John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School catering and hospitality head Carleen Edwards was presented with a long service medal clasp for volunteering as the school’s cadet co-ordinator.
She has led more than 1000 cadets over the years and was one of 18 instructors recognised for service this month by Youth Minister Tony Simpson.
Mrs Edwards spent five years in the Australian Army before she joined the Mirrabooka school 20 years ago after the principal enlisted her help to run an emergency services cadet group.
Her four children, who all attended St Mark’s Anglican Community School, also joined in the after-school sessions.
The cadet program grew from there and included the addition of bush ranger and river ranger streams and a group of volunteer instructors, with John Septimus hosting students from other schools.
“The program helps kids with personal pride, self-discipline, leadership skills and the ability to look after themselves,” Mrs Edwards said.
“The highlight is seeing when they start in Year 5 to when they get to Year 12 as confident, well-accomplished young adults.”
Some of Mrs Edwards’ former cadets – as well as her children – have returned to the school as instructors.
Her son completed a stint in the Australian Navy and is now the resident drill sergeant.
Students meet every Monday after school, attend about five camps a year and hear from guest speakers about topics such as birds of prey.
The emergency services cadets link in with Malaga fire station and help with search and rescues.
At the presentation this month, Ballajura police rangers Alan Davies and Aimee Retallack were presented with a certificate for six years of service.