Three students nominated for academies

PARKERSBURG – Three area students have been nominated to United States service academies.

U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., and U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., both announced the three as part of 13 students statewide to be nominated. The process is highly competitive and the nominations are the first part in the process for appointment to military academies

“These 13 students exemplify the best our state has to offer,” said McKinley. “Because of their hard work and commitment, they have earned this distinction. They have shown what type of leaders they will become. West Virginia continues to produce the next generation of leaders.”

* Alexander Baumgartner of Parkersburg attends Parkersburg High School and ranks in the top one percent of his class. Baumgartner is a member of the Key Club. He’s also a member of the cross country and soccer teams and is a Civil Air Patrol airman first class. Baumgartner was presented with the LSIC Award in 2012 for “empowering students to become responsible, productive citizens.” He has been nominated to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy.

“Alex is a sharp student who excels in his extracurricular activities,” Rockefeller said. “He has all of the qualities I look for in students during the nomination process. I know he would make a phenomenal addition to the Air Force Academy.”

Baumgartner is the son of Dale and Sarah Baumgartner of Parkersburg.

* John Bolton of Vienna attends Parkersburg High School and is ranked fifth in his class with a 4.375 GPA. Last summer, he attended the United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar in Annapolis, Md. Bolton attended Boys State in 2013 and is a member of the National Honor Society. He’s also a member of the cross country, track and soccer teams. He has been nominated to the U.S. Naval Academy.

“I had the pleasure of meeting John when I was at Parkersburg High recently, and I was immediately impressed with his maturity and composure,” Rockefeller said. “It was an easy choice for me to nominate John to the Naval Academy as he is a completely well-rounded young man with lots going for him.”

Bolton is the son of Gregory and Carolyn Bolton of Vienna.

* Gearick Watt of Williamstown attends Williamstown High School and has a 4.07 GPA. He plans on majoring in aeronautic engineering or computer science. Watt attended Boys State, is a member of the National Honor Society and is an assistant senior patrol leader with the Boy Scouts pursuing Eagle Scout rank. He is also active in the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet commander. Watt earned his private pilot certification/license this year. He’s also a member of the soccer and cross country teams. He has been nominated to U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Air Force Academy.

“Gearick is already a few steps ahead of his fellow Air Force Academy nominees with his private pilot’s certification,” Rockefeller said. “He’s an all-around great student, athlete and leader at Williamstown High and I’m excited to nominate him to the Air Force Academy.”

Watt is the son of Charles and Lori Watt of Williamstown.