Board Vice President Nancy Masterson was a key figure in helping get the project back on its feet, alongside Roger Corbin.

For the past 11 years, Camdenton R-III has been working towards bringing an ROTC program to the campus. After a number of meetings and work alongside state and federal officials, that work is finally becoming reality. 

Camdenton Superintendent Tim Hadfield says that when the board decided to approach this concept over a decade ago, they were placed on a waiting list until the application was put through. He says they were told that it would take time, but in 2019, the board decided to make moves to push the project forward. Hadfield says the district board met and reestablished a core desire to bring ROTC to Camdenton. 

Board Vice President Nancy Masterson was a key figure in helping get the project back on its feet, alongside Roger Corbin. Hadfield says work was done to reach out to elected officials to seek help. After contacting Senator Roy Blunt, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Rep. Suzie Pollock and more, they received ample desire to help. 

In a press release from Rep. Pollock, it says on April 10, Representative Pollock received a call from Senator Blunt’s office notifying her that the hard work had paid off and JROTC is set to be implemented in the Camdenton R-3 schools for school year 2019-2020. The persistence of Representative Pollock and with the assistance from Representative Lynch, Congresswoman Hartzler and Senator Blunt helped move Camdenton from a wait list of 280 schools to top of the list.

Hadfield says they plan to implemented the JROTC program into the school in next school year. They still need to hire instructors for the classes and follow the time frames that the Army has laid out for them. He says they plan to utilize the Career Center and other high school classrooms to present the program, with no need for addition class space. 

The U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is one of the largest character development and citizenship programs for youth in the world. The National Defense Act of 1916 established organized JROTC programs at public and private educational institutions. The aspects being taught that will be hosting at Camdenton will include development of leadership, first aid, heavy emphasis on geography and American history, critical thinking and more. 

Hadfield says the district has had high interest in the program from students and parents alike. Now, the goal is the rearrange students next year schedule to accommodate this new program in order to allow anyone willing to take part. On average, Hadfield says the high school has between 20-25 students graduate with intent on joining the military per year. 

“We think this is a wonderful leadership opportunity for the students. We’re very excited to bring this to the district,” Hadfield said.