Staff/Faculty Spotlight

Get to Know LTC Todd Giszack - Assistant to the President

Name:  Todd Giszack                               Title:  Assistant to the President        Years at FUMA:  This is my 16th year.
Duties:  In a sentence, my primary responsibility is to assist RADM Burhoe in moving the Academy forward. This assistance takes many forms. One of the things I appreciate about my job is that there is always a problem to solve or an improvement to make here at FUMA, and I love working on those things. In a grand sense, I help to shape the Academy’s long term strategic planning and accreditation processes. These processes are always ongoing, and are vital to our continued success. Day to day, there is always a lot going on. One day I might be helping to write a policy, the next I might be meeting with one of our constituents. In the morning I may work to improve an operational process, then in the afternoon assist a Cadet or his family in some way. I also sit on several committees including the Marketing Committee, the Barracks Committee, the Technology Committee, the Financial Aid Committee, and others. There is always a “to do” list, and in my job it can change in the blink of an eye, depending on the events of the day.
One of my ongoing duties is to manage the Academy facilities. This includes working with the CFO to construct an annual facilities budget, helping the Director of Maintenance to create short and long term departmental goals, and maintaining the necessary state permits

Get to Know COL Steve Macek - VP of Operations

Name:  Steve Macek    Title:  VP of Operations     Years at FUMA:  21 
 
Duties: Oversees Admissions, Athletics, Commandant's Office and other core operations of the Academy.
Describe yourself in one sentence. I am a very happy person who tries to take everything in stride.
What is your favorite FUMA memory? The 100th anniversary celebration stands out in my mind as a very exciting milestone. The level of energy and excitement on campus was exceptional, even for FUMA.
In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?

Get to Know James Benson - School Chaplain

Name: CPT James Benson      Title: Chaplain          Years at FUMA: Six as chaplain. I also taught one year as Middle School Spanish teacher while I was pastor of a local church the year before I became the chaplain.
 
 
Duties:  I am responsible for spiritual program of our school, organizing and leading chapel services for both Upper and Middle School cadets. I also teach junior-year Religion class for cadets.
Describe yourself in one sentence.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ, an optimist who tries not to take himself too terribly seriously, someone who loves to laugh, and a person who sees the best in other people.
What is your favorite FUMA memory? I have two favorite memories. My favorite on-campus memory is being present at Coach Fletcher Arritt’s final FUMA home game in 2012. The love and respect shown to a man who has given so much of himself in support of FUMA’s mission served to remind me why I love being at this place. My favorite off-campus memory was officiating a wedding for a former cadet, Lucas Garrison (FUMA ’08) in December of 2010. That event showed me the importance of the connections we make with these young men, and what an honor it is to continue to be a part of their lives after they leave FUMA.

Get to Know - MAJ John DeVault

Name: John DeVault        Years at FUMA: 12      Title: Director of Summer School/ Guidance Officer/ Basketball Coach

Describe yourself in one sentence.  I try not to take myself too seriously.
What is your favorite FUMA memory? I’ve had so many great things happen, it’s hard to pinpoint one. My favorite memories are the funny stories and incidents I remember from teaching, coaching, and working in admissions and guidance. 
In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? It has been great having cadets come back and talk about how FUMA has changed their lives. To be told that I was a part of that has been amazing.
What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? Different things come up all the time. Like everyone else at FUMA, I just find a way to get everything done.
If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets? I would love to go to the Stanley Cup, but only if the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing.
What is your favorite pastime? I enjoy doing just about anything with my two sons. They like to play basketball, golf, baseball, tennis, and most sports.
What advice can you offer to current cadets to help them understand the importance of a good education, as well as how FUMA can benefit their future success? What you do today will determine what opportunities you have for tomorrow.

Get to Know COL Bob Miller - Academic Dean

Name: COL Robert Miller      Title: Academic Dean      Years at FUMA: 15
Duties: I am responsible for curricular programs for the Academy, program coordination with all departments, and last but not least- tennis coach.
Describe yourself in one sentence.  My opinion is that I am someone who tries to make good choices and then is determined, but it may be best to check this out with my colleagues.
What is your favorite FUMA memory? My favorite memory is the complete support of the Academy community for Coach Arritt in his struggle with cancer this past spring.
In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? Contributing to the formation and evolution of a faculty that is very good at the type of education we provide.
What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? I have always believed that the appearance of our facilities and grounds is important and makes a statement to all about our school - this translates to a habit of picking up trash on grounds when I see it.
If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets? The Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA - I am not a golfer but love the tradition. I have a friend who has tickets annually but I will have to wait until I don’t have to go to tennis practice.

Get to Know Robbin Dodson - Commandant's Department

Name: Robbin  Dodson
Title: Commandant’s Department Administrative Assistant
Years at FUMA:  Five during my first employment here; I’m beginning my fourth this time.
 

Duties:  Assisting the Commandant, Deputy, and TAC Officers; keeping cadet and demerit records; coordinating the leave program, telephone and email communications with parents, and more.

Describe yourself in one sentence.  I’m a happy, sensitive, caring and intelligent woman with enthusiasm for life.

What is your favorite FUMA memory?  I have new favorite memories each year.

In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? When I first came to FUMA, the Guidance Department was in one classroom on the second floor of Hatcher Hall.  I was located on the first floor in a joint office with Mrs. Hanlin. I nagged the Director of Guidance until he relocated our office to the third floor of Hatcher– so we could be in the same area, have enough room for all of the college catalogs and have private testing rooms.

What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of?  The Day Student Blog

If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets?  The Eagles

What is your favorite pastime?  Cooking and baking

Get to Know Darren Keithley - Middle School Faculty

Name: Darren Keithley   Title:  M.S. Resource Teacher   Years at FUMA:
Duties:  M.S. Head Basketball Coach, Hiking & Fishing Club
Describe yourself in one sentence. I am a reserved, passionate, witty, and easy-going man …God willing.
What is your favorite FUMA memory? The times I share Jesus and I see God working in the hearts of students.
In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? If measured academically, as a Resource teacher, when a student has learned the skills and gained the confidence to become independently successful; athletically, taking a group of players who have never played organized basketball and teaching them the skills to compete - most importantly at FUMA is getting the group to gel as a team; spiritually, sharing in the classroom, devotions, chapel messages, retreats, and one-on-one discussions with cadets about my Savior Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? I also teach international students ESL/reading. I have also taught 7th grade history.

Get to Know Janice Simmons - Upper School Faculty

Name: Janice Simmons 
Title: Upper School English Teacher/Assistant Athletic Trainer   
Years at FUMA:  I began my athletic training internship with Rich Taddei in January of 1999 and began teaching in September 2001.
 
Duties: I teach English II, III, IV. I have taught SAT Prep and Test Taking Strategies and Study Skills in Summer School.
Describe yourself in one sentence.  Challenges inspire and energize me.
What is your favorite FUMA memory?  Personally, my favorite memory is my son graduating from FUMA, Class of 2000. Professionally, my favorite memory is that of a young man raised by his grandfather walking across the stage and achieving his goals. As a newly arrived freshman he told me that by the time he graduated he would be Battalion Commander and have 0 demerits.  He accomplished both goals.
In the time you have been at the Academy, what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? I hope I haven’t achieved it yet.
What job duties/responsibilities do you have at FUMA that others may not be aware of? I am a member of the Technology Committee.
If you were given two free tickets to any sporting or entertainment event in the U.S., what would be the name of the event or performer printed on those tickets? The Passion Play in Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany.

Get to Know COL Chris Nothnagle - Upper School Faculty

Name: Chris Nothnagle                 Years at FUMA: 36
Duties: Math Department Chairman
 
 
Describe yourself in one sentence. My mission is to be a fisher of men, my passion is woodworking, and my pleasure is fishing and chess.           

Get to Know CPT Sam Mavrick - Upper School Faculty

Name: Sam Mavrick   Title: Upper School Resource/Learning Skills Instructor, Assistant Postgraduate Football Coach, Head Golf Coach, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) Huddle Coach and Director of Compliance       
Years at FUMA:  6
 
 
Duties: I work with grades 9-12, and postgraduates on study skills, organization and other learning strategies to make them more efficient and overall better young men and students. I am also the defensive coordinator for our postgraduate football team and work with the secondary on a daily basis.
I also coordinate two of our special teams units: kick-off and punt return.  I am in charge of our local FCA Huddle here at FUMA. I try to help our cadets bridge the gap between athletics and their walk of faith by giving them many avenues to worship and give back to their school, family and community by participating in Bible studies and other volunteering services. 
In addition, I do a lot of work with compliance (athletic eligibility) issues and needs. I help to track and document our cadets who seek to play a collegiate sport.   
Describe yourself in one sentence. If you don’t mind, I am going to use some of the lines from Montgomery Gentry’s song, “Lucky Man”:
“… I know I'm a lucky man
God's given me a pretty fair hand
Got a house and a piece of land