JACKSON, Wyo. — Come June, U.S. Senator John Barrasso will deliver Jackson Hole Classical Academy’s 2022 commencement speech.

Sarah M. Tallerico, JHCA’s sole graduate this year, will graduate with academic honors, earned a perfect score on her ACT and has accepted appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. According to their website, the Academy accepts only 9 percent of applicants per year and an appointment is equivalent to a full scholarship.

Sarah M. Tallerico, JHCA’s sole 2022 graduate. Photo: JHCA

Tallerico received her official recommendation from Sen. Barrasso. Such a recommendation is among the first of many qualifications leading to acceptance into West Point. In a December press release, Barrasso said, “Sarah has shown she is highly motivated and possesses the strong leadership skills needed to succeed. It’s an honor to nominate her, and I am confident that if she is offered an appointment, she will represent the Cowboy State well.”

Dr. Mark Johnson, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army in Wyoming and Wyoming state coordinator on the West Point Field Force, will personally present Tallerico with her official appointment papers at the Ceremony.

Upon graduating, Tallerico will move back to New York to begin Cadet Basic Training, described on the Academy’s website as a six-week training course before a cadet’s first year and referred to as the “Beast.” She plans to major in life science or math, complete officer training and go on to study medicine with the U.S. Army.

“I hope to become an orthopedic surgeon and serve my country as an officer in the Army,” Tallerico said.

Tallerico’s graduation will culminate the eleventh year of operations for Jackson Hole Classical Academy.

“My favorite part of being a JHCA student is the strong relationships my teachers and I have formed with each other. Our small classes allow each of my teachers to get to know me personally. I love being able to hold both academic and personal conversations with my mentors, because they truly care about me and offer true, virtuous, and always humorous insight,” Tallerico said.

Polly Friess, JHCA head of school, lauded Tallerico’s commitment as a student at JHCA.

“Sarah has displayed exceptional maturity and independence throughout her time at JH Classical Academy,” said Friess. “She embodies our mission of cultivating wisdom and virtue in students so they may discover and fulfill their God-given potential. When her family moved to New York four years ago, Sarah made the bold decision to live with a host family and finish high school with us because of the quality of education. I am so proud of Sarah and have no doubt that she will be a positive contributor to a flourishing and free society.”

The private K-12 school’s second high school graduation will take place on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 5 p.m. at their campus located at 2500 South Park Loop Road in Jackson with a private reception to follow.

The event is open to the press and public.

She's a lover of alliteration, easy-to-follow recipes and board games when everyone knows the rules. Her favorite aspect about living in the Tetons is the collective admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.