Milestones for March 1, 2012 edition

February 29, 2012 

Hillyard: Air Force graduate

Air Force Airman 1st Class Robert D. Hillyard has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

He is the son of Robert and Ruth Hillyard of Bass Lake and is a 2002 graduate of Yosemite High School.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Hillyard earned distinction as an honor graduate.

Jamie Smith recognized as Computer Using Educator

Minarets High School teacher Jamie Smith can now add one more accomplishment to her list of professional achievements as she has been named the Central Valley Computer Using Educators' 2011 teacher of the year.

The organization rewards outstanding teachers, leaders and administrators every year in a number of different educational areas.

It is Smith's third year at Minarets where she teaches English, drama, and also oversees the yearbook. Smith's ninth grade English class has the highest CST scores in Madera County for two years running. Smith incorporates technology into her teaching a number of ways including using digital video in her drama class, using Apple Remote Desktop, administering Minarets' Ning -- a social network, and manages a Moodle for online, interactive courses.

Cecil to join Naval Academy Prep

Timothy Cecil, a senior at Glacier High School, was recently accepted to the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I. for the United States Naval Academy.

Cecil was also accepted to the United States Military Academy, Westpoint, but declined the offer.

Before applying to either school, Cecil received a congressional nomination, what is required of all applicants, from Congressman Jeff Denham.

He hopes to continue playing classical viola during college for the academy's chamber ensemble of strings.

Eppley: U.S. Navy promotion

Navy Seaman Apprentice David M. Eppley, son of Leslie Garachana of Coarsegold and David Eppley of Coarsegold, was recently promoted to his current rank upon graduation from recruit training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

Eppley received the early promotion for outstanding performance during all phases of the training cycle. Training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations." This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Its distinctly "Navy" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.

Eppley is a 2011 graduate of Yosemite High School.

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