Three Morristown Beard Students Bound for the United States Naval Academy: Morristown Beard First in Nation to Have Three Appointments in One Year

By: Megan Roche


As we enter into June, it’s the time of graduation, prom, and the dreaded college decisions. For three Morristown Beard students, shortly after graduation, they will begin their new adventure, adjusting to life as a plebe at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.


While many of their classmates will be decorating dorm rooms and spending the summer together, these young adults will begin their indoctrination into the United States Naval Academy on June 27, just a few weeks after they walk across the stage on June 8 to consummate their high school careers.


George Burke, John Trombetta, and Sarah Williams are excited for the adventures that await during their next four years at the United States Naval Academy. Morristown Beard is the first school in the nation to have three appointments in one year. The Morristown Beard Class of 2019 has 109 students.


“We are extremely proud of George, John and Sarah and all that they have accomplished,” said MBS Headmaster Peter J. Caldwell in a press release. “It’s a direct reflection on the character and engagement of our students and the strength of our academic program here at Morristown-Beard School.”


For Burke, Trombetta, and Williams, each are unique in their interests and their ideal career paths at the academy. Burke, who serves as the Class of 2019 President, was captain of the football team, as well as being a member of the track and lacrosse teams. Trombetta, the senior class Treasurer, was a captain of the school’s swim team and is a competitive triathlete who is nationally ranked by USA Triathlon. Williams, an athlete on the track and field team, is president of the school’s diversity club and a co-president of the school’s community service club.


“I’ve known since second grade that I wanted to go to Navy. When I received my appointment letter, I made a promise to myself at eight years old that I would run a mile to begin to get in physical shape for the academy and I actually kept that promise to myself.” Burke said with a laugh.


Morristown Beard held a special ceremony to officially welcome the three into the US Naval Academy Class of 2023 on April 30. Captain Rick McGoey presided over the ceremony.


“We most likely will never see again three students from the same high school graduating class entering the Naval Academy at the same time,” said Captain McGoey in a press release. “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 selective schools based on acceptance rates. Typically, the highest performing high schools may have one student enter the Naval Academy every three or four years. It is rare to have two students enter in one year. For Morristown-Beard School to have three students is unheard of.”


Williams, the sole female of the three, has always had a passion for aviation. She looked at the United States Air Force Academy but was happy to receive her appointment to the Naval Academy.


“I just knew I wanted to pursue aviation and my dad had recommended a service academy to me. I’m less nervous about the academic aspect and more nervous about the atmosphere of the school since it has such a high standard.” Williams said.


The application process for any service academy is a tough one. Applicants must be able to prove academic success with a rigorous schedule, be well rounded, volunteer, and secure a coveted nomination from a member of the House of Representatives or Congress official. All three Morristown Beard candidates were offered early admission, another notable accomplishment for the school.


“I always knew it was a hard school to get into, but for the past two to three years, I didn’t really allow myself to have another option. I was set on the Naval Academy. I was confident about it, but it felt great to finally get that letter in the mail. It was a moment that I was really waiting on.” Trombetta said.


As Burke, Trombetta, and Williams prepare to say goodbye to the halls at Morristown Beard, they are ready for the next step. Morristown Beard is no stranger to service academy appointments. The three students will join up with Ryan Waters, Morristown Beard Class of 2017, who will be beginning his junior year at the academy in the fall.


“We’re all really excited and really proud of them. I’ve been at the school for fifteen years and I don’t remember ever having multiple service academy appointments, so this is extremely rare.” Steve Patchett, spokesperson for the school, said.


Burke plans to major in history with a double minor in Spanish and Arabic, Trombetta plans to major in mechanical engineering and a potential minor in Arabic. Williams plans to major aeronautical engineering and minor in Spanish.


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