With the passing of a leader, many institutions stumble for failure to prepare for change – not Lyman Ward Military Academy.
Three weeks ago LWMA Chairman of the Board of Trustees Col. Albert W. Jenrette passed away. Over the last few decades, many would consider Jenrette the face of military school having served the school as senior army instructor, commandant of cadets, president, chancellor and most recently as chairman of the board of trustees.
Jenrette wanted to see the school return to its past revere.
“He wanted to live long enough to see the academy return to glory,” LWMA Vice President LTC (Retire) Jared Norrell said. “He spent a lot of time here and wanted to make sure things were in great shape.”
Jenrette and others at LWMA began laying that groundwork for a transition three years ago as the leaders at the Camp Hill military school recruited Norrell.
“I was working for a non-profit in Colorado,” Norrell said. “They recruited me and I came to visit. I just fell in love with the school and its mission. The school has a great mission.”
According the school, the mission is beyond a private military boarding school.
“A private military boarding academy providing the best in academics, leadership and athletics structured on a foundation of moral and ethical values that develops young men of integrity, competence and excellence who are prepared for the work of life,” is the school’s mission statement.
Norrell said it has been a great move for he and his family.
“My boys love it,” Norrell said. “I have two sons here in the academy, a junior that is looking at West Point and an eighth-grader. My wife loves it. She is a Colorado native and likes the mild winters.”
Norrell says that Jenrette was a great mentor for him.
“He mentored me for three years,” Norrell said of Jenrette. “We would spend hours talking. Even when he got sick, he would still come visit with me for a few hours a couple days a week.”
Norrell thinks Jenrette has righted the ship at LWMA.
“A large part of what we are doing today is due to the foundation that he laid,” Norrell said. “His presence will be felt for long time here.”
Current LWMA President Dr. Roy Berwick, who is retiring at the end of the school year, made this statement about Jenrette on the school’s blog.
“It is said he never met a cadet he did not like,” Berwick said.
Berwick may be stepping down from LWMA but he says he is not going to just sit idle after his planned departure.
“I am moving back to Kentucky, my home,” Berwick said. “I am going to be proactive, write some books, open a law practice. I am not one to just sit around.”
Norrell will step into the shoes of Berwick as president at the end of the school year.
With the passing of Jenrette, LWMA Class of 1995 graduate Jeremy Farber has been selected as the new chairman of the board of trustees.
Despite the changes, Norrell says the academy has some things planned to help further LWMA and involve the local community.
“Next month we will start on a leadership challenge course that we will open up to the community,” Norrell said. “This fall we will also open as a day school allowing local students to attend Lyman Ward.”
For the day school option, Norrell says parents can contact admissions at the school.
Norrell sees hope for the school.
“We are it in Camp Hill,” Norrell said. “It is a beautiful campus and we do an outstanding job of preparing our graduates for college. It is a labor of love.”