WEST CALDWELL, NJ — In addition to being accepted into the United States Military Academy at West Point for the fall semester, James Caldwell High School (JCHS) senior Mackenzie Courtright also recently received a highly coveted Eagle Scout Summit Award, which is the highest award for youth in the Venturing program.
The Venturing program, the Boy Scouts of America's premier co-ed program for young adults, requires scouts to participate in various adventures, demonstrate leadership, personal growth and service in order to achieve the Summit Award. According to JCHS Vice Principal John Bertolo, Sen. Cory Booker personally nominated Courtright to attend West Point, where she plans to study engineering with a long-term goal of becoming an astronaut.
When the Borough of Caldwell presented the young resident was an official proclamation acknowledging her accomplishments last week, Council President Christine Schmidt said she was “deeply impressed” by Courtright’s accolades.
“As is clear by her acceptance to West Point, I am not the only one to see has tremendous potential for success,” said Schmidt. “She makes Caldwell proud, and I wish her the very best. As she moves into a world that is very male-dominated, I know for a fact she will have to work twice as hard. From what I see, she's got what it takes.”
Dr. James Heinegg, Caldwell-West Caldwell Superintendent of Schools, also commended the senior for her accomplishments, stating that JCHS is proud to have a graduate attend one of the U.S. Military Academies every few years.
Most recently, a male graduate from the Class of 2016 and a female graduate from the Class of 2013 represented JCHS in the U.S. Naval Academy. Both male and female graduates have been accepted to West Point and other military academies in previous years as well, the superintendent explained.
“It is, of course, a phenomenally competitive process, and thus a great honor when one of our students is accepted,” said Heinegg. “We are tremendously proud of Mackenzie Courtright and are wishing her the best as she goes on from JCHS to serve our country.”