Senior is the first Westfield student admitted to the academy

Writer / Matt Keating

Photography provided

Kalvin Kingshill, the Westfield Student of the Month, was thrilled when he found out he would be attending The United States Military Academy, otherwise known as West Point.

“When I heard that I was accepted, I felt extremely honored, and very relieved,” Kingshill says. “Even though I have not considered West Point or the armed forces as a serious option for much more than a year, it meant very much to me to receive my appointment, because I had worked so hard in the gym, and in the classroom for an opportunity like this.”

The Academy, or simply The Point, is a four-year federal service academy in West Point, New York. Kingshill, a senior at Westfield High School, will be a member of the West Point Men’s Gymnasium team next year.

“I look forward to attending West Point because I know that it will challenge me both physically and mentally, and I am very excited to be a part of their gymnastics team,” Kingshill says. “I started recreational gymnastics classes at the age of three, and I began my career as a competitive gymnast at about age seven. I also appreciate the opportunities that I will have in my career after West Point.”

Kingshill plans to major in a program that is math, science or engineering program — maybe even a combination of the three.

“The STEM field has always interested me, and I would love to continue studying it,” he says. “Luckily, I do not have to choose a major until the end of my first year, so I have some time to decide.”

West Point’s academic program combines a Bachelor of Science degree with a curriculum that grades cadets’ performance, and mandatory participation in competitive athletics.

Kingshill noted that he is the first Westfield High School Student to be accepted to West Point.

“I will miss many things about Westfield High School, but I will miss my friends the most,” he says. “I am so lucky to be able to go to school with friends that I have known very well for many years, some I have known since kindergarten.”

Kingshill credits old friends and coaches for inspiring him.

“While my inspiration to persevere in gymnastics has come from many places, I was especially influenced by a former coach of mine, Gene Watson,” Kingshill says. “He is the coach I have trained with for the longest period of time, and he showed me that there was always a way to work harder, and that there was no limit to how much I could achieve in the sport. I was also influenced by my 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Wheeler, who noticed a quiet strength in me that I had not realized I had.”

Kingshill knows he will take Westfield with him wherever he goes.

“I have always loved Westfield because it is such a friendly, inviting place,” he says. “I have lived in Westfield my whole life, and I have noticed that the city is constantly improving and innovating, and trying to become the best that it can be. I see Westfield as a great example to follow when striving to better myself, and an even better place to grow up.”

Kingshill added that his parents were tremendously helpful and encouraging throughout his entire recruiting and application process.

“They both are always looking for ways to help me prepare, and they do everything in their power to assist me in completing all of the tasks required of a cadet candidate. I am not sure that I would have made it this far without them.”