Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Morris “Ben” Weiss, Sarasota Military Academy senior JROTC instructor and Commandant of Cadets, was recently named the 2020 USACC JROTC Senior Army Instructor of the Year by the United States Army Cadet Command (USACC). Selection criteria includes effectiveness in the classroom and community, examples of dedication to the profession of teaching, how the nominee compares to the school’s top classroom instructor, in what other activities is the nominee involved, and the instructor's impact on the school’s JROTC enrollment and achievements of the cadets involved in the program.
In addition to school-wide accomplishments, LTC Weiss manages the program’s budget. Each fall, he travels with a group of cadets and chaperones on a four-day trip to the United States Military Academy at West Point to receive an orientation to the campus and attend a football game. Due to the successful nature of the annual trips, which now include visits to the Naval and Air Force academies, SMA currently has eight graduates attending West Point, one senior with a letter of acceptance to West Point, one waiting to hear from the admissions committee and one senior with a letter of acceptance to the Air Force Academy as a recruited athlete.