Award Ceremony Brings The School Year To A Close
By Madeline Kirsten, Commander, Student Leadership Academy Cadet Squadron, Group 5, Florida Wing | Publish: 6/11/2018

Photo: Cadet Allis receives the Community Service Award during the end-of-school ceremony. The award was presented by 2nd Lt. Andre Bouchane, Deputy Commander. (Photo credit: Capt. M. Kirsten)

VENICE, Fla. --

Venice’s school squadron, Student Leadership Academy, presented its end of year awards with acknowledgement and appreciation for the dedicated Civil Air Patrol cadets, senior members and aerospace education members at the Student Leadership Academy middle school. 

The award ceremony began with the last promotions of the school year, recognizing adet Airman 1st Class Sanchez, Cadet Airman Smith and Cadet Airman Staniszewski.  The squadron presented certificates of appreciation to its color guard, and 8th graders who had participated in the Civil Air Patrol class all three years of their middle school career.  Emergency Services awards were presented to Cadet Senior Airman Hays, Cadet Master Sgt. Cruz and Cadet Master Sgt. Merlino for obtaining emergency services qualifications above and beyond their fellow cadets. 

Among the most prestigious award recipients were Cadet Airman 1st Class Allis, Cadet Master Sgt. Merlino, and Squadron Commander Captain Kirsten. Exhibiting his commitment to the core value of community service, Cadet Airman 1st Class Allis received the CAP Community Service and three devices.  His award represents selfless service in the excess of 200 community services hours. Cadet Master Sgt. Tori Merlino received the Air Force Association award for excellence for her extensive dedication to aerospace education and military training. For the squadron commander’s nine-year leadership at the school squadron, commendable teaching of aerospace education and military excellence, Capt. Madeline Kirsten was presented with two southeast region awards; Aerospace Education Teacher of the year and Aerospace Education member of the year. 

The final awards were certificates of appreciation to the two teacher members of the school squadron; Aerospace Education members, Jenna Hawks and Tessa Healy, who selflessly promoted aerospace education instruction, encouragement, and support whenever called upon by the squadron.   

Deputy Commander, Lt. Bouchane noted that “the cadets who choose to participate in our Civil Air Patrol school squadron are a different type of students; the type of students who defy the common perception and actions of ordinary youth.” The Civil Air Patrol school squadron is a demanding and engaging unit that challenges young students to find greatness at a young age.


C/MSgt Tori Merlino. was the recipient of the Air Force Association Award for Excellence. (photo credit: Capt. M. Kirsten) 




C/MSgt Merlino, C/SrA Hays and C/MSgt Cruz received certificates for their dedication to one of CAP's primary missions, Emergency Services. (photo credit: Capt. M. Kirsten)


This article was produced from the Southeast Region Online News system. Electronic distribution is made possible through syndicated services. For more information, contact the Chief Editor Lt Col Judy Steele at