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May 23, 2016 | Volume 91 Number 15

PROFILE

Five to attend Service Academies

photo: Gabrielle McClelland
Gabrielle McClelland

Gabrielle McClelland

Gabrielle McClelland, who has attended Roanoke Catholic School since pre-school, has accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado. In hopes of becoming an astronaut, she plans to major in astronautical engineering.

Gabrielle, treasurer of her chapter of the National Honor Society, took advanced placement chemistry, biology and language arts in 11th grade and is currently taking advanced placement physics and literature. She won the George Eastman Young Leaders Award presented by the University of Rochester in New York.

She has been active in student government, the American Red Cross Club and the Help Save the Next Girl Club. She played varsity basketball all four years of high school, serving as its team captain as well as earning All-State in 11th and 12th grades.

Her volunteer work includes tutoring fellow students, and helping with Roanoke Star’s Bingo.

Gabrielle is the daughter of Robert and Kristi McClelland, parishioners at St. Andrew Parish in Roanoke.

“We have a welcome invitation for God in our lives,” she said, adding that her faith has never wavered. “I think it’s taught me how to be a selfless individual.”

Kathleen Futrell, academic advisor/Upper School assistant principal, described Gabrielle as mature, self-motivated and confident. She said she has witnessed Gabrielle “emerge as a leader in the classroom, the school and the community.”

Gabrielle said she is excited about attending the Air Force Academy.

“The Academy will push me mentally, physically and emotionally every day for the next four years,” she added.

 

photo: James Hines
James Hines

James Hines

James Hine, a senior at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, has accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he plans to major in electrical engineering. He hopes to be a pilot or work on board a nuclear submarine after graduation.

James, the second youngest of six siblings, was born in Stony Brook, N.Y., to Mary and Richard Hine (Bishop Sullivan athletic director) who attend St. John the Apostle Church in Virginia Beach.

He attended Eastern Mennonite School in Harrisonburg and 10th to 12th at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School.

James, a member of the National Honor Society, took advanced placement world history and chemistry his sophomore year and advanced placement Physics I, English and composition, BC Calculus, U.S. history and environmental science his junior year.

Bishop Sullivan Principal Dennis Price described James as “very bright” and said he is involved in all aspects of the school.

He was captain of the volleyball team for all three years he played and was named the team’s most valuable player his junior and senior years. He was also named 1st Team All Conference in Volleyball. James has amassed 15 Varsity Letters in seven different sports during his high school career.

James said he is confident the demanding academics, leadership opportunities and sports have prepared him for the challenges of the Naval Academy. One of his sisters graduated from the Naval Academy in 2012 and another will graduate this year from the Coast Guard Academy. Also, his father graduated from the Naval Academy in 1982.

 

photo:
Braden Welsh

Braden Welsh

Braden Welsh, a senior at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, has accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

Braden, a member of Boy Scout Troop 381 with St. Pius X Catholic Church in Norfolk, is an Eagle Scout. He earned the Boy Scout of America Lifesaving Honor Metal in 2013 for saving his seven-year old brother in a sail-boating accident.

He is in the National Honor Society and has taken a course load packed with advanced placements courses.

Braden volunteered with Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba and at a local food pantry.

He is the son of Thomas and Susan Welsh, parishioners at Holy Trinity Church in Norfolk. He was born in Norfolk, but because his father is an officer in the Navy, he has moved throughout the world.

Braden has been a student at Bishop Sullivan High School since his family returned to Norfolk three years ago. His father praises Catholic schools as being academically challenging, and having dedicated teachers who care about their students.

Likewise, Braden credited Catholic schools with preparing him spiritually as well as academically for success.

“No matter what I face, I know God is with me, and I can always rely on him and pray with him if I need help. What I learned at Catholic school is that he is always there.”

He is confident that he is prepared for West Point.

“It’s something I’m ready to do, and I’m going to take on the challenge with my determination and strength,” he said.

Bishop Sullivan Principal Dennis Price described Braden as a model student.

 

photo: Philip Speri
Philip Speri

Philip Speri

Philip Speri, a senior at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, has accepted an appointment to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. A top high school swimmer in the state, he will compete on the academy’s swim team. He plans to major in quantitative economics and hopes to be a Naval pilot upon graduation.

His high school extracurricular activities include playing on the school’s tennis team and swim teams. He also has been on the Old Dominion Aquatic Club swim team for 12 years. Philip, who has earned a number of swimming accolades, won the Virginia Private School State Champion for the 100 and 200-yard freestyle races at the state competition at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and has taken a number of advanced placement classes.

Philip is the son of Teri and Jim Speri who are parishioners at St. Mark Church in Virginia Beach. He attended St. Matthew Catholic School in Virginia Beach from kindergarten to eighth grade and has attended Bishop Sullivan High School since ninth.

Philip said attending Catholic School has given him “a good moral compass” and “a good sense of discipline.” He is confident that the skills he acquired through academics and swimming have prepared him for the Naval Academy.

He said his faith is “a strong part” of his life.

“It kind of gives me hope and reassurance when I’m down,” he said. “Without faith, you don’t have anything to grasp onto.”

Bishop Sullivan Principal Dennis Price described Philip as “an extremely hardworking, dedicated student and athlete.”

 

photo: Tony Ly
Tony Ly

Tony Ly

Tony Ly, a senior at Benedictine College Preparatory in Richmond, has accepted an appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Point, N.Y. He plans to major in marine engineering with the aspiration of managing a naval ship during his military career.

Tony, the son of Phuong Nguyen and Hung Ly, was born and raised in Richmond. He and his brother go to St. Benedict Parish in Richmond.

He is in the JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction, was first sergeant in the Cadet Corps, Charlie Company, and is a Cadet S1 Adjutant. He is a graduate of the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security, and he attended the JROTC Leadership Camp.

He has taken a number of honors and advanced placement courses including biology, US government, English literature, and BC Calculus.

His extracurricular activities include varsity lacrosse and the Robotics Club. He was a volunteer math and reading tutor at the Kumon Learning Center and a math tutor at Blackwell Elementary School.

Tony attended St. Edward-Epiphany Catholic School in Richmond and ninth to 12th at Benedictine College Preparatory.

“I believe my education has taught me the proper morals and values that should be portrayed in society. I believe also that my education has allowed me to further develop my judgment of what is right and wrong,” Tony said.

Dr. Daniel Geary, director of guidance and college counseling, said: “Tony is a hardworking and dedicated young man who has excelled in everything that he has pursued. I feel confident that he will be successful at the Merchant Marine Academy and in his future studies and career.”

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