School News 2018-19 School Year

Students Discover Local History at the Living History exhibits of Field Day of the Past


On Friday, Hunter students ventured off campus for the first field trip of the year: The Field Day of the Past, a 3-day show remembering local history and sharing it with the next generation, with the feel of an old time country fair.

The students visited several living history exhibits and tried their hands at tasks of the past: grinding corn, panning for gold, working the sawmill, and branding wooden placards with an iron forge, among others. A picnic lunch and a rowdy pig race rounded out the afternoon!



It’s the Parents turn to Go Back to School


Thank you parents for attending back to school night last night! With three weeks of school behind us, we are glad you had the opportunity to take a peek behind the curtain into the world your son or daughter experiences each day and spend time with their teachers. We know it is a partnership to educate and guide and shape the character of your most treasured blessing!



Science in the Kitchen: Offering students a taste of the Life in the Lab


Science students enjoyed a yummy laboratory experience when they studied the states of matter and the concept of salt lowering the freezing point of water. Students carefully followed procedures to create home made ice cream and were rewarded with a delicious treat! Ask your student at what temperature water freezes.





Orientation, New family Picnic and Convocation Open the School Year


Convocation marked the opening of the first day of school day, fittingly coming together for a time of prayer, scripture, and singing as we began the school year.  On the day prior to Convocation, the HCCS community gathered for orientation, meet the teacher, and a family picnic under the oak trees on the lawn of the Dover Campus. To God be the Glory for another wonderful year to challenge the mind, nourish the spirit, and develop the whole child. Welcome to our new and returning families, we look forward to partnering with you!


Science Fair showcases student’s interests and the scientific method


On Wednesday, May 22nd, Hunter hosted its annual Science Fair in Heritage Hall. The fair is a culminating activity for Mrs. Stein’s science class and allows students an opportunity to pursue answers to scientific questions of their choosing by following the scientific method of experimentation. 

A variety of projects were included based on the student’s interest including examining PH levels of substances, how plants absorbed water, and how a potato could serve as a battery, to name a few. Well done science students!

The Eastern Orthodox Easter Celebration Demonstrated by Students and their Family


On Wednesday, May1st, Brian and Alexandra Schmalzbach, and their HCCS students Stella (5th) and Peter (2nd), gave our community a treat:  an education in the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Easter.  First, Mrs. Schmalzbach showed a beautiful wooden icon plaque of the resurrected Christ surrounded by saints and in the process of lifting Adam and Eve out of the underworld (Hades) during his three days after the Crucifixion.  Students were asked if they knew who Christ was lifting up?  One student guessed the two theives flanking Christ on the Cross, which was a good guess!  After discussing the icon and passing it around for the students to observe the intricate and well-drawn figures, the Schmalzbachs defined terms and with their children sang the “Pascal Troparion” in beautiful harmony.  Brian and Alexandra described the many variety of languages the Gospel message is read from in their church, from Russian to Aramaic to Greek and many others, and gave everyone a written sheet with the greetings in many languages.   They read the Easter greeting, “Christ is risen” “Christ is risen indeed!” in many languages.  What a treat for teachers and students to enjoy this families’ Easter traditions and to broaden their understanding of this most holy of days.

Practicing their Poetry: First graders and the search for Eldorado


The first graders have committed “Eldorado” by Edgar Allan Poe to memory. Written in 1849 during the California gold rush, this poem was one of Poe’s last poems and partly his reaction to it. As part of their study of the poem in class they dressed the part of the “gallant knight”!


Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

Spelling Bee Participants practice Public Speaking, Spelling, and good Sportsmanship


On Thursday, January 24th, the students of HCCS gathered at Heritage Hall for the annual Spelling Bee.

The School-wide spelling bee was an excellent event for students to develop character, practice their spelling skills, and increase in comfort public speaking. Teachers and parents proudly looked on as all of our students, even the Kindergartners, bravely stepped forward to the podium and took their turn to spell aloud. We are so proud of our students! Our students used the opportunity to “rejoice” with those who won, and “weep” with those who lost as they developed good sportsmanship.

Congratulations to all of our students for a job well done and to our first and second place winners in the K-2nd grade division: Jonathan “JJ” Wolfson (1st place) and Josiah James (2nd place) and in the 3rd-6th grade division: Benjamin Moret (1st place) and Andrew Smith (2nd place).

Lessons and Carols Celebrates the Season of our Savior’s Birth with student Music and Readings


On Wednesday, December 18, the Service of Lessons and Carols beautifully retold the story of Redemption with student readings from the Old and New Testaments along with excellent Christmas music performed by our students. Thank you Kim Taulbee for your leadership in directing our students and crafting a joyful service to celebrate the birth of Christ. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

The Service and reception officially conclude classes for the calendar year. May the joy of this season of our Savior’s birth fill you with hope now and throughout the year! Wishing you all a restful and joyful Christmas break. We look forward to seeing everyone back in 2019!

Exploration of Historic Jamestown Brings History to Life for Students


Our students visited historic Jamestown this week, America’s first permanent English colony established in 1607. With great interest our students learned about the strategic location of the Jamestown settlement, explored the settlers way of life, and visited the monuments and structures dedicated to sharing the story of this settlement.  The students learned there is an active archaeological dig at the location of the settlers first home and learned a great deal from the enthusiastic tour guide! Did you know Jamestown was established 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in Massachusetts?

The Manakin-Sabot Fire Department Shares Fire Safety Lessons


This week the Manakin-Sabot Fire Department shared fire safety instruction with HCCS on a beautiful crisp fall morning. The firefighters demonstrated the operation of the firetruck for the students and explained the components of the vehicle and the features of their uniform and protective gear. They also provided instruction for our students. Big take aways: shut doors behind you to stave off the spread of fire and smoke. Crawl to breath better. As one first grader put it, “When smoke goes up, you go down.” Have a designated place for all families to meet outside. This pre-arranged place makes the firefighter’s job much easier, and they can account for all family members. Thank you Sgt Brown and Firefighter Marchetti!

At the Faculty Book Club Teachers Delve into Discussion


This semester the faculty of HCCS are gathering before school to discuss the ideas of one of the seminal works of the classical Christian schooling movement. The great thinker and author, Dorothy Sayers, asserted “Is not the greatest defect in education today… that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects”, we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything except the art of learning.”in her work, “The Lost Tools of Learning” published in 1947.  Our faculty are examining the ideas of Doug Wilson on reclaiming these “lost tools” that Sayers put forth half a century ago. Hunter Classical Christian School is an educational community which strives to teach students how to think, not just what to think.

“Cards for a Cause” Dealt Attendees a Memorable Night Out


Hunter fathers, supporters, and friends from around Richmond joined forces on Saturday, November 3rd for the first annual “Cards for a Cause”, a mens’ fundraiser for Hunter Classical Christian School. The event took place at the Commonwealth Club, one of Richmond’s oldest social clubs, where attendees enjoyed a card tournament, fine food and beverages, and networking while college football games filled the big screen.  Door prizes, a raffle, cigars, and great camaraderie rounded out the night.  The event raised thousands of dollars for the school. Special thanks to all of the dads who came and helped to make this event a huge success!

“Spooky Science” Lesson Teaches the Fundamentals of Static Electricity and Benedict’s Solution


Mrs. Stein’s science class conjured up some Halloween fun in the laboratory this week as they explored the fundamentals of static electricity by creating “flying” ghosts using tissue paper and balloons.  They also determined the amount of glucose in a variety of candies by creating solutions of the sweet treats and using Benedict’s solution to observe a color change. Benedict’s solution is a chemical solution that changes color in the presence of glucose and other reducing sugars. It is a mixture of sodium or potassium citrate, sodium carbonate, and copper sulfate.  Who says science can’t be fun… and tasty too?

Our Pumpkins visit The Patch


On Wednesday, October 17th, HCCS took advantage of a bright sunny day and the only available opening for a school group at Lloyd Family Farms to go to the Pumpkin Patch. Students enjoyed petting horses and goats, running through a full grown Corn Maze, and best of all, picking from a wide variety of yellow, orange, green and white pumpkins their very own treasure to take home.  Almost all our families attended, and siblings came too, which made a wonderful family adventure!  We rode together on a giant hay ride and lunched on hay bales under a tent.  It was thoroughly amazing that we made it back to campus in time for Madame Peete’s French class at 1pm! Thank you to all the parents and faculty who helped shepherd our “flock.”

Poetry and Prose: “Reading Pals” Program Delight Preschool and Elementary Students Alike


HCCS students explored poems, which pack worthy ideas into rhythm and verse, and enhance wonder and appreciation of our world. Students in the upper grades took their poems to preschools during our “Reading Pals” outreach on October 2nd.  They read Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson and other poets to four year olds, who were polite and curious. The students shared illustrations and poems about nature and have memorized such poems as “The Little Turtle” by Vachal Lindsay; “Autumn Fires” and “Bed in Summer” by Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as several by unknown authors such as “You Mustn’t Quit”. Like Pinocchio , these encourage old and young to move toward “full stature”, encouraging our students to “think well.”

Welcome New Faculty for 2018-19 School year- Librarian Mrs. Flick


Carey Flick comes to HCCS’s librarian position well-versed in Classical literature and excited to share  great books with students. She writes, “In a postmodern age where moral relativism and deconstructive literary theory prevail, it is vital to teach our students that truth is absolute, and no academic subject is exempt from its reign.”  She does not stop there, and goes on to say, “It is not enough for students to learn truth; they must also be trained in how to discover, examine and defend it.” Carey’s love of reading began at a young age, when her mother read to the family during her formative years. She credits this time for her love of reading.  Carey enjoys leading students to a love of great writing and literature, and in choosing books which ignite their imagination in healthy ways.  She has organized the HCCS holdings on her own time, and her work is noticeable!

Carey, a wife and full-time mother of two and graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.  She went into law enforcement, attending the Police Academy, where she laughingly says she was voted “the officer most likely to start a book club.”  Carey’s experience in the police force opened her eyes to the need for quality education in all communities.  During Teacher Work Week, she expressed deep appreciation for the classical, Christian school movement and HCCS in particular.  Please welcome Carey to campus!

Welcome New Faculty for 2018-19 School year- Physical Education Teacher Mr. Craig


HCCS is delighted to welcome Fred Craig to the position of Physical Education teacher. For several years, Fred has served as our Golf Team coach.  He is expanding his role at Hunter this year, teaching Tuesdays and Thursday mornings.  Fred brings a love for all sports to the position: soccer, squash, tennis, skiing, and surfing.  As a friend stated, “Fred is exceptionally good with children. He is patient, and has the ability to translate an observation of a child’s skill into a lesson that will help the child.” Fred knows sports, having played them all his life at St. Christopher’s, Trinity Episcopal School and Flagler College.  He has coached Striker Soccer program over 10 years for his older children.  Fred, a Journalism major at Flagler College,  knows that sportsmanship is critical to be successful on the field and off, which he imparts to the HCCS students through playing soccer, dodgeball, basketball, “sharks and minnows”, “Spud” and other games.   Fred teaches the rules of sports in a sequence of units and also ensures students receive cardio exercise through jumping jacks or other calisthenics during each lesson. Fred believes in “Nourishing our mind and body through love and understanding, and using the gifts we have been given in our lives through our Christian values.”

We are delighted that Coach Craig is also taking a leadership role in our Athletics Committee, and look forward to his leadership in the Herculean Challenge.

Welcome New Faculty for 2018-19 School year- 2nd grade Teacher Mrs. Hoornik


Welcome to Joanna Lynn Hoornik, our new 2nd grade teacher! Jody  grew up in Easton, MA, the fourth of six children. Coming from a large family (“boy-girl-boy-girl-boy-girl”) Jody says she always wanted to be a teacher.  She had a next door neighbor who taught school and brought Jody all her extra worksheets to use in her games of “school”.  Later, she attended Nyack College in New York, a college affiliated with her church, the Christian Missionary Alliance.

After graduating from Nyack, Mrs. Hoornik’s first teaching job was 1st grade at Alliance Christian Academy in Virginia Beach, VA. There, she met her husband, Al, who was in the Navy, and married. She and Al raised their three children in Delaware, where Jody taught school at Tall Oaks Classical School.  She learned to respect the classical, Christian model at Tall Oaks and considered it a privilege to teach in such an environment. Her children, she says, “grew in every way” at Tall Oaks. “It was exciting to see the progress they made…they still remember things they learned at Tall Oaks, and my children now want their children to have the same foundation in learning.”  Jody taught other grade levels, particularly 5th grade. When the Hoorniks moved to Richmond last year, Jody sought out a classical, Christian school. “I consider it a privilege to teach at Hunter Classical Christian School and love my second grade class dearly.”

Orientation, New family Picnic and Convocation Mark a joyful opening to the School Year


On a bright, warm Tuesday morning in August the 2018-2019 school year began at Hunter Classical Christian School. Father Mills led Convocation and admonished the gathered students, faculty, and families that “God’s words hidden in your heart is the power source of a spiritual life…”. May our students take Psalm 119 to heart as they treasure God’s words in their hearts and minds. On the day prior to Convocation, the HCCS community gathered for orientation, meet the teacher, and a family picnic under the oak trees on the lawn of the Dover Campus. To God be the Glory for another wonderful year to challenge the mind, nourish the spirit, and develop the whole child.

Hunter Faculty Attend the Annual Conference of the Society of Classical Learning


The faculty of Hunter Classical Christian School spent three days earlier this summer at a professional development conference learning from leaders in the field, connecting with like-minded educators, and preparing hearts and minds for the upcoming school year. The annual Conference of the Society of Classical Learning was held on June 28-30th in Birmingham, Alabama. This year’s theme was “Loving God with All your Mind”. The conference afforded an opportunity for faculty to renew their minds and refresh their spirits as they make preparations for the life-changing work they will engage in this school year. Our teachers heard from nationally recognized speakers, participated in breakout sessions, and enjoyed a time of daily worship and fellowship. One of the aims of HCCS is to instill a love of learning in the lives of our students and our teachers set the example that learning is a life-long pursuit.


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