Dear Riverside Military Academy Friends and Family,
This week Riverside Military Academy’s cadets, teachers, and staff made RMA history by transitioning to digital learning in order to complete the current academic year. Under the leadership of Dr. Cathy Moore, academic dean, the faculty rapidly adjusted to a new way of teaching and creatively addressed the challenges and opportunities of virtual learning. Approximately 400 cadets are accessing their RMA classrooms from home via Zoom, and the 20 cadets who remain on campus are doing the same. The teamwork that was required to make this quick transition bodes well for RMA’s ongoing ability to adapt to new challenges.
Let me share a story with you from last week that brought a smile to my face. An RMA cadet, now at home, emailed his military science instructor an essay entitled, “What It Means to be an RMA Cadet Amidst the COVID-19 Outbreak.”
“During this hectic time, the way I have planned to maintain my RMA cadet values is through a schedule…however, just the schedule alone will not keep me in check, my mindset also has to be in the right state as well. I think in this time of uncertainty, the one thing that will remain constant is my daily routine, which will help me to keep my head straight amidst the chaos.”
He continues his essay by outlining his schedule complete with wake-up time, breakfast, P.T., hygiene, and school.
“We may be experiencing a major pandemic, however, the one thing we have control over is what we do with our time during the day. In the end,… (this) might have been a good change for us all, giving us a taste of what college and the real world will be like, with us having to maintain a schedule and being more accountable for our own actions.”
“Improvise, adapt, and overcome!” he concludes.
In similar fashion, the 20 cadets on campus are rising to the occasion of living RMA history. Small in number, but mighty in spirit these ReMAiners, as they are coming to be known, display grit, energy, and remarkable equilibrium.
The faculty and staff continue to amaze me with their ingenuity and creative problem-solving. I don’t consider any RMA staff member “nonessential,” but those who can work from home are doing so. Staff on campus are focused on cadet health and safety, therefore, staff from the infirmary, security, and food service are on campus daily along with the commandant’s team and technology support. We have eliminated nonessential deliveries to campus, and all staff and essential visitors pass through a central entry point and have their temperature taken.
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the RMA campus.
In the 40-plus years of my career, including military service and higher education administration, I have faced numerous logistical and planning obstacles, but COVID-19 presents such complex challenges and possible outcomes that I find myself energized by the opportunity to lead Riverside during this unique period in modern history.
Until we can resume Academy activities on campus, please reach out to me by phone or email with your thoughts and concerns. Stay safe and well, and as our cadet reminds us, “Improvise, adapt, and overcome!”
Colonel(R) Stas’ Preczewski