Cadet Winegan named on Commandant’s list

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 26, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A 2003 graduate of Lakeland High School recently returned to the school to offer students a few suggestions on how to achieve academic excellence.

Ryan A. Winegan, the granddaughter of Sharon and Harold Harris, came to Lakeland in full dress uniform of the Corps of Cadets of Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech). The Corps is the college version of ROTC.

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The 18-year-old stood ramrod straight as she addressed the Lakeland High Key Club members who were a little more than intrigued by her discussion, which included her experiences with the Kiwanis sponsored club. She is currently a member of &uot;Circle K,&uot; the college level Kiwanis.

A four year member of Key Club, Winegan believes that her commitment to community service and the contacts she developed through the Key Club have been extremely beneficial in her life.

&uot;I believe that membership in the Key Club has helped me become the student that I am today,&uot; said Winegan. &uot;In my first semester at Tech, I am averaging a 3.12 grade point average and I feel that the club helped develop a sense of responsibility and commitment in my life. For that, and my grandparents, I am so thankful to God.&uot;

Winegan said she would recommend the club to any high school student, and that she plans to continue serving this community and others through the Kiwanis, no matter where her career takes her.

&uot;Kiwanis focuses on the human and spiritual things in life rather than to the material values,&uot; said Winegan. &uot;They teach people to adopt and apply higher social, business, and professional standards. This creates a more intelligent, aggressive, and serviceable citizen in the communities in which they live.&uot;

As for the grandparents; Sharon Harris is not only a member of Suffolk Public Schools Board but also, she and her husband, Harold, are the owners of Classy Tuxedoes in Downtown Suffolk. As a retired Army colonel, she has much to be proud of, but Sharon Harris openly admits that she nearly floated away when she recently received a letter from Tech.

The letter, from Major General Jerrold Allen, the commandant of cadets at Tech, informed the proud grandparents that the girl they’d raised had made the &uot;Commandant’s List&uot; at the university.

&uot;Ryan was selected for academic excellence for the fall 2003 semester,&uot; said Sharon Harris. &uot;The Commandant’s List recognizes those cadets who achieve a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and he said this is a significant accomplishment given all the demands on a cadet in today’s Corps.&uot;

Winegan’s name is among other Commandant’s list students noted on the website,

The commandant also noted that Cadet Winegan has what it takes to excel at academics while pursuing leadership training at the university.