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Bolles School

The Bolles School
The Bolles Way: Pursuing excellence through courage, integrity, and compassion.
Jacksonville and
Ponte Vedra Beach
, Florida
United States
Type Private, day, boarding
Established 1933
Head teacher David J. Farace
Faculty 200
Grades Pre-K – 12
Enrollment 1,800
Campus Suburban
Campus size 84 acres (0.34 km2)
Color(s) Blue and Orange          
Nickname Bulldogs
Tuition $47,000 (seven-day boarding)
$23,000 (day student 9–12)
$17,600 (day student 6–8)
$14,000 (4–5)
$12,400 (K-3)
$9,600 (pre-K)

The Bolles School is an American private college preparatory day and boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida. It has a lower school (including pre-kindergarten), a middle school, and a high school, spread across four campuses around the Jacksonville area, and enrolls about 1,800 students a year.[1] The school was founded in 1933 as an all-boys military academy. It dropped its military focus in 1962 and became coeducational in 1971. Its athletics programs have been recognized as some of the best in the Florida High School Athletic Association by Sports Illustrated magazine.


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
  • Art 3
  • Athletics 4
  • Activities 5
  • Notable alumni 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The school was founded as an all-boys' military academy in 1933 by Agnes Cain Painter, a friend of philanthropist Richard J. Bolles. The original campus, now known as the San Jose Campus, was founded in a former hotel on San Jose Boulevard near the east bank of the St. Johns River. Bolles announced that it would drop its military status in 1961 and the graduating class of 1962 ended the military era. It began admitting girls in 1971. Today, male and female students are enrolled in relatively equal numbers.

International students have enrolled at Bolles since the late 1930s,[2] and the school maintains separate boys and girls boarding facilities for 90 students from other states and 22 foreign counties.[3] The school also has an active Student exchange program with schools in Japan, France and Spain. Participants live with the host family while attending school.[2]

John E. Trainer, Jr. served as the sixth Bolles President/Headmaster from 2002 until 2012 and oversaw growth of the Bartram campus, creation of an elementary school in Ponte Vedra Beach, and boosting the schools endowment.[4] He was succeeded by Brian E. M. Johnson for the 2012-13 school year, who was succeeded by Bradley R. Johnson '79, who was succeeded by the current Head of School David J. Farace.

The school's campuses include:

  • Upper School (grades 9-12) - San Jose Campus (Jacksonville)
  • Middle School (6-8) - Bartram Campus (Jacksonville)
  • Lower School (pre-kindergarten-5) - Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra Beach) & Whitehurst (Jacksonville) Campuses


Bolles has been a fully accredited Florida high school since 1934. Bolles operates on a two-semester academic year, with each semester split into two quarters.

Bolles offers Advanced Placement courses in:


Bolles offers arts programs.


In 2005, Sports Illustrated named Bolles's athletic program the ninth best in the country, and second best in Florida. Of the top twenty-five schools, Bolles was the only one with an Upper School enrollment of under 1,000 students.[5] Bolles has received the Florida High School Athletic Association's Dodge Sunshine Cup/Floyd E. Lay All-Sports Award (given to the best overall athletic program in each school type/size classification in Florida) for eleven consecutive years.[6] The school has recently won state championships.

During football season, this billboard in front of the school is used to display the team's next opponent

The swim team, which established prominence under Coach Gregg Troy, who now coaches at the University of Florida, is highly successful. The school's swimming facility has its own offices, weight room (separate from the weightroom that the rest of the school uses), and two swimming pools (one Olympic-sized). Bolles has had at least one alumnus or student competing in every summer Olympics since 1972. The Bolles Sharks, Bolles's club swim team, compete and practice year-round.

The school's football team is coached by Charles "Corky" Rogers, the all-time winningest Florida high school football coach, and has won eleven state championships, ten under Rogers.[7] For the 2009 season, the Bulldogs went 12-1, losing only to Cocoa High School, 44-37 in overtime. They defeated Tampa Catholic in the state championship game on December 12, 21-7.[8]


The school's drama program performs a musical every second year and a Shakespeare play every third year. Performing groups include Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band, Choir, Choral Music and Dance.[10]

Notable alumni

rock musician[14]

See also


  1. ^ Boarding School Review: Directory/Florida/The Bolles School
  2. ^ a b "Bolles History & Characteristics". Bolles School. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "24-7: Boarding at Bolles". Bolles School. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Humphrey, Joe (March 23, 2002). "Bolles president focusing on future growth of school". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Sports Illustrated Magazine: May 16, 2005-Best High School Athletic Programs
  6. ^ FHSAA News Release: Jun 11, 2007-St. Thomas Aquinas, Bolles, P.K. Yonge, Port St. Joe, Maclay sweep Dodge Sunshine Cup all-sports awards
  7. ^ Frenette, Gene (December 9, 2012). "Washington too fast for Bolles in state title rematch". Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Cushnir, Chad: "Bolles Wins Class 2B Football Title" First Coast News, December 12, 2009
  9. ^ Bolles School website: Athletics
  10. ^ The Association of Boarding Schools website: The Bolles School
  11. ^ "Bolles School grad hangs 10 to land 'Melrose Place' role", Nancy McAlister, The Florida Times-Union, July 29, 1997.
  12. ^ "Auburn swimmer adds to proud family tradition", Austin American-Statesman, March 28, 2003.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h "Florida's Bolles School claims top spot", USA Today, November 26, 1996.
  14. ^ "Molly Hatchet biography", Steve Huey, allmusic
  15. ^ "Swimmers Receive Goodwill Invitations", Orlando Sentinel, April 17, 1994.
  16. ^ a b "Sergio Show Moves to Jacksonville",, May 30, 2007.
  17. ^ "Waycross' forgotten son", J. Taylor Rushing, The Florida Times-Union, July 20, 2005.
  18. ^ "In Wake of Injury, It's Skinner's Job", Hartford Courant, September 14, 2006.
  19. ^ "Packers have failure to communicate", Jeff Elliott, The Florida Times-Union, December 15, 2008.
  20. ^ Travis Tygart
  21. ^ USADA
  22. ^ "Tyler Gets Back in Swim of Things", Orlando Sentinel, August 27, 1986.
  23. ^ "Playing with a Passion", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 20, 1998.
  24. ^ Miss America contestant archive

External links

  •, the school's official website
  • The Association of Boarding Schools profile

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