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DPS JROTC Hosts State Rifle Match

Crystal Galvan, a senior at Lincoln.

Lincoln High School senior Crystal Galvan.

For decades, the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) State Rifle Championship has been held in Fountain, Colo.; but this year, Lincoln High School’s Army JROTC program held the competition in Denver for the Northern region of the state on Dec. 9, 2017.

College and career planning is embedded in many aspects of Army JROTC, including its curriculum. Through cadet-run programs and team competitions, students learn how to manage their time, how to communicate with others and what leadership beyond high school looks like.

“Competing has been an amazing experience for me, and I am so thankful for everything it has taught me,” said Crystal Galvan, a senior at Lincoln. “Some people think these competitions are just about getting bullseyes, but it’s so much more than that. To me, it is a metaphor for life. You can let go of the past, stop being scared of the future, let go of yourself and just focus on the present and aim for your best. Like the phrase I used for my senior quote, and my new life motto says: ‘The body achieves what the mind believes.’”

The DPS JROTC director, Lt. Col. Steve Osterholzer, credits the program with teaching students invaluable life skills such as self-discipline and focus in a safe, controlled environment.

“The State Rifle Match was an amazing event for the city of Denver and our school district,” said Master Sergeant Mark Beasley, the director of Lincoln’s program. “The match provided an environment of camaraderie, not only for the JROTC instructors and cadets of DPS, but also instructors and cadets from outlying school districts.”

The event drew in local businesses, DPS alumni and many parents to observe this historic event, which alleviated the need to travel roughly two hours to observe their students taking part in a state-level competition. Lincoln and North high schools qualified for the Army JROTC Nationals to be held in Phoenix in early February.

The students and cadets of DPS were true professionals,” Beasley said. “They represented themselves and their schools with great honor; it makes all of us extremely proud to be a part of Denver Public Schools.”

For more information on JROTC programs available at each school, contact Lt. Col. Steve Osterholzer at steven_osterholzer@dpsk12.org.