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Clemens HS senior accepted into West Point Preparatory School

Savannah Bagwell remembers the moment she got one step closer to her dream. A senior cadet in the Samuel Clemens High School AFJROTC program, Bagwell was invited to West Point, where she was informed she had received an appointment to the United States Military Academy Preparatory School (USMAPS), a one-year stop that will allow her to attend the United States Military Academy in the fall of 2025.


“They gave us a fancy dinner,” Bagwell said. “I told my mom, ‘If I get an appointment, I think I’m gonna cry.’ Then they said my name, and I couldn’t move. I was in shock.”


Preparatory is the key word, as the school is set up to develop the freshmen with the academic, leadership and physical skills necessary to be successful as a cadet in the U.S. Military Academy. Ranked 27th in her senior class and accustomed to performing tasks at full speed, Bagwell acknowledges USMAPS will test the limits of her academic rigor, physical fitness and emotional makeup.


“I’m not going to try to be the best at anything,” she said. “I’m just going to try to survive and meet a standard I can deal with.”


If history is a judge, Bagwell may be striking a cautious tone, but her high school resume reveals a drive to succeed. She has moved up from a drill commander and B squad First Sergeant as a sophomore, to a Command Chief Master Sergeant as a junior, and culminating as a Corps Commander in her senior year. 


“We were able to identify her during her freshman year as an emerging leader in the cadet corps,” said Lt. Col. Eric Bass, (Retired) USAF and AFJROTC Department Lead & Senior Instructor. “She had the attitude, the determination and drive already. She always exuded confidence.”


As one of the unquestioned leaders of the Clemens cadets, Bagwell has been called upon to speak on behalf of the AFJROTC in various capacities and to diverse audiences. From teaching the intricacies of flag etiquette to Wilder Intermediate School students to discussing the cadet program to guest observers from Leadership SCUC, Bagwell has exhibited leadership traits that bode well for her in the future. 


“As long as I can get the material to prepare, I’m well off leading groups of people,” she said. “Everything that I do is affecting them, and everything that they do reflects on me. So it’s a very symbiotic relationship.”


Upon graduation, Bagwell will focus on strength training and endurance to meet the requirements needed for the rigor of USMAPS. Her eyes are fixed resolutely on excelling at the preparatory academy, getting accepted into West Point, and after serving as an officer in the United States Army, finding her place in the world of international relations and diplomacy. 


“I’m excited to be going,” Bagwell said. “I’m very grateful that I’ve been given an opportunity and hope to represent well.”