Newsome High School senior and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadet William Bean is the 2021-22 JROTC Cadet of the Year. Bean accepted the award at its annual recognition dinner in April.
Out of 5,200 JROTC students in Hillsborough County, 10 cadets, who displayed outstanding achievements and dedication to academics, extracurricular activities and participation in their JROTC programs, were nominated for the award. Bean, who has a 6.57 GPA, was selected to receive the top honor.
After the cadets’ transcripts, community service hours and essays were evaluated, the selection board interviewed each cadet.
“In the end, after answering a series of questions in 10 different categories, William performed a little better on those questions, and that was the determining factor,” said Director of Army Instruction (DAI) Sam Taylor, who oversees the Hillsborough County Public Schools Cadet of the Year Board.
After graduation, Bean plans to study construction science at the University of Tennessee.
“Sitting at the dinner surrounded by great people and listening to everyone’s accomplishments, I would have been proud to have lost to any of them,” he said.
“I’m so honored to be here and to have won this award,” he added.
Bean is not the first Newsome student to earn the honor. Five former Newsome cadets were named JROTC Cadet of the Year, including Andrew Fischer (2020-21), Zachary Dench (2019-20), Katherine Metheny (2018-19) and Dylan Renfro (2017-18).
The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is a federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the United States whose purpose is to prepare high school students for responsible leadership roles while making them aware of the benefits of citizenship.
“High school is such an interesting time, but I’ve learned so much in JROTC and the group of friends I’ve made there have helped me get through it,” said Bean. “I’ve made friends for life.”