HUNTINGTON – Gateway 2017 graduate Frank “Franky” Tangredi’s goal was to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. When he wasn’t selected last year, instead of giving up he gave himself “a full self-evaluation.” He enrolled in Greystone Preparatory at Shriner University, where the National Honor Society member worked even harder on his academics, seeking to improve his SAT scores. Captain of varsity soccer at Gateway, Tangredi persisted in the fitness test at Greystone. He also became a vice president of his prep school class.
In February, he received his letter of acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy. This was his third letter, having been accepted already into West Point and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Tangredi chose the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he will be inducted on June 28.
On Monday, U.S. Congressman Richard Neal and aide Jeanne Ahearn came to Gateway Regional to congratulate Tangredi on his acceptance. Also gathered were his teachers, guidance counselor, family members and friends.
After congratulating Tangredi and his family, and initiating singing “Happy Birthday” to Franky’s mother Patty Tangredi, Neal spoke about attending the homecoming for Kacey Bellamy in Westfield over the weekend. He said Bellamy told him that she had earned two silver medals, but wanted gold. “I think people forget what it takes to get to that gold medal,” he said.
Neal said in the past he’s had nominees that didn’t get in and decided to try something else, but added that Tangredi went for the gold. He also said to get into the military academies requires superb SAT scores, great class standing, athletic abilities and community service. Tangredi served as a volunteer firefighter in the Montgomery Fire Department. Neal said that whenever he meets these young people, “You come away with one word: Wow!”
Neal then asked Tangredi to say a few words. “Thank you to everyone who’s here. You all helped me get here, one way or the other: my teachers, family, Congressman. I’m extremely grateful, appreciative, and excited about what awaits me in Annapolis,” he said.
“He has big ambitions,” said Patty Tangredi about her son, adding, “I’m just so proud of you.” Franky’s father Bo Tangredi, who owns Whip City Brew in Westfield, talked about the time his son, who was always determined to do whatever he set his mind on, ran into a wall at age 3 and broke his arm. “As he turned into a young man, I knew he was going to succeed in anything he planned on doing. I’m right behind you all the way,” he said to his son.
Neal also congratulated Gateway Regional on Tangredi’s success, saying that it takes a family, a school system, a neighborhood and a country. Gateway Superintendent Dr. David B. Hopson agreed. “It reflects well on his teachers, and the PE staff,” he said, adding that he is an Army man, so was leaning that way.
Tangredi said he chose the U.S. Naval Academy because of the opportunities on land, sea and air. “Whatever I decide, there are plenty of paths,” he said. His goal at the academy is to serve on the honor board or the conduct board. Looking beyond, he has bigger dreams.
“My dream is to be a naval aviator, commissioned as a pilot flying fighter jets,” Tangredi said. “Right now, that’s what I want to do,” he added.