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About the Academy

Since our 1728 founding, Norfolk Academy has existed for the transformative education of children and families in Hampton Roads. As Virginia’s oldest independent school, we carry that historic mission into today, even as we constantly reevaluate and improve upon our purpose, our performance, and the lasting effect we have on our students and our region. Students who attend Norfolk Academy come from Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. Few schools have thrived for almost 300 years like Norfolk Academy. It’s the clear and ringing timbre of relationships you find at Norfolk Academy that continues to demonstrate our relevance today.

Meet our New Head of School


Photo of Head of School

We are delighted to welcome Travis J. Larrabee as Norfolk Academy's new Head of School, starting July 1, 2023.

Mr. Larrabee joins us from William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, where he has served since 2007, most recently in the role of Assistant Head of School. 

He is the ideal person to lead Norfolk Academy into the future, embracing our Philosophy & Objectives, our Honor System, and our distinctive approach to innovation — “judicious experimentation with the new” — that has kept our school at the forefront, not just in Virginia but nationally as well.

~ Excerpts from a letter from the Search Committee Chair

Learn more about Mr. Larrabee

Meet our Graduates

Senior Portrait

“NA really does foster that ‘C.E.O.’ drive where leadership is a key part of our education. After going through NA, everyone here plans on building their own path; I think that’s something really unique about this place.”

The University of the South (Sewanee)
Varsity Rowing (Captain), Outdoors Club (President), Peer Counselor, Belfry Contributor, French Exchange

Read More about Gabby Foley '19
senior picture

“Norfolk Academy planted a seed of intellectual curiosity unparalleled by other institutions. These past 12 years, I have truly fallen in love with learning.”

University of Notre Dame (Glynn Family Honors Program)
Winter Musical (Lead Role), The Belfry (Editor-in-Chief), Bass in the Choir, Pianist Extraordinaire  

Read More about Solomon Duane '19
Adavya Dhawan '18

Structured to promote group discussions and spur creativity, our academic classrooms are fostering communicative and innovative students that are extremely prepared to tackle higher education."

University of Virginia (Jefferson Scholar)
Honor Council (Middle and Upper School Chairman), BLP Global Affairs Fellows, Varsity Cross Country (Captain)

Read More about Adavya Dhawan '18
Tai Jeffers '18

"The teachers at this school care so much about all of the students, including the ones they don’t teach. They’ve inspired me to practice selflessness and to show compassion and empathy for others."

Princeton University
Varsity Crew, Girl Up (Co-President), German Exchange

Read More about Tai Jeffers '18
Sophia Burke '18

"Students at NA are always juggling 15 things at once -- essays, research papers, labs, presentations, group projects, exams, mentoring, sports, community service, summer travel -- with grace and timeliness. I have learned how to manage my time well and maintain a balance in my life."

Carnegie Mellon University
BLP Global Affairs Fellows, Dance Team (Co-Captain), Winter Musical

Read More about Sophia Burke '18
Shruti Vachhani '18

"Norfolk Academy has left a lasting impact on me through helping to build my character. First grade characteristics such as enthusiasm, empathy, and kindness have been constantly instilled in me, and for that I am extremely grateful."

University of Virginia
Peer Counselor, Norfolk Academy Medical Scholars Program, Varsity Rowing

Read More about Shruti Vachhani '18
Sammy DeLorenzo '18

"I have been given many opportunities to become involved with my community and lead other students, and I believe this will help me become an effective leader and agent of change in the coming years."

Cornell University
Peer Counselor, Varsity Cross Country (Co-Captain), Varsity Indoor Track, Varsity Outdoor Track, Tunstall Student Council (Executive Vice President)

Read More about Sammy DeLorenzo '18

"The emphasis on respectful discourse and creating a positive, open classroom environment was integral to my development as a leader."
New York University
BLP Global Health Fellows, Varsity Track and Field (Co-Captain), Girl Up Club (Secretary)

Read More about Olivia Newsome '18

"Girl of the Day, Forensics, and the Speech Program helped me articulate my opinions with confidence."
Princeton University
BLP Literacy Fellows, Literary Magazine (Co-Editor-in-Chief), Breakthrough at Norfolk Academy (Teaching Fellow)

Read More about Noa Greenspan '18

"The competitive energy that lives within Norfolk Academy inspires students to help their community and join sports teams or the arts which creates more overlap between students and fosters stronger relationships."
Stanford University
BLP Global Health Fellows, Varsity Field Hockey (Captain, MVP, State Championship Team), Norfolk Academy Medical Scholars Program

Read More about Liz Heckard '18

"We aren’t given strict schedules and timelines so time management is one skill I think everyone is able to learn here."

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
Studio Art Classes, Norfolk Academy After School Program, Dance Team

Read More about Faith Phillips '18

"The student-teacher relationships at NA are a facet of this school that I believe has been crucial to my growth, and is one of the many things that makes NA stand out from any other school."

Tufts University
Varsity Rowing, Horizons Yearbook (Editor-in-Chief), The Belfry (Co-Editor-in-Chief)

Read More about Emily Batts '18

"Projects at Norfolk Academy allow you to find your own creative voice to develop innovative solutions to classroom assignments."

University of Virginia
Robotics (Captain), Lighting Crew (Lighting Director and Lead Designer), Varsity Rowing (Coxswain), Fine Arts Association (President)

Read More about Daniel Prohaska '18

"Norfolk Academy has encouraged me to broaden my horizons. I have had the opportunity to meet many different people from many diverse backgrounds which has laid a foundation for me to engage in meaningful conversations that will benefit me in the future."

University of North Carolina
Captain, Varsity Football, Basketball, and Lacrosse, BLP Chesapeake Bay Fellows, Monogram Club

Read More about Christian Randolph '18
senior portrait

"The friends and mentors whom I have found at NA will continue to guide me for years into the future."

Harvard University
Varsity Soccer (Captain), Varsity Basketball (Captain), Varsity Lacrosse (Captain), BLP Global Affairs Fellows, Tunstall Student Council (Senior Class President)

Read More about Chase Yager '18
senior portrait

"Norfolk Academy has taught me to be a leader and helped me understand the value of using my voice to help me achieve my goals."

Columbia University
Varsity Tennis (two-time Captain), Orchestra, Norfolk Academy Medical Scholars Program

Read More about Caitie Sullivan '18

Memberships & Accreditations

Norfolk Academy is the only school in the state that enjoys accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS/AdvancEd); the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS); and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS).

Under the auspices of the Virginia Council of Private Education (VCPE), Norfolk Academy is recognized as an accredited school by the Virginia State Board of Education. The school is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the College Board, the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), the Enrollment Management Association (EMA), and the World Leading Schools Association (WLSA).

Academy Magazine