Elijah House Academy
6627-B Jahnke Road
Richmond VA 23225
Mission Statement The mission of Elijah House Academy is to provide an accessible choice in education that cultivates the hearts, minds, and bodies of our city’s children for God’s glory and Richmond’s flourishing.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Jesse Gemmell Kell
Board Chair Mrs. Sally Mitchell
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cross Over Ministries
Contact Information
Address 6627-B Jahnke Road
Richmond, VA 23225
Telephone 804 755-7051
Fax 804 377-6800
E-mail jgkell@elijahhouseacademy.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1991
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,484,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,484,500.00
Additional Documents
Annual Report2014View
Mission The mission of Elijah House Academy is to provide an accessible choice in education that cultivates the hearts, minds, and bodies of our city’s children for God’s glory and Richmond’s flourishing.

The goal of Elijah House Academy is to assist parents with the education of their children by creating a safe, affordable, value-based educational alternative conducted in a disciplined setting. Elijah House has a proven record of developing young men and women into disciplined students with character and integrity. 100% of the Academy’s high school graduates have been accepted into four-year colleges and universities. This last school year over 66% of EHA students were in the ABC Club (made all As, Bs or Cs), Honor Roll (made all As and Bs), or Scholar Roll (straight As). Education is the number one indicator of upward social mobility. There is a direct correlation between the level of education and the reduction of crime and generational poverty.

Every student at Elijah House participates in an award-winning economics program, School as a Marketplace. Based on the conviction that every child has a “job” (to be a student), our economics program is designed to empower students with a choice. Good choices are awarded merits, and the accumulation of merits provides further opportunities to shop at the school store or participate in a school trip. The consequence of poor choices is the removal of earned merits. This instills the concept of opportunity cost and the importance of managing your choices well. Through this program, EHA students also learn the value of a positive work ethic, stewardship and gain an understanding of how to be successful in the marketplace.

As we begin our 287th-year educating underserved children in the City of Richmond, we are aware that many more children need our services. Our goal for the 2016-2017 academic year is to continue to provide an excellent education and to increase our student body, thus having a greater positive impact on our city.

Elijah House Academy's most pressing need is student scholarships. EHA primarily serves students from economically disadvantaged families. 40% of the children we serve are below 100% of poverty. 44% of the children we serve are between 100% and 200% of poverty, and 8% are between 200% and 300% of poverty. Therefore, only a small portion of our expenses are covered by tuition payments (approximately 15%). For the balance of our funding needs, EHA is completely reliant on donations from those who support our mission. For the 2016-2017 school year, the Academy expects an enrollment of 130 students. This has stretched our ability to raise the needed funds to continue to expand in this next academic year. A full scholarship, including books and tuition, costs $10,000.00.

EHA also needs a new playground. Our current playground is insufficient for the number of students now enrolled at the school. While safe, the equipment is outdated and does not afford the creative play that is developmentally appropriate.

In 1989, Dr. William Kell and his wife, Janet, launched a private school for inner-city children in the basement of their home. They started with eight children from Gilpin Court who were failing second and third grades.

Even at such a young age, these children seemed doomed to a lifetime of failure. They were trapped in the largest subsidized housing community between New York and Atlanta, where:


  • the vast majority of households were headed by single mothers with an average of a ninth grade education
  • the average household income was below $8,000
  • violence, drugs, neglect and abuse were the order of the day

Dr. and Mrs. Kell set out to change the basic conditions under which their students tried to learn:


  • They created an orderly, protected environment
  • They established a structured setting, with clear rules for behavior
  • Based on Christian principles, they insisted that each student be valued as a child of God
  • They taught Christian morality, with clear instruction in right and wrong
  • They expected each student to learn and provided top quality traditional instruction

Dr. and Mrs. Kell discovered that when children are taught in a safe, orderly, and loving environment, their grades go up, they feel good about themselves, and they begin to see all of the possibilities that life holds for them.

Elijah House Academy’s students escaped the failure so many predicted. In 2009, the Academy welcomed four EHA graduates onto its Board of Advisors. These professionals are a living testimony to the school’s success in training children to be positive, respectful, and lawful citizens. One of these board members coordinates VCU's Mary and Frances Youth Center, another is a CPA, a third is at Altria, and a fourth is in the Secret Service at the White House.

The Board of Directors has adopted a strategic plan to return the school to its roots in the heart of the city and to expand so that 200 children can be enrolled in the next few years. In July 2013, EHA moved into a new facility in the Southside area of Richmond. The property has twenty-two spacious classrooms, a chapel, an administrative cottage, and beautiful grounds. It is an optimal space for instruction and provides a safe and protected environment in which our students can learn and grow. The school partners with the Boys and Girls Club, Blue Sky Fund, Camp Hope, STEP, and First Things First to make the sports, after-school, and character development programs operate. Our student-athletes compete in the Capital City Athletic Conference. EHA collaborates with other area schools (Grove Christian, Veritas Classical Christian, Westminster Academy, Church Hill Academy, Banner Christian, Richmond Christian, and St. Andrew's) in Career Fairs, after-school events, leadership collaborative and accreditation planning, and enrollment.
CEO Statement
The Elijah House Academy community has been working hard for the last twenty-eight years to provide the parents of economically disadvantaged children of our city with a choice in education, offering their children an excellent education in a protected environment. We have some good news and some bad news.
Bad News: There are nearly 600 urban school districts in America. An urban district is defined as “one in which 75% or more of households served are in the central city of a metropolitan area.” Not a single district was considered academically successful. Over 12 million children attend schools in urban districts. Two-thirds or more of poor, urban school children failed to reach even basic levels on national tests. "Urban students perform worse, on average, than children who live outside central cities on virtually every measure of academic performance." The longer they stay in school, the wider the gap grows.
Good News: This last school year, 66% of the students at EHA were in the ABC Club (made all As, Bs or ’s), Honor Roll (made all As and Bs), or Scholar Roll (straight As). 100% of our graduates are accepted into colleges and universities. At EHA, the educational gap between suburban and inner-city children is closing.
Grace and Peace,
Jesse Kell
Board Chair Statement
All of us whether parents, educators or concerned citizens can survey the educational landscape today and recognize that pitfalls abound. On the one hand, there are better choices in education than there ever have been. On the other hand, many of these choices bypass whole segments of society. Elijah House Academy is one of the best solutions to that disparity today. I am a fervent supporter of EHA for the following reasons:
Spiritual-EHA without equivocation presents the entire Gospel for all of life. We believe truth is knowable, that it is revealed, that it is discovered, and that it is a person. Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy are inseparable here.
Educational-EHA recognizes that academic training is the primary vocation of K-12 children. The work is rigorous, the expectations are high, and children are “called up” to those standards.

Societal-Lower income, socially disadvantaged and broken families are always the casualties of state-run education. They are frequently unable to “opt out” of government schools, to choose private schools, or to home school. The options are bleak for the poor, for single parent households, for the un-churched. EHA stands in the gap for these families.
Economic-EHA is a free market school. Tuition is low. Results are measurable and excellent. Financial aid is available. It is voluntarily non-profit. It is competitive. EHA is the best value in K-12 education anywhere.
Liberty oriented-We do not rely on the state for our funding, our methodology, or our recognition. We serve, and train others to serve God first. Only this can provide a platform for the eventual benefit of others in society. We are training tomorrow’s citizens to be dependent upon God, and to have the spiritual, educational and cultural capital needed to succeed.

How is this possible? One can imagine the challenges that we face. Affordable, excellent, non-discriminatory, private, Christian. Can all of these qualities coexist in the same institution? The answer is a resounding, yes. None of this is easy. I have now been personally involved on the Board of Directors for five years. Every single time I am at the school, I am encouraged. The spirit of excellence is pervasive. Blood, sweat, and tears are daily poured into this school by teachers, administrators, and supporters. The looming giants are financing, growth, and staffing. There is no shortage of children for the school. It is not an exaggeration to say that we could double the size of the school immediately if we had the money, space, and the people. We walk by faith, but we recognize that the means by which our provision comes are people, families, churches, and organizations that support the work of EHA. Our budget continues to grow, and our circles of exposure need to grow commensurate to that. This is our challenge.

Partnering with EHA is a revolutionary opportunity, please join us.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Richmond, City

Our long-term priority area is the at-risk youth in portions of the area defined by the 23224 and 23234 zip codes. Elijah House Academy is located near this target area on Jahnke Road. According to the 2010 census, this vicinity has a population of 76,450 people. The area is 59% African-American and 17% Hispanic. 30% of the population makes less than $25,000 a year. The community has over 16,193 children that would be benefited by our caring and disciplined program. Our main focus within the target area is the St. John's Wood, Southwood and Broadrock Communities. 

Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Sally Mitchell
Company Affiliation Cross Over Ministries
Term July 2016 to June 2019
Email tapoan13@verizon.net
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mrs. Donna Broughton Community Volunteer
Dr. Angela Cassano Pharmfusion
Mr. Barrett Clark Ivy Ventures
Mr. Joshua Fultz CAT Tuckahoe Contractors, Manager
Mr. Stephen Jenkins Alzheimer's care technician
Mrs. Janet Gemmell Kell Principal
Mr. Jake Magarity Uptime Solutions
Mrs. Sheila Marsh The In-House Advantage, Principal
Mrs. Sally Mitchell Community Volunteer
Mr. Malcolm Myers Community Volunteer
Mr. James Olson Equias Alliance, Consultant
Mr Thomas H. Roberts Thomas H. Roberts & Assoc., P.C., Attorney
Mr. Jonathan Taylor Aon, Senior Consultant
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 8
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Institutional Advancement
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Advisory Board Members
Ms. Jodi Beland Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation, Programs Director
Mr. Orran Brown
Mrs. Chris Brown
Mr. Andrew Caleb
Mrs. Maria Carroll Community Volunteer
Mrs. Jennifer Fitch Community Volunteer
Mr. David Fleming
Mrs. Tera Fleming
Mr. Steve Hall Community Volunteer
Mrs. Katie Hall VA State
Mr. Ricky Love
Mrs. Audrey Love
Mr. Blair Massey Community Volunteer
Mrs. Tracey Mauck
Mrs. Diann Mitchell
Mrs. Eleanor Williamson Community Volunteer
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Jesse Gemmell Kell
Senior Staff
Miss Mary Ann Merritt Principal-Elementary School
Dr. Marie Teodori Principal-Middle School and High School
Full Time Staff 24
Part Time Staff 9
Volunteers 200
Contractors 33
Retention Rate 96
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Aug 1998
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Excellence in Economic EducationVirginia Council on Economic Education1995
School as a MarketplaceNational Federation of Independent Businesses1996
Creating Quality Education OpportunitiesValentine Richmond History Center2006
True Inspiration AwardChick-fil-A Foundation2015
Each student at Elijah House Academy pays a percentage of the total tuition, based on a sliding scale of household income. Most students pay between $20 and $120 a month.
Budget $8,000.00
Description The purpose of the athletic program at Elijah House Academy is to foster physical development and athletic skills while teaching the value of personal discipline, character, commitment, and the subordination of self-interest to the higher goal of team achievement. This growing athletic program includes middle and high school girls volleyball, middle and high school boys soccer, and middle and high school boys and girls basketball teams. The school partners with UTurn, Blue Sky Fund, Camp Hope, and First Things First to make the sports and after-school programs operate. Our student-athletes compete in the Capital City Athletic Conference.
Budget $10,000.00
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $1,484,500.00
Projected Expenses $1,484,500.00
Endowment Value $40,000.00
Spending Policy Income Only
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$52,782$56,810$0
Individual Contributions$1,234,872$1,311,933$1,345,640
Investment Income, Net of Losses$187$1,027$967
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind--$10,555--
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,207,501$1,194,105$1,071,066
Administration Expense$67,061$65,959$54,761
Fundraising Expense$193,032$190,059$157,210
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.011.081.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%82%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue15%14%11%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,485,440$1,486,220$1,321,037
Current Assets$876,303$876,535$766,122
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$88,444$100,065$52,624
Total Net Assets$1,396,996$1,386,155$1,268,413
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.918.7614.56
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit ExemptionView
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from audited financial statements.
  • Audited financial statements, Form 990s prepared by Wells, Coleman & Company, LLP.