Our History

The prestigious academic legacy of Florida Preparatory Academy (Florida Prep) began in 1961 when Jonathan Dwight and his wife, Emily, launched Florida Air Academy (FAA)—a military-style boarding school for boys. The Academy’s central building was originally a Spanish Mediterranean-style mansion built in 1923. Variously called “The Lincoln” and the “Belcelona” over the course of 35 years, the site served as a magnificent hotel. More than half a century ago, it was on these historic grounds that Mr. and Mrs. Dwight laid the foundation of a renowned educational legacy that spans generations.

With more than 50 years setting high standards in private school education, Florida Prep boasts an international reputation welcoming students from all over the world.

The Belcelona Hotel

A Premier Boarding School

After its foundation, FAA quickly gained recognition as a premier boarding school in Florida, matriculating boys from across the globe and garnering a reputation as the leading school in Brevard County. The Academy’s focus on discipline, character, and community created a framework of excellence and leadership that thrives to this day at Florida Prep.


In the Fall of 2005, FAA first welcomed female students. This historic opening radically expanded the institution's diversity and instantly elevated our academic standards. Florida Prep is now the leading coeducational boarding school in the region.

Celebrating Half a Century

In 2011, FAA celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Soon after, we became Florida Preparatory Academy (Florida Prep) better to reflect our position as a leading college preparatory secondary school.

Innovation in Education

Florida Prep has introduced a range of new support programs, including SAT and ACT prep, to ensure students are well prepared for their academic journey, and a dynamic academic curriculum, with a focus on STEAM.

An active faculty recruitment drive assembled a top-tier talent from across the USA; over 70% of upper school faculty holds a Master’s degree or higher, solidifying Florida Prep's commitment to academics, alongside leadership, and character development.

Florida Prep: A Local Private School of Distinction

Today, Florida Prep has outgrown its reputation as the leading local private secondary school. We are now internationally recognized as a beacon of academic excellence situated on the 'Space Coast'—the historic site of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since the 1960s—one of the nation's fastest-growing technological communities.

Florida Prep’s rigorous STEAM-focused curriculum prepares students for the rapidly-changing global stage. With a commitment to equipping our graduates with the skills and vision required to excel as global citizens, and an ethical commitment to discipline, character, and community, Florida Prep has earned an incomparable reputation as a preeminent secondary school with a global footprint.