Shenandoah Valley Academy

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 serving approximately 250 students in grades 9 through 12. The campus is located in the heart of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley approximately 90 minutes west of Washington, DC. 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] The school was founded in 1908, with its first students enrolling that fall and graduated its first senior class in the spring of 1911.

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
234 West Lee Highway


United States
Coordinates38°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 typeParochial Private, Day & Boarding
Religious affiliation(s)Seventh-day Adventist
AuthorityPotomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
PrincipalDonald Short
Teaching staff13
Enrollment244[2] (2010)
International students15%
Average class size30
Student to teacher ratio11:1[3]
Campus size450 acres (1.8 km2)
Campus typeRural
Color(s)     Navy and      White
SloganServe God, Value Knowledge, Accept a Life of Service
Athletics conferenceCavalier Athletic Conference
Sports8 Varsity Teams,[4] 1 Junior Varsity Team
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools,[5] Virginia Council for Private Education,[6] Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools[7]
ITED Composite average70th%


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 It has long since been replaced by the modern Administrative Building.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.[13][14] 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.[15] At the time of its founding, Shenandoah Valley Academy was the seventh Seventh-day Adventist high school level academy in the United States.[13]

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 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.[16]


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 with vistas of Massanutten Mountain.[17] Most classes are held in Twomley Hall, which is also the home of the school administration, library, and auditorium.[18] Hewitt Hall contains the student center and applied arts classrooms. The boys' dorm, Phanstiel Hall, and the girls' dorm, Hadley Hall, were fully renovated in the late 2000's.[19]


SVA's required curriculum includes classes in English, Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies, yearly religion courses, applied or fine arts, personal finance, and physical education. Foreign language as well as additional science and mathematics courses are required for the College Preparatory and Advanced Studies Diplomas.[20][21] In addition to its core curriculum, SVA offers Advanced Placement (AP) classes and Dual Credit classes including English, Anatomy & Physiology, Physics, Precalculus, Calculus, Personal Finance, and 2 religion courses.[22]

Diploma optionsEdit

SVA offers its students three diploma tracks: an Advanced Studies Diploma, a College Preparatory Diploma, and a Standard Diploma. The Advanced Studies Diploma is designed for students expecting to apply to more selective schools.[21][23]

National Honor SocietyEdit

SVA has an active chapter of the National Honor Society, chartered in 1968.

Student lifeEdit

Performing artsEdit

SVA has an active, award winning, performing arts program.[18][24] The department consists of two full-time faculty as well as a number of graduate students from James Madison University who make available a full range of instrumental lessons to students at SVA. It is one of only 12 high schools in Virginia with a full orchestra that meets every day of the week. 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 and Symphony Orchestra, there is also the Concert Band and the String Ensemble.[25] The Shenandoans, Valley Ringers, Concert Band and the Symphony Orchestra tour frequently.[26] 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 chapel events.[27]

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.[28][29]


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.[30] Many of the players on its varsity teams go on to play in college athletics at various colleges.[31][32][33] 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.[34]


  • The Charles Zirkle Gymnasium – Used as Basketball and Volleyball facility
  • Full size professional soccer field (redone in Summer of 2009)[35]
  • Baseball field (redone in Summer of 2009)[35]
  • 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 Interscholastic TeamsEdit

SVA Girls Volleyball (Late 2016)


  • Boys' and Girls' Cross Country
  • Boys' Varsity Soccer (Fall)[4][2]
  • Girls' Varsity Volleyball (Fall)[4][2]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball (Winter)[4][2][36]
  • Girls' Varsity Basketball (Winter)[4][2]
  • Boys' Varsity Baseball (Spring)[4][2]
  • Girls' Varsity Soccer (Spring)[4][2]
  • Boys' Junior Varsity Basketball (Winter)

Recent awardsEdit

  • Boys' Varsity Baseball - Conference Champions 2010
  • Girls' Varsity Soccer - Conference Runner Up 2011[37]
  • Boys' Varsity Soccer – Conference Champions 2009[38]
  • Girls' Varsity Volleyball Conference Runner Up 2011
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '09-'10[36]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Runner-up, SWAU High School Basketball Tournament, Division One[39]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '08-'09[40]
  • Boys' Varsity Soccer - Conference Champions 2008[41]
  • Boys' Varsity Basketball – Conference Champions '07-'08[42]

Community ServiceEdit

Annual Mission TripEdit

While enrolled at SVA, students are encouraged to participate in yearly mission trips organized by the Campus Ministries Office.[43][44] 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 TripsEdit

Every month, a bus of students from Shenandoah Valley Academy goes to Washington, DC to help feed the city's homeless population.[45]


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

Notable alumniEdit


See alsoEdit


  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.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  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. ^ 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.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Minutes of the Board of Trustees, August 17, 1907 and January 29, 1908.
  16. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Alumni Today, 2016. Harris Connect. 2016.
  17. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy Stays Strong". Daily News- Record. May 15, 2008. Archived from the original on January 14, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  18. ^ a b "Shenandoah Valley Academy Displays Its Rich History". Daily News-Record. April 5, 1998. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  19. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Dorm Experience, archived from the original on June 7, 2010, retrieved May 19, 2010
  20. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Shenandoah Valley Academy - Graduation Requirements, retrieved January 12, 2017
  21. ^ a b Shenandoah Valley Academy. "Shenandoah Valley Academy Student Handbook" (PDF). Shenandoah Valley Academy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-03. Retrieved January 12, 2016.
  22. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy, Shenandoah Valley Academy - Advanced Classes, retrieved April 6, 2017
  23. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy (2009), "Selection of Classes and Diploma Tracks", Student Handbook
  24. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy Department of Music Archived August 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Van Ornam, Hannah (ed.), Shenandoan ('09-'10 ed.), Shenandoah Valley Academy
  26. ^ "SHENANDOAH VALLEY ACADEMY SYMPHONY". The Washington Post. April 8, 2005. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  27. ^ Shenandoah Valley Academy - Spiritual Experience Archived August 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ One of the required events is a drama/music program put together by the school[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ "Tree of Life Christian Prep School". The Free Lance-Star. May 1, 2006. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  30. ^ "End of an era at SVA". Daily News-Record. June 15, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2010.
  31. ^ "Dillard Gets New Guns". Daily News-Record. November 12, 2003. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  32. ^ "After Brief Absence, Cathlin Returns". Daily News-Record. January 28, 2005. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  33. ^ Barber, Mike (August 26, 2005). "Cathlin's Brother Transfers To BC". Daily News-Record. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
  34. ^ Helton, Marcus (January 12, 2010). "Organ Making A Point(s)". Daily News-Record. Retrieved October 13, 2010.
  35. ^ a b Columbia Union Conference SVA: Hannah and Dodge Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ a b "Wakefield nipped by Shenandoah Valley Academy in Conference Finals". February 22, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  37. ^ "Wakefield athletics roundup". Rappahannock News. May 6, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  38. ^ "Boys' Soccer Schedule/Scores". Wakefield Country Day School. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  39. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy edged by Andrews Academy". January 31, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  40. ^ "Shenandoah Valley Academy crushes Wakefield in Conference Finals". February 26, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  41. ^ "Boys' Varsity Soccer vs. Shenandoah Valley Academy - CAC Finals At Massanutten Military Academy". Wakefield School - Calendar. October 30, 2008. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  42. ^ "Massanutten Military Academy nipped by Shenandoah Valley Academy in Conference Finals". February 16, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2010.
  43. ^ "North Fork Journal - Calendar". Daily News-Record. October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 13, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  44. ^ "Foreign Mission Trips". Shenandoah Valley Academy. Archived from the original on August 10, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  45. ^ "Campus Ministries". Shenandoah Valley Academy. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  46. ^ "How couples can spot warning signs of domestic abuse".
  47. ^ "Haffner selected as new vice president for student experience". Loma Linda University Health.
  48. ^ 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 linksEdit