Lyndonville senior receives big Navy scholarship

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Provided photos – Thomas Follman, a Lyndonville High School senior, was presented with a NROTC Scholarship last week by Sgt. Yertich from the Batavia recruiting station. Follman is pictured with his father, Curt Follman, left.

LYNDONVILLE – It started as a normal school morning for Thomas Follman, president of the Lyndonville Student Council. He read the morning announcements on Dec. 10, one of his roles as president.

But then the High School Principal, Dr. Aaron Slack, claimed the microphone for one more announcement.

Slack let Follman and the student body know about a prestigious scholarship for one of the seniors. In fact, Follman was the recipient of the Naval Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NROTC) Scholarship.

The award will cover four years of tuition for Follman, who wants to join the Marine Corps. He has applied to several universities to study either mechanical engineering or criminal justice.

The NROTC could save Follman $160,000 to $180,000 if he is accepted and enrolls at the University of Rochester, for example.

“It takes a whole lot of pressure off,” Follman said about the scholarship.

Follman keeps a 92.65 academic average, and he is president of the Lyndonville Class of 2016 and the National Honor Society. He also has been active playing football for the combined Lyndonville-Medina team, wrestling for Lyndonville and participating in the school musicals. He also works full-time in the summer at the White Birch Golf Course, maintaining the grounds.

Thomas Follman is presented with the (NROTC) Scholarship last week during a surprise at Lyndonville High School.

Follman said his dream would be to go to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He has interviewed with the offices of the U.S. Rep. Chris Collins and U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to be accepted to the Naval Academy. The Marines are a component of the Navy.

Recipients of the Naval Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (NROTC) Scholarship must meet extreme rigorous academic standards. In addition to a normal academic workload leading to a four-year college degree, NROTC students attend classes in Naval Science, participate in the NROTC unit for drill, physical training, and other activities, and are taught the leadership principles and high ideals of a military officer.

During the summer break between school years, NROTC students participate in training activities to help students understand career options and familiarize them with military life.