Navy Captain Rick McGoey, a 1970 graduate of the Naval Academy and a local Blue and Gold Officer, visits the Morristown-Beard School to welcome seniors Sarah Williams, George Burke and John Trombetta to the Naval Academy Class of 2023. (Photo: Courtesy Morristown-Beard School).

Typically, the highest performing high schools may have one student enter the Naval Academy every three or four years, McGoey said. According to U.S. News & World Report, out of the 5,300 colleges and universities in the United States, the Naval Academy is ranked as one of the top-10 most-selected schools based on acceptance rates.

"It is rare to have two students enter in one year," he said. "We most likely will never see again three students from the same high school graduating class entering the Naval Academy at the same time." The incoming midshipmen will join former classmate Ryan Waters at the academy. Walters is a sophomore and a member of the Navy swim team.

Burke, a Westfield resident, is senior class president, was captain of the football team and earned four varsity letters as a member of the track and football teams. He also is an editor and writer for the student newspaper, a member of the Spanish Honor Society, and serves as co-president of the Support Our Troops Club.

Trombetta, a Long Hill resident, was captain of the school swim team and is a nationally ranked triathlete. He's senior class treasurer, a peer group leader, founder of the Engineering Club and a recipient of the Congressional Silver Medal Award. Trombetta has worked with children with disabilities through the Kids To Kids program, Habitat For Humanity and the Special Olympics.

A resident of Morristown, Williams is co-president of the school's Kaleidoscope (diversity) Club and co-president of the School’s Community Service Club. As a member of the MBS track team, she earned the Coaches Award and was named Teammate of the Year. In her community, Williams has volunteered through her church and with the Green Team, the Community Soup Kitchen and Outreach Center, Grow It Green Morristown and other charitable organizations. She also is an aspiring pilot who has taken aviation lessons and applied to the Naval Academy instead of the Air Force Academy because she feels it has a better aeronautical program, "which is what I want to major in."

All three received early appointments prior to the 2018 midterm election by members of the previous U.S. Congress, another historic accomplishment, according to McGoey. “It’s even more remarkable that Sarah, John and George all received letters of assurance last fall, offered to only the top performing and outstanding applicants", McGoey said. "This is equivalent to an early decision of admission. In the last 50 years, since first offering early decisions, there is no record of any high school in the country having three students from the same graduating class entering the Academy all with Letters of Assurance. This is a remarkable record."

Burke and Trombetta received their congressional nominations from former Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th District). Williams was appointed by former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th District). "Each of these students, individually and collectively, established a first for the United States Naval Academy, a record that may never be broken since it would be so difficult to match, no less exceed," McGoey said.

“Receiving a nomination to the Naval Academy is a distinct honor, and an incredible accomplishment," said Rep. Tom Malinowski, who replaced Lance this year in Congress. "Choosing to attend a United States Service Academy shows a strong sense of service to country over self,” Malinowski said.

William Westhoven, Morristown Daily Record

Updated: November 03, 2019
Curator: Ed Moore