CyberPatriot XIII Coach and Mentor of the Year


STEPHEN MORRILL | CyberPatriot Coach of the Year

Congratulations to Stephen Morrill, the CyberPatriot XIII Coach of the Year!  Mr. Morrill is the lead CyberPatriot Coach for the Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md) CyberPatriot teams and has been a volunteer with CyberPatriot since 2014. He has had teams qualify for the CyberPatriot National Finals Competition in CP-VIII, CP-IX, CP-X, CP-XI, and CP-XIII. In fact, this year his team (Team Crystal), took home 2nd place in the Cisco NetAcad Challenge, with each team member earning $1,500 in scholarship money.

In addition to his work with CyberPatriot, Mr. Morrill has toured Australia to conduct professional learning workshops for educators, politicians, andIMG_20210326_180714 (1).jpg technology industry leaders.  Not only does Mr. Morrill focus on teaching cyber skillsets, but he also strives to create a strong team environment. It is said that he hosts movie nights, game nights, cyber retreats, and conducts Kahoot quizzes with prizes to strengthen the team's bond.  At the cyber retreats, a dedication to ethical morals is established and solidified in line with the Jesuit school's faith to act ethically. Mr. Morrill has sought out sponsors to help engage the Cyber Club at Loyola to participate in out of school events such as B sides, a tour of the Verizon Data Center, a tour of Dream Port, and more.

Students rave of his dedication to the school and to the cyber club. One of Mr. Morrill's competitors said, "The effectiveness of Mr. Morrill's teaching can be seen by the continuation of competitors' education at prominent colleges, from Princeton to Penn State. Every year multiple teams place in the top 5% in the middle school and high school divisions, with at least one team going to CyberPatriot finals. Students have also obtained multiple certifications with his help. I have passed Net+ and Sec+ all because of Mr. Morrill's teaching and dedication."

When Mr. Morrill learned of his new CyberPatriot title he said, "I am proud to be part of CyberPatriot and support the mission of inspiring the next generation to careers in cybersecurity and computer science. The dedication of the CyberPatriot Staff, Sponsors, Coaches, Mentors, Students, Parents, and Guardians is remarkable and will accelerate our ability as a nation to meet the employment demand for qualified professionals.  I am excited to get the next season underway!"

JACQUES LACOUR | CyberPatriot mentor of the Year

​Congratulations to Jacques LaCour, the CyberPatriot XIII Mentor of the Year! Mr. LaCour mentors three CyberPatriot teams from Wheaton Warrenville South High School (Wheaton, IL). His mentoring style is said to be instructionally creative with the use of real-life scenario demonstrations through applications and computer programs.  He writes tutorials for the students and has a strength of connecting with the students in a way that allows them to grasp a better understanding of the technology and difficult computing topics.

Lori Blackburn, the coach for the CyberPatriot teams, said, "Jacques is an adult college student taking a full load of courses, has a young family with child and works part time.  He gives up free time to work with my students during club meetings and writes tutorials for the students outside of the meetings.  Jacques has to find a babysitter and then have someone drive him to the school because he is legally blind.  He has to use special computer applications to adjust to his limited vision but is still able to work with students on their computers." CP Team Photo 2020.jpg

The Wheaton Warrenville South High School CyberPatriot team first found Mr. LaCour at a summer Cyber Camp where LaCour helped educate teachers on how to integrate cybersecurity into their established curriculum.  

When asked about his time as a mentor, Mr. LaCour said, "I began working with Wheaton Warrenville South's CyberPatriot team in 2019 with a desire to offer up some of my knowledge and experiences to the team and hopefully spark some interest in this newly formed group.  It has been my pleasure to watch them not only learn from myself, other mentors and technical advisors, and each other but to see the team grow in amazing ways.  During this past year, the WWS team not only survived but grew to include more members and compete at an even stronger level through all of the remote means available.  I have been able to see what perseverance and determination truly looks like from this great group of students and I am proud to be both a mentor to them and a student of them."

It seems that nothing can stop Mr. LaCour and CyberPatriot is so proud of all he does for the program and the students he mentors.