ARLINGTON, Va. — The CyberPatriot program at Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools had another successful season, ending recently with some of the top performances in the state.
Garrett Middle School ranked second in the state of Indiana for the second consecutive year. Garrett High School placed fourth in the Gold Division amongst teams from the Hoosier State in the Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Defense competition.
Garrett Middle School was represented by eighth-grade students Ryley DePriest, Mahlan Dircksen and Brayson Heltsey and seventh-grade student Sydney Suelzer. The Garrett High School squad included seniors Creigh Dircksen and Noah Dapp and sophomores Micah Carlson and Kameron Ruiz.
The groups are coached by Bill Thomas and are sponsored by Air Force Association Chapter 143 of Fort Wayne.
“The growth shown by these students over the past few years has been amazing,” Thomas said. “These students are highly motivated and learn everything on their own time. I am proud to see them recognized for their hard work.”
Garrett took part in several training and practice rounds throughout the summer and fall to prepare for three competition dates — Nov. 13, Dec. 13 and Jan. 22. The combined score of the first two rounds placed each high school team into one of three tiers (Platinum, Gold or Silver). All middle school teams compete in one tier.
At the conclusion of the state round on Jan. 22, the Ferrier Cadet Squadron of Camden won the Indiana Middle School Championship with 84.67 points. Garrett Middle School followed in second with 76 points and the Anderson Composite Squadron was third with 20 points.
In the high school Gold Division, BCSC from Columbus won the state title with 160 points. South Newton came in second with 144.58 points while Twin Lakes was third with 125.3. Garrett High School placed fourth, earning 89 points.
“We are thankful for all of the support we have received, especially this season during difficult times,” Thomas said. “The combination of the AFA Chapter 143 and GKB Schools provide our students the best support of anyone in the state. Without them, this great experience would not be possible.”
There were a total of 4,801 registered teams in CyberPatriot this season, including 754 middle school teams. The Open Division, which included Garrett High School, is the largest and most competitive division with 2,633 teams nationally.
Established by the AFA in 2009, CyberPatriot is designed to excite, educate and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to the nation’s future. CyberPatriot’s core program challenges students from across the United States and several foreign countries to find and resolve cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated environments.