This is Hope.

I n 1988, a small number of church members came together to begin Christian Education at Hope Lutheran Church. The school offered morning Preschool and Kindergarten classes to anyone who desired to attend. The program’s reputation grew over time establishing itself as exemplary in the area. Largely supported by Hope Lutheran Church, the school remained much the same for 25 years.

In 2018, Hope made the huge leap of faith to open a full-service educational program for children age 6 weeks to Kindergarten, as well as before and after school care for older children. Today, families enjoy Christian education on a campus offering meals, special programming, and the same exceptional preparation for school they have always provided.


The Director.

Julie Alvarez

Rowena Gesick

Ms. Rowena Gesick has worked in education for over 20 years. She previously worked with Virginia Beach City Public Schools as a Family Outreach Representative and worked in the Health and PE department early in her VBCPS career. She also has experience as an online ESL tutor. Rowena earned her master’s in education in Education Policy and Leadership from the American University in Washington, D.C. and has a B.S. in Communications.

Rowena has lived in three different countries, four different states, and six different cities. She lived in Hawaii as a child and loved living in Germany and exploring Europe as a teenager. She enjoys going on hikes, traveling, cooking, writing, and new experiences. Rowena has lived in the Virginia Beach community for the past 25 years and is a proud sports/music mom to two daughters. She is also a dog mom to two German shepherds.

Growing up, Rowena was surrounded by the Christian faith through both of her parents’ religious upbringing. She believes that her faith and hope in the spirit continues to help her through the challenges that life brings. She is very proud to have been a part of a grassroots effort to introduce Seizure Safe Schools legislation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Her youngest daughter helped lead a group of amazing advocates to pass the Jamie and Brie Strong Act for Seizure Safe Schools in 2021. Despite the challenges it took, Rowena believes due to the promise she and her daughter made to each other and their continued faith this bill became law.

Contact Rowena

Hope's History.

Lutheran Foundation.

Hope’s roots trace back to 1847, when Saxon and other German immigrants established a new church body in America, seeking the freedom to practice and follow confessional Lutheranism. Originally named The German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States, the name was shortened to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in 1947 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary. The LCMS has long been associated with quality, loving, faith building educational programming.



Hope Academy provides an environment whereby children from birth to school-age can grow, learn, and meet Jesus.

Faculty and Staff.


Spiritual Director



Apply Now.

Applications are accepted year-round for children between the ages of 6 weeks through 12 years. Apply now for your child to have a safe, caring, and joyful educational journey.