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2015-04-23

Pofahl accepted to West Point Military Academy

By Susan Junker BCC Contributor

Photo by Susan Junker
Scott Pofahl, a resident of Pipe Creek, displays his acceptance to West Point. He is a 2014 graduate of Bandera High School and a student at Schreiner University and Greystone Preparatory Academy.



Scott Pofahl, a 2014 graduate of Bandera High School (BHS), is headed to the United States Military Academy this summer via a nomination from US Congressman Lamar Smith.
Scott is the son of Tom and Angela Pofahl of Pipe Creek. Angela Pofahl serves as principal at Hill Country Elementary School, and his father is a 21-year veteran of the Army as a senior non-commissioned officer.
Although Scott noted his "... desire to serve in the military has been something I was certain of for many years," the catalyst came when Mike Derry, BHS agriculture teacher, told him, "You ought to try this American Legion Oratorical Contest."
After ending in the Top 3 in the statewide contest for two consecutive years, Scott was offered a scholarship to Schreiner University. During a tour of the school, he asked, "Do you have ROTC here?"
There was none, but the guide replied, "But we have Greystone Prep School." The upstart was that Scott enrolled in both Schreiner and Greystone Preparatory School. One year - and a ton of mental, physical and academic hard work, plus a bunch of community service hours - later, Scott received an acceptance letter to West Point. Located in upstate New York, West Point is the oldest military academy in the United States.
Scott's scholastic achievements include completing nine Advanced Placement courses while taking college preparatory in high school. While at BHS, he remained in the top 50 percent of his class.
Scott also served as captain of the debate team, as well as receiving state level scholarship awards in the American Legion Oratorical Contest for two years.
He participated in student council activities and, sponsored by American Legion Post 157, attended Boys State where he was elected to city and county offices.
Scott's community activities included serving as an instructor for four years with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bandera County and on the Teen Driving Advisory Board for five years. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Legion Color Guard, National Youth Forum on National Security and the Key-Kiwanis Club.
Enrolling in the Greystone Preparatory School enabled Scott to improve in academics, physical fitness and excel at new leadership challenges. Astonishingly, 98.9 percent of graduates from this co-enrollment program with Schreiner University earn scholarships that lead to commissions. This statistic includes the five federal service academies, as well as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs across the country, including Texas A&M University. Kerrville's Schreiner University sends more students to the service academies than any other university.
Greystone Preparatory School focuses "not only on empowering students to not just earn their academy appointments, but to ensure that our students graduated from the academies," said David Bailey, CEO and president of the Greystone Program. For Scott, this translated into early morning fitness drills, weekly grade reviews, leading Toastmasters events, weekend community service, mandatory evening study hall, room inspections, and very limited free time.
And not only did it mean significantly improved ACT and SAT scores and improved muscle mass and strength, the program also gave him a new level of confidence and tenacity. "They were right," Scott said, "You get out of it, what you put into it."
He continued, "There are so many people throughout the community to thank for their part in this West Point opportunity," said Scott. These included, "the American Legion, especially Charlie Baker; the Frontier Times Museum; General [Robert K.] Guest for his mentorship and guidance; my mom, who was my 'pusher' all through school; Mr. Bitzke, Mr. Derry and other teachers and my dad, for all his support, and so many others."
In his application for appointment sent to Smith, Scott explained that his father's service "has always been a point of pride for me and my family - with honor and integrity paramount."
With his family, Scott attended the local West Point Founders' Day to celebrate the 213th anniversary of the founding of the US military academy on March 27. He is looking forward to the challenge - and his parents are ready for their new adventure as well.
"We trust that the Bandera community will be honored to watch Scott's future accomplishments," said a spokesman for American Legion Post 157. "We are confident that the West Point Class of 2019 and the US Army will be enriched by his leadership for years to come. Congratulations and best wishes, Scott!"