TRAVERSE CITY — George Lisle Thayer IV always assumed he’d have a career in the military.
Both of his grandfathers and his great-grandfather served in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps, so it seemed like a natural step for the Central Lake High student.
The Antrim County resident’s family initially pushed him toward the United States Naval Academy, but Thayer did some research and decided the U.S. Army was more his style.
Thayer is Central Lake High’s valedictorian, as grades now stand, and embarked on a months-long process of applying to United States Military Academy at West Point. And he was appointed.
“I feel relief and kind of amazement that I’ve made it this far,” Thayer said. “I worked hard for it and I’m glad I can get the chance to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Members of the Central Lake community are so proud of Thayer that they’re hosting an assembly in his honor today at 2:45 p.m. in the high school gym.
“He’s one of those kids every school wants to brag about,” said Quinn Barry, the dean of students and athletic director at Central Lake. “To our knowledge George is our first Central Lake graduating senior that will attend the military academy at West Point.”
Thayer, in addition to being a straight-A student, is the student body president and was a captain of the school’s football team. He’s also a member of the National Honor Society.
Thayer had to go through a rigorous selection process that included interviews with U.S Rep. Dan Benishek and members from both U.S. Sens. Carl Levin’s and Debbie Stabenow’s offices.
He’ll head off to school in June, when he’ll receive six weeks of combat training before classes begin, Thayer said.