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Tylen Mclaurin of Callaway Named 2023 Cadet of the Year

March 6, 2023

Tylen Mclaurin Callaway Jackson Public Schools 2023 Cadet of the Year
2023 Cadet of the Year Tylen McLaurin, Callaway

JROTC Cadet Tylen Mclaurin is the 2023-2024 Jackson Public School District Cadet of the Year. Mclaurin was promoted to the rank of Cadet Colonel on February 22, 2023, and will serve as the JPSD JROTC Cadet Brigade Commander for the 2023-2024 school year. A junior at Callaway High School, Mclaurin currently serves as the 4th Battalion Supply & Logistics Officer. Cadet Mclaurin is truly an extraordinary person, outstanding scholar, and leader. She is highly dedicated, goal-oriented, and works diligently toward her passions. She believes that to be a successful leader, you’ll need to respect authority, have an ethical mindset 24/7, and have the courage to take on new responsibilities and face new challenges every day in life. When she sets her mind on a specific outcome, she will strive for perfection and take the responsibility of working hard until her goal is met. She credits her family, instructors, and community for always pushing her to become the best version of herself. Cadet Colonel Mclaurin has been very active within JROTC throughout all of her years in high school. She participates as a member of the Callaway JROTC Drill Team, Color Guard Detail, and the Cadet Leadership Staff. She is also a member of the National Junior Honor Society, Charger Bolt Newspaper Staff, Girls Varsity Soccer, and Girls Track and Field.

Some of Cadet Colonel Mclaurins’ short and mid-range goals are to maintain her 3.8 GPA, graduate within the top 10 of her class, and attend Embry-Riddle University after graduation. She also plans to serve in the United States Air Force as a Commissioned Officer after college.


Shaniya Williams Callaway
Shaniya Williams of Callaway is the incoming cadet brigade command sergeant major.


Jackson Public Schools announced the Cadet of the Year at the 19th JPS JROTC Cadet of the Year Awards Ceremony held on February 22, 2023, at the Jackson State University E-Center.  Additionally, the District celebrated the school-level top cadet finalists along with the top cadets from each high school grade level, and the top cadets from Powell Middle School Academy of Military Science grades 6 - 8. The event was well-attended by JROTC cadets, parents, JROTC instructors, school officials, and community supporters.

The six-remaining school-level Cadets of the Year for 2023 are:

Christopher Dawson Provine Jamira Handy Jim Hill Nicholas McGlorthan Murrah
Christoper Dawson
Jim Hill
Jamira Handy
Nicholas McGlorthan
Shaquilla McQuay Forest Hill Sherlin Rangel Wingfield Sameria Valladares Lanier
Forest Hill
Shaquilla McQuay
Sherlin Rangel
Sameria Valladares


The Cadet of the Year competition is a rigorous process that begins at the school level. At the district-level, the competition becomes more involved and intense. Cadets were required to submit a comprehensive portfolio that included a résumé with references, examples of academic work, records of GPA and class standing, evidence of academically challenging coursework, an essay, proof of community service work, physical fitness, and more. In the next phase of the process, cadets appear before a selection panel to deliver an oral presentation and respond to the panel's questions.

Serving on the 2023 Cadet of the Year selection panel were:

  • Ms. Laketia Marshall‐Thomas, JPS Assistant Superintendent of High Schools
  • MSG Michael Dewsbury- Senior Military Instructor, Army, JSU SROTC
  • LTC Natosha Reed- Professor of Military Science, U.S. Air Force, JSU SROTC
  • LTC Rodgers Brown, Professor of Military Science, Army ROTC, Jackson State University
  • LTC Jackey Fortenberry, Professor of Military Science, Army ROTC, Alcorn State University
  • Dr. Erica Brown-Gibson - Director of Programming Implementation(JPS)
  • Dr. Shonda Allen- Interdisciplinary Nanotoxicity Center (JSU)
  • Dr. Deowaski McDonald- Office of School Support
  • Dr. Dexter Brookins- Chief Administrative Office (MINACT)

"The Cadet of the Year program was implemented to recognize and reward the district's most outstanding scholars and to inspire others to strive for excellence in all their endeavors," said Col. (Ret.) Fredrick Brown, director of JROTC programs.


2023 JPS Cadets of the Year