Newton Student Connor LaChappelle Receives Air Force Academy Appointment | News
COVINGTON – You know what they say, third time is a charm.
For Connor LaChappelle, his recent appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy is the culmination of a dream that began years ago when he visited the academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a high school student at Jackson. Highschool.
Acceptance into the highly competitive academy requires a nomination from the candidate’s congressional district representative, among other requirements. LaChappelle received his nomination from U.S. Representative Jody Hice. On April 11, LaChappelle was recognized by Hice at a signing ceremony at Jackson High School.
The Newton campus history major says he applied to all three of its U.S. congressional representatives (Senator Ralph Warnock, Sen. Jon Ossoff and Rep. Hice) beginning in 2019 before receiving a nomination letter. (Applicants can apply four times before age 21.)
An honors student with a 3.87 GPA, LaChapelle serves as Vice President of Student Government at Newton Campus and participated in the 2021-22 International Model African Union with four other Perimeter students. The group represented Mozambique. (This year’s event, normally in Washington, DC, was virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.)
LaChappelle grew up in a military family – her father was in the U.S. Army and National Guard; and a brother is currently stationed in Bethesda, Maryland. But it was the US Air Force that attracted LaChappelle.
When he didn’t enter the academy after high school, he considered Perimeter his best option.
“Coming to Perimeter was the cheapest option for me, and it wasn’t that far,” he said.
He found a job at the campus recreation center, where he formed close friendships. “It was a really good experience and this campus is pretty united,” he said.
An avid traveler across the country and an avid baseball player (he held every job except pitching in high school), LaChappelle enjoys visiting history museums across the country. His favorite so far is the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., which combines the two passions.
Once enrolled, LaChappelle will be part of the academy for the next four years, with mandatory military service thereafter. The academy pays for all tuition and room and board.
He plans to specialize in military strategy and the Russian language.
LaChappelle begins basic cadet training in Colorado in late June.