all “Dare to Be Wise!” 

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At Van Horn High School we build positive relationships, achieve high academic standards, and develop literacy in order to engage the world.