Hitting our Stride

My reflections this week center around the Fork Union community.  Betsy and I enjoyed our first Halloween in Careby Hall, and greeted at least a hundred trick-or-treaters.  We were amazed that so many children ventured down the long (dead end) road to our house, but we were suitably prepared thanks to our neighbors (Patsy and Red Pulliam) who recommended we have lots of candy.  They were right. 
I also left my office at a reasonable time one evening to take a long walk with Betsy through the late F.F. White’s wooded trails.  We enjoyed the fall foliage and a delicious dinner at the Village Restaurant…then noticed (for the first time) how bright the stars were as we walked home.  It was a terrific week as we began to truly appreciate life in the country.  We feel more and more at home every day, and understand why so many have built and spent their lives here.
This week I met with Cadet LTC Steve Joslyn, the Battalion Commander, and all the Cadet Company Commanders (2 represented by their Executive Officers).  I enjoyed the afternoon talking with and listening to cadet leadership, and learned much about the challenges of leading fellow cadets (and peers).  I also realized the importance of providing mentoring and tools to help these young men lead.  I discussed the meeting with LTC Williamson, the Commandant of Cadets, and arranged for him and his staff to meet regularly with the cadet leadership.  This will foster alignment and leader development. 
It is important that we provide opportunities for success, as well as a safe environment for cadets to learn from their mistakes.  Mentoring is necessary for leader development as is surrounding the cadets with positive behavior role models.  These cadet leaders care deeply for and about the success of Fork Union Military Academy, and each appreciate the importance and value of balancing academics, athletics, discipline, and spirituality.
I also chartered a Technology Committee this week, chaired by CPT Scott Krogh, our Director of Information Technology.  His task is to lead a cross section of our staff and faculty through a process that will make recommendations on how to introduce current technology into cadet-life.  They will examine the full range of communications, entertainment, and learning/teaching tools, to ensure we are current, relevant, and remain competitive.  I look forward to working with this group and considering their recommendations for the 2012-2013 school year.  Some recommendations may be implemented earlier.  CPT Krogh spearheaded an effort at the beginning of the year to introduce “Nooks” from Barnes & Nobles into a couple classrooms, and his diligence led to a terrific result.
Today I will help update our Fork Union Military Academy video, and later this afternoon will drive to Chatham, VA to watch the Postgraduate Football Team play Hargrave Military Academy.  It should be a great game “under the lights.” 
Next week will be exciting, with the annual meeting of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) in Richmond; an event hosted by members of the Board of Trustees at the Hermitage Country Club to “introduce” me to many FUMA supporters; and 4 Veteran’s Day events, including our own ceremony here at Fork Union Military Academy at 1830 (6:30PM) on November 11th.
We are hitting our stride…moving forward…making progress…and staying true to our mission.  We are blessed indeed to be involved in the education, development, and inspiration of young men here at Fork Union Military Academy.  God has indeed blessed all of us here in Fork Union.
Go FUMA!  Beat Hargrave!  Go FUMA! Beat Woodberry Forest! Go FUMA!