GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Sherman Leeth, the principal of Marshall Technical School, says enrollment for the JROTC program has doubled in its first year. But that’s not all.
“Our whole campus is building. We got more students right now on this campus than we’ve had in 25 years. We’re running around 460 students a day with nine programs,” said Leeth.
Leeth says the JROTC is up by 100 percent since it began last fall. They currently have 40 student and hope to have as many as 80 next year.
Another difference this year is the school now has several students from city schools enrolled in the program. Previously, all of the students were from county schools.
Logan Hawkins, a sophomore at Guntersville High School, is one of the new students from a city school. He says he was interested in the program because of several of his family members that have served our country.
“My future goals are to go into the Air Force and become an aircraft engineer. And I feel like this class just helps me learn more about that I want to do,” said Hawkins.
Leeth credits the growth of the program to the instructor, Staff Sgt. James Lee, and his relationship to the students.
“Once the word got out that he was here, then the students started coming in. If you get good teachers, you get good students,” added Leeth.
Lee served with the National Guard for a number of years before coming to Marshall Technical School.
On Tuesday, he spoke with his class about where he was when he first heard about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a day these students are too young to remember.
Torrance Lolling, a junior at Asbury High School, says she becomes emotional when she hears stories about the terrorist attacks.
“It breaks my heart like to hear that the Twin Towers and the Pentagon all got attacked around the same time by the same people. And studying about it and hearing about it on TV and, like, reading about it a book. Like you said, printed out. It breaks my heart to hear about it because it should not have happened, but it happened. And it really changed a lot of people’s life,” said Lolling.