Healthy and General

Lakeview duo go from dancing at prom to marching off to

3 min read

When parents break out the cameras to take prom photos of their seniors, it is usually to get a glimpse of the dress or to check out the tux.

In this case, the prom attire was overshadowed by what the couple was holding — their acceptance letters to the academy.

Lakeview prom dates Nathan Pawlowicz and Ari Pontoni posed for the usual photos prior to the big dance. But the location was a bit different as the two were on the steps of the Federal Center in downtown Battle Creek and each were holding a reward for years of hard work — folders that held acceptance letters to the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy, respectively.

“I wanted to go to prom, so I asked him to go,” Pontoni said. “And then I said, let’s remember to bring our appointment letters when we take prom photos. I thought it would be a neat way to celebrate our accomplishment.”

That accomplishment is relatively rare, to have two students from the same high school accepted to military academies in the same year.

A military academy appointment needs a nomination from the students’ local government official — either from their U.S. House representative or their U.S. senator. That person generally only selects one student a year.

Lakeview High prom dates Nathan Pawlowicz and Ari Pontoni pose for photos outside the Federal Center in downtown Battle Creek. The two are also showing off their acceptance letters to attend the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy, respectively.

In this case, with Pawlowicz living in the Richland area and going to Lakeview as a school-of-choice student, and Pontoni living in Battle Creek, they could both be nominated.

Pawlowicz was nominated to go to the Naval Academy by Rep. Fred Upton, while Pontoni was tabbed to go to the Air Force Academy by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, as well as Rep. Peter Meijer and Sen. Gary Peters.