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Two Henry Ford II grads earn entry into Naval Academy

Two Henry Ford II grads earn entry into Naval Academy

Studio pics of Ava Hess and Brady Sheats

With only 1,200 new students admitted annually to the Naval Academy, it is a significant honor when a high school can share that one of their graduates has been accepted to the prestigious program.

This year, Henry Ford II High School has two.

Henry Ford II 2024 graduates Brady Sheats and Ava Hess will be heading to Annapolis, Maryland this summer after successfully completing an application process that requires a strong academic record, a physical examination, recommendation from teachers and an interview and sponsorship by a member of Congress.

Hess said that earning entry into the 179-year old federal academy was a team effort.

“Brady and I are friends and we’ve had classes together,” she said. “At first we were a little annoyed with each other trying for the same thing, but it is such a difficult process that over time we started helping each other.”

The pair were sponsored by U.S. Congressman John James.

Both Hess and Sheats said that receiving the admission letter represented a life’s dream.

“There is a calling you feel since you were a kid,” Sheats said. “I think it is important to be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

Hess grew up in a military family and said the Navy was always her career plan.

“I know that it was an environment where I would thrive – it has the teamwork and the discipline that I really value,” she said.

Hess plans to study computer science while serving her country with the goal of working in the cybersecurity field.

Her computer science teacher – Jamie Davis – described Hess as dedicated and hard working.

“Ava's kindness and personality make her a beloved peer, and her bright future is evident to everyone around her,” Davis said. “She is a pleasure to be around, inspiring and uplifting those she encounters with her positive attitude and commitment to excellence.”

In addition to Ford II, Hess attended Graebner and Bemis Junior High School.

 In high school, she was a team leader for Relay for Life, a member of the National Honor Society and a team captain for varsity swim team.

“There are a lot of opportunities,” Hess said. “I think the great thing about Henry Ford II is that everyone here is more than willing to help you.”

Sheats also credited Henry Ford II with providing him opportunities beyond what he experienced at other schools.

“When I toured Ford and I saw the massive class list, I realized I would be able to specialize my education to go where I wanted to go,” he said.

Teacher Jeff Hume described Sheats as “knowledgeable, curious, and fearless in seeking understanding.”

Hume said: “His Advanced Placement Research paper explored student knowledge of American government and best practices for improving upon that knowledge. I have also witnessed Brady tutor complex topics in the sciences with patience and felicity. Serving our country at the Naval Academy seems a perfect marriage of his knowledge and skill sets.”

At Ford II, Sheats took part in the National Honor Society and was also a member of the Debate team.

He plans to take his debate skills to the next level by pursuing a law degree while at the academy, with a goal of becoming a Judge Advocate General (JAG) military lawyer.