What’s Behind a Boarding School Name Change? Florida Air Academy Becomes Florida Prep!


This past June 1st, Florida Air Academy changed its name to Florida Prep.

As the world changes, so do, and must, boarding schools. So this past June, under the direction of 25-year school president Jamie Dwight, Florida Air Academy became Florida Prep.

Boarding schools tend to have an awful lot of freight, and history, in their names- not to mention brand recognition and, sometimes, a communication of mission and practice.

Florida Air Academy definitely communicated an aeronautical angle. In terms of personal connection to school and its name, Dwight is the son Florida Prep founder Jonathon Dwight.

I wondered how does a school come to a name change?

It turns out Florida Prep has a history of adapting to the market. They provide students and families with an education aligned with what skills that will equip students with a foundation from which to be successful.

Before the name change to Florida Prep, Dwight had overseen lots of change and adaptation on the Melbourne, FL campus- technology adoption, all male to coeducational, not small changes in their own rights.

“The new name better reflects what we have long been — a college preparatory school…Along with the name change, we are making some modifications to our programs. The reaction has been tremendous from the students, the parents, the teachers, and the alumni,” Dwight told Brevard Business Review.

“As part of the changeover, Florida Prep has made its Air Force Junior ROTC program optional for students, as it previously was required for graduation. ‘But the values, accountability, guidance, and the hands–on approach to learning that we are so proud of, is not changing at all.’ Optional flight training will continue, [Dwight] added.”(BBR)

With the NAIS research report “21st Century Skills and Values” and Dr. Tony Wagner’s The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need — And What We Can Do About It undergirding the new Florida Prep, the school will maintain strong academics and weave “‘Character…‘self–discipline, empathy, integrity, resilience, and courage’ through its Skills and Values Program.

Read Brevard Business Review’s Florida Prep in Melbourne to add ‘21st Century Skills and Values’ learning niche for a thorough picture of the change from Florida Air Academy to Florida Prep.

Brian Fisher

A product of both private and public education, Brian Fisher served as a teacher, coach, dorm parent, and administrator at three different boarding schools. Brian also fills the role of Director of Development at Wolfeboro, The Summer Boarding School, in NH along with being a partner at AdmissionsQuest.

More by Brian Fisher

Subscribe for email updates: