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Padua Academy students named ‘CyberPatriot’ champs

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Dialog reporter

WILMINGTON — Gov. Jack Markell and other state dignitaries visited Padua Academy on April 7 to honor the school’s cybersecurity teams, which took first and second place for Delaware in the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot competition for the second consecutive year.

Padua Academy’s Taylor-Elizabeth Peart shakes hands with Delaware Gov. Markell as he presents her with a CyberPartriot certificate as Cindy Mann, Padua's head of school, looks on.
Padua Academy’s Taylor-Elizabeth Peart shakes hands with Delaware Gov. Jack Markell as he presents her with a CyberPartriot certificate as Cindy Mann, Padua’s head of school, looks on.

The members of Padua’s teams were seniors Sasha Jones, Emily Platz, Emily Evans, Taylor-Elizabeth Peart and Gwendolyn Bugglin-Borer; juniors Meghan DeBosier, Lauren Griffith, Margaret Banker and Quinn Krenzel; and sophomores Devashree Vasavada and Ava Stratton.

The CyberPatriot program was developed by the Air Force Association and included more than 3,000 teams from across the country, Canada and Europe. The goal is to inspire high school students toward careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering and math fields.

The teams were given the task of removing malware and securing vulnerable computers running various operating programs. They had six hours to complete the task.

Markell said the number of women working in the technology field needs to increase, as all facets of our lives rely so much on computers.

“This is just a big deal,” he said.

Other dignitaries on hand included Major Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, along with James Collins, the chief information officer for the state, and others. The students were recognized at a full-school assembly.