Rep. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) has nominated 16 West Virginia students to four United States service academies--the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S Military Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy.
Congressional nomination is the first step in a process toward the students' acceptance into a military academy. "West Virginians should be proud of each one of these students who represent the best our state has to offer," said Rep. McKinley. "Because of the commitment they have already shown, we thank them for their patriotism and leadership in the years to come."
"These exceptional candidates we're nominating will soon be leading their peers," said Rep. McKinley. "We're proud that year after year, West Virginia produces some of the best students in this country to lead a new generation."
The following students were nominated by Rep. McKinley based on their academic performance, extracurricular activity in their communities and personal recommendations:
Andrew Bruffy is a graduate of Morgantown High School in Monongalia County and is currently a student at West Virginia University, where he participates in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC). He recently earned his Siler Wings by performing numerous acts of community outreach and service. Andrew has a 3.95 GPA. Andrew was nominated to the Air Force Academy.
Alec Buchmelter will graduate from Brooke County High School in Brooke County with a GPA of 3.70 this spring. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Boys State, and the American Legion and was an all-conference academic in 2011. Alec hopes to play football for the Naval Academy. Alex was nominated to the Naval Academy.
Jack DeVault is scheduled to graduate from East Fairmont High School in Marion County this spring. Jack has a GPA of 3.95 and is Vice President of the student body. Jack is also a member of the National Honor Society and Boys State. He was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar. Jack was nominated to the Naval Academy.
Daniel Gaston is a native of Ritchie County and student at Embry-Riddle University in Germany, where his father is stationed. Daniel is pursuing a career in Aerospace Science. Daniel has been involved in Junior ROTC and is an Eagle Scout. He has a 4.0 GPA. Daniel was nominated to West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.
Raymond Isner is a native of Taylor County and will graduate from Grafton High School in June. He has a GPA of 4.06. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar and was active in the Rotary youth program. Along with excelling in academics, Raymond also participates in cross country and varsity track. Raymond was nominated to the Naval Academy.
William Mohr will graduate from Petersburg High School in Grant County with a GPA of 3.96 in June. He is involved in Boys State, the National Honor Society, the United States Military Academy (USMA) Summer Leader's Seminar and the Civil Air Patrol. As a member of the Potomac Highland Squadron, Mohr received the Air Force Association Squadron of the Year award. William was nominated to West Point and the Air Force Academy.
Caleb Moore will graduate from Doddridge High School in Doddridge County with a 4.03 GPA. He has received numerous academic awards including the Science/Engineering award and the National Honor Society. Caleb participates in cross country and track and his coaches say he maintains a high level of integrity while competing. Caleb was nominated to the Naval Academy.
Nicholas Musgrave will graduate from Parkersburg High School in Wood County this June. Nicholas participates in Quiz Bowl, Boys State and several service clubs. He was also involved in the United States Military Academy Summers Leader's Seminar. Nicholas is an Eagle Scout. Nicholas was nominated to the Air Force Academy.
Michael Palkovic attends Central Catholic High School in Ohio County and has been accepted to attend West Virginia University in the fall. He was awarded a Promise Scholarship and received a WVU Achievement Scholarship. Michael is majoring in Engineering. Michael was nominated to the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy.
Andrew Parker is a student in Wiesbaden, Germany, where his father is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and is currently working at the War College. Andrew and his family are natives of Monongalia County. Andrew has a GPA of 3.88 and won an academic leadership award. He is also an accomplished swimmer, winning several European championships. Andrew is an Eagle Scout and wants to pursue a degree in robotics. Andrew was nominated to West Point, the Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy.
Ryan Prichard attends Parkersburg High School in Wood County and will graduate with a 3.88 GPA this spring. He's an AP Scholar and in the French Honor Society. Along with being an Eagle Scout, Ryan is also serves as a Boy Scout leader and an assistant patrol leader. Ryan was nominated to the Naval Academy.
Christopher Unger is a native of Ohio County and is now in school at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia, where his father is in the U.S. Army. Christopher is involved in the Junior ROTC and worked during his summer break at the Pentagon. Christopher was the only cadet to score 100 percent on his proficiency test. Christopher was nominated to the Air Force Academy, West Point, and the Naval Academy.
Skyler Terrell will graduate from Parkersburg High School this May. During high school, Skyler played football and participated in wrestling. Despite his heavy extra-curricular schedule, he maintained a high level of achievement in academics and sports. Skyler was a wrestling champion and academic All-American. He is a native of Wood County. Skyler was nominated to the Air Force Academy, the Naval Academy, West Point and the Merchant Marines.
Katherine Warner will graduate from University High School in Monongalia County in May. She's an AP Scholar with a GPA of 4.17. Katherine ranks second in a class of 279 students and received the Governor's Honor. Along with participating in several summer mission trips with her church, Katherine is a classical pianist. Both her parents are graduates of West Point. Katherine was nominated to West Point.
Forrest Welsh is a native of Ohio County, and is stationed with his father at the United States Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). He has a 3.93 GPA and attends Sampson High School at GTMO where he's scheduled to graduate in May. Forrest is an Eagle Scout, served as a Red Cross intern and is a published poet. Forrest was nominated to the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.
Mason Winkie is an AP Scholar at Bridgeport High School in Harrison County. He's also a member of the National Honor Society and is scheduled to graduate in June. Mason was named to the West Virginia all-state wrestling team and is a member of Boy's State, the Civil Air Patrol, the Key Club and the French Club. Mason was nominated to the Naval Academy.