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Gibbons sponsors 17 to service academies

U.S. Rep. Sam Gibbons, D-Tampa, recently sponsored 17 Hillsborough County students for appointments to U.S. service academies and preparatory schools. The students will begin classes in July.

Students receiving appointments to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., are Leslie P. Holland, University of South Florida and Bloomingdale High School; Robert R. Torres, Leto High School; Robert J. Bonner, Robinson High School, G. Scott Hall, Chamberlain High School; Kevin K. Sutterfield, Bloomingdale High School; Sven F. Hoerschgens and John P. Newbill, Brandon High School, and Octavio Echevarria, USAFA Prep School and Tampa Catholic High School.

Those appointed to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., are Ronald N. Nelms Jr., East Bay High School and Hector Melendez Jr., Bloomingdale High School.

Students who will attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., are Jason S. Crawford, Hillsborough High School, Kayla L. Lee, Plant High School, and Laura P. Tillinghast, Chamberlain High School.

Those who will go to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., are Frank M. McNellis of Jesuit High School and Guy E. Howerton III of Plant High School.

Appointed to the U.S. Military Academy Prep School at Fort Monmouth, N.J., are Mark E. Poulton, U.S. Army and Leto High School, and Russell J. Wrona, Jesuit High School.

"I'm proud that these young men and women will represent the bay area in their respective service academies," Gibbons said. "A service academy appointment is one of the highest honors a young person can earn."

The students received nominations based on the academies' selection criteria: SAT or ACT test scores, class rank, grade point average, school and extracurricular activities, leadership, motivation and recommendations.

After meeting the qualification requirements, students are interviewed by Gibbons' academy advisory and selection committee. The committee, comprised of former military personnel, recommends students for congressional nominations.

Gibbons is now accepting applications from students seeking nominations to military academies for classes starting July 1994.

For information, call Gibbons' office at 870-2101.