Two Students Selected as Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows for Normandy Academy

Two MICDS students were selected to receive full scholarships (including flights, tuition, and meals) to participate in National World War II Museum’s Normandy Academy, a 12-day immersive summer learning experience in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Normandy, France, that challenges students to learn from the choices made before and during the historic D-Day landings. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Edward “Tee” Turner Baur ’64, MICDS is able to offer the Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows for Normandy Academy scholarships. Interested 10th and 11th graders submitted applications, essays, and faculty recommendations earlier this fall.

We are pleased to announce that Shivani Devrapally ’24 and Jacob Daus ’25 are this year’s Pete Wilson ’51 Fellows for Normandy Academy. Carla Federman, JK-12 History and Social Sciences Department Chair, said, “This year, we had the largest pool of applicants yet, and so many students impressed us throughout the process. Shivani and Jacob, though, stood out. Their thoughtfulness, passion, their leadership, and knowledge base showed in their essays and their interviews. We are confident that Shivani and Jacob will not only learn a tremendous amount from this experience but also be able to apply their learning to their own lives in ways that will help their community—both at MICDS and beyond—in the future. They are outstanding representatives of MICDS, and we’re so pleased to be able to award the Pete Wilson ’51 Fellowship to the two of them.”

Devrapally applied to the program to better understand what World War II was like for various people. “Taking a dual identity approach to the war is what makes it so fascinating for me because I empathize with both the principles of American nationalism involved and with the more global perspective provided by my Indian heritage,” she said. “WWII itself is an interesting topic, and taking U.S. history with Dr. Roth last year and History of St. Louis this year with Ms. Federman has really opened up my view on how it impacts us today as well as the social, economic, and political implications of the war in the U.S. and here in St. Louis. I am excited for the opportunity to travel to New Orleans and France and experience the perspectives of the past that we have learned so much about.”

Daus is extremely excited about this opportunity to take his learning to the next level. “I have always had an interest in history, specifically military history,” he said. “This program is the perfect opportunity to meet with people who share a similar passion and to get a deeper understanding of World War II. Since I was five years old, I have had a passion for aviation and airplanes. Recently, I looked at how I could achieve my goal of flying an aircraft, and I found out that I could become a pilot with the United States Air Force Academy. Many members of my family have served in the military. My grandparents served in the army during the Vietnam era, and my uncle is a retired Navy captain who teaches at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. My cousin is currently deployed as the captain of the USS Tulsa, and my stepfather was an Army combat engineer. For the past two years, I have been a member of the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary branch of the Air Force. Over this time in the program, I have risen to the rank of Cadet Staff Sergeant. My role is to train cadets to be better prepared for military life. After MICDS, my goal is to attend the Air Force or Naval Academy. Both institutions graduate officers into their military branches and would allow me to achieve my dream of being a pilot. In the military, I will use the values and leadership I learned here at MICDS. Visiting Normandy would allow me to experience the history and apply what I learn in the future.”

Next fall, Devrapally and Daus will give a brief presentation on their experience to the ninth-grade class, in alignment with the Post-1900 World unit on World War II.

Congratulations, Normandy Academy Fellows!