Justin Sienna High School ’01
Providence College, General Studies Focus: Film and Theater
Navy Boot Camp ’09
Navy Surface Search and Rescue Swimmer School, NAS JAX FL ’10
Longtime teachers will agree that running into SCDS alumni occurs more and more frequently as our alumni count grows. However, running into Seaman (Surface Warfare Specialist) George-Paul Scheppler while he’s on the job might be both alarming and comforting. He is a U.S. Navy Search and Rescue Swimmer on board the U.S. Crommelin FFG 37, based out of Pearl Harbor.
“I’m the primary responder to any man-over-board emergency and maintain all the safety and rescue gear on board. I’m also the lead on one of the ship’s two medical emergency teams,” he explains. “Basically I am a lifeguard for the navy, and my job is to get my crew home safely, no matter what.”
A recent email about time spent at SCDS from George-Paul (known as G.P. in his middle school days) was peppered with the chat acronym “lol,” useful for fast typing as well as keeping his message under the navy’s bandwidth requirements for seamen under deployment.
“My best SCDS memories involve the ski trips and the kind of childhood experiences people write movies and books about,” he says. “But, the class of 97’s secrets are safe with me, lol.”
He was impressed by Founding Headmaster Nix (“He was such a cool principal!”) and the tree growing in the middle of the school.
“I enjoyed the liberal and broad academics we covered at the school,” George-Paul says. “My teachers were given the latitude to teach in creative ways, which coming from a public school was very refreshing. The small class sizes, field trips, and one-on-one time with teachers were unique to me, and I really enjoyed it.
“I really liked Mr. Brescia’s PE class, and also playing for him on SCDS’s first coed volleyball team. We were pretty darn good, and I had a cool mohawk. I felt like I was a shark at the net, lol.”
George-Paul feels his adult life has been influenced by his SCDS experience. “SCDS taught diversity, open-mindedness, and individuality along with our classroom education. I would like to think I represent those things on a day-to-day basis. I know my classmates do. I still see them around all the time, in Northern California and around the country. We are singers, doctors, lawyers, and soldiers.”
In fact, George-Paul ended his email with this cheerful reminder: “You never know where you will see an alum next. And, if you ever find yourself floating out in the ocean and a man in a wet suit is swimming towards you, an SCDS alum may be closer than you think!”