Sergeant First Class Ramon Arias presented a Silver Instructor Award certificate by the Department of the Army


Colonel Kenneth P. Green presents Ramon Arias with the Silver Instructor Award certificate. Photo courtesy of Anna Koltunova

Ivy Lam, Senior Feature Editor

“Well, I was surprised that I got it [Silver Instructor Award]. But not surprised with everything that I’ve achieved in the hard work that I put into my job,” Arias said.

The Silver Instructor Award certificate is given only to those who demonstrate an outstanding degree of excellence as a JROTC Instructor. Professionalism, expertise and commitment to excellence are only a few of the words used in the certificate to describe Arias’s qualities. The award states that Arias is a role model for all other JROTC instructors across the nation.

“I think you know, teaching a class like ROTC is just a unique opportunity for students. And you need someone who has leadership skills themselves, strong leadership skills themselves, because they are teaching and modeling those leadership skills for their students. So it’s not just about like I said, learning the standards, it’s about teaching how to be a leader, teaching how to guide your peers,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Principal Michelle Kefford said. “He’s [Ramon Arias] a very dedicated teacher, who cares a lot about his students, and provides them with a phenomenal education not only in the standards, but in leadership as well.”

It is Arias’s first year at MSD. He has been teaching ROTC students for a total of 16 years, 15 of which were at Everglades High School.

“My favorite thing is the challenges every day with the cadets, with the students, young people. Working with young people everyday is a difference,” Arias said. “My job is to motivate young people to be better citizens. That’s my sole purpose at being at Stoneman Douglas.”

Students praise his hard work and contribution to not only their ROTC program, but also their overall experience at MSD. His guidance and commitment have impacted the outlook his students have had on their personal and professional lives.

“Not only is he [Ramon Arias] hardworking, [but] he also makes me feel very special all the time. For example, on my birthday, he bought me cupcakes. That was very nice and it just really made me feel special,” junior Jia Wei Chen said. “Sergeant Arias is truly a phenomenal individual. He puts his students before himself and makes high school enjoyable. Although this is his first year at MSD, he’s already made an impact in my life.”

Arias has won numerous awards through Raiders and other JROTC competitions. He hopes to implement his achievements as an incentive to do better everyday.