Our Traditions

A High School Where Attitude Meets Altitude

Oh the places you’ll go!

We’re dedicated to expanding the horizons of each student, to help them “see” and “learn” from a perspective they can only gain through hands-on experiences. Whether it’s learning world history, classic literature, aviation, or science and technology, our dedicated instructors create an interactive learning environment that uses technology to raise the standards to an altitude where limitations diminish and opportunities broaden.


We are Aviators! And yes, while it’s not our focus, we do have some sports such as cross country, volleyball, soccer and basketball.

Blue and Orange

An aviator’s vision is an infinite horizon. To an aviator, the sky is dependable, constant and is calming to the soul. Being in flight just may be the preferred first home to those that love aviation. But any reminder of the feeling of flight becomes an ode to those that love aviation. Adopting the color blue was a natural part of our heritage in honor of the aviator’s home away from home.

The color orange is considered warm, cheerful, encouraging, invigorating and healthy. These characteristics can be attributed to another skyward constant – the sun. Providing light and energy that sustains life of earth, adopting orange represents the culture at WMAA – energetic, warm and welcoming.

The Handshake

The handshake represents the quintessential spirit of WMAA. It’s the attribute that leaves an indelible impression upon the business leaders, dignitaries and visitors we’re privileged to host almost daily. But we don’t encourage our students to shake hands just to impress – it goes beyond the first impression to instill an attitude of respect when meeting. Giving students the opportunity to practice this important American cultural norm gives our students the edge in college and in life. In addition, showing respect to our guests models our core values and the more we practice it, the more ingrained into our nature it becomes.

National Honor Society

In the fall of 2012, the time-honored, service-minded and academically-focused National Honor Society (NHS) was welcomed into our traditions. This premier organization recognized outstanding students that have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, service and character. Since NHS began in 1921, it has grown to include chapters in all 50 states. Membership into NHS gives WMAA students the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments. According to the National Honor Society their goal is “to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of secondary schools.”

Volunteerism and Community Service

The WMAA family gives back. Yes, it’s true, we’ve made it a requirement for students to log volunteer hours each year. But we feel it’s necessary in order to teach students the value of volunteer service and the responsibility of good citizenship. By helping others, WMAA students learn new skills and experience life lessons they may not have learned in any other way – values that are instilled for a lifetime. And best yet, they learn the secret of volunteering – that when volunteering, you receive far more than you give.

Bomber Jacket Pride

Worn with pride, the bomber jacket is the badge of honor at WMAA and is presented upon an important milestone in a pilot’s life – the first solo flight. Josh Nienhaus goes down into WMAA history as the first recipient of a WMAA bomber flight jacket. Watch this great video here:Expect Success From West Michigan Aviation Academy; Young pilots big dreams, Maranda Where You Live, aired June, 18 2013

Surrounding our Students

A tradition for the faculty is to sit behind and around the seniors at graduation. This is to symbolize our philosophy of always being there for graduates. We are behind them and intend to be there for graduates. We are behind them and intend to be there for them whenever needed.

Pride in America

When the student body gathers in the gym for an assembly, it is a tradition that a student leads the student body in the pledge of allegiance. West Michigan Aviation Academy students have a sense of pride in our country.