Shenandoah Valley Academy

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Shenandoah Valley Academy
Shenandoah Valley Academy is located in Shenandoah Valley
Shenandoah Valley Academy
Shenandoah Valley Academy
Shenandoah Valley Academy is located in Virginia
Shenandoah Valley Academy
Shenandoah Valley Academy
Shenandoah Valley Academy is located in the US
Shenandoah Valley Academy
Shenandoah Valley Academy
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
Motto Building Christ's Character in the Heart of Nature
Religious affiliation(s) Seventh-day Adventist
Established 1908
Authority Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
Principal Donald Short
Teaching staff 13
Grades 9-12
Gender Co-educational
Enrollment 244[2] (2010)
International students 15%
Average class size 30
Student to teacher ratio 11:1[3]
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 7 Varsity Teams,[4] 1 Junior Varsity Team
Mascot Stars
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,[5] Virginia Council for Private Education,[6] Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools[7]
ITED Composite average 70th%
Newspaper Shen-Val-Lore[8]
Yearbook Shenandoan[9]
Tuition ≤$19,675[10]
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)[5] and the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools.[11] It is a member of the Virginia Council for Private Education.[12] Founded in 1908, SVA is a part of the Seventh-day Adventist education system, the world's second largest Christian school system.[13]


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 It has long since been replaced by the modern Administrative Building.

On the 24th of March, 1905, Charles D. Zirkle, while dying in his New Market, VA home, donated his share of his father’s property, a 42 acre piece of land on the outskirts of New Market, to the Virginia Conference of Seventh day Adventists. His purpose was to have a school built for Adventist youth education. Two years later, construction commenced on what was originally known as New Market Academy; that name however duplicated that of an old private school in New Market and thus was changed to its current name, Shenandoah Valley Academy.[14][15] The school first opened in September 1908 and originally accommodated ten grades. That first year the school had an enrollment of 15 students, the first four of which graduated in 1911.[16] At the time of its founding, Shenandoah Valley Academy was the seventh Seventh-day Adventist high school level academy in the United States.[14]

In the school year of 1913-14, SVA was not in operation due to extreme financial difficulties. In 1918 the school was hit by a flu epidemic that disabled the school and even took one life. From 1916 to 1921 the school was struggling to survive, but was able to continue under the leadership of H. M. Forshee, Principal, and the help of Elder R. D. Hottel who was the pastor of the New Market Seventh-day Adventist Church at the time. Hottel besought funds and foodstuffs for the, at that time needy, school.

The difficulties did not last forever, and in the fall of 1927, W. C. Hannah took the reins of the school. He was principal for an astounding 26 years, and during that time he brought much advancement to the school and the campus.

While most SVA students come from the states of Virginia and Maryland, there are also many that come from other areas in the U.S., namely from the Midwestern Region and the Mid-Atlantic states, and a few from the far South and West. There are also students from countries around the world, such as South Korea, Angola, as well as Latin America. As of 2016, SVA has graduated over 5,200 students.[17]


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.[18] Most classes are held in the Administration Building.[19] Both the boys' dorm, Phanstiel Hall, and the Girls' Dorm, Hadey Hall, have been fully remodeled within the past two years.[when?][20]


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, and Social Sciences, with Foreign Language being required for the College Preparatory and Advanced Studies Diplomas.[21][22] Also, religion classes are mandated on a yearly basis. In addition to its core curriculum, SVA offers two Advanced Placement (AP) classes and Dual Credit classes including Introduction to Computers, Anatomy & Physiology, Physics, American History, Personal Finance, Jesus and the Gospels, and Knowing and Sharing Christ.[23]

Diploma options[edit]

SVA offers its students three diploma tracks, an Advanced Studies Diploma, a Basic College Preparatory Diploma, and a Basic Diploma. The Advanced Studies 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.[22] 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]

National Honor Society[edit]

SVA has an active chapter of the National Honor Society, which has existed since at least the year 1974.[27]

Student life[edit]

Performing arts[edit]

SVA has an active, award winning, performing arts program.[19][28] The department consists of two full-time faculty as well as a number of students from JMU who make available a full range of instrumental lessons to students at SVA. Music groups that are currently active at SVA include the Shenandoans, an elite touring choir, the Valley Ringers, a handbell ensemble, and the Chorale, a large choir. Apart from the vocal and bell groups, there is also the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, and the String Ensemble.[29] The Shenandoans, Valley Ringers, Concert Band and the Symphony Orchestra tour frequently.[30] All of these groups go on an annual music tour to an out of state or out of country location, some recent tour destinations being Germany, Austria, Florida, and Costa Rica. Not under the direction of the music department are the Praise Teams who lead the school population in singing at its weekly worship events.[31]

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.[32][33]


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.[34] Many of the players on its varsity teams go on to play in college athletics at various colleges.[35][36][37] 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.[38]


  • The Charles Zirkle Gymnasium – Used as Basketball and Volleyball facility
  • Full size professional soccer field (redone in Summer of 2009)[39]
  • Baseball field (redone in Summer of 2009)[39]
  • Heated Indoor Olympic Pool (Now decommissioned)
  • Outdoor Track

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

List of teams[edit]

SVA Girls Volleyball (Late 2016)


  • Boys' Varsity Soccer (Fall)[4][2]
  • Girls' Varsity Volleyball (Fall)[4][2]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball (Winter)[4][2][40]
  • Girls' Varsity Basketball (Winter)[4][2]
  • Boys' Varsity Baseball (Spring)[4][2]
  • Girls' Varsity Soccer (Spring)[4][2]
  • Boys' Junior Varsity Basketball (Winter)

Recent awards[edit]

  • Boys' Varsity Baseball - Conference Champions 2010
  • Girls' Varsity Soccer - Conference Runner Up 2011[41]
  • Boys' Varsity Soccer – Conference Champions 2009[42]
  • Girls' Varsity Volleyball Conference Runner Up 2011
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '09-'10[40]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Runner-up, SWAU High School Basketball Tournament, Division One[43]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '08-'09[44]
  • Boys' Varsity Soccer - Conference Champions 2008[45]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '07-'08[46]

Community Service[edit]

Annual Mission Trip[edit]

While enrolled at SVA, students are encouraged to participate in yearly mission trips organized by the Campus Ministries Office.[47][48] Recent trips have included Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Appalachia, New Mexico, Panama, Brazil, Zambia, and Guatemala. On average, about 40 students participate in these trip annually.

Monthly DC Homeless Trips[edit]

Every month, a bus of students from Shenandoah Valley Academy goes to Washington, DC to help feed the city's homeless population.[49]


The school holds a weekly 40 minute assembly in the auditorium.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • W. Richard Lesher, PhD, Class of 1943, Educator, former President of Andrews University.
  • John Wagner, PhD, Class of 1957, Educator, former President of Southern Adventist University and Union College (Nebraska), former Principal of Shenandoah Valley Academy.
  • Ron Carter, PhD, Class of 1965, Provost, Loma Linda University
  • Dale E. Twomley, PhD, MBA, Class of 2009 honorary - Businessman/Educator, former President of Worthington Foods, former Dean of Andrews University School of Business, former three time Principal of Shenandoah Valley Academy.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-05-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Myers, Emily, ed. (2010), Shenandoan "Free To Be", 62 ('09-'10 ed.), Shenandoah Valley Academy 
  3. ^ "School Detail for Shenandoah Valley Academy". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2010-05-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "SVA Sports & Physical Fitness". Shenandoah Valley Academy. 
  5. ^ a b "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2010-04-23. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Shen-Val-Lore: Student Voice of SVA for 86 Years". Shenandoah Valley Academy. 
  9. ^ "Shenandoan Yearbook Archives". Shenandoah Valley Academy. 
  10. ^ "Tuition, Fees, Work". Shenandoah Valley Academy. 
  11. ^ NAD Office of Education. "Adventist Education Directory". Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  12. ^ List of State Recognized Schools. Page 29. Archived March 6, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Students Of Shenandoah Valley Academy Enrich New Market Seventh-Day Adventist Church". The Daily News Record. April 5, 1998. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Harris, Richard E. (1995). Divine Destiny (PDF). New Market, VA: Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Minutes of the Board of Trustees, August 17, 1907 and January 29, 1908.
  17. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Alumni Today, 2016. Harris Connect. 2016. 
  18. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy Stays Strong". The Daily News Record. May 15, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b "Shenandoah Valley Academy Displays Its Rich History". Daily News-Record. April 5, 1998. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  20. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Dorm Experience, retrieved May 19, 2010 
  21. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Shenandoah Valley Academy - Graduation Requirements, retrieved January 12, 2017 
  22. ^ a b Shenandoah Valley Academy. "Shenandoah Valley Academy Student Handbook" (PDF). Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved January 12, 2016. 
  23. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Shenandoah Valley Academy - Advanced Classes, retrieved April 6, 2017 
  24. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy (2009), "Selection of Classes and Diploma Tracks", Student Handbook 
  25. ^ "Welcome to International Academic Competitions". International Academic Competitions. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ Lainey S. Cronk (May 21, 2010). "2010 Maxwell Scholars Announced". News & Events. Pacific Union College. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ "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]
  28. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy Department of Music Archived August 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ Van Ornam, Hannah (ed.), Shenandoan ('09-'10 ed.), Shenandoah Valley Academy 
  30. ^ "SHENANDOAH VALLEY ACADEMY SYMPHONY". The Washington Post. April 8, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  31. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy - Spiritual Experience Archived August 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ One of the required events is a drama/music program put together by the school[permanent dead link]
  33. ^ "Tree of Life Christian Prep School". The Free Lance-Star. May 1, 2006. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  34. ^ "End of an era at SVA". Daily News-Record. June 15, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Dillard Gets New Guns". Daily News-Record. November 12, 2003. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  36. ^ "After Brief Absence, Cathlin Returns". Daily News-Record. January 28, 2005. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  37. ^ Barber, Mike (August 26, 2005). "Cathlin's Brother Transfers To BC". Daily News-Record. Retrieved May 18, 2010. 
  38. ^ Helton, Marcus (January 12, 2010). "Organ Making A Point(s)". Daily News-Record. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  39. ^ a b Columbia Union Conference SVA: Hannah and Dodge Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ a b "Wakefield nipped by Shenandoah Valley Academy in Conference Finals". February 22, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Wakefield athletics roundup". Rappahannock News. May 6, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Boys' Soccer Schedule/Scores". Wakefield Country Day School. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy edged by Andrews Academy". January 31, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  44. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy crushes Wakefield in Conference Finals". February 26, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  45. ^ "Boys' Varsity Soccer vs. Shenandoah Valley Academy - CAC Finals At Massanutten Military Academy". Wakefield School - Calendar. October 30, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  46. ^ "Massanutten Military Academy nipped by Shenandoah Valley Academy in Conference Finals". February 16, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2010. 
  47. ^ "North Fork Journal - Calendar". Daily News-Record. October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  48. ^ "Foreign Mission Trips". Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved October 5, 2010. 
  49. ^ "Campus Ministries". Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved January 16, 2017. 
  50. ^ 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]