In May of 2011, State Air Force Association President Paul Lyons, along with AFA Chapter 411 members, President Chuck Hassel and Vice President Gerald Romine, visited The Howe School to promote the AFA’s CyberPatriot program. CyberPatriot is the premier national high school cyber defense competition created to inspire high school students toward careers in cyber security or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future. The competition was conceived by the Air Force Association, and national outreach was made possible by Northrop Grumman, the program’s presenting sponsor. Michael Reed, the computer teacher at The Howe School, accepted the challenge of forming and coaching a CyberPatriot team for the school. His team placed 124 out of 271 in their first year of the competition.
Dr. Hassel and Mr. Romine returned to The Howe School in March of 2012 to observe Mr. Reed’s teaching skills and obtain feedback from his students on what they had learned in the classroom and in the CyberPatriot program. Highly pleased with their observations, they submitted Mr. Reed’s name to receive the AFA Chapter 411 Teacher of the Year Award, which he received a few days later. This honor entered Mr. Reed into the competition for the Indiana State AFA Teacher of the Year Award, pinning him against the other AFA chapter winners within Indiana.
Once all of winners were announced at the chapter level, State President Paul Lyons formed a committee to select the AFA State Teacher of the Year. Mr. Reed and three other highly qualified candidates were nominated as semi-finalists, and Mr. Reed was selected by the committee as the Indiana State AFA Teacher of the Year. He received his award and AFA jacket at a formal presentation held in Indianapolis on Saturday, August 25. Another presentation for the state award will be made at the school in the coming days.