December 16, 2016
Candy Academy, created by Kimberly Vail (grandmother of Khloe Hohensee '23, will be entered in the Tides Inn Gingerbread Contest in honor of the second grade class!
The Head's Heads Up
Christmastime reminds me of family gatherings, special music, twinkling lights, and children's anticipation of Santa's arrival. The joy of this beautiful season was evident in the gymnasium today as it was transformed into center stage for the annual Holiday program.

"A Gift for Every Child" was the theme of the 2016 Holiday Program and, as usual, the performance was filled with poignant songs of the season and some very funny favorites of Mrs. Somers.

But the theme got me to thinking. What exactly would we like every child to receive this year? Certainly the children have written their wish lists for Santa that include toys, books, games, dolls, and some technology. But, may I suggest examining some other gifts that will outlive any toy, book, game, or new gadget? The gifts I am thinking of will make their lives and their world much brighter and better.
  • Gratitude. Lots and lots of gratitude! In our school community we are so fortunate to have so much. Let's teach our children to give thanks and show gratitude.
  • Forgiveness. The ability to forgive one's self and others provides for a much happier life.
  • Respect for others. Respect shown through kindness, empathy, and compassion.
  • Respect of one's self. Self-respect is reflected in self-control and one's self-worth.
  • Generosity. Giving to others is dual purposed. The recipient feels happy to receive and the giver feels warm on the inside. It's a win-win!
  • Responsibility. The gift to learn to show up (on time) and work hard will take our children far in their lives.
  • Integrity. Be honest. Teach them to do what they say they will do.
Giving these gifts to your children will help realize every parent's dream of raising strong, competent, capable, honorable, and compassionate adults who will pass these gifts on to future generations. I can't think of better gifts for this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Though the weather outside was chilly, hearts were warm and full of cheer at the Kilmarnock Christmas Parade!
Class Acts ....What's Happening on the Halls?
"T'was the Night Before Christmas" T'was a Delight for a Packed House!
Chesapeake Academy's Performing Arts and Lecture Series may have just presented the best play yet performed by The Virginia Repertory Theatre (formerly Theatre IV). This hilarious musical, which introduced Santa in a particularly beneficent light, was inspired by the timeless poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and by the real life of its author, Clement Moore. This program, designed for ages three through grade four, was widely shared with area schools and child care programs. Nine Performing Arts and Lecture Series programs for the young people of the Northern Neck and Middle Penninsula communities are made possible through the generosity of the Nettie Lokey Wiley Foundation.

Anna Carey '21, and Ryann Kenner '24, collaborate on a coding project.

Worldwide Hour of Code
"Coding helps me to be logical and accurate," explains Martin Smith of Heathsville. "Coding is a very important skill to have as an adult," continues Leyton Dew of White Stone. Katie Parker, Four/Five Bridge Teacher at Chesapeake Academy sums it up, "These kids love expressing their learning by developing code, it reinforces the core curriculum, and the students are right about the importance of computer science in the future job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be one million computing job openings by 2022. Sixty-seven percent of all new jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will be in computing."

All students at Chesapeake Academy enjoyed participating in the Worldwide Hour of Code in a wide variety of ways. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with one-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 200,000 educators worldwide, reaching tens of millions of students in more than 180 countries around the world. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week.

Chesapeake Academy believes that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. 

Imagine kindergarteners writing algorithms to count from 10 to 20...and to navigate a construction site...skill building is fun!
Chesapeake Academy students' artwork will be on display at the Rappahannock Art League (RAL) in Kilmarnock during the month of December. Please stop in to see our students' creativity! There is work on display from the entire eighth grade class--a collaborative piece. And there are pieces on display from Larkin Denton, Ryleigh Hornsmith, Rebecca Meberg, Jack Porter, Jarett Platsis, Adair Stanley, Elizabeth Stanley, Duke Wolfson, and Mani Webster. Please be certain to thank RAL members for hosting Chesapeake Academy's artwork as they are generous friends of our school! We will be displaying student work again in March.

Methinks there has been mischief afoot!
Clash of the Coins
There has been scurrying and hurrying...sneaking and peeking... and sabotage and strategy afoot! Thanks to the leadership of Student Council and their sponsor, Kim Dynia, the entire school community has been searching for Waldo while amassing hoards of coins (and sneaky bills) to buy food and presents for a local children this Christmas. Once the cash was counted, Middle School students shopped for presents, wrapped gifts, and packaged food for the Holiday feast for eight youngsters from four families. Check out this wonderful  Animoto Video on Clash of the Coins.

Our many different cultures notwithstanding, there's something about the holidays that makes the planet communal. Even nations that do not celebrate Christmas can't help but be caught up in the collective spirit of their neighbors, as twinkling lights dot the landscape and carols fill the air. It's an inspiring time of the year. 
Marlo Thomas

How much love can one tree hold?  Loads, if it is Chesapeake Academy's Giving Tree!

The Giving Tree Gives Back
The spirit of Christmas is alive and growing around Chesapeake Academy, and nowhere is it seen more clearly than on the Giving Tree as gently loved and brand new items continue to pile on and on and on. Student Council gathered this love-laden tree up and delivered its treasures to Grandma's Attic where all these warm fuzzies will be available to folks who need them.

Chesapeake Academy Middle Schoolers attend a Rappahannock Art League program at Lancaster Middle School and enjoyed meeting the talented performer afterwards!

Middle School Attends One Man Show: "A Christmas Carol" at LMS
Mr. John Hardy, using minimal props, recreated Dickens' architypal London scenes to deliver a very nearly unabridged version of "A Christmas Carol" in a one man show. Sound like a tall order? "It was a truly amazing performance,"  chimed Mrs. Katie Parker and Mrs. Hillary Smith! "Hardy changed character swiftly and effectively, often through the narrator, offering a perfect example to Chesapeake Academy performance classes of fluid characterization being primarily developed in the face and the voice!  The text remained authentic in this 75 minute performance presented by the Rappahannock Art League. It is safe to say that a good time was had by all."
Ms. Julia Alderson of Chesapeake Bank looks on as students review stock profiles and make selections.

Eighth Graders Develop Financial Literacy Skills in Junior Achievement Presented by Chesapeake Bank Volunteers
Chesapeake Bank staff, volunteering as Junior Achievement sponsors, deliver lessons on fiscal responsibility, work ethic, initiative, and entrepreneurship to Chesapeake Academy eighth graders. Junior Achievement is a volunteer-delivered, kindergarten through twelvth grade program designed to foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, that uses experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.

Extended Day
Chesapeake Academy's Extended Day Program for pre-K 3&4 through third grade, ably staffed by the talented Mrs. Susan May and the inimitable Mrs. Catherine L. Emery, provided some novel art experiences for pre-holiday fun!  Using pasta paint brushes, students made panels of textured color as the first part of a two-day Christmas craft. Wonder what they are going to be?!  While half of the extended day crew was painting, the others had fun creating shapes & 3-dimensional structures with spaghetti & marshmallows.  There is always something fun going on in this engaging program every day.

Faces and Our Culture exchange student, Nacho Carranza, was a helpful Spanish coach for the  seventh grade, listening to readers and helping with pronunciation.
Seventh Graders Explore Biomes and Make Big Connections to the World
"It is important to understand the various biomes because of how diverse our world is," explains Larkin Denton '18. E very action has an impact. My biome is being impacted by climate change.  Everything is connected.   Every biome is extremely different.  This project helped to define the individual biomes for us: we learned about each biome's animal populations, unique geography, weather, land features plant know...characteristics."

"Throughout the year so far, we have been studying different ecosystems and organisms. The biome project brings all of this study together into one place. We each got to present our biome by not only writing a paper but also building a diorama to demonstrate the biome.  Mine was an antartic tundra, and Jack Porter '18 had a desert: very different places, but we saw that each environment caused speciifc adaptations," explains Adair Stanley '18.

Ignacio Carranza (Nacho)'s last tone chime practice....This exchange student has found many new friends!
Kelly Antonio, first grade teacher
What Makes Chesapeake Academy the Place I Want to Work?
My family moved from Northern Virginia, and became part of Chesapeake Academy in 2004 when I was offered a job and our oldest son (Walker '14) started preschool.  He is now a sophomore in high school, and our two younger sons (Ben '17 and Sam '22) are still part of the CA community.  

The Antonio Family is proud to be part of the Osprey Family.

I am still here because I love where I work; I love whom I work with; and I love whom I work for.  I became a teacher so I could work with young people and help them embrace the joy of learning. Chesapeake Academy offers me the opportunity to do those things in an environment that is nurturing (to children and adults) and is NOT mandated by government red tape/tests.  

I love that our curriculum is about the whole child, building character and independent learners as future leaders in a chaotic world.  My journey at CA began with no prior knowledge of independent schools or the culture. Mike and I both now understand the value of this environment as parents.....and I understand the joy of it as a teacher.  I love working with the families throughout the school, and I love watching my former students grow into independent and contributing members of the community. (One of my advisees got married and invited us to his wedding--that meant the world to me!)  I believe in Chesapeake Academy and all that it represents both here on campus and out in the community--we teach our children to be kind, to think outside of the box, to help others, and to push themselves.  

Second grade STEAM challenges: 
Build a Christmas tree that will stand on its own using only two pieces of green paper and four popsicle sticks.
 Build a new sleigh for Santa using only popsicle sticks and tape. 
First grade and third grade got together to listen to The Legend of the Poinsettia and label a world map, focusing on the location of Mexico and North America.
The Mini-Economies Activity Period is a hot bed of inventive genius!  Bird feeders, boomerangs (two sorts), paddle boats, bottle cap shooters and balloon rockets are all being developed in preparation for Market Days!  These kids are entrepreneurs ready to market and sell their ideas!
Budding Authors Celebrate First Tomes in Second Grade
Second graders are pleased as punch as they produce their first original works of fiction.  Each student was tasked with inventing a "Wild Thing" as the main character for an exciting adventure.  Then they used their concrete understanding of story structure to fashion imaginative tales.  Once completed, edited, and recopied, the stories were illustrated using pencils, sharpies, and watercolors.  Finally, each piece was laminated and shared during a classroom milk and cookie party where budding authors celebrated their fanciful accomplishments. Kudos to the second grade!

It's everything gingerbread in K this week. Afternoon snack was the house we worked very hard to build.  Yum!
Budding architect Reese Bragg '17 shows her client, Tayloe Emery '21 the house she designed for him as an Algebra project, replete with holiday trimmings.
Chesapeake Academy particpates fully in VAIS:  from serving on visiting committees to serving on the committee that consolidated the standards.  Reflection and evaluation are essential steps toward excellence.
Chesapeake Academy prepares for Interim Five Year Accreditation Visit
Head of School Deborah Cook and Assistant Head of School Julianne Keesee attended a workshop at the Virginia Association of Independent Schools in preparation for Chesapeake Academy's interim accreditation visit scheduled for October of 2017. Accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS), Chesapeake Academy ascribes to a pattern of evaluation and review that ensures that the school meets or exceeds benchmark standards of academic, finance, governance, and school community best practice. Earning accolades, full accreditation and no major challenges or strong recommendations at the 2011 Ten Year Accreditation visit, Chesapeake Academy continues to push toward excellence in all aspects of its mission.

Typically, five years following the school's ten-year accreditation, an interim evaluation is conducted. Within the interim progress report, the school describes new programs and/or significant developments since the last on-site evaluation, and presents its published curriculum and supporting documentation. Visiting teams comprised of professionals from member schools staff the interim visit and provide a comprehensive report. 

Make your Dollars Work for 
Chesapeake Academy! 
With the holidays approaching, this is a perfect time to remember how you can  support your favorite little school and shop at the same time! Organizations like and pay a percentage of your purchases to the school!  And Box Tops are worth ten cents a piece!  Go, team!

Mr. Ian York, CA Athletics Director
Coaches' Corner
The basketball season got underway at Chesapeake Academy with the Varsity teams hosting Peasley Middle School. In the girls' game, Adair Stanley led all scorers with seven points. Elizabeth Stanley chipped in with six points of her own to go along with 5 rebounds to help the girls win. In the boys' game, Rock Wolfson had a solid game with 4 points and 5 rebounds to go along with several defensive plays. The boys were not able to pull out the victory, but showed great effort throughout.

In their second contest, CA hosted Aylett Country Day School for three games. The JV boys team played their first game of the season. After shaking off some nerves, the boys played hard to finish the game, but the early Aylett lead could not be overcome. The Varsity girls played a physical game and came out on top. Several defense stops in the final minutes sealed the win. In the final game of the night, the Varsity boys used an up-tempo brand of basketball to get several easy baskets, and they entered the half tied. Missed shots hurt the boys in the second half as Aylett was able to pull away. The boys loved the fast pace of the game and they are eager to take the court again and build on the success of the early season. 

At St. Claire Walker Middle School, Elizabeth Stanley led all scorers on the girls' team with fourteen points and six rebounds in the girls' victory. Good passing and accurate shooting allowed the girls team to jump out to an early lead and never look back. In the guys game, St. Claire Walker used a run in the second half to pull away. Rock  Wolfson  led the CA scoring effort with five points while Orie Bullard and Michael Branson each had five rebounds. Both teams will be back in action  January 4  when they host St. Claire Walker at Chesapeake Academy.

"It's not about presents, but it is about your presence. Therein lies the spirit of the holiday season."

CAPPA Update
Happy Holidays from CAPPA! I wanted to thank everyone who has supported CAPPA's endeavors in this first half of the school year. Everything from Box Tops to apple sales and providing refreshments for school functions!  All efforts are very much appreciated!  Let's get ready for the next half!

Did you know after winter break there are only five months left of this school year? If you are interested in being a CAPPA officer next year, please don't be shy and let us know! I am available to meet with anyone interested or you can shoot me an email at
Thank you,
Michelle Ritter

One hundred and seventy-five feet of glorious garland and assorted bouquets of greenery decorated the Tripode home for a beautiful holiday season.  Purchased as an auction item at the 2016 Chesapeake Academy Auction, the decorations were hand-crafted of fresh greens by donors Michelle Ritter, Kelly Antonio and Catherine Emry. 
Important Financial Aid Notice: Families wishing to be considered for financial assistance for the upcoming 2017-18 school year should notify Hilary Scott, Director of Admission, by email no later than  January 9, 2017 . Please visit  to access all information related to financial assistance. All documentation is due on or before March 6, 2017. This includes: 
  • 2016 1040 
  • 2016 W-2 
  • 2016 business tax documents, if applicable
If you have any questions, please contact Hilary Scott  or Richard Abbott.

Chesapeake Academy Online Application is now LIVE!
It took a little extra elbow grease, but we are delighted to announce that Chesapeake Academy now offers an online application process to prospects interested in joining our community! From the CA website home page, prospects may select the link which takes them to the online application area. In addition, prospects may now request a brochure packet by selecting this link and completing a form which then travels to the admission office! Share this news far and wide with your friends out in the local community (HINT: and then submit the referral form and earn a $1000 tuition credit!) The admission process is now easier than ever!

Chesapeake Academy's float in the Kilmarnock Christmas Parade sparkled due to the elves that pulled it together, the elves that rode on it, and  those who walked with it!  Thanks to Rob Pittman (father of Porter '22), Christina Hubbard (mother of William, '23), Julie Thostenson (grandmother to Kaileigh, 24), and Alison Weddle (mother of Will  '23).  Spirits were buoyed by hot chocolate and fried chicken provided by CAPPA .  

Giving Makes a Grateful Heart!
  • Thanks to Mrs. Julia Chase Smoak (Mrs. Clark's mother) for some tactful alterations to keep our basketball players looking their best!
  • Thanks to Alice Riviere and Carolyn Harris for volunteering in the Library.
  • Mrs. Aline Gawlik (grandmother of Alex '24 and Andrew '19) shares her passion for children's literature with Chesapeake Academy several times a year!  She reads to classes, donates books, posters, and activities to classes and the library.  
  • Chesapeake Academy raised over $700.00 for the Guardian Program by donating trees and wreaths to the YMCA's Festival of the Trees! (Chesapeake Academy does impact the greater community in wonderful ways!)
  • Thanks to the Mason and Lula Cole Trust for their wholehearted support of Chesapeake Academy computer science programs.
  • What will we do without Ted Cook changing lightbulbs to keep our Osprey lit and shining in the evenings?  Irvington loves that bird!
  • Thanks to a dapper Ian York for chauffeuring preschool programs that wanted to attend PALS performances.
  • Grover Branson works so consistently and selflessly on campus that he is rarely missed in Heads UP.  No matter how often we say it, we mean it even more!  Thank you, Mr. Branson!
  • Julie Thostenson (grandmother of Kaileigh '25 and Alison Weddle (mother of William '23) worked magic with greenery to create lush and fragrant Christmas decorations all around the school.
  • Catherine Emry and Michele Ritter made a dynamic duo, decorating the school in preparation for the Irvington Christmas Decoration contest.
  • A shout out is due to parent volunteers who keep the Osprey Nest available to parents. This is so appreciated!
  • Beth Somers never fails to direct and produce a wonderful Holiday Program.
  • Sonja Smith quietly steps up to create the perfect stage decorations.
  • Thanks to Kim Dynia for leading Clash of Coins, gift shopping, wrapping, and quarterbacking the Giving Tree. These activities are a fun part of the school culture, and they do good work in the community as well.
  • Thanks to Chesapeake Bank volunteers who staff the Junior Achievement program.
  • Thanks to the Somers Clan for loaning their dory for use in the Kilmarnock Christmas Parade.  Miss Debbie Beth was charming!
  • Thanks to Robin and Robert Cunningham for contributing their expertise to an Activity Period on Broadcasting.  This has been a real learning experience!
  • Thanks to Mariah Mears for pitching in to help a busy crew of elves create decorations to fulfill an auction commitment.
First Grade's Christmas trees were both beautiful and wonderful learning experiences (anyone see the wee elf in this photo?)!

Dates to Remember
12/19 - 1/2 Christmas Break
1/2 Faculty Professional Development
1/3 Classes Resume
1/4 Dress Uniform
      Bball hosts SCW: Girls at 4:00 p.m., Varsity Boys at 5:00 p.m.
1/11 PALS, Reptiles Alive, 9:30 a.m. (ages three through grade three); 10:30 a.m. (grades four through eight)
1/12 Bball @ Ware: JV Boys at 4:00 p.m., Girls at  5:00 p.m., and V Boys at 6:00 p.m.
1/16 Head of School Day/No School
1/18 Seventh/eighth grade Reader's Theatre production of "Cinderella Hood," 10:05 a.m.
1/19 Bball @ ACDS JV Boys at 4:00 p.m., Girls at 5:00 p.m., V Boys at 6:00 p.m.
1/20 Second Marking Period Ends
1/23 to 1/27  Exams for seventh and eighth; ERBs for third through sixth
1/25 Tag Day
1/26 First/second grade present "A House for Hermit Crab," 10:05 a.m.
1/27 Faculty Workday, half day
1/30 ERBs for seventh and eighth grade
2/1 Dress Uniform
      Kindergarten presents "The Giving Tree," 10:05 a.m.
2/1 Report Cards Home

Chesapeake Academy | |
 Post Office Box 8   107 Steamboat Road    Irvington, VA 22480