Suffolk teen receives award at Fishburne

Published 12:02 pm Saturday, April 9, 2016



Fishburne Military School Cadet 1LT Jacob Owens, son of Angela Cuci, of Suffolk, was recently selected as this year’s winner of the Staunton Rotary Club’s Code of Ethics Award.

Owens, a senior at Fishburne, was selected by his classmates as the member of the senior class who best represents a superior standard of integrity, responsibility, dedication and hard work.

The award, established in 1930, was designed by educators within the Rotary Club to recognize and encourage high standards of ethics within the area’s high school communities. A permanent plaque, engraved with the names of past winners, is located in the main foyer of Fishburne Military School’s Alumni Memorial Building. Owens, along with winners from other area high schools, will be presented with a special award during the Rotary Club’s May banquet.

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For many recipients, the award has even deeper meaning because the winner is determined by a vote of their peers within the school. “It means a lot to me that my classmates would choose me for this award,” Owens noted. “I always try to put my friends and brothers ahead of my own interests, even when it’s hard. Everyone at Fishburne is my brother — I’ll help out anyone.”

Owens is the Battalion Strategic Officer (S-4) and is a member of the Key Club, captain of the Rifle Team, and participates in tennis and track. He has been chosen for the All-State Rifle Team two years in a row and is designated an expert marksman. During his career at Fishburne, Owens has also been named Cadet of the Month, Officer of the Month and Superior Cadet for his JROTC class.

“I am proud of the senior class for selecting Jacob as the Code of Ethics award winner,” said Fishburne’s Headmaster LTC Dan Baranik. “He daily lives his life with the highest of character and it is nice to see that his peers recognize this quality in Jacob.  He represents Fishburne and his family proudly.”

The plaque, to which Owens’ name will be added, will hang in the school’s formal foyer and reads: “Presented each year to the Senior who, in the opinion of his classmates, best exemplifies those qualities of Integrity, Responsibility, Dedication and Hard Work set forth in the Rotary High School Code of Ethics.”

Fishburne Military School is the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. Its college-prep curriculum is built on the structure of an Army JROTC program. Boasting a 100-percent college placement rate for the past 10 consecutive years, FMS has also been designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction and may nominate qualified candidates to the U.S. service academies. Fishburne hosts one of only four Summer JROTC programs in the nation that is accredited by U.S. Army Cadet Command. For more information visit