Four students appointed to U.S. Service Academies

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

UTICA, N.Y. – U.S. Representative Richard Hanna has announced that four students from the 22nd Congressional District have been appointed to U.S. Service Academies.

Rep. Hanna has an Academy Committee that reviews each candidate’s application and then hosts interviews. The Academy Committee is made up of 22 community leaders, veterans and educators from throughout the 22nd Congressional District. Interviews were hosted in Cortland in November and in Utica in December. The Committee acts independently and fairly to review and evaluate each student who applies.

The following students received appointments:

Zachary David Blanks, of Clinton, to the U.S. Air Force Academy

Savannah Christine Murrary, of Binghamton, to the U.S. Military Academy

Leah C. Tonetti, of Clinton, to the U.S. Military Academy

Madina Petashvili, of Utica, to the U.S. Naval Academy

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Bolton is chairman of the committee. Bolton resides in New Hartford and is a graduate of the Military Academy.

“I congratulate these students and wish them the best as they begin their studies at our Service Academies,” Rep. Hanna said. “It is a privilege to have so many talented students in the 22nd Congressional District, and it is an honor to recommend them for entry to the Service Academies. I wish them much continued success.”


United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado:

Mr. Zackary David Blanks
Clinton, New York
Clinton Central High School

COL David and Mrs. Pamela Blanks
Clinton, New York

Activities and Accomplishments:
Eagle Scout, Tennis (captain), Football, Track and Field, Cross Country, National Honor Society, U.S. Air Force Academy Summer Seminar, AP courses, Model UN, Debate team (captain), volunteer in the community and with his church

United States Military Academy, West Point, New York:

Ms. Savannah Christine Murray
Binghamton, New York
Harpursville High School

Mr. and Mrs. Kevin and Irene Murray
Binghamton, New York

Activities and Accomplishments:
Basketball, National Honor Society, U.S. Military Academy Summer Leaders Seminar, Cross Country, volunteer at food pantry


Ms. Leah C. Tonetti
Clinton, New York
Clinton High School/Furman University

Mr. Peter Tonetti and Ms. Maureen Sullivan
Clinton, New York

Activities and Accomplishments:
Karate, Tennis, Model UN, Girl Scouts, volunteer with Meals on Wheels, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, ROTC at Furman, received nomination to Military Academy in 2011

United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland:

Ms. Madina Petashvili
Utica, New York
Proctor High School/Naval Academy Preparatory School

Ms. Khafiya Binaliyeva
Utica, New York

Activities and Accomplishments:
NJROTC, Indoor/Outdoor Track and Field, National Honor Society, volunteer, nominated to Naval Academy in 2011

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