We love hearing and sharing updates on our amazing alumni. Once a member of the CHA community, ALWAYS a member of the CHA community! It's great to hear in students' own words what they are up to, what they are learning, and what they remember from their time at CHA.If you would like to be featured on this page, we would love to hear from you - you can submit your updates here.
Reyan attended Chestnut Hill Academy from grades K-4, and shares that she still misses the community and teachers at Chestnut Hill, and reflects back on her time often! “It seems like just yesterday I was running around the field with my popsicle sticks doing the mile . . . CHA taught me so many things among the years that I spent there. I learned to be a leader, focus on my academics, and most importantly, CHA shaped me into who I am today. I will forever be grateful for everything I learned at CHA: the teachers, the friendships, the academics, and the time that we all spent together singing the school anthem in the gym! I miss and cherish my time at CHA.”
In 2009, Aya Shimizu graduated from 5th Grade having joined CHA as a first grader in 2004. When asked what she remembers about CHA she told us "Some of my favorite memories from CHA were Creative Writing classes with Professor Watermelon, music classes with Mr. Adams, and our annual trips to Camp Indianola. I also still love going back and watching videos of the plays our entire class would participate in, my favorite being Go West where I starred as Pioneer Woman #3! So many of my CHA teachers are still there like Mrs. Duffina and Mrs. Senaga and Mrs. Taylor, and I got my start learning about computer science and technology with Mrs. Morlidge. This fall (2018) I will be a Junior at the University of Southern California in the Viterbi School of Engineering studying Computer Science. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the amazing teachers and unique experiences I got at Chestnut Hill Academy!"
Sophia reached out to share that "Chestnut Hill Academy helped me become a better person and a leader throughout my time at CHA. CHA helped me with being organized and responsible with the 7 Habits. The 7 Habits help me to do things on time for school and to help me at home. At my current school, Eastside Catholic, I am a part of the Ambassador Team, Leadership Cabinet, and The Yearbook Club. CHA has helped me become a part of clubs like the ones I did at CHA for the previous years. CHA has been an awesome learning experience for me and I can't wait to see other peers become leaders at CHA." Sophia, we're not surprised to see all that you're tackling at your new school, and we appreciate the ways in which you have modeled leadership during your time at CHA!
Congratulations to CHA Alum Ethan Bartlow on realizing his dreams! Ethan was just signed to the Generation adidas class, and the Houston Dynamo team is lucky to have him!
James loved attending Chestnut Hill, and the school really helped him settle quickly after he moved here from the UK. He looks back with fond memories of his 3 years at CHA which provided a great all-round start that allowed him to continue to progress well academically, musically, and in sports, and nurtured confidence, kindness to others an ongoing desire to try new things. Now an 8th Grader at the Overlake School (2018), he plays soccer and basketball in the top school teams, went to State Finals with his baseball team last year and plays double bass and bass guitar in 4 school bands and orchestras. He’s also just got into honors geometry. He still hears all the school news from his younger sister Olivia, and has made a few guest appearances at Halloween, assembly and other events.
"I am passionate about theatre, and I have been a part of the Middle School play for the three years I have been at EPS. My love for the stage and art was kindled during my time at CHA. I joined CHA as a shy 2nd grader who struggled to participate in class discussions. The opportunities to present, and public speaking at CHA, aided me such that I played the role of Meg in the production of 'A Wrinkle in Time' in 6th grade and Thorin in 'The Hobbit' in 7th grade. I thank CHA for helping me develop love for reading. When I joined CHA, I was not proficient at reading. With the encouragement of my teachers, I pushed myself to set aggressive AR points goals and today I love reading and creative writing. I am an active member of my community and believe that I should strive to give back whenever and however I can. CHA instilled in me the values of a compassionate leader. These values continue to serve me well. When I am not solving math problems, I Love to hang out with my family and friends, rock my drum set, work on sharpening knife hand blocks in karate, and conquer black diamond runs during ski season. Thank you, CHA, for giving me the opportunities to evolve and be the individual I am today!"
Evan graduated from CHA in 2020; he went to Issaquah schools after that and joined EPS this year as a 10th grader. “CHA has had a huge impact on our family’s life. Our favorite teachers, our favorite fall festivals, our favorite ski trips, our favorite recess time activity, our favorite auction gala, and our favorite school meals were all memories made at CHA! Most importantly, we have found friends for life from the community that we got to bond with during our time in CHA. These memories will stay with us for a very long time. Thank you so much to the staff for creating the environment that fosters these wonderful memories to be created!”
Tatum graduated from CHA in 2009. In her 3rd Grade yearbook entry she shares that her favorite things are swimming, Madagascar, Escape to Africa, pink, violet, brown, Hannah Montana, Monopoly, and Candy Land. These days (2018), she is a Sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Global Communication with a German emphasis and is enrolled in the honors college as well. "Chestnut Hill definitely had a positive impact on me, and a big part of that was probably the smaller class sizes and a great group of students and faculty. It was a very encouraging environment that allowed me to branch out and make friends that, even to this day, I still keep in contact with. From singing our school's song to volunteering, to giggling with friends while working on homework, I had an overall amazing experience at CHA and would encourage families from all around the area to join the Chestnut Hill family." We are very proud of the young woman she has become!
"Hi, my name is Evan, and I started CHA in Kindergarten until 4th grade. I enjoyed my time at CHA. My teachers at CHA pushed me to do my best and taught me the importance of being proactive and advocating for myself. I am now at Lakeside and have been here since the 5th grade. It is a totally different environment, but I am getting used to it and am now comfortable with the school and the kids. I think CHA helped me reach out to people more and kind of get myself out there. I am still playing soccer with the same club, skiing and golfing when we have time and just hanging out with my family and friends. I have been doing lots of homework, playing games, and just working hard. I hope CHA is doing well, along with all the students, teachers, and staff."
Alex is now a high school senior at The Overlake School. He’s been a lifeguard over the past 2 summers, and also working toward getting a diploma in piano performance due in the next few weeks. Over the past several years, Alex had also been very interested in complex Origami and spends significant time perfecting the technique. Alex's family has this to share about their time at CHA: "CHA was a great place for Alex. We visited the CHA Open House, and Alex took an immediate liking to CHA and started Kindergarten in the Fall of that year. The teachers were wonderful and helped him build a strong foundation both academically and socially. Alex has been accepted to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, where he will be studying pre-med. He’ll also be on the swim team roster at CWRU in the Fall of 2021, and looks forward to a career in medicine in his future."
Randy Hilleary, who joined CHA as a kindergartner in 2004, studies at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD., where he is majoring in Molecular Biology (2018). Randy is on the Pre-Med track and in his spare time he plays for the men's soccer team. This summer Randy will be conducting research involving synthesizing new antibiotics specifically aimed towards LpxC inhibitors and is also working towards his EMT certification which he hopes to complete this summer. When asked what he remembered best about CHA, Randy said "I have so many good memories from CHA. I would say some of my fondest memories were playing soccer with my brother at the old building with Ms. Helga, or playing capture the flag during recess. I also loved doing the ski trips during the winter every week which were a lot of fun. I remember fondly the early morning drawing competitions that Ms. Helga would hold, as well and always loved doing every morning before school started."
Aava graduated from CHA in the 5th grade class of 2015, and currently attends 8th grade at Eastside Catholic (2018). Aava says that her interest in community service was sparked at CHA, and through EC's continued emphasis, has grown into a tremendously important part of her life. In middle school alone, she has completed 275 hours of community service, and has received several awards for it. In 6th grade, she won first place in the Holocaust Center for Humanity middle school writing competition, and in 7th grade, she got an honorable mention in the Letters about Literature writing competition: one of nine in over 1,500. In 8th grade, she won the middle school biomedical research writing competition by the Northwest Association of Biomedical Research. She has also won numerous math team competitions. Aava, thank you so much for working so hard to make a difference! You do!
Marcus left CHA in 2013 to return to Australia, and has this to say about his time at Chestnut Hill Academy: “CHA was my favorite school, and all the wonderful teachers and Holly Senaga, who taught me to be the man I am today. Since returning back to Australia in 2013, we settled in Canberra. This week I graduate year 10 JPC, and I will be starting my senior year in February 2021. CHA is my family”.
Katie joined CHA as a kindergartner and upon graduation, attended Twin Falls Middle School in North Bend for two years, where she continued her love of music inspired by her CHA music teacher, Mr. Franklin. She joined the middle school band and made the clarinet her primary instrument. After a relocation to the East Coast, Katie joined the award-winning Rock Ridge Marching Band in high school and is now in her third year of competition. The marching band competes in VA, as well as in Band of America competitions regionally, and nationally last November at the Colts Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. Katie’s band has won multiple Grand Champion Awards and Virginia’s Superior ratings in both Marching Band and Concert Band. Katie also spends time with grandparents who in retirement breed thoroughbred horses, and she has not only learned to ride horses during the summer, but the past two years competed in several English jumping competitions and recently tried western barrel and pole riding competitions. When she isn’t studying, practicing music, or riding, Katie enjoys hanging out with her friends, much like she did at the CHA playground at both campuses!
CHA Graduate Emma has just finished her sophomore year of college (2018) at Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she is majoring at Claremont McKenna College in Economics and Accounting. She has been a member of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Women’s Varsity Volleyball Team for the past two years and is involved on campus working as a Peer Health Educator. Next semester she will be studying abroad in England and hopefully taking advantage of all the traveling opportunities she'll have while abroad! When we asked her what she remembers about CHA, she replied "What I remember most is the community of students and teachers I got to know over my many years there. To this day, even though I don’t see some of them as much as I wish did, I still keep up with what many of them are up to and really do think that they will be lifelong friends! CHA was an amazing school for me that really helped me in so many ways, laying a foundation that has helped achieve my goals and get where I am today. Happy 20 years CHA!"
Logan is currently finishing 7th grade at Eastside Preparatory School (2018), and when asked about her experience at CHA, told us “CHA is not only where I was able to begin pushing my abilities, but it was also one of my first homes. Moreover, while it did teach me many things like how important friends are, it also showed me how to be independent. . . . CHA, though a part of my past, is not ever to be forgotten. Quite truthfully, it prepared me for the years to come, whether that was in academically related situations or others.”