Shenandoah Valley Academy

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Shenandoah Valley Academy
Building Christ's Character in the Heart of Nature
234 West Lee Highway
New Market, Virginia, 22844
United States
Coordinates 38°39′02″N 78°41′20″W / 38.650480°N 78.688945°W / 38.650480; -78.688945Coordinates: 38°39′02″N 78°41′20″W / 38.650480°N 78.688945°W / 38.650480; -78.688945[1]
School type Parochial Private, Day & Boarding
Religious affiliation(s) Seventh-day Adventist
Established 1908
Authority Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Principal Dr. John Wagner
Teaching staff 15[2]
Grades 9-12
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 244[3] (2010)
International students 15%
Average class size 30
Student to teacher ratio 11:1[2]
Campus size 450 acres (1.8 km2)
Campus type Rural
Color(s)      Navy and      White
Slogan Serve Christ, Value Knowledge, Access Life
Athletics conference Cavalier Athletic Conference
Sports 11 Varsity Teams
Mascot Stars
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,[4] Virginia Council for Private Education,[5] Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools[6]
ITED Composite average 70th%
Newspaper Shen-Val-Lore
Yearbook Shenandoan
Tuition $17,000
Alumni 6,000<

Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA) is a private, co-educational, boarding, high school in New Market, Virginia, United States. It has both boarding and day school programs. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)[4] and the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools.[7] It is a member of the Virginia Council for Private Education.[8] Founded in 1908, it has experienced steady growth with attendance standing at around 230 for the 2010-2011 school year. SVA is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world's second largest Christian school system.[9]


The original building at Shenandoah Valley Academy pictured in 1924. The building had undergone significant add ons since it began its use in 1908. It has long since been replaced by the modern Administrative Building.

In 1905 while on his death bed, Charles D. Zirkle donated 45 acres (180,000 m2) of his property to the Virginia Conference to build a school.[10] In 1907, construction began on the main building of what was known as New Market Academy.[11] The first students enrolled in 1908. In January 1908 New Market Academy assumed its current name, Shenandoah Valley Academy.[12] The name was changed because New Market Academy duplicated an old private school in New Market, ironically, the new name was shared with another, now defunct, military school in Winchester, Virginia.[13] At the time of its founding, Shenandoah Valley Academy was the seventh Seventh-day Adventist high school level academy in the United States.[11] In 1911 SVA graduated its first four students.[10] SVA students come from Virginia and Maryland across the United States to New York, Florida, or California and across national borders from places such as South Korea, Angola, the United Kingdom, and South America. By the time of its centennial in 2008 SVA had graduated over 6,000 students.[10] During the 2009-2010 school year, SVA reached an enrollment of two hundred forty-four students.[3]


The school is located on a 450 acres (1.8 km2) campus in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, and is bordered on one side by the Shenandoah River and on the other sides by the Massanutten Mountain and Allegheny Mountain Range.[10] Most classes are held in the Administration Building.[14] Both the boys dorm, Phanstiel Hall, and the Girls Dorm, Hadley Hall, have been fully remodeled within the past two years.[when?][15]

Spiritual aspects[edit]

All students take religion classes each year that they are enrolled. These classes cover topics in biblical history and Christian and denominational doctrines. Instructors in other disciplines also begin each class period with prayer or a short devotional thought, many which encourage student input. Weekly, the entire student body gathers together in the auditorium for an hour-long chapel service. Outside the classrooms there is year-round spiritually oriented programming that relies on student involvement.


SVA's curriculum consists primarily of the standard courses taught at college preparatory schools across the world. All students are required to take classes in the core areas of English, Basic Sciences, Mathematics, a Foreign Language, and Social Sciences.[16] In addition, religion classes are mandated on a yearly basis. In addition to its core curriculum, SVA offers three Advanced Placement (AP) classes and Concurrent Enrollment classes including Introduction to Computers, Spanish IV, Anatomy & Physiology, Physics, US History, Personal Finance, Psychology, Jesus and the Gospels, and Knowing and Sharing Christ.[17]

Diploma options[edit]

SVA offers its students three diploma tracks, an Advanced Placement Diploma, an Basic College Preparatory Diploma, and a Basic Diploma. The Advanced Placement Diploma is designed for students expecting to apply to highly selective schools such as those in the Ivy League, Public Ivies or the Little Ivies. The College Preparatory Diploma is designed to gain acceptance into colleges with less demanding acceptance requirements.[16] Towards the conclusion of their junior year, the school selects their senior classes based on their course selections and grade point average to prepare them for the appropriate diploma option.[18]

Academic Honors[edit]

International Academic Competition[edit]

A Senior at SVA was a National Recognition Recipient of the International Academic Competitions's Math Challenge for the 2010-2011 school year. The International Academic Competition are a triad of competitions that recognize outstanding achievement in essay writing, mathematical problem solving and English Vocabulary sponsored by the Center for Future Global Leaders.[19]

Pacific Union College's Maxwell Scholarship[edit]

In 2010, Pacific Union College selected a member of the Class of 2010 as one of its five Maxwell Scholar Program winners. The program, Pacific Union College's most prestigious based on "high academic achievement, a commitment to Christian service, and outstanding leadership skills" represents a renewable grant of $15,000 per year to each of its recipients.[20]

National Honor Society[edit]

SVA has an active chapter of the National Honor Society, which has existed since at least the year 1974.[21]

Student life[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

SVA has an active, award winning, performing arts program.[14][22] The department consists of two full-time faculty as well as a number of students from JMU who make free instrumental lessons available to all students at SVA. Music groups that are currently active at SVA include the Shenandoans their elite touring choir, the Handbell Ensemble, which goes on tour with the Shenandoans, there is also the Concert Choir, a large choir for everyone, and a Gospel Choir, singing the popular Christian music of the day. Apart from the vocal and bell groups, there is also the Orchestra, Brass Band, and the String Ensemble which rounds out the official music groups at Shenandoah.[23] The Shenandoans, Handbell Ensemble, and the Orchestra are the organizations which tour most frequently.[24] Not under the direction of the music department are the Praise Teams who lead the school population in singing at its weekly worship events.[25]

There is also a small drama club on campus which writes and performs small plays for various elementary schools as well as for some school events. The drama club is primarily used as a recruitment tool, showcasing Shenandoah Students to middle school age students.[26][27]


Shenandoah Valley Academy Stars girls' soccer team (April 2010)

The athletic department plays a large part in campus life at SVA, a large percent of the student body participates in the eight varsity teams, and many participate in its intramural sports.[28] Many of the players on its varsity teams go on to play in college athletics at various colleges.[29][30][31] The school has won a number of conference awards as well as tournament awards. During the 2009-2010 basketball season, SVA junior guard Ivan Delacruz had the highest scoring average in the area at 25.1 points per game.[32]


  • The Charles Zirkle Gymnasium – Used as Basketball and Volleyball facility
  • Full size professional soccer field (redone in Summer of 2009)[33]
  • Baseball field (redone in Summer of 2009)[33]
  • Heated Indoor Olympic Pool
  • Outdoor Track
  • Tennis Courts (Under Construction)[33]

Other sports meet on off campus locations such as the tennis courts in New Market, Virginia.

List of teams[edit]

SVA Volleyball (2009)


  • Boys Varsity Soccer (Fall)[3]
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball (Fall)[3]
  • Boys Varsity Basketball (Winter)[3][34]
  • Girls Varsity Basketball (Winter)[3]
  • Boys Varsity Baseball (Spring)[3]
  • Girls Varsity Soccer (Spring)[3]
  • Boys Varsity Tennis (Spring)[3]

Recent awards[edit]

  • Boys Varsity Baseball - Conference Champions 2010
  • Girls Varsity Soccer - Conference Runner Up 2011[35]
  • Boys Varsity Soccer – Conference Champions 2009[36]
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball Conference Runner Up 2011
  • Boys Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '09-'10[34]
  • Boys Varsity Basketball – Runner-up, SWAU High School Basketball Tournament, Division One[37]
  • Boys Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '08-'09[38]
  • Boys Varsity Soccer - Conference Champions 2008[39]
  • Boys Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '07-'08[40]

Community Service[edit]

Annual Mission Trip[edit]

The Campus Ministries Office at SVA plans a yearly mission trip that students are encouraged to participate in.[41][42] The trips are usually to Hispanic American countries or Brazil, but at times have gone to other locations. An average of about 40 students go on these trips.

Monthly DC Homeless Trips[edit]

Every month, a bus of students from Shenandoah Valley Academy go Washington, DC to help feed the city's homeless population.[43]

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Dale Twomley - Businessman/Educator, former President of Worthington Foods and Principal of a number of schools.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  2. ^ a b "School Detail for Shenandoah Valley Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Myers, Emily, ed. (2010), Shenandoan "Free To Be" 62 ('09-'10 ed.), Shenandoah Valley Academy 
  4. ^ a b "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ NAD Office of Education. "Adventist Education Directory". Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  8. ^ List of State Recognized Schools. Page 29.
  9. ^ "Students Of Shenandoah Valley Academy Enrich New Market Seventh-Day Adventist Church". The Daily News Record. April 5, 1998. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Shenandoah Valley Academy Stays Strong". The Daily News Record. May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Harris, Richard E. (1995). Divine Destiny. New Market, VA: Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  12. ^ Minutes of the Board of Trustees, August 17, 1907 and January 29, 1908.
  13. ^ Letter from Harry L. Smith, State Board of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia to Richard E. Harris, December 6, 1965. Letter from Forrest S. Racey to Richard E. Harris, October 20, 1965.
  14. ^ a b "Shenandoah Valley Academy Displays Its Rich History". Daily News-Record. April 5, 1998. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  15. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Dorm Experience, retrieved May 19, 2010 
  16. ^ a b Shenandoah Valley Academy, Shenandoah Valley Academy - Graduation Requirements, retrieved May 13, 2010 
  17. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Shenandoah Valley Academy - Course Offerings, retrieved May 13, 2010 
  18. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy (2009), "Selection of Classes and Diploma Tracks", Student Handbook 
  19. ^ "Welcome to International Academic Competitions". International Academic Competitions. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ Lainey S. Cronk (May 21, 2010). "2010 Maxwell Scholars Announced". News & Events. Pacific Union College. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Area girl makes 1st solo flight home in school's new plane". The Free Lance-Star. May 25, 1925. Retrieved May 19, 2010. [dead link]
  22. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy Department of Music
  23. ^ Van Ornam, Hannah (ed.), Shenandoan ('09-'10 ed.), Shenandoah Valley Academy 
  24. ^ "SHENANDOAH VALLEY ACADEMY SYMPHONY". The Washington Post. April 8, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  25. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy - Spiritual Experience
  26. ^ One of the required events is a drama/music program put together by the school
  27. ^ "Tree of Life Christian Prep School". The Free Lance-Star. May 1, 2006. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  28. ^ "End of an era at SVA". Daily News-Record. June 15, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Dillard Gets New Guns". Daily News-Record. November 12, 2003. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  30. ^ "After Brief Absence, Cathlin Returns". Daily News-Record. January 28, 2005. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  31. ^ Barber, Mike (August 26, 2005). "Cathlin's Brother Transfers To BC". Daily News-Record. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  32. ^ Helton, Marcus (January 12, 2010). "Organ Making A Point(s)". Daily News-Record. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  33. ^ a b c Columbia Union Conference SVA: Hannah and Dodge
  34. ^ a b "Wakefield nipped by Shenandoah Valley Academy in Conference Finals". February 22, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Wakefield athletics roundup". Rappahannock News. May 6, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Boy's Soccer Schedule/Scores". Wakefield Country Day School. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy edged by Andrews Academy". January 31, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  38. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy crushes Wakefield in Conference Finals". February 26, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Boys' Varsity Soccer vs. Shenandoah Valley Academy - CAC Finals At Massanutten Military Academy". Wakefield School - Calendar. October 30, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Massanutten Military Academy nipped by Shenandoah Valley Academy in Conference Finals". February 16, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  41. ^ "North Fork Journal - Calendar". Daily News-Record. October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Foreign Mission Trips". Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved October 5, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Out-reach Activities". Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved October 5, 2010. 
  44. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wayland, John Walter (1980). "Schools and Schoolmasters". A history of Shenandoah County, Virginia. Stratsburg, VA: Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 478. ISBN 978-0-8063-8011-7. Retrieved May 14, 2010. 

External links[edit]