Chesapeake Academy in Irvington has announced the hiring of Robin Blake of Kilmarnock and Hillary May of Ophelia. The two will join the faculty in fall 2014. Blake is a graduate of the University of Richmond; she earned her Master’s degree from the University of Virginia. May graduated from Virginia Tech and is pursuing a Master’s degree at William & Mary.
“We are thrilled to be able to secure the talents of two individuals who have already proven themselves capable classroom teachers and dedicated educators,” says Chesapeake Academy Head of School Deborah Cook.
Blake grew up in a military family and lived “all over the world, but for a long time in Belgium,” she says. She comes to Chesapeake Academy from the Lancaster Public School District, where she taught for 31 years. “I really enjoyed my time in the District, but when I reached the 30-year point in my career, I decided I would start looking for something different.” On a day when Lancaster schools were closed and Chesapeake Academy remained open, she dropped off a resume. Because of her credentials and excellent references, it did not take long for school officials to offer her a position.
May, who was raised on the Northern Neck and graduated from Northumberland High School, will be taking up her first permanent teaching position. After graduating from college, she worked as a long-term substitute at several schools including Chesapeake Academy, where the administration’s willingness to support teachers’ innovative ideas sold her on the institution.
She says, “I was in a planning session with my teacher-partner in the 4th/5th Grade Bridge Program when we came up with an idea for a field trip that would enrich a lesson we were teaching. We explained our idea to Julie Keesee, the Assistant Head of School, and the next day we were on a bus to implement the lesson. I knew then that this was the place I wanted to work.”
At Chesapeake Academy, May will teach sixth, seventh, and eighth grade literature, sixth-grade math and seventh grade Writer’s Workshop. Blake will teach fourth grade and will also teach fifth-grade math. A veteran of the stage who is well known in the area for her work with the Lancaster Players, Blake will also assist with Chesapeake Academy’s expanding performing and media arts program.
Chesapeake Academy serves children in Pre-K 3 & 4 through eighth grade and is a fully accredited member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS). Its Preschool is certified and the Extended Day Program is licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Pictured: Hillary May (left) and Robin Blake will join the Chesapeake Academy faculty in fall 2014.