Florida Preparatory Academy

  (Redirected from Florida Air Academy)

Florida Prep (FPA) is a private boarding and day school founded in 1961 by Jonathan Dwight, located in Melbourne, Florida. Students in grades 5 -12 are provided a college-preparatory education that emphasizes leadership, character, accountability, and trust. There are 125 students from 22 countries.

Florida Preparatory Academy
Florida Air Academy (Melbourne, Florida) 002.jpg
1950 S. Academy Drive
Melbourne, Florida, 32901

TypeBoarding & Day School
Head of schoolDr. Marshall Willman
Grades5-12, boys & girls
Number of students78
Campus size11 acres (4.5 ha)
Campus typePrivate


Ernest Kouwen-Hoven built the main building in 1925 as his personal residence. It is Mediterranean Revival architecture with Art Deco interior. He used the mansion as his home for only one year, before selling it in 1926 to A.S. Widrig, who named the property "The Lincoln Hotel." In 1957, the Lincoln Hotel was sold to August J Rimer who renamed the hotel the Belcelona.[1]

In 1961, educator Jonathan Dwight bought the building and founded the Florida Air Academy, patterning the school on the United States Air Force Academy. Today the school continues to be family-run, for the past 25 years by the Dwight's children. James Dwight has been the Academy President for the past 10 years.[1]

For several decades, the former Florida Air Academy operated as a military (Air Force JROTC) boarding/prep school, placing an emphasis on discipline.[2]

Another strong draw to Florida Air Academy was the unique opportunity for students to enroll in flight training at the Florida Institute of Technology, where they could earn their Private Pilot License and multi-engine ratings. Consequently, the school served as a springboard for future military and commercial airline pilots who went on to continue their careers at aeronautical universities and flight schools throughout the nation.[3]

In 2015, president James Dwight announced a change to the school name. In June 2015, the school became Florida Preparatory Academy, or Florida Prep for short.[4]

Despite the name change from Florida Air Academy to Florida Preparatory Academy, the Florida Air Academy Alumni Association remains active with the contribution of students from the former Air Force JROTC school. The Alumni Association organizes annual events during Florida Prep Academy's Homecoming celebrations and is attended by hundreds who return to the Melbourne Area for fellowship and continued support for the organization.


The academy is accredited by AdvancedED, formally known as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Florida Council of Independent Schools.[citation needed]

In 2015, class sizes ranged from 5 to 20 students, and averaged 13.[1] A.P. classes, Honors classes and Dual Enrollment classes are offered (Dual Enrollment at nearby Florida Tech and Eastern Florida State University) A Teacher Help period occurs after school and students are encouraged to see their teachers for help with homework or other questions. A formal "Academic Assistance Program" is in place for students needing additional academic motivation and instruction.[citation needed]

Graduates have had a 100% rate of acceptance by colleges since 1978.[1]

Student bodyEdit

In 2019, there were 100 students. Day students were admitted in the 1980s and comprised one third of the student body. About one third are international and come from 22 countries. Girls were first admitted in 2005.[1]

Boarding students live with one or two other roommates, depending on the size of the room. Each room has beds, desks, swivel chairs, and wall lockers. Students are allowed to have a footlocker for additional storage. Boarding students arise at 7:15 a.m. They have breakfast at the dining hall until 8:00. All dormitories are inspected in the morning to ensure cleanliness. Day students must be on campus by 8:15 to attend class at 8:30 a.m. Students wear branded polo shirts and shorts or slacks. Various opportunities occur during the school year to wear personal clothing, and students may wear their own clothing when leaving campus on the weekend for outings.

The campus consists of a landscaped 11 acres (4.5 ha) and contains the largest collection of historic buildings in Brevard County. It includes a campus store, campus snack bar, outdoor stage and gymnasium, athletic fields and tennis courts. A city golf course is located across the street and several pools are nearby. The school day is made up of eight class periods, with a five-minute passing period between classes. The last class ends at 3:40 p.m. Boarding students are given the option of going home for the weekend, and can take bus shuttles to various parts of Florida, or stay on campus. If the students stay on campus, a variety of activities are planned for the students, including trips to Orlando and Tampa theme parks, visits to the local beach, ice skating, bowling, and trips to the local movies and mall.[citation needed]


  • Boys basketball Class 3A State Champions 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007[5]
  • [Sasha Kaun] was one of the star players at Florida Air academy during its period of State Championships
  • Boys baseball Class 3A State Champions 1998
  • Boys baseball Class 2A State Champions 1992–1993 season
  • Class 3A State Champion, triple jump, long jump, high jump
  • F.A.A. has had three Olympic athletes who have won two bronze medals.[citation needed]
  • Girls basketball Class 2A State Champions 2018–2019, 2019-2020

Student activitiesEdit

There are many school sponsored activities, clubs and organizations.

Flight trainingEdit

Designed to meet the needs of the individual, the programs teaches the basics of aviation, and responsibility and decision-making skills. Flight instructors from The Florida Institute of Technology are employed by the Academy to monitor each student's progress. Training aircraft located at Melbourne International Airport. Over 30 single and twin engine aircraft are available for training, including Piper PA-28 Cherokee Warrior, the retractable-gear Piper Cherokee Arrow, and the multi-engine Piper PA-44 Seminole.[citation needed]

Model rocket clubEdit

The AFJROTC Model Rocket Program develops skills necessary for building and launching model rockets, and furthers knowledge of aerospace and space exploration.[citation needed]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Ryan, MacKenzie (April 24, 2012). "Flying High – Florida Air Academy turns 50". Florida Today. Melbourne, Florida. pp. 1A, 3A.
  2. ^ "School Uses Discipline, Academics Tough Regimen Succeeds For Florida Air Academy". tribunedigital-orlandosentinel. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  3. ^ "Astronaut Goals Brings Tanzanian Teen To Space Coast |". spacecoastdaily.com. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b McCallum (December 31, 2007). Brevard's 100th state title. Florida Today.
  6. ^ University of Kansas Jayhawks Archived 2008-03-22 at the Wayback Machine accessed April 3, 2008
  7. ^ "Andy Gonzalez Baseball Statistics (2001-2013)". Thebaseballcube.com. 1981-12-15. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ "Sports | Florida Today". floridatoday.com. 2010-06-21. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  10. ^ Baxley, Rodd (January 9, 2016). "More than a number". The Robesonian. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 28°04′13″N 80°36′00″W / 28.0702941°N 80.6000533°W / 28.0702941; -80.6000533