Final Assembly for the 2023-24 Academic Year — Congratulations, Cadets!

Final Assembly for the 2023-24 Academic Year — Congratulations, Cadets!

Missouri Military Academy honored cadets for 8th-grade promotions, athletics, JROTC and commandant’s awards, and outstanding scholarship at the Final All-Academy Assembly Friday, May 17, 2024, in Centennial Gymtorium. Faculty and staff also received awards for outstanding, performance and superior support of cadets.

Watch the video of the 2024-25 Final All-Academy Assembly:

The awards and their recipients recognized at the 2024-25 Final All-Academy Assembly are as follows:

8th Grade Promotion 

The following eighth-grade cadets (photo below) were promoted to high school. By undertaking the challenge and responsibility of being MMA cadets, these young men have surpassed the accomplishments of many of their peers through academic excellence, physical development, personal motivation, leadership, and character development.

Missouri Military Academy 8th grade class, spring 2024
  • Jacob Ryan Adkins
  • James Harrison Aldendifer 
  • Claudio Arroyo Gonzalez
  • Jeffrey Anders Clingenpeel
  • Rfred Cordero
  • Gavin Eugene Dooley
  • Michael Robert Emminger
  • John Harold Farley
  • August Charles Jackson
  • Alex Chase Johnson
  • Humberto Junquera Garcia Luna
  • Jayden Randall Lewis
  • Hayden Phillip McKnight
  • Adrian Rodriguez
  • Luis Alberto Sass-Zaragoza
  • Gunnar Everett Ward
  • Ethan Stone Winters
  • Yulong Xu

Athletic Awards

Red Ireland, Class of 1941 Award – Tiago Ruas Deluca

  • This award goes to a loyal and courageous cadet in the athletics department. James “Red” Wesley Ireland, Jr., Class of 1941, was a WWII and Korean conflict veteran.

Alex Ebersole Selfless Service Award – Ryan Miles

  • Awarded to the cadet who exhibits courage and grit in the face of overwhelming adversity. Ebersole played football, basketball and golf at MMA. He battled cancer his senior year and passed away in October of 2018.

Babe Ruth Award – August Jackson and Paulo Pereria De Abreu Donnabella

  • Awarded to a middle school and high school cadet who show good sportsmanship, great integrity and good character.

The Bohm Award – Nathan Dempsey

  • Awarded to a cadet for being an outstanding MMA Athlete. This award is given in honor of Dr. Wilbur Harrison Smith Bohm, Class of 1912, who was an osteopath and athletic trainer. He was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame.

Major George L. Piper Outstanding Middle School Athlete – Jeffrey “Anders” Clingenpeel (photo below)

  • Given in honor of Major Piper, who was a middle school faculty member, the athletic director and the commandant between 1943 and 1979.
Major George L. Piper Outstanding Middle School Athlete Jeffrey Clingenpeel with President Geraci

Joe D. Bailey most dedicated MMA varsity athlete in the 2023-2024 school year – Trae Griffiths

  • Awarded each school year to the most dedicated varsity athlete at MMA in honor of 40-year faculty member, athletic director, and head MMA coach Joe D. Bailey. Bailey was a USN WWII veteran whose name is on the Wall of Honor.

JROTC Awards

Association of United States Army Leadership and Academic Achievement Award – Landon Meyer

  • Awarded to the cadet with the highest ACT or SAT.

Military Officers Association of America Award – Kruze Hagan

  • Awarded to the junior class cadet who displays exceptional potential for military leadership; good academic standing; high moral character; loyalty to unit, school, and country; and has exceptional potential for military leadership.

Military Order of the Purple Heart Award – Zijie Zhou (photo below)

  • Given to a cadet who has demonstrated leadership ability and positive attitude for JROTC and country; who holds a leadership position in the corps; is engaged in extracurricular activities; and holds a B average or better in academics.
Military Order of the Purple Heart Award

National Sojourner Award – Samuel Way

  • The National Sojourners Association exists to encourage and support current and former members of the uniformed forces of the United States in patriotism. This award is given to the cadet who encourages and demonstrates Americanism in the corps is in the second or third year of JROTC and is in the top 25% of academic classes.

American Veterans Medal – Khuslen Turmunkh (photo below) 

  • (he American Veterans Medal is awarded for military excellence. The criteria for this award is outstanding cadet performance, dependability, good character, military discipline, leadership, patriotic understanding of JROTC; in the third of a four-year program, academic good standing, and military bearing.
American Veterans Medal

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War – Matthew Hallam

  • The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is awarded to a cadet who demonstrates patriotism, high academic performance, and leadership.

The Steve Walker Memorial Award – Luis Carlos Ochoa-Chaveznava

  • The Steve Walker Memorial Award is awarded to the most outstanding first-year cadet.

Davison Broadcasting Award – Cooper Johnston

  • The Davison Broadcasting Award is awarded to a cadet broadcaster who did the most to present the MMA story by audio/video communication. Presented in honor of George Davison, Class of 1968, television and radio broadcaster.

Commandant Awards

The Major Jerome G. Harris Award (high school) – Evan Batson 

The Major Jerome G. Harris Award (middle school) – John Paolucci (photo below)

  • Awarded to the senior cadet who possesses the most soldierly qualities, recommended by the faculty. Harris was a professor of military science and tactics and served in WWI and WWII as USA colonel.
The Major Jerome G. Harris Award (middle school)

The Richard Benton Hall Class of 1976 Memorial Award – Gihana Favour Nziza 

  • The Richard Benton Hall Class of 1976 Memorial Award is presented to the underclassman cadet who best exemplifies a true gentleman.

Hal Heyman All-American Boy Award – Rfred Cordero

  • Given to the middle school cadet who possesses the characteristics that promote American values. It is given in honor of Cadet Harold David Heyman who died at the age of 12 in a car accident.

The Meritas Discipline Award, representing outstanding and honorable conduct for the entire school year

  • Braden Atterberry
  • Aaden Bado
  • Mason Brooks
  • Jose Elizondo
  • Gaston Gastelum
  • August Jackson
  • Kam Ho Liu
  • Marcus Miller
  • Erdembayar Munkhbolor
  • Luis Ochoa-Chaveznava
  • Paulo Pereira
  • Michael Pfeifer
  • Eric Shellabarger
  • Bradley Thumbi
  • Mu Ye 

Rotary Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship awards.

Rotary Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship – Adrian Rodriguez and August Jackson

  • These awards are presented to middle school cadets who have shown a willingness to contribute to the community, who excel academically and who have shown great leadership qualities.

Academic Awards

The Judy A. Twells Middle School Drama Award – Rfred Cordero

English Department Awards

Lyle C. Wilson Journalism Award – Deonte Kerns (photo below)

  • Lyle Wilson was a 1917 graduate of MMA. He worked for United Press International as a national correspondent and as a former vice president.
Lyle C. Wilson Journalism Award – Deonte Kerns

Thomas F. Eagleton English Excellence Award – Kruze Hagan and Brayden Phelps

  • Thomas F. Eagleton was a Missouri United States Senator from 1968 to 1987. There are two English awards given out in his honor: one for a junior cadet and one for a senior cadet, but both are for excellence in English.

Major William L. Bryan Award – Miles Matthews

  • Given in memory of former MMA English faculty member Major William L. Bryan. Awarded to a cadet who has shown excellence in writing.

ESL Department Awards

Syl Mansfield Award –Triet Bui

  • Sylvia Mansfield was an MMA faculty member from 1999 to 2010. The Syl Mansfield Memorial awards go to a high school cadet and a middle school cadet who has the highest ESL grade, the best classroom behavior, low to no tours, positive participation in class and has shown great improvement. This award comes with scholarships.

Social Studies Department Awards

Senator John C. Danforth Award – Gabriel Iglesias

  • Awarded to a cadet who possesses outstanding knowledge and appreciation of constitutional government. Danforth was a Missouri U.S. Senator from 1976 to 1994.

Science and Math Department Awards 

David Whitney Conservation Award – Josiah Emminger

  • The David Whitney conservation award is given to the cadet who has the highest average in environmental science, and who has an interest and appreciation in conservation. Whitney was a nominated Pulitzer Prize writer and a sports and conservation enthusiast.

Derrill S. Kuhlman Award – Zijie Zhou

  • In recognition of the cadet who, in the opinion of the math department, is the top student in math. The Col. Derrill S. Kuhlman award is given annually.

Business Department Awards

Enright Business Award – Paulo Pereira De Abreu Donnabella

  • Presented in recognition of the cadet who has shown proficiency in business and computer studies.

Highest Scholarship Awards

Highest scholarship awards go to the cadets who have attended MMA the entire school year and who have the highest cumulative GPA in each grade. Senior highest scholarship awards and the salutatorian and the valedictorian are recognized at commencement. Senior highest scholarship awards and the salutatorian and the valedictorian will be recognized at commencement.  

  • 7th grade – Bryan O'Dwyer-Moore
  • 8th grade – August Jackson
  • 9th grade – Eric Shellabarger
  • 10th grade – Clayton Reich
  • 11th grade – Mason Brooks

The 28+ Award – Landon Meyer

  • The 28+ Award recognizes cadets who score a 28 or better on the ACT test. A score of 28 places the cadet in the top 10% of all test-takers nationwide.

Academic Awards for 9th, 10th and 11th grades

The Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award – Eric Shellabarger

  • The Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award is given to the 9th-grade cadet who displays leadership qualities, shows promise of campus leadership, and has a GPA of 2.5 or better.)

The Dr. Gregory “Doc” McDonald Memorial Award – Erick Bond

  • Doc McDonald was a faculty member and coach from 2007 to 2015.  This award recognizes a sophomore who conducts himself with honor.

The John W. Fritsch 1949 Award – Kruze Hagan

  • The John W. Fritsch 1949 Award is given to a junior who exemplifies honor, good discipline, academic excellence, and service to the Academy.  John W. Fritsch was a member of the MMA Board of Trustees.

Bravo Zulu

Bravo Zulu Award – MMA Golf Coach Anthony Yanielli

  • One of the highest compliments paid in the U.S. Naval forces is the Bravo Zulu. The combination of the Bravo and Zulu nautical signal flags is a naval signal, typically conveyed by flag hoist or voice radio, meaning “Well Done” with regard to actions, operations, or performance.

Coach of the Year

Brad Smith (photo below)

Coach of the Year – Brad Smith

This award recognizes outstanding performance and success as the Tennis Coach. Coach Smith’s high level of commitment and dedication to our tennis cadets’ success and your expertise have led to an undefeated season during spring 2024 (10-0) and an overall record of 47-6 over the last 4 years, three district MSHSAA team championships and a state Final Four appearance. Coach Smith motivates our cadets to perform at their highest level and daily demonstrates his own exceptional level of commitment to the Academy. “A great coach will make his players see what they can be rather than what they are.”


Employee of the Year

Matt Jackson (photo below)

Employee of the Year

This award recognizes outstanding performance as the Creative Marketing Photographer. Jackson’s professional skills, conscientiousness, willingness to go the extra mile, resilience and determination to showcase the Academy’s best have significantly contributed to the fulfillment of our Academy mission. His positive attitude and overall work ethic provide an example for others to follow.

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