Admiral Farragut Academy

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Admiral Farragut Academy
501 Park St. N.
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
Type College preparatory school / Military academy
Motto Success is Never Accidental
Established 1933
Founder Admiral Samuel Robison
Headmaster Robert J. Fine, Jr.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees George J. Michel, Jr. '49S
Director of Naval Science Captain Thomas L. McClelland, USN (Ret.)
Chaplain Rev. Larry Upham, Ch.LtCol., CAP
Faculty approx. 100
Grades PK - 12
Number of students approx. 450
Campus 35 acres (140,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Mascot Bluejacket
Accreditation FCIS, SACS
Newspaper The Cadet Gazette
Yearbook The Buccaneer
Upper Division Head L. Shannon Graves
Middle Division Head Jennifer Grabowski
Lower Division Head Anita Fine

Admiral Farragut Academy is a college preparatory school with Naval training founded in 1933 in Pine Beach, New Jersey by, among others, Admiral Samuel Robison, one-time President of RCA, and former Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is named after Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the senior officer of the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War. The school is now located in St. Petersburg, Florida in Pinellas County, not in New Jersey.


Founded in 1933 on the banks of the Toms River in Pine Beach, New Jersey, Admiral Farragut Academy was, a college-preparatory, military style school named after Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, the first U.S. Naval officer to rise to that rank. Over Farragut's first 12 years, the school became so popular that a second campus was purchased in 1945 on the shores of Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida (the only campus open today). Since, the school has gone through many changes from accepting day students and girls to adding an elementary school. Today, the southern campus continues many of the naval high school traditions but most importantly creates well-rounded young men and women who are resilient and emotionally mature when they matriculate to college.

Famous alumni[edit]

The Academy is perhaps most notable for graduating two of the twelve men who walked on the Moon:

  • Rear Admiral Alan Shepard USN was the first American in space and in 1971 became the fifth person to walk on the Moon as part of the Apollo 14 mission. Shepard graduated in 1941 from the New Jersey campus.
  • Brigadier General Charles Duke, USAF, was a 1953 graduate of the St. Petersburg campus, and in 1972 became the tenth person to walk on the Moon as part of the Apollo 16 mission. In the spring of 2006, NASA presented a moon rock to General Duke, who then donated it to the school. It is displayed in a showcase in front of the Quarter-Deck at the entrance to the main building, Farragut Hall.
  • William Colepaugh, who defected to the Nazis in World War II, and who, later, was one of the last Nazi spies reaching the US.
  • Richard Marcinko, author and former commanding officer of US Navy SEAL Team 2, is a graduate of Admiral Farragut Academy. Marcinko went on to become the first commanding officer of US Navy SEAL Team Six, a special maritime counter-terror unit.
  • Actor Lorenzo Lamas graduated in 1975 from the New Jersey Campus.
  • Singer and Actor Eduardo Andonie graduated in 2010 from St. Petersburg Campus. He was signed in 2011 with top Latin record label Orfanato Music Group.
  • Chef Spike Mendelsohn, class of 2000, contested on both Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars. Spike is the owner of "Good Stuff Eatery," a restaurant with locations on Capitol Hill and in Georgetown in The District of Columbia, as well as in the Crystal City business neighborhood of Northern Virginia.
  • Animator/Producer Andy Luckey attended from 1980-'81 at St. Petersburg but transferred before graduation.
  • Lieutenant General Sidney "Tom" Weinstein, ‘52N, was the Army deputy chief of staff for intelligence during the 1980s. He is recognized as the principal architect of the modern military intelligence corps, and was the crucial player in its expansion and professionalization.
  • Richard W. Fisher '67N, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas since 2005
  • Musician/Songwriter Stephen Stills, Being from a military family, Stills attended for a time.
  • Internet personality Merlin Mann attended at St. Petersburg, where he was a member of Diplomacy Club

The NJROTC Program[edit]

An integral part of an education at Admiral Farragut Academy is the required involvement in NJROTC. Every student in the Upper Division takes three years of Naval Science, an in-depth study of the history, operation and core concepts of the United States Navy. The entire Upper Division student body makes up a student-run NJROTC Battalion.


Admiral Farragut Academy is accredited by:

Florida Council of Independent Schools]** (FCIS) Assures that each school maintains high standards and independence of character without political, financial, or bureaucratic pressures.

Florida Kindergarten Council** (FKC) Validates and supports exemplary early childhood schools.

Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) Provides leadership, accreditation services, and professional development resources.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools** (SACS)

National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Values and works to maintain the independent nature of each member school by promoting high standards of educational quality and ethical behavior.

The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) This organization of nearly 300 boarding schools serves the professional development needs of boarding schools and provides information to potential students and their families.

Small Boarding Schools Association (SBSA) Promotes personal and professional dialogue among small boarding school educators and educational consultants.

Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS)

Tampa Bay Independent Secondary Schools (TSS)

Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Promotes, directs supervises, and regulates interscholastic athletic programs in which high school students, whose schools are members, compete.

Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) Meet quality standards, receive peer evaluation, and implement a school plan focused on strategic improvement.

St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce Long and distinguished history of promoting economic development, as well as broad community goals, which are important to the quality of life of those who live in and visit the beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida, area.

Student body[edit]

There are approximately 250 students in the upper division, with a 3:1 ratio of boys to girls. Approximately 50% of the students are boarders.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°46′39″N 82°44′44″W / 27.777543°N 82.745501°W / 27.777543; -82.745501