About Hawaii Academy


Hawai’i Academy is a private school for the advancement of lifetime fitness, gymnastics, and human sciences for students of ALL ages and abilities. The most visible service products are the development and management of educational and entertainment experiences — edutainment.
Hawaii Academy Business Operations

The Academy is organized similar to a university with departments, programs, and projects. Personnel consist of administrators, faculty, and staff, each with rank similar to most universities. In Honolulu, an open-span warehouse building houses the majority of Hawaii operations. We also have a large gymnasium at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam where we operate under the name Pearl Harbor Gymnastics (Program) as a contractor for the US Navy (MWR, Youth Sports and Fitness Programs). Scientific Research is conducted in Hawaii, on the US mainland, Europe, and Japan. All Academy endeavors are driven by a set of quality initiatives.

Ambition. We wish to be the premier center for lifetime fitness in the Pacific with programs at national and international levels in human sciences (especially developmental ergonomics & gerontechnology), gymnastics (especially trampoline gymnastics and a mix of all disciplines to allow females and males of all ages to participate in what we call lifetime fitness).

Vision Statement. We envision a society in which everyone, regardless of age, enjoys health, fitness, and a quality of life that is enhanced through regular physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. We wish to inspire an approach to wellness that encourages children, teens, adults, and seniors, regardless of physical ability, to acquire and maintain a level of personal fitness that permits their enjoyment of the activities of daily life and extends their years of functionality and independent living. All of our programs are for female and male participants with gender equality. We train sport players in numerous competitive programs, including the Olympic sport of trampoline gymnastics, in which we seek to achieve national and international recognition for excellence. We strive to improve community wellness by promoting an appreciation for and a better understanding of the human sciences and the effective use of technology, especially as it extends autonomous functioning and co-independence.

Values Statement. We value:
Our faculty/staff and students by (1) maintaining and protecting academic freedom, (2) recognizing that our most valuable assets are knowledge and skills, (3) promoting intellectual achievement, (4) fostering a community of learning, (5) providing a supportive environment that allows development to one’s full potential, (6) acting to ensure treatment with respect and concern for individual rights, and (7) providing the opportunity for individuals to be involved in decisions that affect them;
Excellence by (1) promoting the highest quality in education, research, and scholarship, and (2) embedding quality in all Academy activities;
Innovation in (1) developing future educational opportunities, (2) the way the Academy is organized and managed, (3) the generation and development of new and creative ideas, and (4) the discovery of knowledge through original research and its application;
Leadership by (1) promoting employee/client/student growth and empowering them with knowledge and resources to get results, develop the Academy, and lead the industry, and (2) expecting that all personnel assume responsibility for themselves and others around them to ensure development in a safe and positive environment;
Communication of Ideas by (1) sharing research findings and instructional pedagogies with others, (2) making curricula and materials available to the public, and (3) promoting the concept of advancement for all involved by the sharing of knowledge;
Diversity by (1) pursuing equity in educational and employment opportunity, (2) promoting research/education/scholarship in multicultural/multiethnic areas, and (3) respecting and supporting our multicultural community; and
Integrity by (1) upholding the highest ethical and professional standards, and (2) always behaving in an open, honest, and consistent way.

Areas of Excellence. We aspire to have excellence in all our programs with international acclaim in research, elder wellness and gerontechnology, and competitive trampoline gymnastics.

Byline. Private School for Lifetime Fitness, Gymnastics, and Human Sciences for ALL Ages and Abilities.

Systems Development Life Cycle is a project management technique that divides complex projects into smaller, more easily managed segments or phases. Hawaii Academy uses this method in developing and managing programs, projects, and ideas. Typically evaluation is based on the progress of eight phases: initiation, planning, design, development, testing, implementation, maintenance, and disposal. Within this time-frame, there are annual and three-year goals each with measurable objectives and action plans.

Largest Client Population Base. We have the largest student enrollment of gymnastics schools in Hawaii (2500 students per week–about 50% of the total gymnastics population on Oahu). [Hawaii has about 1.2 million residents, nearly 1.0 million of which live in or around Honolulu.] We are the only school with competitive trampoline gymnastics; adult (19-49 years) and senior (50-100+ years) classes; special education gymnastics classes; active research programs; and an emphasis on lifetime fitness and wellness.

Strategic Plan. (1) To grow to an optimal size while continually improving quality, limited mainly by facilities constraints, available personnel, and economic sustainability of individual programs. (2) To develop a variety of offerings and then integrate essential academic and life-lesson components into entry through level advanced activities.

Final Comment. In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice asked the Cheshire Cat which path to take.  He responded “if you don’t care where you are going, it doesn’t make a difference which path you take.”  Hawaii Academy cares very much where it is going and what its students and employees will experience along the way.  The above serves as our guidelines for focusing our identity and objectives – who and what we are or wish to be.

Mission Statement. Hawaii Academy aspires to provide private education for children, teens, adults, and seniors that promotes life-long fitness, the understanding of human sciences, and the effective use of technology to extend one’s years of functional independence. We conduct research to investigate lifespan changes in fitness and neuromotor functioning and train our students to be investigators and intelligent consumers of scientific and technological information. All Academy members are participants in the Hawaii Longitudinal Study of Fitness. We integrate the human sciences (e.g., anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, kinesiology, nutrition, motor control, epidemiology, ergonomics, and human development) in all our activities. Further, we seek to provide a vehicle for our members to achieve excellence in the competitive sport of trampoline gymnastics at the state, regional, national, and international levels.

Hawaii Academy

was established in 1999 with 99 students based on the purchase of Hawaii Gymnastics Academy (1994-1999; Ms Abra Slater, Director, moved to California), previously called Gymnastics Academy of Hawaii (~1988-1994; Mr Paul Kahovic, Director, moved to Illinois). In the Summer of 1999, Oahu Gymnastics Centers (1991-1999; Mr Michael Reeder and Mrs Tina Reeder, Owners / Directors, became HA managers and moved to the Big Island in 2006) was purchased and merged into HA. In the Summer of 2002, Aloha Gymnastics World (1997-2002; Mr Dave Vandervort, Director, managed the Aloha Gym for six months and then moved to Pennsylvania and subsequently Florida) was purchased and merged into HA making two complete gymnasiums (Iwilei Gym and Aloha Gym). In 2003 the total enrollment was 1000 students (over 1400 student visits per week). In 2004 the Aloha Gym was renamed Hawaii Academy’s Kalihi Gym and became the home for most Oahu activities. In October of 2004 Hawaii Academy purchased the Kalihi Gym and moved everything from Iwilei into the Kalihi facility. Artistic gymnastics was expanded to be co-ed and for all ages and abilities, featuring intramural and ILH competitions, eventually leading to a moratorium on USAG competitions for men (2004-2005) and women (2005-2006) with nearly all of the USAG artistic gymnastics athletes relocating to other clubs on Oahu. In 2005 the All Star Cheer Extreme head coach moved to the mainland and the entire program was suspended until a new program head is found. To better achieve the original mission of the Academy, in 2006 the primary emphasis was on continued development of a proficiency based physical education curriculum for all students and athletic teams that are coeducational and for all ages and abilities with gender equity. In 2007 the Athletics Department initiated a business plan to separate from Hawaii Academy to allow sport groups to subcontract facilities and personnel independently. This action is planned to start with the independent operation of the elite and international trampoline teams and spread to all team programs. Also in 2007, HA started the first independent collegiate coed trampoline program in America (men’s artistic gymnastics included trampoline as an event in the NCAA until 1964) with university competitions in Japan, Great Britain, Germany, and the mainland. As planned, in 2007 the Athletics Department was reduced from 5% to 3% of the enrollment with reduced emphasis on traveling. The elite program was retired with Dr Max following the 2007 World Championships and all traveling gymnasts thereafter trained age groups. With no one to run the college program it was also closed.  Between the Beijing (2008) and London (2012) Olumpics a small group of elites were trained and competed internationally after which Dr Max and Nani Vercruyssen retired a second time. The Athletics/Sports Department was reorganized in 2012 to stop traveling under the name Hawaii Academy. Since 2012 the Hawaii Trampoline and Tumbling Club, founded by Nani Vercruyssen, has leased space at HA and has competed nationally and internationally, producing many national and world champions.

Also in 2012, HA opened a second facility at Pearl Harbor with 40 students.

In 2013 HA’s Research Department began presenting research reports to conferences in Japan, Europe, and the US on findings from the Hawaii Longitudinal Study of Fitness (started in 1999). In 2015 studies were initiated to statistically model age and sex differences in fitness and performance across the lifespan with the results presented at international conferences.

Currently (2016) Academy student enrollment is 2700 student contacts per week (1900 unique students) and 110 part-time employees.