A team of Daviess County High School students recently concluded a round of CyberPatriot competition – a program created by the U.S. Air Force Association to inspire and challenge students to learn more about skills and careers involved with cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines that are essential to the security and future of our nation.
DCHS was one of 31 teams from Kentucky and 6,760 teams from across the United States and Canada, as well as students enrolled in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world, who competed in the 12th season of the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
CyberPatriot’s core program challenges teams of two to six students to identify and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments. The DCHS team demonstrated excellence in teamwork, critical thinking skills and technical knowledge in the CyberPatriot XII state competition on Dec. 6, earning first place in the state of Kentucky. The team now advances to the semifinal round and will compete from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25.
Top teams from the preliminary online rounds win an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the live National Finals Competition, where students compete for national recognition and scholarships.
The CyberPatriot field is divided into three divisions: The Open Division for public, private, and home school teams; the All Service Division for JROTC, Civil Air Patrol, and Naval Sea Cadet Corps teams; and the Middle School Division. Based on the results of two preliminary rounds, CyberPatriot XII high school teams were categorized within their divisions as Platinum, Gold or Silver Tier teams. DCHS earned designation as a Gold Tier team.
The DCHS team is coached by Michael Gatrost, who serves as a Naval JROTC instructor at Daviess County High School. “I’m extremely proud of the Cadets,” Senior Chief Gatrost said. “The competition is increasing in difficulty and variety. In previous years, we just cleaned up viruses and secured vulnerabilities in computer security. The Cadets have had to learn skills in Cisco networking and configuring various network servers to provide specific roles in working environments.”
DCHS team captain is Micah Rice. Team members are Madison Kelley, Samuel Manqueros, Shelby Taylor, John Vanover, Kali Howard and Abel Galloway.