Founded in 1959 with a student body of 60 students in grades seven through 11. Located in Newport News, Virginia, with easy access to families across the region, including Williamsburg and Gloucester, it was the first, and remains the only independent, nonsectarian secondary college-preparatory school on the Peninsula.
The idea was raised in 1958 by a group of parents who were familiar with independent schools in other communities. On February 13, 1959, the public was invited to an informational meeting at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Newport News. A committee, meeting at the home of Mr. William H. Ferguson, Jr. in Newport News, decided to proceed with the school. Mrs. Pauline Trimpi, who would later become the first secretary of the Board of Trustees
, consulted with her neighbor, the Newport News tax assessor, on trends in property development. Spreading out a map on her kitchen table, they predicted that a future central site on the Peninsula would be near the proposed Interstate 64 at Oyster Point. Within six months, a 72-acre parcel of land was purchased with the help of Mrs. Woodroof Hiden Hussey for $500 an acre, and the school was built. Dr. Russell Buxton was the first chairman of the Board of Trustees. The first headmaster was Mr. Robert Herzog, former assistant head at Norfolk Academy.