SMA Prep Cadets of Month Show the IB Learner Profile of Thinker

Congratulations to our Cadets of the Month!

The IB Learner Profile for December is Thinker:

Thinkers use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. They also exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

Nominating Department: Language & Literature

Seth Howard

He has always responded with deep philosophical responses that show thought, extraordinary vocabulary and understanding of concepts. He participates in class discussions frequently and helps to facilitate engaging discussions based on the current content. He has shown his skills as a writer and is working on writing his own content for a possible blog or book in the future and is also helpful to peers.

Caleigh Patterson 

During our recent debate, Caleigh went above and beyond doing research for her group’s topic, and then was able to quickly think on her feet during the debate to give excellent counterclaims and rebuttals. Also, during our recent essay summative, Caleigh wrote with creative depth, sentence complexity, and advanced structure for someone her age. She is the epitome of a deep thinker.

Nominating Department: Theater/Choir

Reagan Chevalier 

The positive attitude Reagan has is infectious. Reagan always comes to class prepared and has a deep understanding of what Theater is all about. She showed bravery by helping encourage the shy students by being a role-model and never trying to outshine them. She was always caught working together as a team each class to accomplish an almost impossible performance. Her kindness and compassion will forever be a part of the students she was in class with as she helped make the entire semester for 5th Period an enjoyable experience they will never forget. Great Job Reagan.

James Dowling 

When it comes to leadership and knowledge James has truly been one that helps the entire class work together. His strengths came in many different ways. His commercial was extremely well thought out and executed perfectly. He has a well balanced intellect mixed with a great sense of humor. He has great ideas and was communicated them to the class while also integrating the ideas of others. He was kind and thoughtful to the students that were shy acting their parts and offered his support to help them open up and shine.

Nominating Department: Athlete of the Month- Cross Country

John Sabin 

John was an outstanding individual runner. I told him on the first day of practice that I expected his team to place, not just him but his team. He stepped up week after week developing a plan with me and the team, getting faster, improving and coming together. His determination and dedication paid off, as the team went from 5th place to 2nd ending the season as champs! An outstanding approach to thinking about how to motivate other athletes!

Taja Medeiros 

Taja’s strong personality and dedication, never missing a practice or meet, and reliability made her an amazing leader for cross country. She grew as a runner, motivating others to follow her. She arrived before every practice, especially on fun run days and offered creative ideas for her fellow team mates to excel. She implemented and initiated a lot of interesting fun run games and skills building activities to keep these runners interested, having fun and motivated throughout the season to have that determination to improve and give 100%.


The IB learner profile. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. They imply a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.

Stanford Professor Emeritus and World-Renowned Psychologist, Dr. Zimbardo Challenges SMA Prep Cadets to Train for Everyday Heroic Action

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University introduced cadets at SMA Prep to the Heroic Imagination Project of which he is the founder and president. Many know of Dr. Zimbardo for his 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment along with many other notable works. Currently, he is focused on motivating people to no longer be bystanders and instead take action to have a positive impact on the world around them.

Growing up in poverty in the Bronx in the 1930s and 1940s, Dr. Zimbardo often wondered how it was that some of his friends in the neighborhood grew up to be “bad” kids while others grew up to be “good” kids. As he refocuses his pursuit of understanding human behavior, he has established a new approach by asking, “how do ordinary people act heroically? Being introduced to the Heroic Imagination Project, cadets began to make their own connections with issues such as bullying and intolerance that can also be a part of their adolescent lives.

“Heroism starts in the mind.”

The larger question Dr. Zimbardo posed to cadets was, “Can anyone be a hero?” and emphasized the need to teach people to move away from being passive and instead to help people and situations that are in distress. Other questions came to light such as how to eliminate stereotypes and become more accepting of others as well as the value of developing a growth mindset as opposed to a mindset that is fixed and unchangeable. Dr. Zimbardo imparted to cadets that success in life depends on mindset, are you thinking into the future or are you stuck in the present only seeking immediate reward?

Dr. Zimbardo speaks to cadets this year for Project Equality which is one of the pathways developed through The Inspire Project created by SMA-MAJ Todd Brown who teaches 8th-grade Individuals & Societies as well as Civics. Brown has been cultivating this program over 5 years and it has positively impacted many students. SMA Cadet-CPL Grace Wagler is currently attending SMA High School and shared this about Dr. Zimbardo, “something that really stuck with me was the idea that just as normal people can take on “evil” roles so easily, normal people can also take on roles as heroes. This was an interesting concept and I think it is amazing that DrZimbardo used the findings from an experiment that sort of went south (Stanford Prison Experiment) to inspire people to become everyday heroes.”.

Dr. Zimbardo is also involved in the green school movement with the goal to empower kids across the world as Eco-Heros. He currently works with schools in 18 countries and Green School in Bali is particularly impressive. SMA Prep was awarded the Green Flag award from Eco-Schools USA through the National Wildlife Federation. The connection to other green schools offers a unique opportunity for SMA Prep cadets to collaborate on a global level.

Dr. Zimbardo and his team believe, “Most people want to take effective action in challenging situations, they just don’t know how.” He is hoping to train a new generation of heroes, “suggesting that each and every seemingly ordinary person on this planet is capable of committing heroic acts”.

About Sarasota Military Academy

Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter, (6th-12th) located on 2 campuses in Sarasota, FL. As an authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, SMA provides students with a 21st-century learning experience immersed in daily military principles of honor, respect, and leadership. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor, and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multicultural and globalized world. More information is available at

About Heroic Imagination Project

The Heroic Imagination Project (HIP) develops and implements education programs, research, and public initiatives to inspire and encourage everyday heroism. Our mission is to encourage and empower individuals to take heroic action during crucial moments in their lives. We prepare them to act with integrity, compassion, and moral courage, heightened by an understanding of the power of situational forces. More information is available at