Our Story

History of the School

In 1924, Mrs. R. C. Everett founded the Everett School in her summer home at the Oceanfront in order to provide an alternative to existing public education. The student body was composed of eight students, four of whom were her daughters. Within five years, it was necessary to relocate to a larger facility accommodating 170 pupils. By 1971, it was given a new name, Cape Henry School, and another new location at the old Virginia Beach General Hospital building. That same year Cape Henry moved into its first building at its present site, a new gym that served as classrooms, and expanded curriculum offerings for Kindergarten through Grade 9. By 1975, Cape Henry was offering Kindergarten through Grade 12, and the first senior class of four students was graduated.
Mrs. Grace Olin Jordan was the Headmistress when Cape Henry moved to Mill Dam Road in 1971. Mrs. Dickie Jordan took over as the Headmistress when Grace retired in 1972. Following Grace and Dickie, the School went through three headmasters, Calvin Schutzman, Tom Smith, and N.W. Morris, in a four-year period. In 1975, the year that Cape Henry graduated its first senior class, Dr. W. Hugh Moomaw was hired as Headmaster. During Dr. Moomaw’s tenure, 1975-1986, the School grew from 157 students to an enrollment of over 400 students. Those eleven years were a period of rapid growth and development for Cape Henry Collegiate.
Dr. Moomaw retired in 1986, and following a one-year interim Headship by Hans Wachtmeister, Daniel P. Richardson was hired as the new Head of School. In 1987, when Dan Richardson became Head of School, Cape Henry's campus facilities included two buildings and thirteen portable trailers. During the next 15 years, with strong Board and administrative leadership, the School participated in the development and completion of several long-range plans resulting in the building of over 150,000 square feet of new buildings, more than doubling the size of the student body, and strengthening the depth, breadth, and diversity of the programs, faculty, and student body.
In 2002, Dr. John P. Lewis became the tenth Head of Cape Henry Collegiate. During Dr. Lewis's tenure, Cape Henry Collegiate constructed of a state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot Science and Technology Center, and became nationally known for its Nexus Global Studies program, having visited over 35 countries around the world.

On July 1, 2015, upon Dr. Lewis’s retirement, Dr. Christopher Garran became the eleventh Head of Cape Henry Collegiate. With Dr. Garran at the helm, and with a continued offering of an exemplary independent school education, Cape Henry Collegiate continues its course of academic excellence into the future.
From the beginning, the Everett School, even in 1924 with an enrollment of eight students, was set on a course for excellence. With a strong commitment from its constituents, that enrollment swelled to over 1,000 students by the year 2000. Enrollment growth brought the addition of excellent faculty and the realization that Cape Henry Collegiate had established a reputation for excellence among the independent schools of Virginia and the nation.
Today, Cape Henry Collegiate is an independent, college-preparatory school, located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, offering a full range of academic and non-academic opportunities from Prekindergarten through Grade 12. The environment provided for each student attending Cape Henry, regardless of age, is one of support and challenge with the ultimate goal of placing responsible, educated citizens into our global society.
With a diverse, coed enrollment of about 950 students, Cape Henry enjoys a student-to-teacher ratio of 10-to-1 and average class sizes of 15 students. One hundred percent of Cape Henry's graduating classes have been accepted into colleges and universities that include:
Amherst College, Boston University, Brown University, California Technological Institute, Clemson University, Duke University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Hampden-Sydney College, Harvard University, James Madison University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Purdue University, Stanford University, Syracuse University, the College of William and Mary, The Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, The University of Southern California, The University of Virginia, The United States Naval Academy, The University of California at Los Angeles, Tufts University, Vanderbilt University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Wake Forest University, Washington & Lee University, and Yale University.
Cape Henry Collegiate welcomes students of all races, religions, and ethnic origins, recognizing the educational benefits and personal growth that can be achieved by providing an economically and culturally diverse atmosphere for students.
Today, Cape Henry is one of the top independent schools, not only in the Hampton Roads area and the Commonwealth of Virginia, but in the country.

Additional Information

  • 75th Anniversary
    You might also be interested in visiting our 75th Anniversary Scrapbook publication.
A Leading Independent Coeducational College-Preparatory Day School | Prekindergarten through Grade 12
1320 Mill Dam Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454-2306 | Phone: (757) 481-2446 | Fax: (757) 481-9194

We know, value, and challenge each student. We commit to building a diverse and inclusive community. We graduate independent thinkers and globally aware citizens.
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