Short Interviews of Four Children from the Lee Family Who Graduated from Chelsea

This month’s blog is based on short interviews of four of our children who’ve graduated from Chelsea.  Our remaining children are: Jimmy (Chelsea 11th grade), Monica (Chelsea 6th grade), and Matthew (2nd grade Epiphany, will join Chelsea in 4th grade).

Maria Lee (Chelsea Class of 2012; UVA Class of 2016, English major, Philosophy minor):

I am currently teaching English in Beijing. After graduating from a class of 8 students, I teach at a school where there are 900 students in grades 10-12. I’m also living in one of the most heavily populated cities in the world, which is certainly a dramatic change from Front Royal.  Recently, while hiking the Great Wall, I couldn’t help but remember the Chelsea fall hike. I had a particularly vivid memory of running down Old Rag Mountain with Charlie Price, enjoying the thrill of danger and reveling in the adventure. Even then, Chelsea infused me with a strong desire to go to new places and try unknown things. In addition to the gift of Chelsea’s “spirit of adventure”, I feel so blessed to have been gifted with such a brilliant education, especially at the hands of Bernadine Clark. As a current English literature teacher myself, my formative years at Chelsea have given me the opportunity that normally goes to much more experienced and qualified teachers at my school. Just like Chelsea students, my current students have to read Thomas More’s Utopia. As I returned to what was my least favorite book in high school, I have gained a new appreciation of the book itself and the way in which it was taught. I continually use facts and tidbits that I learned from my time at Chelsea to help enhance my students’ knowledge and understanding of the material.


Peter Lee (Chelsea Class of 2013; Virginia Tech Class of 2017, Mechanical Engineering):  Chelsea introduced me to spirit of adventure. I still remember the 9th grade camping trip: even though it rained the entire time, we were soaked, and didn’t get a wink of sleep, we had our friends and had a blast…lasting memories…lasting friendships.  I maintained that quest for adventure in college at Blacksburg: from leading others in the Newman group to scale the rock wall at the Cascades, to the tincture drive to raise money for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.  Now that I’ve graduated from college, I look forward to my next adventure as a mechanical engineer with the Royal New Zealand Airforce.


Teresa Lee (Class of 2016; UVA Second Year, Pre-Dental): What I appreciated about Chelsea is its “community aspect.” I considered my senior class to be more of a family, than a class. By the time of our senior trip to Charleston, South Carolina, there was nobody I’d rather go away with than my classmates.  Exiting Chelsea, I was excited to tackle any challenge, and, because of its well-rounded education, I felt confident to take on any of the courses offered at UVA. Now that I’m in my second year, I feel at home with the Catholic group, but comfortable seeking others. For example, I joined the UVA rugby team — I never would have, it if it weren’t for the Chelsea sports program, and I am thankful that I did. With others from the Hoo’s for Life, we asked UVA students in the student dining hall when life began – from conception to natural death life? The answers were encouraging, yet it was clear that many students hadn’t really thought about this before. Chelsea taught me to promote these conversations and ask such questions.

Hannah Lee (Class of 2017, George Mason Freshman, Pre-Nursing): Chelsea taught me the spirt of adventure and how to think practically.  The camping trips, skiing trips, sports program, E3 program etc. introduced me to exploration outside of the classroom. During my high school years, I learned how to be efficient with my time and focus on school work. I discovered that hard work is the key to success: you don’t have to be the smartest kid in the class, but if you put in the effort, you can achieve your goals. Now that I’m in college, my Chelsea education continues to help me.  My liberal arts background has helped me in my core curriculum, and I’ve learnt how to “hit the books” for my more challenging classes. Chelsea also prepared me to stand up for my faith without fear of peer pressure, for example my classmate and friend has starting coming to Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) events with me, and joined a bible study there, and I’m able to answer his texts asking me questions about Catholic doctrine.

Post by: Steve and Wendy Lee

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