Muskegon – Entrepreneur Franklin A. Fudail announced the launch of a new K-5 Naval Academy charter school. The Muskegon Maritime Academy(MMA), plans to open in the Fall of 2022 at the former Angell Elementary School Building located at 571 E. Apple Avenue.
“There are reports that 61% of third-graders in Muskegon County are not reading at grade level, Founder Franklin A. Fudail said. “There are entire elementary grade levels, whose test scores are single digits in math proficiency. This is unacceptable. As a man, as a leader, and as a socially conscious business owner, I could not stand by and do nothing.”
Fudail conceptualized and developed the Muskegon Maritime Academy(MMA) based on his years of experience running a free reading and math program inside his youth boxing club, a program that Fudail financed without government funding or grants.
Navy SEAL Plays Major Role in School Development
To build his team, Fudail recruited retired Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke to assist with leadership development programs and strategic planning. Fudail first brought Adeleke to Muskegon in 2013.
Adeleke is a founding member and serves on the school’s National Advisory Team along with Col. Larry R. Donnithorne (Ret.)-The United States Military Academy -West Point, David A. Allison (Ret.), The United States Secret Service and Dr. Kat Longshore, United States Military Academy -West Point Professor in the Enhanced Performance Department.
“I assembled together some of the best minds in the country to help with this academy”, said Fudail. “We are introducing to the community, the Harvard of elementary schools”. Fudail said MMA will provide an elite education for families free of charge.
Retired Secret Service Agent to develop School Safety Plan
David A. Allison, Army veteran, and retired United States Secret Service agent will be working with the Muskegon Maritime Academy(MMA) on school safety issues and is a member of the school’s National Advisory Team.
Franklin A. Fudail, founder of Muskegon Maritime Academy recruited retired Agent Allison to be a part of the school’s National Advisory Team back in January, which also consists of a Retired Navy SEAL, a retired Colonel from West Point, and a current West Point Enhanced Performance Professor. This group provides advice and counsel directly to the school’s founder.
Allison currently owns and operates, Be Ready Consulting, LLC based in Austin, Texas. His consulting company will provide training, and security assessments, and help develop the school’s overall school safety plan. Be Ready Consulting, specializes in Security Training, Risk Assessment, Executive Protection Training, Security Operations Management Training, Threat Assessment Training, Active Aggressor Training, and Surveillance and Counter-Surveillance Training.
He currently oversees Safety and Security for the Department of Athletics at the University of Texas at Austin. During certain events, he is responsible for the safety and protection of over one hundred thousand people at a time.
Fudail said security planning for the school started long before the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.
“School safety is of paramount importance, it was on top of the list when I started working on the school”, Fudail says. “I wanted the best, so I reached out to Retired Special Agent David Allison last year because when it comes to safety and protection, the U.S. Secret Service is the best and he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to our school safety planning and procedures”, he said.
Allison says he is ready to assist MMA to ensure the children can be safe and enjoy school.
Local Medical Doctor to develop STEM Programs for Students
Muskegon native Dr. Byron Varnado, who has more than 20 years of experience meeting the needs of children and families as a family doctor, has been appointed as a “senior advisor” to Muskegon Maritime Academy’s National Advisory Team, school officials announced recently.
Varnado’s expertise and insight will make an outstanding addition to Maritime Academy’s leadership team, school founder Franklin A. Fudail said. Dr. Varnado earned his Medical Degree from the University of Michigan.
“Our students are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Varnado’s stature, brilliance, and commitment willing to devote his time for the purpose of helping them become successful in life,” Mr. Fudail said. “We are honored by his presence and look forward to his contributions.”
A graduate of Western Michigan Christian High School, Dr. Varnado initially completed his residency training in family medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI where he served as Chief Resident.
Dr. Varnado then returned to Muskegon where he continues to serve the greater Muskegon area. He worked for Harborwood Family Medicine for over 20 years, and held various leadership positions at Mercy Health. Dr. Varnado also worked with Access Health to find innovative ways to deliver health care and improve health care literacy for all.
He is Board Certified in Family Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Muskegon Maritime Academy, which is slated to open this fall, will serve K-5 students.
A First of its Kind in Muskegon
The school has a partnership with the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps and received assistance from the Poverty Solutions Center at The University of Michigan in developing the reading program.
The Muskegon Maritime Academy is the first all STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) school in Muskegon County, the first Naval-focused school, and the first Maritime school. Students will be taught etiquette and manners, self-defense, and leadership training. There will be separate classes for boys and girls and all students will have access to free tutoring.
Fudail has secured over $700,000 in private funding for the school with the aim of $1 million.
The board of directors for the Academy are Dr. Frank Marczak, Eric Hood, Pastor Yvonne Crawford, and Pastor Tyrone Rule Sr. The board is reserving a spot for a Parent.
For more information on Muskegon Maritime Academy, or to enroll a student for the upcoming fall semester, visit www.MuskegonMaritimeAcademy.org. The Muskegon Maritime Academy is authorized by Saginaw Valley State University.