The new Roosevelt Leadership Academy for Young Men that is slated to open in the fall is more than just another new choice program for the Palm Beach County School District.
For some, the academy — which will open at the old Roosevelt High School on Tamarind Avenue in West Palm Beach — represents hope for the revitalization of a community. They see it as a chance to rebuild the academic prestige for which the school once was known.
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A source of community pride
When Roosevelt High School was built in 1950, it was one of two county high schools for black students. And when it opened, the school didn’t even have all its furniture; but soon it was thriving.
Roosevelt High had a first graduating class of 101 students. Commencement was held in the school’s gymnasium, the floor of which had the school’s mascot, a devil, painted on it by an art and local historian teacher, Ineria Hudnell.
The school offered dozens of activities, sports and clubs for students, and focused both on academics and extracurriculars.
It’s alumni boasts some of the county’s prominent community activists, athletes and businesspersons.