Front & Center News from Fork Union Military Academy โ€“ March 22, 2024

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Stories in this issue:

  • Brian Bodine Promoted to Academic Dean at Fork Union Military Academy as Mike Goad Steps into Executive Role with His Father's Company
  • Fork Union Military Academy Marching Band Makes Magical Memories at Disney World
  • This Week's College Acceptances
  • Fork Union Welcomes Melanie Collier & Rich "Coach" Taddei to the FUMA Family
  • Cadet Philippe Lianavwa Promoted to Alpha Company Commander
  • Upcoming Admissions Events
  • Do you want to be a part of our Cadet Corps?

Brian Bodine Promoted to Academic Dean at Fork Union Military Academy as Mike Goad Steps into Executive Role with His Father's Company

CAPT Mark Black, USN (Ret.), the President of Fork Union Military Academy, announces this week that longtime faculty stalwart Brian Bodine will become Academic Dean, effective July 1, 2024, replacing Mike Goad who decided to step down as Academic Dean at the end of this school year. Goad will accept a role as an executive at Superior Signs, the company founded by his father in 1982 that has grown to be a major manufacturer of commercial signage throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

"I always said that only two things could pry me away from this job I love at Fork Union Military Academy," stated Mike Goad, who has served as the school's Academic Dean since 2019. "One would be if I was offered the opportunity to teach at my alma mater, Hampden-Sydney College, or-if I was needed by my family to help take over my father's business."

Bodine has served on the faculty as a math teacher and football coach at both the junior prep and prep level for the past two decades. Goad tapped Bodine in 2019 to serve as the new faculty mentor, helping to onboard and train new teachers to the Academy. Bodine was then named the Director of Math and Science, as the two disciplines were combined into a single department under Goad's increased emphasis on STEM education initiatives. Bodine next stepped into the role of Assistant Dean, where he has been integral in helping build up the faculty and recruit high quality teachers.

"I'm proud of the fact that we now have several PhDs on staff and nearly sixty percent of our faculty hold advanced degrees, which is significant for a secondary school," Goad states. "Brian Bodine and I have worked together to recruit outstanding faculty members."

Under Goad's leadership, there have been many additional successes, in particular the Academy established articulation agreements providing Fork Union's cadets with guaranteed acceptance to colleges such as Norwich University, The Citadel, and VMI.

"Mike Goad has played a pivotal role in leading the Academy through major challenges and turning each of them into major victories," stated CAPT Mark Black. "Within his very first year as Academic Dean, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and Mike showed outstanding leadership and agility as the school faced the momentous task of switching overnight to a virtual learning model. Where other schools struggled during the pandemic, Mike Goad helped Fork Union excel. He helped our academics team overcome technological barriers and adopted a learning management system that is continuing to serve the school well today."

"I know that the transition will be very smooth this summer as Brian Bodine takes the reins as Academic Dean," stated CAPT Black. "Every role that Brian has been assigned, from handling NCAA compliance issues to serving as Assistant Dean, he has done an exemplary job and has helped move the Academy forward. I have every confidence that he will continue to do so."

Goad, who was recently elected to serve on the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors representing the Fork Union district, is quick to emphasize that despite his change in jobs, he is not going anywhere.

"I will remain an active member of the Fork Union community," Goad assures. "My wife Kate will continue to work at the Academy just as her grandfather did, and Fork Union is where I want my children to be raised. I look forward to the day my young son Reagan will join the ranks of Fork Union Military Academy's Corps of Cadets."

Are you a lacrosse alumnus? Play in our Alumni Lacrosse Game on May 4!

๐Ÿฅ Calling all Fork Union Military Academy Lacrosse alumni! ๐Ÿฅ

Get ready to dust off your sticks and lace up your cleats because the Alumni Lacrosse Game is back! Join us on Saturday, May 4, 2024, for a thrilling day of lacrosse action and nostalgia during Alumni Weekend.

  • ๐Ÿ“… Date: Saturday, May 4, 2024
  • ๐Ÿ•’ Time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
  • ๐Ÿ“ Location: Stadium Field

Reconnect with old teammates, reminisce about your glory days on the field, and show off your skills once again! Whether you're a recent graduate or a seasoned veteran, this is your chance to showcase your love for the game and support our academy.

Spread the word, tag your teammates, and let's make this year's Alumni Lacrosse Game one for the books! See you there! ๐ŸŽ‰

To ensure you have a comfortable stay during the weekend, we have partnered with some fantastic hotels in the area. Click the button to find a list of hotels offering special room blocks exclusively for our alumni. Don't miss out on securing your spot, as rooms go fast!

Fork Union Military Academy Marching Band Makes Magical Memories at Disney World

This Spring Break, 49 of Fork Union Military Academy's talented cadets embarked on a memorable journey to Disney World in Florida. Not only did they enjoy some well-deserved fun, but they also had the incredible opportunity to highlight their musical talents and exceptional character on a national stage.

Months of Preparation Lead to a Grand Entrance

Back in September, the band began the rigorous process of auditioning for the prestigious honor of marching down Main Street in Magic Kingdom. This was a significant challenge for a young and developing band, but the cadets rose to the occasion, fueled by dedication and a strong work ethic. In November, their efforts were rewarded with the news that they had been accepted.

A Week of Unforgettable Experiences

While many students reveled in the freedom of Spring Break, the band members were busy preparing for their trip. They spent the days leading up to departure meticulously inventorying instruments, flags, and luggage, ensuring a smooth journey.

Upon arrival at the resort, the cadets enjoyed a brief period of rest before diving headfirst into a whirlwind of exciting events.

  • Marching Down Main Street: The highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the highly anticipated march through Magic Kingdom. After months of practice and meticulous uniform inspections, the cadets proudly highlighted their skills and discipline for a captivated audience. The energy and enthusiasm were palpable as they marched to the beat of the drumline, their performance a testament to their commitment and talent.
  • Workshop with Imagineers: The cadets also had the unique opportunity to participate in a workshop led by one of Disney's talented Imagineers (musicians). This session provided valuable insights into sightreading and musicality, allowing the students to learn from a renowned professional in the field.
  • Leadership Seminar at Epcot: As a military academy, leadership development is a cornerstone of the Fork Union experience. The cadets attended a leadership seminar at Epcot, where they engaged in interactive exercises with Disney team leaders. This session provided a valuable opportunity to explore leadership principles in a real-world context, fostering valuable skills applicable both on and off the field.
  • Park Exploration and Fun: Beyond their official engagements, the cadets had ample time to explore the wonders of Disney World. They enjoyed thrilling rides, captivating shows, meet-and-greets with beloved characters, and the delectable culinary delights offered by the various parks.
โ€œI never imagined when I took the reins of the band three years ago that our cadets would be where they are today,โ€ said Music Director John Warren. โ€œTo see how each and every student grows each year is amazing and I canโ€™t wait to see where we go next!โ€

A Reflection on Success

Throughout the week, the cadets consistently impressed everyone they encountered. Their professionalism, respect, and maturity earned them high praise from bus drivers, resort staff, Disney cast members, and countless park guests. This trip served as a powerful testament to the dedication and talent of the Fork Union Military Academy Marching Band.

โ€œTo see how far these young men have come this year is truly amazing,โ€ said Warren. โ€œThey earned this opportunity that not many middle and high school students get, and just saying I am proud of them doesnโ€™t do it justice.โ€

The success of this trip would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of many dedicated individuals. A special thank you goes to:

  • Assistant Band Directors Maggie Gaeth and Brynn Welch for their invaluable contributions in the trip's preparation and execution.
  • Academy seamstress Jessica Farmer for ensuring the cadets looked their absolute best during their performance.
  • Academy nurse and chaperone Angela Bishop for providing exceptional care and ensuring the well-being of all students.
  • Michael Farmer, Tom Gaeth, and Alyssa Wheelock for lending their support and chaperoning groups.
  • Vanessa Athey for her instrumental role in planning and coordination, ensuring the trip ran smoothly from start to finish.
  • And lastly, ETN1(SS) John Warren,ย USN (Ret), the music director here at the Academy for his hard work on making these magical memories a success. The band would not be where it is today without his leadership.

This magical experience at Disney World will undoubtedly leave an impression on the cadets. It provided a unique opportunity to highlight their talents, develop leadership skills, and forge lasting memories of camaraderie and achievement.

We look forward to seeing what incredible heights the Fork Union Military Academy Marching Band reaches in the future!

Phonathon is a special fundraising event at Fork Union where cadets, alumni, parents, and friends have the opportunity to come together for the school they admire. Yesterday, completed a very successful first week and we can't wait to continue the momentum next week!

Talk to the young men you support, tell them your Fork Union stories, give them a challenge, update your information, and help build a strong future for Fork Union by donating to our Academy Fund. We look forward to talking to you Monday!

If you would prefer to make your donation online, you can do so by visiting

This Week's College Acceptances

It's that time of year again when our seniors get the exciting news of college acceptances!

Our goal each year is that 100% of our seniors gain college acceptance. Each year, our seniors work hard with the College Placement and Academic Services team under the leadership of the department's Director, Kelsey Hill, and the Assistant Director, Dr. James Benson.

Check out this week's acceptances!

Fork Union Military Academy Welcomes New Athletic Staff

New Athletic Trainer Joins the Team!

We are thrilled to welcome Melanie Collier as our newest Athletic Trainer! Melanie joins us from Charlottesville, Virginia, and brings a wealth of experience and passion for sports medicine.

Melanie holds a Bachelor's degree in Athletic Training from James Madison University and a Master of Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), where she completed her clinical internship. Her extensive education has equipped her with a deep understanding of athletic training, injury prevention, and rehabilitation. Melanie's commitment to the well-being of our cadet-athletes perfectly aligns with Fork Union Military Academy's mission.

Please join us in giving Melanie a warm welcome to the FUMA family!

Familiar Face Returns to Athletics!

We're also excited to announce the return of a familiar face to the Athletic Department โ€“ Rich Taddei!

Rich, affectionately known as "Coach" Taddei, has held various roles here at Fork Union. His deep institutional knowledge and expertise in facilities management will be a tremendous asset to our athletic program. Rich is rejoining us as the Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities.

We are confident that both Melanie and Rich will make a significant positive impact on our athletic community.

Cadet Philippe Lianavwa Promoted to Alpha Company Commander

Congratulations to junior Phillippe Lianavwa on his promotion to Alpha Company Commander during Wednesday night's ceremony at Wicker Chapel.

Phillippe, a dedicated member of Charlie Company, hails from the Republic of the Congo and has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities. His hard work, dedication, and commitment to the cadet code have earned him the respect of his peers and superiors alike.

This promotion recognizes Phillippe's potential as a leader and places him at the forefront of Alpha Company. We are confident that Phillippe will excel in his new role, fostering a strong and cohesive unit within Alpha Company.

The entire Fork Union Military Academy community is incredibly proud of Phillippe's accomplishment.

Upcoming Admissions Events

The best way to learn about Fork Union Military Academy is to schedule an appointment with our Admissions Office and come for a family visit and receive your own individual tour of the campus.

We also schedule a number of Admissions Events on campus and in various cities and regions throughout the year.

Monday, April 1 | Admissions Event in Northern Virginia

  • nterested in learning more about Fork Union Military Academy? An admissions team representative will be in the Northern Virginia area on Monday, April 1st from 9 AM to 1 PM, for an Admissions Event held at Black Rifle Coffee Company located at: 591 Warrenton Rd., Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406. Registration for this event is required.

Wednesday, April 10 | Open House on Campus

  • We would like to invite you to our Admissions Open House on the campus of Fork Union Military Academy on Wednesday, April 10th, from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. You will be able to go on a cadet-led tour of our campus, participate in an information session to learn more about the Academy, speak directly with members of our admissions team to get answers to all of your questions, and enjoy lunch in our dining facility. Registration to this event is required.

Monday, May 27, 2024 | Open House on Campus

  • We would like to invite you to our Memorial Day Admissions Open House on the campus of Fork Union Military Academy on Monday, May 27th, from 9:00AM to 12:00PM. You will be able to go on a cadet-led tour of our campus, participate in an information session to learn more about the Academy, speak directly with members of our admissions team to get answers to all of your questions, and enjoy lunch in our dining facility. Registration to this event is required.

Do you want to be a part of our Cadet Corps?

Are you a young man in the 7th to 12th grade? Do you want to be a man known for integrity, respect for yourself and others, faith, character, and discipline?

We encourage you to fill out an application for enrollment and join our cadets here at Fork Union Military Academy.

Thank you!