Front & Center News from Fork Union Military Academy–March 14, 2017

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Stories in this issue:

  • Spring Leave! Cadets return to campus on Sunday, March 19
  • Next college road trip to visit Hampden-Sydney College
  • Art class helps cadets try new talents
  • CLUB SPOTLIGHT: Woodworking Club helps build easels for art class show
  • Three cadets qualify for the National Debate Tournament
  • PHOTO ESSAY: Spring Leave Departures
Jenny Payne delivers chapel message: "What is your legacy?"

Spring Leave!

Cadets return to campus on Sunday, March 19

The campus is very still and quiet as all of our cadets are now home with their families and friends for well-deserved break. The full-time staff and administration continue to toil away in Hatcher Hall, but teachers, coaches, nurses, and other professionals are enjoying a bit of a vacation as well.

We delayed the publication of this newsletter by one day, hoping to have photos of a snow-covered campus to share with you during this spring break, but the large snowstorm that hit on Monday stayed mostly to the north of Fork Union and gave us only a much-needed rain, rather than the snow and ice we were expecting.

Other parts of the northeast United States were not so lucky, however, and wintry conditions stretched early this week from Washington DC to Maine. We hope that you are safe and warm wherever this spring leave finds you! We look forward to seeing cadets back on the campus and in our classrooms next week!

Hatcher Hall

Next college road trip to visit Hampden-Sydney College

M. C. Thomas Gymnasium

Art class helps cadets try new talents

Mrs. Kayla Jones joined the Academy’s staff in 2014 as the Assistant Librarian. Beginning in 2015-16, Mrs. Jones began offering an art curriculum to both Upper and Middle School cadets.

Mrs. Kayla Jones (center) works with cadets in her art classroom, as well as in the library and as sponsor of the Academy's student publications, "The Sabre" and "The Skirmisher."

Mrs. Jones attended Lynchburg College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art and minored in Secondary Education. She holds extensive experience working within educational settings, having taught art, theater, history, and English, as well as working with students having special needs. She and her husband, Tripp, live in Fork Union. Her husband is a math teacher in the middle school. Mrs. Jones is also the sponsor for the Academy’s newspaper, The Sabre, and co-sponsor of the Academy yearbook, The Skirmisher.

Cadet Chiovaro works in apparent comfort

CLUB SPOTLIGHT: Woodworking Club helps build easels for art class show

COL Chris Nothnagle and the cadets in his woodworking club have been hard at work creating eight wooden easels for use by the art class. The art class hopes to put on an art show for parents during Mothers Day weekend, and these wonderful new easels, works of art themselves, will be used to display the works for view.

COL Rob Feathers, Director of Guidance, speaks with parents following a brief seminar for parents in Wicker Chapel prior to spring leave departure

Three cadets qualify for the National Debate Tournament

Debate Team takes First Place in Student Congress

Third Place overall at State Debate Meet

The Fork Union Military Academy (FUMA) debate team participated in the Virginia Catholic Forensics League (VCFL) state debate tournament on Saturday, March 11th at Eastern View High School in Culpepper County, Virginia. The team placed first in the sub-category of Student Congress, and placed third overall in the state tournament.

Team points are accumulated based on individual performances in three debate categories: Student Congress, Public Forum (a two-on-two style debate), and Lincoln-Douglas. Fork Union had cadets competing in only two of the three categories: Student Congress and Public Forum.

According to Fork Union’s debate coach, Mike Goad, “We knew that we were going to do well in Student Congress. Year in and year out, this is our strongest category. I really thought our three Public Forum teams had a shot at making it to the finals. Their arguments were strong, and they were well prepared. However, when you’re at the discretion of human judges, things do not always go as planned. They left nothing on the table.”

The three schools accumulating the most individual points in these three categories get to take home a sweepstakes trophy from the state tournament. “Our goal this year was to ‘trophy’ at states. We wanted to bring home the hardware. The schools we compete against have much larger student bodies, making it easier for them to disperse talented students in all three categories of debate. We knew our backs were against the wall by only having cadets in two of three categories, but we refused to let this hindrance be an excuse,” said Goad. Despite not having members qualify in the Lincoln-Douglas category, Fork Union was able to achieve their pre-season goal of bringing a sweepstakes trophy back to campus, something the debate team has failed to do in recent history.

Anchoring the team’s overall success was the team’s first place finish in the Student Congress sub-category where Fork Union placed three cadets in the top-four, guaranteeing each of these students a spot at the National Catholic Forensic League’s (NCFL) national tournament to be held on Memorial Day weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. Cadets Michael Head, William Pessaud, and Joshua Henriques placed first, third and fourth respectively in Student Congress. Head also finished first in 2016. The Student Congress category is run much like the House or Senate chamber, wherein students debate bills submitted by each school on VCFL-mandated topics. Two sessions of legislative debate lasting two hours are then completed at each meet. The state meet’s hottest topics included bills on the following: dissolution of the Department of Education, One-China Policy, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and Medicare/Medicaid Expansion.

(l to r) Cadets Head, Henriques, and Pessaud qualify for national debate tournament

In reflecting on his second consecutive individual state title in Student Congress, Cadet Head humbly stated that he refused to let down those who helped him in his path to success: “I can honestly say that what fueled my individual victory was the training I received in every discipline of congressional debate over the last four years, coupled with the feeling that I would be failing those who supported me if was not successful.” In what is perhaps a testament to the Christian principles stressed at Fork Union, Cadet Henriques gave the glory to God: “A lot of great leadership was shown from the entire team. I thank God for the opportunity to compete and be successful.”

“I could not be more proud of these three individuals. Each of these young men is dedicated to his craft—their hard work and persistence in spite of the challenges that attending military school presents are a true testament to their character. I look forward to seeing how they stack up against the competition at nationals,” said Goad.

CPT Mike Goad works with the debate team in preparation for the state tournament
Lunch in the Estes Dining Hall

To all our cadets and families...

Have a wonderful, safe, and happy spring leave!

We look forward to your safe return on Sunday, March 19th...

Enjoy your well-deserved break!

Created By
Daniel Thompson


Photos by: COL Al Williamson, Kate Pendergrass, RADM Burhoe, & Charles Thomas

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