Valley Lutheran Graduate Selected for U.S. Navy Nuclear Power School

Valley Lutheran High School graduate Johnathon Schnell has been selected for the prestigious U.S. Navy Nuclear Power School at Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, S.C.

With an excellent aptitude for math, science and problem-solving and keen capability to think fast, retain complex knowledge and work under pressure, students here represent the top 10 percent of the nation’s high school graduates.

Schnell gained acceptance into the highly competitive program based on a score of 98 percent on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) exam and outstanding scholastic achievements in high school. He will receive an education that will teach him how to run the U.S. Navy’s nuclear plant operations on its formidable fleet of submarines and aircraft carriers in worldwide locations.

Upon completion of an education at what’s known as “the toughest school in the military” and serving his country at the top level of national security, Schnell will receive a $180,000 scholarship to attend the university of his choice.
Johnathon Schnell Selected for U.S. Navy Nuclear Power School

Schnell credits his science teacher, Joe Richter, with “great science classes, including chemistry and physics,” and motivating his interest. “He taught me about discovery and problem solving,” he said.

His mom, Helen Hammond, added that Valley Lutheran supported his learning and development in many ways. “It was a really good fit for him in terms of its academic rigor, small classes and Christian-centered environment. The faculty is extremely committed and they see teaching as a calling, not just a job,” she said. “Johnathon just thrived there.”

Schnell entered his senior year with aspirations of pursuing a career in meteorology. However, after acing the ASVAB exam, he was intrigued by the military option. “It’s a challenging opportunity. You can go places and see the world,” he said. “Plus, I get to serve my country and do something really cool.”

His advice to other students who are weighing their post-high school options: “Look everywhere; be open for anything. When I started my senior year, I had no idea that this would happen,” Schnell said. “And now here I am.”