Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) hosted its sixth annual Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp (JROTC) Joint Services Military Ball on Friday, Dec. 7 at North Point High School. This is the sixth consecutive year CCPS has sponsored a joint ball for high school senior cadets. In previous years, each school organized its own ball to celebrate traditions of the JROTC programs.

The ball included ceremonial military traditions, such as the Presentation of Colors by the Joint JROTC Color Guard. Students and guests also participated in toasting to honor military personnel, leaders and ball guests. These toasts included references to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, to the JROTC instructors and to the CCPS cadets in attendance.

Maurice J. McDonough High School senior cadet Kendall Powell served as master of ceremonies, and Roberta S. Wise, chairman of the Board of Education of Charles County, welcomed ball guests. More than 150 cadets attended the ball and were presented with certificates of participation by their JROTC instructors. After certificates were presented to all cadets, students and guests participated in two other military ball traditions: cake cutting and the presentation of a military court.

The military court consists of a king and queen who are selected from students who have participated in their school's JROTC program each year in high school. Thomas Stone High School senior Emma Peters was selected as queen, and Maurice J. McDonough High School senior Christopher Holley was named king.

All six county high schools have JROTC programs, which teach students skills, values and good citizenship to the community. Participation in JROTC also provides students with leadership opportunities and advanced rank for those who enter the military after high school.

JROTC programs were first introduced in Charles County Public Schools in 1998 at Henry E. Lackey High School. Donald M. Wade, Board member and former longtime JROTC advisor in Prince George's County, was instrumental in launching the program.

More than 850 CCPS students are enrolled in county JROTC programs. These students also participate in a county drill meet, held annually early spring, and co-curricular activities such as Color Guards, Armed and Unarmed drill teams, Armed and Unarmed exhibition drill teams, academic and field event competitions.

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.