On April 16 and 17, cadets and their loved ones gathered for the annual Spring Family Weekend honoring mothers and grandmothers.
Spring Family Weekend began with the annual Mothers Tea at 10 a.m. Mothers, grandmothers and sisters donned festive hats and enjoyed tea, snacks and a presentation from Academy President Charles McGeorge. While the ladies gathered in the atrium, fathers and other guests perused the middle school science fair display in the second floor hallway.
First Place Overall & Eighth Grade First Place
Derek Nguyen & Carlos Rodriguez, Measuring Lung Capacity
Second Place Overall & Eighth Grade Second Place, TIE
Dongyang Chen, Dissolution of Sugar Cubes
Kevyn Bruce & Thomas Huckins, Producing Hydrogen
Third Place: Enrique Acevedo & Ethan Ford, The Big Black Worm
Fourth Place: Elian Harants & Isaac Perales, Elephant Toothpaste
Honorable Mention: Martin Farias & Joseph Kaplan, The Future of Transportation
First Place: Nicolas Gonzalez & Santiago Sanchez, Thermal Conductivity
Honorable Mention: Tamar Modise, The Big Bubble
First Place: Scout Jones, Electrolysis
Honorable Mention: Alexander Sheldon, Super Absorbent Polymer
Following the Mothers’ Tea, the Corps and their families gathered on the front lawn for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award presentation. Cadets marched down the circle drive and received their medals from Academy President Charles McGeorge.
THE FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
The festivities continued Saturday evening with the annual Festival of the Arts, which featured songs by the High School Band, Jazz Band, Rock Band and Cadet Chorus. Performances were punctuated by the presentation of journalism, band, choir and art awards.
The Festival of the Arts was an amazing array of color and music filling the night with laughter, culture and talent. The band took the crowd on a journey from Star Trek to Korean culture. The Choir sang their hearts out to give their mentor and teacher the best last performance of his career. As we said goodbye to MAJ Mike Shoemaker and the choir seniors, they passed the torch to the next generation. JONATHAN JAMES ’16
Pearl Green Whitney Memorial Award: senior Brennan Morand
Throughout the year, Brennan has served as a marketing intern, daily sacrificing his limited free time to photograph school functions. An award-winning graphic designer, Brennan spent his fifth period every day making copies, running errands, taking photos and receiving real-world job experience.
Lyle C. Wilson Award: senior Justin Touchette
Justin is a talented photographer and two-year member of the yearbook staff who is to be commended for his outstanding dedication to the yearbook. Justin’s photographs won first place at the Presser Hall Performing Arts Center photography contest and third place in the Balfour Great Shot contest. His images of the 2014 Crucible were printed in the hardbound 2016 Balfour Yearbook Yearbook.
Each year, the journalism bar is awarded to those students who go above and beyond the basic duties of a cadet enrolled in a journalism course at MMA. Recipients of the journalism bar must display exemplary classroom conduct and significant written or photographic contribution to the production of the yearbook and newspaper.
Philip Russell ’68 Award for outstanding first-year member of the men’s chorus: Robert Van Huss ’16
Outstanding Contribution to the MMA Chorus: Eduardo Gonzalez ’16
During the intermission, cadets and their families browsed the Epple Memorial Art Show, which was held in the Centennial Gymtorium mezzanine.
“In the festival I had about 6 pieces of art showing,” Christian Foster ’19 said. “When I got there, I saw that one of the staff had bought my best piece yet. It was a landscape made out of all four seasons.”
Most Improved Award: Juan Letamendi ’17
Best Unconventional Art Award: David Garza ’16
Heart & Soul Award (for the most dedicated): Hernan Huerta ’18
Norman Rockwell Award (for the best illustration): Hank Williams ’18, Eduardo Gonzalez ’16
Michelangelo Art Award (for the best in sculpture): Naranmandakh Ayulgui ’16
Junior School Art Achievement Award: Jesus Perales ’20
Art Achievement Award: Gabriel Perez ’18
Creative Arts Award: Gabriel Vallejo ’18
Vincent Van Gogh Art Award (for the best Painting student): Emilio Nanni ’16
Banksy Graffiti Art Award: Sugar Dashdavaa ’17, Yinzhou Wang ’17
Pablo Picasso Art Award (for always sketching and improving): Cesar Garcia ’20, Parker Koontz ’17
Leonardo Da Vinci Art Award (for being a writer, an artist and a renaissance man): Emran Babak ’16
Attendees also purchased tickets for the halftime heads-or-tails game, during which cadets raised $300 toward the senior class project. Oscar Garcia correctly guessed the outcome of the most coin flips and was declared the winner of the game.
I enjoyed being a part of the Concert Band and playing all of the songs that some people didn’t get to hear at Maroon and Gold. The Jazz Band and Rock Band were amazing too! Choir was cool since they switched it up a bit and choose to sing some newer songs from this generation. NELSON AGUILERA ’16
Jeff Crain & Jeff Jorishie Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Jazz Ensemble: Ethan Eisenmann ’16
John Philip Sousa Band Award: Yunil Jeon ’16
New additions to the Festival of the Arts this year included an all-student punk rock band (Yunil Jeon, Connor Cunningham, Otto Albertsen, Noah Hacker, Paul Murphy and Ethan Eisenmann) and a bluegrass song by the Salty River Boys — sophomore William Moore on the banjo, mentor CPT Thomas Roberts on the guitar, choir director MAJ Mike Shoemaker on the bass and Choir members Robert Van Huss, Noah Hacker and Otto Albertsen.
SUNDAY: FLOWER PINNING & SUPERIOR CADET AWARDS
The day began with a senior class pancake breakfast fundraiser in the MMA dining hall.
“The pancake breakfast was a fundraiser for the senior project to get a Marine bench to join the rest of the military branches outside the Canteen,” Jonathan James ’16 said.
The pancake breakfast was followed by a battalion review and flower pinning ceremony. During this traditional MMA event, mothers pin their cadet with a red carnation provided by MMA. Mothers and grandparents who could not attend were represented by a faculty member or other MMA mother.
The flower pinning ceremony warmed the hearts of all the mothers and their sons. It was a special day to show our MMA mothers how much we appreciate them. The battalion review followed. Each company showed their appreciation for their mothers by trying to win the review for their families. In the end Echo, ended up taking home the win. JONATHAN JAMES ’16
During the battalion review, one cadet from each LET class received the Superior Cadet Award via JROTC Order No. 12. Students received the honor for displaying leadership potential, discipline, courtesy, character and excellence in military and academic scholarship.
Mitchell Duing, LET I
John Curley, LET II
Gregory Prinster, LET III, Second Award
Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, LET IV