Admiral Farragut Academy alumni and graduate news, class notes, updates, events and gatherings, fundraising initiatives, and more.
LTJG Kathryn Thomas ‘08 is on the fast track to a high ranking position in the United States Navy. Kathryn, who attended Farragut for eight years, recently finished a tour on the USS Wasp as the Assistant Training Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer, earning a Navy Achievement Medal for her efforts during two years aboard the Wasp. Kathryn, who received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech, is scheduled to perform the duties of Training Officer on board the USS Antietam, based out of Yokosuka, Japan from 2015-16.
“Farragut prepared me for life. The people there – students, faculty, coaches, staff – emphasize excellence and you can strive for excellence in a culture that demands it. The positive peer pressure to succeed pushes you to new heights. It’s a standard. You wake up and talk to your classmates and you hear all the great things they’re doing. Self-realization you can accomplish anything becomes a part of who you are.”
MIDN 1/C Amanda Puckett ‘12, Navy ROTC University of Florida, shares her First Class Summer Cruise. Read more
After an 8.5 deployment, the arrival of the USS Milius (DDG-69) brings two Farragut friends and military faces together again: LTJG Natalia Widulinski ’08, USN, Strike Officer and Ordnance Officer onboard USS Milius (DDG-69) out of San Diego, CA. completed an 8.5 month deployment Read more
Over this past summer, several recent graduates have stayed directly connected with Farragut by participating as counselors at the variety of camps being run by faculty and staff. While most of these alumni members hail from the Class of 2015, a notable exception is Howie Font ‘12, who has been working with the Summer@Farragut Boarding Camp.
“This is the place that changed my life,” said Howie, who is double-majoring in International Affairs, Traditional Economics, and Homeland Security & Emergency Management. “I would be a completely different person had I not attended Farragut.”
For Howie, who will begin his senior year at Florida State University this upcoming semester, giving back to his high school alma mater is a given. Before finishing his secondary education at Farragut for the 11th and 12th grade years, Howie had moved 19 times for a variety of family reasons. At Farragut, he discovered what the meaning of “home” was.
“I learned the sense of community, the balance between a rigid setting and a place of togetherness,” said Howie, who lived at Farragut as a five-day boarder. “It is a place where if you want to be pushed to your potential, you can make incredible strides.”
Howie dove right in from day one, serving as a Middle School Officer in the dormitories, competing on the wrestling team and joining the Drill Team, all in the first semester on campus. Despite being a five-day boarder, Howie would often stick around on the weekends to help with the NJROTC.
His growth and development at Farragut has propelled him to do important things at FSU. In the fall of 2014, Howie and others created the Vitality Party, a political party created by members of the FSU student body to oppose the Ignite Party. Upset with the stagnation of the Ignite Party, the Vitality Party raised close to $6,000 and won the elections, overtaking the incumbent Vitality Party.
Howie, who hopes to secure a job in the Central Intelligence Agency, has been an integral part in changing the way student government is run at FSU and he believes his time at Farragut prepared him for such an opportunity.
“Many students weren’t happy with the way the Ignite Party were using platforms simply to get elected,” said Howie, who is the Vice-Chair. “Since we’ve been elected to the student body government, we have enacted change first by opening up the channels of communication. Instead of just having the leaders propose ideas, we’ve created a website where students make suggestions and we follow through. FSU is obviously a big place and one could get lost in the mix and end up doing the party thing, but Farragut prepares you for a variety of situations,” said Howie, who takes pride on having visited the USS Farragut three times. “Like-minded individuals ultimately end up gravitating towards each other, but it takes a special place to set the connection in motion. Farragut did that for me.”
Now, being back for a month or so, Howie believes the role of the alumni is always to remember where the foundation was formed.
“This is the place that helped make me who I am today,” said Howie, whose sister, Samantha ‘13, attends Smith College now. “It’s nice to come back and relive the memories. The most important part is understanding the difference Farragut made and continues to make in people’s lives.”
On a beautiful but chilly evening, alumni from the Pine Beach, New Jersey campus of Admiral Farragut Academy gathered on Friday, April 24th at the former campus, where they raised the flag and christened the newly renovated docks that were a part of the school. Read more
For the last seven years, Admiral Farragut Academy and our alumni community have used the Army-Navy Game, long known as “our Nation’s Game”, to come together and honor our armed forces while enjoying the esprit de corps of the Farragut community. The host city for the 2014 event was Baltimore, Maryland. Read more
Evangelos Spiros Mendelsohn, better known as “Spike Mendelsohn,” was recently featured in Ocean Drive magazine after debuting his first restaurant in Florida with the opening of Sunny’s at the Hall Hotel in Miami. Mendelsohn, who was made famous with his appearance on the fourth season of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, is the chef and owner of multiple restaurants in Washington, D.C., which include Good Stuff Eatery, Bearnaise, and We, The Pizza.
Mendelsohn, who was raised in Clearwater Beach and attended Farragut during high school (but did not graduate), has also appeared on Bravo TV’s Life After Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars, as well as Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Spike TV’s Bar Rescue. He has regularly been featured on CBS’ The Early Show, ABC’s Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show.
For view the entirety of the Ocean Drive piece on Mendelsohn, click here.
Kim Graham-Lawless has dedicated her career to promoting equity in education, closing the achievement gap and helping all students reach their potential. She is committed to making college access and readiness a reality for every student.
“Leadership was something I yearned for. Farragut gave me the tools to naturally progress in a way I most likely wouldn’t have anywhere else. It challenged me in a way I wanted. I had always liked structure and Farragut is a place that presents that structure where you can build off a certain foundation.”
Allie Kowalczyk ‘15, who was the first recipient of the Maj. Megan McClung ’91N, ’95 USNA Scholarship Award. Megan was one of the first females to attend Farragut and the first female marine officer to lose her life in the Iraq war. The award was earned by Allie because of her commitment and dedication at Farragut.