In the summer of 1977, the term "home-schooling" took on a whole new meaning: Donna Buckley and her husband, Robert, began Fresta Valley Christian School in the basement of their home. Of the six students enrolled, three of them were the Buckley's own children. "For us, bringing up a child in the nurture of the Lord is a command," Donna stated. "We couldn't do anything more important." After moving to Fauquier County in 1975, the Buckley's had continued to shuttle their children to a Christian school in Fairfax. Their burden to give their six children a Christian education and the long-distance travel soon resulted in the inception of Fresta Valley.
Since the Buckleys were funding the school, advertising was limited, but the school continued to grow. By the end of the first year, the school had grown to 28 students. Space had quickly become a problem, but as they knew, no problem was too hard for God to resolve. The St. James Episcopal Church in Warrenton graciously agreed to let Fresta move into their building.
Meanwhile, a difficult drama was underway. Bob had been diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 1976, and after undergoing numerous procedures and traveling abroad to different specialists, he went home to be with the Lord on April 22, 1980. Widowed with six children and a school to run, Donna relentlessly continued to serve in the ministry that God had given to her and her husband. A couple of months later, John Bloom, a parent of two boys in Fresta, proposed. (John's late wife, Frances, had been killed in an automobile accident in 1979.) Both Donna and John embraced this verse in their grief: "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3). God had replaced their sorrow with His joy.
As the school's enrollment increased, St. James decided to start its own school and gave Fresta a year to find a new location. After actively searching for the right building/land, John and Donna sought permission from the county to move the school back to its original location on their property. As Fresta's enrollment neared 100, ground was broken on the property which now houses the school. The main building, which includes the chapel/lunch room, was completed in the summer of 1982. In 1987, the need for additional space was met with the construction of the high school wing. The sports court was added in 1992, the preschool wing completed in 1996, and the lobby was enclosed in 2002.
In 2007 we were granted permission from the county Board of Supervisors to expand our facilities once more. We are currently raising the funds to add an additional 20,000 square feet of building which would include a commercial kitchen, full size gymnasium, stage for performances, locker rooms, science lab, and extra classrooms to accommodate future student body growth.