As the great philosopher, Taylor Swift, once tweeted, “This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” For so many of our new cadets, this is especially true. Changing schools, living away from home, sharing a room with a roommate, wearing a uniform, marching to meals, daily exercise, studying one subject all day, every day, for seven weeks, a mandatory study hall period each evening, the lack of a cell phone…all of these are pretty big changes. We in the Guidance Department are here to help all of our cadets with the transition into this new school year and the changes, trials, and tribulations that will inevitably come their way.
You were provided a letter during registration that describes the specific services that we offer. Please feel free to contact any of us in the department with any questions concerning how we can help your son. As a reminder, COL Rob Feathers (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Guidance Director, is responsible for cadets in grades 7-9. LTC John DeVault (email@example.com) works with cadets in grades 10 and 11. Ms. Jenny Payne (firstname.lastname@example.org) is assigned the seniors and postgraduates. She is also the College Placement Officer. Ms. Rhonda White (email@example.com) coordinates our guidance services, is the Testing Director, and coordinates the Driver’s Education program.
As fall gets underway, we will be meeting individually or in small groups with each of our students. LTC DeVault and Ms. Payne are already beginning the process of sharing college information with their assigned students. I would encourage you to assist with this process by reading through the College Handbook, found under the Guidance Department link under Our Programs on the Academy’s website. Pay particular attention to section 1, entitled Calendar for College Planning. Recommendations for each high school grade level are listed to assist our students in preparing for college acceptance. A student’s freshman year is not too early to begin this process. The College Board offers an excellent resource for parents who are interested in learning more about the college search and application process. This resource is just one of the many services offered by BigFuture and can be found here.
Hopefully you have received information from our Technology Department on how to view your son’s PowerSchool page, which provides you your son’s current schedule, teachers’ names, and a record of his grades. To access PowerSchool, type https://fuma.powerschool.com/ in the address bar. Your username is the email address that you left with us at registration. Your default password is changeme, which can be personalized once you log in. If you are not able to access this information, please contact our Technology Department at IT@fuma.org.
In the coming month, the Guidance Department will be sponsoring several upcoming events. The first scheduled event will be held on Thursday evening, September 7th, when we will be hosting the first seminar in our Let’s Talk series entitled Make it Great! This seminar is intended to provide participating cadets encouragement and strategies for making this school year their best yet. Our guest presenter, Dr. Maurice Carter, earned his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Saint Paul’s College, where he was an All American in football. He earned Master’s degrees from both Ohio State and Longwood Universities in Public Administration and Education Supervision, respectively, and received his Doctorate degree in Education Leadership from the University of Virginia. Born and raised in Fluvanna County, Dr. Carter returned to the county to serve the local students as a teacher, coach, principal, and assistant superintendent of the Fluvanna School System for ten years. He helped found the Day Treatment Program for the Elk Hill School for Boys in Goochland, VA and the Community Christian Academy in Charlottesville, VA. Dr. Carter has served as a professor at Virginia Union University and Southside Community College and is currently a professor in the Graduate School of Education and Human Services at Longwood University. In addition to education, Dr. Carter’s passion is ministry. He and his wife, Deborah, established the Crystal Cathedral ministry in nearby Dillwyn, Va. He has traveled extensively across the world to present and preach the Gospel. We are pleased and excited to have Dr. Carter present our first Let’s Talk seminar.
The first major event is the administration of the ACT, which will be given on campus on September 9th. The registration deadline for taking this test has already passed. The next administration of the ACT will be on October 28th. The registration for this test ends on Sept. 22nd. We will be offering the SAT on campus on October 7th. Registration for the administration of this test ends September 8th. The next administration of the SAT on campus is November 4th, with a registration deadline of October 5th. Cadets and parents are responsible for registering for any of these college readiness tests offered by the Academy. You can find dates for all ACT and SAT administrations that will be offered at FUMA here. You are reminded that we offer SAT and ACT Prep workshops to our upper classmen, once in the fall and again in the spring. Information regarding these classes can be found here. Please pay special attention to all deadlines. Please direct all questions regarding testing and workshops to Ms. White in the Guidance Department.
The Guidance Department sponsors a club that engages cadets in the lives of children with special needs children in our community. The PIER Club was formed last year and, in conjunction with a local church, offers these children’s parents a monthly “Respite Night”. Our club members assist as crew leaders in rotating these children through several fun activities planned by our cadets. The first “Respite Night” will be held on the 22nd of September.
On the 21st of September, we will be holding our annual College Fair on our campus. Over 50 colleges/universities from Virginia and beyond will be in attendance, offering our cadets in grades 9-12, as well as our post-graduates, information about their programs and requirements for admission. Representatives from the armed services will also be in attendance to provide our cadets information about their respective branch of service.
It is going to be a busy fall. Refer to the Academy’s website (http://www.forkunion.com/) often for news of upcoming events. We look forward to getting to know your cadet and you better as the year progresses. Please let us know of any questions or concerns that you might have as we work together to make this a great year for your son!
COL Rob Feathers - Guidance Director; Counselor for Grades 7-9
LTC John DeVault - Counselor for Grades 10 & 11
Ms. Jenny Payne - College Placement Officer; Counselor for Grade 12 and PG's
Ms. Rhonda White - Coordinator of Guidance Services & Testing Director