Lead Cybersecurity Instructor, Huntsville City Schools’ CyberPatriot Center of Excellence. An experienced teacher and coach with thirty-five years’ experience in teaching, coaching and curriculum development across multiple disciplines, most recently cybersecurity. He was the first Open Division CyberPatriot coach in the state starting in 2008 and has coached and mentored a National Finalist team, thirteen national semi-finalist teams, nine state championships and many other state placing teams. Many of Jim’s ex-students are professionals in Huntsville at companies including Dynetics, Raytheon, Leidos, and Northrup-Grumman. Jim is certified in Security+, Linux+ and Network+.
Abstract: CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. CyberPatriot competitions puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals and tasks them with managing the network of a small company. Teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities while maintaining critical services, answering forensic questions about the system and setting up and securing a network in a networking simulator. Local CyberPatriot success is reliant on two groups of people: coaches and mentors. These two groups of people often enter a commitment to a local team without knowing the ins and outs of the competition. We can suppose that with understanding, these two groups can greater help prepare high school and middle school students to compete in this competition and thus help prepare them to contribute to the community as they become the cyber professionals of tomorrow.