East Texas valedictorian heading to West Point Academy next week

Local News

MAUD, Texas (KTAL) – An East Texas Graduate is about to head to one of the oldest and most prestigous military academy in the United States.

Ethan Jennings, the valedictorian of Maud ISD, will be attending the United States Military Academy at West Point joining the class of 2024.

Ethan plans to study electrical engineering, with a long term goal of being a general.

“A big motivation for it was my dad because my dad was in the army and my moms dad was in the army and her granddad was in the air force so the military has been in my family for a long time.”


As a leader in his school and student-athlete, he turned down full-ride scholarships to follow his dream.

Ethan says he scored a 32 on the ACT and in the 96 percentile on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, three points away from the highest.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

He also received a recommendation from U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe.

According to Ethan, the process of applying to seven to eight months.

“It was easily one of the happiest days of my life when I found out I got in,” said Ethan.

According to Mother, Necy Jennings, Ethan was a kid that other kids would follow and he didn’t even realize it. She says you could see them playing on the playground and he would just have a crowd of kids around him, all the time.

“I saw him work so hard and he put everything into it and I am just so proud of him.”


Superintendent of Maud ISD,Chris Bradshaw, says the whole community is proud of him. He says after getting to know Ethan for the last three years, his leadership abilities stand out.

“The acceptance rate at West Point is ten percent of kids that apply. It’s one of the most extremely competitive schools in the world and certainly in the country. For him to be able to get into that we are very proud of him personally and as a school district I think it’s just amazing it shows what a young man can do when he puts his mind to it,” said Bradshaw.

Ethan will begin cadet basic training on July 12th in New York.

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