Wa-Hi senior gains admission to West Point prep

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Walla Walla High School senior Richard Jimenez, who's set to attend the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point, N.Y., said he'll miss the customized 1967 GMC pickup he received as a graduation present. Cadets cannot have their own vehicles at the academy.

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Pictured are Capt. Herb Edwards, DDS from Walla Walla, WA; BG (Ret) Michael Walter, MD, Loma Linda, CA; and MAJ Matt Walter, a Foreign Area Officer from Monterey, CA. The three each carried a 44 pound pack 26.2 miles in 90 degree heat. All three men are alumni of Walla Walla University.

Richard Jimenez has been singularly focused since eighth grade. The Walla Walla High School senior aims for a military career and as such secured an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School at West Point, N.Y.

It will give him the academic preparation needed to be successful at the Academy, according to a letter from the admissions office. Many distinguished graduates entered West Point through the prep school, the letter noted.

Competition for a slot at West Point is intense. And nominees must have three letters of recommendation and a congressional nomination. His came from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

Richard attended a leadership seminar at the academy while a junior. Now in his fourth year with Wa-Hi's Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, he holds the rank of cadet lieutenant colonel/battalion commander. He is among the Top 10 students, a member of National Honor Society with a 3.9 GPA, played varsity football for two years and did the shotput/discus in track.

He was accepted to attend Gonzaga University but "the military is my life," he said. Richard would like to major in military history. He noted that upon graduation from the academy as a 2nd lieutenant with a higher GPA he can pick his job. He wants to serve in the infantry, then try out for Ranger school and then maybe the Special Forces.

Many of his relatives have served in the Army. Richard's grandfather, Lupe Jimenez, was wounded during service in the Korean War. His father, Rubio Jimenez, served as a sergeant, and two of Rubio's uncles served in the European Theater during World War II. Richard's uncle and aunt, Charles Madero and Carmen Madero are retired lieutenant colonels. Carmen still works for the military in a civilian post, Rubio said.

Richard lives in Walla Walla with his parents, Rubio and Teodora "Dora" Jimenez.

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Tim Caudill, a junior at DeSales High School, will attend not one but three military academies. It's an opportunity to become familiar with what each branch can offer.

From June 2-9, Tim will attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; from June 9-16 he'll attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; and after a brief stay at home he'll be off to the U.S. Air Force Academy from June 18-22 in Colorado Springs.

Competition to enter the summer programs is fierce as thousands apply. Attendees are familiarized with what life is like on campus and the programs that emphasize academics, athletics and professional training.

Tim and parents Drs. Timothy Caudill Sr. and Linda Gunshefski reside in Walla Walla. There is a military tradition in their family, Tim's grandfathers, Maj. Dr. Robert Caudill served in the Air Force and the late George Gunshefski served with the Air Force for three years, including touring on the Judo Team.

DeSales counselor Kathy Ruthven said Tim is a strong student, garnering student of the quarter honors several times. He competed on the No. 1 Knowledge Bowl team; was elected president of ASB for the 2012-13 school year and will be inducted into National Honor Society this month. He's carried a cumulative GPA of 3.8 but has maintained a 4.0 during his junior year, Kathy said.

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Lincoln High School senior Heidi Shoessler received a $1,000 scholarship from Noon Rotary Club of Walla Walla on March 29. The remaining six scholarships will be presented in April and May, said Rotarian Linda Hardy in a release.

Previously home schooled and then a member of the Opportunity Program, Heidi has excelled in her academic studies and currently has a 3.7 GPA, Linda said. Heidi is enrolled in Running Start at Walla Walla Community College and at Lincoln. She is interested in pursuing an associate degree in graphic technology this fall at WWCC.

Rotary's scholarships are awarded to area high school students who have demonstrated good progress toward achieving their high school diploma, excellent commitment to school and the community, high financial need and an ability to persevere to conquer adversity or personal challenges.

Lincoln principal Jim Sporleder selected Heidi as a spokesperson to talk to the community about adverse childhood experiences. The daughter of Janet and Jack Schoessler, Heidi helps support Lincoln by assisting as a substitute receptionist in its front office.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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