Keesee tapped to lead Chesapeake Academy


The Chesapeake Academy recently announced that Julianne Duvall Keesee will become the next head of school.

“Speaking for the Chesapeake Academy board of trustees, we are delighted to have the opportunity to make a seamless transition in leadership,” said chairman Margaret Nost.

“Julie Keesee has an intimate knowledge of Chesapeake Academy’s strategic academic vision because she participated in developing it,” said Nost. “She will lead Chesapeake Academy forward with confidence and the school will benefit both from her secure knowledge of its history and her clear vision of its future.”

Keesee has served as the academic dean and most recently as the assistant head of school at since 2008. She and departing head of school Debbie Cook have worked closely to create a positive academic environment.

Keesee spearheaded the Integrated Arts Curriculum, initiatives in economics education and the faculty-driven curriculum restructuring to focus on 21st century skills and innovations in differentiated teaching. She led the integration of technology across the curriculum, as well as innovations in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics and project based learning. She also designed a program of professional evaluations and professional development that ensures faculty skills remain at the forefront.

Keesee has worked as a school consultant, creating and conducting workshops on differentiated instruction, technology integration, student assessment, curriculum design and character education. She has presented at national association conferences, including the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools and National Association of Episcopal Schools.

“Julie’s educational preparation and professional experiences position her perfectly to become the 11th head of school, said head of school Debbie Cook. “Julie has proven herself to be an outstanding leader who is respected and trusted by parents, students and faculty. I feel confident in the future of Chesapeake Academy.”

Keesee earned her master’s in educational leadership in 1993 from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a 1990 honor graduate of the College of William and Mary. She is married to Dr. Neal Keesee and they have three children at Chesapeake Academy.

“I’m honored to work with this dynamic and creative educational community. This is a school where all constituent groups—teachers, students, parents, board members and community supporters—practice and exemplify respect, responsibility and compassion every day,” said Keesee. “I am committed to enhancing Chesapeake Academy’s reputation for excellence as we continue to establish the school as an educational leader in the Tidewater area.”



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