LearnBoost welcomes Drake Middle School
J. F. Drake Middle School is a public middle school in Auburn, Alabama, United States. The school enrolls 826 students in grades six and seven in the Auburn City School District. From 1957 until its closing and merger into Auburn High School in 1970, the school was J. F. Drake High School, serving the African American population of Auburn and the surrounding area prior to integration. J. F. Drake Middle School is named for Joseph Fanning Drake, an Auburn native who served as president of Alabama A&M University from 1927 through 1962, and who is generally credited with the conversion of that college from a junior college into a comprehensive university.
J. F. Drake Middle School was founded in 1957 as Drake High School, as part of the Lee County School District. Drake replaced the Lee County Training School as the senior-level high school for African Americans in Auburn and the surrounding area of Lee County under the racially segregated system of schooling then prevalent in the Southern United States. Drake was named for Joseph Fanning Drake, an academic and then-president of the Alabama A&M University. It was decided at the time the school was opened that the school's name would simply be "Drake High School" during Drake's lifetime, but would be renamed "J. F. Drake High School" posthumously. Drake High School then enrolled students in grades 7–12.
In 1961, Drake became a part of the Auburn City School District upon that district's formation, and in 1964 upon Dr. Drake's passing was renamed "J. F. Drake High School". In 1965, the district named J. F. Drake High School a Freedom of Choice school, allowing students of any race to attend the school. While some desegregation did occur at nearby Auburn High School under this plan starting in 1965, Drake's student body remained completely African American, and the Auburn City Schools was named a party to the Lee v. Macon desegregation case in 1967. The court ordered that grades 10 through 12 be closed at Drake at the beginning of the 1969–1970 school year; however, the court accepted a counterproposal from the Auburn City Schools that would transfer grades nine and ten to Auburn High School in 1969 and grades eleven and twelve in 1970.
For the 1969-1970 school year, Drake contained grades seven and eight and a reduced grades eleven and twelve (thirty-one juniors and seniors were transferred to Auburn High to take advanced classes), and graduated its final class. In 1970, J. F. Drake High School became Drake Middle School, enrolling all Auburn City Schools sixth grade students, both black and white. Drake received additions to the 1957 building in 1968, 1976, and 1983, the latter addition allowing the school to be expanded to grades five and six. In 1990, the school was renamed J. F. Drake Middle School, having lost the initials around the time Drake became a middle school.
Significant expansion to the Drake physical plant began in 1998, when the school was converted to house grades six through eight. Classroom space, a competition gymnasium, music and art facilities, and a swimming pool were all added between 1998 and 2004. Drake received its current grade alignment, housing grades six and seven, in 2002.Drake Middle School has teams. There are 5 6th grade teams. The Pumas,Cosmic Cats, Leopards, Panthers, and Roaring Tigers. 7th grade also has 5 teams.The Bobcats, Cougars, Cheetahs, Lions, and Jaguars.