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GHC mentors Rome High School CyberPatriot team to first place in state competition

Rome – Feb. 17, 2015 – Three Georgia Highlands College information technology staff members recently mentored a team of Rome High School students to a first place spot over 23 other teams at the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, a STEM-related national event.

Richard Davis, chief information security officer, Mike Peterson, information security specialist, and Joshua Rumphol, former web developer, met with Rome High School’s CyberPatriot team biweekly leading up to the competition.

“I am so excited and proud of the partnership between our Rome High School Air Force Junior ROTC CyberPatriot Program and Georgia Highlands College,” said Davis.

The students were trained on numerous security-related topics including hardening and securing Windows and Linux operating systems, Cisco routing, switching, network security and digital forensics.

In all, 2,175 teams registered to compete in CyberPatriot VII, including 23 teams from Georgia. The Rome High School team won first place in Georgia and narrowly missed being selected to compete in the national round.

CyberPatriot’s core program – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition – challenges teams of two to six students across the United States, Canada and from DoDD schools abroad, to find and resolve cyber security vulnerabilities in simulated environments.Led by Lieutenant Colonel Michael Washington, senior aerospace science instructor at Rome High, the team of students excelled in the CyberPatriot VII state round, demonstrating teamwork, critical thinking skills and technical knowledge key to a successful career in cyber security.

“I am incredibly proud of Cadets Kane Bearden, Kyle Banks, Lauren Gaston, Henry Rodriguez and Tristyn Jordan, who comprise Rome’s first-ever CyberPatriot Team,”

Washington said. “We are grateful to Georgia Highlands for allowing [its staff] to serve as mentors for our team as they invest themselves in a new generation of Cyber Defenders.”

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program. There are three main programs within CyberPatriot: the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, AFA CyberCamps and the Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative. CyberPatriot was conceived by the Air Force Association (AFA) to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines critical to our nation's future.


Page last updated: February 19, 2015