Massanutten Military Academy is lucky to have a faculty made up of individuals who are passionate about the cadets they encounter each year. One faculty member that makes a lasting impact on our students is Army JROTC instructor, SFC Richard Kurtz. An important part of our institution for many years now, SFC Kurtz has been dedicated to helping cadets grow in their confidence and leadership abilities.
- What is your favorite thing about teaching at MMA?
Seeing the change in the cadets when they “get it.” Seeing them grow in belief and confidence in themselves.
- You lead the RAIDERS program at MMA, what does this program consist of and what are the benefits of this program for cadets? Raiders is a JROTC extracurricular competitive sports team which focuses on leadership skills, problem solving, physical fitness and orienteering. An average competition starts at 0700 and ends at 1600. Typical events include Army physical fitness test, first aid, orienteering, obstacle course, one rope bride, field leader’s reaction course, and 5 km team run.The benefits are self-confidence, physical toughness, mental toughness, and the realization that there is nothing they can’t do if they put their mind to it.
- What is your favorite lesson or task to teach your students and why is this important to you and to them?
Brain structure and function. It gives the cadets an understanding of how their computer (brain) works and drives home the point that just because there is something that can’t be done yet doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it just means we have not yet figured out how to accomplish it yet.
- What would you tell parents of potential students about MMA?
I believe in this institution! We have had cadets attend starting in their middle school years, complete high school here and go on to some of the most honored and prestigious colleges and universities. We have also had some cadets attend and not do so well. We have what students need to excel but the difference is the CADET. The CADET has to take advantage of the opportunities and programs offered and let the system mold them.
- What’s the one lesson you hope students take away from their time at MMA that will benefit them as they enter the next phase of their life?
Nothing is impossible! The only failure is the failure to try!