High school football facility honors Ponte Vedra Beach family

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A Ponte Vedra Beach family now has its name in lights on Friday nights during high school football season.

Episcopal School of Jacksonville dedicated its new state-of-the art football stadium during halftime of the Warriors’ 43-18 home-opening victory over Eagle’s View on Sept. 22. Jangro Stadium was named in honor of Ponte Vedra Beach residents Susan and Joe Jangro, whose four sonsDavid, Stephen, Jake and Nickall graduated from Episcopal.

The school broke ground on the 1,000-seat stadium on Nov. 14, 2016. The stadium is part of an $18 million capital campaign for improvements to the private school, which also included a new pool deck, new locker rooms for the swim team, a library renovation and building up the endowment fund.

The campaign, known as Lead the Way, began in the fall of 2015 and ran through the fall of 2017, and the Jangros were a key component of the campaign’s success.

“They were instrumental, with donations, in supporting the school and the campaign, and getting us on our way,” Episcopal athletic director Andy Kidd said. “They’re leaders in the campaign, both with their time and energy, and helping fundraise and getting involved, as well.”

Jangro Stadium also features an updated scoreboard, new bleachers and stands, a renovated press box, new concession areas, a spirit store, new meeting and screening rooms, a fully equipped weight room and an observation deck that overlooks the field and the pool.

Kidd said upgrades and renovations are critical for the school of around 900 students, given that 80 percent of high school students at Episcopal participate in athletics, as well as nearly 90 percent of its middle school students.

The fact that the Jangros were so involved in the campaign even though their sons already graduated speaks volumes, he said.

“A testament to the school and the Jangros is that their kids aren’t here anymore, and they still wanted to do that for the school,” Kidd said. “I think they really appreciated the experience it gave their kids, the foundation it gave them, and they wanted to pay it forward to the next generation of Episcopal athletes.”

The Lead the Way campaign coincided with Episcopal’s 50th anniversary. 

“This campaign required a tremendous team effort to make it a success,” Susan Jangro, who was co-chair of the Lead the Way campaign, said in an email. “The new facilities and programs we’ve added during the campaign will impact the entire ESJ community for years to come. We’re happy to be celebrating this wonderful new chapter for a school we love.”

Missy Ketchum, director of advancement for Episcopal, said the ESJ community really stepped up, exceeding a feasibility study’s $15 million forecast by more than $2 million.

“It’s a very generous community,” Ketchum said. “People who love the school wanted to see the school take the next step toward the next 50 years.”

Kidd echoed that sentiment regarding the Jangros, who he said were flattered by the stadium-naming gesture, but were also reserved about being singled out for the honor.

 

“They didn’t ask for it,” Kidd said. “And they don’t want the recognition. They just wanted to make sure the next generation is taken care of at Episcopal.”

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