Immaculate CyberPatriots Win State Title For Third Time

DANBURY—The Immaculate High School CyberPatriots team placed first in the Connecticut Regional National Youth Cyber Defense Competition sponsored by the National Cyber Education Program. This is the third year in a row that the team won the State competition.

The IHS team came in first place in the State Round – Platinum Division before going on to win the State competition in February. The winning first-place team are seniors Jack Brooks of Ridgefield, Ben Fletcher of Redding, Kevin McCoy of Danbury, John Palladino of Danbury and juniors Colby Bellone of Redding and William Wang of New Milford.

Additionally, a second IHS team took third place. Team members earning that honor are Taylor Li ‘18 of Bethel, Ryan Henn ‘19 of Danbury, Andrew Riotto ‘20 of Pawling and Dan Wroblewski ‘19 of Ridgefield. This team previously secured first place in the State Round – Silver Division of the competition before going on to the State competition.

“These young men worked very hard for these competitions and showed great dedication and maturity,” said Dave Cirella, IHS Director of IT and the CyberPatriot’s advisor. “They are possibly the future of cyber security in our country, an area that is critically important but not often a field students consider, and we are grateful that Immaculate High School gives them the opportunity to discover this career by encouraging CyberPatriots,” he added. Mr. Cirella noted that Immaculate High School has a commitment to providing students with a high-quality education in modern technology.

For example, team member John Palladino took advantage of a unique program offered by the school which allowed him to obtain CompTIA A+ certification in two areas by studying technology at Immaculate High School, which alone makes him highly hireable in the tech field. John successfully passed two tests for his understanding of computer hardware, computer software and troubleshooting
computer problems. This certification validates understanding of the most common hardware and software technologies in business and certifies the skills necessary to support complex IT infrastructures. CompTIA A+ is a powerful credential that helps IT professionals worldwide ignite their IT career, and is globally recognized and accredited.

CyberPatriots is part of the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company, and the teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with “finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services.”

Immaculate High School is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York. Founded in 1962, Immaculate High School allows students to focus on academic excellence, spiritual development, service to others and personal goals. Located in Danbury, CT, Immaculate High School is part of the Diocese of Bridgeport’s parochial school system. For more information, go to