Alumni Achievers - Peyton and Tristan Pisacane, Centennial Class of 2016
Published February 12, 2021
Twin brothers Peyton and Tristan Pisacane are using the knowledge and skills they gained in high school to make a difference in the world.
After graduating from Centennial High School in 2016, the two began their college careers at Mississippi State University where they both played on the football team. A year later, Peyton left Starkville to attend the United States Military Academy West Point.
Now, Peyton is preparing to graduate from West Point and continue on to his Engineer Basic Officer Leadership Course, while Tristan is using his mechanical engineering degree to manage projects for Yates Construction in Nashville.
Peyton, what led you to want to serve your country and apply to The U.S. Military Academy?
Peyton: I had been interested in West Point through my entire senior year of high school, and I was mesmerized by the kind of people and leaders I saw walking around. I observed the prestige of the academics and the engineering programs. What ultimately drove me to West Point was the chance to lead a platoon of soldiers after graduation and to mold them into the best soldiers, husbands and fathers they could be. I could not turn down the opportunity to serve and protect my family and this great nation.
Peyton, what has been the most important lesson you have learned during your time at West Point?
Peyton: Value people. Every person brings something different to the team, and every person has a story and deserves to be valued. Own your mistakes. Everyone will fail in life at some point, and the best thing you can do is accept complete responsibility for those mistakes and learn from them.
Tristan, you played four years of college football while at Mississippi State. What lessons did you learn while balancing collegiate academics and athletics?
Tristan: I learned to work with people from all over the world in a team setting to achieve a greater goal. I also cultivated strict time management skills. On any given night, I would be watching game films preparing to play Alabama or Louisiana State University, and a few hours later I would be studying for a thermodynamics exam.
Tristan, what led you to your current position with Yates Construction?
Tristan: During my time in college, I completed an internship with Yates, a company based out of Philadelphia, Mississippi. I quickly fell in love with the construction industry, where I used my engineering skills to coordinate design through 3-D modeling and managed different aspects of a project. Upon completing my internship, I accepted a full-time job, and I am currently working as an assistant project manager with Yates in Nashville.
What did you enjoy most about your high school experience?
Peyton: High school football was my favorite thing about high school. We still have the best record and season in Centennial High football history. I have been a part of football teams on all levels, but there was truly nothing like taking the field with your best friends on Friday nights. I became close with all my teammates, especially the ones in the Class of 2016. My coaches and I keep in touch to this day, and I hope to get them to my graduation this spring barring COVID.
Tristan: My favorite thing about my high school experience was the people. During my time at Centennial High, we had a very close-knit community. I had amazing teachers and coaches who poured into my life daily and lifelong friends who are still my best friends to this day, even after going our separate ways.
What WCS teacher made a difference in your life and how?
Peyton: Many WCS teachers played a large role in the development of the man I am today. I would love to mention them all. Dr. Patrick Boyd, principal of Centennial High while I was there, always cared so much about his students. He was very involved with the football team, and I would run into him often. When I started to pursue West Point, he told me about his journey as an officer in the United States Army. Things look a lot different for both of us now. He is the principal of Woodland Middle, and I am now a senior at West Point about to embark on my journey as an officer in the Army. Through every step of my West Point career, Dr. Boyd has been giving me advice, encouraging me and checking in. I recently found out that he was stationed at Fort Hood, which will be my first duty station.
Diane Shockey, my second-grade teacher at Sunset Elementary, is someone I will remember for the rest of my life. She taught us early on how to respect and why we should respect each other. I have carried these basic principles with me throughout my life thus far.
Tim Sawyer and Wade Roberts were two male figures at Centennial High I really looked up to. Mr. Sawyer led the drafting and architecture program. He instilled in me the passion and desire to study engineering. He really loved his students and had so much knowledge of the topics and how to solve complex problems. I have continued to study civil engineering at West Point and work directly with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Roberts made physics fun. I am convinced a big reason I love physics to this day is due to Mr. Roberts. He really prepared me for the physics and engineering courses I've taken in college. I have a lot of respect for both men.
Tristan: I can't choose just one. Tim Sawyer, my engineering and architecture teacher at Centennial High, instilled in me a passion that made me study engineering in college. I continue to use skills I learned in his classroom at my full-time job in construction. Wade Roberts, my physics teacher, taught his class in a way that truly changed how I analyzed and solved problems. His style of instruction and many fascinating lab experiments instilled in me a unique attention to detail. I always felt a step ahead because of the skills I learned in his class.
Do you have any advice for current WCS students?
Peyton: Don't take your education for granted. WCS will truly set you up for success if you are willing to work hard and learn. Build relationships and remember no goal is ever out of reach. You will remember your friends from WCS forever, whether you end up living in Williamson County or traveling around the world.
Tristan: WCS has the resources to assist you, so dream big. Find something you are passionate about and get involved. Find a club, sport or group of students who share your interest. I was able to fulfill my dream of playing college football while earning an engineering degree, and I continue to live out my dream every day by building structures that are changing Nashville's skyline forever. It all started as a first-grade Pioneer at Crockett Elementary.