Many boys dream of becoming an astronaut. Duncanville High School senior Caleb Griffith is methodically planning his path to outer space.
Griffith is in the top 5 percent of his class at DHS. He has already received early admissions to the United States Coast Guard Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point. The University of Texas and Texas A&M’s engineering schools have also offered Griffith early admissions.
The college Griffith wants to attend is the United States Naval Academy. This is no hasty choice. Griffith researched universities to find out which one has produced the most astronauts, and the Naval Academy sits atop the prestigious list with more than 50 astronauts as alumni. There was really only one problem with Griffith’s plan to join the Navy. He didn’t know how to swim. At the beginning of his junior year, Griffith joined the DHS swim team. By the second semester of his senior year, he was competing for the varsity team in the district championships.
“He wants to understand everything”, said Eika Johnson, Duncanville High School Engineering Teacher. “That’s one thing that makes him unique. He loves to learn new things and to put himself in a leadership role. He is highly motivated. He has a great personality and he pushes himself.”
Griffith will graduate with 34 hours of college credit, which he earned at no cost by participating in Duncanville ISD’s dual credit program. One of his classes, Mechatronics, meets at Dallas County College’s Mountainview campus. There, Griffith and other students are collaborating to build an underwater search robot for the Duncanville Fire Department.
Instructor Donald Morris said Griffith is always focused on his tasks. Morris says he watched many times as Griffith sacrificed social hour during lunch to eat while filling out college scholarship applications. He describes his student as quiet and reserved, but to those who know him, witty and funny.
“He’s one of those kids you’re not going to hear about,” Morris said. “Then you see his performance and then, ‘Oh my gosh!’ You’re thinking, I have to find out more about this kid.”