Author Archives: Erin Chambers


DSC_9720_kleinsorge_knipfer_gastelumI_bestCHANGING STATE OF MATTER LAB, MS SCIENCE

LTC Willis Kleinsorge’s eighth grade students conducted a Changing State of Matter experiment on February 12. Students filled beakers with solid snow, then heated it and observed as the substance changed from solid to liquid to gaseous states.

“The snow changed into slush and the water,” Kaplan wrote in his lab chart at the four minute mark. “There are bubbles in the snow.”

Caleb Cloyde’s snow began to melt at one minute in, rising to a temperature of one degree Celsius.

As his classmates began their snow boil lab, Martin Farias continued an individual Electrolysis Lab with water, salt water, sugar water and vinegar.


On January 28, eighth grade cadets in LTC Willis Kleinsorge’s classes mixed combinations of three liquids and four powders (baking powder, corn starch, baking soda, sugar, water, vinegar and iodine solution) to determine whether their reactions were chemical or physical.

IMG_6820_arredondo_bestCadets have learned to describe matter based on its physical and chemical properties. Cadets have also learned some signs that can help them determine whether a change in matter is a physical change or a chemical change. In this lab, cadets used what they have learned to describe four substances based on their properties and the changes that they undergo. LTC WILLIS KLEINSORGE


160215_007On February 15, a group of MAJ Mike Pemberton’s Environmental Science and Biology students visited Monsanto Company in Chesterfield, MO. Monsanto is an agricultural company that delivers products for farmers all around the world. They are focused on empowering farmers (large or small) to produce more from their land while conserving natural resources such as water and energy.

160215_014Our desire to tour their facility came from our studies in genetics and ecology. Part of our curriculum in both Biology and Environmental Science focuses on the importance of plants. Like Monsanto, our cadets study different ways to make agriculture more productive and sustainable.

Our tour started with a group experiment. In one of Monsanto’s research labs, cadets were able to extract and observe strawberry DNA. They learned each step’s importance and why scientists extract DNA from organisms.  After the experiment, the cadets were split into two groups to tour the facilities.  Some of the stops on the tour included research labs, a biotechnology center, and various greenhouses.


On February 19, cadets in first-year science instructor Veronica Anderson third period class raced handmade balloon cars to demonstrate Newton’s third law. Each cadet designed and constructed one or more miniature cars and adjusted the design over several class periods. Materials included Lifesaver candies, CDs, duct tape, scotch tape, construction paper, Styrofoam cups and straws.

Anderson’s students also conducted a Single Displacement Lab on February 16 and wrote lab reports about their findings. Using stoichiometry, students calculated the amount of aluminum needed to turn copper sulfate crystals from blue to brown via single-displacement reactions.

IMG_9004_puente_ashton_hammDISSECTING FROGS

On January 28, cadets in MAJ Mike Pemberton’s fifth hour class began their dissection of leopard frogs.

Students started with a visual inspection of the external anatomy, determining the gender of their specimen based on the frog’s size (female frogs are usually larger) and digits (male frogs have thick thumb pads.) After examining the head anatomy – mouth, external nares, tympani, eyes and nictitating membranes – cadets pinned down their specimen’s legs and cut the hinges of the lips to open their frog’s mouth.

IMG_8897The internal investigation began with the identification of mouth structures – teeth, glottis, pharynx, esophagus, tongue, internal nares and Eustachian tube – and continued with the digestive system – stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, etc. Cadets finished their dissection by confirming gender based on the reproductive system of their specimen.

Additional frog specimens were dissected by Rachel Yim’s classes in mid-February.

Academic Fourragere, February 2016

PPAboyd_IMG_5688_Mestre_BESTThe following cadets received Academic Fourragere via Special Orders No. 33 and 34, having shown outstanding academic achievement during marking periods two (MP2) and three (MP3).

Angel Alcaraz (MP2 & MP3)
Matheus Alexandre (MP2 & MP3)
Fahad Aliev (MP2 & MP3)
Babak (MP2 & MP3)
Purevsuren Bayanbaatar (MP2)
Wyatt Brewer (MP3)
Edward Cha (MP2)
Hector Chapa (MP2)
Dongyang Chen (MP2 & MP3)
Nyamkhuu Chinguun (MP2 & MP3)
Richard Choy (MP3)
Connor Cunningham (MP2)
Davaasuren Dashdavaa (MP2)
Mitchell Duing (MP2 & MP3)
Jose Elizondo (MP2 & MP3)
Francisco Fletes (MP2)
David Garza (MP2 & MP3)
Miguel Gonzalez (MP2)
Samuel Guo (MP2 & MP3)
Sean Hannagan (MP2)
Jordan Hornick (MP2 & MP3)
Thomas Huckins (MP3)
Hernan Huerta (MP2)
Yun Il Jeon (MP2 & MP3)
Scout Jones (MP2 & MP3)
Eric Juarez (MP3)
Nishan Khanal (MP2 & MP3)
Chinguun Khatigin (MP2 & MP3)
Thomas Kiefer (MP3)
Private First Class Oybek Kirkland (MP2 & MP3)
Private First Class Qiyu Liu (MP2 & MP3)
Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj (MP2)
Kyle Mertens (MP2)
Brennan Morand (MP2 & MP3)
Ngonga Mugabo (MP2 & MP3)
Paul Murphy (MP2)khanal4
Michael Naughton (MP2 & MP3)
Bayar-Erdene Oldokhbayar (MP2 & MP3)
Gabriel Perez (MP2 & MP3)
Photsavat Pongsuea (MP2 & MP3)
Gregory Prinster (MP2 & MP3)
Santiago Sanchez (MP2)
Alexander Schaaf (MP3)
Alexander Seibert (MP2 & MP3)
Jorge Servin (MP2)
Nehemiah Simmons (MP2 & MP3)
Benjamin Snider (MP2 & MP3)
Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar (MP2)
Gabriel Vallejo (MP2 & MP3)
Hector Villanueva (MP2 & MP3)
Jared Violette (MP3)
Yinzhou Wang (MP2 & MP3)
Michael Wetzel (MP2 & MP3)
Rongyang Yi (MP2 & MP3)

Cadet Promotions, February 2016

9.2.15_VanHuss_byVanTasell_BESTOn February 6 and 7, the following promotions were announced via Special Order No. 36,  No. 37 and No. 38.

Major: Emran Babak.

Captain: Eduardo Gonzalez, David Lazcano, Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj, Turbold Tumurkhuu.

First Lieutenant:  Thomas Dean, Ethan Eisenmann, Orlando Farias, Mauro Garza, Jesus Gracia,
Russell Holman, Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar.

Second Lieutenant: Purevsuren Bayanbaatar, Hector Chapa, Weitao Cong, Miguel Gonzalez, Jose Mejia, Robert Moore, Brennan Morand, Emilio Nanni, Temuulen Nerguibaatar, Christian Paz, Robert Pryor.

IMG_0073_BEST_cepedaStaff Sergeant: Maverick Jones, James Lane.

Sergeant First Class: William Carter, John Curley.

Sergeant: Nishan Khanal, Matheus Alexandre, Jonathan James, Dion Nguyen, Kyle Van Eekeren.

Corporal: Carlos Liriano, William Moore, Rongyang Yi, Eryao Zhang, Sizheng Zhang, Jose Balanza, Sugar Dashdavaa, Raul Escarcega, Ernesto Melgar, Aaron Thompson, Michael Wetzel.

Private First Class: Arnoldo Aguirre, Matheus Alexandre, Thomas Kiefer, Finley Lomas, Paul Murphy.

Private Second Class: Carlo Alcaraz, Kevyn Bruce, Emilio Camou, Caleb Cloyde, Yutong Dongfang, Christian Foster, Styles Fountain, Samuel Guo, Tamar Modise, Juan Moreno, George IMG_0435_thompson_BESTPietrofere, Zhicheng Mao, Kian Moriarty, Jesus Perales, Carlos Rodriguez.

For completing new cadet training and passing their handbook tests and Crucible challenges, the following recruits were awarded the privilege of wearing the MMA hat brass and Army JROTC gold star: 

BRAVO COMPANY: Yanlin Chen, Erick Puente.
CHARLIE COMPANY: Cesar Garza, Justin Haupt.
DELTA COMPANY: Wyatt Brewer, Joseph Mulvey, Noah Webster.
ECHO COMPANY: Rory Davis, Yuqi Jin, Jack Mitchell.

TO BUILD A FIRE: Mr. Harding’s Survival Day

IMG_5865_rodriguezcOn January 21, middle school cadets hiked into the back campus woods for a fire lighting and tracking lesson with Language Arts instructor Mr. Mike Harding. Surrounded by the cold and snowy woods, cadets were taught the elements of survival – how to build a shelter and how to start a campfire without matches.

IMG_5665We have just finished reading Jack London’s ‘To Build a Fire’ in seventh and eighth grade. The sixth grade is currently reading another survival story ‘Hatchet’ by Gary Paulsen. The winter snow and cold gave us the perfect opportunity to venture out and practice these skills and show the cadets how difficult it is to survive without the right equipment and knowledge. On completion, we discussed how lessons learned by fire lighting, such as preparedness, adaptability and determination, are also useful in a cadet’s journey through life. MR. MIKE HARDING

IMG_5966Cadets first gathered tinder and firewood to build lean-to shelters and fire pyramids. Students then practiced using a variety of fire-starting tools to create sparks. Eighth graders Thomas Huckins and Cesar Rodriguez, among others, were successful in starting fires with toilet paper and dryer lint.

Harding’s tips for students: Size up the situation. Undue haste makes waste. Remember that it is a hostile environment. Vanquish fear. Improvise. Value Living. Act like the locals. Learn new skills.


At the Survival Day, I learned to never give up and always try your best no matter the situation. NICOLAS GONZALEZ ’21

On Survival Day we went out and learned a few basics of survival as well as how to build a fire. Sadly I was unable to make a fire. My favorite part of that day was working together. MICHAEL NAUGHTON ’20

I was able to make a fire. I learned that making a fire takes patience. DEREK NGUYEN ’20

I learned that everything is easier said than done. Don’t come into something acting like you already know it. I was able to start the fire but it soon took a sharp turn when somebody smothered the flames with too many sticks. My favorite part was getting to enjoy back campus while learning something new. JORDAN HORNICK ’20

IMG_5722_perales_BESTMr. Harding has a Masters in Creative Writing from Canterbury Christ Church University and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English and American Literature from the University of Kent. He is nationally certified to teach English, Media and Drama in the UK. Prior to becoming a teacher, Harding served for 22 years in the British Royal Marines. Harding is MMA’s Director of Curriculum Development, teaches middle school students and coaches rugby.

MEET OUR NEW MMA COACHES: Jonathan Bowen & LT Kevin Bissmeyer

IMG_2483_bissmeyerJonathan Bowen recently started his first year as head wrestling coach, while LT Kevin Bissmeyer began his second year coaching basketball at MMA with a promotion from assistant to head coach.


BISSMEYER: I played just about every sport up through high school. Basketball, football, baseball, lacrosse, boxing. … I became a coach after tearing ACL multiple times at the University of Cincinatti and was forced to watch from the sidelines and learn the game. It made me a much better player and gave me an appreciation for what it takes to be a coach.

BOWEN: I’ve been competing and/or coaching wrestling at some level since 1999. … After graduating high school in 2002, I attended a local junior college on full academic scholarship and was hired as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach at my old high school. During my first semester at college, I performed in a walk-on tryout at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis. After the tryout, I was offered IMG_1791a wrestling scholarship and transferred to MBU in the fall of 2003. Soon after arriving on campus I sustained a few injuries that prevented me from pursuing my dream of becoming a national qualifier at the NAIA level. I was allowed to keep my scholarship by performing a variety of administrative roles for the wrestling team that would later help me as a coach. I was hired to be a head middle school coach/assistant varsity coach at the Grandview School District in the Kansas City area in the fall of 2007.

IMG_0454_garciaOI got into little league wrestling in 2011-12 season when my oldest daughter brought home a flyer from the local wrestling club and was adamant about becoming a wrestler like daddy. Since then, we have adopted an at-home wrestling routine with mats in our basement. … One of my passions for the state of Missouri’s wrestling scene is to see a girls only division at the middle school and high school levels. I’ve been one of the front-runners in promoting this reform to the sport in our state along with several other coaches in both the Kansas City and St. Louis areas. We see this as creating a level playing field for both boys and girls throughout the state while growing the overall number of participation in MSHSAA athletics. Last year, I brought the inaugural Girls Folkstyle State Tournament to MMA, which was quite successful with girls from all over the state.


BISSMEYER: I really want MMA to take a big step forward in the next few years. I want them to go from occasionally getting teams that compete to having teams that are consistent threats every year. I want the players to realize their potential as individuals and as a team. I want to develop a team atmosphere of competition and motivation that challenges every player to give their best every day and every play.

IMG_0543_normanBOWEN: I want to both re-establish some older traditions and bring in some new ones as well. The first being is having pride in all that we do. The second goal is that we are going to compete the entire match, no matter the opponent. Third, I want … the team’s GPA to be a benchmark for other athletic programs across campus. Fourth is to grow the program in every capacity. This of course includes winning and reaching the aforementioned goals, but also working on becoming a self-sufficient program by fundraising for our own team projects. Also, after talking with my assistant coach, we as a program are going to try and bring first-class clinics and camps to MMA throughout the spring and summer to further educate our current wrestlers.


Connor is in his second year as marketing intern at Missouri Military Academy. A communications major at William Woods University, he is the captain of the WWU Improv Team and a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He graduated from Edmond North High School in 2013. 

WEEKEND BRIEFS: Wrestling, Rifle & FBLA

1.13.16_FBLAbars_Khatigin_Mejia_vantasell_garzam_gonzalezm_aliev_leona_estrada_byECFUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS OF AMERICA

Having scored well on their online tests, fifteen MMA cadets will compete in individual and team events at the Future Business Leaders of America District 6 Leadership Conference on February 19. FBLA members, listed below by name and FBLA event, must score in the top 8 for their event to compete at districts.

John Curley – Future Business Leader
Nishan Khanal, Kyle Mertens and Jared Violette – Global Business
Fahad Aliev, Bilguun Byambatsogt and Oscar Cortada – Hospitality Management
Nishan Khanal, Kyle Mertens and Kian Moriarty – Management Decision Making
Oscar Cortada, Jose Estrada and Jared Violette – Marketing
Sean Fitzgerald and Robert Shields – Sports and Entertainment Management
Alfonso Leon – Website Management
Carlos Liriano and Aaron Thompson — Entrepreneurship
Sean Fitzgerald, Photsavat Pongsuea and Robert Shields — Business Ethics


Missouri Military Academy fell 1342-1434 versus Wentworth on January 22. Ethan Istas won the gold medal with a score of 238.


On January 23, MMA competed at the Hickman Varsity Invite 2016 against teams from 12 opposing schools. Francisco Siller (220 lb) placed seventh and Styles Fountain (126 lb) placed 9th, scoring scored 3 team points by winning by decision over his Rock Bridge opponent.

LT Bissmeyer’s history students stage authentic Southern Duel

GROUP2_chapa_shields_schaaf_sniderb_lomasfinley_istas_wetzel_bissmeyer_elizondogOn December 15, high school students in LT Kevin Bissmeyer’s third hour U.S. history class met on the battlefield (Colonels Field) to defend their honor in a traditional southern (paintball) duel. The authentic re-enactment included performances by middle school drummers and was staged for an audience of students and staffers.

According to Bissmeyer, the exercise is designed to expose students to an aspect of  17th to 19th century southern American culture that they may not be aware of.

There existed a tradition and culture of honor which permeated every part of society. This tradition of honor began with the European nobility, spread down to the planter class and eventually came to embody the southern culture  as a whole, regardless of socio-economic standing. You wereIMG_2114_muilenburg_schaaf judged first as a man of honor, and secondly as a man of accomplishment. With personal honor playing such an important role, the stakes were obviously high. Insults to one’s honor were taken seriously, often ending in one man being “posted” or exposed in the local newspapers. A second way of challenging the honor of another man or proving your own honor was to engage in a duel.

Duels are not as action-packed as they seem in western movies. They were instead a social event intended to show the honor of each participant. The duel rarely ended in death and often ended without either target being hit. However, there were also occasions where a duel with pistols devolved IMG_2090_sniderbilbreyinto duels with swords and did not end until one party or the other was dead. This was certainly not the norm, however. A standard duel begins with an insult, at which point the two involved parties must name their seconds. The second is then tasked with coordinating this duel while upholding the honor and dignity of the two involved parties, known as the principles. LT KEVIN BISSMEYER

The MMA re-enactment began with a fake “insulting” e-mail exchange between students and a challenge to each party’s honor. Next were explanatory e-mails to each second, followed by an e-mail from each party’s second to the offending principle’s second. Seconds were then required to arrange the duels in no more than four e-mails.

IIMG_2002_sniderbilbrey_shieldsn history class we are studying duels in the American South, so we decided to go through the process ourselves. I was given the job of giving the initial insult and then participating in the duel. We tried to mimic the dueling process as best as we could and I think it turned out well. I shot my opponent with a paintball gun and he didn’t hit me so that counted as a win. I think for the time, dueling was a good way to keep social order. And considering dueling did not actually end in death most of the time, it was not too brutal. BENJAMIN SNIDER-BILBREY ’17

IMG_1975_wetzel_istasBenjamin Snider, with Rob Shields as his second, defeated Alexander Schaaf and his second Gabriel Elizondo. Hector Chapa and his second Ethan Istas were bested by Finley Lomas and his second Michael Wetzel. Bissmeyer acted as judge, while Justtin Muilenburg served as the medical examiner.

The duel consisted of defending the honor of the insulted person, which in this case was Finley Lomas being dishonored by Hector Chapa. He had to fight in order to keep his honor intact. My job in the duel was to do everything for Lomas. Lomas assigned me as his second, and the second’s job is to set up everything for the duel. I had to send a letter to Chapa’s second, who was Ethan Istas, telling him that Lomas wanted to protect his honor that had been insulted. In the duel, my job was to make sure Lomas would not quit and also to make sure everything was set up — place, time, weapon. I think the result was amazing. Lomas made an accurate “deadly shot” at Chapa’s head and Lomas’ honor was not harmed. I think the way people used to duel was really impressive. … The way they organized the duel was really savage. Shooting each other at 10 or 20 paces really requires courage. MICHAEL WETZEL ’17

STA_STA_BISSMEYER_KEVINBissmeyer is a football, basketball and lacrosse coach at MMA and started his second year at the Academy this fall. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Cincinatti, he went on to earn a Masters of Education from Xavier University. A former Chatfield College professor, he served as a museum guide at the Cincinnati History Museum, taught high school history in Ohio and coached lacrosse at the high school and college levels.

SPORTS BRIEFS: Lacrosse, Basketball, Wrestling & Rifle


MMA’s young team experienced growing pains during the South Callaway Tournament, finishing 0-3 overall.

“The effort was good in spurts, but the boys need to find ways to dig down deep and continue competing even after they go down by a few baskets,” head coach LT Kevin Bissmeyer said.

MMA fell first to state contender New Bloomfield by 77-49. Leading scorers were senior Jose Estrada with 13 points, senior Bilguun Byambatsogt with 10 points and sophomore Victor Armando Leon with 7 points.

The Colonels fell January 14 to New Haven by 41-26, shorthanded with several players sitting out.  In the final game of the tournament on January 15, MMA fell 60-42 against North Callaway.

IMG_2323_mugaboAccording to Bissmeyer, the Colonels were within striking distance for a majority of the game but were not able to maintain their discipline and energy for a full four quarters.

“The talent is here and the effort is there, but the leadership, the winning expectation and the teamwork need to catch up right now,” Bissmeyer said.


Missouri Military Academy faced five opposing teams January 16 at the East Union Dual Tournament in Afton, Iowa.

In round one, the Dowling Catholic JV squad defeated MMA 73-6. Winning his match and scoring six points for MMA was Charles Norman (195lb). In round two, MMA fell 12-60 versus Ogden. Gregory Prinster (152lb) gave a notable performance, defeating his opponent and earning 6 points for the team. In round three, MMA fell 18-54 versus East Union. Prinster again defeated his opponent, as did Kenneth Westcott (220lb). In round four, MMA fell 54-30 against the Prairie City Monroe JV squad, with Styles Fountain (126lb) winning his match. The Colonels triumphed in round five, defeating Coon Rapids-Bayard by 36-30.


On February 29th, MMA will launch its first foray into the world of competitive high school lacrosse. According to coach LT Kevin Bissmeyer, lacrosse has been the fastest growing sport in America over the past decade and is considered by many to be Americas sport of the future. The fast paced action, athleticism, hard hitting, and incredible skill and dexterity of the game make it one of the most exciting sports to watch live.

“We have some atheletes who are picking the game up quickly and we have a few players who have played before, but for the most part this is going to be a season of learning the game,” Bissmeyer said

The inaugural season will see the Colonels face off against JV teams from the St. Louis area. The team will be comprised of 18 players from the high school and will be coached by LT Kevin Bissmeyer, Dr. James Bonanno and CPT Steve Manning.


The Missouri Military Academy rifle team traveled to the Highland Pistol and Rifle Club in Highland, Illinois, to compete at the NRA Sectionals.

Team One (members Ethan Istas, William Moore, Wyatt Smith and Hank Williams) scored 1922 points. Team Two (members Alexander Seibert, Garrett Stafford, Benjamin Snider and James Myrick) scored 1787 points. Aaron Thompson competed as an individual shooter.

MMA individual high shooters were William Moore with 524 points, who earned a gold trophy; and Ethan Istas with 518 points, who earned a silver trophy.

Local Foundation awards grant to Memorial Chapel Project

chapel close-upThe Allen P. and Josephine B. Green Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to Missouri Military Academy to purchase seating as part of an effort to renovate MMA’s Memorial Chapel and Assembly Hall.  This latest generous grant follows a long history of partnership and support on behalf of the Green family and the foundation during much of the Academy’s 126-year history.

Prior to this latest gift, the foundation has funded MMA grants for new fitness trail equipment, Memorial Chapel air conditioning, library technology, a mobile computer lab, and components of the B Company barracks.

MMA Director of Development Kevin Quinn said of the gift, “This grant will provide a tremendous boost to our campaign to renovate an important facility in our mission to offer our cadets the best-possible experience in programs and services outside the classroom.  A. P. Green Foundation support offers affirmation to our efforts to maintain our history of excellence in preparatory education in Mexico and throughout the world.”

8.15.14_Chapel_ECThe Memorial Chapel and Assembly Hall facility was originally constructed in 1961, with funds given and raised by cadets. The fundraising effort began shortly after the beginning of World War II, with each graduating class contributing to the cause.  Since its dedication 55 years ago, the Memorial Chapel has hosted the weekly use by cadets for Sunday Vespers services and academic programs. The Assembly Hall, in the lower level of the facility, has been used for everything from cadet testing and training to a gathering spot for area Boy Scout troops and community organizations.

Five and one-half decades of wear and tear on the building necessitated more than just cleaning and paint.  MMA plans to raise funds to renovate the facility with more than $320,000 in total improvements. Numerous naming opportunities are available to donors for various components of the project.  The first phase of the campaign, the Memorial 4.11.13_fisheye_CMorrisChapel interior and exterior renovation is nearly complete, with fundraising continuing for the next two years.  The next phase, updating the Assembly Hall, will create a true theater environment. Comfortable seating, commercial quality sound, lighting and digital projection, and the ability to connect computer access to all systems and activity areas to provide additional teaching space are all part of the plan. One key use of this facility will be to procure and show recent movie releases during weekday evenings and on weekends.  The Allen P. and Josephine B. Green Foundation grant will fund the purchase of theater seating and is the first gift to launch this phase of the campaign.

MMA alumni and friends have already begun to make gifts and pledges toward both the chapel and assembly hall projects, with current gifts and pledges totally more than $63,000.  The MMA Alumni Association has accepted a challenge to raise $100,000 toward the goal.

Calaluce to manage MMA Ekern Cadet Health Center

Calaluce, Robert1 -- by MORAND

In January 2016, Missouri Military Academy launched enhancements to its approach to cadet health care, honing its focus to the promotion of overall cadet wellness.

The change begins under new management of the health center. Robert Calaluce, M.D., of Mexico, Missouri, has been named MMA’s Ekern Cadet Health Center Manager and began work on January 7.

The Ekern Cadet Health Center, previously known as the Ekern Cadet Clinic, has been renamed to reflect an increased focus on outreach and cadet health management. In his new role, Dr. Calaluce will oversee all nursing and cadet health related processes, including the development of proactive programs that educate cadets about their overall health.  As the Ekern Cadet Health Center Manager he will work with Dr. Simon McKeown, the Academy’s practicing physician, and will supervise the nursing staff.

“Dr. Calaluce’s significant expertise and management experience, his personal commitment to calaluceliving a healthy lifestyle and his passion for health education are welcome additions to our Cadet Life program here at MMA,” says MMA President Tony McGeorge. “Although he will not actively practice as a physician in this role, his vast knowledge will greatly enhance our ability to care for cadets.”

A researcher and educator with a focus on pathology, Dr. Calaluce has worked in the private sector and in higher education. His most recent appointment was at the University of Missouri, where he was a research assistant professor in the Division of Acute Care and Surgery. Prior to that, he held an appointment at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Calaluce earned his M.D. at the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his residency in General Surgery at the University of Missouri. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Queens College of the City University of New York, in Flushing, N.Y., and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Connecticut.

In his spare time, Dr. Calaluce is an avid runner who enjoys reading, hiking, writing, and baseball. He has coached youth sports for many years and has particular interest in the way proper nutrition can affect athletic performance.

Athletic Department launches MMA Athletic Leadership Council

IMG_9276_estrada_farleyMissouri Military Academy Athletic Director MAJ Kevin Farley has launched the first-ever MMA Athletic Leadership Council as of the start of the spring semester.

The MMA Athletic Leadership Council will work together through a Janssen Sports Leadership Center program under Jeff Janssen, M.S. The program will develop effective leaders whom their coaches respect and teammates trust.

Though some members may not currently be an athletic team captain, they have been identified by a coach or faculty member as possessing the potential to be an outstanding leader.



Pressing down the tip of the scalpel just above the umbilical cord, senior Jose Estrada made the first of many incisions during a fetal pig dissection December 16.

Fifth period biochemistry students Estrada and senior Jared Violette first donned safety goggles, gloves and aprons in preparation for their examination.

“Biochemistry students have been studying human anatomy and physiology, and the fetal pig dissection was the final project for the unit,” high school science instructor Rachel Yim said. “The students did a very careful and thorough dissection.”

Cadets began by determining the animal’s gender (male) and securing each of the specimen’s legs to a corner of their operating pan to allow for easier internal incisions.

The duo began their examination in the thoracic (chest) cavity, dissecting the thymus, thyroid, heart, lungs and trachea. In the abdominal cavity, cadets identified and dissected the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, small and large intestines, kidneys, bladder and testes. Body systems explored included the respiratory, urinary, reproductive and cardiovascular systems.

IMG_9280_nguyenderek_bruce_HuckinsMIDDLE SCHOOL: SYRUP SALESMEN

Eighth grade science students Derek Nguyen, Kevyn Bruce and Thomas Huckins became syrup salesmen December 17, competing to “sell” their company’s product to their “consumer” LTC Willis Kleinsorge.

In the Viscosity Challenge activity, small groups of cadets argued that their brand was the best buy on the basis of viscosity. Before an audience of their classmates, each group demonstrated the superiority of their product when compared to both expensive competitors and cheaper generics.

IMG_9285_nguyenderek_bruce_HuckinsNguyen, Bruce and Huckins compared and contrasted Hungry Jack, Log Cabin, Country Kitchen, Mrs. Butterworth’s and generic Great Value syrups. The trio demonstrated the viscosity of each substance by pouring small amounts of all five down a short ramp and monitoring the speed of their descent.

Other groups of students reviewed shampoo brands and dishwashing detergent products. Each group of cadets developed a means of testing for the physical property of viscosity; ran trials while manipulating the variables; collected data; created tables and graphs of their data; and drafted a business letter to a company represented in their mock investigations. Students could also earn extra credit by developing an advertisement to sell their product to customers.


In late September, each of Veronica Anderson’s students drew the name of a chemical element and decorated a ceiling tile with the properties of their assigned element.

+ Used in streetlights, produces brilliant yellow light
+ Sixth-most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust

+ Atomic number 30
+ Used to treat: stunted growth, acute diarrhea, wound healing

+ Discovered in 1797
+ Atomic number 24
+ First element in Group 6
+ Gray, lustrous, hard and brittle metal
+ Resists tarnishing and has a high melting point
+ CR Oxide used by Chinese over 2000 years ago to cast metal weapons found with the Terracotta Army

Was discovered in 1753 by Claude
+ Ingredient in Pepto Bismol
+ Used to cure heartburn
+ Used in cosmetics

+ Gold is edible
+ 24K gold melts at 1945 °F
+ Aurophobia is the fear of gold
+ Gold is a noble metal
+ Gold is extremely ductile

+ Used in batteries
+ Boiling Point: 2,888 °F
+ Phase at Room Temperature: Solid
+ Density: 6.684 g/cm3

Saddle Up: Inside MMA’s Horseback Program

IMG_8291_sheldon_huntMissouri Military Academy students enrolled in the equine program not only step into the stirrup but step into the world of veterinary science.

During the fall session, cadets watched as a farrier demonstrated how to trim for a balanced foot. According to horseback instructor Julia Hunt, students also participated in “a Q&A session on why quality hoof care is a very important aspect of equine health. No hoof, no horse!”

Cadets enrolled in the winter session visited the Mexico Animal Hospital to shadow Dr. Jessi Ross, DVM, and view microorganisms including round worms, tape worms and strongylidae.

IMG_8441“We observed live equine parasites under the microscope,” Hunt said. “The next step is for the students to de-worm our horses for these parasites.”

During the spring session, students tried their hands at colt breaking and helped vaccinate the MMA horses for flu, tetanus, and diseases such as the West Nile Virus which are caused by biting insects.

“Every horse has something to teach. Every human has something to learn,” Hunt said.


On May 21, cadets Paul Murphy ’18, William Moore ’18 and Justtin Muilenburg ’17 competed in the first Missouri Military Academy rodeo.

The program began with the recitation of the national anthem and included a “salute to the soldiers” presentation. Moore, wearing a traditional soldier’s uniform, circled the fence while Muilenburg paid homage to the many soldiers — and their horses — who died in the Civil War.

“They, just like soldiers, died fighting for this country,” Muilenburg said. “In one day, at the Battle of Burden, seven thousand horses were killed.”

Cadets next competed in two timed contests — barrel racing and pole bending.

Muilenburg took first place in the barrel racing and pole bending competitions while Murphy and Moore took home a third and second place ribbon each. The rodeo wrapped up with an egg carry competition — Moore held his the longest and was declared the winner.

CADET Q&A: junior Joshua Ryan Campbell of Memphis, Tennessee, and freshman Joseph Perry Palen of Cheyenne, Wyoming

IMG_8423_palen_BESTWhat is the best part about being in the horseback program? Why?

The best part about being in the horseback program is how patient the teachers are – because it has taken a while for the horse to get used to me and it was hard to make the horse listen to me at first. PALEN

The best part is seeing back campus and enjoying a smooth ride because it’s relaxing. CAMPBELL

Which MMA horse is your favorite? Why? What do they look like?IMG_8390_campbell

I think my favorite horse is Fancy, because she is the one I ride every day. She is brown with a black stripe going down the middle of her back and black on her belly. PALEN

Lady, because I got to have her last year as my horse and she is the lead horse. She is white with black dots all over her. CAMPBELL

How did you feel the first time you rode a horse? How do you feel now?

When I first rode the horse, I was nervous. And I could tell that is was making the horse nervous too, so I tried to calm down. Now I’m not as nervous anymore, and I can tell that the horse is getting used to me, too. JOSEPH PALEN ‘19

IMG_8266_campbellI first rode a horse when I was 6. I feel very confident about my skills in horseback. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17

What is the hardest thing about horseback riding? What’s the best?

The hardest thing about riding is when you’re learning how to ride the horse. It takes a while, and even when you think you’re done with training, or your teacher tells you you’re done with training, you’re not really, in a way. There are a lot of things to learn even years after the first time you ride a horse. The best thing about riding is discovering those things – discovering the things that you never knew, or even expected. PALEN

IMG_8361_palenThe hardest thing about horseback riding is controlling them. The best thing is when you get to lope them. CAMPBELL

What do you think horseback riding teaches you? Why?

For one, it gives you more strength when you’re throwing the saddle onto the horse’s back. And you discover how [to] lead, even [if] you had never experienced leading anything before — whether it be a platoon, company, battalion. PALEN

Horseback teaches you how to focus and take control so you don’t fall off. CAMPBELL

HS SCIENCE: Yim’s Biology Students Make Kimchi

High school science instructor Rachel Yim and her first, second, fourth and sixth period biology students spent December 15 mixing their own batches of kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish.

The main goal of the cross-cultural sampling project is to study community biology and help students realize that communities come in many forms – even within our bodies.

Communities, Yim said, are groups of various species living in the same habitat and interacting with each other. Her biology students have thus studied miniature communities within the natural lacto-ferments kimchi and pickles.

“Most of my students have never tried dill pickles, kimchi, or both, so it will be a new experience for them,” Yim said. “Additionally, since fermentation is one of the earliest forms of food preservation, it teaches them about food history – and patience, since they have to wait a week for pickles.”

After donning gloves, cadets mixed ingredients including cabbage, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, garlic onion, ginger, radish, carrots and green onions.

“I got my hands down in there and mixed the [sauce],” Nehemiah Simmons said. At home,
he enjoys cooking spaghetti with sliced cabbage instead of noodles.

The fermented salted shrimp or “saeujot” added to the mixture piqued the interest of several students.

“They are literally tiny little shrimp that have been stuck in salt. If you want to try one when we’re done you can. They just taste like salt,” Yim explained, holding up a bottle of miniature shrimp. “All those little black dots you see are their little eyes.”

“The look of the shrimp was pretty cool because besides the fact that they were dead, they looked alive,” Jordan Hornick said. “I don’t cook at home, but I would like to learn. … My job for the kimchi was to mix the veggies and paste and also add the paste to the cabbage.”

group_hornick_pelekanos_myrick_simmons_naughton_cheny_byBOYDAs some students added chopped vegetables to the paste mixture, others squeezed the cabbage to drain excess moisture.

“You really want to get in there and make sure it’s all mixed,” Yim said. “It might get messy!”

Once all ingredients were added and mixed, cadets packed the final product into an airtight container.

IMG_1145_best“You need to pack it down. Make sure that there’s no air in there,” Yim said. “Remember, air is the enemy of our bacteria that we want.”

According to Yim, the project should cultivate bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus, which are beneficial to human digestion and should out-compete any potentially harmful bacteria originally present in the ferments.

YIMAfter two days stored at room temperature, the kimchi will be ready for cadets to enjoy.

First-year science instructor Rachel Yim graduated cum laude from Luther College in Iowa with degrees in Psychology and Biology, and earned an M.A. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Missouri with hours toward a Ph.D. Yim has taught biological anthropology and biology at the undergraduate level, and was named a National Science Foundation GK-12 ShowMe Nature Fellow while teaching fifth grade science during graduate school. Her students wrote a grant proposal and were awarded $1000 to conduct an original research project studying wildlife in the four habitats located on their school’s grounds. In her free time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband and their beagle, as well as reading, boxing, swimming, and spending time outdoors.



SPORTS BRIEFS: Basketball & Wrestling


The Missouri Military Academy Fighting Colonels wrestlers competed in their first tournament of the season December 5. Cadets faced 24 opposing teams and finished in 8th place, scoring 51 points.

Six of the 8 MMA wrestlers who competed placed in the top 8 of their respective brackets.

Yunil Jeon, fourth place, 126  lbs, 2-2 with two wins via pin fall
Oscar Garcia, third place, 145 lbs, 3-1 with two wins via pin fall and one via decision
Gregory Prinster, eighth place, 160 lbs, 1-4 with pin at 3:11 mark
Charles Norman, fifth place, 182 lbs, 2-2 with wins via pin
Evan Willimon, sixth place, 195 lbs, 1-3 with pin at 1:31 mark
Sky Thunderchild, sixth place, 285 lbs

IMG_1793Both competing in their first tournaments, Edward Cha went 0-4 in the 152 lbs bracket while Samuel Guo went 1-2 with a win via pin fall in the 170 lbs bracket.


The Fighting Colonels fell to St. James High School by 64-31 on November 30 during the first round of the Sullivan FCNB Bank-It Championship.

IMG_9096_chinguun_bestThe score was close in the first quarter, with MMA behind 10 to 9, but the Colonels eventually fell behind.

“I believe this team has potential to do some surprising things,” head coach Kevin Bissmeyer said. “We are showing tenacity on the court and a willingness to sacrifice and do things the right way for the team. … Although we came up short this time we will keep pounding the rock; eventually it will all come together.”

Bilguun Byambatsogt led the MMA scorers with 9 points. Robert Shields and Jose Elizondo each contributed 7 points.

The Fighting Colonels returned to the Sullivan FCNB Bank-It Tournament on December 1, ultimately falling 88-28 to Park Hills High School. Cadets wrapped up their championship run December 4 with a 56-22 loss to Potosi.

16_BEST_fitzgerald_altangerel_chinguunThe varsity Colonels fell 71-41 to Owensville in their home opener December 7, while the junior varsity team lost 43-26.

Cadets next faced Wright City on December 10, ultimately falling 60-56 in a closely contested match.

In the final minute of the varsity game, MMA lessened Wright City’s lead from 10 points to 4 points.

“We are starting to build something,” Bissmeyer said. “The team is getting better at doing the little things the right way. … If we can make a couple small adjustments, with the effort these cadets have been putting in, winning will eventually take care of itself.”

The junior varsity team fell to Wright City 36-29. Notable performers were: Bayar-Erdene Oldokhbayar with 14 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds; Bilguun Byambatsogt with 12 points and 4 rebounds; and Sean Fitzgerald with 9 points, 4 rebounds and a block.

IMG_9073_mugabo_BESTCadets earned their first win of the season 66-56 over the Silex Owls in the Centennial Gymtorium on December 15. The score sat at 34-25 at the half and the Colonels continued to win, up by 16 points in the third quarter. Silex took the game to within 8 points late in the fourth quarter, but MMA proved victorious.

“It was a hard fought game with several early lead changes, but MMA was able to pull away,” Bissmeyer said. “The MMA players stayed disciplined.”

Bayar-Erdene Oldokbayar registered a triple double with 14 points 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Jose Elizondo had a double- double with 13 rebounds, 14 points and two blocks. Robert Shields had 9 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds while Victor Leon made 13 points, 5 rebounds and two blocks.

IMG_0557_knipfer_intramural_BESTThe junior varsity Colonels also defeated Silex by 45-16.

“The JV team took advantage of their height in this game,” Bissmeyer said. “MMA played fast, rebounded well and stayed out of foul trouble which allowed them to pull away as the game progressed.”

Top JV performers were: Julien Mugabo with 8 points, 6 blocks, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; Jean-Luc Shyaka with 9 points, 5 rebounds and a block; Victor Leon with 6 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks; and Eugenio Felix with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.

The varsity Colonels next faced Higbee, falling 52-44 on December 17 in the Centennial Gymtorium. MMA’s record sits at 1-3 going into the holiday break.

Cadets took a 7-0 lead at the start but fell behind in the second quarter. Higbee’s lead grew as high as 20 points ahead, but MMA fought back and narrowed the gap to 6 points with just over two minutes left in the game.

IMG_9757_leonv_bestOldokhbayar contributed 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists; Estrada had 13 points and 8 rebounds.

“We did a good job of getting good shots – they just weren’t falling. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes your shots just don’t fall and the other team’s do,” Bissmeyer said. “The boys showed a lot of heart on the court the last few games. … If we are able to come together as a team and fix the little things after our holiday break, these boys have the potential to do some really good things!”

Though varsity fell, the junior varsity squad proved triumphant 56-25 and enters the holiday break with a 2-2 record.

IMG_9834_altangerelCadets notched nine three-pointers total. Kirkland led the team with 19 points, 4 rebounds and an assist; Altangerel had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Altangerel, Leon, Mugabo and Wang together combined for six blocks.

“[Our] shooting tonight was outstanding,” Bissmeyer said. “The boys are doing a great job of getting to their spots and taking confident shots when the opportunity presents itself.”