Student aims for the skies and makes it

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 15, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – Caleb Ringe, a senior at St. Charles Catholic High School in LaPlace, has been accepted into the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado as a member of the class of 2018.

Ringe has earned this rare opportunity to participate in one of the country’s most exclusive officer training programs. This appointment is awarded to only 1,200 of the 9,700 applicants.

Ringe said he always knew he wanted to do something related to aviation, and at one point thought he may be interested in flying planes.

Ringe started the application process for the academy in the spring of 2013 after his mother showed him information online about the program.

He found out in mid-February that he had been accepted into the Air Force Academy and said he has “no doubts in accepting the offer.”

Both of his grandfathers have military backgrounds, and Ringe said he will major in either aero-space engineering or bio-engineering.

While earning his degree, Ringe will also be trained in military codes and procedures. All graduates of the academy automatically enter the Air Force as an O-1, which is a second lieutenant.

Ringe will report to the Cadet Wing at the USAF Academy on June 26.

Ringe said he knows the academy will be challenging, but he is excited about the opportunity. He said he feels as though SCC has prepared him mentally, academically and physically for the challenges that lie ahead.

Having taken AP and advanced courses at SCC, Ringe said he feels prepared academically for the academy and especially credits one of his science teachers for his interest in the field of engineering.

Ringe said Hailey Levin, his physics and chemistry teacher for three years, makes the subjects she teaches “fun even though the work is challenging.”

Levin said Ringe has “taken on every challenge I’ve ever thrown at him” and that she is confident he will be fully-prepared for what lies ahead.

Ringe, a member of First Baptist Church of LaPlace, said his religion teacher Gary Ault has also had a big impact on his life by encouraging him and other students to see the world differently and open up their thinking to different perspectives. He said he thinks Ault’s lessons will help him relate to and get a long with people from different areas of the country who will have different ideals than he does.

Ringe added that he feels like his participation and training in cross country and track will also help him over the next four years, saying that running training is both physically and mentally taxing but that he has learned there is a great sense of accomplishment in physical pursuits and achievements.

“I am both excited and anxious about this appointment,” Ringe said. “I am so happy that all of the hard work has finally paid off.”

Besides maintaining over a 3.5 GPA at SCC, Ringe is also a member for the SCC 30 Point Club, scoring a 31 on the ACT as a junior and a 33 as a senior.

Ringe has also been active in the SCC Beta Club and participated in the 2014 Carnival Ball. He has attended Boys State and has been a life-long member of the Boy Scouts.

Ringe is the son of Patrick and Dawn Ringe in LaPlace and the brother of Luke Ringe.