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Reaching Out To The “Poorest Of The Poor”, in Mouila, Gabon, Africa

March 08, 2023
By Mariana Valle, Journalist & Jude Lagarde, Editor

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.

Chelsea Academy was Canon Alexis’ first stop on his journey in America. On the first day, he said Mass for the entire student body, afterward making his way through the upper theology classes, answering questions about living out our faith and what it's like bringing Christ to Africa. On his second day with us, Canon taught the Schola class new chant techniques, celebrated an additional Mass with the mothers of Chelsea Academy, and followed up with a presentation about the mission and their needs.

Christianity is fairly new to the village of Mouila, but the people are joyful to learn and hear stories, such as the life of St. Bernadette of Lourdes.Canon Alexis says that the Catholics there have a deep appreciation for their faith, showing fervent reverence and dressing in their best for Mass. He also expresses that the people’s love and dedication help him to realize the secret riches that surround him, making him truly feel like the “Father of the Mission''. He encourages us to see those “riches'' in our own lives. Comfortable in our own strong Catholic communities, it’s possible that we might take our faith for granted, forgetting about the mystical realities that encompass our deep beliefs. We can see by the example of these poor people that God is present everywhere, even in places where he may be unknown.
The village people that have converted show a great attachment to their faith and rejoice in the ability to express that faith in a community. Recently, Mouila’s Oblate community of altar boys gathered in a procession for Pentecost Sunday, preceding a village celebration in honor of that Feast. Last Easter, 12 students were baptized, receiving scapulars that they will cherish forever. Now, they are making preparations for more students to soon receive the sacraments in the spring.

The people of the mission are eager to learn and hear God’s word, but still have daily struggles in the poor village. They are expanding their school, and currently trying to build a library and dispensary, but are held back by poor machinery and insufficient funding. This makes it impossible to fully fix issues, such as their working bus that cannot move because it needs tires. In addition to financial struggles, we have heard that the mission is recently subject to a bad outbreak of malaria. They need our help now more than ever.

The little children appreciate even the smallest of treasures, such as simple crafts and paper dolls. Chelsea students recently sent handmade nativity scenes to Moulia, in addition to Christmas cards written in French for the children of St. Francis de Sales School. As Christians, we are called to take care of the poor. We have been asked by Canon to pray for those in his care and to give what we can. He encourages us to consider devoting some time to visiting as missionaries, just as Mr. Steve Lee and his family did last year. There are a few sponsoring opportunities, either for a specific project or a little child you may meet through their website.


Even if it is impossible to go ourselves, it is most important to be there in spirit through prayer. We can and must pray for our brothers and sisters in Mouila, through the good example of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus. Therese wished to become a missionary herself in Vietnam, but she found that it was not God’s will. Instead, she said, “I will be love,” and offered her life for missionaries through prayer. We learn that those prayers are answered through people like Canon, and even ourselves, who are all called to take care of the world's most in need. Above everything, pray the rosary, and offer it up for the Mission of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus.



See the Mission to donate or sponsor a child here

Learn more about The Mission of St. Therese of the Infant Jesus


Chelsea's St. Thomas More Chapel

March 07, 2023
By Declan Thomas, Journalist & Jude Lagarde, Editor

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.

According to Fr. Daniel Gee, pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, before the concept of the chapel came into existence, the plan was to use the school gym for whole-school Masses. “We would have Monday Masses in the gym, and then, with the Bishop’s permission, use a downstairs room to hold the Blessed Sacrament for adoration,” Gee said in an interview. 
This was the plan until restrictions came from the Diocese regarding the celebration of Traditional Latin Masses. St. John’s could no longer celebrate this mass in their main church, and their adoration chapel was not nearly big enough to hold the number of people who attended the Latin mass. After plans to use Christ the King chapel at Christendom College fell through, Fr. Gee found the only option was to use Chelsea Academy. Gee continued, “However, we realized we would not be able to use the gym, as it would be a hassle to transport the Blessed Sacrament, not to mention getting volunteers to set up and break down every Sunday - every Monday would be doable, but every Sunday would be a headache.”

And so the idea of the St. Thomas More Chapel came into being as Mr. John Dejak, headmaster of Chelsea Academy, collaborated with Fr. Gee over it. “I already had it in mind to convert that space into a chapel a long way down the road, but when Fr. Gee approached me about their need for a chapel, I sent a letter to Bishop Burbidge requesting permission to permanently store the Blessed Sacrament in our house,” Dejak said. Once the Bishop granted Chelsea permission, construction for the chapel began immediately, funded by parishioners from St. John’s and St. Peter’s, passionate about the continuation of the Latin mass. According to Gee, at least 50 people contributed, including Vincent Surmount, who constructed the altar, pulpit, altar rail, and the Stations of the Cross, all made from a combination of solid elder and heart pine.

Fr. Gee stated that, although he was unable to acquire a relic of St. Thomas More, he was able to obtain a relic of St. Edmund Campion, a martyr who lived just after the time of More. He lived underground, performing secret Catholic ministries to English Catholics living in persecution.


Overall, the construction of the chapel took place in just under 5 weeks.

Both John Dejak and Fr. Gee revealed that they both intend to expand the chapel, including adding balconies, to fit in more people comfortably for both Latin masses and Chelsea masses, but those plans are still in the development stage.

We are blessed with the St. Thomas More Chapel as it provides the ability to have whole-school masses every Monday, with our Schola performing every mass. Students also have the chance for adoration and confession, occurring every week after mass. The chapel also provides the opportunity to enrich classes, especially theology, with a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, but also as a place to put the heart and mind at ease during a busy week. Last but not least, the chapel serves as a center of the community, bringing hundreds of people together to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. We are extremely grateful to all those who put imponderable hard work into it, for without the efforts of many, the above would not be possible.

Kicking off the New Year With Spirit

January 25, 2023
By Patrick Philbin, Journalist & Jude Lagarde, Editor


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.


In the much-anticipated return to school on Monday, students showed their spirit for Chelsea by wearing their uniform. A hugely popular choice!


The real spirit week began with “Twin Tuesday.”  This was an opportunity for students to practice their communication skills in an attempt to make their teachers think that they were one of their friends. Though that never happened (at least to my knowledge,) the assortment of matching outfits that came in was truly a wonder and a testament to the students’ creativity.



The following day was “Wacky Wednesday”, where people came to school dressed in the craziest and wackiest outfits imaginable. From outfits put on backward to shaved heads, this day was the most shocking and disconcerting day of the week.



Thursday was “Decades Day”, where everyone traveled back in time and wore the outfits of their favorite decade. These outfits made that week’s house activity, “Reindeer Games,” all the more amusing. Slightly concerning (at least for those who grew up in the 80s) however, was the similarity of the outfits on Wednesday and Thursday.      




On Friday, the entire school donned their white attire to show their spirit for the varsity basketball home games that evening. Both varsity teams pulled off huge upsets against Grace Christian School (Staunton) to round out the exciting week. Go Knights!


Thank you to all who participated in the fun! We saw some impressive and crazy outfits this year! Who knows what amusing regalia will dominate next year’s spirit week…

Posted in Students

A Glimpse Into Chelsea's New Lower School

December 19, 2022
By Declan Thomas, Writer & Jude Lagarde, Editor

        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.

        Curious to see what the new lower-school students thought of their school, the journalism team took some time to ask them about their favorite parts of going to Chelsea.
        Immersed in a new curriculum that ranges from Music with Mrs. Schuttloffel, to French with Mrs. Lagarde, the lower-school pupils found it hard to decide on their favorite classes. Some of their top choices included Art and English, as well as Geography with the legendary Mr. Selner.  In Math, Mrs. Thomas helps all the younger grades, tutoring them in their weaker spots, and never forgetting to reward their hard work with candy prizes.

        The Lower School students encounter the Catholic faith in Atrium class. Here, they have the opportunity to actively pray and learn about sacred traditions, exploring the parts of the Mass, liturgical seasons, parables, and much more through hands-on activities involving an array of materials and resources. Many of the lower-schoolers enjoy spending time in the atrium and have said it is “hands-down one of the best parts of the day.” 

        The variety of classes in the Lower School provided a solid foundation for these students as they prepare for Chelsea’s rigorous curriculum in the middle and upper school.

        Outside of the classroom, the students enjoy participating in the school-wide House competitions and activities. These competitions not only boost school morale, but also give students a healthy competitive spirit and a sense of pride in their house and school.  Most importantly, participating in the House System gives the lower-school students an opportunity to be with their Upper School peers and build new friendships. 

        Because of the smaller class sizes, students have an easier time getting to know everyone well. To quote third grader Felicity Shuttloffel, “My favorite part of Chelsea is making friends.” This unity is harder to replicate at a larger school and is at the core of the Chelsea experience. 

        Overall the Chelsea Lower School is off to a wonderful start! With dedicated teachers, a solid curriculum, and roots in faith, the Lower School, like the rest of Chelsea, guides students in becoming confident, well-rounded people. 

Posted in Academics

Fall Sports Recap

December 14, 2022
By Patrick Philbin, Sports Reporter; Jude Lagarde, Editor

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!

Varsity Girls Volleyball

Coached by: Becky Barvick

Highlights: The team, once again, had a highly successful season, making it to the VISAA Division III Semi-Final for the second year in a row. Chelsea became conference champions after sweeping Virginia Academy in three sets. For many, the highlight of the season was beating Paul VI Catholic High School in five sets. Greta Barvick was chosen for 1st team all-state and Cici Wingate was chosen for 2nd team all-state.

MVP: Greta Barvick
Most Improved: Olivia Zepeda
Joan of Arc: Cici Wingate

JV Volleyball

Coached by: Chris VanderWoude

Highlights: The JV girls had a breakout season this year, fishing with a winning record, and reaching the semi-finals in both of their conferences, the SCC and NVIAC conferences. One notable moment was taking St. Johns to 5 sets despite one of their all-around players, Simone Lash, being injured.

MVP: Marya Klassen
Most Improved: Annabelle Kotulski
Joan of Arc: Simone Lash

MS Volleyball

Coached by: Mary Wingate

Highlights: The Middle School volleyball team won their conference, thanks to a thrilling victory in the championship round of the SCC tournaments. Against the highly talented Virginia Academy, Chelsea came tantalizingly close to winning, falling a mere two points short. The win against St. Johns was one of the most defining moments of the season for the girls.

MVP: Charlotte and Veronica Barvick
Most Improved: Beatrice Lyons
Joan of Arc: Pilar Smith

Varsity Boys Soccer

Coached by: Declan Lundt, assisted by Tyler Goerl

Highlights: The Varsity Soccer team showed development and success, finishing with a 10-4-3 record. Vito Scotto di Clemente led the team in scoring with a total of 20 goals. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the season was beating the eventual NVIAC Champions, Immanuel Christian, 5-0 on Chelsea's senior night.  

MVP: Vito Scotto di Clemente
Most Improved: Andre Lagarde
Lionheart: Chris Benyo

MS Boys Soccer

Coached by: Jacob Guittierrez

Highlights: The Middle School boys showed significant team and individual improvement during the season. They also learned how to adapt during games, exemplified by a 5-1 win against a conference rival, despite being tied 1-1 at halftime. They were the only team in their conference to score two goals against the eventual conference champions.

MVP: Paul Beasley
Most Improved: Noah Snyder
Lionheart: James Beasley

Varsity Cross Country

Coached by: Samantha Libasci, assisted by Chris Doyle

Highlights: The team had by far their most successful season in recent times. Two runners, Bryson Barnett and Helena Akers received all-state recognition. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams placed 2nd in the NVIAC conference and placed 6th and 4th at the VISAA State Meet respectively. Bryson Barnett also finished in 2nd place at the VISAA State Meet.

MVP: Bryson Barnett 
Most Improved: Caleb Ruger
Lionheart: Jude Lagarde

MVP: Eileen Peppiatt 
Most Improved: Helena Akers
Joan of Arc: Gretchen Klubertanz

MS Cross Country

Coached by: Nora O’ Keefe

Highlights: The team saw massive improvement, as, by the end of the season, many of the racers would be passing runners that they struggled to beat at the beginning of the season. The team, as a whole, cut an average of four minutes off their 2-mile personal records throughout the season. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished 2nd place in the VMSC conference.  

Most Improved: Adam Reeves
Lionheart: Tommy Van Schaick

MVP: Bernadette Hechinger
Most Improved: Elizabeth Lynch
Joan of Arc: Isobel McFadden


Posted in Sports

Chelsea's Foreign Exchange Program

May 23, 2022
By Helena Akers, Student Life Reporter; Bea Stanford, Writer; Jude Lagarde, Editor

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 they grew as persons intellectually and spiritually. Immersing themselves in the faith, academics, and friendships which Chelsea offers has allowed the foreign students to learn about America and themselves, making for an unforgettable experience that they recommend highly to all students considering the trip. 

Benoit and Jean agree that they decided to apply for the program to practice their English, discover new things, and experience living in another country. Benoit said it is very important to him to learn and improve his English for future job opportunities, and to expand his understanding of world languages. Jean was hosted by the Lee family and Benoit by the Lagardes. 

At school, the French students enjoy learning during shorter classes compared to those back home, only around 45 minutes instead of several hours. They have found that the classes are easy if you work hard and try your best. The boys love their classmates, the sophomores, and appreciate how welcomed speaking to the teachers and speaking in class is. Benoit says, “[the sophomores] have a very good atmosphere. There are few people as the classes are small, so everybody knows everybody.” They both enjoy history class the most, so much so that they take two history classes with Dr. Wheeler (well, mostly the reason)! 

As for extracurriculars, the boys both participate in Chelsea’s Upper School Schola directed by Mrs. DeJak and take art from Mr. Wingate. Benoit and Jean are competing in a schoolwide chess tournament as well, pitting their chess skills against their American friends. The two play on Chelsea’s Varsity Rugby team, valiantly assisting the team through the addition of their top-notch French rugby skills, inspiring leadership and hardworking, competitive spirit. Benoit was even awarded the honor of Most Valuable Player at the Sports Banquet ending the spring rugby season. The aspect of having sports competitions with other schools is something that Jean and Benoit both enjoy immensely, but do not have in their school back home.   

Hosted by the Lagarde family, Benoit has been able to visit Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Florida, which he says are not like French cities, but still very beautiful. Jean has spent his free time skiing with the Lees, a favorite of both boys. The annual Chelsea ski trip was an event to remember for them, one which they say should occur in France as well. The two love to do various activities with their host families, including pick-up sports and touring DC. Benoit says that the Lagardes’ cooking is excellent, as is New Zealand food that Jean has occasionally tried with the Lees. Chick-Fil-A, hamburgers, and Chinese food are also among the more interesting, but very tasty foods the French boys have eaten.

Our Chinese students, Dave and Ryan, have spent the past school year with Dr. Helen Wu and her husband, Mr. Lee Gung. They said they left China to improve their English, experience life outside of China, and take part in more athletics. With Dr. Wu, the boys enjoy gardening and fishing in the outdoors, and Mr. Lee’s delicious cooking- the boys’ favorite being barbeque. Other American foods Dave and Ryan like include Costco pepperoni pizza, Popeyes (over KFC!), and lobsters. The boys have also traveled to Orlando Disney World with their host family, and agree that roller coasters are both fun and scary. 

At Chelsea, Dave and Ryan like their teachers, their 8th grade classmates, PE class, and math club with Dr. Wu. Ryan said the teamwork at Chelsea, whether in class, on a sports team, or in physical education, is one of his favorite aspects of the school. Dave said, with a smile, “[the 8th graders] are full of energy, and are a loud class.” The boys enjoy having lockers too, which they did not have back in China. The two had roles in the Middle School Play, “The Taming of the Shrew,” as well. Ryan has played on Chelsea’s soccer, basketball, and rugby teams, and Dave has played on the basketball and rugby teams. Though at first he was hesitant about playing sports, Dave now loves them. In fact, both Ryan and Dave have realized the importance and health benefits of participating in sports, and are so grateful for the opportunity to be more active in America. The boys think the education system at Chelsea is better than what they received back in China, and plan to continue at Chelsea through their senior year. 

When asked what advice they would give to a student considering applying to the program, Benoit said, “It is a very good opportunity. Take what people give you and don’t compare it with France. Always say ‘Yes!’ if people ask you to do or try something.” Jean said, “Just try it even if you don’t know it!” Ryan encouraged students in China to come to Chelsea and play sports and participate in clubs, and Dave said, “Tell them to live with Mrs. Wu and Mr. Lee, and have barbeque all the time.” Spending a semester in America has enabled these students to experience life alongside Chelsea students, broaden their knowledge of culture, language, and customs, dive into Chelsea Academy’s liberal arts curriculum, and create life-long friendships. The foreign exchange program, according to Jean, Benoit, Ryan, and Dave, is worth it!


Posted in Academics

Lagarde-Stanford for the Win!

April 08, 2022
By Mariana Valle, Student Life Journalist

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!


Posted in Students

Through the Lens of an Artist

March 01, 2022
By Mariana Valle, Student Reporter; Helena Akers, Journalist; & Jude Lagarde, Editor

We are delighted to highlight Mr. Wingate, Chelsea Academy's renowned upper school art teacher. Mr.Wingate has been teaching at Chelsea since its founding 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 few art supplies. 


Growing up in Charlottesville, VA, Mr. Wingate had the opportunity to pursue his interest in art with extracurricular classes throughout his childhood. However, he abandoned his artistic career temporarily to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. While majoring in history, Mr. Wingate also managed to find time to play varsity football as quarterback. After graduating in 1988, he piloted F-14s on aircraft carriers throughout Europe and the Mediterranean for six years. On leaving the Navy, Wingate decided to follow his passion for art. In 1994 he moved to Boston to study with Paul Ingbretson. He spent five years with Ingbretson and then added two short stints with Charles Cecil in Florence, Italy. Both Ingbretson and Cecil studied under Ives Gammell, the teacher, writer, and painter who kept the traditional atelier method of painting instruction alive. 


True natural realism was seemingly falling away into modernism, and to find it alive still in those teachers was a relief. Mr. Wingate studied under Ingbretson in Boston and went to Florence to work under Cecil. His first commission in 1999-2000 was to paint two little boys, the starting point of his prestigious career. Since then, he has painted many still-lifes, landscapes, and portraits, making for an impressive portfolio. His commissions have taken him around the world. He often paints for churches, including Saint John the Baptist in Front Royal, but he also paints portraits, landscapes, and still-lifes, as well as larger figurative works. Many distinguished awards came with his hard work, such as First Prize in the American Society of Portrait Artists (2000), Best Painting from Life Award of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society (2003), and various others.

As implied earlier, Mr. Wingate favors the traditional atelier method. This practice appeals to him because of the care put into the work and what comes of attentive training. The years of training required to become a master of realistic painting are well worth it. An example of opposition to the atelier method would be the majority of modern art, as Mr. Wingate says that “modern artists skip the training and focus on the expression.” The theory behind this statement is that the best way to express yourself is to express human nature as a whole. The arts are a way for mankind to illustrate its purpose, replicating God's image in his creation. 


Mr. Wingate hopes that, through his art, he can create something beautiful that will last. He furthers this goal through his work for churches, as he has said that he hopes to improve the prayer life of others through the beautification of churches, creating for them a heavenly experience. Since it is human nature to express creation, he shows his perspective by saying, “painting is like a prayer.” In its beauty, art is in itself a praising of God. Thank you to Mr. Henry Wingate for educating our students to carry on that beauty through their own lives.

Posted in Academics

A Day in the Life of a Lower School Student

February 22, 2022
By Mariana Valle, Student Reporter & Bea Stanford, Journalist

  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. 


Their day kicks off at 8:15, with everyone arriving and heading off to Convocation. Every morning, they assemble with the entirety of Chelsea Academy for prayer and the daily announcements. Following the pledge of allegiance, classes begin. The fourth grade is predominantly taught by the lovely Mrs. McShurley and the fifth grade by the wonderful Mrs. Zepeda. However, both grades congregate into Mrs. Zepeda's classroom for their combined classes; science, art, music, PE, and history.


Lower Schooler literature has included Carry On Mr. Bowditch, Jungle Book, Wind in the Willows, and many other classics. The 5th grade is loving their current reading, Snow Treasure, and will be making hand-made booklets to present this story to their class. In handwriting, the 4th grade has been enhancing their manuscript with cursive writing. Both grades learn grammar as well and have regular spelling and vocabulary bees.


Math, a difficult subject, is met with careful direction to make sure everyone thoroughly understands the material effectively and efficiently. Fractions and long division have already been conquered along with the memorization of the times tables. Of course, our future mathematicians take weekly quizzes but have encouragement through obtaining certificates for their knowledge of math facts. Mrs. Thomas gives rewards of candy to support those who might need a little extra time to grasp the challenging material.

During History class, both 4th and 5th graders have been studying American history, most recently through an assignment on the French and Indian War. Throughout last semester, students were able to present historical projects such as a model of Jamestown, presentations on the Mayflower, and periodically make posters and booklets to highlight key figures and events.

After History, the kids change their clothes and rush out to PE, which occurs almost every day. Going outside for forty-five minutes and playing dodgeball is unarguably the most popular part of the day for all students, but definitely more so from the Lower School perspective. 

Students delve into the arts at least once a week, with art and music class. They are currently learning to draw faces from 1 and 2 point perspectives with Ms. Dugas, and are beginning to grasp the appreciation for artistic beauty at a young age. In music, under Mrs. Stockton’s direction, students have learned parts of the orchestra and how to use recorders. They plan to perform some time throughout the school year.


Every Friday, Ms. Libasci comes to the Lower School class to teach an introduction to Spanish. They have already learned the basic greetings, essential prayers, and how to count up to thirty. This weekly class is always looked forward to, as the beloved Ms. Libasci makes sure to keep it fun with games such as jeopardy to test their knowledge.  


Jumping into Science class, they have studied many aspects of the weather such as wind speed/direction, temperature, different types of clouds, and their coverage, and even learned how to record contrast in air pressure with a homemade barometer. They have also gained some expertise in leaves and plant life, emphasizing this when going on nature walks. When they moved forward learning about planets, each student selected a planet and made a model to bring to school and present, though first fully researching all aspects of their choice.



Students finish off their day studying The Catholic Faith in Religion class. During this period, they have projects such as making 3D models of the Ten Commandments or the Ark of the Covenant, acting out bible skits such as the Fall of Jericho, and from time to time creating saint projects to present to their classmates.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


Over time, rewards are merited for hard work and academic caliber, and so the elementary grades accordingly use bonus point systems. They earn points by either answering challenging math questions at the beginning of the day or winning vocab or spelling bees. Points add up, and when a student reaches one hundred points, he or she can “spend” them on a class party, or donuts for the whole class during the enrichment period. Ergo, Charity Scheuckler and Beatrice Lyons recently both reached enough to organize a conjoined donut party. 


Field Trips have always been an essential part of the Chelsea adventure for all the grades, but the Lower School especially takes advantage of leaving the premises to explore the outdoors as often as they can. In the past year, they have gone on adventures to nursing homes with Santa Claus, Fantasy Land, Blandy Experimental Farm for a scavenger hunt, and historical plantation sites. On the Fall Hike, they climbed the Whiteoak Falls trail to meet a welcoming cascade, where they were able to jump in to cool off. 


The average lower school student’s day is filled with school subjects, the arts, field trips, and various entertaining physical activities. They are a lovable group of characters and are especially looking forward to no longer being the youngest at Chelsea, as the school is happily adding grades K-3 in the fall.


We are proud to say that we are welcoming them with an appreciative attitude of joy, curiosity, and laughter among the fourth and fifth graders, which truly embodies the Chelsea spirit.  


St. Thomas More, pray for us!   


Special thanks to the following students for their cooperation!


From the 4th grade:

Victoria Valle 

Malta Klassen

Anna DeJak

From the 5th grade:

Charity Schueckler 

Joe Dejak 

Frankie McCarthy

Matty Akers


Posted in Academics

Weekly Sports Recap

February 15, 2022
By Jude Lagarde, Sports Journalist & Roland Sternfels, Sports Reporter

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!

Posted in Sports

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