Parent: Thomas Naughton
Cadet: Michael Naughton. Michael first enrolled as a seventh grader at the Academy. Today, he is a junior, Battalion Color Guard commander and a member of the National Honor Society.
Hometown: Maryland Heights, MO (suburb of St. Louis)
Missouri Military Academy parent Thomas Naughton first heard about MMA upon speaking to a friend at work, whose son had attended MMA’s summer leadership camps. Thomas thought of his son, Michael, who had a love of the military and a lifelong dream of being a commander in the Marine Corps. That summer, Michael attended the two-week camp, after which he told his parents, “This is my school.”
Staying in Touch
Michael’s first months away from home were challenging, Thomas says, but after the cadets get adjusted, there are ample opportunities to communicate with their families. Now, years later, Thomas says dropping his son off in the fall is easier because they both know what to expect, and they have a routine of their own regarding communication: a phone call a couple times per week and a visit from Thomas every other Sunday.
College-Prep Stepping Stone
From a parent’s point of view, Thomas describes MMA as a college preparatory school with military traditions and a “stepping stone to developing the best possible kid that you can have.” He says the Academy has intellectually and physically challenged his son in the best possible way. “They’re pushed, but they’re not abandoned,” Thomas says of the students, adding that the school has brought Michael out of his shell and has given him opportunities that wouldn’t have been possible at public school, such as meeting people from all over the world.
Getting to Know Kids’ Quirks and Dreams
Thomas says that what has impressed him the most about MMA is the way staff interacts with cadets. Staff members get to know the students well enough to know their quirks and their aspirations, Thomas says, and they treat them like they’re their own kids. Additionally, another strength Thomas has noticed about MMA lies in connections made among the cadets. “[With] the brotherhood up there and the way they all take care of each other, he has a home,” Thomas says.
If you would like more information about MMA, please contact the enrollment office at 888-564-6662 or request information online.