Army and Navy Academy Cadet Ryan Thomas has received the Silver A.
Established by the academy in 1943 as the highest of its recognitions, the award grants honorees with more privileges and freedoms at the oceanfront campus in Carlsbad.
Thomas, a senior at the school and a Newport Beach resident, is the grandson of the late John Crean, the noted Newport Beach philanthropist who, along with his wife, enriched the city with the Donna and John Crean Mariners Branch Library, among other contributions.
Thomas was delighted to receive the award March 19 and noted that his time at the academy has given him a very positive, rewarding experience.
"It's amazing getting this," he said Tuesday. "I've been here for four years, and I was always hoping that I would someday receive it. It's such an honor."
Experiencing academic difficulty in middle school, Thomas made the decision with his parents to attend the academy, a private institution founded in 1910, after hearing good things about its structure and student success.
Academy President Stephen Bliss had nothing but praise for Thomas.
"Ryan is an outstanding young man in all respects," he said. "He's an excellent student, leader and athlete. He's involved in extracurricular activities. He's also an operations officer, the most challenging position on a staff like this. He's the epitome of what our academy hopes to represent. We are so pleased to have Ryan at our school; he's added so much to core of our cadets."
Upon graduation from the academy, Thomas will be heading to Chapman University in the fall to pursue a degree in business.