Tag Archives: MMA Academics

Math Bar Award Winners Announced

Special Order #54 was read at lunch this week, recognizing outstanding achievement during the second quarter of 2012-13 in Math.  Math Department chair MAJ Ananta Khanal awarded the following cadets the Math Bar:

Missouri Military Academy Academics

First row: Rodrigo Marroquin ’17 (8th Grade), Nishan Khanal ’16 (Pre-Calculus), Channing Carlson ’19 (6th Grade)
Second row: Brais Galvan ’15 (Algebra 2), Santiago Sada ’18 (7th Grade), John O’Leary ’13 (Statistics)
Third row: Guangning Wei ’15 (Geometry), Jacob Priester ’13 (AP Calculus AB), Benjamin Mertens ’13 (AP Statistics), Chase Osborne ’16 (Algebra 1)
Not pictured: Paolo Rosado ’14 (College Algebra)

Sophomores Post Impressive PLAN Results

Missouri Military Academy’s College Placement office has released cadet scores on the PLAN exam taken in January, with several cadets receiving very positive results.

The PLAN test is offered to high school sophomores (and some freshmen) as a sort of practice for the ACT exam taken during their junior and senior year.  The scores also give an indication of where the student’s test-taking skills before taking the ACT.

The highest sophomore score was posted by Kane Anderson ’15, who ended up in the 99th percentile of test takers.  This means that Anderson scored better than 99% of students who took the test.  Freshman cadet Nishan Khanal ’16 finished in the 98th percentile and Wade Lueckenotte ’15 tested better than 92% of PLAN students.

Anderson’s best performance came on the English and Math sections of the test, scoring in the 98th percentile.  Khanal led the way in Math among cadets, scoring in the 99th percentile.

Anderson’s test-taking skills are not limited to the PLAN exam.  He also posted the best score on the PSAT for the Class of 2015 in October.  In addition to placing higher than 99% of students who took the PLAN, his overall score on the PSAT was better than 89 percent of students who took the test.  Anderson also posted a very impressive score on the Writing portion of that exam, scoring in the 99th percentile of students who completed that section.

Other notable performances include Guangning Wei ’15, who scored in the 96th percentile of math students, and Sergio Salas ’15 testing in the 97th percentile for the reading section.

In Class: Tall Tales

MAJ Richards Boyce has been teaching Missouri Military Academy middle school cadets about a famous Guinness World Record holder from the region.  Robert Wadlow spent his adult life standing 8 feet, 11 inches tall until his death in 1940. Residing in Alton, Illinois, about 30 minutes north of St. Louis, people came from miles around to meet the tallest measured person in history.

This week, cadets have been using proportional measurement to convey just how tall Wadlow was on paper.  Boyce presented a scale drawing of Wadlow’s hand, and then asked the cadets to “construct” the rest of his body on paper using the measurements of his hand.

Missouri Military Academy Middle School

Middle School cadets Dmitri Lamping ’18 (foreground) and his project partner Samer Doumit ’18 use proportions to map out Robert Wadlow’s legs.


Outstanding Cadet Performances Recognized at All-School Meeting

Cadets, faculty, and staff convened in the Missouri Military Academy Centennial Gymtorium Thursday for the second all-school assembly of the year.  After the Color Guard posted the colors, Battalion Commander John Dillon ’13 introduced school officials for the award presentations.

PHOTOS:  See all the award winners here

They recognized outstanding performers among both faculty and the Corps of Cadets for the month of November.  Award winners include:

Student of the month:  Rodrigo Marroquin ’17

Athlete of the month:  Patricio Herrera ’13

Teacher of the month:  MAJ Mike Shoemaker

The Honor Award, created to be awarded to the cadet who most exemplifies the MMA Honor Code, was presented by LTC Greg Seibert to Dallas Lopez ’14.  Seibert also announced that Echo Company mentor LT Murrell Adams was the recipient of the Mentor of the Month award.  Rifle coach 1SG Randal Jacobson also announced the achievements of several of his shooters, who continue to advance through the ranks of marksmanship.

1SG Alan Hakes then honored a handful of cadets who participated in the Wounded Warrior 10K/5K Run in Columbia, Mo. recently.  The group that ran in the 10K, including 1SG Hakes, took first place overall in the race.  He presented the victory plaque to the Academy, which will be displayed.

Academy president Mr. Charles A. McGeorge took time to recognize Greg Morton and the MMA maintenance staff and present them with the Presidential Gold Star for their hard work making sure things run smoothly in the Academic Building, Barnard Hall, Stribling Hall, and the rest of campus.

MAJ Richards Boyce introduced the director of the Central Missouri Food Bank, who spoke about the importance of the cadets’ involvement with the food bank.  She expressed her gratitude for the cadets’ ongoing commitment to serving the mid-Missouri community.

The meeting also featured a performance by the MMA Band and Choir, who tried to kick off the holiday season with some Christmas-themed selections.

Cadets Score in High Percentiles on PSAT Exam

Missouri Military Academy’s College Placement office has released cadet scores on the PSAT exam taken in October, with several cadets receiving very positive results.

The Preliminary SAT test is offered to high school sophomores and juniors (and some freshmen) as a sort of practice for the SAT exam taken during their senior year.  The scores also give an indication of where the student’s test-taking skills before taking the SAT.

The highest junior scores were posted by Jack Solls ’14 and Connor Wilkinson ’14, who ended up in the 86th percentile of test takers.  This means that Solls and Wilkinson scored better than 86% of students who took the test.  Chad Cardott ’14 finished in the 84th percentile and Noah Agne ’14 tested better than 82% of PSAT students.

Wilkinson’s best performance came on the Comprehensive Reading section of the test, scoring in the 89th percentile.  Solls led the way in Math among cadets, scoring in the 85th percentile.

As for the sophomores, Kane Anderson ’15 was at the top of the MMA Class of 2015.  His overall score was better than 89 percent of students who took the PSAT.  Anderson also posted a very impressive score on the Writing portion of the exam, scoring in the 99th percentile of students who completed that section.

Freshman Nishan Khanal ’16 was also present for the PSAT this year.  His math score was better than 92 percent of students who took the exam.

“100 Greatest Books” to Grace Library Shelves, Classrooms

Many men and women have contributed to the course of history, especially in the world of literature.  One hundred famous works of Western civilization by those men and women will soon be added to the Missouri Military Academy library as part of the “100 Greatest Books” program.

Alumnus Clay “Tex” Dodson ’56 of Amarillo, Tex. donated the funds to purchase all 100 of the books, which will be organized in a section of the library and also incorporated into the school’s curriculum.

“While Missouri Military Academy is always exploring new and productive ways to educate our cadets, we also recognize the necessity of a liberal arts education,” said Dean of Academics LTC Frank Giuseffi.  “An education that ideally stirs the mind and heart toward elevated and noble things.”

Giuseffi added that this liberal arts tradition finds its home with the “Great Books” – the canon of texts in literature, philosophy, politics, history, mathematics and theology that have stood the test of time and shaped the thoughts and events of western civilization.

“As a college preparatory school, we will require several of these books to be read and analyzed in our Literature classes,” he said.  “As part of our commitment to a 360-degree education, these books will be intertwined in our curriculum since they are recognized as texts that develop the mind and strengthen the will.”

Giuseffi concluded by saying that with the right teaching, facilitation and, guidance from MMA instructors, our cadets will grapple with the ideas and questions that have challenged humankind throughout history and come to understand how these writings are relevant to their lives.

In Class: Rise Over Run

Students in MAJ Peggy Reynard's Algebra class ventured out to take a look at rise and run of steps on campus and the resulting slope. She then asked the cadets to ponder the question, “Is there a correlation between the slope of the steps and the ease of climbing the stairs?” Below, cadets Andres Vidal ’16 (left) and Julien Mugabo ’16 measure the rise and run of the steps in front of Stribling Hall.

MAJ Khanal Announces Math Bar Recipients

A number of Missouri Military Academy cadets have been honored for their work in their mathematics classes.  Math Department Chair MAJ Ananta Khanal awarded the Math Bar to cadets in each grade level for outstanding achievement in math during the first half of the school year.

Cadets receiving the Math Bar (with their current math class in parentheses):

Front row (L to R):  Juan Leal ’18 (7th Grade), Nishan Khanal ’16 (Algebra 2), Yun Jeon ’16 (Pre-Calculus), Yanni Le ’19 (6th Grade), MAJ Ananta Khanal

Back row (L to R):  Daniel Perez ’17 (8th Grade), Jose Garcia ’13 (Statistics), John Dillon ’13 (AP Calculus AB), Eoghan Matthews ’13 (AP Calculus BC), Nischal Khanal ’13 (AP Statistics), Sandir de Silva ’16 (Algebra 1)

Not pictured: David Gu ’16 (Geometry)

Top Ten Finishes for Four Senior Cadets at St. Louis Math Competition

Results are in from a state math competition in which Missouri Military Academy cadets participated earlier this month.

On Saturday, November 10, Blake Bibles ’13, Nischal Khanal ’13, John Mertens ’13, and Yu Zhou ’13 accompanied Math Department Chair MAJ Ananta Khanal to St. Louis Community College for the “Excellence in Math” competition, and the group performed admirably at the event.

In the individual competition, Khanal placed fifth and Zhou placed ninth in the senior division.  The senior team comprised of those four cadets took fifth in the team competition. All four received a ribbon and certificate for their performance.

MAJ Khanal says more than 800 students from 45 Missouri high schools take part in the “Excellence in Math” event.  He added that this is the fourth year MMA cadets have participated in the competition.

“Each year our students have placed in the top ten in both individual and team events,” Khanal said.  “It was a challenging competition but our students represented the school very well.”

Khanal concluded by saying he was already looking ahead to next year’s competition after another year of outstanding cadet performance.

Mertens, Zhou, Khanal, and Bibles all returned to campus with honors from this year’s “Excellence in Math” competition in St. Louis.  (MAJ Khanal pictured at right.)

Khanal Posts Perfect Score on SAT Subject Test

SAT test results are in….we want to wish congratulations to cadet Nischal Khanal ’13, who achieved a perfect score of 800 on the SAT Physics Subject test in October!  Khanal also scored an 800 on the Math 2 Subject test in October 2011.  He has also been offered the most scholarships of any senior cadet so far this school year.  Way to go, Nischal!

In Class: Humanities Students Asking Big Questions

CPT Eric Reynolds may be new to Missouri Military Academy this school year, but he is already challenging his students to think big.

His sixth period Humanities class has been posed with a very deep question:  “Who am I and where do I fit in?”

Reynolds then encouraged the students to reflect on this question by experimenting with ancient writing style called cuneiform.  Similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics, cuneiform was how ancient cultures in Mesopotamia recorded their history and told tales.

John Mertens ’13 labors during his first attempt at cuneiform.  Students said it took about two hours to translate and write out one phrase. 

Reynolds educated cadets on the history of cuneiform, but then asked them to create their own cuneiform tablets after learning how to translate simple phrases.

“I had the students come up with one phrase to ‘write out’ in cuneiform,” Reynolds said.  “The total time it took for them to write a single phrase equaled about two hours.”

Reynolds then asked students to read the “Epic of Gilgamesh,” one of the earliest surviving works of literature.  It is an epic containing five independent poems about the Mesopotamian king, Gilgamesh.  However, the poems were written completely in cuneiform.  After viewing photos of the original tablets on which the epic was written, Reynolds called on his students to reflect on their experience with one phrase in cuneiform and compare it to that of the ancient writers they just studied.

Students mulled several different questions relating to the assignment including, “How has this project changed your views regarding human achievement and advancement now?”  Reynolds says he will continue to present opportunities to cadets to stir their minds and think about their place in history.

MMA Band Takes Show on the Road

The Missouri Military Academy band is no stranger to traveling around the state showcasing their talents.  For its first trip of the school year, the band marched in the 64th annual Hannibal Marching Band Festival in Hannibal, Mo.  Under the direction of CPT Josh Yancey, cadets entertained the town’s residents with a number of rousing selections.

PHOTOS:  Click here for more from the band’s trip to Hannibal

WEB EXTRA:  Here’s a link to the Hannibal Courier-Post’s recap of the festival, including quotes from MMA band members

Band director CPT Josh Yancey (far left) accompanies Jean-Luc Shyaka ’18 (center) and Rodrigo Marroquin ’17 (right) as they lead the band through downtown Hannibal.  (Photo by MAJ Mike Shoemaker)

“Igniting Innovation”: FBLA Set to Begin 2012-2013 Projects

One Missouri Military Academy club added its members for the 2012-2013 school year during a ceremony Sunday.  The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) have been very successful since MMA began offering the opportunity to join four years ago.

During Sunday’s ceremony after Vespers, FBLA moderator MAJ Peggy Reynard installed Daniel Diaz ‘13 as the group’s president and Alec Noonan ’13 as vice-president.  Reynard also inducted the new members for 2012-2013, read the FBLA Pledge, and announced the FBLA Code of Ethics.

“Our chapter is particularly good at the team events,” said Reynard, who also serves the Academy as an instructor of accounting, business law, and international business.

Examples of categories in which FBLA members will develop projects and compete this school year include Emerging Business Issues, E-Commerce, and Business Website Design.  During 2011-2012, MMA cadets Tommy Abraham ’12, Anthony Ingracia ’12, and Jared Roberts ’12 completed a project for the Global Business competition and advanced all the way to the National FBLA Leadership Conference after winning the state championship in that category.

“It’s been a very successful run,” Reynard said.  “We have 12 first place district plaques and two state plaques displayed in my classroom.”

Since the chapter’s inception in 2008, 20 MMA cadets have advanced to the state competition.  In addition to the Global Business group from 2012, one cadet in 2011 also presented his research in the Business Law category and advanced to the national competition.

Academy president Mr. McGeorge was on hand for the installation of 2012-2013 FBLA president Daniel Diaz (center) and vice-president Alec Noonan (right).  The candles represent the passing of leadership from the previous year’s cadets to this year’s officers.  (Photo by Taps editor Dalton Blackwell ’14)

College Prep Commences with First SAT Exam of 2012-2013

Forty-two Missouri Military Academy cadets spent their Saturday morning having their first attempt at an important college placement exam.

Many American colleges and universities require a certain score on the SAT for admission.  English Department chair LT Joe Shafer and other instructors implemented new study strategies this year to help cadets achieve a higher score on the test.

“We felt it important that the cadets take it upon themselves to prepare as much as possible in advance,” Shafer said.  “While there is much subject knowledge to acquire, apprehending certain test-taking skills beforehand can help significantly with their performance.”

LT Shafer reviews some of the most commonly used vocabulary words on the SAT test with a group of juniors and seniors.  Shafer and other instructors met with students for two Wednesday sessions before the exam.

Instructors from the Math Department and English Department met with cadets after school the last two Wednesdays to review problems and skills.  Shafer said one way to get students to focus on the English portion of the SAT was to offer them a list of the 100 most common vocabulary words used on the exam.  Cadets were also given a practice test to help them pinpoint their greatest weaknesses and develop them prior to taking the SAT.

Dean of Academics LTC Frank Giuseffi says 100% of the students who signed up for the SAT were present.  However, if the cadets are not pleased with their October SAT score, they have another opportunity to improve November 3.

Senior Cadet to Compete for National Merit Scholarship

One Missouri Military Academy cadet has achieved high honors in this young school year.  Nischal Khanal ’13 was recently named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist.  As one of 16,000 high school seniors who are semifinalists, he qualifies to compete for one of 8,400 National Merit Scholarships, which will be awarded next spring.  The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.  Khanal qualified as a Semifinalist by scoring in the top 1% nationwide of the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Khanal is also a member of the National Honor Society and MMA’s academic honor society, Delta Phi.

 Khanal was inducted into the National Honor Society last year.  He will compete for a National Merit Scholarship during his senior year.