EDMOND — Academic excellence is paying off for two Edmond North High School seniors who have been accepted into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Daniel Reape, 18, and Wayne Cobb, 17, are the latest scholarship recipients for North and its Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which gives both young men a four-year scholarship worth an estimated $400,000.
“I'm truly honored for the opportunity to serve my country,” Reape said.
“I'm blown away and honored,” Cobb said Thursday.
The acceptance is even more of an honor, said Lt. Col. Lester P. Tucker, senior aerospace science instructor, because federal budget cuts caused the next cadet class to be trimmed from 1,200 to 900 students.
Tucker, in his 15th year at North, said both young men are examples of what they teach at North.
“We tell all the students life is about choices and making responsible ones,” Tucker said. “We're not here to get them into the military. We're here to make sure they make it to college.”
Sharing in the moment was Jason Pittenger, second-year principal of North and its nearly 2,500 students.
“It's an amazing, proud moment for the kids and their families,” he said. “They've worked hard, and this is the fruit of their labors.”
The academy, at West Point, N.Y., has been in operation more than 200 years and produced many military leaders and two presidents, Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight Eisenhower.
“It's very humbling to be attending an institution that has been home to presidents and generals,” Reape said.
Gaining acceptance into a military academy has long been a goal for both students.
Reape said he started looking toward West Point as an eighth-grader.
Cobb, who also sought acceptance into the Air Force Academy, participates in cross country and lacrosse as a club sport.
Reape has been on the track team and also ran cross country.