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May 29, 2024 | Press Releases

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube Congratulates FL-17 Students Appointed to U.S. Military Academies

SARASOTA — U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) today congratulated thirteen students from Florida’s 17th Congressional District who received appointments to U.S. Service Academies. Rep. Steube nominated 21 individuals in December. 

“I am thrilled to announce the appointment of 13 talented students to our nation’s prestigious military academies,” said Rep. Steube. “While there are many exciting post-graduate paths, I am honored that 13 students from FL-17 chose to put our country first. I thank them for their willingness to serve and wish the appointees the best as they embark on their journey of service.” 

Rep. Steube joined several of the appointees and their parents at a congratulatory luncheon hosted by his office on Wednesday. The FL-17 students appointed by Rep. Steube and accepted to attend one of our nation’s U.S. Service Academies are as follows: 

Reiley Lester of American Overseas School of Rome has been appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Lester was the Student Body President and three-year Presidential Award recipient for academic achievement. Lester was a varsity athlete and participated in the National and Italian Honors Society, respectively.

Alexandra Witherspoon of Riverview High School has been appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Witherspoon was an AP Scholar and President of the Eastern Awareness Club, participating in the Science, Math, and History National Honor Societies, respectively. Witherspoon received the Woman of Distinction Summit Award.

Noah Gregory of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School has been appointed to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Gregory was an AP Scholar with Distinction, Treasurer of the Paleontology Club, varsity athlete, and participated in several clubs like Against Leukemia, and the Humane Society. Gregory most recently graduated from the 10-month USAFA Preparatory School at Randolph-Macon Academy on a Falcon Foundation Scholarship.

Madison Witherspoon of Riverview High School has been appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. Witherspoon received the Magna Cum Laude GPA Award twice. Witherspoon received her first-degree black belt in martial arts. Witherspoon participated in Girl Scouts and received the Gold Award Girl Scout among other civic awards for her character.

Casey Aten of Pine View School has been appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. Aten was a 3-time FHSAA State Team Champion and 2-time USA Swimming Futures Champion. Aten also proved competency in the agriculture sector and was certified by a Florida Farm Bureau subsidiary (AEST).

Christian Delarge of Sarasota Military Academy has been appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy. Delarge was a JROTC platoon leader, co-captain of the soccer team, and a veteran services volunteer for Easter Seals. Delarge most recently graduated from the 10-month Naval Academy Preparatory School.

Micah Thomson of Venice High School has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. Thomson received the 2022 Venice High School Golden Eagle Award and the 2023 Yale Book Award. Thomson participated in varsity sports, the Florida 2023 Boys State, Carnegie Mellon’s Summer Academy for Math and Science, and volunteered for hurricane clean ups, home renovations, Fox Lea Farms clean up, and Miss Falcon. 

Karina Lawrence of Venice High School has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. Lawrence received the American Legion Bronze Medal Scholastic Excellence and speaks German. Lawrence participated in JROTC as an S-3 Officer, Orienteering, Drama Club, and volunteered several community service hours for roadside cleanups, hurricane cleanups, campus cleanups, and the food kitchen.

Wilhelm Hamburger of Riverview High School has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. Hamburger was in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, President of the Mock Trial Team, and Vice-President of Riverview Fights Cancer Club. He was a varsity javelin thrower and football quarterback. Hamburger interned for the Sarasota office of Congressman Greg Steube.

Ethan Wang of Pine View School has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. Wang was a National Merit Semifinalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, and Principal Council Representative. Wang participated in Build On, UNICEF, and the Spanish Club. Wang was Team Captain for Swimming.

Benjamin Aguilar of Sarasota High School has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. Aguilar was in the Cambridge AICE and AP Scholar. Aguilar won several awards for gymnastics, including All-American Recognition Award for Level 10 and dedicated 100 hours coaching it to youth at the EVO Athletic Foundation Inc.

Conor Heary of Sarasota High School has been appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. Heary was in the Cambridge AICE program and was an AP Scholar. Heary was a state and national gymnastics champion, earning the title of an Academic All-American. Heary co-founded an online stock and investment group.

Jackson Ruthven of Sarasota Military Academy has been appointed to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Ruthven participated in the National Honors Society from 2023-2024. Ruthven was a JROTC Cadet Major Regimental S-2 and participated in Varsity Men’s Rowing Crew from 2021- 2024. Ruthven volunteered at Bayside Community Church.

The appointees will attend the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, NY, the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, MD, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, CO, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point, NY. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) in New London, CT, is the fifth service academy and does not require a congressional nomination. You can learn more about the service academy nomination process here.