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HUSD’s Alltop named AFJROTC Enlisted Instructor of the Year

Senior Master Sergeant Danny Alltop with students

A conversation with Senior Master Sergeant Danny Alltop doesn’t start about him. Just ask one word about the JROTC program in Higley and he launches into gratitude and praise about his boss, his principals, district leadership and the many students in the classroom.

That support drives him to do his job to the best of his ability, he said.

And that ability led his boss, fellow JROTC instructor Col. David Vaughn, to nominate Alltop for the AFJROTC Enlisted Instructor of the Year, an honored bestowed upon Alltop for the 2019-2020 school year.

The Air Force recognizes two instructors each year from the 900-plus units around the world led by USAF instructors. Alltop is the first from Higley Unified School District’s Higley and Williams Field High Schools to earn the honor.

“I was shocked. I had an email from the instructor at Hamilton High congratulating me … I’m with my wife in the kitchen and I almost pass out,” Alltop said. “I’m just blessed to have a great boss who saw something in me and submitted me.”

The JROTC program is dedicated to building responsible citizens and leaders of the future. About 100 freshmen through seniors make up the joint high school program in the Higley District. Alltop is the leadership education instructor for the program, guiding them in the principles of leadership and accountability.

“I teach them, basically, I’ll be honest, how the world works and what’s expected of the young men and young women when the graduate high school,” he said.

Alltop’s lessons focus on communication, responsibility and service.

“Once you step into JROTC it’s not about you; it’s about ‘what can you do for somebody else,’” he said. “We live in a crazy world. It’s take, take, take, take. I want you to give. Give of your time. Sacrifice. Be the difference maker in somebody else’s life.”

Vaughn expressed his own gratitude for Alltop.

“I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with SMSgt Alltop. This award places him at the head of the class of over 900 AFJROTC instructors across the country and recognizes the dedication, enthusiasm, and spirit he brings to the classroom, the drill pad, and Higley High School every day,” he said. “SMSgt Alltop’s passion for this program is unparalleled. The cadets can feel his love of what he does; they really respond to him.”

Cadet Matthew Shaffer, an incoming senior, praised Alltop.