Military Appointments

Pine Creek is proud to celebrate the successes of the members of the Class of 2020 who have received and accepted military appointments, scholarships, and other recognition:  


Abner Rodriguez-Reyes, appointment to United States Military Academy West Point
Audrey Teets, United States Army ROTC Scholarship
Gabrielle Wilson, appointment to United States Air Force Academy
Genevieve Pace, United States Air Force ROTC Scholarship
Grant Garlock, United States Air Force ROTC Scholarship
James Matchette, appointment to United States Air Force Academy
Luke Wieland, appointment to United States Air Force Academy
Nicholas Appleton, United States Army ROTC Scholarship
Zachary Almadani, United States Merchant Marine Academy


 Abner Rodriguez-Reyes

Inspired by his Dad's lengthy career in the U.S. Army, Abner Rodriguez-Reyes solidified his own interested in military service through ongoing participation in JROTC as well as attending a week-long summer camp at West Point. "My Dad's been in the Army as long as I've been alive. So I went to a summer camp at West Pointe just to see what it would be like out at the academy, fell in love with the school, and decided to apply." 


Abner joined ROTC as a sophomore and found he appreciated the insight it gave him into military life, liked learning about military history and how wear the uniform properly, and enjoyed doing drills and participating in community service activities, his favorite of which was the Veteran's Day Parade. In addition to JROTC, Abner named Applied Psychology as his favorite course at Pine Creek due to the hands-on and  conversational nature of the curriculum. 


Abner's advice to incoming freshmen? "Definitely join a club, activity, or sport to keep yourself focused on doing more than just schoolwork. Schoolwork can get heavy sometimes and it's definitely nice to have something to look forward to after school rather than just going home and doing homework." Thankful for the opportunities for camaraderie and success it brought him, Abner's sport of choice while at Pine Creek was football. "The state game was so cool! And walking through the locker room for the third time in my high school career for a state game was definitely neat. Not a lot of people get to go in that locker room even once." 


For anyone thinking about applying to an academy, Abner advises students not to over-think it. "You have a better chance of getting in if you apply rather than sitting there and thinking, 'Oh, I'm not going to get in so I'm not going to apply.' " 


Abner will report to West Point on July 20, 2020.

 

Genevieve Pace

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Genevieve Pace, one of three Air Force JROTC Cadets of the Year of the year for Pine Creek, is headed to Texas A&M in the fall where she will participate in Air Force ROTC while pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering before joining either the Air Force or Space Force. 


Genevieve first learned she was skilled at math in elementary school. "In fourth grade I got the highest score in the grade on the state test and I thought, 'Oh, I'm good at this. I should keep it up!' " Success in math eventually led to an interest in STEM. "The entire world runs on math, you know? It's just kind of crazy! It's just so big and wide and covers so many concepts." 


While in high school Genevieve enjoyed participating in both JROTC and the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). "In CAP I was able to become the Basic Training Flight Commander which means you help new cadets get set up for success within the normal squadron. Most of them (new cadets) are twelve." Twelve is the youngest age participants in CAP can be. "In contrast, in JROTC I was working with a bunch of seventeen and eighteen year olds who were all deciding their futures. The variety of people was just interesting." 


When asked what her favorite classes were at Pine Creek, Genevieve indicated that she had loved all of her math classes, especially BC Calc with Mr. Adams. "That was just so fun! I felt like I knew what I was doing going in, but knew even more after I was done," she said. "Peer tutoring was also a very rewarding class, actually.  Seeing kids go from not understanding a concept to suddenly getting it, their grades rising, and then being happier to come in and see you was such a neat experience!" 


What is Genevieve's ultimate goal? Excited about having the opportunity to be at the forefront of making advancements in space as well as being part of the next steps in innovation, Genevieve aspires to eventually become an astronaut. 


When deciding your own path, Genevieve recommends the following: "Try as many things as you can! Always be thinking of the present and the future at the same time. I know plenty of people who think freshman year doesn't matter, but colleges only get a look at freshmen, sophomore, and junior year. Definitely treat every year like you're working towards a goal. Even if you don't know what that goal is, put in the hard work and always do well in class. Oh, and take advantage of the friendly environment at Pine Creek. If you need help, everyone at Pine Creek is here to help!"

 

James Matchette

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James Matchette, one of three Air Force JROTC Cadets of the Year of the year for Pine Creek, received and accepted an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. 


In talking with James three things quickly became evident: a passion for flight, a desire to serve others, and a love for the United States. "My dad was a fighter pilot in the Air Force. Growing up around air bases and interacting with service members really motived me to want to fly, but it (having a passion for flight) has also evolved into having a desire to serve our country as well." 


Reflecting on his journey up to this moment, James recalled participation in scouting and JROTC as being most influential along with his family's sponsorship of cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy which afforded him an advanced look at the day-to-day life of a cadet (learn more about sponsoring a cadet here). "My dad got me into scouting at a young age and then I came to love it on my own. Scouting taught me things like service to our country, helping other people, and being a citizen of good character." James felt that these lessons not only showed him the importance of leadership, but prepared him to become a leader as well. James also indicated that the experience (and class) that was his favorite and that continues to influence him most today was JROTC. "I've built the best friends that I could ask for in high school through JROTC - met the best leaders and a great group of people."  In addition to getting to connect with a variety of people and experiences through JROTC, James also enjoyed having the opportunity to tour different air bases in various parts of the country as part of the JROTC Senior Trip.  As far as classes at Pine Creek, James thought AP Lang with Ms. Babbitt was one of the most outstanding. "It really developed my writing skills so much so that I was able to earn a 5 on the AP exam. Ms. Babbitt is just a great teacher and although the writing is a bit difficult at times, in the end it's definitely worth it." (Read about Ms. Babbitt, Pine Creek's 2020 Educator of the Year, here). 


In addition to having a focus on academics and JROTC, James also ran cross country all four years at Pine Creek. He credited both of his parents with introducing him to running as a sport when he was in elementary school, a pastime that he enjoyed enough to continue through middle school and into high school. 


What advice does a PCHS senior with a passion for flight who is about to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy have for incoming students? "You have to get started on things early. If you don't, it will all pile up close to the deadlines and you may miss out on opportunities. Stay ahead of everything. (If you're applying to a service academy) Pursue every nomination. Every nomination you can get is another chance at admission. Constant research and writing is imperative. If you can write a perfect essay, that is invaluable!"

 

Note: Not all students with military appointments could be reached for an interview, but we celebrate them and wish them well nevertheless!