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Teacher Brasfield wins teacher of the year award from space education foundation
MARYSVILLE The Marysville-Pilchuck High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program was awarded a Distinguished Unit Award early this month, the ninth consecutive year program has been cited by the commander of the Naval Service Training Command.
Instructor and retired U.S. Navy Commander Randy Brasfield accepted the award on behalf of the unit from M-P principal Tracy Suchan Toothaker during May 10 ceremonies. The unit was commended for fostering an excellent atmosphere and support at the high school and for the professional appearance, bearing, and courtesies demonstrated by cadets and for their participation in community, school and extra-curricular events.
Brasfield was also awarded a teacher of the year award from Challenger Center for Space Science Education.
Students in the Navy JROTC program performed more than 1,000 hours of community service and collected hundreds of pairs of eyeglasses for needy people. They also helped with Operation Marysville Community Christmas and food bank drives.
Brasfield said it was a thrill for the cadets in Tomahawk Company to see their hard work rewarded.
It signifies that we are in the top 20 percent of units worldwide, Brasfield noted during a chat in his classroom under the bleachers of Quilceda Stadium. It means its a tough act.
The challenge is to maintain the stellar performance, but the rings of award pennants on the flag pole in the corner of the classroom show that the award is par for the course. Parades, drills and other events this year included an inspection from U. S. Navy Rear Admiral Bill Goodwin, Commander of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Strike Force. Things might fall apart someday, but he and fellow instructor retired cheif petty officer Ed Dawson work to ensure the students dont let up.
Lets not have it be on our watch Brasfield said. Lets try to keep it going.
Brasfield was named teacher of the year by the Challenger Center for Science and Space Education, a nonprofit organization founded by the surviving family members of the fatal 1986 NASA space shuttle mission to encourage science and math education. There are 51 centers in the United States, Canada and England, and all nominated an educator for the honor. Brasfield frequently takes his students to the Challenger Center at the Museum of Flight to whet their appetite for education. His cadets have made 11 trips since 2002, and Brasfield was cited for his active participation and thorough preparation. The award includes a medallion struck from aluminum carried by the Apollo 8 mission astronauts.
I went Wow! It was neat, Brasfield said. Its fun to be recognized,
A former pilot who hunted subs from the air during his 21 years with the Navy, Brasfield said the Challenger Center is a great tool to hook his students on the value of an education. Two of his former students are now air traffic controllers, he noted, so for his current students the sky isnt even the limit its the starting point.
This age group that is coming here, one of them could be first to Mars. Hopefully it whets their imagination so they can do anything they want, Brasfield said. I think it maybe gives them a little spark.
The JROTC program makes many visits and presentations, including performing color guard duties at Everett Hawks games, POW conventions and all home football and basketball games at M-P. M-P cadets are color guards at more than 40 events each year. Brasfield said it is a goal to make sure his students meet veterans whenever they can.
Its always neat to expose the kids to that generation, Brasfield said. Its interesting to see that student interaction. We throw in any chance to expose the kids.