Fort Gordon Cyber District/Alliance for Education Selected as 2018-2019 CyberPatriot Center of Excellence of the Year

Staff Report From Augusta CEO

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Fort Gordon Cyber District / Alliance for Cyber Education was selected the 2018-2019  CyberPatriot Center of Excellence of the Year.

"It's amazing to see the program grow as a result of the efforts put forth by our Centers of Excellence each year,” said Rebecca Dalton, Director of CyberPatriot Engagement and Outreach. “Dr. Tom Clark and the folks at the Fort Gordon Cyber District / Alliance for Cyber Education have created a remarkable CyberPatriot program throughout Georgia and South Carolina, one that wouldn't have been able to thrive without their support. It's a pleasure having the Fort Gordon Cyber District as a partner and we look forward to working with them for years to come."

The CyberPatriot Center of Excellence (COE) program began in 2011 to recognize higher education institutions, government organizations, and other entities for their exceptional support in promoting and supporting the CyberPatriot program. By 2017, with nearly a dozen designated COEs, the CyberPatriot program office introduced the Center of Excellence of the Year Award to highlight the outstanding work down by those institutes going above and beyond the call of duty.

“Many community partners deserve recognition for this very prestigious award: the Fort Gordon Adopt-a-School program, our regional business partners, the Fort Gordon Cyber District Alliance for Cyber Education Committee members (under the leadership of Karyn Nixon, Augusta University), the U.S. Army Cyber School Training Battalion, NSA Georgia, the Georgia Cyber Center, educational and community leaders from Edgefield, Aiken, Lincoln, Columbia, Richmond, McDuffie, and Burke Counties. Area leaders who have provided cyber experts, equipment, and a venue respectively,” said Tom Clark, Executive Director. “Thank you and congratulations to the entire team that truly made this happen.”

Fort Gordon Cyber District / Alliance for Cyber Education earned the distinction of CEO of the year by utilizing a two-state, seven-county region and the extensive work it took building relationships with community, industry and education partners. Fort Gordon also provided over 1,000 hours of cyber education professional development for local teachers and mentors. This allowed more students to participate in the program.

“The Columbia County School District has been honored to work with the Fort Gordon Cyber District/Alliance for Education to offer our students the opportunity to take part and excel in the CyberPatriot program,”said Dr. Sandra Carraway, Superintendent Columbia County School District. “With forty-nine teams of middle and high school students participating this past year, with several teams placing at the state and national levels of competition, we look forward to this continued partnership and seeing our students, community, and country benefit from this amazing program.”

The competition is made up of school teams who are given a series of online competition rounds and a set of virtual operating systems. They are then responsible for finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities and correcting them.

“As we prepare students for careers in the cybersecurity field, the opportunities provided through the Fort Gordon Cyber District / Alliance for Cyber Education and the CyberPatriot program allow our students to sharpen their skills and develop critical problem-solving techniques,” said Dr. Angela Pringle Superintendent Richmond County School District. “We are proud to be a part of this program and look forward to continued success in developing our future workforce.” 

“School-community partnerships such as Cyber Patriot and Robotics programs are absolutely vital to help students develop critical thinking and technology skills and explore engineering and computer science as potential career fields,” Aiken County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford commented. “Careers in cyber security and other STEM disciplines are critical to our nation’s future and we appreciate and applaud the leadership of the Fort Gordon Cyber District for helping develop these programs in our community.”

In addition to this program, the CyberPatirot hosts multiple programs such as The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, AFA Cybercamps, Elementary School Cyber Education Initiatives, a Cyber Education Literature Series, and Cybergeneartions to name a few.