Upper School Student Life

Student life at The First Academy is a rich and vibrant experience. Whether it involves cheering at a sporting event, participating in drama after school, the occasional field trip, playing in the worship band, volunteering on a mission trip, leading house duties, going to a dance, attending a student activity, or participating in a variety of clubs, students have ample opportunity to make friends and participate in group activities beyond the classroom.
Participation is a way of life at The First Academy. Explore the options below and on the side navigation menu to see how an Upper School Student can find community and involvement.

Royal Houses

The First Academy Royal House system is comprised of five houses, each embracing a notable Christian figure: Athanasius, Edwards, Elliot, Tozer, and Wesley. These houses establish student groups building leadership, friendships and most importantly faith.

House Deans and Mentors will invite students to honorary house positions. Learn more about the House System on the Royal House page.


Homecoming CourtEach Fall TFA has Homecoming festivities that include a parade, king and queen coronation, a Homecoming football game and tailgate, spirit week, and powder-puff football game. The week is a whirl of color and fun. Students participate in the parade, cheer on their peers in class competitions and pep rallies, as well as many more homecoming theme specific activities.

If you are an alumnus of TFA, please come and join us. Check out the school calendar to see when this year’s festivities are scheduled and plan on coming out to renew old friendships and make new ones.

Download the Homecoming Packet | Register for the Homecoming Dance Tickets
Events Include:

  • Pep Rallies
  • Fashion Show
  • Hall Decorating
  • Themed Days
  • Parade
  • Carnival
  • Football Game and Coronation
  • Homecoming Dance

Student Leadership

The Upper School student body is led by three senior Presidents who work with more than over 50 junior and senior committee leaders. The committees include:

  • Chaplains
  • Comfort Club
  • Dance Marathon
  • Environmental
  • Fine Arts
  • Royal Ambassadors
  • Outreach
  • Student Life

Across the committees, more than 100 students work together planning student events like Homecoming, Dance Marathon, Chapel, Worship nights, service projects, and much more. Each committee is led by juniors and senior leaders.

Early in the spring semester applications go out for the following year’s Student Leadership system. Interested students should keep an out for email notifications as well as additional announcements.

Questions about the Student Leadership program can be directed to Ms. Vaughn at caseyvaughn@thefirstacademy.org.

Upper School Activities & Groups

Events and activities are a major part of The First Academy experience. These events give students an opportunity to learn cooperation, leadership, the value of participation, work ethic, planning and implementation, and the joy of a job well done.

Missions Trips & Projects

“Service before self is an important element in the mission state of The First Academy.” Yearly, TFA students have the opportunity to participate in missions projects across the world. Recent trips have seen TFA students in Europe, Asia, South America and North America. We partner with First Baptist Church Student Ministries to provide students a rich missions experience.


Clubs provide an opportunity for students to pursue a common academic, social, or spiritual mission or goal in concert with or outside of the classroom. TFA offers more than 20 different clubs in which students can participate.

Senior Retreat

Each year seniors begin the school year with a multi-day retreat. This retreat is designed to strengthen the bonds of friendship within the class and focus them on their last year of secondary education. One of our goals is to begin to prepare students for college in earnest. This retreat allows the seniors to set the tone for their class and, in leading by example, for the school. It is a great time of renewal, focus, and fellowship for our seniors.

Spring Musical

Each spring our Fine Arts Department selects and presents a musical for the enjoyment of the TFA family and the community. This production involves student musicians, singers, dancers, actors and technicians. It is a great venue for students to ply what they have learned during the year. It is also a great venue to allow students to learn from performing before an audience.

Past shows have included The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma! and many, many more. Check out the school calendar to see what’s in store for this spring production.

Breckenridge Ski Trip

This yearly trip is available to seniors and represents the final class trip of their secondary educational experience. For the last several years the destination has been Breckenridge, Colorado, which represents a radically different atmosphere for the Florida student. While the focus is on fun, year in and year out, this trip pulls students out of their comfort zone and, for many, provides an opportunity to accomplish things they never possible. It is a confidence-builder as seniors look ahead to the remaining few weeks before graduation and then to college beyond.

Poetry Out Loud

This Upper School competition allows students to perform poetry before the school. Students who choose to compete select works from existing poets and perform their selected poems during an after-school competition. Students are adjudicated at this level and winners go on to perform at regional and then state levels.


Weekly, TFA students have the opportunity to participate in worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Students plan and implement this worship experience for all Upper School experiences. We are fortunate to be able to meet in the Language Ministry Center of First Baptist Church, Orlando. Speakers from both without and within grace the stage at TFA and a Worship Band comprised of students provide the music for the worship experience.

Examples of Honor from History Contest

The Examples of Honor from History Contest is sponsored by The First Academy’s Chapter of the National History Club.

Through the study of European History, World History, American History and American Government we can observe several examples of leaders who took a stand against the culture of the day and who fought for honorable principles and convictions. This struggle for doing right versus doing what is easy dates back to the days of Christians living in Rome and continues to modern day. Key men and women throughout history have risen to the task of tackling troubling issues of their day and in turn changed the world for the better.

The National History Club at The First Academy is sponsoring the Examples of Honor in History Contest. Students are encouraged to select a key historical figure (domestic, foreign, ancient or modern) and examine how that person displayed honor with a decision they made or demonstrated throughout his/her life. Students will create a documentary that reflects your ability to communicate your figure’s importance, and also helps you develop skills in using photographs, video, graphic presentations, text, and voice-over. More information will be given in social studies classes.

Dance Marathon

In February 2019, TFA held its inaugural Dance Marathon event aka Royal-Thon. Initiated by students on campus, TFA partners with UCF’s Knight-Thon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network and Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital.

Under the leadership of the Dance Marathon committee, student members work yearlong planning Royal-Thon. See the Royal-Thon details of next year’s event and how you can get involved.

  • Facts at a Glance

    • 21,102

      Volunteer hours given by the Upper School Students last year.
    • 1,460

      Alumni since 1986.
  • The First Academy is Accredited by:

    • Florida Council of Independent Schools
    • Southern Association of Independent Schools
    • AdvancEd Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
    • Council on Educational Standards & Accountability
    • Association of Christian Schools International