Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – The PAXON School for Advanced Studies – Newsweek – 35/100
The PAXON School for Advanced Studies
Paxon School for Advanced Studies (PSAS) is one of three International Baccalaureate senior high schools (the others being Stanton College Preparatory School, and Jean Ribault High School) in Duval County, Florida. According to the College Board’s Advanced Placement Report, Paxon has one of the strongest math and science Advanced Placement programs in the state of Florida, beating their rival school Stanton College Preparatory School. Because of this accomplishment, Paxon is one of a select group of Florida schools invited to apply for the Siemens Advanced Placement High School Award. Only ten to fifteen schools per state are invited to apply. Some valedictorians have been accepted to the United States Naval Academy and different Ivy League schools..
3239 Norman E Thagard Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32254, United States
Paxon High School was originally named Paxon Field Junior-Senior High School when it was built in 1954. It included 7th through 12 grades until 1957, when Paxon Junior High was built nearby. In 1996, Paxon became a college preparatory school and an International Baccalaureate school, and took on its present-day name. Today, Paxon considers its chief rival to be Stanton College Preparatory School, another Jacksonville IB school. In 2008, Paxon School for Advanced Studies was ranked number 8 of the 100 best high schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine; 17th in 2007, 28th in 2006, 7th in 2005 and 3rd in 2003.
The site where the school was built was Paxon Air Field, where Bessie Coleman was killed in a plane accident in 1926. Coleman was the first African American (male or female) to become an airplane pilot, and the first American of any race or gender to hold an international pilot license. Paxon Field was Jacksonville’s first airfield, with the exception of the beaches. The Navy used the (grass) airfield for training during World War II, but eventually declared the site excess in January 1947.
The Paxon School faculty consists of over 100 teachers whose awards range from district Teacher of the Year to National Board Certification. The 88-acre (360,000 m2) campus includes athletic facilities, a swimming pool, a professional grade television production studio, science labs, and a theater. Sports teams include football, golf, soccer, lacrosse, stickball, wrestling, and bowling, many of which have competed at district and regional levels. Social clubs include the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Youth Leadership for Change. Since becoming an academic magnet, Paxon SAS has seen 3 principals, Dr. James A. Williams (Founder) 1996-2006, Mrs. Carol H. Daniels 2006-2009, and Mr. Royce Turner 2009–present.
Also graduates of Paxon SAS are know to begin their college careers with sophomore status, some motivated students start as juniors.
Principal – Royce Turner, Dean – Angela Gates, English Dept Chair – Denise Rambach, History Dept Chair – Leonora St Laurent, Science Dept Chair – William Keels, Math Dept Chair – Elizabeth Allen, Athletic Director – Nan Harrington, Security Chief – Sgt. John Creamer, JSO Ret. Fine Arts Dept.-Deborah Mcduffie
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program was initially formed in 1968. Paxon established an IB program in 1995, was approved in 1997, and had its first graduating IB class in 2000. The four-year program consists of two parts: Pre-IB and IB. Pre-IB prepares students for the rigorous two year, pre-university liberal arts course of study.
The school has an outdoor pool which is used by the athletic teams. It becomes a free public pool operated by the City of Jacksonville Parks & Recreation Department during the summer months.
Basketball, Baseball, Football,Flag football, Volleyball, Bowling, Cross Country, Track and Field, Soccer, Cheerleading, Softball, Tennis, Golf, Swim and Dive, Lacrosse, Wrestling 
Ranked as the #35 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2013
Ranked as the #23 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2012
Ranked as the #170 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2011
Ranked as the #6 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2009
Ranked as the #8 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2008
2008 Gold Medal winner, ranked as 30th best High School is the US by US News & World Report
Ranked as the #29 public school in the United States by U. S. News Magazine in 2007
Ranked as the #17 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2007
Ranked as the #28 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2006
Ranked as the #7 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2005
Ranked as the #3 public school in the United States by Newsweek Magazine in 2003
P.S. 75 of Duval County Public Schools
Newspaper: The Eagle, selected as the #1 high-school paper in Jacksonville by the Florida Times-Union in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
Football Stadium: Paxon Stadium (main rivals are the Stanton College Prep Blue Devils)
Army JROTC Detachment: Golden Eagle Battalion which was a recipient of the “Honor Unit with Distinction" recognition (From 1993 to 2009) Which was terminated in 2009 due to lack of funds, but then reinstated the same year. The Golden Eagle Battalion is now stronger than ever, and still carries the “Honor Unit with Distinction" recognition. The battalion is currently led by Senior Army Instructor Major (Ret.) Kenneth De Voe, Army Instructor Command Sergeant Major (Ret.) Cecilio Archbold, Cadet Battalion Commander Cris Soliman, Cadet Battalion Executive Officer Cody Barton, and Cadet Command Sergeant Major Ryan Mikell.
Freedom Award Winner
The graduating class of 2005 was the largest graduating class ever to be seen by the school.
Paxon’s land area is the largest of any school in Duval County
Paxon’s CEEB (SAT/ACT) code is 100780
Former teacher Mae Boren Axton was instrumental in launching Elvis Presley’s singing career by interviewing him on the radio in Jacksonville on July 28, 1955. She also co-authored Presley’s first #1 hit song, “Heartbreak Hotel."1
Dr. Norman E. Thagard – Graduated from Paxon in 1961 and he went on to become an astronaut for NASA. The street upon which Paxon is located now carries his name (Norman E. Thagard Blvd.).
The Pajcic Brothers, Gary and Steve, established a million dollar endowment at the University of North Florida to pay the full tuition of any graduate of their alma mater, Paxon High School, who was accepted and enrolled at UNF. In 2001, Steve Pajcic donated $250,000 to endow a scholarship for Paxon School students at Princeton University. The football field at Paxon now carries their name.