Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) recognized 15 students from the 11th congressional district that have been accepted to attend a military service academy. Every year, McNerney nominates high school students from the area for acceptance to these prestigious institutions.
"Every year I'm privileged to nominate exceptional students from our area for appointments to the military service academies," he said. "I'm proud that 15 hard-working and talented young people have been accepted to these prestigious institutions this year. They are dedicated students, excellent athletes, and frequent volunteers in our community. We can be proud of what these young people have already accomplished and the commitment they are making to serve our country."
This year, McNerney nominated five San Ramon Valley residents -- Danville residents Jordan Latendresse, Alexander Ganz, Thomas Hickle and Brian He and San Ramon's Kelly Fielder -- to attend West Point and the Naval Academy at Annapolis.
Although attending a military academy is not a common route for high school graduates, Thomas and Alexander are two of six San Ramon Valley High students who will ship off to various branches of the armed forces, including the Marines, Navy and Army ROTC program.
Although counselors from Monte Vista High School did not return calls for comment, SRVHS career center counselor Carolyn Mackell said she doesn't think six enlisted students is much of a trend.
"Last year we had nine students joining the Marines, these things tend to go in waves," she said. "I think (enlisting) varies greatly from high school to high school. Sometimes, especially with the military academies, if there is a history in the family of a grandparent of father who went that can greatly influence the decision to join."
Mackell said that some classes tend to have larger enlistment rates if a group of friends decide to join together.
"I know last year we had the Marines around here a lot. I think quite a few of these students are friends and perhaps the friends decided to do that together," she said.
Rather than enrolling at a military academy or in a branch of the service, Mackell said many SRVHS students will attend California Polytechnic State University or Chico State.