Too often the branding of an organization, a company, even a school, gets lost in the details. While several essentials are key to invoking the most effective image throughout the community and beyond, the stories within the soul of an institution perhaps do the best in establishing and reinforcing the brand.
Throughout the week of May 1 – a day celebrated throughout the northern hemisphere for the coming of spring as May Day, Admiral Farragut Academy took center stage in print, digital and audio media – and throughout the state of Florida – as students from many different backgrounds told the story of Farragut in different ways.
During a week in which the Tampa Bay region saw Florida’s largest newspaper, The Tampa Bay Times, gobble up The Tampa Tribune on May 3 and subsequently end The Tribune‘s 123-year run as a stand-alone newspaper, the BlueJackets’ softball team and the boys track team each appeared on the cover of The Times‘ sports page or as the main feature on the paper’s HomeTeam website as each respective team chased a state title.
The softball team – which had star pitcher Corynn Miner featured on the homepage of The Times‘ high school section – would end up losing 4-2 to Jacksonville University Christian in the Class 3A State Semifinals at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida but the historic run gave the BlueJackets an opportunity to showcase Farragut’s excellence.
“It’s humbling at times to see your name and photo in the news but it also makes you feel proud to represent Farragut in this way,” said Corynn, who will compete for the softball team at the University of Tampa beginning next year. “I definitely grew here at Farragut and Farragut shaped me into the person I am today and to be able to help promote the school the way I have and the way our team has is special. Farragut is home and will always be home for me.”
The track team, which had the girls finish as state champions last year, provided a storybook ending to its 2016 campaign when the 4×400 relay team of Alex Oi, Alex Gray, Craig Watts and Zach Fine posted a school record time of 3:27.27 in the last event of the Class A state finals at the IMG Academy complex in Bradenton, giving the BlueJackets boys team enough points to narrowly beat neighborhood rival Shorecrest, as well as Orlando First Academy for the first boys track state title in Farragut’s history or as The Times’ Andy Warrener mentioned in his prep cover story, the first in “85 years.” (With apologies to Warrener, as we all know, AFA began on the shores of Pine Beach, New Jersey in 1933.)
“It’s a huge honor to represent Admiral Farragut Academy throughout the state,” said Alex Oi, who began competing for the varsity track team as an eighth-grader last year. “It’s great to be able to tell people at all the different track meets around the state about our school, about the type of community we have, the waterfront campus, the incredible teachers and curriculum. They usually think we’re some military hardened school but when we let them know how well-rounded we are, including the military, they get a whole new perspective. It’s pretty cool.”
On Saturday night, four students were the featured speakers on WMNF‘s critically acclaimed radio show called Poetry Is…, hosted by Walter “Wally B.” Jennings. The four cadets – Sasha DeSilva ’16, Drew Geralds ’17, Kenny Stutts ’16 and Kollyne Thomas ’16 – were each able to read their poems after explaining how important of a role Upper School English instructor Heather Ewing has played in their creative minds.
“It’s really important for our students to get involved in different things and to have these four students represent Farragut in this way shows how multi-faceted our kids are and how great our school is,” Mrs. Ewing said. “I think it’s good for people to see and listen to how incredibly talented and intelligent our students are.”