GREENVILLE – Greenville High School (GHS) Senior Jeremy Eshbaugh has been busy.
A fellow class-mate Megan Azbill is impressed.
“He’s worked so hard in ROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) and in his academics – he is amazing,” she said. “I have never seen anyone work that hard.”
Other people have also noticed his work ethic, such as the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The department recently congratulated Eshbaugh for his nomination for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. He received a congratulatory letter Dec. 9, 2016.
“I believe it’s the first time we’ve ever had somebody recognized,” GHS School Principal Jeff Cassell said. “He is an outstanding well – rounded individual and that is what this award is about.”
According to the ODE a nomination for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. The program was established, in 1964, by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.
“You are one of 20 Ohio students I am nominating because of your involvement and service in your school and community, your leadership, character, academic achievements and your score on the nominee essay,” State Supt. Of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria said in the letter.
Unaware that he was entering a competition, Eshbaugh said Greenville High School’s Guidance Counselor Becky Curtis asked him to write an essay about the feasibility of campaign promises to DeMaria.
“There is a very small chance of that happening due to the way bills are passed,” Eshbaugh said. “I figured out, with a bunch of math, that there is only a four-percent chance of a bill going through”
Eshbaugh will find out relatively soon if he has qualified for the next round which, if accepted, will include an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C., to visit some influential people in the White House. To qualify, he had to write another essay, recognizing a teacher who has had a great impact on his life.
“It is also a platform to spread ideas about what students think makes an effective school,” he said.
According to Eshbaugh, some of the most impactful benefits to him have been from teachers that have gone far and beyond the normal confines of the job.
“Some of the teachers, in any school are very focused on: I come, I teach in the classroom, I go home and that is it,” he said. “I have had a few teachers who are a lot more involved with their students. The ROTC teachers are always very good about this. They are actively concerned with their students’ successes and achievements.”
They, in turn, have good things to say about Eshbaugh’s character. Eshbaugh is Company Commander of the NJROTC Program.
“The man’s character is impeccable and he will be going any place he wants to in life,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Richard “Rick” Kuehner (Ret.), Commander of the GHS NJROTC program.
“He definitely puts his mind to anything he wants and it will happen – there is no limit.”
Naval Science Instructor Chief Petty Officer Stephen Eldred said Eshbaugh is a stellar student.
“He has exceptional leadership abilities,” he said. “Anything he does – he will excel. He came into our program midway through his freshman year and didn’t want to be in our program. Now, he is one of our top cadets.”
Eshbaugh’s future plans are big and are geared towards helping everyone. He wants to be a nuclear engineer, researching a way to join together nuclear material to get more power. The current use of nuclear power is inefficient and it creates a lot of waste, he said.
“We currently split nuclear material,” he said. “If you join it together, you get a lot more power and it is completely clean. If I were to achieve that goal that I’ve set for myself, it would revolutionize everything in the world, because this entire school would have a reactor out back that no one would think twice about. Your car wouldn’t need batteries, oil or gas. Everything would be electric because power would be free. It’s a high goal and there are a lot of people that have been trying to achieve this, but recently there have been a few breakthroughs and it is a lot more feasible now.”
Something Eshbaugh enjoys during his time off, are the Eagle Scout competitions, such as the Winter Klondike. While fun is important, he shares some advice to up-and-coming students.
“We live in a world of here and now, not what is going to happen later,” he said. “Everyone is going to have those moments when they look back and say, ‘I really should have applied myself more because it would have helped me out so much more now’. In today’s age, we can do everything instantly and there is no considering how something will effect you. I have sat down sometimes – for weeks and thought, ‘ok, if I do this now, how this will effect me five or ten years from now’, instead of how will this effect me tomorrow. Hindsight is 20/20- try thinking ahead.”