Col. Sanders named LHS teacher of yearPublished 4:54pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Col. Robert Sanders, LTC (Ret. U.S. Army) and senior instructor of the ROTC program at Landrum High School, was recently named Teach of the Year at Landrum High.
Sanders said the mission of ROTC is to motivate young people in the program to be better citizens. All the cadets are recognized for their achievements in academics, fitness, leadership, character and citizenship. The system is meant to provide increased opportunities to practice leadership skills and teamwork, Sanders said.
According to Sanders, military discipline is not much different than the good discipline one needs to be successful in life. Students who excel in school and with their social and sports activities are disciplined in their behavior in how they treat their peers, teachers and families.
“I like to think that any discipline that we instill in our cadets enriches their other classes and home life, and in turn will make them better and more productive people,” said Sanders.
One of Sanders’ projects at LHS is the military ball, a longstanding tradition in the ROTC program. The ball, which has its roots in the Army, is considered a required event for all the JR ROTC programs.
Sanders said a successful military ball takes a lot of planning and coordination. It includes a receiving line, a formal program with cadet speakers, a sideshow, a family style dinner and, of course, the dance. Cadets are heavily involved in all aspects of the ball and the planning and executing of the event. Preparations include classes on etiquette taught with cadet leadership. Formal attire for the cadets is required and full military dress for the male cadets is the custom.
“Of course, it helps to have a master organizer and mentor to focus all the activity of the cadet energy. That would be ISG Curtis Tate,” Sanders said.
Sanders decided to apply to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point while he was in high school and exploring his college options. He graduated from West Point in 1977.
“I fell in love with soldiers and the military life and all the travel, too. I stuck it out for 28 years,” Sanders said. “It didn’t hurt that I married a beautiful young woman, Lindsay, who also enjoyed military life.”
Sanders and Lindsay have two sons. One is currently a captain in the Army and the other is a senior at Clemson University.
“Lindsay and I have an awesome new grandson, John Christopher,” Sanders said. “Jack is a blast and loves me best!”
– article submitted
by Barbara Childs