Three John Jay Science & Engineering Academy grads headed to coveted US Naval Academy

Only 10 percent of those who apply get accepted

San Antonio – Only about 10 percent of those who apply to enter the United States Naval Academy are accepted, so the odds of having three from one city, yet alone the same high school, is very rare.

Three John Jay Science & Engineering Academy Academy students, however, recently have done it.

Devan Guller said his desire to attend the Naval Academy was sealed when he visited the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi.

“Since a young age I’ve known that I wanted to be in the military. But I never really knew exactly for a while, you know, how I would do it,” Guller said.

Guller said growing up with his grandfather, a Marine veteran and hanging out with his friends, he looked up to them.

“I’ve always tried to do everything I can to better myself, you know, to be the best person I can be, whether it be academically or physically,” he said.

Jackson Gutierrez is the son of a John Jay High School football coach and has been playing sports his entire life.

“I got offered a scholarship to play for both Navy and Army, and that really opened up my, just eyes about the opportunities of, not just, you know, the Naval Naval Academy, but academies in general, and the prestige of the degree and the opportunities you have when you graduated, of course, without going into the military and having a job,” he said.

Once that offer came, his friend Guller helped nudge him towards the Navy.

Caleb Garza, the third student accepted, also grew up around a military family.

“My grandparents were military, and I had a cousin that actually went to the Naval Academy. And so, growing up in an environment like that, that really exposed me to a military future for myself,” he said.

After a lot of talking with his friend Guller and research, he choose the Navy.

The three students have been friends since freshman year and they have classes together, play sports together and encourage one another.

“Every practice, these guys push me every practice. I have them telling me get up, or you got to push, you got to push and it paid off at the end of the day,” Garza said.

All three say the community at the John Jay Science & Engineering Academy Academy has helped shape them.

“Trying to be the best versions of yourself as possible. And it’s really a place for growth. I think we have the best coaching staff in San Antonio. I think not only are they great coaches on the field, but they’re great mentors off the field,” Guller said.

The three students will report to the academy at the end of June and they will be disconnected from the world except by letters in the mail for the first part of their six weeks of training. All three are looking at engineering degrees.

“You can tell who somebody is by the people they hang around. And you should surround yourself with good people, which we have been fortunate enough to do,” Gutierrez said.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Santiago Esparza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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