Sarasota Military Academy Inc
801 North Orange Avenue
Sarasota FL 34236
Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA's mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Christina Bowman
Board Chair Mr. Herb Jones
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Organization DBA
SMA Prep Middle School
Sarasota Military Academy
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2002
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration No 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS LetterView
Impact Statement
The Sarasota Military Academy  is a high-performing public charter school serving four surrounding counties. Its academic program focuses on college-prep curriculum and includes a collaboration with State College of Florida's dual enrollment program for qualifying high school students. SMA offers Advanced Placement courses, a traditional diploma track, and the IB (International Baccalaureate) program.  SMA's academic programs are diverse so that all students seeking to achieve a high school diploma can be successful.
The Academy includes an IB high School and a middle school on a second campus called SMA Preparatory Middle School which serves the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.
SMA Cadets demonstrate their patriotism by faithfully participating in the Veteran's and Memorial day parades and Wreaths Across America program, placing thousands of remembrance wreaths on graves at the Sarasota National Cemetery. 
SMA's enrollment waiting list climbs every year~SMA cannot currently serve all the students and families that want their child to attend this unique Academy experience.  Even though SMA operates at a fiscal disadvantage by not receiving 100% of allotted tax dollars, it still operates its budget in the black with a cash reserve in excess of 1 million dollars.
SMA sees its role in the local community as an educational organization that sets the standard for school choice, and charter school management in particular.  SMA aims to provide an educational environment for a diverse student population with a focus on honor, respect, and patriotism~requirements for good citizenship.
Needs Statement
1.   IPAD AirIIs for faculty: $650 each.  SMA aims to equip every faculty member with IPADs to provide technology options in the classrooms and across disciplines.  SMA's faculty are using Google Site applications to communicate to their students directly and in collaborative fashions.  The response from both faculty and students is overwhelming positive.
2.   Collaborative desk system: $150 per desk/chair set. (300 needed) This desk system allows for collaborative seating arrangements in the classroom.
3.   Positive Behavioral Support programs for both campuses $4,000 for setup and annual subscription fee and student rewards and incentives for positive behavior throughout the school year.
4.   Athletic score table $5,000 for use in the Academy's regulation gym to monitor competitive FHSAA athletic events.
Background Statement

The Sarasota Military Academy is where parents can bring their children to grow up in a safe and stimulating environment.  SMA promotes Cadet-centric leadership.  The Cadets lead Cadets and every student has an opportunity to learn how to lead themselves, small groups, and if they desire, larger groups of Cadets.  Realizing potential is what SMA is all about. 

SMA, a public charter high school, is a part of the Sarasota County School District. To be classified as a “charter” school, the organizers of the school must submit an independent charter concept for the school that defines its unique characteristics that will serve a distinct student population apart from the typical district school program. A charter school works within the County school district but functions with distinct independence through its own governing board of directors. SMA's charter indicates that the discipline and teaching approach will be fashioned after the JROTC program, the Army training style that employs discipline and a military structure that promotes respect for authority, self, others, and the United States of America.
Expanding to the middle years curriculum allows the Academy to work with young adults earlier to enrich and advance both their academic acumen and their character development through the International Baccalaureate educational program and the Medal of Honor character development program. 

The school is a non-profit, 501(C)3 corporation and does not charge tuition. Although SMA is funded with tax dollars, it does not receive the same per-student funding as district schools and therefore, functions at a fiscal disadvantage. The shortfall must be made up from efficient financial oversight as well as steady fund-raising campaigns. Academic performance is measured in the same fashion as district schools, through the FCAT testing system. All qualified Sarasota county 6th through 12th grade students are welcome to apply for admission. SMA also accepts qualified students from Manatee, DeSoto, and Charlotte counties as well.

The aim of the Sarasota Military Academy is to provide an alternative approach to education that allows the student to reach his or her leadership potential within a structured and disciplined learning environment.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- DeSoto
FL- Charlotte
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments
SMA serves a diverse student population, from the wealthiest to the poorest zip codes in all counties listed.  Distance and transportation obstacles are navigated to the best of SMA's ability, working within the fiscal parameters available to assist all qualified students, from any of these counties, to able able to participate in the SMA educational opportunity.  SMA is excited to offer for the first time a privately funded bus to serve our Manatee Cadets.  This new transportation option was initiated with the start of the 2017/18 school year.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Youth Development
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

The Sarasota Military Academy has no parallel! It is a public school requiring no tuition while producing a private school approach to learning. It is a superb example of a public, private partnership and one of the most important, successful and forward thinking charter schools anywhere.

As part of the initial group which started the Academy I have gained much appreciation for its special nature as we have matured. As an “old soldier” I have long believed that the earlier young people learn the value of focus, structure, teamwork and discipline, the more quickly they grow into confident, productive and successful adults. This is why I think an environment like the Academy is so important to the development of future generations.

The small “family” atmosphere of SMA inculcates a sense of belonging not always recognized in larger institutions. It is this setting which enables the staff and faculty to impart the critical elements of leadership: knowledge, dedication, hard work, and consideration for others. Learning to lead others during one’s developing years pays enormous dividends later in life. That is part of the SMA experience.

It is important that the Academy grow, not in size but in
depth by providing long-term financial stability along with dedicated mentors, supportive parents and loyal alumni. We must provide up-to-date physical structures and modern equipment to enhance the learning experiences of our
students. This will require further investment of financial resources to keep pace with these ever increasing needs. 

Finally, SMA must continue to be a model to other schools,
not just locally but nationwide, by maintaining the highest moral, ethical, athletic and academic standards in the nation.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

The Sarasota Military Academy is an outstanding college prep secondary school with over 90% of our graduates going on to college. We currently have recent graduates attending each of the U.S. Military Service Academies around our country.

The school currently enrolls approximately nearly 1,500 Cadets combined from both campuses. Enrollment demand has been extremely strong over the past fifteen years, and SMA typically opens each school year with about 100 potential students on the waiting list. 
Each in-coming Cadet and family sign an agreement to abide by SMA's Honor Code which states that they "...will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate that in others." Each Cadet also agrees to do their personal best academically at all times; perform community service; and to always exhibit patriotism when given the opportunity.
SMA has a mandatory and random drug testing policy for all individuals on the high school campus~students, staff, and faculty.  The drug testing policy came into effect in the early years of the academy by student choice and vote.  This policy helps to keep our environment safe for the entire SMA family. 
SMA Cadets wear the U.S. Army class "B" uniform and the SMA Prep middle schoolers were a similar styled civilian uniform. Progressing through the Army JROTC ranks, each student demonstrates academic talent combined with leadership skills. Cadets are taught appropriate courtesies which include addressing their instructors and campus guests as "Sir or Ma'm." In many ways, the Sarasota Military Academy is like a "Back to the Future" educational experience in that cadets are required to come to school looking sharp~hair properly groomed and wearing neat and trim uniforms at all times. 

Instructors are carefully selected and they also willingly conform to the uniform policy. An excellent school begins with excellent teachers and SMA has the finest faculty.

The school's motto is "Honor~Honor in Self, Honor in Family, Honor in Community, and Honor in the United States of America."
SMA high school students mentor SMA Prep cadets in academics and activities. Peer tutoring is motivational and successful.  The program benefits both the cadet mentors and cadet mentees.  Both the mentors and mentees gain confidence in building interpersonal relationships, and they begin to see the value of helping others. Role modeling takes place. The younger students love being with the high schoolers, so absenteeism decreases.  
This program is powerful for the high school cadets who have struggled themselves in reading and math and have overcome grade-level deficiencies.  They can relate and empathize with the middle school cadets' struggles. They can and do show their mentees how they overcame their own learning obstacles.
New to the Cadet-to-Cadet mentoring program is the SMA Prep Jr. Raider club.  High school cadets on the Raider team will be the "coaches" for the middle schoolers for this exciting extracurricular athletic activity.  
Budget $5,000
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success The SMA Cadet-to-Cadet mentoring program inspires both high school and middle school students to engage in learning and improving in areas of math and reading. By the end of a semester, twenty middle schoolers will increase their grade-level performances in math and reading.  
Long Term Success The goal of the SMA Cadet-to-Cadet mentoring program is to get as close to 100% grade-level math and reading proficiencies for every Cadet and see a 100% high school graduation rate from all SMA students.
Program Success Monitoring The SMA exceptional student liaisons and reading teachers will track assessment scores for the mentees.  Those performance data will provide a means to track the program's successes. 
Program Success Examples This is the first year of the program.  SMA has received a matching grant for a bus that will allow for Cadets to travel to and from each campus for this mentoring program.  Previously SMA high school Cadets mentored elementary students from other district schools in an after-school program.  The SMA Cadet-to-Cadet mentoring program is internal and will be established with longevity in mind.
Description SMA has developed and has engaged in a Literacy Initiative program that spans all content and elective classrooms on campus. The initiatives include reading, reading-by-the-numbers, writing, vocabulary, critical thinking, and digital literacy. SMA faculty receive continual professional development in literacy and implementing literacy in all content.  Peer mentoring through the Cadet-to-Cadet mentoring program provides a multi-tier platform to engage and enforce literacy learning.  The next step is to acquire the I-Ready reading and mathematics program subscription that identifies reading deficiencies and provides an individualized support system to assist in bringing students up to grade-level reading.
Budget $7,500
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success On average, SMA graduates about 95% of its senior class, compared to the Sarasota County district's average of about 75% and second only to Pineview School for the Gifted (the national graduation average is 65%). Graduation criteria includes demonstration of literacy across all subject areas and the literacy program has been instrumental in supporting this remarkable graduation rate.
Long Term Success 100% graduation rate is SMA's goal; an A grade for SMA every year from the Florida Department of Education, and literacy at grade-level proficiency for every single SMA student. If SMA can instill the importance of literacy for every student, the impact on the community and the country would be invaluable.  
Program Success Monitoring The Florida Department of Education requires all Florida public schools to perform standardized testing.  As a public charter school, SMA participates in the annual assessment testing and receives a school grade based in large part to the students' test results.  Literacy is a primary factor across the assessment board.  In five of the last six years, SMA has received an A grade from the FDOE.
Program Success Examples "John" entered SMA as a ninth grader who read below grade level and failed his state assessment testing in a district middle school.  John determined not to repeat his family illiteracy pattern and applied himself in SMA literacy and remedial reading program.  By the end of tenth grade, John was reading at grade level.  In the eleventh grade, John participated in the dual enrollment program between SMA and State College of Florida.  John graduated from SMA in 2013 with over 40 hours of SCF college credit. In 2016, John graduated from USF and now holds a professional position in local law enforcement.  John received many hours of peer tutoring at SMA and he gave back many of his own hours in tutoring and mentoring other struggling community youth.  
Program Comments by Organization
SMA's unique educational environment attracts a myriad of individual students and in doing so, we are committed to providing programs that enhance the SMA educational experience.
Most programs offered by SMA are either run by volunteers or supported by volunteers.  SMA simply does not have the means to hire out for every extracurricular program, so we endeavor to fill the need within the SMA family~teachers, staff, cadet family members, and community members.
Variety seasons all of life and SMA believes that is especially true for the high school educational experience.  Equitation~offered as an elective course at SMA~is not only unique, it is really, really popular.  Some of the cadets have never been around horses and here they have the opportunity to safely learn to ride and care for these magnificent creatures while learning about biology and nature.  A small, charter school like SMA can provide and oversee such a unique class.  This is the kind of thing that we strive to do to provide an all-around wholesome and memorable school experience and to help the students want to get up in the morning and come to campus rather than thinking of ways to skip out. 
Our society and local community needs to realize that quality citizens are not born~they are raised and schooling is an integral part of that raising.  
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Christina Bowman
CEO Term Start Jan 2014
CEO/Executive Director Email
Christina Bowman
Executive Director of Schools, SMA 
Ms. Bowman’s educational leadership experience began in her home state of Kentucky first as a middle school science and math teacher in the public school system. She progressed into administration from there as an assistant principal and athletic director. After relocating to Florida, Ms. Bowman joined the Sarasota County school district in 2007 and SMA in 2009. Before her appointment as the Executive Director of Schools for SMA in 2015, Ms. Bowman served as an assistant head of school for five years and one year as the head of school for the high school campus.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
General Frank Laudano (Ret) 2011 - Dec 2016
Senior Staff
Mr. Steve Kok Business Manager
Dr. Robin Livingston Head of School, High School Campus
Mr. Thomas Vara Head of School, Prep Middle School Campus
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 140
Part Time Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 80
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 3
Volunteers 115
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
State College of Florida, Dual-Enrollment program
Suncoast Technical College 
Sarasota Music Half Marathon 
Sarasota Southside Rotary Club
Tiger Bay 
The Pines Assisted Living Facility
Sarasota Police Department
Suncoast Community Bloodbank
Sarasota National Cemetery, Wreaths Across America program
Downtown Improvement District
Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Girls Inc. 
Cirrus Aviation, ground-school training program
Rotary International, Interact Club
Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce, Youth Leadership Sarasota program
External Assessments and Accreditations
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
International Baccalaureate Organization
Awards & Recognition
Five-Star, A-Rated High SchoolFlorida Department of Education2013
Graduation Rate 96.7% Sarasota County Schools 2017
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Commercial General Insurance
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
General Property Coverage
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization
School choice in the US has become important for more families than at any time in the history of this country.  For the better part of the educational history of our country, only the wealthy could afford to make a school choice for their children.  That restriction on the middle and lower socio-economic classes is fading away in large part because of the charter school movement. And overall, that has proven to be a positive force for all parties involved.
School choice, and charter schools in particular, help to sharpen the district schools themselves because competition has its benefits, all the way around.  The large district public high schools are sometimes not the right fit for every student in our community.  The close-knit community of SMA, both its campus and student-body size, provide oversight and safety that a gigantic district school campus cannot.
The unique Army JROTC program incorporates disciple, respect, and patriotism that otherwise may not be embraced in a public school environment.  SMA's students willingly SIGN UP for the program, knowing full well the discipline and behavioral expectations that come along with an all-cadet environment.
Army JROTC gives every single cadet the opportunity to become a leader according to his or her ability and desire, and lead they must.  SMA aims to provide not only a college prep academic curriculm, but exposure to civic respect and responsibility that will enable a graduating cadet to make good choices and serve their community as a quality citizen.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization There are unique aspects to the SMA experience, including the JROTC Raiders team and drum line.  Character building is at the heart of what we endeavor to exposure the SMA Cadets to throughout their high school careers.  Character building comes in different forms and angles for different students; here are just two things that make SMA unique and rewarding for our Cadets.
Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Herb Jones
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term July 2017 to July 2020
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Kimball Bobbitt CPA
Mr. Frederick M. Derr P.E.Frederick Derr & Company
Ms. Carter Donovan Community Volunteer
Mr. F. Steven Herb Nelson Hesse
Mr. Herb Jones Retired
Colonel Benjamin M. Knisely Retired
Ms. Linda Long Community Volunteer
Admiral Logan Malone Retired
Dr. J. Robert Parkinson Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 7
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 13
Board Meeting Attendance % 80
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 50
Standing Committees
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Academic Affairs
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization
As the Sarasota Military Academy enters its fourteenth year, we have achieved many milestones but none as exciting and challenging as the start of  Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School.  
Opening in August 2014, SMA Prep will serve the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades.  The middle school endeavor has been in the Board of Directors' thinking for many years.  It is evident that a preparatory middle school that provides exemplary academics and character building principles would be widely received.  We hope to invite all middle school graduates to enroll into SMA high school.  This will extend the opportunity to develop themselves into fully functioning and productive citizens upon high school graduation so they may be successful in whatever their chosen path may be.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2016
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $15,135,472.00
Projected Expenses $14,199,525.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$294,372$218,916$517,119
Investment Income, Net of Losses$7,227$9,617$12,543
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$9,389,293$10,083,460$7,075,408
Administration Expense$3,994,818$2,794,986$1,813,938
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.011.011.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses70%78%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$23,182,126$14,482,994$13,489,246
Current Assets$1,422,166$1,323,927$1,281,607
Long-Term Liabilities$5,599,387$9,582,041$609,328
Current Liabilities$13,790,206$501,401$5,993,072
Total Net Assets$3,792,533$4,399,552$6,886,846
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountSchool Revenue $13,076,644School Revenue $12,628,026School Revenue $8,790,662
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $294,372Contributions, gifts, grants $218,916Contributions, gifts, grants $517,119
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther $92,744Other $95,997Investment Income $12,543
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.102.640.21
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets24%66%5%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
SMA, a public charter high school, receives district and state tax dollars for operational expenses; however, as a charter school, it does not receive 100% of the per student dollars that noncharter public schools enjoy.  Presently, SMA operates at a fiscal disadvantage of approximately $1,286 per student which means SMA is down over 1 million dollars annually.  With that said, SMA's administration team endeavors to steward every dollar it receives and as a result, operates in the black with a current reserve of over 1 million dollars for emergency needs.
Having less to work with has not impeded SMA's commitment to quality instruction or educational experience.  And while that work is not simple or easy, SMA attracts young people and their families to put themselves in a position to grow and become model citizens and excellent students.  SMA is very proud of its cadets, and the cadets testify to that excellence not only at school each day, but in their personal walks of life.
SMA's operational budget is presently being met by the tax dollars it receives from state and district funding; that is not SMA's challenge.  The school and its impact grows every year and the need to provide standard and up-to-date facilities has gone beyond the school's ability to do it alone~that is the challenge facing SMA.  The campus will now use approximately 6-8 portable classroom units to supply space needs as we endeavor to raise sufficient funds to build the next expansion phase.  The community has embraced SMA and realizes the educational philosophy it employs makes significant impact on the young lives of its students.
We at SMA believe the community will respond and help to support and propel the necessary means to keep improving the SMA experience for each of its cadets and their families.  The unique time in a young person's life, his or her high school experience, can often determine which way he or she will go in this life.  SMA takes its responsibility very seriously in the way in which we all endeavor to lead and direct sound choices for a lifetime model of good learning and citizenship.
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990 or audit.  Financial figures were taken from the 990s.  The financial statements and Federal 990s reconcile.
Nonprofit Sarasota Military Academy Inc
Address 801 North Orange Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone 941 926-1700 245