Missouri Military Academy is proud to announce the official election of the 2020-21 class officers. Class officers elected for grades 9-12 include a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and representative for each class.
Freshman Class Officers
President: Kai Passmore from Washington, Missouri
Passmore has completed three semesters at MMA and is currently a member of MMA's Delta Phi Honors Society. He is a recipient of the President's Award for Educational Excellence, the Richard White Library Award and the Hal Heymann Memorial Award.
Passmore enjoys competing with MMA's football and wrestling teams, and participating in the equestrian program. When he graduates from MMA, he plans to move to Annapolis, Maryland and become a lawyer.
Passmore says MMA has taught him the patience and commitment necessary to serve as a good freshman class president.
Passmore is the son of David and Kimberly Passmore.
Vice President: Oskar Fontana from Singapore
Fontana has completed three semesters at MMA, and enjoys activities like football and horseback riding. He is a member of the Delta Phi Honors Society and a recipient of the President's Award for Educational Excellence, the Paul Petit Award for International Relations and the Maroon Bar for good conduct.
When he graduates from MMA, Fontana says he plans to use the discipline he is gaining at MMA to become a pilot.
Fontana is the son of Marcello and Tammy Fontana.
Treasurer: Alexander Coile from De Soto, Missouri
Bravo Company Supply Sergeant Alexander Coile has completed three semesters at MMA, and he is a member of the football team. Last year, Coile earned the Art Achievement Award and the Aurora Borealis Gifted Artist Award.
When he graduates from MMA, Coile plans to continue his education and become an architectural and engineering manager.
According to Coile, MMA has prepared him for a future of success by teaching him to learn from his failures.
Coile is the son of Michael and Amanda Coile.
Secretary: Landon Kjolhede from West Point, Nebraska
Kjolhede has completed two semesters at MMA and is a recipient of the Earth’s Layers Award. An athlete on the MMA swim, wrestling and baseball teams, he aims to become an entrepreneur and own his own business after graduation.
Kjolhede says MMA is the first school to make him want better himself without being told to. At MMA, he has achieved a 3.6 GPA and learned to be a leader.
Kjolhede is the son of Justin and Jennifer Kjolhede.
Class Representative: Samuel Way from Milton, Georgia
Way is currently completing his first semester at MMA. Active as a JROTC Raider, he feels MMA's leadership is training him to become a compassionate leader.
After he graduates, Way plans to run his father's puzzle business.
Way is the son of Brian and Susan Way.
Sophomore Class Officers
President: Kellan Mugisha from Rwanda
Mugisha has completed four semesters at MMA. He is on the soccer team and serves the corps as 2nd platoon sergeant for Charlie Company.
In 2019, Mugisha served in the MMA Color Guard, including participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Truman Presidential Library. He is a recipient of the Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award, the McDonough Trophy for athletic performance and the Soldier’s Bar for outstanding military courtesy, bearing, neatness, attitude and performance of duty. When he graduates from MMA, he plans to earn a degree in robotic and aerospace engineering.
According to Mugisha, MMA has taught him valuable leadership skills by giving him greater responsibilities.
Mugisha is the son of Joseph Zikama Mugisha and Gihozo Aline.
Vice President: Bano Karameyezu from Rwanda
Karameyezu has completed two semesters at MMA, and he is involved in soccer, prep band and Model United Nations. When he graduates from MMA, he plans to become an engineer.
Karameyezu says MMA is helping him achieve his full potential in both academics and his social life.
Karameyezu is the son of Vestine Uwimana and Louis Aboyezantije.
Treasurer: Matthew Hamilton from Edmond, Oklahoma
Band Company Supply Sergeant Hamilton has completed three semesters at MMA. He participates in MMA's band and on the swim team, and he enjoys MMA's bagpiping program. In May 2020, he was awarded the Pipe Majors Award for Most Outstanding Bagpiper.
After he graduates, Hamilton plans to pursue a career with Lockheed Martin, an aerospace, defense, arms, security, and advanced technologies company.
According to Hamilton, MMA is providing an outstanding supply of leaders for him to learn from, and he plans to use what he learned from those leaders to raise morale in the corps.
Hamilton is the son of Elizabeth Hamilton.
Secretary: Gabriel Canonico from Falls City, Nebraska
Currently in his second semester at MMA, Canonico is currently involved in football. After he graduates, he plans to enlist in the Marine Corps or U.S. Army.
Canonico says MMA has taught him how to lead responsibly and successfully, and he plans to use his new skills to help his fellow class officers and peers.
Canonico is the son of Melanie Rieger.
Class Representative: Gage Blanton from Columbia, Missouri
Already very active at the Academy, Blanton is currently completing his first semester at MMA. In addition to being the sophomore class representative, he is involved in the Fusileer Drill Team, JROTC Raiders and Railsplitters, MMA’s WWII reenactment group.
When he graduates from MMA, Blanton plans to further his education and pursue a career in the health and medical field.
Blanton says MMA has prepared him for this leadership position by helping him acquire greater self-discipline.
Blanton is the son of Angelynn Schallon.
Junior Class Officers
President: Michael Machary-Pagan from Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Band Company 2nd Platoon Leader Machary-Pagan has completed six semesters at MMA. He is involved with the MMA Fusileers, Color Guard and band, and he competes on the varsity soccer and wrestling teams.
Machary-Pagan has previously been awarded the Streep Brothers Band Award and received the honor of playing first chair at the 43rd and 44th annual National Military School Band & Choir Festival.
When he graduates from MMA, Machary-Pagan plans to continue his education and become a heart surgeon.
According to Machary-Pagan, every day at MMA puts leadership skills to the test. He says his MMA experience has not only taught him to strive to be more than just a leader, but to be a great leader.
Machary-Pagan is the son of Joseph Pagan and Jamie Machary-Pagan.
Vice President: Zachary Malone from New London, Missouri
Band Company 2nd Platoon Sergeant Malone has completed three semesters at MMA, and he enjoys doing volunteer work that the Academy offers. He is involved in cross country and Model United Nations.
According to Malone, MMA has prepared him to serve as junior class vice president by teaching him discipline and perseverance to succeed.
When he graduates, Malone plans to attend Colorado State University and enlist in the Navy.
Malone is the son of Jeffrey and Nicole Malone.
Treasurer: Mauricio Gutierrez from Laredo, Texas
Charlie Company 1st Platoon Sergeant Gutierrez has completed three semesters at MMA, and he enjoys competing on the football team. When he graduates from MMA, he plans to work for his grandfather's business.
According to Gutierrez, MMA has taught him how to be a good leader by providing him leadership opportunities. He says he is prepared to use that experience to serve the junior class as a good treasurer.
Gutierrez is the grandson of Eduardo Garza.
Secretary: Noah Corzine from Moweaqua, Illinois
Bravo Company 2nd Platoon Sergeant Corzine is currently in his second semester at MMA. A focused athlete, he participates in football, basketball and track. Football Coach Jimmy Peyton named Corzine among his top new football athletes for fall 2020.
Although undecided regarding his future career goals, Corzine feels MMA is providing a positive example for leadership and helping him develop leadership skills.
Corzine is the son of Stacey and Andrew Corzine.
Class Representative: Patricio Regis from Parkville, Missouri
Regis is currently in his first semester at MMA, and he is enjoying activities with the Fusileers and Raiders. JROTC Raiders Coach SFC John Biddle named Regis among his top new competitors for the fall 2020 season.
When he graduates from MMA, he plans to attend college and become an officer in the U.S. Army.
According to Regis, MMA is providing him the structure and environment to balance academics and extracurriculars successfully, without distractions.
Regis is the son of Nadia Regis.
Senior Class Officers
President: Loyal Smith from Memphis, Tennessee
Battalion Sergeant Smith is currently in his eighth semester at MMA. He is a legacy cadet, following the footsteps of his cousin, D’Cherion Nelson from MMA’s Class of 2015, and he is a recipient of the Cadet Bravo Zulu Award. A member of the soccer team, Smith enjoys being a Lunch Buddy with the Bright Futures Mexico program (serving as a mentor for local elementary students). After he graduates, he hopes to become a firefighter.
A class representative his first year at MMA, he has served as class president for the last three years. He plans to use his experience in previous years to serve as an outstanding class president this year and hopes to rally the senior class into working together to secure an unforgettable senior class gift at graduation.
Smith is the son of David Dunlap and Brandy Smith.
Vice President: Kenny Kazoora from Kenya
Kazoora has completed seven semesters at MMA and he enjoys competing with the soccer team. Soccer Coach Mark Collins named Kazoora among his top returning soccer players for the fall 2020 season. He is also a recipient of the Cadet Bravo Zulu Award.
When he graduates from MMA, he plans to continue his education and become an engineer and an athlete.
Kazoora says MMA is teaching him how to manage his time better and how to achieve the goals he sets for himself.
Kazoora is the son of Nuru Hassan and Steven Kazoora.
Treasurer: Nathaniel Balvanz from Mexico, Missouri
Balvanz is currently in his seventh semester at MMA, and he enjoys competing with MMA's rifle team and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Last year, he was awarded first place in economics at the district and state FBLA conference. He is also the treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member of Delta Phi Honor Society.
He is a recipient of the United States Army Leadership and Academic Achievement Award and the Meritas Plaque for Excellence in Discipline. Last year, he had MMA’s highest score on the ACT with a score of 31 and was also recognized for having the highest scholastic achievement in his grade.
After graduating from MMA, Balvanz plans to attend a university (pre-med), then attend graduate school to eventually become a medical doctor.
Balvanz says before MMA he was shy and awkward, but MMA has helped him "come out of his shell" and made him more comfortable communicating and working with others.
Balvanz is the son of Captain Joseph and Tina Balvanz.
Secretary: Bradford Wright from Dallas, Texas
Wright has completed six semesters at MMA, and he is active with MMA's music department, participating in band and playing both the drum and bugle. He has had the honor of playing first chair at the 43rd and 44th annual National Military School Band & Choir Festival. He is also a JRTOC Raider and a National Society of High School Scholars Ambassador.
When he graduates from MMA, Wright plans to do the ROTC program at Liberty University and serve in the military until retirement – his goal being to retire as a major or higher rank – and then help his father with the family mortgage business.
According to Wright, MMA has prepared him to serve as senior class secretary through other leadership opportunities he has been given.
Wright is the son of William Ross Wright.
Class Representative: Braeden Andrews from Chesterfield, Missouri
Andrews is currently completing his first semester at MMA, and although new to the Academy, Andrews says MMA is already teaching him how to lead. He is enjoying activities such as swimming and Fusileers, and he plans to go to college after he graduates and get a good job.
Andrews is the son of Myriam Gitt and Ryan Andrews.
The 2020-21 Election Process
To be a class officer, cadet nominees must be in good standing – meaning they have no excessive tours and are not in a guided study hall by teacher recommendation. Only returning cadets can be president or vice president, and only new cadets can be a class representative.
Aiming to make the election as realistic as possible, cadet nominees who met all requirements were required to fill out a proposed ballot. Cadets could not submit their ballots verbally or via email. Once submissions were made, cadet candidates competed for their peers votes.
“I was impressed with the creativity and determination of cadet candidates,” said Phil Silverman, social studies instructor and facilitator of the class officer election. “It was a rather spirited week of campaigning, with cadets having meetings with each other to talk about policies and campaign strategies. Some cadets posted fliers and other had campaign slogans that they were saying in the hallways.”
After their campaign week, elections were held for each class, with one election per day. Cadets voted during their advisory period, during lunch or immediately after school.
According to Silverman, who counted the votes, the election results were very close, with some candidates winning by only a single vote.