Compass Keepers Club: Cox High School’s Jack Muriano

Written by Justin Priputin

The summer of 2013 will be a summer Cox High School sophomore Jack Muriano likely will not soon forget.

For five days, it was the wind, the sun and the call of the ocean as Muriano joined the crew of the Schooner Virginia for a voyage from Norfolk, Va. to Portland, Maine. Muriano was used to being on the water, as it was his already passion for sailing that led him to join the Cox Crew Club. It was through a Crew Club contact that led Muriano to volunteer aboard the Schooner Virginia.

3-27-2014 12-16-29 PMChairman of the Board Thomas Ackiss, representing the vessel, approached the club last summer for volunteers; Muriano jumped at the chance.

“I just saw this as a rare opportunity to do something different from your average summer,“ Muriano said. “I volunteered on several other occasions with the ship to assist with a day sail before the official fall crew came aboard, and later assisting with maintenance of the ship- hull painting, wood polishing, etc.”

After spending the summer helping out with day sails and restoration, some of the volunteers were given the opportunity to participate in a five-day sail from Norfolk to Portland, Maine.

“It was really awesome because as volunteers, we didn’t have to pay anything to go on it. They tried to give us some of the lessons they give to classes, so it was a really good learning experience,” Muriano said.

Aboard the ship, the crew worked two- to four-hour shifts, where they practiced safety routines and planned and unplanned drills, such as “man overboard” drills.

Although part of the trip was made under motor power, there were a few times the crew was able to open all the sails to reach speeds up to 10 knots (11.5 MPH).

Cox High School's Jack Mariano took part in a special voyage on part of the Schooner Virginia.

Cox High School’s Jack Mariano took part in a special voyage on part of the Schooner Virginia.

“It teaches you a lot about having a good work ethic and working for the person next to you,” he said. “It also forces you to keep good organization and record keeping skills. We had to keep track of all the trash and waste and know how to properly dispose of it.”

Thankfully, Muriano is no stranger to hard work.

“Jack is the doer. He does anything that needs to be done,” said Steve Kremers, crew coach at Cox. “In fact, he looks for things that need to be done.”

For Muriano, it was the chance to be out on the open water that really made his voyage worthwhile.

“What I enjoyed most about the trip was just the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere on a ship. It’s just amazing to be out there and not see any land. It’s a truly amazing perspective,” Muriano said.

It was more than just an amazing nautical experience for Muriano. There were lessons he took and applied to his work as a student at Cox.

“On the schooner, we all had jobs we were expected to do and do well. On the Crew team, we have the responsibilities to show up when we’re expected to, work our hardest, and not let the rest of the boat down, among others,” Muriano said. “In school, well, there’s certainly responsibility in schoolwork if one wants to keep good grades.”

Muriano’s dedication is evident to more than just those on the Crew Club.

“Jack is the ultimate leader. He is an all-around amazing individual, academically gifted, a team player, and he always puts others first,” said Cox English teacher Jennifer Nardelli. “Jack would give an arm and a leg to make sure others are successful.”

Compass Keeper Q&A:

What is your favorite quote(s)?
“Many hands make light work.” and “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

What is your favorite movie?
Ender’s Game

What is your favorite class?
Study/SCA block

What is your favorite book?
Ender’s Game (one of many)

 *Do you know someone who should be featured as a Compass Keeper? Send your nomination to


2 thoughts on “Compass Keepers Club: Cox High School’s Jack Muriano

  1. Congratulations Jack! Sounds like you had a wonderful learning experience. I’m so glad to read that you are still a great fan of Ender’s Game. Best wishes on your bright future, Miss Orlando

  2. Pingback: Falcon Press News : Sophomore Jack Muriano: Schooner Virginia sets sail

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