Heads of Military Schools from Across the Country Attend Conference in Waynesboro

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People from across the country attended the New Heads Workshop College Prep Conference in Waynesboro People from across the country attended the New Heads Workshop College Prep Conference in Waynesboro

People from all across the country are gathering in central Virginia to talk about the challenges associated with running a new military school, and how they’ll face guiding young men and women through a strict set of lessons.

This year, the Association of Military Colleges and Schools picked Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro to host its annual New Heads Workshop College Prep Conference.

On Monday, September 24, the heads of more than 30 schools and colleges traveled to attend this year’s conference, which gave the event a record high attendance.

“The demands of running a military school are very significant, and so this offers us an opportunity to help those people who are coming in to learn from the lessons of others and also to avoid some of the pitfalls that are part of this," Colonel Ray Rottman, the executive director of the association, said.

The Association of Military Colleges and Schools hosts five annual conferences, including this one. This new heads training workshop targets school leaders who have been in charge for 90 or fewer days.

“There are aspects of this job that they have never faced before, and it's going to be foreign to them and that's, again, the purpose is to bring them into awareness of what is truly the nature of their responsibilities that they now are undertaking," Captain Mark Black, superintendent of Fishburne Military School, said.

Captain Black is retired from the U.S. Navy and now serves as the superintendent at Fishburne.

“There's lessons learned,” Black said. “Each school is an individual school. Each school is different. So, it's not a cookie-cutter approach. Therefore, you have to take the principles and then apply them specifically to your school."

Monday the participants attended workshops, met with cadets, and discussed their goals for the future. Most of them don't involve keeping cadets in a uniform.

“Only 3 percent of our graduates wear a uniform after graduation,” Rottman said. “They go on and take the skills - the transferable skills that they have learned - and they use them in going off to college, obviously, but also going off into the work world."

The conference runs through Tuesday afternoon, where officials will focus on the topics of teaching and discipline.