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Mack nominates 30 area students for military service academies

By Staff | Dec 10, 2008

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, recently nominated 30 students from the 14th District to attend one of the country's four prestigious military academies.

Each year the congressman nominates students from across the district who exhibit high academic marks, leadership qualities, athletic achievement and community involvement.

The four military academies are the U.S. Military Academy West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.

Each of the students participate in personal interviews with a nominating committee consisting of military officials and community leaders. They also apply to the separate academies and ask a local congressman for a recommendation.

“All of the candidates showed an incredible depth of talent, have reached high levels of academic and athletic achievement and are very active in their schools and communities,” said Mack.

A recommendation from Mack does not secure a seat in one of the service academies. Last year, 26 local students were nominated, with only 17 receiving an appointment.

Two nominees from Sanibel — Anthony DiBiase from Canterbury High School and Kate Epp from Loreto College in Coleraine — are among the group of 30 students nominated by Mack.

Other students include Cape Coral residents Jordon Adcock from Ida S. Baker High; Alexander Coviello, who attends the New Mexico Military Institute; Anthony Johnson, who attends the Naval Academy Prep; Mark Livengood, who attends the New Mexico Military Institute; and Christopher MacKoul, who attends the Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg.

Nominees from Fort Myers include Sean Alexander from Canterbury High; Jesse Goodrich from Fort Myers High; Joshua Kelchner from Military Academy Prep; Eric Messuri from South Fort Myers High; Sean Minor from Bishop Verot High; Eric Morgan from Military Academy Prep; Carl Rios from Fort Myers High; Derek Slabosz from Fort Myers High; Bryan Smith from North Fort Myers High; Derek Speir from Fort Myers High; and Craig Svec from Fort Myers High.

Nominees from Naples include Alexander Baez from Gulf Coast High; Derek Bersen from Barron Collier High; Matthew Budd from International School of Beijing; Matthew Dernbach from Community School of Naples; Shawn Hibbard from Gulf Coast High; Shane McIntosh III from Naples High; Howard Showalter from Valley Forge Military Academy; Michael Thorsen from Northfield Mt. Hermon School; Colton Wetzel from Barron Collier High; and Erin Zappia from Marion Military Institute.

“Attending a United States Service Academy is truly an admirable way for young people to serve their country,” said Mack. “I am confident that these students will enjoy successful futures, and I was honored to support their nominations to the U.S. Service Academies.”