The West Michigan Aviation Academy is a public charter school established by the billionaire and former President of Amway Corporation Dick DeVos. The tuition-free institution was established following encouragement from DeVos wife, Betsy DeVos. Following Dick and Betsy’s enthusiasm for education and aviation, they both established a school in the fall of 2010 locating it on the grounds of the Gerald R Ford International Airport.
History of West Michigan Aviation Academy
West Michigan was instituted in the fall of 2010 when 80 freshmen were admitted into a 25,000 square feet renovated office space that functioned as the first school edifice on the airport grounds. The school didn’t last for long before expansion plans were drafted.
After a period of 2 years, the school had acquired over 240 freshmen, juniors and sophomores in a brand new home measuring 42,500 square feet building comprising classes and offices. This new environment enabled not only growth and expansion in space but also curriculum, aviation programs and students life. This new building also provided WMAA a capacity to educate 500 students.
By the beginning of 2013-2014 year, West Michigan Aviation Academy was looking to increase their enrolment to a maximum of 400 students. Their first group of students graduated in 2014.
The mission of the company is to offer rigorous academic programs, through an aviation focus, preparing them for potential opportunities including career success, college achievements and engaged citizenship.
About Dick DeVos
The husband of Betsy DeVos, former chairman of the Republican Party in Michigan, son of Amway Corporation and founder of Richard DeVos. DeVos is significantly involved in matters of education, particularly the privatization of public schools. He has used his family’s fortune and name to establish a national network of federal groups, and political action committees that endorse the political arm of the school voucher movement.
Dick DeVos begin his career working for his dad’s company, Amway Corporation in 1974. Ten years later, he was appointed vice president to oversee the operations of the company in more than 20 countries.