High school Juniors, here is something you can do this week to work on your application: TEACHER BUY IN JUNIOR YEAR You will need the very active support of your Math and English teachers (and science teacher for USMA) throughout this process. Believe it or not they will have to do a lot of work for you and they may not want to, have moved, retired etc. They will have to fill out on-line evaluations of you over their summer vacations. The will have to write a letter for you as part of your member of congress nomination packet. The will have to write a letter for you as part of your NROTC/ROTC/AROTC application packet. The will have to write a letter for you as you apply to the colleges or universities that will direct your NROTC/ROTC/AROTC scholarship. The will have to write a letter for you to square away your Plan B and Plan C colleges or universities. They will have to evaluate your: Cooperation, Dependability, Productivity, Attitude, Leadership Ability, Consideration for others, Initiative, Ability to Plan and Organize work, Attendance and Punctuality, Drive and Character. You will NEED to get their buy in. This does not mean simply being nice to them. Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because they want to do it. This means 1.) Working hard for them in their class 2.) Going above and beyond to demonstrate the above characteristics 3.)Explaining articulately what you are trying to accomplish and why 4.) Showing your appreciation for them throughout this process by writing hand written thank you notes. One important thing to know is that 99% of teachers became a teacher because they enjoy kids and sincerely want to help them. Many (most) high school students have not yet formulated their goals. You have. Share that with the teachers early on and ask for tips and suggestions. Their tips and suggestions may not be 100% helpful but you may get a nugget in there. More importantly, they will be glad that you are sharing with them and are asking for their help and guidance, and then will buy into your plans. For many applying the on-line application will be available over summer. This posed some problems for my son. One teacher was a wonderful lady who was not very media driven(Math). One teacher was going on an extended trip to China (English), and one lives up in his lake house in the woods doing research over summer (Chemistry). My son was driven to get in front of the very first review board and to try to get an LOA (It worked!) so he really wanted them to get their SOEs in as soon as they became available. My son wrote a letter, hand delivered it AND emailed a copy of each letter to the teacher: Dear xxxx, As we have discussed during the year, I am seeking an appointment to a service academy. I am seeking an appointment to the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy. My goal is to serve my country, gain valuable leadership experience, and receive an outstanding education. A major part of this endeavor involves my high school math teacher. To that end, I wanted to give you a little more information about the process. It has been said that applying to a service academy is twenty times more work than applying to a typical college or university. This process not only includes the standard transcripts that indicate a rigorous course load, a GPA over 4.0 weighted, high test scores, and essays, but also includes other, unusual aspects. For example, I must score high on a Candidate Fitness Assessment (CFA) which includes pull-ups, crunches, pushups, a kneeling basketball throw, a shuttle run, and a mile run. My Candidate Activities Record must include varsity athletics or higher, club presidencies, paid work experience, participation in xxx Boys State, and hundreds of hours of volunteer experience to demonstrate leadership experience and my capabilities. I must receive clearance from DoDMERB – the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board—by completing a physical and vision exam at a military treatment facility. However, even with all of that, I still must receive a nomination by one of my United States Senators (Senator xxx or Senator xxx) or my United States Congressman (Congressman xxx). Securing a nomination in our geographical area can be very difficult. We live in an area that is considered highly competitive and each senator and congressman can only nominate ten candidates. For example, Senator xxxx had over 250 requests for a nomination last year to the Naval Academy alone, in which only ten of the 250 were nominated. One helpful factor in gaining one of the ten coveted spots on the nomination slate is being awarded an early Letter of Assurance. Though this is not mandatory it may help. One who has a Letter of Assurance maybe likely to get a nomination. Letter of Assurances go out starting in August after the first Admissions Board meets. One of the most important requirements before consideration for a Letter of Assurance is a School Official Evaluation (SOE). The SOE must come from a teacher that I had for Chemistry, Math, and English. Your recommendation matters a great deal. In fact, without your SOE, a Letter of Assurance isn’t even a possibility. For this process, in June or early July, you will be emailed a link to a portal on the service academy website. On this portal, there will be several questions with multiple choice answers and a section for a short narrative. There is nothing for you to type up and send in now. In fact, this can only be done through an email you receive from the service academy. However, in the future, I will ask for a letter of recommendation that I will need to send to Senator xxx, Senator xxx, and Congressman xxx. My next step is to turn in an email address for my Chemistry, Math, and English teacher. This should be an email address that you frequently check over the summer. I am respectfully asking you to take time out of your busy summer schedule, while you are off duty, and regularly check your email. You should receive separate emails from the United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy. I am also asking that you take a few minutes to link to the portal in the email you receive and fill out the School Official Evaluation. The sooner you do this, the sooner I can go in front of the Admissions Review Board. And as it is rolling admissions, the sooner you are able to do this, the more likely that I receive a Letter of Assurance. I have included a copy of my Candidate Activities Record to give you a list of my academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. Respectfully, XXXXX You will get an almost instant email form admissions once this has been filled out by the teachers. Date: June 7 2012 Subject: Your USNA English Teacher Recommendation Application has been received DearXXXX, Your English Teacher Recommendation Application for the United States Naval Academy has been successfully completed by XXXX. Please ensure that all parts of your application are complete as soon as possible in order to be competitive for admission. Be sure to include your candidate number, xxxxx, in all correspondence with the United States Naval Academy. Beat Army! Admissions Office United States Naval Academy One other factor, this request should also go out to the guidance counselor. They do not do an SOE but they complete two other sections. his was trickier because they will have two different sections for each academy. They may think they are done after they fill in one section.-but will have one more to go I do know of kids seriously held up by teachers’ SOEs. If you want until your senior yr that teacher may want to get to know you first which can add more time.