Not everyone has a clear idea of their life’s path, especially at 18 years old — Jaydon Krisch is an exception.
A 2020 graduate of Orcas Island High School, Krisch has already embarked upon the first leg of his future. This month, Krisch left his home in Eastsound for Newport, Rhode Island, to spend a semester at the Naval Academy Preparatory School, after which he’ll attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis where he’s considering studying oceanography and naval engineering. His tenure with the Naval Academy sets him up to achieve his long-term goal of being a Naval officer.
It’s a career move that’s been on Krisch’s radar for some time.
“I wasn’t particularly interested in going to college just to get a job. I knew I wanted something more,” Krisch said. “I knew I wanted to serve my country, for my life to have a purpose.” Ultimately, Krisch dreams of flying for the Navy, an interest fueled by his experience with Orcas’ Airhawks Flying Club.
After meeting the club’s Secretary/Treasurer Bob Waunch at a Veteran’s Day assembly, Krisch took advantage of an offer to go up for a ride. That was all it took. He applied for and received one of the club’s scholarships.
“Without that scholarship, I doubt I would have been able to complete my flight training before I left for prep school,” Krisch said.
The scholarship and the cessation of most activities due to COVID-19, allowed Krisch to complete his training in less than a year. After acing his written test, Krisch took and passed his flight test on July 5 making him Private Pilot Certified. The young pilot is convinced that his experience with Airhawks made his path to the Naval Academy a bit easier.
“Only on Orcas would this have been possible,” he said.
The young soon-to-be seaman has advice for other students interested in a similar path.
“Make sure your grades are the best you can make them. They look at everything including extracurricular activities.” For Krisch, that was his involvement as one of the founders, and ultimately captain, of Orcas Island High School’s cross-country track team — a sport he hopes will continue after his tenure.
His mom, Lauren David, said she could not be more proud of her son.
“I am so proud that at such a young age he has shown so much determination and grit to pursue his dream of being an officer in the Navy,” David said. “He’s setting himself up for so much success. I know he’s going to do incredible things.”