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Military academies await Oak Harbor students

Oak Harbor High School will be well represented in the military academies this fall.

Three seniors are bound for the U.S. Naval Academy and one senior will head into the U.S. Coast Guard Academy this summer. Yet another recent graduate has his sights set on the Air Force Academy.

Corey Schulz and Jake Leete will attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., this fall while Tim Miller will attend the Naval Academy prep school, which is a stepping stone to the Academy.

Justin Jansen will head to New London, Conn., this fall to attend the Coast Guard Academy; and Thomas Chandler is transferring to the Air Force Academy.

Cmdr. David Acton (Ret.), who, as Blue and Gold officer helps recruit for Naval Academy, said this year is by far the most students he has sent to the Naval Academy in one year.

“We had really strong candidates this year,” Acton said. “All of them wanted to be challenged and they all wanted to fly.”

For Schulz, attending the Naval Academy has been a goal since her freshman year. That’s when she met Acton’s daughter, Kristin, who will graduate from the academy in the fall.

Schulz said that inspired her to try to become a midshipman. She hopes to major in international relations.

At Oak Harbor High School, she has been active with the NJROTC program since her freshman year. Over the past four years, she has served as administrative officer, company commander and participated on the rifle team.

In addition to JROTC, she competed in track and cross country, participated in link crew and will graduate next month with a 3.65 grade point average.

For Tim Miller, attending the academy is a bit of a family tradition. His dad attended the institution and hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“I have a lot of family in the Navy,” Miller said.

Before heading to Annapolis, he will attend the Naval Academy prep school in Newport, R.I.. There he will take more math courses to better prepare for academy life.

“It’s like a baby step into the academy,” Miller said. He hopes to major in history and eventually become a chopper pilot.

He is an Eagle Scout, competes in track and is the senior class president. He is graduating with a 3.2 GPA.

Leete said he is looking forward to the challenge of landing a plane on an aircraft carrier. Not only that, “chicks dig the aviators.”

Before the chicks can start digging him, he has to go through the Naval Academy.

He has been thinking about the academy since his freshman year when he met Acton. Then he visited the academy last summer to get exposure to midshipman life.

In school, he has taken six advanced placement classes and is graduating with a 3.93 GPA. He is a member of Torch Club, is the Key Club vice president and competed in cross country and baseball.

Leete plans on majoring in engineering and is leaning toward aerospace engineering. He said he hopes to continue flying as a pilot once he completes his time in the service.

Justin Jansen is getting ready for the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. next fall.

“I wanted to do something where I serve my country,” Jansen said, adding the Coast Guard Academy just fell into place. Jansen has participated in JROTC for four years and he is graduating with a 3.96 GPA.

The students went through an extensive application process that begin in the middle of their junior year and included congressional nominations.

“It’s basically like filling out a college application only 10 times harder,” Schulz said.

They also took time during school breaks to visit the schools to get a taste of academy life to make sure it’s right for them.

Acton said the visits are important because some students don’t realize what’s expected of them. He said the visits help reduce the attrition rate because a third of the students who visit don’t apply to the school.

He added there are two Oak Harbor High School students who are attending a Naval Academy seminar this summer.

Another recent Oak Harbor High School graduate is bound for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Thomas Chandler, who graduated in 2006, accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy, where he will compete on the school’s rifle team. He spent the past year studying at Seattle Pacific University.

Chandler said he has wanted to go into the Air Force Academy since the sixth grade. He hopes to major in political science and eventually serve as an intelligence officer.

Acton said the acceptance rate at academies is higher for someone who graduated high school several years ago. Those people have attended college for a couple of years or had already enlisted in the military.

For students interested in the United States Naval Academy, contact Acton at 279-0553.

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