CENTENARY — Gallia Academy High School hosted a former student and current West Point attendee Friday.
Blake Wilson, a native of Gallipolis, came back to visit GAHS and speak to Advanced Placement (AP) Government students about military life at West Point and how AP classes prepared him for education after high school.
AP Government is a strenuous class that is designed to challenge students and go above and beyond the state standards.
“It fit into the class because what he was talking about, most cadets who get into West Point have taken AP classes and the schooling is very difficult and the classes are really hard. Blake did take the AP classes when he went to school here,” said Clay Montgomery, an AP government student. “It gave me some respect for how much work they put into what they do every day.”
Wilson spoke at length to the students about the different steps he had to take to get into West Point and what the preparation and training was like.
“Especially being from southeast Ohio, there are opportunities. I wanted to educate students about the year long admission process, of getting the nomination from Congressman Johnson, and hopefully they will possibly apply and get in someday,” said Wilson.
“He asked to come in and speak. He felt like he had something to come in and offer to the juniors who are pushing themselves,” said AP Teacher Brack Houchens. “I think he wanted to let them know about the opportunity at the military academy, obviously it’s hard to get in.”
According to Houchens, the AP courses are more challenging and are designed to push students.
“Even though he took everything we had to offer here to challenge him, when he went to a college like that it was a real eye opening experience for him. It’s tough,” said Houchens. “Any time we can bring in some of these students who have been successful in college to talk to the ones that are thinking that direction, I think that’s invaluable.”
One student took the information to heart, despite having no intentions of joining the military.
“It changed my perspective on it, it was more serious than I expected. You have to work harder than you expect in school,” said Junior Cole Davis.
Wilson was a 2015 graduate of Gallia Academy and is currently a junior at West Point earning a degree in environmental engineering. After graduation, Wilson will be required to spend five years in active duty, then three years in the reserve.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.