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  • This summer, Chelsea Academy will gather leading voices at the nexus of Catholic education and statesmanship to explore how to form Catholic leaders capable of meeting the challenges of our current moment.

    For centuries, Catholic education has been part of the fabric of America. Since the founding of the parochial education system by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton—secondary patroness of the Diocese of Arlington—Catholic schools have met the challenges of the age by partnering with families to form the next generation in the faith. As a result, American Catholics have achieved prominent positions in secular society, and Catholic schools can count numerous community and national leaders among their alumni.

    But now, in the third decade of the 21st century, new challenges are causing Catholics to rethink how to engage in secular society. Our culture is increasingly confused, presenting young people with visions of happiness and success that are fundamentally opposed to those of the Catholic faith. And in the public square, this hostile culture has led to a rethinking of once-settled questions around Catholic cultural and political engagement. As our country's cultural rot accelerates, parents seeking to form confident Catholic leaders are left navigating a new landscape in education and public life.

    How should parents navigate this cultural moment? How should schools react to these new cultural challenges? How do we continue to educate for Catholic leaders capable of making positive contributions to their families, places of work, and communities?

    As a school under the patronage of St. Thomas More—patron of statesman and of the Diocese of Arlington—Chelsea Academy is uniquely positioned to explore these questions. Join us this summer to hear from leading figures in Catholic education and statesmanship!

    The day will open with Holy Mass in Chelsea's St. Thomas More Chapel, celebrated by Fr. Daniel Gee, pastor of St. John the Baptist in Front Royal.

    Then, the first plenary session will explore Catholic statesmanship in the 21st century. Discussants include:

    • The Hon. Ken Cuccinelli. Cuccinelli has served in the highest levels of U.S. and Virginia politics. Cuccinelli started his political career in the state senate of Virginia, before being elected state-wide as Attorney General in 2010. Cuccinelli's tenure as Virginia AG was informed by his strong Catholic faith, most notably on issues of life and marriage. More recently, Cuccinelli served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) and Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under President Trump. He is currently Senior Fellow for Homeland Security and Immigration for the Center for Renewing America
    • C.C. Pecknold. Dr. Pecknold has emerged as a leading voice in Catholic political thought. Dr. Pecknold's work centers on the thought of St. Augustine in the areas of fundamental theology, Christian anthropology, and political theology. He is a frequent contributor to debates in the public square, and is co-founder and editor of the popular Substack, The Postliberal Order. Dr. Pecknold is associate professor of systematic theology at the Catholic University of America. 
    • Matthew Mehan. Dr. Mehan's work centers on the thought of St. Thomas More and the education of leading citizens. He has has consulted for national leaders and heads of state, and has written for various outlets both scholarly and popular, including Moreana and the Wall Street Journal. As Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of Government at Hillsdale College's Graduate School of Government in Washington, DC, Dr. Mehan plays a leading role in shaping the next generation of statesmen through the College's academic programs & fellowships for policy professionals exerting key influence in Washington.
    • Tim Carney. Mr. Carney is a bestselling author, journalist, and speaker. His work seeks to explore and explain a broad swath of the American landscape. His 2019 bestseller, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse, explored why so many Americans feel the American dream is dead—and the vital role churches must play in bringing it back. His latest book, Family Unfriendly: How Our Culture Made Raising Kids Much Harder Than It Needs to Be, takes on the record rates of anxiety, depression, medication, debts, loneliness, and comes to an old-fashioned conclusion: “Have more kids, have more fun, cancel the travel soccer games, let your kids wander off, and give them deeper sources of meaning than material success.”

    The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. George Harne, incoming president of Christendom College. This will mark Dr. Harne’s first public lecture as Christendom’s next president, following his official first day in office on July 1. A widely respected and accomplished scholar of music history and the liberal arts, Dr. Harne will deliver a talk titled “The Contemplative Statesman,” tying directly into the conference’s theme of educating for virtue in 21st-century America.

    The second plenary session of the day will pivot towards Catholic education, and explore how to lead vibrant Catholic schools. Discussants will channel decades of experience in Catholic school administration and classical education, including:

    • John M. DeJak. Mr. DeJak, headmaster of Chelsea Academy since 2021, brings over 20 years of experience leading and teaching in vibrant Catholic schools to Chelsea. Under his leadership, Chelsea has successfully expanded to a full K-12 student body, completed accreditation renewal and curriculum realignment, and purchased a campus of its own for the first time. Before Chelsea, Mr. DeJak was the founding headmaster of two private high schools in the Twin Cities area, Chesterton Academy and Holy Spirit Academy, and was most recently President of Father Gabriel Richard High School in Michigan. He is also the co-editor of With God in America: The Spiritual Legacy of an Unlikely Jesuit (Loyola Press, 2016)
    • Jeremy Tate. Mr. Tate is a leading voice in the classical education movement. In 2015, he founded the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an alternative to the SAT and ACT college admissions exams. CLT has since expanded to a suite of assessments for grades 3-12—all rooted in truth, goodness, and beauty. He is also the host of the popular “Anchored” podcast on education and culture. In additional to his work with CLT, Tate is a frequent speaker and contributor to popular publications. His writing has appeared in Fox News, First Things, the Wall Street Journal, The American Conservative, The Federalist, and elsewhere.
    • Pat Miggins. Mr. Miggins' teaching career has spanned nearly 20 years. He began his career teaching at The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland, teaching 6th Grade Homeroom, 8th and 10 Grade literature, 9th Grade Core, Ethics, and Irish Literature. In 2011, Miggins moved to Houston, Texas, to help build Western Academy, where he served as Assistant Headmaster and continued to teach a variety of humanities courses. Miggins is now back at The Heights School, and also serves on Chelsea Academy's Board of Directors. 
    • Jeffrey Presberg. Mr. Presberg has led a dramatic revitalization of St. John the Beloved Academy (SJBA) in McLean, Virginia since he came on as headmaster in 2018. Under his leadership, SJBA has recommitted to a liberal arts curriculum rooted in a Catholic humanist tradition, and a robust and vibrant Catholic identity. As a result, the school has attracted families from throughout the region, and enrollment has increased to capacity, with a deep waiting list. Prior to his tenure at SJBA, Mr. Presberg was the founding Headmaster at Western Academy in Houston and Lower School Head at The Heights School.  

    Chelsea Academy is proud to welcome these distinguished speakers to our campus this summer. Join us in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley as we chart a path forward for Catholic education and statesmanship!

    For more information and to secure your seat, click here.

    Questions about the event? Email us at

  • Last month, the senior class was delighted to depart on the second field trip of their high school career: a trip to Washington D.C., where they visited Capitol Hill and the Heritage Foundation. The students had the privilege of meeting Congressman Ben Cline, who was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer any and all of their questions about his job, Congress, and the U.S. Government in general. The class then went on a tour of the Capitol, guided by two of Congressman Cline’s staffers, before heading to the heritage foundation for lunch and a couple of presentations on originalism and the Constitution. Senior Cecilia Lyons said that a highlight of the day was meeting a woman on the tour who had been working in the Capitol building during the infamous attacks of 9/11. A huge thank you to Congressman Cline, his staffers, and the Heritage Foundation for the warm welcome they extended and to Mr. Regnery, Mr. Dejak, Mr. Doak, and Mr. Schuttloffel for accompanying the students on their adventure!

  • Entering college, Mr. Chris Foeckler didn’t expect to be a teacher. He figured he’d be out of seminary and ordained by now.

    “I had kind of the ironic inversion of your typical vocation discernment story, where after many career paths don’t work out, God shows you His call to the priesthood,” Mr. Foeckler says. “For me, I wanted to be a priest. I was in application to seminary; I was on silent retreats trying to make God call me to be a priest.”

    But soon, Mr. Foeckler saw that God had other plans. “I realized that I was the one calling me to be a priest. And as soon as I realized that, and really let God lead me, it was very clear that He was leading me to be a husband and a teacher.”

    Mr. Foeckler joined the Chelsea faculty in 2013, not long after beginning his teaching career. In over a decade at Chelsea, Mr. Foeckler has taught a bit of everything. But now, he’s focusing on the subject he’s most passionate about: Upper school theology.

    “Theology is regina scientiarum, the Queen of the Sciences,” Mr. Foeckler says, “I see all the other academic topics as integratable into each other, and to theology. For example, in math, when you’re training the mind to understand the relation of quantity and quality, you’re actually training students to perceive truth, and the interrelationality of truths to the Truth, who is God. All the subjects are supposed to center on Christ, but theology is where you can do it explicitly.”

    But while Mr. Foeckler enjoys helping students better understand the faith, he knows it’s only part of the solution. “Theology class itself is not the solution. Theology class needs to be focused on helping students clarify their understanding so they’re more capable of participation in the entire Sacramental economy. Because ultimately, the solution is love of Christ.”

    Faith—along with friendship, academics, and adventure—is one of the four pillars of Chelsea. And as Mr. Foeckler reflects on his decade at Chelsea, he sees how each of these pillars has helped define a Chelsea education throughout the years.

    “Everyone involved in the shaping of this school would hold very dear and central that we are helping our students be disciples of Christ, to have a living faith, and dearly hope to meet our students again in heaven,” he says.

    “Likewise, in academics, we want students who appreciate the discipline of learning, the life of the mind, and have some facility with the intellectual life. Friendship: We hope that our students have grown in their understanding of their duty towards each other in relationship, and ultimately in charity, and have learned to navigate the twists and turns of friendship in a wounded world.”

    And, lastly, Mr. Foeckler identifies the pillar that is “dear to his heart”: Adventure.

    “This is so desperately needed in younger generations,” he says, “Face the dragon. Take the adventure. Stand up, do your duty, and be brave. Until you actually do that a few times, you will never know what you’re capable of.”

    The upshot is graduates who are uniquely prepared for the challenges of life.

    “We hope that a Chelsea graduate is someone who knows, as G.K. Chesterton put it, that dragons are in the fairytales not to scare, not to reveal that evil exists—we all know there’s evil,” Mr. Foeckler says, “They’re in the stories so that we know that they can be overcome.”

  • For years, Mrs. Holly McShurley happily homeschooled her 10 children in the greater Front Royal area. But when Chelsea Academy started to expand its lower school a decade ago, she jumped at the opportunity to be involved.

    “There are so many benefits to homeschooling, but Chelsea provided opportunities for things that as a homeschooler I would never have been able to do,” Mrs. McShurley says. “The field trips, canoeing trip, camping trip…these Chelsea adventures are opportunities for students to connect with their peers and develop beyond the classroom.”

    For Mrs. McShurley, this social interaction is a key part of a Chelsea education. “One thing that I love about this job is I’m training children to go beyond the ‘first society,’ their family, and into the ‘second society,’ Chelsea, before they ultimately go out into the world,” she says.

    “We want to train them how to interact with one another, especially when there are tensions, and there are difficulties. But we’re dealing with them in a directed environment, where they can learn how to navigate those things.”

    As importantly, Chelsea creates this “directed environment” while remaining mindful that, as Mrs. McShurley puts it, the family remains the “first society.”

    “The school wants you to be home with your family,” Mrs. McShurley says, “Chelsea is always mindful of family life in scheduling after-school activities and extracurriculars. It’s always been a true partner to parents.”

    As Chelsea’s inaugural 4th and 5th grade teacher, Mrs. McShurley has played a hands-on role in the growth and success of Chelsea. She has taught in the lower school since the addition of those grades in 2013—and credits, in part, the different types of professional development offered by the school for her longevity at Chelsea.

    “In our lower school, we have very practical professional development. But we also have school-wide professional development that is the development of our minds. We are sitting there talking about our patron, St. Thomas More, what his virtues are, and how we as a faculty can emulate him and foster those virtues. Cultivating that life of the mind as a faculty is so important to being effective in the classroom.”

    Reflecting on a decade at Chelsea, Mrs. McShurley suggests that what makes Chelsea special can’t be reduced to one specific aspect of the school day. It’s the combination of dedicated stakeholders coming together in support of one mission.

    “I would not want to teach at a place where the parents were not involved and supported. Where we didn’t have a vibrant Catholic ethos. Where I didn’t get along with the colleagues, and we didn’t have a sense of humor,” she says.

    “At Chelsea, it’s really all one thing: The colleagues, the parents, the students, the Catholic ethos, the school activities, the Chelsea Houses….That all creates a school environment that is an absolute joy to work in every day.”

  • The Chelsea Science Fair, an annual event that takes place early in the third quarter, was held on January 24th this year. High school freshmen and juniors as well as sophomores in honors are required to participate, totaling up to fifty students and filling up three classrooms! Displays featuring bright colors, photos of experiments, and data tables were read by students and parents as the participants waited nervously for the judging to begin. The judges, meanwhile, checked their schedules to find out which students they were judging.

    The judging began promptly at 6:30 pm, and the rooms settled down as some students explained their experiments while others, waiting for their turn, gave their boards one last check or chatted with friends. Each student explained their experiment to three judges throughout the evening, then waited while the top ten science fair contestants were chosen.

    At last, the results were announced by Dr. Shanahan, who had prepared the students for the last several months for the big day. Juniors– Patrick Anderson, Isabelle Schuttloffel, Jimmy Stanford, and Keira Thomas, sophomores– Ben Tapsak, Miriam Pilon and Anna Reeves, and freshmen– Marya Klassen, Jon Mahlum, and Paul Beasley were all included in the final top ten. Their topics ranged from filtering water to lactase to defrosting chicken! All the students in top ten have the choice to continue to the Shenandoah Valley Regionals Science Fair, held at James Madison University.  After the announcement, the other forty students were free to leave. The top ten contestants were judged again; this time by a group of judges all at once, so that the top three winners could be chosen from the group.

    The next morning, the results were reported to the entire school. Applause filled the gym as the ten stood in front. The top three were then announced. In third place came freshman Jon Mahlum with the experiment “Extracting Strawberry DNA”. Sophomore Anna Reeves took second, displaying a project tracking the sugar levels of pasture grass. Winning first prize, with his experiment titled “Heavy Metal” was sophomore Ben Tapsak! 
    The Chelsea community congratulates the top ten, and wishes them good luck as they advance to the Regionals Science Fair to represent our school. We commend all of this year’s participants, and thank all those who organized the science fair, especially Dr. Shanahan. Chelsea’s 2024 Science Fair was a success!

  • Spirit week at Chelsea Academy took place January 8th-12th this year and was filled with fun and school spirit! Traditionally, Chelsea holds spirit week during the first week of school back from Christmas break to give students something fun to look forward to due to the sadness of break being over. This year was no exception! We started out with a combined Twin Day and Sports Team Day on Tuesday, since school was canceled on Monday due to snow. Tuesday gave students the option to display their favorite sports teams and their cool gear, or to test student’s wardrobes to see how well they could match with a friend. It was Wacky Wednesday for the second day of spirit week, and Greta Barvick pulled out her knee socks, while Peter Aronhime shaved his head to match a monk’s tonsure. Decades Day was well done on Thursday with lots of flannel shirts and jeans from the 90s, letter jackets, and side ponytails. Gretchen Klubertanz dressed up with a beautiful dress and coat with heels representing the 60s, and Christopher Foeckler came in suit pants, a collared shirt, a cap, and a vest from the mid-1900s. The final day was School Spirit Day, and the whole school was decked out in blue and white to celebrate. When questioned about spirit week, Joe Akers, whose favorite spirit day is Wacky Wednesday, said “it’s a good way to come back to school,” and Maire McCarthy, along with many other students, said it was fun.

    The Lower School students seemed to enjoy it just as much as the Upper School students, especially with a Decades Dance Party on Thursday with music from all the decades, so that they may appreciate the music of the time they represented. The song “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets could be heard from the high school locker room, which made many students smile.

    A few teachers joined in the fun, including Mrs. Pelczar’s fun hippie outfit on Decades Day, and even Mr. McDonald showing school spirit on Blue and White day. On Wacky Wednesday, Mr. G. showcased mismatching shoes, and Mr. VanderWoude sported his green pants.

    That same week, the French exchange students, who will be attending Chelsea for the semester, arrived and were welcomed into the Junior class. Ivy Akers expressed how she is excited that they are here, and all the students seem to enjoy Maya and Louis very much.

    Spirit week seemed to be a big success and a much needed boost for the first week back to school. Hopefully the spirit continues in this next semester! Go Knights!

  • Like the beginning of this school year, fall sports seemed to fly by. Last Monday at the Fall Sports Banquet, Chelsea recognized all nine teams spanning from grades 4-12 in three sports: girls volleyball, boys soccer, and cross country. Each team made remarkable progress and had memorable season highlights, and each student athlete admirably represented the school, whether in local tournaments or state championships. Congratulations to all of our athletes and a huge thank you to the fans, parents, and especially coaches for their dedication to the athletic programs!

    The team awards and season highlights are listed below:

    Varsity Volleyball
    Coach: Mrs. Becky Barvick 
    Most Valuable Player: Greta Barvick 
    St. Joan of Arc: Monica Lee 
    Most Improved: Olivia Zepeda 
    Highlights: the team boasted a 21-5 record and were runners-up for both conference and state tournaments. Two girls made first team all state and one made second team!

    Varsity Cross Country
    Coach: Miss Samantha Libasci 
    Most Valuable Player: Gretchen Klubertanz 
    Lionheart: Landon Barnett
    St. Joan of Arc: Stevie Klubertanz 
    Most Improved: Peter Cuddeback 
    Highlights: Bryson Barnett was state champ by over 30 seconds. Landon Barnett, Stevie Klubertanz, and Eileen Peppiat received all-state honors. The girls team placed first in their conference and fifth in state!

    Varsity Soccer
    Coach: Mr. Jacob Guttierrez
    Most Valuable Player: Vito Scotto di Clemente 
    Lionheart: Paul Beasley 
    Most Improved: Joseph Nolan 
    Highlights: A fairly young and inexperienced team, the boys made it to the conference semifinals. The team they beat in the quarterfinals had beat the eventual conference champions earlier in the season.

    Junior Varsity Volleyball
    Coach: Mr. Josh Petersen 
    Most Valuable Player: Marya Klassen 
    Joan of Arc: Simone Lash 
    Most Improved: Annabelle Kotulski 
    Highlights: The girls were runners up in both of their tournaments.

    Middle School Volleyball
    Coach: Mrs. Mary Wingate 
    Most Valuable Player: Malta Klassen 
    St. Joan of Arc: Veronica Barvick 
    Most Improved: Miriam Guttierrez 
    Highlights: A team of mostly 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, one 7th grader, and one 8th grader, the girls mostly played teams stacked with 7th and 8th graders. In spite of this, they finished the season with a record of 19-3, and won second place in their conference in a 33-31 second set loss to Providence Academy.

    Middle School Cross Country 
    Coach: Mrs. Danielle Reeves
    Most Valuable Player: Joseph Dejak 
    Lionheart: Sam Barklage 
    St. Joan of Arc: Elizabeth Lynch 
    Most Improved: Katrina McFadden
    Highlights: Everyone was able to complete a two mile run. In the conference championship meet, Joseph Dejak obtained 3rd place and every runner achieved a new personal record.

    Middle School Soccer
    Coach: Mr. Greg Lynch 
    Most Valuable Player: Matthew Lee 
    Lionheart: Frankie McCarthy 
    Most Improved: Issac Fier 
    Highlights: At the beginning of the season, the boys lost to Fairfax Homeschool 6-0, but they beat the same team 5-2 in the conference tournament. 

  • St Cecilia’s Day, an annual tradition that sends students off to Thanksgiving break, took place on the 21st of November this year! This event showcases the artful talent of the students while they compete for house points. Each house has twenty-five minutes to impress the judges with a combination of a skit, songs, poetry, instrumental work, and traditional dancing. Our fine judges this year consisted of our very own Mrs. Philbin, Mrs. Guttierez, and Mr. McCarthy, and the scores were calculated by Mr. Foeckler.

    Our first performing house, Colet, showcased their talent through a group song of “When The Saints Go Marching In” with Max Eggzarian on the saxophone. A scene from Tom Sawyer starring Brooks Reuer gave the judges a smile. Two melancholic guitar pieces by Nate Snyder and Edmund Brugger were very impressive and well done. 

    Second to perform was the house of Pole. They started with “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid by the Upper School girls, followed by “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra sung by the Lower School girls. They also showcased Irish dancing by the MacDougall sisters, a skit from Emma by Jane Austin, and a violin piece: “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman. 

    Then the Fisher House impressed the judges through a fantastic scene from Henry V wherein the Lower School boys battled the Upper School boys. The piano piece “Whispers of the Wind” was played by Francis Foeckler. Then Finn McCarthy and Jack Stanford played instruments as Ken Furlong sang “Galway Girl” by Scythian. A powerful violin and cello piece by the Hechingers and “Dulce et decorum est” by the Stanfords topped off their performance.

    Lastly, Roper house showed their spunk through a fun group song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and a Roald Dahl poem “The Pig” recited by Anna DeJak. Then Meg DeJak played “The Sailor’s Bonnet” on the violin, and a sweet version of “Edelweiss” was sung by the Lower School girls led by Mrs. McShirley and Maire McCarthy on the guitar. A skit from Pride and Prejudice starring Ivy Akers finished out the performance.

    Results! The students patiently waited as Mr. Foeckler counted up the scores, while Mr. VanderWoude entertained the students with would-you-rathers. Finally, the results were in: 4th place was Colet, 3rd place was Pole, 2nd place was Roper, and 1st place was Fisher.
    The blue and yellow boys of Fisher screamed and jumped for joy at their victory. All of the students are excited for Thanksgiving Break and proud of another St Cecilia’s Day done. Congrats Fisher! St. Cecilia, pray for us!

  • Dr. Wheeler was a beloved Chelsea teacher, well known for his Scottish accent and love of history. He came to the school in 2021 and quickly became a favorite of students and faculty alike, despite the fact that he hated Lucky Charms. In August of 2023, however, disaster struck. Innocent Chelsea students entered the history classroom on their first day, only to discover the resident Brit was missing! Furious and heartbroken, these Wheeler enthusiasts attempted to find out where their favorite teacher had gone, but the faculty was mysteriously tight-lipped about Dr. Wheeler’s absence. The students were eventually forced to drop the matter, settling into despair, but I - your courageous author - have chosen to step up, no matter what harm may befall me. I intend to uncover the truth: what really happened to Dr. Wheeler.

        Chelsea students usually know more than they let on, so first I went to Cecelia Lyons for answers. A loud sort of gal, she seemed sure of her theory and immediately replied, “He’s on a quest to the North Pole to try to fulfill his dream job of becoming a Santa’s elf.” This was a logical option because we know that Dr. Wheeler is, in fact, a leprechaun, so it would not be a difficult transition for him to become an elf - who knows, he may even return this December when Santa comes around. Next I interviewed Keira Thomas, a junior who was confident that the good doctor was working undercover as a Buckingham Palace guard so he could overthrow the British. A probable answer, because we all know how much the Irish (Scottish?) hate the Brits. Besides, Dr. Wheeler once darkly hinted that he had plans of that sort: “My career is built on murder”. Another student, Connor Taggert who is a senior, poor fellow, rumors that he got deported. Still not satisfied with the answers across the board, I cornered Ms. Garcia, a close friend of Dr. Wheeler’s. Keeping it short and sweet, though a bit suspicious, she simply replied “potato famine” and refused to elaborate. Mystified, intrigued, and still uncertain of who to trust with my burning question, I ventured down to Mr. DeJak’s office - who I was certain knew the truth since he’s at the top of the Chelsea pyramid. This, dear reader, was the end of the line for me. Either I would be dragged away in chains for my invasive and dangerous questions, or I would emerge victorious with the truth. Knees shaking but head held high, I knocked on the door and was quietly, kindly welcomed in by the headmaster. After listening politely to my question, he answered me with the most serious, straight-faced expression I'd ever seen. “I know the truth,” he said slowly. To my extreme surprise and delight, he proceeded to explain. “Dr. Wheeler,” he continued, honesty plainly written on his face, “joined the circus troop he used to perform for - they made an offer he couldn't refuse. So now he's traveling the globe, getting blown out of cannons.”

        As you can imagine, dear reader, I was in shock. Astounded. Flabbergasted. I felt that I, along with all Chelsea students, had been hornswoggled. Of all the theories I had heard, this was the most absurd. Yet I knew our trustworthy headmaster would never deceive me or lead me astray. So it is out of my own volition - not out of fear or coercion - that I set down my pen and conclude our journey. We wish Dr. Wheeler the best and hope he does well in the circus.

    1 Yes, I know he’s Irish.
    2  In his own words: “Lucky Charms are just diabetes in a bowl”.

  • For two days, Chelsea Academy was blessed to welcome Canon Alexis Rouquayrol from his mission in Gabón, Africa. Canon Alexis came seeking help for his mission, which he recently took charge of, replacing Canon Fragelli. Founded in honor of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the 9-year-old mission has continued to grow, recently adding the St. Francis de Sales School and the Orphanage Maria Bambina.

  • A highlight for Chelsea Academy this year has been the opening of the Thomas More Chapel, which lives tucked in on the second floor of the lower school Chelsea campus. Named after our patron saint, the St. Thomas More Chapel not only gives Chelsea students the opportunity to attend school-wide Masses, confession, and adoration but also gives the community a place to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.

  • The week of January 9th - 13th was Spirit Week at Chelsea Academy! The uniform-free week was an opportunity for students and faculty to show their creativity and enthusiasm in what would otherwise be a bland return to school after Christmas break. Each day, students dressed according to a different theme, with attire varying from Civil War uniforms to 80’s fashion. 


  •       With the first semester of Chelsea Academy well under way, we had an opportunity to witness an exciting new feature to Chelsea: the addition of grades K-3. They, along with the fourth and fifth graders, make up Chelsea's Lower School. The Lower School has taken up residence in the new building on Progress Drive, formerly Virginia International Academy.

  • Chelsea Academy’s coaches, parents, and players gathered on Tuesday, November 15, for the annual Fall Sports Award ceremony. The progress made by the teams during the season and the accomplishments of outstanding players were highlighted. Congratulations to all of our student-athletes this fall for a successful and incredible season across the board!

  • This year Chelsea families hosted four exchange students, two hailing from France and two from China. The exchange program at Chelsea is not new; many students native to France, China, Germany, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil have traveled to study at Chelsea over the past decade. To highlight the benefits of this special Chelsea program, members of the journalism club interviewed Benoit, Jean, Dave, and Ryan to shed light on their respective experiences of the exchange program, and explain how

  • We are delighted to highlight Mr. Wingate, Chelsea Academy's renowned upper school art teacher. Mr. Wingate has been teaching at Chelsea since its foundation in 2008. His class is beloved by all, and he is known for the time he spends working individually with his students. He encourages them to try new styles and find the beauty in expressing their nature through time, patience, and a little art supplies.

  • Congratulations to Chelsea’s new Chancellor and Secretary, Jude Lagarde and Bea Stanford! 

    Our current leaders, Brigid McCarthy and James Schwartz, will pass the torch to Jude and Bea for the 2022-2023 school year!

    Though previously these roles were chosen at the discretion of the teachers, this year the student council coordinated an election by the students themselves. Thus implemented, Upper School students were given a formal opportunity to express their choice of the new Chancellor and Secretary. It was up to the candidates to convince the voters of their capability to become the best leaders on the path of success.

    Right before Campaign Week began, all of the candidates gave a speech and answered an open Q&A from their peers. The following week, campaigning commenced with posters covering the hallways and mini spiels and skits at morning convocation, not to mention many little treats and party hosting. Last Thursday, 8th-12th grade students enthusiastically lined up and down the hallway to cast their ballots. Shortly after the votes were collected and counted, the tension was broken by Chancellor McCarthy announcing the winners.

    Jude Lagarde, a current Fisher House Representative, ran an impressive and successful campaign and has high hopes for next year, with many new ideas to improve and old traditions to bring back to life. To help along the way, Bea Stanford will move on from being a Roper House Representative to becoming the new secretary.

    We are all confident in both Jude’s leadership expertise and Bea’s knack for organization, so rest assured we will have a promising Student Government in the coming academic year!

  • Introducing Genevieve! Her wonderful sense of humor is inclined to make you crack a smile at any time, which only adds to her relaxed and carefree personality. As a Pole House Representative, Genevieve devotes much of her time to organizing fundraisers and house activities, yet she still finds time to enjoy challenging classes like Precalculus and Physics. She enjoys watching football games and is obsessed with country music. Of all her fun stories, she’ll never remember last year’s canoe trip without laughing, since her canoe tipped over, throwing her and a couple exchange students into the river. She likes to keep healthy by lifting weights, and also teaches swim lessons in the summertime, so she is never bored. She plans on attending Christendom College, and will likely enroll in some extra courses so that she can someday become a nurse!

  • Meet Norah! Upon her arrival in 9th grade, her friendly face often stands out amongst the class of 2022. She loves running and hiking, and her taste in music is so versatile that she wholeheartedly enjoys listening to almost every genre. An avid reader, Norah delves into books by authors Tolkien, JK Rowling, and Rick Riordan. Although she breezes through her tedious physics assignments with ease, her favorite class is English with Mrs. Zepeda. Before senior year, Norah ran on Chelsea’s cross country team and dabbled in basketball and soccer. One of her favorite memories is when she blindly hiked Old Rag in the rain with Mrs. O’Keefe as her guide. Each year she has worked behind the scenes preparing students to take the stage in the Annual Chelsea Play. Norah made sure to bring the fun to tech week, ending last year’s show prep for Twelfth Night with a spontaneous dance in the rain with her friends. After graduating, Norah hopes to attend Virginia Western Community College and pursue a career in physical therapy.


    Here’s to your next adventure!


  • One of the geniuses of her class, Ava is a stellar student who tries to find a balance between her social and academic life. When she isn’t spending time with friends, she is probably playing the piano or reading some good L.M. Montgomery or C.S. Lewis books


    “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, & see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” - Goethe

  • Michael Echaniz was a faithful Catholic, a dedicated teacher, and a wonderful friend to many. To those that were close to him throughout his days at Chelsea Academy, he was always a truly selfless friend and brought a bright spark of humor to many of his classmates. As the community mourns the tragic passing of Michael, we would like to remember the best qualities of our dear friend.

  • Sebastian  joined us at Chelsea his junior year and quickly made his mark as a representative for Fisher House. As he is scientifically inclined, his favorite class is physics with his favorite teacher, Mr. Selner. He showcased his musical side at his performance on our previous St. Cecilia’s Day event, playing guitar and singing Let it Be. Sebastian loves playing baseball and has also been on the basketball team for the past two seasons. He was very proud to be a part of last year's inaugural rugby team. His favorite Chelsea memory is his junior year Fall Hike. Sebastian will attend Benedictine College in the fall to direct his studies towards biology! 


    We wish you the best of luck!


  • Described as a hidden gem by her classmates, you can count on Victoria to brighten your day with her crazy jokes. She is always either listening to her favorite music or reading for hours on end. She loves Jane Austen, who wrote Pride and Prejudice, and her favorite book is Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Her favorite Chelsea memory is of her 7th grade canoe trip (coincides with that of our previous Senior Of The Week, Betsy!), because there was a huge class battle on the rapids. She is very proud of herself for living her senior year to the fullest, and even decided to participate in this year’s play. Victoria is hoping to go to Ave Maria University in the fall, and will gear her interests towards psychology.


    You will be dearly missed!


  • Mr. Kelly, our current Middle School Basketball coach, has been a coach at Chelsea for 4+ years and has been involved with basketball in one way or another for his whole life. Ever since he was a child, basketball and tennis have been his favorite sports. He played basketball throughout high school and, after graduating from Villanova University with a major in Political science, played guard at Christendom for one year. Soon after leaving Christendom, he was recruited by Frank O'Reilly to coach in the CYO. For him, it was an easy decision to coach. Mr. Kelly loves basketball, enjoys working with kids, and has a coaching style

  • You can always find Betsy with a contagious smile on her face; her optimism and kindness make students feel welcome. That and her trunk full of candy.  She’s insanely talented at piano; students will remember her performances in multiple St. Cecelia’s Days. She enjoys baking and art, especially painting, and will do anything outdoors (just laying down in the grass will do). She will be dearly missed within the athletics department, as she has been on the volleyball team for 6 years. Her fondest memory is hands down the 7th grade canoe trip. Over the past year, she’s enjoyed becoming closer to the younger grads. She also entertains her class with tales of her job. After graduating, Betsy plans on attending Lord Fairfax Community College to get her CNA and eventually her RN, specializing in labor and delivery. 


    Good luck on your next adventure Betsy!!


  • Welcome to a day in the life of a 4th & 5th-grade student at Chelsea Academy. They may be the youngest among our students, but they can be just as busy as some of the older kids! Having schedules jammed packed with learning, adventure, and fun, there is never a dull moment in their day. The following is a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a lower school student here at Chelsea. 

  • The Chelsea basketball teams compiled a 3-3 record last week, featuring the middle school boys' third straight VMSC Championship and a thirty-point varsity girls victory. 


    Here is the rundown:

    Middle School Girls: The middle school girls had a hard-fought loss against Fresta Valley in the first round of the VMSC tournament.   


    Middle School Boys: The middle school boys continued their undefeated season this week, beating Mountain View on Thursday and becoming VMSC champions with a  40-32 Friday night thriller over Sacred Heart in front of a large, raucous crowd.


    High School Girls: The Varsity girls won their only game this week with a dominating 30 point victory over Eukarya Christian School on Thursday.


    High School Boys: Suffered two hard-fought losses with multiple injuries against Loudoun County and Eukarya Christian school. They are looking forward to those rematches coming in the near future.  


    We are proud of our Knights!

    Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Pray for us!

  • The Chelsea basketball teams compiled an 8-2 record last week, featuring a varsity girls’ rally, a 32-point middle school girls’ win, and the unbeaten middle school boys’ ninth straight victory. The varsity boys won two out of three games.

  • On Wednesday, February 2nd, Chelsea hosted its annual Science Fair, welcoming twenty-six accomplished judges based locally and fifty-one creative student project presentations.

    As always, many long hours went into not only making the event a success but also cutting and gluing construction paper on poster boards to perfection. Topics this year included, but were not limited to: gun ranges, bunnies, caffeine and pulse oxidation, implosion, micro-bacteria, fruit and its various properties, video games’ effect on memory, and many more.

    Special thanks to the generosity of the judges with their time, and most of all, to our own Dr. Alka Shanahan, who planned the event for months and oversaw all of the students’ projects with patience and wisdom. Members of the senior class also assisted in directing schedules, and refreshments were served to the judges.

    Parents and family members had a wonderful time looking at all of the projects the night of, and students and teachers were able to catch a glimpse during the first period on Thursday. 

  • The Chelsea basketball teams compiled a 4-1 record last week, featuring a comeback, a cliff-hanger, and a varsity player joyfully getting back on the court.

    Here is the rundown:

    Middle school girls: The Knights improved to 4-1, starting the week with an impressive victory over Sacred Heart, coming back from an early eight point deficit to win 33-18. Their second game proved to be a hard-fought loss, 12-15, against Fresta Valley.

    Middle school boys: The middle school boys continued their undefeated season with two wins this week, starting with a nailbiter over Sacred Heart 40-38 on Monday. They finished off the week with a dominating 43-14 win against Fresta Valley, avenging the middle school girls' loss.

    High school girls: After their scheduled games on Wednesday and Friday both got cancelled, the Varsity girls enjoyed a week of rest ahead of the grueling three-game week following.

    High school boys: The varsity boys improved their season to 4-1 with their 81-34 romp over Dominion Ridge on Wednesday in which all eleven members of the team scored. Special shout out to John Bodoh, who was finally activated after undergoing surgery in December. John put up six points in his first game this season.

    We are proud of our Knights!

    Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Pray for us!

  • The week of January 24th to 28th was deemed Spirit Week at Chelsea Academy, and each day a new theme was enthusiastically embraced by both students and faculty/staff! This annual uniform-free week was a creative opportunity to express school spirit and camaraderie, as well as to cheer on our basketball teams and celebrate St. Thomas Aquinas’ feast day. This year, a flurry of rival sports jerseys, hippie-attire, 80’s fashion, poodle skirts, princesses, Newsies, and a curiously large assortment of Nappy D characters led the way to a doubleheader of basketball games against Mountain View on Friday. Well, until actual flurries of snow caused the games to be canceled. But even so, this exciting week proved a huge success, ending in a high-stakes House Game of Jeopardy and a celebration of St. Thomas Aquinas’ feast day with cake. Below is a day-by-day of the spontaneity enjoyed by Chelsea Academy and pictures of the terrifically chaotic-yet-lovable memories made by all.

    Monday started it all off with “Sports Day,” consisting of students wearing swag of their favorite sports teams. 

    “Decades Day” had everyone thinking back to one’s fond memories of the 20’s styles all the way to the ‘90s, with the ‘80s being an obvious favorite. 

    On Wednesday, everyone donned their Sunday best for “Dress-Up Day,” and the girls attended Mass graciously offered by Fr. Tom. 

    Thursday’s classes were canceled, so on Friday students were allowed to choose either “Character Day” or the school-patriotic “Blue and White Day.” And so a creative collection of story-book/movie character costumes and Spirit-Wear apparel showed up at the cake-party and Jeopardy Competition. 

    Thank you for a wonderful turnout all week. This is the kind of pride and spirit that keeps us winning!

    St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

  • Chelsea Academy enjoyed a dominating day and night of basketball last Friday night at the VIA gym, with an impressive four-game sweep of rival Holy Family Academy of Manassas.

       The Knights recorded lopsided victories at both the middle school and high school level, boys and girls.

       Amidst a plethora of standout performances, Henry and Cici Wingate received particular shoutouts. Henry had 17 points, and Cici had 19.

    Here is a recap of the festive Friday:

       Middle school girls: The Knights improved to 3-1 with their lopsided 30-6 victory over Holy Family.

       Middle school boys: The middle school boys continued their undefeated season with their fifth straight win. 

       High school girls: After their first basket from Cici Wingate 20 seconds into the game, the varsity girls never looked back. With aggressive defense, effective offensive play from the starters, and strong performances from the bench, the Knights dominated Holy Family all game, winning 56-32. 

       High school boys: The varsity boys improved their season to 3-1 with their dominating win. Despite the absence of coach Mike Schuttloffel due to sickness, the Knights maintained their composure and pulled off a 21 point victory. Special thanks to AD Tommy Vanderwoude and Middle School Coach Jim Kelly for stepping in to take over the coaching duties.

    We are so proud of our Knights!

    Blessed Pier Giorgia Frassati. Pray for us!