Photo Top: TOP Kevin ('23), Yaquae ('24), Aiden ('27) - BOTTOM Tori ('23), Nate ('23) installed bluebird boxes last week around the campus. The school received a grant through the Virginia Bluebird Society to for the boxes and Lynnhaven campus will now be a stop on the Virginia Bluebird Trail. Mr. Chase and students will be responsible for monitoring the boxes each week and reporting the data to the state.
Lynnhaven School has partnered with the Virginia Bluebird Society to place six nest boxes on the campus. The nest boxes were officially put up on February 24th and have been monitored weekly by Mr. Chase. Monitoring the nest boxes weekly is a crucial task in the name of citizen science. All of the data collected is reported to the Virginia Bluebird Society, which is then reported to the state to track the trending population of bluebirds in Virginia.
Bluebirds are cavity nesting birds, which means they build their nests, lay their eggs, and raise their young inside sheltered chambers or “cavities”. The preferred habitat for bluebirds is open fields containing low grass, with plenty of areas to perch on to spot insects on the ground. Due to their incredible eyesight, they can see insects on the ground from over 100 feet away! Not only are they absolutely beautiful to look at, they also eat a variety of pesky insects including beetles, spiders, mosquitos, and most importantly, ticks.
Lynnhaven uses the Carl Little Bluebird Box design. It includes a large overhanging roof for sun and rain protection as well as venting on both sides so the box doesn't overheat. The cylindrical piece below is a snake guard to protect nestlings from snakes that attempt to get into the box. The ventilation openings are there prevent overheating and are visible near the top of the box. The grooves at the front of the box are used for the fledglings to exit the box when they are ready to leave the nest. To date, there are currently two nests being built in our nest boxes by Bluebirds. Bluebirds start nesting at the beginning of March and it stretches throughout the summer through August.
Lynnhaven School rising Senior, Victoria, invited to National Youth Leadership Forum for Engineering
Henrico, VA - March 23, 2023 Victoria, ‘24, has been invited to participate in the National Youth Leadership Forum: Engineering sponsored by George Mason University. This prestigious program will provide Victoria with an immersive learning experience, introducing her to the overarching principles of engineering and the design thinking process.
During the eight-day program, Victoria and other high school students will explore their passions while being exposed to a variety of engineering disciplines. The program will cover key concepts and how they can be applied in different engineering professions. Victoria will also learn about the Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations and apply her newfound skills to assist in achieving some of these goals.
The National Youth Leadership Forum for Engineering is an invitation-only program that brings together high-achieving students from across the country. This program has a proven track record of providing students with a unique learning experience that prepares them for the rigors of college-level engineering coursework. By attending the program, Victoria will also receive college credit through George Mason University.
Henrico, VA, March 21, 2023 - Lynnhaven School is proud to announce that one of its students, James ('27), has been selected for the National Team Selection Camp for Water Polo after an outstanding performance at the 2023 ODP Boys National Championships in San Antonio, TX this past weekend.
James, who has been a key player for the SwimRVA Water Polo team, impressed at the championships, showing exceptional skill, determination, and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. His performance caught the attention of the national team selectors, who were impressed by his power, technical ability and sportsmanship.
"I am thrilled and honored to have been selected for the National Team Selection Camp," said James. "It's a great opportunity to compete at the highest level and represent my school and my SwimRVA team. I want to thank my coaches, my teammates, and everyone who has supported me on this journey."
The National Team Selection Camp, which will take place in California in April, is the next step in James' journey towards representing his country in water polo. The camp will bring together the best young players from across the country, and James will have the chance to showcase his skills and leave his mark on the national stage.
"James has been a vital member of our athletic program, and we are incredibly proud of his achievements," said Lynnhaven School's Athletic Director, Marika Kidd. "He has worked incredibly hard to get to this point, and his selection for the National Team Selection Camp is a testament to his talent and dedication. We wish him all the best for the camp and beyond."
As part of his selection, James has committed to fundraising a minimum of $1375 to benefit the Olympic Development Program. You can help him by clicking here.
About Lynnhaven School
Lynnhaven School is a leading project-based independent school in Richmond, VA, offering an authentic and challenging academic program balanced with a welcoming community that nurtures students' personal and academic growth. The school is committed to helping students achieve their full potential and become responsible, compassionate, and engaged citizens of the world. For more information about Lynnhaven School, please visit www.lynnhavenschool.org
Henrico, Virginia - Lynnhaven School announced the founder and co-head of school, Johnathan Harris, is stepping down after a decade of dedicated leadership. Harris has decided to step down from his position, marking the end of an era. During his tenure, Harris has contributed significantly to the growth and development of Lynnhaven School, establishing it as a leading project-based learning school in the region.
“Opening Lynnhaven School was an idea I had as a little boy growing up in southwest Virginia. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to lead this wonderful school over the last decade. It is not often someone can literally have their dream job. Lynnhaven is poised to become the best version of itself,” said Harris in a statement.” When asked why he thought the time was right to step away from Lynnhaven, he said, “The ‘life span’ of a head of school is not infinite. I am no different, even as a founder. I have poured my heart and soul into Lynnhaven for a decade. The timing is right for me to step down.” Harris was asked if he would continue as a board of trustee, and he said the following “for many years people viewed Lynnhaven as ‘Johnny’s school’ - yes, I am the founder and opened its doors ten years ago, but it was never ‘mine’ or about me. It was about changing the narrative of what a project-based high school, based on the progressive education model, could look like in Richmond. The newly appointed board of trustees, along with Casey, need an opportunity to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas as they launch a new decade of learning at Lynnhaven.”
Lynnhaven’s successor will be Casey Hitchcock. Hitchcock is no stranger to a headship, as she and Harris have been co-heads of school at Lynnhaven for the last two years. Hitchcock brings over 15 years of experience in the education industry, having served in various leadership positions before Lynnhaven. She is an accomplished educator with a proven track record of success in academic, operational, strategic vision, and financial management. Hitchcock began her tenure at Lynnhaven in 2017.
"We are thrilled to have Casey as the next Head of School at Lynnhaven. Her vast leadership experience and expertise will be invaluable to the continued growth and success of Lynnhaven," said a Board of Trustee in a statement. They continued and said, “Johnny’s vision and work ethic is unmatched. He had the guts to do what many dream of doing. He will be incredibly missed at Lynnhaven.”
Hitchcock is excited about the opportunity to lead Lynnhaven School to greater heights. "I am honored and humbled to continue to lead Lynnhaven School. I look forward to working with everyone involved in making this school a staple in the Richmond community.” She went on to say “Lynnhaven is truly losing one of the greatest minds in progressive education in Johnny Harris. He has been a mentor and friend during my tenure at Lynnhaven. He will be missed as the Head of School, but I know he will always be our biggest champion. I am excited for his next journey.”
Lynnhaven will not seek to hire a co-head of school, as Hitchcock will serve as the Head of School, independently. Harris’s last official day will be on Friday, May 26, 2023, which is also senior graduation.
Orange, VA - On November 11th, the Lynnhaven School Lynx Cross Country team closed out their season after competing in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) State Cross Country Championship Meet. Runners from independent schools all across the commonwealth gathered at Woodberry Forest School, located in Orange, VA, to compete in the tri-division meet. Lynnhaven, a division III school, was represented by four runners, all of which ran their hearts out throughout the season.
The Lynnhaven Lynx cross country team opened their season on Saturday, September 10th at Pole Green Park located in Mechanicsville, VA for the Pole Green Park XC Classic, hosted by Mechanicsville High School. Over 60 teams across the commonwealth competed in the high school division from Lynnhaven. Team veterans Jaylen Hayes (FR) and Kevin Ellis (SR) led the Lynx. Hayes completed his race with a time of 24:49.3. Ellis made his competitive cross country debut with a time of 28:28. 6. In the middle school division and also first time cross country athlete, Charlie (Row) Petres (8th GR), completed the race with a time of 24.55.0.
In their final regular season meet of the year, the Lynnhaven Lynx Cross Country team put their best foot forward, with all runners holding a previous meet time shattering their personal records. The Milestat Cross Country Invitational was the largest meet in the state of Virginia for the weekend, with over 1,400 students competing. Athletes for Lynnhaven included middle school runners Charlie Petres and James McRae who competed in the 4k event. This meet marked McRae’s competitive cross country debut while Petres set a new personal record with a time of 23:35:00. In the high school division and 5k event Kevin Ellis, Jaylen Hayes, and Ellington Burnette represented Lynnhaven. This would be Burnettes’s competitive cross country debut while Ellis and Hayes posted new personal records with times of 26:07:00 and 23:44:00 respectively as they prepared for the VISAA State Championships.
The Lynx Cross Country team traveled to Orange, VA on November 10th. Tropical Storm Ian caused a last minute schedule change and moved the meet a day early. High school athletes, Jaylen Hayes (FR) and Ellington Burnette (JR) ran 24:16.60 and 26:22.10 respectively. Middle school athletes Charlie Petres (8th GR) and James McRae (8th GR) posted their first competitive 5k race times. Their times, and official personal records were 30:20.00 and 35:33.10 respectively. When asked what it was like competing at the state level, McRae stated, “I was very tired from the hilly terrain but it felt good to finish such a competitive race.” Senior runner, Kevin Ellis, suffered a mid-season injury that prevented him from being able to compete, but when asked how cross country challenged him this season he replied, “cross country challenged him physically and especially mentally by trying to stay in a positive mindset when practice and meets were tough.” The 2022-2023 XC season served as a first time coaching experience in the sport for head coach Marika Kidd, and assistant coach Mitchell Imbriani, who look forward to new and returning faces next fall.
Irvine, California - USA Water Polo selected Lynnhaven School student, James McRae ‘26 to participate in their 2022 Holiday Boys Camp in Colorado Springs, CO, at the Olympic Training Center Dec. 8-11. McRae was nominated by his water polo coach Jacob Henry and was one of 120 8th-grade athletes selected from across the country. USA Water Polo's Holiday Camp was started in 1985. Each year athletes and coaches from across the country convene at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to learn from the best coaches in our country.
When asked about this opportunity, McRae said, “It’s a great opportunity; I’ve been practicing for this for so long. It’s wonderful that I get to participate in the ODP!” Currently, there is only one Black member of the USA Men's Waterpolo Team, Max Irving. McRae shared that he hopes to attend UCLA and plans to pursue the national team following in the footsteps of Irving.
HENRICO, Va – Lynnhaven School is the only school in Virginia and one of 70 elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States to earn recognition through the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus K-12 program.
The Arbor Day Foundation is the largest membership nonprofit organization dedicated to tree planting. Its Tree Campus K-12 program, launched last year, encourages educators to create meaningful opportunities for students to interact with trees.
“Spending time in nature sparks children’s imaginations, improves their mental and physical health, and shapes them into lifelong environmental stewards,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “We are thrilled to see schools like Lynnhaven School lead the way in this important work.”
To earn this distinction, Lynnhaven School met four goals:
“We continue to see the benefits of making the environment a priority in our curriculum and our school culture. It is no coincidence that our school emblem is a Sassafras leaf,” said Casey Hitchcock, Co-Head of School for Lynnhaven School. “Our students will leave this haven and enter the world with respect, knowledge, and understanding of the role they must play to ensure green spaces remain for generations to come.”
The recognized schools span 31 states. Lynnhaven School is the only school in Virginia and one of only two independent schools in the nation to be recognized. In the first year of the program, more than 15,000 students participated in an Arbor Day celebration, and nearly 30,000 trees were planted.
Other Arbor Day Foundation recognition programs include Tree City USA, Tree Campus Higher Education, and Tree Campus Healthcare. Working together, the four programs celebrate tree planting efforts at nearly every community level.
To learn more and see the full list of recognized schools, visit arborday.org/K12.
About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters and valued partners. Since 1972, almost 500 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival.
As one of the world's largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees. More information is available at arborday.org.
Mechanicsville, Virginia - The Lynnhaven Lynx Cross Country team opened their season on Saturday, September 10th at Pole Green Park Cross Country Classic hosted by Mechanicsville High School. The meet brought out over 60 teams across the Commonwealth.
Lynnhaven team veteran, Jaylen Hayes (FR) and Kevin Ellis (SR) competed on the varsity level. Hayes completed his race with a time of 24:49.3., which was only 20 second off from his PR (Personal Record). Ellis made his competitive cross country debut with a time of 28:28. 6. In the middle school division and also first time cross country athlete, Charlie (Row) Petres (8th GR), completed in the 4K and finished with a time of 24.55.0.
The Lynnhaven Lynx invites everyone out to Pole Green Park for their next meet on Saturday, September 17th for the RVA Relays at 4:30 PM.
Lynnhaven School partners with Marymount University (Arlington, VA) to offer a Dual Enrollment Program.
(Henrico, VA) Lynnhaven School announced a partnership with Marymount University (Arlington,VA) to offer a Dual Enrollment program that will launch this fall. This is a first of its kind in the Richmond area.
“This unique opportunity with Marymount University further extends our mission of providing opportunities for students to pursue successes,” said Johnathan Harris, founder, and Co-Head of School at Lynnhaven. “ It’s not common for four-year institutions to partner with high schools in this manner. Our students will have an opportunity to earn college credit from a very reputable four-year university. I believe that Marymount values its students and understands that education is a social and relationship-driven experience, which is parallel to the ethos of Lynnhaven. This is a value-added benefit we are giving our students.”
Lynnhaven students have an opportunity to earn as many as 24 college credits upon graduating. “As a former dual-enrollment student in high school, it was formative in building my confidence in my ability to do college-level work,” said Casey Hitchcock, Co-Head of School at Lynnhaven School. “Our students are poised to have a competitive edge when they apply for college. To graduate high school with Marymount University credits is an incredible opportunity.”
Lynnhaven will begin offering four courses this fall, with plans to expand the program in subsequent years.
Lynnhaven School welcomes Robin Thomas as the Director of Finance and Operations, Alyson LeMaster as the Director of Admissions and College Counseling, and LaShanda Melendez as the Director of Teaching and Learning.
July 21, 2022
(Henrico, VA) - Lynnhaven School announced today the appointment of Robin Thomas as the Director of Finance, Alyson LeMaster as the Director of Admissions and College Counseling, and LaShanda Melendez as the Director of Teaching and Learning.
“Lynnhaven is very fortunate to have Robin join the administrative team. Her rich experience in areas of development, business management, and organizational leadership will greatly benefit the school,” said Johnathan Harris, Co-Head of School-Chief of School Advancement .
“Ms. LeMaster brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of admissions, college counseling, and community engagement. She is a strong believer that education comes in all forms, which is in step with our school’s founding principles and values,” said Casey Hitchcock - Co-Head of School - Chief of Staff
LaShanda Melendez will serve as the Director of Teaching and Learning. After making a splash as the Dean of Academics and Middle School Humanities Teacher last year, she will be stepping out of the classroom to support faculty and students. As Director of Teaching and Learning, Melendez will ensure that curriculum development is mission-aligned and that the delivery method is effective. She will be leading the charge as Lynnhaven welcomes our first official dual enrollment partnership with Marymount University. She will also be designing and implementing faculty development programs focusing directly on Progressive Education.
"Ms. Melendez is a one of those rare individuals who understands how to engage learners and inspire teachers alike. The Lynnhaven community is fortunate to have her our team," said Mr. Harris
The new school year begins August 15, 2022.