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Chelsea Academy recognized as independent Catholic school

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Chelsea Academy in Front Royal has been recognized by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge as an independent Catholic school in the Diocese of Arlington. The school first opened in 2008 and offers a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition. 

The academy came about after Father Edward C. Hathaway, then pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Front Royal, and Steve Lee of St. Peter Church in Washington, Va., discussed the need for a Catholic high school west of Manassas.

Named for the home of its patron St. Thomas More, the 16th-century English martyr, the school opened 13 years ago with 37 students in grades six through nine. Chelsea Academy added one high school grade each of the three subsequent years and in 2012 graduated its first class. In 2014, the school added grades four and five, and now has 150 students in grades four through 12 and 17 full-time and part-time faculty members.

Last August, Chelsea Academy was ranked seventh of the 25 top high schools in the nation by the Classic Learning Test (CLT), an alternative to the SAT and ACT.

Beyond academics, the school provides opportunities for outdoor adventure, kicking off the school year with hiking trips. In October, the upper school goes on a hiking and camping retreat, with Mass, confession and prayer. In the winter, students take ski trips. The most popular event is the all-school canoe trip on the Shenandoah River in the spring. 

The students compete in the Delany Athletic Conference in soccer, volleyball, cross-country, basketball and rugby. 

Headmaster Felix Hernandez explained that Chelsea’s motto, "Domine ut videam" (Lord, that I may see), expresses the hope that each person — student, teacher and parent — will discern God’s plan and see God’s creation as he sees it.

Find out more!
Call 540/635-0622 or go to chelseaacademy.org.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021