Category Archives: Middle School

Commencement 2016

3_nguyenderekTHURSDAY, MAY 26:

Commencement Weekend kicked off on Thursday, May 26 with the 84th annual Wallace Fry Public Speaking Contest, which is held in honor of W. Wallace Fry, Jr. of the MMA class of 1903.

Three middle school students and four high school students vied for the top prize. The contest began with seventh grade speaker Tamar Modise whose speech was entitled, Do You Care? Homelessness in the USA. Modise was followed by eighth grader Derek Nguyen, whose speech was entitled, Society’s Codependence with the Environment.

“New technology has changed the interaction of people with the environment,” said Nguyen, who urged audience members to consider the impact that pollution and industry have on the planet. “We discovered atoms. … But at the same time, those atoms were used for nuclear warfare.”

The final middle school speaker was eighth grader Nehemiah Simmons, whose speech was entitled, The Irrelevance of the Constitution. Simmons argued that too few American citizens are aware of the inner workings of the U.S. government and the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

6_simmons“With the prudent use of our individual votes, we … can ensure that we are a government of the people, by the people and for the people,” Simmons concluded.

The first high school speaker was sophomore Francisco Fletes whose speech was entitled, Depression: The Silent Murderer. He began his address with a hypothetical scenario, asking the audience to imagine themselves in a large crowd of people.

“Not one of them seems to notice you. You are waving your arms. You are screaming out. You are begging to be noticed. No one even bats an eye,” Fletes said. “This is how many adolescents suffering from depression really feel.”

The sophomore spoke of the teen suicide rate, which has decreased since 1986 but has recently begun to spike, and urged his fellow students to reach out to friends who seem distant or troubled.

15_fletesUp next was senior Kyle Mertens, whose speech was entitled, Rewards as a Detriment to Competition. Mertens, who argued that awards such as Employee of the Month are detrimental to worker performance and morale, competed in the speech contest for the second consecutive year.

“When one is comparing themselves to others, it’s very difficult for them to move forward,” he said. “Not everyone can win.”

Juniors Hector Villanueva (The True Cost of Contact Sports) and Michael Wetzel (The Ultimate Honor) spoke next, followed by a short intermission allowing the trio of judges to deliberate. Returning judge Lou Leonatti, J.D. of Leonatti & Baker PC was joined by Dr. Kurt Jefferson of Westminster College and Patrick Morgan, J.D. of the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office.

Simmons received The Joy McGeorge Middle School Oratory Award, which is presented to the middle school cadet whose speech is judged to be the best on the basis of charismatic and knowledgeable oratory skill.

Fletes received The W. Wallace Fry Cup for Excellence in Speaking, which is presented to the cadet whose speech is judged to be the best on the basis of delivery, content and depth of thought.

bruce -- by FosterFRIDAY, MAY 27: MS FINAL ASSEMBLY

Commencement continued on Friday, May 27 with the Company Competitive Drill. Each company completed a prescribed set of maneuvers on the drill field and were judged by JROTC and Commandant’s Office staffers. Echo Company was declared the winner for the second consecutive year.

Following the Competitive Drill, sixth to eighth grade cadets and their families gathered in the Memorial Chapel for the Middle School Final Assembly. After a short greeting by Associate Dean for the Middle School Edsel Baker, Commandant of Cadets LTC Greg Seibert took the stage to present barracks and military awards.

Best Squad Leader Award: Nehemiah Simmons

Piper Barracks Award, given to the cadet receiving the fewest checks during the school year: Michael Naughton

G. David Bailey Discipline Trophy, for the cadet with the fewest disciplinary reports for the entire year: Kevyn Bruce

AT2 Jorge Soriano ’89 next presented the Major George T. Piper Award for Outstanding Middle School Athlete to Jordan Hornick.

Up next was LTC Willis Kleinsorge, who presented Spring Family Weekend Science Fair awards, followed by the presentation of academic honors.

Academic Fourragere, Marking Period V: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton. Academic Fourragere, Marking Period IV: Enrique Acevedo, Dongyang Chen, Nicholas Gonzalez, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Santiago Sanchez, Nehemiah Simmons. Academic Fourragere, Marking Period VI: Enrique Acevedo, Dongyang Chen, Nicolas Gonzalez, Jordan Hornick, Thomas Huckins, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Derek Nguyen, Santiago Sanchez, Nehemiah Simmons. (To earn Academic Fourragere, cadets must earn a 3.7 grade point average for the marking period.)

Delta Phi Honor Sociey, middle school members: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Santiago Sanchez, Nehemiah Simmons.

acevedo_simmons_gonzalezn_naughton_hornick -- by FosterScholarship Medal, given for an average GPA of 3.7 or higher during fall 2015: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton, Nehemiah Simmons.

Scholarship Medal, given for an average GPA of 3.7 or higher during spring 2016: Dongyang Chen, Jordan Hornick, Scout Jones, Michael Naughton.

AT2 Jorge Soriano ’89 and Baker next took the stage to present the final batch of middle school honors and conduct the eighth grade promotion ceremony. Diplomas were awarded to 23 students.

Derrill S. Kuhlman Award, for extraordinary achievement in math and science; and Highest Scholarship in the Sixth Grade: Scout Jones

Highest Scholarship in the Seventh Grade: Santiago Sanchez
Highest Scholarship in the Eighth Grade: Dongyang Chen & Michael Naughton
Richard White Improvement Plaque: Dongyang Chen
Judy A. Twells Middle School Drama Award: Alain Mestre

Faculty Plaque, awarded to an eight grade cadet who has shown the most leadership, cooperation and loyalty; and the Rotary Club Service Above Self Award, given to the cadet who, in the opinion of the faculty and staff, has been the most reliable helper during the school year: Michael Naughton

Paul Petit Award for International Relations, given to eighth grader(s) who have helped improve international relations in the middle school: Enrique Acevedo & Derek Nguyen

rodriguezc -- by FosterHal Heyman Memorial Award, for the eighth grader who, in the opinion of the faculty, possesses those characteristics that distinguish an All American Boy; and the Col. Jerome G. Harris Plaque, awarded to the most soldierly middle school cadet: Nehemiah Simmons

Petit Fellowship Cup, awarded to a cadet exhibiting the best fellowship for the year: Kevyn Bruce

Rotary “Leaders of Tomorrow” Award and $100 stipend:
Michael Naughton & Nehemiah Simmons

LT Governor Joe Maxwell Community Service Award, given to the middle schooler who contributed the highest number of community service hours: Oscar Lopez Benavides, 182.5 hours

President’s Award for Educational Excellence: Dongyang Chen, Michael Naughton & Nehemiah Simmons. (Given to eighth grade students who: earn a GPA of 3.5 or more for two or more consecutive years; and score in the 85th percentile in reading or math.)

President’s Award for Educational Achievement: Jordan Hornick


As middle school students and their families gathered in the Memorial Chapel, freshman through senior students and their families attended the High School Final Assembly. Accompanied by the MMA Band, the Corps of Cadets marched into the Centennial Gymtorium and recited the National Anthem before taking their seats

Academy President Charles McGeorge welcomed the crowd and spoke briefly about his favorite poem — Invictus — which a high school teacher shared with him during a tough time in his life.

The first batch of awards were presented by Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi.

fitzgerald_conyers_duing_lomasfreddie -- byECDavid Whitney ’54 Conservation Plaque, given for interest in and appreciation of conservation: Joseph Mulvey

Senator John C. Danforth Plaque for outstanding knowledge and appreciation of constitutional government: Maverick Jones

William F. Enright, Jr. ’37 Memorial Award for proficiency in business and computer studies: John Curley

Major William Bryan Essay Medal for excellence in writing: Alexander Seibert
Senator Thomas F. Eagleton Plaque for Excellence in Senior English: Connor Cunningham
Senator Thomas F. Eagleton Plaque for Excellence in Junior English: Sean Fitzgerald
Eugene Lamm Memorial Award for the most improved ESL student: Haozhang Li

Sylvia Mansfield Memorial Award and $200 stipend for ESL student(s) who have demonstrated great improvement in English: Yuqi Jin & Tamir Nyamdavaa

Next up was bandmaster WO2 Andrew “Freddie” Lomas with music awards.

welchjulia -- byECLTC E.R. Jackson Music Award for distinguished service to the music program: Robert Moore

COL Paul F. Cherches Memorial Award for the Most Valuable Band Member: Ethan Eisenmann

Streep Brothers Band Awards for loyalty, active participation, punctuality and good performance: sophomore Mitchell Duing, junior Sean Fitzgerald, senior Jacob Conyers

Following a performance of Like an Eagle by the Cadet Chorus, CPT Carl Estenik and SFC John Biddle took the stage to present military awards.

Master Sergeant Billy Crawford Memorial Award for Military Courtesy: Robert Van Huss
Military Policeman of the Year: Victor Armando Leon
Scottish Rite Free Mason Leadership Award: Ethan Istas
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War JROTC Award for patriotism: Sean Hannagan
Daedalian JROTC Medal: Connor Cunningham
National Sojourners Award for encouragement and demonstration of Americanism: Sean Fitzgerald
Fusilier of the Year: Carlos Liriano
Daughters of the American Revolution History Medal for essay writing: Gabriel Elizondo
Raider of the Year: Kian Moriarty
Special Forces Association Medal for an Outstanding Raider: Jason Russell

choir_shoemaker2 -- byECDaughters of the American Revolution Award for outstanding ability and achievement: Oscar Cortada

Military Order of the World Wars Award for improvement in military and academic studies: Cody Allen

Military Officers Association of America Medal recognizing exceptional potential for military leadership: Ethan Eisenmann

gasteluma -- byECVeterans of Foreign Wars JROTC Award for excellence; and ROTC Distinguished Service Award for contributions to ROTC: Alfonso Leon

U.S. Daughters of 1812 Award for academic excellence, leadership and discipline: Turbold Tumurkhuu

Guests from multiple organizations also presented military and leadership awards.

Sons of the American Revolution medal for leadership and military bearing: Ngonga Mugabo
(Presented by Sons of the American Revolution representative Albert “Buff” Chance ’71)

Military Order of Purple Heart National Leadership Medal: Orlando Farias
(Presented by SSG Ralph Skelly, WWII veteran and recipient of The Purple Heart)

U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award for an outstanding scholar-athlete: Jesus Gracia
U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award in recognition of outstanding achievement
and contributions to the JROTC program:
Miguel Gonzalez
(Presented by SGT Nathaniel Herndon, U.S. Army National Guard Recruiting representative)

American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence, upperclassman: Russell Holman
American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence, underclassman: Aaron Thompson
American Legion Award for Military Excellence: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj
(Presented by LTC John Buckwalter, American Legion Zone I-Vice Commander)

The following athletic awards were presented by Athletic Director MAJ Kevin Farley.

Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award: Alejandro Gastelum
Joe D. Bailey Award for Most Dedicated Varsity Athlete: Robert Shields
Outstanding MMA Athlete: Sean Fitzgerald

giuseffi -- byECThe following discipline and leadership awards were presented by Commandant of Cadets LTC Greg Seibert.

Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award: Richard Choy

Meritas Plaque for Excellence in Discipline: Victor Arturo Leon, Julien Mugabo, Nyamkhuu Chinguun, Eduardo Gonzalez, Thomas Dean, Jose Elizondo, Turbold Tumurkhuu, Mitchell Duing, Yinzhou Wang, Gabriel Vallejo.

istas_albertsen_gonzalezem_choy -- byECRichard Hall Memorial Award for an Underclassman Who Best Exemplifies the True Gentleman: Gabriel Elizondo

Residential Faculty of the Year Award, given to the mentor who has made an impact on the lives of the cadets in their company: LT Zoe Alsbury

Following a performance of Benedictus by the MMA Band, Academy President Charles McGeorge presented a number of behavioral awards.

AMSCUS Medal for integrity, scholarship, leadership and service: Oscar Cortada
Steve Walker Memorial Award for an Outstanding First-Year Cadet: Jared Violette
Jack Meyers ’39, Memorial Cup for Most Creative Cadet: Naranmandakh Ayulgui
Otto Ferguson Aviation Award is given to the first cadet in the corps to fly solo: Mauro Garza

McGeorge also recognized staffers for their years of service to the Academy.

Five years: Edsel Baker, CPT Murrell Adams, Deanna Blair, Chad Herron, Julia Welch.
Fifteen years: David Cross, MAJ Ananta Khanal.
Twenty years: Melody Daly, MAJ Peggy Reynard.
Thirty years: LTC Willis Kleinsorge.


Following the Baccalaureate ceremony in the Memorial Chapel, seniors and their families headed to the Centennial Gymtorium for the 33rd annual Senior Banquet.

One by one, each senior stepped through an arch of sabers for the final time, then descended the stage and was formally inducted into the MMA Alumni Association. Each senior’s name, college choice and photograph were projected as he crossed the stage.

conyersToasts were led by five-year cadet and Senior Class President Yunil Jeon.

“Every single lesson we have learned from this school,” Jeon said, “will help us to make the correct decisions when we are out in the real world, when we are struggling.”

Connor Cunningham then delivered the Class Chronicle, which featured photographs of each member of the Class of 2016.

moorer3“No matter how long we have known each other, we are brothers for the rest of our lives,” Cunningham said.

Alumni Association President Jeffrey R. Kays ’84 next took the podium and spoke of the “shared heritage” of every MMA graduate. According to Kays, a nine-year cadet who served as Battalion Adjutant his senior year, not becoming involved sooner in the MMA Alumni Association was a big mistake.

“If we had never met before but we somehow met in passing, say at an airport or a football game, we would immediately have a bond,” Kays said. “Even though I am 33 years older than you and we are may be from different continents, we would immediately know something about each other because we shared some of the same experiences.”

carter1The following awards were presented during the Senior Banquet.

Richard Cooper ’82 Plaque for the senior with the longest unbroken tenure as a cadet: David Lazcano, 5 years

American Veterans Medal for Military Excellence: Russell Holman

American Veterans Medal for Leadership: Thomas Dean. (Presented by American Veterans of Missouri representative SGT Carol Thompson and CPT Carl Estenik.)

Alumni Plaque for the Senior Voted Most Likely to Succeed: Matheus Alexandre
William S. Lowe Trophy: Eduardo Gonzalez
COL Jerome G. Harris Cup for Soldierly Qualities: Rene Padilla

IMG_1741COL Veon McConnell Korean Trophy for a cadet officer who performs his duty with diligence: Alfonso Leon

Dr. Gregory “Doc” McDonald Award, given to the cadet who demonstrates the MMA Honor Code and values: Damdinbazar Sumiyabazar

Class of 1984 Unhearalded Leader Award, given to a senior cadet who is not an officer, but is respected by his classmates and is considered an instrumental part of pulling the class together: William Carter

The banquet concluded with the singing of Old MMA led by Cadet Chorus member Eduardo Gonzalez and a benediction led by Class Vice President Jose Estrada.


Senior students gathered on the parade field for the final time on the morning of May 28. During this special Battalion Review, Battalion Commander for the 2015-16 school year Mohammad Emran Babak ’16 presented incoming BC cadet Gregory Prinster ’17 with the Davison Saber. As the ceremony ended, cadets seniors marched toward the Centennial Gymtorium with their families following suit.

24_group_tumurkhuu_dean_leona_leea_snyder_byECThe 2016 Commencement ceremony began as faculty members and seniors performed their traditional march into the Centennial Gymtorium to the tune of Marche Militaire. Leading the procession was LTC Willis Kleinsorge with the Class of 2015 Mace. After the posting of the colors and the Pledge of Allegiance, Academy President Charles McGeorge took the stage to welcome attendees.

The following awards were presented by Associate Dean for the Middle School Edsel Baker and Academic Dean Dr. Frank Giuseffi.

Stribling Cup for Highest Efficiency in the Middle School: Nehemiah Simmons
Sen. Christopher S. Bond Award for Outstanding Middle School Underclassman: Nicolas Gonzalez
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Freshman Class: Angel Alcaraz
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Sophomore Class: Gabriel Vallejo
Plaque for Highest Scholarship in the Junior Class: Gregory Prinster

babak2Following performances of You Raise me Up and the Battle Hymn of the Republic by the Cadet Chorus, McGeorge took the stage to present two staff awards.

Abbott-Albright Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to the outstanding teacher for the academic year: Cheryl Morris

Heimos Trophy for a faculty or staff member voted by fellow faculty members to have done the most for the boys during the year: MAJ Mike Pemberton

gonzaleze_ayulguiSalutatorian and Class President Yunil Jeon next presented McGeorge with a $1,550 check from the senior class, which will purchase a Marine Corps bench for the memorial wall.

Up next were the discipline and highly-coveted company competition awards, which were presented by McGeorge.

Robert H. Weaver Memorial Award:
Dr. Russell Holman & Mrs. Laura Holman
(Given to those who best exemplify unconditional effort on behalf of the Academy and Corps of Cadets; work towards the goals established by the Parents & Alumni Committee; and display unceasing drive and commitment throughout the year to better life at the Academy.)

Fritsch Plaque and stipend for the eleventh grade cadet who exemplifies honor, good discipline, academic excellence and service: Alejandro Gastelum

holmanDorsey Anderson Class of 1895 Cup for the Cadet Exerting the Most Gentlemanly Example: Russell Holman

Red Ireland ’41 Trophy for a Fighting Heart, for the cadet who displays loyalty and courage: Donald Williams

Mustang Scholars Foundation Plaque, awarded to the cadet who promotes multiculturalism in the Corps: Matheus Alexandre

M-Club Award, Highest Disciplinary Standing & Highest Scholastic Standing: Band Company
Highest Athletic Standing & Highest Military Standing: Bravo Company
Company Spirit Award: Delta Company
Honor Company: Charlie Company

Don Hooton Class of 1919 Fellowship Cup, awarded to the cadet voted by the Corps to be the Senior Most Valuable to the Institution: Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj

Outstanding Performance by a Company Commander Plaque: Eduardo Gonzalez
Charles I. “Stony” Wall Class of 1922 Cup: Eduardo Gonzalez
neimeyer(The second-highest leadership award given to an MMA cadet. Awarded to a cadet who displays the traits of character, leadership, scholarship and service upon which the Academy was founded.)

Cadets Charles Eckardt and Emran Babak next took the stage to receive their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Medals, which were the first gold awards presented in the state of Missouri. For more information about their Adventurous Journey, click here. Babak next received the Legion of Honor, the highest award which can be given to an MMA cadet, which is awarded to an outstanding cadet who demonstrates industry, integrity, leadership and loyalty to MMA.

After receiving the Dr. James C. Olson Award for the Highest Scholarship in the Class of 2016, valedictorian Nishan Khanal took the stage to present his remarks. He was followed by commencement speaker Dr. Charles P. Neimeyer, Director of Marine Corps History and the Gray Research Center at Marine Corps University.

After a performance of The 1812 Overture by the MMA Band, seniors received their diplomas and walked across the stage, pausing to pose for a photographs. The ceremony concluded with the singing of Old MMA and the retiring of the colors.


The 127th Corps of Cadets marched from the Gymtorium to the front lawn, forming up for the final moments of their time as cadets at MMA. Family members and friends crowded the roped-off grass, snapping photos as seniors marched to the edge of Teardrop Lake. Upon command by Battalion Commander Emran Babak ’16, graduating seniors plunged their sabers into the grass, placed their hats upon their hilts, and saluted as the sound of Taps (led by bugler Mitchell Duing) echoed across the silent grounds.

As the final note faded, emotional seniors embraced one another for several minutes, tearfully hugging their brothers. The crowd of family members, faculty and friends soon flooded the grounds. A period of tearful goodbyes and hugs followed, as those with early flights home broke off and departed campus.

Middle schoolers set sail across Teardrop Lake in cardboard boat

On May 4, with plastic-wrapped paddles fashioned from lacrosse sticks, five students and history instructor LT Kevin Bissmeyer set sail across Teardrop Lake in a cardboard boat.

Cadets who braved the maiden voyage were seventh grader Robert Abbott and eighth graders Kevyn Bruce, Jordan Hornick, Isaac Gastelum and Nehemiah Simmons.

painting“The boys designed and built the boat themselves, with a little help from myself and Coach Bissmeyer,” CPT John Noel said. “We used over 600 yards of Duct Tape, three gallons of Elmer’s glue and over 150 pounds of cardboard.”

According to Noel, the project was devised to simulate the famous crossing of the Delaware River by George Washington. The attack, which was depicted in a well-known painting by Emanuel Leutze, IMG_20160428_215108_123surprised the Hessian and British forces in 1776 during the Revolutionary War.

“Named The Christmas Nightmare after the events of the Battle of Trenton, which occurred on Christmas, this cardboard beauty was constructed sporadically over a two month period by the 8th grade social studies classes of CPT Noel and myself,” Bissmeyer said.

Cadets originally intended to participate in the Float for the Food Bank race April 30 but
were unable to attend due to inclement weather.
28_best_bissmeyer_hornick_simmons_gastelum_abbottThe boat sailed for 6 minutes and 27 seconds before it was dragged ashore by “deck hand” Guido Arredondo ’20. The vessel teetered a few times during the voyage, but no passengers fell into the water.

“I didn’t know cardboard could float,” onlooker freshman Sergio Contreras said. “It was fantastic how it could actually float.”


Building the boat was hard and took time and patience — waiting for the glue to dry and cutting everything out and putting Duct Tape on. Kevyn Bruce ’20

The hardest part was when we first started, because we didn’t have an idea of what should we do. Enrique Acevedo ’20

Building the skeleton of the boat. We had to make sure it was super stable. Jordan Hornick ’20

group_hornick_simmons_gastelumi_abbott_bissmeyer_bruce_arredondoDID YOU EXPECT THE BOAT TO SINK?

I thought it would sink. Michael Naughton ’20

After I saw the boat was complete, it looked sturdy and huge so I knew the boat would float. Kevyn Bruce ’20

I expected it to float, but only for a short bit of time. Jordan Hornick ’20

Yes, because was cardboard and there were a lot of people in the boat. Enrique Acevedo ’20


8I was proud of … the boat and it was a success. Kevyn Bruce ’20

Surprised. I didn’t think we would’ve made it that far. Jordan Hornick ’20

I felt great because the boat didn’t sink and it was worth it. Enrique Acevedo ’20

For video of the boat launch, click here.


Missouri Military Academy’s 2016 Spring Family Weekend

4.16.16_nguyenderek_rodriguezc_courtLTCKOn 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

Eighth Grade
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

Seventh Grade
First Place: Nicolas Gonzalez & Santiago Sanchez, Thermal Conductivity
Honorable Mention: Tamar Modise, The Big Bubble

Sixth Grade
First Place: Scout Jones, Electrolysis
Honorable Mention: Alexander Sheldon, Super Absorbent Polymer

IMG_9223_sheldon_blaue_robley_quinnFollowing 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.

Silver Medals
Yunil Jeon
Russell Holman

Bronze Medals
Nyamkhuu Chinguun
Sugar Dashdavaa
Davaasuren Dashdavaa
Hector Villanueva
Ramon Rodriguez
Oybek Kirkland
Alexander Seibert
Benjamin Snider-Bilbrey
Weitao Cong
Robert Shields
Alejandro Gastelum


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.

IMG_9106_TOUCHETTEThe 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.4.19.16_MooreL_byEC

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.

Oscar Cortada
Christian Foster
Jonathan James
Scout Jones
Lucas Moore
William Moore
Brennan Morand
Nathan Nolan
Alexander Seibert
Justin Touchette


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.

IMG_8845“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

IMG_8857Pablo 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

IMG_9072_lomasfreddie_jeonBAND AWARDS

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.


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.

IMG_9288_padillareneThe 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



ACADEMIC BRIEFS: Shadow Day & Dissections


On January 12, the sixth grade class spent fourth period dissecting turkey wings in LTC Willis Kleinsorge’s science classroom.

Cadets donned protective goggles and aprons and wielded scalpels and scissors, separating the skin from the bones in order to view the muscles.

Kleinsorge also indicated a coloration change from pink tissue to white, from muscle to tendon. Cadets learned to identify bones, tendons, tissues, muscles, ball and socket joints and hinge joints.

“This is a muscle bundle,” Kleinsorge said. “That’s one muscle. Is that the bicep, tricep?”

IMG_0479_boydOn March 10, sixth graders again wielded scalpels and dissected animal tissues – this time the heart, esophagus and lungs of a cow.

Students began with the heart, identifying the cardiac muscle tissue, atrium and ventricle.

“See how small it is compared to the ventricle?” Kleinsorge said of the atrium. “The ventricle is huge.”

When examining the lungs, the class reflected on what effects smoking would have on the tissue.

“[The lung] becomes really hard and black,” Kleinsorge said. “It doesn’t allow the air to pass through there.”

The dissection lab ended with a discussion of the esophagus and vocal chords. As his classmates watched, Nathan Nolan blew into a bag attached to the esophagus and inflated the lungs.

3.10.16_camou_arredondo_byFosterMIDDLE SCHOOL SHADOW DAY

Eighth grade students got a taste of high school on March 10, as they shadowed freshmen and sophomores and attended upper-level classes.

Q: Why do you think shadow day is important?

To show what high school is going to be like. Zeth Colin ‘19

To help prepare middle school students for high school. Jordan Hornick ‘20

3.10.16_huckins_hamm1_byFosterQ: How was the day?

He was quiet in most of my classes. … He just looked on as we continued class as normal. Edward Cha ‘18

I learned about high school classes. Kevyn Bruce ’20

I thought it was really fun having my brother in class with me. He’s my brother and we get along pretty well. I taught him how to play some of the instruments in the band room. It was really fun having my brother learn with me. Jackson Ford ‘18

Q: Would you do it again?
Yes. It was fun. Alain Mestre ‘20
Yes. It was pretty unique. Richard Choy ‘19
Absolutely. Jackson Ford ‘18
Yes. I learned what my brother’s day was like. Ethan Ford ‘20


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)

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.



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

Forty-five cadets earn Academic Fourragere

fourragereforwebAs per Special Order No. 20, forty-five middle and high school students received Academic Fourragere on November 15, having displayed outstanding academic achievement for the first marking period.

Private Angel Alcaraz
Master Sergeant Fahad Aliev
First Lieutenant Mohammad Babak
Sergeant First Class Purevsuren Bayanbaatar
Master Sergeant Bilguun Byambatsogt
Private First Class Juan Cepeda
Private Edward Cha, Syosset
Private Dongyang Chen
First Sergeant Oscar Cortada
Private Drake Davis
Sergeant First Class Thomas Dean
Private Jose Elizondo
Master Sergeant Orlando Farias
Private First Class Francisco Fletes
Master Sergeant Mauro Garza
Private Malachi Grice
Private Samuel Guo
Master Sergeant Russell Holman
Private Second Class Jordan Hornick
Second Lieutenant Yun Il Jeon
Private Scout Jones
Corporal Nishan Khanal
Sergeant First Class Chinguun Khatigin
Private First Class Oybek Kirkland
Second Lieutenant David Lazcano
Private First Class Qiyu Liu
Second Lieutenant Enkhbilegt Luvsandorj
Private Zhicheng Mao
Private First Class Gavin Martin
Private First Class Kyle Mertens
Sergeant Ngonga Mugabo
Private Second Class Michael Naughton
Corporal Bayar-Erdene Oldokhbayar
Sergeant First Class Christian Paz
Private Gabriel Perez
Corporal Photsavat Pongsuea
Sergeant Gregory Prinster
Private Santiago Sanchez
Private Nehemiah Simmons
Private Ulysses Suarez
Private First Class Gabriel Vallejo
Sergeant Hector Villanueva
Private Jared Violette
Private Yinzhou Wang
Private Xin Xia


BOYDThe following are writing assignments from the notebook of student-journalist and sixth grader Quinten Boyd of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

Why do so many civilizations have so many similarities? I think so many civilizations have so many similarities because they all took the experiences of the people before them. It was like a ladder. We will take the tools the Sumerians used and we will use them. Let’s take the chariot and use that. Things started to get more high and advanced. The longer we live, the more things get advanced. That is just how the ladder works. This generation creates something, then another generation makes that same thing but with a few more gadgets or parts. Then another generation creates it a lot better than that generation. It is like a competition between all of these generations and cultures. And that is why I think so many civilizations have so many similarities.

How I Help Others: When I care about people, I help them and make them feel good. When my sister fell off a deck and broke her leg, I carried her all the way up the stairs. I almost dropped her because she was heavy and I pushed through it and I got her up the stairs. Once I saw a hurt bird on the ground and I helped it. I put in my room with food and cared for it gave it water. And I cared for my mom when she slipped on ice. I took care of her and made her food and cleaned the house and made dinner. I put my brother and sister to bed, did my homework then helped my siblings with their homework. I made a snack for them and I spent all the time I had with my mom. I was at the skate park and a kid pushed a kid off his bike, so I told the kid to stop. I tried to stop these kids from fighting.

Lessons I Have Learned: Being respectful is very important in life. How are you going to get a job if you don’t show respect? I listen to orders and I do what I am supposed to do. When I was four years old I stole bubble gum. I didn’t tell my mom but she figured it out. She asked me where I got it. I told her I got it from the store. She made me go say sorry and give it back. I already ate some so we had to buy the pack of bubble gum. Now I tell the truth and do not lie.

Selfless Service with a Smile: Fall Community Service Day

IMG_5626_garzaDThe cities of Auxvasse, Fulton, Columbia and Mexico received a helping hand from Missouri Military Academy cadets on September 29 – the Academy’s annual Fall Community Service Day.


After tidying up the grounds of the Audrain County Historical Society, MAJ Mike Shoemaker’s students joined MAJ Larry McClarey’s advisees to organize props and clear out old set pieces at the Presser Hall Performing Arts Center.

Our advisory group went to Presser Hall and helped the folks over there with carrying their props and relocating them. We made shelves, then we stacked the shelves with the theatre props and including flowers, typewriters, cameras, vases, liquor and weapons which all look so realistic but are actually fake and so light and easy to use. BILGUUN BYAMBATSOGT ‘16


LT Sean Peters’ advisees organized a supply shed, walked dogs and socialized cats and kittens at the Mexico Animal Shelter.

IMG_5201_pinks_DEANI helped at the animal shelter last year and enjoyed working with the dogs and cats. When we arrived at the shelter, they told us that we needed to organize the back storage shed. The back storage shed consisted of bags upon bags of dog food, cat food and cat litter. The amount of spiders in the room was unbelievable! We had to take all of the bags and boxes out of the room so we could sweep the floor. We then sorted the boxes and bags by size and color before we put them back into the room.

After we finished the storage room, we split up into groups for the next two jobs. The first group went to the shelter’s truck, which they use to transport the animals, and cleaned it spotless. I was part of the second group in charge of cleaning all of the windows in the building. As we cleaned the windows, we visited with the baby kittens and saw some that were born just one week before we arrived. Even though they looked like rats, they were still very cute. The bigger cats loved to climb up on your shoulders. My favorite kitten was this two week old ginger cat with light blue eyes who didn’t seem to be too interested in the people crowding around his cage.

Overall, this year’s community service day was a blast. The dogs and cats at the shelter were extremely cute and fun to play with. The back storage room is the cleanest it’s been in a long time. I enjoyed helping out at the animal shelter and I am looking forward to the next community service day in the future. THOMAS DEAN ‘16IMG_5482_nguyenDerek


LT Steven Manning’s advisees dug weeds, pruned bushes and swept sidewalks while tidying the grounds of the J.B. & Greeta B. Arthur Cancer Center. ESL instructors Lu Shu and Cheryl Lu combined their advisories and picked up litter at a local park and alongside Pollock Road.

I had three bags full of trash that I picked up, so I felt really good about that. TUGULDUR ALTANGEREL ’17


SFC John Biddle and LT Steven Maziarz accompanied students to the Missouri Veterans Home, where they washed dishes in the cafeteria and played bingo with residents.

My favorite thing about community service day is going to the VA home and being able to help them there. During community service day I went around the parking lot and the back area with my group and we picked up trash all around and filled two bags full of trash. We helped serve food to the residents and we were able to talk with them and get to know what life was like at the VA home. It IMG_5443_hackerwas also very fun to get to know a little history as well. After we helped clean up the food left over from the residents we were able to go to the cafeteria and get our food. We sat outside for a while to eat our food. When we went in to play bingo with the residents we realized it would be a very intense game. There were a lot of winners and a lot of game faces shown by the residents. At the end of the day I was glad I was able to go to the VA home and help the residents and staff there. I hope that I will be able to do it again the next time we have community service day. ALEXANDER SEIBERT ‘18

We visited three nursing homes with different personalities in the air at each one. My favorite nursing home was probably the last one we went to in Fulton, MO. These older ladies told us they don’t get out of their rooms that much. I felt bad because they don’t get many visitors. I was very lucky to play board games with some elderly people. It was nice talking to them about their past. You could be talking to a war hero, or a person that changed lives of many people, or created new things. They have their own special talents. It’s also cool to think how long they’ve been on Earth and how much experience they have. For me, meeting new people is one of the greatest feelings in the world. And also making an elderly person’s day, maybe even their week. All in all, community service day was all worth my time and made other people’s days better. DEVIN KOTAS ‘17

LOCAL YMCAIMG_5643_prinsterG

LT Lewis Bell and MAJ Keith Morgan’s students spent Fall Community Service Day re-painting stripes at the Mexico YMCA pool.

The YMCA has an outdoor pool that has two diving boards, a high dive, a small slide, and also has a tiny kiddy pool on the side. We helped unload all the paint buckets and the rollers. We painted the sides of the pool, and then began to paint the floor. The floor was the hardest, because in the deep end, there was a big ramp that led down and it was very slippery. It was really hard to walk up and down it, and paint on it. After we got the deep end done, all we had to was paint the lanes of the pool, and that wasn’t that hard. We had two people painting each lane, and two people painting the kiddy pool. This community service day was really hot and exhausting, but I feel good, because we helped out the community. TRAE VAN TASELL ‘16


LCDR Bill Bushnell’s advisees, supervised by librarian Fran Robley, visited the Mexico Chamber of Commerce on Community Service Day. The group washed windows, weeded flower beds and painted the conference room a warm shade of gold.

“I was privileged to take these hard-working MMA seniors to the Mexico Chamber of Commerce,” Robley said. “[It made] my heart happy to see these wonderful young men learning to give back to their community and enjoying it! … I was really proud of them.”

Our whole advisory went to the Chamber of Commerce. We started to pull weeds around the building and get any trash close to the curbs.  After that, everyone washed all of the windows inside and out, which was actually a pretty difficult task, since the windows went up to at least a story high. A friend and I had to maneuver a huge ladder out of the basement and outside.  After a good lunch everyone got back to work and started to paint an office on the upstairs floor. The color had been a greenish yellow color before. It looked like a really vintage paint they used in the 70s. The room was painted a coffee brown color. It made the room look more sophisticated and more relaxing.  The whole group spent about 5 to 6 hours painting that one room. Since no one really could paint professionally it took us a minute to paint it well. At a very slow pace, we didn’t mess things up.  At the end of the day it was all worth it because hard work really does pay and our group got to go on a Sonic run after we had finished. NELSON AGUILERA ‘16


The advisory groups of MAJ Mike Pemberton, MAJ Peggy Reynard and MAJ Ananta Khanal – about 30 students – packaged nearly 5,000 pounds of food for area communities at the Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia, Missouri.courtMorris_palen1

We put oatmeal in a bag, stapled it, wrapped it and boxed it. We finished about 12 boxes. A box is filled with about 40 bags. That’s a lot! CHRISTIAN ELL ‘16


LT Cheryl Morris headed to Auxvasse Elementary School with her students, who picked up litter and tended to flowerbeds, while 1SG Randal Jacobson’s advisees spent the day at Arthur Hills Golf Course.

We got to help out the seventh graders and then help all the first, second, third and fourth graders pick up trash. This was a good trip because we got to help a school look nice and have fun at the same time. CHRISTIAN FOSTER ‘19

Article by LTC Willis Kleinsorge

Five cadets gave up their free time on Saturday, September 26, to do valuable community service work in a very poor area of Jennings, Missouri. Cadet Michael Naughton’s father is on the police force in Jennings and his department was hosting a cleanup of an area of 5 or 6
blocks in the poorer part of his police jurisdiction. Mr. Naughton told his son to invite a group of cadets to come to Jennings to help with this community service project. 9.26.15_courtLTCK_chapa_chenD_naughton_cong_johnjoshuaMichael contacted his advisor (me) and MAJ Edsel Baker.  MAJ Baker made the announcement at a noon mess and five cadets volunteered to help in this task.

Dongyang Chen ’20, Joshua John ’17, Weitao Cong ’16, Michael Naughton ’20 and Hector Chapa ’16 made their way to Jennings, not sure what they would find when they arrived. What they found was a very poor neighborhood being assisted in a major cleanup. Three huge demolition dumpsters were on the site to be filled. The area police academy had ten or so volunteers helping and a dozen college students were on hand.

Mr. Naughton greeted us, handed us gloves, loaded us up in a pickup with a trailer hitched to it, and put us immediately to work. The police force and academy had already spent several hours cleaning up the 60 abandoned houses / properties in this several block area. They had done a lot of the initial work in hauling tons of garbage and brush to the curb.

9.26.15_courtLTCK_chapaOur group did some initial cleanup, but mostly we loaded trailer after trailer of debris and then unloaded it into the three large dumpsters. We filled all three dumpsters to the max, two with garbage and one with brush. We then loaded up one more trailer and my pickup bed and headed to the city dump. It was a day of hard labor, but our time and effort was worth it. The local residents were pleased to see the police force going to the trouble to help clean up their neighborhood. It was an eye-opening experience for the boys and a very good service performed. We could have filled another dumpster or two if they would have been on site, but Mr. Naughton said he would have to work on it during the following week to finish up the job.

After spending several hours cleaning the neighborhood, Mr. Naughton treated us to a meal at the local Chinese restaurant. He then took us to the Jennings Police Department and gave us a tour of the police headquarters and jail. The group had a good day and all worked hard to help in this community service project.


My favorite part was when we finished painting the pool at the YMCA. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17

Being with my brothers helping out, seeing them laugh, and having a good time with them while we help at the Food Bank. JOSE MEJIA ’16


I felt good because I gave back to my community. SKY SPOTTED EAGLE THUNDERCHILD HENIO ’19
I felt like I had helped make many people happy. ROBERT PRYOR ’16IMG_5567_frith_robley

At first I thought I was going to hate picking up chestnuts all day, but it was actually fun. I would like to do more community service. SCOUT JONES ‘22


I think having community service day is valuable and very important because it teaches us that a community should look after another and help each other, and it teaches us life skills. BILGUUN BYAMBATSOGT ’16
Selfless-service and care for one’s neighbor and community are essential traits to virtue and character.  All of you should feel proud that you gave back and helped someone, some group or organization today! DR. FRANKGIUSEFFI

IMG_5595_pinksBecause it builds teamwork and discipline. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17

I do think community service is important because some of the workers have tough jobs and they need just some extra help.

To keep the community looking as nice as possible. DION NGUYEN ‘16


Are you smarter than a sixth grader? Here are some fun facts that middle school student Quinten Boyd has learned in LTC Willis Kleinsorge’s science class.

The body’s circadian system responds to light exposure.

You should avoid all bacteria because they make you sick.

Chemicals on your skin are not powerful enough to affect the microbes that live on you.

Habitat generalist means you adjust to changing landscapes.

Coyotes are moving into cities because they are territorial animals in rural areas. They need about 25 square kilometers. They have changed because people don’t often hunt them any more. And now, because they are adding up and we don’t hunt them, they are running out of room to live in. Coyotes and other wildlife don’t face as much competition in cities as they do in rural areas. They are able to thrive in a wide range of environments, from deserts to mountains, forests and plains.


MIDDLE SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT: History from start to finish

Photos from Missouri Military Academy. Photo by Kyle Spradley | © Kyle Spradley Photography | www.kspradleyphoto.comLT Kevin Bissmeyer’s sixth period MS social studies students met September 1 on Colonels Field with a lofty goal: to create a scale visual timeline of our universe’s history.

We are working on something called the Big History Project. This is a program that examines the history of mankind with a focus on attempting to answer big questions.

Why are we here? And why are things the way they are? By looking at how different cultures have attempted to answer these questions throughout time, we are able to learn a great deal about diversity, continuity, change over time and cause and effect relationships. These and a plethora of other ideas and movements link together throughout history to create a web of intersecting ideas.

The first step was constructing a rudimentary timeline of scientifically-accepted ideas about how and when the universe came into being. We then constructed a scaled-down version of this timeline on the football field using six separate points to represent what we have identified as six important points in the human timeline.

STA_STA_BISSMEYER_KEVINAfterwards, the class discussed how much has changed throughout the last 13 billion years, and how much things will probably change in the next 13 billion years. It was a good way to introduce the overall scale of history while presenting a comparison to the scale of human history. LT BISSMEYER

Bissmeyer 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.


Points on the timeline are as follows, from left to right:

1. Big Bang
13.8 billion years ago, goal line
cadet Nathan Nolan ’22

2. First Life on EarthIMG_8023
3.8 billion years ago, 28 yard line
cadet Alexander Sheldon ’22

3. Humans as Collective Learners
200,000 years ago, 2 yard line
cadet Dongyang Chen ’20

4. Birth of Agriculture
11,000 years ago, 1 yard lineIMG_7985
cadet Lincoln Haynes-Kechik ’22

5. Modern Revolution
200 years ago, half yard line
cadet Scout Jones ’22

6. Computer Age
present, goal line
LT Kevin Bissmeyer

Eighth graders discuss their hopes and dreams in Language Arts class

18Middle school cadets presented projects about their hopes and dreams during CSGT Mike Harding’s second period language arts class March 12 and 13.

Carlos Liriano ’18 spoke of his ambition to become a computer programmer and game designer, sharing screenshots of programming programs.
“To do computer and game programming, you need a special programming language called C++” Liriano explained.

Next up was Lucas Moore ’18, who wants to be a dentist when he grows up. “The median expected salary for a typical dentist in the United States is $150,791,” Moore said. “That’s a lot of money for someone like me. That’s so much money. I don’t even know where to begin to spend it.”

William Moore ’18 next presented his dream of enlisting in the U.S. Army after college and going through Basic Combat Training. “This will be really fun,” Moore said. “I hope to be in the Rangers. Rangers lead the way!”

The final presentation was by Donald Williams ’18, who spoke about his hope of learning to ride horses and becoming a part of the U.S. Army Cavalry Division. “I want to have a greater future,” Williams said, flipping slides with photos of uniformed men riding horses.

Other middle schoolers involved in the project included eighth graders Paul Murphy and Jacob Wright. Murphy spoke of his amibition to become a computer engineer.

“I’m good with computers and I like working with them. I know a lot about programming,” Murphy said.

“A policeman, state trooper or ranger is what I want to be when I’m older and get a job. It is dangerous but I like helping people,” Wright wrote in his report. “I would prefer to work in a small town to begin with. The reason I don’t want to work in a big place like NYPD is because it is too crowded and I’m more likely to get injured if I’m being shot at all the time. My job will be a very important one. … The fun begins when we get to raid buildings and other hostile places. Before I can become a cop I have to go to a police academy to learn how to be one.”

Missouri Military Academy Welcomes New Hires

The spring semester at Missouri Military Academy commenced January 6 with the addition of two new employees.

Colour Sergeant Mike Harding, RM (Ret) is the new middle school English teacher. He will also assist Director of Cadet Life WO2 Thornton with the coordination of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. CSgt Harding comes to MMA from the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover, UK, where he taught English language and literature and drama for four years. While at DOYRMS, CSgt Harding also served as a boarding Housemaster, coached rugby, was a tutor to 12 students, managed the English Skills Club, and a Film Club and participated with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program. Prior to that, he taught English in two other public schools in the United Kingdom. He served in the Royal Marines from 1979 through 2002, retiring as a mentor and trainer who delivered courses to multi-national units in preparation for peace-keeping and peace support operations world-wide, including Jamaican Defence and Police Forces, Philippines Special Forces and Nepalese Armed Forces.

image of sensoliKelly Sensoli is the Academy’s new school counselor. Sensoli comes to MMA from St. Joseph Behavioral Health Services in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she was an Outpatient Therapist specializing in the treatment of children and adolescents. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Sensoli has more than ten years of clinical experience, with particular expertise working with ADD/ADHD and adolescent males. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work, which is ranked among the best in the nation. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers. In her new role she will assist students individually and collectively in the areas of personal and social development.