Lt. Col. (Ret.) Harry Cunningham, who led the Smith-Cotton High School Army JROTC program from 2009 to 2014, is returning to the position of Senior Army Instructor for the Tiger Battalion.

Cunningham retired at the end of the 2013-14 school year and was replaced by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Matthew Coulson; Coulson resigned effective at the end of the current school year in order to spend more time with his family.

Under Cunningham’s leadership, the S-C JROTC program won national championships in the Raider and Drill disciplines, and saw its ranks grow year over year. His cadets have gone on to serve in the military, receive ROTC college scholarships and earn appointments to West Point.

Smith-Cotton High School Principal Wade Norton said, “It is always nice to bring back a former employee and friend to Sedalia. Col. Cunningham brings back the knowledge of our JROTC program and will help us continue the unprecedented success of our Tiger Battalion.”

Current S-C JROTC instructor Command Sgt. Major Randall Woods worked with Cunningham through his previous stint at S-C.

“Smith-Cotton JROTC is excited to have Lt. Col. Cunningham back,” Woods said. “He is a passionate and caring leader for our cadets. He has very high standards for our cadets. The cadets were notified this week and they were super excited. We could not ask for a better mentor, teacher and role model for our students.”

Cunningham said: “I am very excited and grateful to be coming back to Sedalia and Smith-Cotton Army JROTC as the Senior Army Instructor.  It will be an honor to work with community leaders, the administration, faculty, fellow instructors, parents and cadets to continue the tradition of excellence that is so much a part of the Smith-Cotton JROTC program.”

(Coutesy of Sedalia School District)