Project X: ROTC program debuts at Pankow

Ty Gianakis ‘15


Photo by Ty Gianakis ‘15

Photo by Ty Gianakis ‘15

Thomas Kub, Costa, and J.B, throwing one massive party back in 2012 comes to mind when “project x” is mentioned. Although that’s what most people think of, for certain students, Project X is something totally different.

New to the Pankow Center for the 2014-2015 school year is a program called R.O.T.C., R.O.T.C. stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. It’s a program from the military with a goal to teach life lessons that creates model citizens.

Despite the fact that it is run by the military, it isn’t a form of recruitment by any means. Lt. Col. Barry Sebring, who oversees and teaches the class, said, “The whole purpose behind R.O.T.C. is to teach communication, teamwork, and leadership, not to recruit students for the military.”

The colonel has over 30 years of military experience with the Air Force, and has taught this class for the past three years at various high schools. Through his vast experiences over the years, Lt. Col. Sebring has learned that the best way to teach students teamwork, communication, and leadership is to throw them into a drill called Project X.

The courses and assignments are developed in accordance with the script that Lt. Col. Sebring sets up each week. The scripts/mission logs are unique and vary from week to week. They can range from real life scenarios, such as locating and decrypting ISIS launch codes, to assisting Captain America in the fight against evil.

Every Friday the colonel has his students meet either in the recreational room, his room, or depending on the weather, they will go outside to conduct the series of drills referred to as Project X. Many students say that this in itself is the highlight of the class and it brings a whole new level of interaction with students to the table.

Ryan Zuzga ‘15 said, “R.O.T.C. is my favorite class and having Project X every Friday makes it that much better.”