Tidewater Academy, Inc.
217 W. Church Street
Wakefield VA 23888
Mission Statement Tidewater Academy offers students a college preparatory foundation fostering a lifelong love of learning, instilling family core values and good citizenship in their communities. This education best prepares students for the challenges that they may face in an ever-changing world.
Web and Social Media
Tidewater Academy Lower School (PreK-5th grade)
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Frances Joyner Chambers
Board Chair Mr William A Havard
Board Chair Company Affiliation none
Contact Information
Address 217 W. Church Street
Wakefield, VA 23888
Telephone 757 899-5401 101
Fax 757 899-2521
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1971
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $1,293,004.00
Projected Expenses $1,284,499.00
Mission Tidewater Academy offers students a college preparatory foundation fostering a lifelong love of learning, instilling family core values and good citizenship in their communities. This education best prepares students for the challenges that they may face in an ever-changing world.
  1. We were able to attain and exceed fundraising goals in several critical areas. 
  2. Tidewater Academy had a graduating class of thirteen, 90% of whom have gone on to further their education on the collegiate level.
  3. Our institution has been able to streamline its employment needs without adversely affecting the instruction of our students.
Tidewater Academy's goals for the upcoming year are: 
  1. New fundraisers and campaigns will be developed to reach out to all alumni as well as supporters of the T.A. community. 
  2. Continue to provide a college-preparatory education to a region in need of a progressive institution, vital to the health and economic well-being of South-Central Virginia.  As well as teach and develop students to be 21st century learners and active community members.
  3. Another goal is for each high school student to provide 40 hours of community service to the region, aiding other non-profits by providing assistance in various capacities.
  1. Tidewater Academy's most critical need is the financial security needed to continually provide a college-preparatory education for the generation of patrons and students preparing for their futures. This is accomplished with the generous philanthropy of foundations, the uninhibited giving of our patrons, tuition, and fundraising. 
  2. Our school needs to be able to attract students from counties and locales outside of our service area. Our service area has a declining population, and the need to provide our educational services to many more potential students is a must.
  3. Facility upgrades must be continual and show campus improvements.
  4. Access to grant-writing and fundraising seminars to attract attention to our school is becoming imperative in today's economic situation.
  5. The need to expand our campus with land in order to provide more educational and athletic programs will become a factor in the future of our school.
Background Tidewater Academy is a pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade college preparatory independent school located in Wakefield, Virginia. The preschool program for ages 2.5 to 4 is state-licensed, offering before and after-school day care and summer care. Grades K-12 are fully accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. 

Tidewater Academy was chartered in March 1964 as a non-profit corporation. The school was established when Sussex County announced that the town school in Wakefield was to be closed. In 1977, Tidewater Academy merged with Surry Academy, located in Dendron, Virginia. With this merger the upper school’s campus was located in Wakefield and the lower school in Dendron, eight miles from Wakefield. A Master Facilities Plan was created in the 1990’s. Phase I of the plan, a remodeling of the upper school administrative offices and library, was completed in 2003. Phase II, the vision of consolidating the two campuses was realized in the fall of 2006 with the opening of the new pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school on the Wakefield campus.
CEO Statement Our school, Tidewater Academy, is a very distinctive college-preparatory institution. Located in the heart of an agricultural region of south-central Virginia, TA has evolved over the years to a school that today regularly sends 90% or more of its graduates to four-year colleges and universities. TA's graduates have established nationally-recognized businesses as well as  serving with distinction in the nation's armed services. The school's success at providing a quality education to students who move on to the collegiate level and beyond, has caused Tidewater Academy to become an exporter of sorts. The students we graduate and send to higher education do not return to the area, for the most part. The lack of business and industry makes our region lag behind others economically, and puts a premium on education. Some may quip we are our own worst enemy by providing such an education. That is our mission and charge, to make these young graduates even better citizens of our country and commonwealth. TA serves not only Sussex County, but the surrounding counties of Surry, Southampton, Prince George as well as Chesterfield and Dinwiddie Counties. The cities of Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights are also represented in our student body.
Board Chair Statement
From Board Chair Mrs. Sarah Savedge:
I am very thankful and proud of the many successes we have achieved at Tidewater Academy.  The financial support and volunteerism of our alumni are critical to the success of the school.  Last year, the school successfully embarked on a capital matching campaign that resulted in $500,000 for Tidewater Academy.  Also last year, the school participated for the first time in the Amazing Raise fundraising event.  The school's supporters and friends raised over $18,000, which put TA in the top 7 in money raised during this event. We were very proud of this achievement.  In the last few years, Tidewater Academy has been successful at achieving 4 state championships with its athletic program.  Tidewater Academy also faces challenges that we continually work to address.  The current economy has had a negative impact on enrollment.  Also, the number of grants the school is eligible to receive has declined greatly.  The school has experienced the financial impacts of these situations.  - I choose to lead Tidewater Academy as a Board Chair because I am passionate about the superior education provided by the school.  I have three children who are TA alums, and the education they received has been immeasurable.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Sussex County
Tri-cities Region
Chesterfield County
Colonial Heights, City
Dinwiddie County
Hopewell, City
Petersburg, City
Prince George County
Tidewater Academy is located in Wakefield, VA (23888) and serves Sussex, Surry, Southampton, Prince George and Chesterfield Counties and the cities of Petersburg, Hopewell, and Colonial Heights.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr William A Havard
Company Affiliation none
Term Aug 2017 to June 2020
Email williamahavard@yahoo.com
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. Lee Crumpler Community Volunteer
Mrs. Sarah P Garrett none
Mr. G. Henry Goodrich Self-Employed Farmer
Mr. William Havard Retired
Mr. Stuart Kitchen none
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 1
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Standing Committees
Academic Affairs
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
The most pressing issue before our school and board is the dwindling numbers of charitable foundations located in our region to benefit our area of service.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Frances Joyner Chambers
Former CEOs
Dr. David Pitre July 2003 - June 2006
Mr Rodney Taylor July 2006 - July
Senior Staff
Mrs. Lynn Babish Website Administrator & Alumni Program Coordinator
Mrs. Robyn Croft Business Manager
Mrs. Brandee R Phillips Director of Admissions
Mr. Walter Westbrook Atheltic Director/Facilities manager
Mrs. Gail Ford Westbrook Lower School Director
Full Time Staff 24
Part Time Staff 11
Retention Rate 92
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Aug 2013
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Virginia Association of Independent Schools2003
External Assessments and Accreditations
Virginia Association of Independent Schools2015
T.A. offers a licensed pre-school (ages 3-4), after care, and summer care program for elementary age children. These programs operate at our lower school campus. The lower school campus is our newest academic facility constructed in 2006.
CEO/ED/Board Comments
Currently, the school's largest challenge is increasing enrollment in grades k-12, as well as the retention of students from year to year. The school's enrollment has improved tremendously since 2012, growing from 137 students to 168. Enrollment has improved for several reasons. One the employment of a full-time admissions director, secondly, an aggressive marketing campaign, third, frequent open houses during the year, as well as a new reduced tuition price for students.
Retention continues to be an area of concern and is addressed annually by the head of school, admissions director and board of directors. Many families continue to leave due to affordability, as well as many people leave our rural area to move to accredited public school districts nearby. Parent meetings as well as calls and conferences are held annually to assess parent concerns as well as a large emphasis is placed on a mentoring program to foster a positive transition relationship for new families.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $1,293,004.00
Projected Expenses $1,284,499.00
Endowment Value $0.00
Form 990s
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$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$375,367$366,513$105,651
Investment Income, Net of Losses$17$138--
Membership Dues------
Special Events--$35,880$78,327
Revenue In-Kind----$28,848
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,154,180$1,422,256$1,004,345
Administration Expense$95,645$248,639$300,306
Fundraising Expense$85,455$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.970.950.83
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%85%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue23%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,302,131$1,353,979$1,394,942
Current Assets$64,216$75,739$59,930
Long-Term Liabilities$0$306,943$306,157
Current Liabilities$753,655$459,566$441,740
Total Net Assets$548,476$587,470$647,045
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.090.160.14
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%23%22%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Dates July 2012 to Dec 2012
Amount Raised To Date $250,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit ExemptionView
Organization Comments
T.A. biggest concerns are financial. Increasing our endowment as well as enhancing our rainy day fund, so that in the next five years we could be operating annually off income earned during the previous fiscal year.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from financial statements.
  • Audit and Form 990 prepared by Barnes, Brock, Cornwell & Heilman, PLC.
  • Audit represents the consolidated financial position of Tidewater Academy Inc. and the Tidewater Academy Foundation.
  • Form 990 represents solely the financial position of Tidewater Academy.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" may also include corporate and foundation support.