Commitment pays off with appointment to West Point

Tyler Einolf has been working on his goal of attending the United States Military Academy since ninth grade.
Posted on 06/08/2020
Photo of a smiling Tyler Einolf.By Gary Weckselblatt

When it arrived in the mail, Quakertown Community High School senior Tyler Einolf knew precisely what it was.

Since ninth grade, he has been “dedicated” to attending the United States Military Academy. So when he saw the “fancy envelope,” he was certain it contained his “Certificate of Appointment” to West Point.

“Biggest relief ever,” Tyler said. “I knew everything I’d been working for for three, four years was finally happening.”

Oh, sure, he applied to other schools, including Virginia Military Institute, Virginia Tech, Lehigh and Norwich University, but “I didn’t want to think about not getting into West Point,” he said. “It’s not about any one particular factor. I developed a sense of patriotism. I love my country and want to serve it and defend those that live in it.”

Tyler’s accomplishment is rare. The U.S. Military Academy accepts approximately 10 percent of its applicants, about 1,100-1,150 students each year. The process for applicants is extensive as candidates are evaluated based on their academic, physical, and leadership potential. Upon graduation, Tyler will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and serve for five years on active duty.

This is the second year in a row a QCSD graduate has received a “Certificate of Appointment” to West Point. Last year Lizzie Maceri was awarded the honor. Another 2019 grad, Nathan Gruver, received the coveted four-year Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps full scholarship. He is attending Lehigh University. In 2018, identical twins Jared and Jason Susnoskie each earned full ROTC scholarships to Penn State.  Each year only about 200 seniors nationwide earn the full ROTC award, sought by approximately 12,000 students each year. Another former Panther, 2016 grad Rudy Levinski, was recently honored with the Commandant's Distinguished Leadership Award, presented to the Cadet who has provided exceptional leadership throughout the corp at Virginia Tech University.

Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner, who graduated from West Point and enjoyed a 20-year career in the Army, recommended each of these students for their appointments. He praised the students and their families for their commitment to service.

He recalled Tyler's mom scheduling a meeting in Dr. Harner's office for her then sixth-grade son to explore his future. Dr. Harner spoke with Tyler about academics, leadership and physical readiness.

The superintendent encouraged him to participate in extracurricular, co-curricular and community activities to develop character, leadership and concept of service.

"Even then, you could see he would develop into a fine young man," Dr. Harner said. Of Tyler‘s recent accomplishment, Dr. Harner said, "Tyler has an incredible intellect, and has been involved in sports and activities where teamwork is crucial. He has exhibited true leadership and is an outstanding young man with a bright future ahead of him.”

Tyler’s academic and physical gifts are not in question. He was one of only four seniors in a class of more than 400 students to be recognized for their exceptional academic promise by the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Tyler scored 35 out of 36 on the ACT.

During his senior year his Advanced Placement classes included Environmental Science, European History, Government, Literature and Statistics. In addition, he is a two-time captain of the swim team, played varsity volleyball, and is a member of National Honor Society and the Naval Sea Cadet Corps.

As a freshman, Tyler won the prestigious American Legion School Award. Each year it is given to a male and female student “deemed most worthy of the high qualities of citizenship and of true Americanism.”

As for leadership skills, listen to Panthers swim coach Tony Carty, a science teacher at the Sixth Grade Center. “Tyler was a two-year captain for me and was very good about leading the team. One of Tyler's best qualities is his ability to allow other leaders to lead. Tyler has a knack for seeing the leadership ability in others and allowing them to shine in their moment. I really love Tyler and his family. It has been a true honor to have coached him.”

Tyler said the “hardest part of graduating” is how much he’ll miss “my swim team.” He described Mr. Carty as “the best motivator. One of the best men I ever met.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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