By Jean A. Flanagan
Moorefield Examiner –
Stephen Hott is on his way to the ‘wild blue yonder.’ He will have the opportunity to realize a dream he’s had since he was a young boy. Hott received word last week he has been accepted to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
“This is the first time, in my memory, a student from East Hardy has ever been accepted to any of the service academies,” said EHHS Principal Brad Simmons. “We’ve had students who have attended Ivy League schools, who have grown up to be doctors and lawyers, but this is the first time anyone has gone to a service academy. This is thrilling.”
Hott will graduate from East Hardy High School on Friday May, 30 and must report to Colorado Springs by June 26.
He first heard the news from Senator John ‘Jay’ Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) office. He was nominated to the Air Force Academy by both Senator Rockefeller and Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Each required a four-page application, three letters of recommendation, official high school transcripts, certified copies of ACT and/or SAT scores and a recent photo. They were due by Nov. 1, 2013
“I was overjoyed,” Hott said, when he heard the news. “I just kept saying, ‘Thank you, thank you’ and laughing.”
The official letter came on March 20.
“We’re all very excited,” his mother Teryl Hott said. “We were struggling with not knowing where he would be going.”
Hott’s father, Jonathan Bellingham, said he is more than proud of his son.
“He set out to do this and all the hard work he’s done this past year has really paid off,” Bellingham said. “As a parent, I could only help him find the doors, but he walked through them.”
Bellingham said his father was an Air Force Chaplain and Stephen has a cousin currently attending the Air Force Academy. “They will be together there for one year,” he said.
Simmons said Hott was very goal-oriented and driven.