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I am CBA

Isaac Rubin
Class of 2016

After receiving multiple college acceptances, Isaac will become an official Yellow Jacket at Randolph-Macon College (RMC) this fall thanks to the individualized education he received at Chesapeake Bay Academy.  Isaac and his family joined CBA when he was in the 4th grade, after he fell through the cracks at another private school.  Difficulty with mathematical reasoning compounded by a language-based learning difference meant that Isaac needed additional support to succeed.  Enter Chesapeake Bay Academy. 

Isaac’s family finally knew they were in the right place and Isaac was finally able to excel - in academics, athletics and extra-curricular activities.  His talents and achievements are numerous.  Most notably, Isaac was a valued player on the soccer, basketball and tennis teams, is an astounding pianist and demonstrates impressive academic depth, receiving the Deans Award Scholarship from RMC.  Isaac graduated from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce eXcel Leadership Program, was selected to participate in the pilot MAKE CBA Entrepreneurship Program and was dually-enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan College and CBA his senior year.

“My favorite times at CBA were actually all of the events that I volunteered at.  There were so many different opportunities and it was really rewarding to be an ambassador and share my story of a school that I am so proud of.” CBA is proud of you too, Isaac.


Patrick McKneely
Class of 2016

As a bright but quiet youngster diagnosed with information processing challenges, Patrick endured years of teachers who were impatient and unwilling to provide him with the extra time he needed in the classroom.  Fortunately, that all changed for Patrick at the age of 11 when he and his family joined the CBA community. 

“I remember people being so accepting of the person that I was,” recounts Patrick. “The teachers were so respectful and helpful.  The small class sizes provided students with the attention we needed, allowing us to focus better and learn the discipline required to succeed in our lives after graduation.  Every student has potential and is encouraged to pursue their goals and dreams.”

Patrick’s potential is limitless.  Over the course of his time at CBA, he has been granted a summer internship at NASA thanks to his participation in CBA's School-to-Work program and is currently dually-enrolled in an Intro to Business Class at Virginia Wesleyan College where he was granted early acceptance for next year and received a merit scholarship. Today, Patrick looks forward to a future that is unbounded.


Clare Hendrickson
Class of 2016

Clare is a true social butterfly with a love for learning.  While always working exceptionally hard at academics, in high school it became apparent to Clare and her family that something just wasn’t right.  No matter the amount of effort that Clare put in, she was struggling just to keep her head above water.  Socially, Clare felt stifled by her teachers and isolated from other classmates.  Rather than being given the assistance and support needed for her math disability, limits were set on the number of questions she was allowed to ask. Ultimately, her ability to graduate was being questioned. 

Thankfully, Clare’s family was referred to Chesapeake Bay Academy.  Clare transitioned in the middle of her junior year and never looked back.  “They treat me like I can.  My teachers believe in me and I trust them.  They nurture my hard work and I feel appreciated.  I’ve never had that before and it means so much.  I am smart, I have always known that. Now I have the opportunity to be around other smart people who have shared the same experiences.”  In addition to being a true academic, Clare is a talented artist with pieces of work showcased in local art shows.  Clare will start college in the fall and is interested in studying theater, history and communications.  While Clare is still deciding on a major, she now feels there is nothing she can’t achieve.

Click here to learn about our Gender Equality Grant.


Josh Fittler
Class of 2015

Josh and his family immediately took action to have proper accommodations put in place when he was diagnosed with ADD in middle school. Unfortunately, the family was met with more broken promises than follow through from the school he was attending. Their disappointment led them on a search for a better academic solution and they were referred to Chesapeake Bay Academy.

Josh started at CBA during the middle of 8th grade – he remembers being embraced by both his teachers and classmates from the very first day. Josh went from struggling to receive C-D’s at his prior school to earning an A average within 6 months of enrolling in CBA. In addition to excelling academically, Josh enjoyed several extracurricular activities including basketball, soccer, tennis, golf and bowling and was selected to be part of an accelerated band practicum.

Josh was accepted to several colleges and is excited to start a new chapter in his educational journey at Virginia Tech this fall where he will study criminology. After VT, Josh plans to study law and enter the field of intellectual property law. “CBA is a great way to prepare yourself for life after school – it supports you and challenges you to achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.”


Emma Lundgren
Class of 2015

During her elementary years Emma attended public school, was academically inclined and received good grades.  When it came time for middle school, she noticed that achieving good grades was becoming significantly more difficult, causing stress for Emma and her family.  After seeking the advice of professionals, Emma was diagnosed with ADD. 

When Emma began high school her family chose a private school, thinking that simply smaller class size would make a difference – but it didn’t. Half way through her freshman year Emma and her family were referred by a friend to Chesapeake Bay Academy and they ultimately decided that it was a better fit.  While nervous at the thought of having another “first day of school” within the same year, Emma was relieved when she arrived at CBA and was welcomed by the other students with open arms, “it felt like everyone already knew me and searched me out to be my friend.”  Not only did Emma gain a social circle, but she was empowered with the understanding of how she learned that led her to reconnect to her early academic success.  Emma received numerous college acceptances and scholarship opportunities and has decided on McDaniel College in Maryland. Her future is bright, thanks to CBA.


Chloe' L. Thornton
2011 Graduate

After being misdiagnosed with ADHD in elementary school, Chloe' struggled with the separation she felt from her classmates as she was constantly being taken out of class to participate in the special education program at her public school.  Thanks to her parent's persistence and deep understanding of their daughter, Chloe's dyslexia was finally uncovered and the entire family felt a sense of relief when they found Chesapeake Bay Academy.  The small class sizes and common understanding of different learning styles allowed Chloe' to form meaningful bonds and thrive; reading out loud was no longer something she struggled with because she knew her classmates understood.  "I love this school, this was my home and I was just so comfortable here."  Chloe' went on to find her passion in an upper school Psychology class and is now a Senior at Ferrum College.  Her goals include graduate school and eventually opening up her own practice with her sister who shares her love of the human mind; a love that was fostered by the exceptional educational experience she received at Chesapeake Bay Academy.


Anwar Miles
2003 Graduate 

After joining the Chesapeake Bay Academy community in 10th grade, Anwar immediately knew he had found a home. Anwar’s mother knew he needed to improve his academic skill set and sharpen his social skills to succeed in life.  CBA provided the focused, individualized instruction and small class sizes needed to challenge and develop Anwar’s mind along with a safe and nurturing community to build his social skills and cultivate lasting friendships.  Anwar enjoyed participating in student government, and as a varsity basketball player was part of a team that finished second in the conference.  After graduation, Anwar went on to complete his studies at Hampton University in 2008 with a degree in Business Management and has since launched his own DJ and entertainment business.  Anwar attributes CBA for giving him a solid foundation in life and teaching him the necessary qualities to become a great leader, “in order to be a great leader, you have to have great people to follow first.”


Cliff Cutchins, M.D.

At the age of 7, Cliff was a bright little boy with a big personality but he had trouble focusing in school.  His challenges in the classroom resulted in teachers labeling him a "behavior problem", leaving his family upset and confused.  This was not the child they knew.  Fortunately, the Cutchins were referred to Chesapeake Bay Academy.  Cliff found success in the classroom when he was met with patient and dedicated teachers who took the time to understand and accommodate his learning needs.  Currently, Cliff is an Anesthesiology Resident at the University of Florida.  Last June, as the keynote speaker at CBA's graduation, Cliff shared fond memories of the early days.  "CBA has emerged as a beacon in the community, proving that you do not have to be ashamed of a learning difference and you can make it work in your life.  I live with ADHD every day and I've learned to use it to my advantage.  For that, I will be forever grateful."


Sarah Ashley
2007 Graduate

After struggling in school because of her challenges with ADHD, Sarah joined the CBA community in 9th grade and immediately knew she had found a home.  She thrived on the one-on-one attention offered by the small class sizes, and received extra support from the after-school tutoring program.  CBA helped Sarah transition from success in school to success in the community through our School-to-Work program, which placed her with one of Hampton Roads’ best photographers.  Now Sarah runs her own business, Sarah Ashley Photography, and is giving back to the CBA community by mentoring a School-to-Work student of her own.

See more of Sarah at


Click here to learn how your student can be the next CBA success story.