Local student appointed to Naval Academy

May 19, 2003|by PEPPER BALLARD

North Hagerstown High School senior Helen Barnhart has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Barnhart, 18, who will join the academy's Class of 2007 on July 1, said the academy was her first choice out of a list of colleges that included Vanderbilt University, Emory University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., appointed her to the academy.

Barnhart said spending a week at the Annapolis-based academy last summer helped her gauge her future experience there. She had the opportunity to sit in on some classes and participate in training exercises.

"The midshipmen as a whole really bond," she said. "I wanted to be in a place where there are like-minded individuals."


Barnhart plans to major in chemistry with hopes to pursue a research-based career after college.

She is president of the North High National Honor Society, member of the school's Honor Club and has been active in soccer, indoor track and outdoor track.

Barnhart already has been named the valedictorian of North High's graduating class with a grade-point average of 4.278.

She said she plans to spend the two weeks between graduation and her orientation on a trip with friends to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and with her family.

Barnhart said she's meeting with an athletic trainer weekly, who is helping her to push herself physically in preparation for the military training that awaits her.

Barnhart said she already pushed herself physically and academically before she decided to apply for the academy, but wanted an extra push so she would be better prepared for the challenges.

She also gave credit to her parents, Robert Barnhart and Carol Kreykenbohm-Barnhart, for helping her prepare for the academy.

Helen Barnhart said the war in Iraq did not dissuade her from pursuing her appointment.

"You need to be cautious about it, but it wouldn't stop me from going," she said.

Barnhart said her class schedule already has been set for her freshman year. She'll be taking classes in calculus, chemistry, ethics, navigation and seamanship, public speaking and physical education.

She said her friends and classmates are very proud of her and want her to do well.

"It's definitely going to teach me how to be an effective leader, it will improve my skills working with other people, and giving and taking orders," Barnhart said.

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