Office of Education: Serving You
by Hamlet Canosa




January 2016




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The Office of Education is committed to periodically updating you on its work and service to the field and invites you to visit this blog regularly.

Archives 2010 Office of Education: Serving You

CUBOE Takes Care of Business – Among the items addressed in this fall’s CUBOE meeting: (1) approving a host of Education Code proposals; (2) overseas trip requests approval; (3) 2011 wage scale; (4) initiating a CU Caring Heart Award; (5) junior academy status approvals; (6) Pre=K standards and guidelines for the Code; and (7) CUCC/CUSAC/SC minutes approvals. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; November 16, 2010)

 CUBOE Listens!!! – It is not as if the K-16 Columbia Union Board of Education (CUBOE) does not have its collective “ear to the ground” to hear the sentiments of our constituents. In this case however, CUBOE members and members of the CU office family are being treated to the bell choir, recorder, and strings sounds of the Beltsville Adventist School sixth grade homeroom students, joined by several 7th and 8th grade students. With the young people playing wonderful selections, the CUOE brightened the students’ day by giving them a monetary “thank you” to be used for a grand pizza treat! (Conference Rm 1; Columbia, MD; November 16, 2010)

Union Administrators Council Addresses Agenda – Celeste Ryan (presenter) addresses the conference presidents, secretaries, and treasurers regarding the 12 ways the CU now communicates with constituents across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond. In addition to communications strategies, the council received reports from WAU, Treasury, ministry development, and a presentation on growing the Church through ‘connectedness” from Dr. Rhonda Whitney. (Conference Rm 1; Columbia, MD; November 16, 2010)

Sabbath at the Madison Campus Community Church – Elder Ron Whitehead was the featured speaker at the special Pathfinder/Adventurer Sabbath in Madison, TN. Sharing interesting and motivating stories and anecdotes, the real joy of the experience was to see young people committed to the ideals, values, and practices of Pathfinders. (Madison Campus Community Church; Madison, TN; November 13, 2010)

A Proud Grandpa Supports His Adventurer – My eldest grandson, Braden, stands in the foyer of the MCC Church on Pathfinder Sabbath, with sash and honors displayed. This grandpa thanks the Church for having wonderful programs for our youth, engaging them in programs, projects, and outreach that helps them to mature into more active Adventist Christians. At five years of age, Braden has already learned to make the most of each opportunity to attend Adventurer meetings, participate in the Children’s Choir, and make Sabbath School special EVERY Sabbath. (MCC Church; Madison, TN; November 13, 2010)

Kooper Attends the Birthday Party – Another cherished grandson, Kooper, was thrilled to attend his cousin’s birthday party. Kooper is brother to Braden and is an active, funny, and loving little guy who loves his “Papa and Mimi.” Kooper will be three when his next birthday comes around and has already begun to lobby his Mommy for what he would like for a birthday celebration. Of course, Papa and Mimi will plan to be there! (CoolSprings Galleria; Nashville, TN; November 13, 2010 – evening)

Rojas Stirs NADCOM – Giving an impassioned devotional focused on the call of Christians to godliness and unfaltering belief, Elder Jose Rojas, Director of the Office of Volunteer Ministries for the North American Division, reminded members of the North American Division Committee that Christ is, indeed, returning soon. Ours is a great calling – a great challenge to finish the work! (General Conference; Silver Spring, MD; November 8, 2010)

Larrabee Leads BMABOT & Faculty – Called together for an important brainstorming session, members of both the Blue Mountain Academy board of trustees and faculty, spent the better part of a day paring ideas down to a rank-ordered 34 – key ideas and proposals to be considered in shaping a more strategic approach to both governance and program delivery. Jon Larrabee, senior strategic planner for Lehigh Valley health system and BMA board member, led out in the process. (Hamburg SDA Church; Hamburg, PA; November 7, 2010)

Kellogg School of Management – Board Governance and the value of best practices was the order of the morning to this “by invitation only” CW seminar. An engaging presenter, Liz Livingston, an MBA graduate of Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, posed case studies and informed of practices that better equipped seminar participants in understanding the effective practice of NPO governance. Outstanding Breakout Sessions - From left to right, presenters for forum breakouts included Laurie Moloney (Reaching All Students); Michele Schlossberg (Identifying Eating Disorders in Adolescent Youth); and La Wanda Harris (House DC – Community Assistance Grantees). One could not be attendance at these forum breakouts and not come away with a treasure of practical knowledge. (Crowne Plaza; Rockville, MD; October 27, 2010)


Outstanding Breakout Sessions - From left to right, presenters for forum breakouts included Laurie Moloney (Reaching All Students); Michele Schlossberg (Identifying Eating Disorders in Adolescent Youth); and La Wanda Harris (House DC – Community Assistance Grantees). One could not be attendance at these forum breakouts and not come away with a treasure of practical knowledge. (Crowne Plaza; Rockville, MD; October 26, 2010)

School Administrators Discuss and Take Actions – Meeting for a day and one-half of engaging discussions and voted recommendations to the CU Board of Education, CUSAC members focused their energies on significant items, including but not limited to (1) 2011 remuneration; (2) education code proposals, (3) AAF design model analyses; (4) pending NADCOM actions, re: locally-funded employees; (5) overseas travel requests; (6) proposed association for academy campus pastors; (7) Potomac Conference constituency taskforce request, re: metro-area schools; and (8) Griggs/CUOE distance-education update. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; October 21, 2010)

Small Schools: Literacy Rotations Training - Yvette Cooper (standing/right), Allegheny West Conference Superintendent of Schools, assisted by Desiree Bryant, Associate Superintendent of Schools (standing/left) for the Potomac Conference, is presenting instructional strategies, re: literacy rotations tied to the new Pathways reading program. Small schools teachers were asked to be students in this particular activity, not only listening to a story read from up front but identifying adjectives, nouns, and verbs through associated fun activities. (Williamsburg Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 11, 2010)

Potomac Pastors & Teachers Learning/Working Together – Building lasting bridges to “maps” used to advance God’s cause, pastors and teachers of the Potomac Conference convene as a unified team to relax, learn, and plan for enhanced ministries. Elder Bill Miller, PO Conference President, started the “journey” for the two-day conference, providing rich insights into the paths the Lord would have us choose to accomplish the mission He has asked us to pursue in His name. (Williamsburg Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 11, 2010)

Teacher Recognition: Loida Doukmetzian – Elder Miller introduced Loida Doukmetzian, full-time teacher and learning specialist for the Potomac Conference, to all pastors and teachers. Loida has given exceptional service to the conference, but more importantly to her students and fellow professionals. Ms. Doukmetzian teaches at John Nevins Andrews Seventh-day Adventist School and is dearly loved and appreciated as clearly made evident by testimonies given via video by fellow teachers and local constituents. (Williamsburg Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 11, 2010)

ECEC Advisory: Continuing the Launch – Members of the North American Division ECEC Advisory met in Williamsburg, VA do discuss and make recommendations regarding a wide variety of ECEC/Pre-K-related issues. This advisory continues to play a vital role in facilitating the Church’s oversight of church- and school-based ECECs and Pre-K programs. Among items discussed were accreditation, personnel, wage scales, protocols, web-site development, curriculum development, etc. The meeting was jointly chaired by Dennis Plubell and Carol Campbell, NAD Associate Directors of Education. (Courtyard Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 4, 2010)

First Meeting for the NEW NAD Elementary Associate – Dr. Carol Campbell, formerly of Southwestern Adventist University, is pictured making a presentation addressing curriculum development options for Pre-Ks. Campbell is attending her first meetings as NAD Associate Director. She comes to her new position not only with experience as a teacher on a variety of levels, but having formerly served as the elementary associate for the Southwestern Union Conference. (Courtyard Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 5, 2010)

Blackmer Speaks of “Giants” and Joshua & Caleb – Larry Blackmer, NAD VP for Education, provided the morning devotional for the joint session. He spoke not of the San Francisco Giants baseball team, but of those spoken of in Numbers 13 and how Adventist education is facing “giants” of its own. Moreover, Blackmer reminded all present that we each face personal “giants” that can be overcome only as we exercise and daily strengthen our faith in Christ. (Courtyard Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 5, 2010)

Gifts for Our Guests – The Columbia Union hosted meetings of both the ECEC Advisory and Union Directors of Education Council (UDOEC). As host union, the CUOE chose not only the location for the meetings but also to provide a welcome gift to each person present. Evelyn Sullivan, CU ECEC Associate Director, prepared the lovely welcome bags which included fruit, health snacks, water, juice, and a few other tasty treats. Pictured are Debra Fryson (left), Southern Union (SU) Director of Education and Tamara Libonati, SU ECEC Associate with smiles of appreciation for the gifts received. (Courtyard Marriott; Williamsburg, VA; October 5, 2010)

SALT and HVA: A Mutually Enjoyable Mix! – Though more than a week has passed since our 2010 SALT conference in Ohio, I thought you might enjoy this photo. Students and sponsors from Highland View Academy gathered around Elder Rojas (guitar) and I; with smiles evident and fully enjoying Sabbath afternoon visitation time. The spirit of HVA students and those staff that attended to students’ supervisory needs was, in a word, outstanding! (Camp Wilson; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Give it Up! - Jeff Bovee, principal of Spring Valley Academy, made a commitment before the start of the 2010-2011 academic year that if opening enrollment surpassed 300, he would allow his head to be shaved “clean.” As these photos can attest, Frank Perez, chairman of the SVA school board, made absolutely certain that pledge was honored. Moreover, students wanted to make sure that it was, indeed, a clean shave! Lots of fun at this year’s SVA Fall Festival to be sure. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; September 26, 2010)

PFA’s Executive Committee Addresses Personnel Matters – Delmas Campbell (second from the right) brought a number of important agenda items to the academy’s executive committee including but not limited to: personnel reassignments, possible hires, review of financials, enrollment and demographic updates, requests, and program planning. The committee is chaired by Elder Cheatham (left). Others in attendance were Elder James P. Willis, Allegheny East Conference Superintendent of Schools, and Elder Henry Fordham, AEC Executive Secretary (far left). (Wagner Hall, PFA; Pine Forge, PA; September 26, 2010)

New Dormitory Windows on the Way! – Elder Lawrance Martin, Conference Treasurer and PFA CFO, shows Executive Committee members one of many soon-to-be installed windows for Handy Hall; residence for PFA’s young men. The windows are made of strong, durable aluminum made specifically for residence halls. The academy should save a considerable sum of energy expense through the increased insulation provided by the new windows. (Wagner Hall, PFA; Pine Forge, PA; September 26, 2010)

Presidents Attend to Business: the Lord’s Work - Elder Dave Weigley (center), CU President, chaired the meeting of the CU Presidents Council, spending an entire day addressing vital issues in collaboration with fellow union officers and local conference presidents. Processing ordination candidacies, ministerium planning, university and CU constituency planning, and receiving local conference quarterly reports made for a full and informative agenda. The Lord’s blessings have attended the work in Columbia Union through the faithfulness of the Church’s members. (Columbia Union; Columbia, MD; September 28, 2010)

Washington Adventist University: Good News!!! – Trustees convened on the campus of WAU for the first board meeting of the new academic year. Here’s the good news: (1) opening enrollment is the highest it has been since 1991; (2) an operating gain of $2.6 million for 2009-2010; (3) a new minor voted (subject to state higher education approval) in bioinformatics; (4) new and interim vice presidents were voted; and (5) board retreat planning begun in earnest (September 2011). Student leaders were introduced to trustees; and with vibrant enthusiasm they spoke of their desire to make this a banner year at WAU. God is truly blessing the effort to transform lives at WAU to His glory! (Sligo Church; Takoma Park MD; September 29, 2010)

Physiology & Nutrition Ad Hoc – Don Kelly, MD, provided a day long presentation on diet and health to school administrators and local conference central office personnel; including lesson plans and suggestions to improve diet, exercise, and overall programming on school and academy campuses across the Columbia Union. Dr. Kelly, most recently involved in medical missionary outreach in Sierra Leone, took time from his very important work to join those educators eager to make a true and lasting difference in students’ health; providing to the attendees important principles and insights on best practices. (CU Conference Room 1; Columbia, MD; September 29, 2010)


Sabbath School at SALT – This year’s Spiritual Academy Leadership Training was held on the grounds of YWCA Camp Wilson in Bellefontaine, OH. Once every three years, the student leadership retreat is held in the western part of the Columbia Union. Student leaders from both senior and junior academies across the union gather together to learn leadership principles and best practices, share ideas, and to gain spiritual strength to take back to their respective campuses and individual leadership responsibilities. Student groups generally lead out in events and in this photo; Sabbath School is being driven by and for students. Substance and skits were important parts of the experience. (Camp Wilson; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Singspiration Lifts All! – Students from Pine Forge and Takoma academies are up front, leading out in song service leading into the hour of divine worship. As one might expect, singing is a particularly joyful experience for youth and this SALT experience was no exception. The energy in the hall was high; the participation extensive; the friendship warm and inviting; and, the spiritual nurture was deeply appreciated. These young leaders are the Church’s future leaders and young people who will, God willing, be significant contributors for good in their schools, churches, and communities both now and in the future. (Camp Wilson; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Rojas Shares Leadership Principles with the Lord’s Word in Mind – Elder Jose Rojas, Director for the Office of Volunteer Ministries of the North American Division, was the featured speaker, for this year’s SALT conference. Mixing in a blend of personal and family recollections into the substance of his sermonette, Rojas both inspired and challenged students to allow the Holy Spirit to be the driving force in the application of learned leadership principles to the lives, work, and on their respective campuses. SALT participants were very appreciative of Rojas’s shared knowledge and direction, and were particularly grateful for his willingness to include them in his very busy ministries schedule. Elder Rojas told students that his extensive Facebook networking had thousands of people from nearly 50 countries praying for the success of this year’s SALT conference as measured in changed lives and enhanced leadership skills for our students. (Camp Wilson; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Does Music Really Make a Difference? – Students at this year’s SALT conference would answer with a resounding, “YES!” Skilled and gifted in leading ministries of all kinds, Rojas is also a talented singer and guitarist. He is particularly adept in tying his music in relevant ways to the message he gives and knows how to effectively bring his young audience to a greater understanding of how God wants to work in and through them for good. I readily admit my gratitude to God and am always moved deeply when I see young people on fire for Jesus. Their youthful energy, enthusiasm, friendship, and shared kindnesses, particularly among this group of student leaders, were most encouraging to observe. (Camp Wilson; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Eating Family Style at Camp??? – Oh yes! Camp Wilson’s director and incredible staff were exceptionally accommodating to our entire group; working closely and effectively with SALT coordinators to assure that every planned event went well. Sabbath lunch was presented family style, with entrees brought to each table by students and staff of Shenandoah Valley Academy. Each academy (junior and senior) takes a turn in setting up for and cleaning after meals. What is special about meal times at SALT is to see young people from different schools intermingling and establishing wholesome friendships that adult sponsors and SALT coordinators hope are long-lasting. (Camp Wilson Dining Hall; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Kettering Takes the Lead – Victor Brown (standing, far left), Dean for Enrollment Management for Kettering College of Medical Arts, is joined by two KCMA colleagues in leading out in Sabbath afternoon fun activities. Brown and his team are gifted in their abilities and were effective contributors to the overall success of the SALT conference. Here, SALT participants are being primed for an activity that would place them in a “hunt” leading to a spiritually enriching experience. The Columbia Union Office of Education is particularly thankful for the annual assistance provided to it by both KCMA and Washington Adventist University staff and students in planning and implementing the SALT conference. (Camp Wilson; Bellefontaine, OH; September 18, 2010)

Ohio K-12 Board Meets for Updates – Pictured are the Ohio Conference education team, Jay Colburn (Superintendent) and Cindy Puterbaugh (Associate Superintendent). Worthington Adventist Academy was the venue for this first meeting of the newly elected K-12 board, called together to, among other things: (1) review minutes and finances; (2) vote new employees, (3) approve/recommend overnight and overseas trip requests; and (4) receive reports from Lancaster SDA School (featured), Mount Vernon and Spring Valley academies. (Worthington Adventist Academy; Worthington, OH; September 20, 2010)

A School Board Chair’s Passion for Adventist Education – Freda Shultz, chair of the Lancaster SDA School board, provided a history of the Lancaster school, sharing interesting stories and accounts of the school’s first teachers, financing, community impact, and a “$10,000 Check.” Not only does Ms. Shultz chair the board but she runs a thrift store operated by the church, with all profits directed to supporting the education ministry of the local school. What passion! (Worthington Adventist Academy; Worthington, OH; September 20, 2010)

Gavin in His New Mommaroo – My last day with Gavin, my newest grandson, before heading home was special. He’s a wonderful baby in every way. Perhaps sleeping in his Mommaroo, a new and multifunctional rocker, made time pass by blissfully for the little fellow. I loved spending time with the family but it went by all too quickly. At any rate, there is always important work to lead me home for a very busy week ahead! (Mt. Juliet, TN; September 12, 2010)

Takoma Academy Board of Trustees – With an opening enrollment of 217 (slightly above budget), TA is off to a great start to the 2010-11 academic year. In addition to receiving a facilities tour and briefing from David Daniels, TA Principal, the board reviewed (1) the financials, including the most recent audited statement and management letter; (2) accreditation recommendations; (3) proposed constitution and by-law revisions; (4) and, a report from the development committee. (Takoma Academy Library; Takoma Park, MD; September 13, 2010)

TA Cafeteria Improvements – One of the major projects completed this summer was a “re-do” of the cafeteria, including taking up and replacing with tiles the old, worn cafeteria carpet; repainting, new tables and chairs, and improvements to the air conditioning in the dining area. The expense for these changes was covered by the money realized in claims for the damage suffered last winter from major storms. Students are most pleased with the improvements and are taking greater advantage of what the cafeteria has to offer. (Takoma Academy Cafeteria; Takoma Park, MD; September 13, 2010)

Daniels Briefs Board - David Daniels, in his second year as principal of TA, gave a detailed report to the board regarding summer 2010 events and the start of the new school year. In addition to updating the board on enrollment, attrition stats, etc., Daniels also addressed staffing changes, professional development plans for the faculty, a Commonweal Foundation update, the “TA 101” summer enrichment/orientation class for new students, the new approach to school uniforms; and the upcoming Week of Prayer (September 20-24). The school year, by all accounts, is off to a strong start. (Takoma Academy Library; Takoma Park, MD; September 13, 2010)

TA’s New Vice Principal for Academics – Amy Soper, most recently of Mount Vernon Academy, was introduced to the board for the first time. Ms. Soper was a former colleague of Mr. Daniels when both worked at MVA. Soper will be responsible for a variety of duties including but not limited to (1) generally monitoring the academic climate on campus, (2) professional development of instructional staff, (3) testing, and (4) supervision of instruction. Daniels is very encouraged that Soper’s presence will be a “positive difference maker” for students and faculty of Takoma Academy. (Takoma Academy Library; Takoma Park, MD; September 13, 2010)

Zeismer’s Devotional Thought – Blue Mountain Academy’s principal, Craig Zeismer, reminded members of the academy board of the Apostle Paul’s call to community harmony. Calling on all including students, staff, administrators and board members to contribute to fostering a true sense of Christian community, Zeismer spoke of the value and necessity of mutual respect and working for the common good as laudable goals in all aspects of BMA’s education ministry. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; September 14, 2010)

BMA Board Gets Down to Business – Faced with an unexpected opening enrollment decline, the BMA board met the challenge of revising the 2010-11 budget and affecting necessary workforce right-sizing - no easy tasks. The board also addressed and conceptually approved a technology master plan (logistical and instructional) for the campus; a performance assessment/supervision of instruction plan for BMA faculty; and, the adoption of an emergency policies and procedures manual, including a component for crisis management. Elder Ray Hartwell, PA Conference President and chairman of the BMA board, began the process of putting in place possible remedies to address both short and longer-term challenges BMA might face. BMA board members are dedicated, energetic and determined to continue to keep BMA’s program among the best, particularly in assisting students in their journeys to Christian maturity. (Blue Mountain Academy; Hamburg, PA; September 14, 2010)

Hannah Briefs the SVA Board – Good News! – Members of the Shenandoah Valley Academy Board of Trustees gathered to review and act upon a number of important items, including: (1) financials, together with a review of the most recent GCAS audit; (2) redirecting of funds towards debt reduction and campus projects; (3) approval of overseas travel requests; (4) teacher performance assessment plans; and (5) plans to expand on-campus industry opportunities for student labor. Members expressed appreciation to Jan Osborne (Development) and Spencer Hannah (Principal) for their on-going efforts to enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of SVA’s education ministry. (SVA Student Center; New Market, VA; September 15, 2010)


A Visit to NAEYC - Our CUOE team had and kept an appointment with regional leaders of the National Association for the Education of Young People in Washington, DC in order to explore the possibility of joint accreditation/collaboration in protocols and instruments to assess ECECs and Pre-K programs based in our union that are school- and church-based. Evelyn Sullivan, CU Associate Director of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programs arranged for the two groups to meet for what is hoped will ultimately mean joint accreditation for our ECEC programs. NAEYC is the nationally recognized and states-accepted entity that accredits early childhood programs and developing a mutually beneficial relationship with NAEYC would serve the best interests of our programs, without sacrificing the spiritual component we seek to have in every ECEC in our Union. (NAEYC Headquarters; Washington, CD; August 31, 2010)

Learning About NAEYC – This is the largest and oldest recognized organization that works to accredit early childhood programs. The organization has a global reach, working with both state and international affiliates. Meeting with Linda Anderson (far left to center), Stephanie Olmore, and Allison Pepper provided the CUOE the opportunity to ask questions about the organization’s philosophy, accreditation protocols and instruments, best practices, standards and indicators, etc. much was learned. This preliminary step will be the first of what may be many meetings in pursuing a possible collaboration between and among Middle States, NAEYC, and the Columbia Union. (NAEYC Headquarters; Washington, CD; August 31, 2010)

A Bridal Shower for Friends – Sylvia Garcia, secretary to Elder Ruben Ramos of the Columbia Union Conference Multilingual Ministries Department, will very soon be bride to Fredy Urrutia, her fiancé. The Columbia Union office family provided a lovely shower for the couple; a program very well attended and much appreciated by Sylvia and Fredy. Each department and individual CU workers not only offered their congratulations but shared best wishes via shower gifts. Elder Neville Harcombe was the master of ceremonies for the event. (Dining Room, Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; August 31, 2010)

Spencerville Board Celebrates Good News – The board of trustees for Spencerville Adventist Academy met for its first meeting of the 2010-11 academic year and was pleased to hear some wonderful news. In addition to receiving a report for FY 2009-10 (June 30) that indicated a gain of $110,000, the board was thrilled to learn of a Pre-K-12 opening enrollment of 311 students, with a potential of nearly a dozen more. Budgeting for 274 students, the board was most grateful for God’s rich blessings not only evidenced in the 2010-11 opening enrollment but in the vibrant spirit, professionalism, and commitment of its administrators and teaching force. Scott McClure (center), board chair, has provided solid board leadership for a number of years to SAA. (Spencerville Academy; Spencerville, MD; August 31, 2010)

Kittleson Keeps Them Focused – Brian Kittleson, in his fourth year as principal of Spencerville Adventist Academy, provided board members with an upbeat, substantive report of significant happenings on campus both during the summer months. His also provided enrollment data, identified trends, and offered insightful analyses of where the SAA program is and where it is headed. Driven by a carefully crafted, visionary strategic plan, the program continues to grow even as the school prepares to make a move to its new location for the 2011-2012 school year. Truly exciting developments! (Spencerville Academy; Spencerville, MD; August 31, 2010)

New Allegheny Superintendent of School – Pictured is Yvette Cooper, new Superintendent of Schools for the Allegheny West Conference. Yvette is new to superintendence, having joined the ranks of leadership after accepting a call offered by Dr. Freddie Russell, President of the conference. Ms. Cooper formerly taught in the Florida Conference but has previously served as a teacher in the Ohio Conference. Yvette was provided an orientation to her new work by Ms. LaVona Gillham, Dr. Ian Kelly, and Ms. Evelyn Sullivan, all associate directors for the Columbia Union Office of Education. (Allegheny West Conference Office; Columbus, OH; August 30, 2010)

Bovee Keeps Spring Valley Vibrant – Jeff Bovee, principal of Spring Valley Academy, is starting his fourth year at the helm of the institution. With increasing enrollment (293), impressive community and constituency support, a solid academic program, and a strong faculty, Spring Valley Academy continues to “make a difference” in the lives of its students in many ways. Focusing on character-development and spiritual growth, Bovee and his fellow administrators and faculty are helping to shape the next generation of Adventist youth. In addition to the demands of his professional calling, Jeff continues to make steady progress on his doctoral studies. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; September 2, 2010)

Not What You Might Initially Think – Yes, this picture does appear a bit strange at first glance but Dave Merrill of Merrill Plumbing is providing volunteer labor in the current renovation of the Spring Valley Academy high school restrooms. Dave’s father, Mark, has been a member of the Spring Valley Academy Board of Trustees for many years, providing invaluable service focused on strengthening the academy program and its impact on the community. The Spring Valley Academy team and constituency is thankful for all that the Merrills have done to advance Adventist education through Spring Valley Academy. Thank you, Dave, for your assistance! (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; September 2, 2010)

Getting Ready for Pre-K – Pictured is the new classroom that will be opened at Spring Valley to house the soon-to-be launched (October 4) Pre-K program at the academy. Currently, the expectation is of seven or eight children to start. However, there is both hope and anticipation that once the program is up and running, its ranks will swell. Though not yet fully ready, this new Pre-K classroom will be in “tip top” shape well before October 4th. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; September 2, 2010)

Play Area for the Kiddies – I took this photo mid-morning during my visit to Spring Valley. Close examination of the photo would indicate fence posts surrounding the dedicated play area for the soon-to-arrive Pre-K children, but no fence. Jeff Bovee shared his confidence that before the school day’s end, the fencing project would be completed. The play area is located for easy access by the Pre-K children and meets state and local requirements for safety. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; September 2, 2010)

President Scriven Addresses KCMA Students – I had the privilege of participating in the 2010 Kettering College of Medical Arts Fall Convocation, held in the Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dr. Scriven (left), in this photo is speaking to Dr. Roy Chew, Vice Chair of the College Board of Trustees and President of Kettering Medical Center, who offered the welcome and opening prayer. Dr. Scriven’s address was entitled, “New Vision: Innovation. Superior Graduates. Passion for Service and Health,” which also happens to be the newly adopted vision statement for the college. Dr. Scriven’s challenge was well received by all. Elder Clive Wilson (right), is the College Chaplain, and provided the prayer of dedication for the morning’s event (Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church; Kettering, OH; September 3, 2010)

A Brief Time with Loved Ones – Every opportunity, if even brief, to see my daughter, Bethany and my dear son-in-law, Justin is treasured. They visited with me for the taking of this photo at the end of the convocation service. Time spent together was but a few precious minutes as Bethany and Justin both are currently in their second year at KCMA; engaged in clinical rotations as part of the requirements for completion of graduate physician assistant studies program. They should complete their studies in July 2011. (Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church; Kettering, OH; September 3, 2010) – My Kids

A Fourth & Wonderful Grandson – Baby Gavin Chase Larson, my fourth grandchild (all boys!) was born on Monday, August 23rd at 7:52 am at the Baptist Hospital in Nashville, TN. Gavin weighed in at eight pounds, three and one-half ounces, and was nineteen inches long. The little fellow faced a few minor challenges but, in short order, was in his mother’s arms, cuddled and warm. I have yet to embrace my newest grandchild as my professional responsibilities have required me to remain on-task until September 4th, at which time I will be able to hold little Gavin for the first time. In all truth, I simply cannot wait. (Baptist Hospital; Nashville, TN; August 23, 2010) 

Mom & Dad Larson Rejoice – Parents of little Gavin, Kirk and Rebecca are grateful to the good Lord for His abundant blessings. Both were overjoyed with how precious a gift the Lord gave to them in Gavin Chase, much anticipated and excitedly celebrated. Kirk, a pediatric dentist, was by Rebecca’s side throughout the delivery, offering his full support and presence to Rebecca as she underwent a cesarean procedure. Praise the Lord, she is doing very well, as is Gavin. (Baptist Hospital; Nashville, TN; August 23, 2010)

The Three Brothers - It took precious little time for Gavin Chase to be visited by his two older brothers, Kooper (left) and Braden. The boys were excited to see and hold Gavin, with a doting Mommy ever nearby. Taking turns to hold their new little brother, the boys were, of course, equally happy to visit with Mommy and Daddy. As you might imagine, Kooper and Braden were anxious to get their parents and new little brother home as soon as possible. (Baptist Hospital; Nashville, TN; August 23, 2010)

Pine Forge Academy’s New Principal – Delmas Campbell is the new principal of Pine Forge Academy, having formerly served as an instructor at the academy before his stint at Bermuda Institute. Mr. Campbell has a passion for the academy and its current and future success. He has mapped a path for making the school one of high quality spirituality and academics. His desire is for PFA students to be real “difference-makers.” Delmas has yet to bring his family and belongings to PFA, a move that is soon to take place. He asks that all keep him and PFA in prayer for successful transitions. Three of the CUOE team (LaVona, Gillham, Evelyn Sullivan) were present at PFA to provide orientations to new administrative personnel. (Wagner Hall, Pine Forge Academy; Pine Forge, PA; August 25, 2010)

 A Helping Hand – Now and in the Future! – Mr. James P. Willis (right), superintendent of schools for Allegheny East Conference, has assisted and will continue to assist Mr. Campbell through Campbell’s transition to academy principal. Mr. Willis has, for the last several months, served as interim principal of PFA and worked very closely with the search committee of the academy board of trustees in the principal selection process. Mr. Campbell made very clear to the CUOE of how much he appreciates Mr. Willis’s assistance, particularly as Delmas begins his administrative journey at PFA. (Wagner Hall, Pine Forge Academy; Pine Forge, PA; August 25, 2010)

Learning of Early Childhood Education and Care – Ms. Evelyn Sullivan, Columbia Union Associate Director for Early Childhood Education and Care, takes a moment from an hour-long, intense orientation to the ECEC work provided for Ms. Cynthia Poole (right), new Associate Superintendent for ECEC and REACH for the Allegheny East Conference. Ms. Poole formerly served as principal of Pine Forge Academy and has extensive experience both in public and Adventist education. Ms. Poole is new to the work of overseeing ECECs and seemed most appreciative of Ms. Sullivan’s assistance. (Wagner Hall, Pine Forge Academy; Pine Forge, PA; August 25, 2010)

Former Student & New Education Colleague – Ms. Deborah P. Trevino, new principal of Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, MD (Chesapeake Conference) was a former student of mine when I served as principal of Blue Mountain Academy in the 1980s. To see her again for the first time since our BMA days, was a real joy, particularly in knowing that she is now in Adventist education leadership ministry. Ms. Trevino has extensive administrative experience, having worked for the state of PA in formulating the “Welfare to Work” program. She also has worked at the higher education level in San Antonio, TX. Ms. Trevino hopes to complete her doctoral degree by May, 2011. (Principal’s Office, Highland View Academy; Hagerstown, MD; August 26, 2010)

Learning “On the Fly” – Ms. LaVona Gillham (not pictured) and Dr. Ian Kelly (not pictured) joined me and Ms. Jacqueline Messenger (left), Chesapeake Conference Associate Superintendent and Dr. Carole Smith (center), Superintendent of Schools for the conference for a morning orientation provided to Ms. Trevino. Covering a wide range of topics, including a brief but meaningful review of the Columbia Union Education Code, the orientation was provided to Ms. Trevino in order to familiarize her with the Columbia Union’s education mission, vision, and goals. Chesapeake Conference officials provided to Ms. Trevino an orientation to conference expectations later in the day. (Principal’s Office, Highland View Academy; Hagerstown, MD; August 26, 2010)

An Ocean City Experience – Summer has, as they say, flown by, allowing me but one week of vacation given a busier than usual summer. My wife and I did manage to visit Ocean City last week, with our youngest daughter and her husband. Interestingly, our attention was caught by sand sculptures that sought to tell the story. It seems that the story of Jesus is always near. (Ocean City, MD; August 6,2010)



Spending Time with Loved Ones - Bethany and Justin, having just completed the first of their two-year physician assistant program at KCMA, led us to an enjoyable day on the Ocean City beach. Soon to begin their clinical rotations throughout the upcoming academic year, my wife and I were pleased to have them with us for an entire week. It is always a joy when parents can spend time with their beloved children. (Ocean City, MD; August 6, 2010)

PA Principals Council at Laurel Lake – Dave Morgan (center right), Vice President for Education for the PA Conference, opened the 2010 PA Teachers Convention with an initial session with elementary and junior academy principals. In addition to offering encouragement and support to these administrators, Morgan reviewed policies, guidelines and strategies regarding school boards and how principals can best relate to stakeholders. The session was engaging and substantive. (Baker Lodge, Laurel Lake Camp; Rossiter, PA; August 11, 2010)

Opening Evening Key Note Address – It was both a privilege and pleasure to provide the keynote address for PA educators, focused on teacher compassion and authentic care. Citing pearls of wisdom from the Spirit of Prophecy and quotes from respected educators such as Whitacre, Banner & Cannon, Parker, McGeuy & Moore, etc., educators were reminded that, to make a real difference in the lives of students, compassion and authenticity must always be at play in a teacher’s genuine reach to every student. (Baker Lodge, Laurel Lake Camp; Rossiter, PA; August 11, 2010)

A Dedicatory Evening Service – In addition to welcoming new teachers to the PA education family, convention attendees were acknowledged for their service. Service pins were given to each educator, from those who served for five years to those few educators who have given 30+ years of service to the Church in education ministry. Each educator lit a candle symbolizing a desire to be a light for Jesus, a light that draws young people to Christ. (Laurel Lake Camp; Rossiter, PA; August 11, 2010)

Early Morning Worship Service – After a wonderful breakfast, PA educators gathered together to listen to Lee Stahl, Reading Junior Academy principal, provide the devotional thought for the day. Lee reminded teachers that working through the behavioral challenges that occasionally students pose is vital to true Christian education ministry. Asking the Spirit to lead, Christian teachers are called to help students work through the various issues that challenge their young lives. (Baker Lodge, Laurel Lake Camp; Rossiter, PA; August 12, 2010)

Ms. Gillham Encourages Teachers to Reach the Learning-Challenged – LaVona Gillham, Associate Director of Education for the Columbia Union, presented thoughts and ideas on how classroom teachers can facilitate the academic growth of students who face learning challenges. Speaking of REACH strategies and the effective use of the WRAT test, Ms. Gillham has helped teachers across the Columbia Union become better acquainted with what contemporary literature and strategies suggest is the best way to diagnose and facilitate students learning at all levels. (Baker Lodge, Laurel Lake Camp; Rossiter, PA; August 12, 2010)

ECEC Directors Focus on Strengthening Programs – Evelyn Sullivan, Associate Director for Early Childhood Education and Care, introduces herself to those Pre-K/K educators present at the PA Teachers Convention. Ms. Sullivan has been instrumental in helping to organize and standardize the work of the CUOE, re: ECEC centers and Pre-K/K programs. (Baker Lodge, Laurel Lake Camp; Rossiter, PA; August 12, 2010)

President Wilson’s Charge to the Church – Elder Ted Wilson was the speaker for the last full day of the General Conference session – Sabbath, July 3rd. With estimates of a gathering in excess of 60,000 in attendance, Elder Wilson urged the Church to “Go Forward,” looking to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy at guides. He called for an unwavering commitment by the Church to God’s Word as it is revealed in the Scriptures and for members of the Church to complete the commission given to it that the return of Christ might be hastened. (Georgia Done; Atlanta, GA; July 3, 2010)

AMAZING GRACE! – Whitley Phipps, a powerful and gifted servant of the Lord, sang “Amazing Grace” in a manner only he can do, to complement the Sabbath message presented by Elder Bediako. Praise the Lord for the many gifts He gives His people and how He inspires and leads His servants to offer those gifts in His service. (Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA; June 26, 2010)

Elder and Mrs. Paulsen: Thank You - All present were given the opportunity to express their appreciation through applause to Elder Jan Paulsen and his wife for their tireless, energetic, and successful leadership of the world church throughout Elder Paulsen’s tenure. Elder Wilson personally thanked Paulsen for his leadership, friendship, and guidance. Leadership transitions, we all pray, are guided by God’s hand to advance the mission of the Church. Praise the Lord for His goodness! (Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA; June 26, 2010)

New GC President and Officers - Elder Ted Wilson, newly elected General Conference President (center), and Elders Ng (Secretary - left) and Lemon (Treasurer) and their wives were the subjects of special prayer on Sabbath morning. Multiple prayers sought God’s blessings on the new GC leadership team and His leading in these urgent times – times of multiple challenges and opportunities for the world church. (Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA; June 26, 2010)

Finley Prays for the Lord’s Presence and Leading – Mark Finley, GC Vice President, offered a heart-felt prayer to the Lord, seeking His presence throughout the Sabbath but particularly for the hour of divine worship. With tens of thousands present, Finley’s words reminded GC delegates and guests that we serve an awesome God - who loves, forgives and dispenses His rich grace. (Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA; June 26, 2010)

Pine Forge Academy Lifts the Dome! – Everyone and anyone from Allegheny East Conference, Pine Forge Academy, and the Columbia Union had to be incredibly proud of the wonderful choral presentations of PFA’s famous choir. Hearts were stirred and blessings flowed as thousands listened and said, “Amen! Amen!” at the end of each hymn. Wow! I could only wish that each of you reading this blog could have heard these wonderful young people sing. (Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA; June 26, 2010)

Thousands in the Georgia Dome – Home to the Atlanta Falcons football team, it took a venue like the Georgia Dome to house the tens of thousands of Adventists that gathered together as delegates, family members of delegates, special guests, and visitors to participate in or observe the workings of the Church organization. With elections, actions relating to creation, and church manual revisions, the Georgia Dome seemed well-suited to accommodate Adventists for this important event. (Georgia Dome; Atlanta, GA; June 25, 2010)

Turner Field – A First-Time Experience – Having gone to ball games at Fulton County Stadium during my years of service in Georgia-Cumberland Conference, I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend a Braves/Nationals game at Turner Field – the new “Home of the Braves.” Invited by family, the occasion was special on several counts, including but not limited to the chance to see Steven Strasburg, the young pitching sensation of the Washington Nationals pitch in only his fifth major league start. It was a great experience, with the Braves beating the Nationals, 5-0. (Turner Field; Atlanta, GA; June 22, 2010)

Visiting with “Hammerin” Hank” – Though a Red Sox fan for over 40 years, I couldn’t help myself in wanting to be photographed outside Turner Field alongside the famous bust of Hank Aaron. Wearing a Boston Red Sox cap might seem odd to some but perhaps you may be aware that the original major league team in Boston was the Boston Braves. As a youngster, I was privileged to watch Aaron play when he was a member of the Milwaukee Braves. (Turner Field; Atlanta, GA; June 28, 2010)

Justin’s Parents Join the Festivity – One could not ask for better in-laws than those my youngest daughter Bethany enjoys. Pictured here with Bethany and Justin is his mother, Ginger; and father, Brad. Both are kind, considerate and so supportive of the “kids;” making certain to be at significant events in Bethany and Justin’s lives over the past years. Bethany and Justin have a strong familial support system. (Mandalay Banquet Center; Dayton, OH; June 22, 2010)

Celebrating a Milestone – With the official ceremony concluded, Justin and Bethany were joined in this photo with members of the Canosa family. Kathy (my wife) Rebecca (soon to deliver another grandson), Heidi (older sister) and Ethan (our youngest grandson) all join together to congratulate Bethany and Justin on this special occasion. (Mandalay Banquet Center; Dayton, OH; June 22, 2010)

A Proud Dad Indeed – Fathers, like mothers, have every reason to be both thankful and proud for the accomplishments of their children. The smile on my face is quintessential evidence the joy both Bethany and Justin have brought to the lives of the Canosa family. Diligent in their academic pursuits and possessing a love for their Lord, my prayer is for the Lord to use these two young people to make a positive difference in the lives of many – both now and in the future. I thank the Lord every day for bringing these two fine young people into our family. (Mandalay Banquet Center; Dayton, OH; June 22, 2010)

White Coats – A Welcomed Tipping Point – Bethany and Justin, my daughter and wonderful son-in-law, were among the current Kettering College of Medical Arts physician assistants cohort that recently received their white coats in a special ceremony. Receiving the white coats is an indication that students are near the completion of the formal academic rigor and are ready to start clinical rotations. The KCMA program is outstanding in the manner in prepares its students to be outstanding medical personnel fully committed to a life of service, meeting the medical needs of patients. (Mandalay Banquet Center; Dayton, OH; June 22, 2010)

BMA Promo – A Regular Staple – Part of the Campmeeting experience is to visit all the booths set up in the BMA administration building. As I prepared to take this photo on two unsuspecting booth visitors, I overheard them speaking of Blue Mountain Academy, recollecting in fond terms. Blue Mountain Academy just underwent a school-wide evaluation by the NAD accrediting agency this past April. It is a fine school and one of which we are proud. (BMA Administration Building; Hamburg, PA; June 15, 2010)

A Real Campmeeting Experience – Visiting the Pennsylvania Campmeeting was a real pleasure for me, allowing me to combine a visit to Blue Mountain Academy and visits with many friends who were in attendance. Having served as BMA principal a number of years ago, I know what incredible effort goes into preparing for campmeeting, including camp pitch – specifically putting up the tents. The PA campmeeting experience without tents would not be campmeeting as many have come to know it – lots of good fellowship and fun. (PA Campmeeting; Hamburg, PA; June 15, 2010)

MVA’s Caring Heart Award Winner - Class historian and honors graduate, Tatianna Dunn, is this year’s Mount Vernon Academy Caring Heart Award winner. Known by her classmates and school administration/faculty as a compassionate, service-driven Christian witness, Tatianna was given a plaque, $500 tuition voucher to be used in her FR year at the Adventist college or university of her choice, and a Bible. I had both the privilege and pleasure to give these items to Tatianna on behalf of the North American Division Office of Education. She is a most deserving recipient of the award. (MVA Gymnasium; Mount Vernon, OH; May 30, 2010)

What MVA’s Seniors Hold – The Class of 2010’s aim was on prominent display for the commencement exercises at Mount Vernon Academy>. What do they believe? In their hands, they hold today; in their dreams they hold tomorrow; and in their faith, they hold forever. How very true! The Class’s motto: Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds you down or polishes you up, depends on what you’re made of. (MVA Gymnasium; Mount Vernon, OH; May 30, 2010)

When the MVA Graduates Come Marchin’ In – Oh yes – there was no denying them! Crisp and certain, the Class of 2010 marched to the front, being appreciated and supported all along by their loving parents and friends. The gymnasium was filled with excitement and anticipation as many in the audience were snapping photos, providing words of encouragement and joy, and looking forward to a great commencement program. (MVA Gymnasium; Mount Vernon, OH; May 30, 2010)

Together for the Last Time Until Jesus Comes – As all the seniors were in place on the platform and preparing for the opening prayer, I overhead someone say, “This will be the last time they are all together as a class.” How true! Perhaps this is why these commencement exercises need to rise to the high standard students themselves set for the experience. As I watched these wonderful young people, I could not help but think of the many other academies conducting graduation exercises this Memorial Day weekend. (MVA Gymnasium; Mount Vernon, OH; May 30, 2010)

A Gentle Reminde of He Who Leads – Tim Soper, MVA Chaplain and Bible instructor, was the senior’s choice for commencement speaker. Tim reminded the seniors in a short but compelling message that the allurements of the world will beckon the graduates to go one way, but the only way to travel is with Christ and to Christ. What was clear throughout Tim’s presentation is that he had/has both their respect and appreciation. (MVA Gymnasium; Mount Vernon, OH; May 30, 2010)

Celebrating the Sabbath & Graduation Weekend – Couldn’t be better! Wonderful special music from the choir and band, vocal solos, graduates looking splendid in their robes, and proud family members and friends present and supporting their graduating loved ones – making Sabbath a truly enjoyable time for all. LaVona Gillham, Associate Director of Education will be presenting two awards at tomorrow’s commencement: the Caring Heart Award to one of the graduating seniors and the Outstanding Secondary Educator Award to Ms. Kate Baldwin (Math/Science) of SVA. (Kettering SDA Church; Centerville, OH; May 29, 2010)

SVA’s Choir Sings True! – What would graduation weekend be like if there were not special events and special music to lift hearts and add to the celebratory spirit? Well, the SVA choir’s sounds lifted hearts, mine included, as part of the hour of worship. We do, indeed, serve an awesome, loving Lord and praising Him in word and song makes the Christian journey all the more enjoyable and enriching. (Kettering SDA Church; Centerville, OH; May 29, 2010)

SVA Baccalaureate: Hallelujah, We Made It? Now What? - Alvin Chea, uncle to one of the graduates of the Class of 2010 at Spring Valley Academy and member of the 10 Emmy Awards winning Take 6 music group, was the baccalaureate speaker at this weekend’s graduation exercises. Chea, reminded the seniors that the Lord is always with them and to keep Him primary in their lives and professional pursuits. (Kettering SDA Church; Centerville, OH; May 29, 2010)

AHC Conference: Fred Lee Inspires - I had the privilege and pleasure to attend the 2010 Adventist Health Care Conference that featured Fred Lee, speaker/health care professional lecturer. Linking principles of quality learned in his associations with Disney to improving patient quality care, Lee employed a keen wit with meaningful substance in his topic to fully engage conference attendees. Dr. Karl Hafner, senior pastor of Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church also spoke. Bill Robertson is shown on screen, taking conference participants through an interesting exercise. (Marriott Bethesda North Conference Room; Bethesda, MD; May 24, 2010)

Bankes: A Sabbath to Remember – A true privilege, indeed. I had occasion to visit the Martinsburg Seventh-day Adventist Church to present the 2010 Outstanding Educator Award just before the sermon presentation. Beth Bankes was recognized during the service for her exemplary service. Invited to her home for Sabbath lunch, I took this photo of Beth with her immediate family, her parents and her in-laws. The experience was truly enjoyable and the hospitality of the Bankes family was exceptional. (Bankes Home; May 22, 2010)

Saying Goodbye: Conrad Gill – Providing the morning devotional for the last of the UDOEC meetings, Conrad Gill’s thoughts led the group to consider the historical roots of Adventist education. He reminded directors that the Lord provides to Adventist leaders both opportunities and challenges with the assurance of His constant and loving presence and guidance. His key texts were Isaiah 54:13 and Proverbs 3:5-6. This meeting was the very last for Elder Gill, who is scheduled to retire effective this coming July. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 20, 2010)

CognitiveGenesis: Fourth and Final Year Report – La Sierra professors Drs. Elissa Kido and Bob Cruise (seated) were joined by Dr. Jerry Thayer (Andrews), all key leaders in the CognitiveGenesis research project, provided statistical data and preliminary conclusions, re: several variables, resulting from analyses of the huge aggregation of data. Directors were very encouraged by some of the findings and were told that the data will be the source of many future research studies that will be beneficial to Adventist education. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 19, 2010)

AAF: Partnering for the Future of Adventist Education – Byron DeFoor, lay representative of the executive committee of the Alumni Awards Foundation, made a presentation to the union directors regarding the organization’s desire to partner in the revitalization of Adventist education. Information/Data from the four Renaissance Adventist Forums (Riverside, Chattanooga, Orlando, and Bethesda) was shared, as well as a proposed preliminary framework for moving forward in partnership. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 19, 2010)

Do We Still Believe in Miracles? – Astrid Thomassian, Director of Education for the Atlantic Union, presented the UDOEC morning devotional with focused attention on miracles. Astrid shared a miraculous conversion story that occurred in one of our SDA schools in Maine. We were reminded of God’s power through verses: Matthew 11:21 & 21:21-22; and John 2:11, 4:48, and 5:36. The lines of the song ring true: “I believe in miracles, I’ve seen a soul set free.” (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 19, 2010)

Science: Moving Forward in Instruction – Joe Hoveland, and his associate, Lynn Molony of Kendall-Hunt, unveiled the attractive and Scripture-focused logo for the new science series to be launched this coming year. In addition to the logo, NADEA members listened to some of strategic, roll-out strategies being considered and the need to coordinate the effort at the union and conference levels. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 17, 2010) 

What’s the Value in Value-Added Education? - Dr. Bailey Gillespie, La Sierra University’s Hancock Center Director, provided an inspiring devotional for the NADEA. Focusing on the contributions made by Elder Horace Bushnell and Ellen White in shaping founding essentials of Adventist education, Gillespie ultimately linked his devotional to the upcoming launch of the third Valuegenesis (VG3) study, the longitudinal effort to assess learning and the integration of faith. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 18, 2010)

Go CUBBIES Go!!! – Through the kindness of friends, I was provided a ticket to the Chicago Cubs – Colorado Rockies night game at the historic and wonderful old Wrigley Field. Though a Red Sox fan, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to visit this ballpark and, for this evening, root for the “Cubbies.” The last time I was in Wrigley Field to watch a ballgame was in July 1980 when my family and I were attending Mission Institute at Andrews University in preparation for our overseas assignment to the Far East. (Wrigley Field; Chicago, IL; May 17, 2010)

“Let’s Play Two” – Two years ago, the owners of the Cubs and Wrigley Field unveiled this wonderful bronze of Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks. Ernie is known as “Mr. Cub” to Cub fans and was a ball player that I greatly appreciated as a fan, even though I lived in New York City. Ernie Banks played the game not only with consummate professional skills but with an unshakeable commitment to model the game, and life, at its best. (Wrigley Field; Chicago, IL; May 17, 2010)

Small Group: Examining Religion Textbooks – Astrid Thomassian, Director of Education for the Atlantic Union Conference, is working closely with Dr. Ian Kelly, Associate Director of Columbia Union Conference, addressing extensive feedback provided by over 100 junior and senior academy religion teachers across the NAD. Thought is being given to either developing a new religion textbook series or to significantly update the current religion textbooks. I had the privilege of being part of this analysis triad. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 17, 2010)

New Secondary Associate for Southwestern Union – Michael Furr is new to the work of Union education; having most recently served as Superintendent of Education for the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference. Prior to his conference work, Mike served as principal of Chisholm Trail Academy in the Texas Conference. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 17, 2010)

New WAU Education Department Chair - Dr. Gwendolyn Smith (center) was introduced by Dr. Davenia Lea (left) to the members of the NADEA. Dr. Smith comes to her new position with a wealth of experience on the elementary, secondary and higher education level in the public sector. Dr. Smith will begin her duties at WAU in July. Dr. Lea will be assuming the position of Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at WAU on July 1. Elder Conrad Gill, Director of Education for the Southern Union Conference, and soon to retire is seen becoming better acquainted with Dr. Smith. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 17, 2010)

Preparing for Morning Worship – A group of nearly 50 open the most recent session of the NAD Education Advisory. These meetings, which take place twice a year, are moved from union to union and, in this case, were arranged by Garry Sudds and Jim Martz of the Lake Union. You may note that the LUC graciously provided a gift package for each attendee. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 17, 2010)

NADOE Leadership – Pictured are Larry Blackmer (center), VP for Education; Debra Fryson, Elementary Associate Director; and Dennis Plubell, Secondary Associate Director. A prioritized and substantial agenda was provided to the members of the North American Division Education Advisory, a group that is comprised of leaders from the unions, colleges, and universities across the NAD. A host of important items were addressed, including on-going educational research, ECEC, locally-funded employee taskforce report, Alumni Awards Foundation updates, and new information/processes/instruments being studied for school evaluations. (Hilton Convention Center; Bloomingdale, IL; May 17, 2010)

SVABOT: ECEC & Other Agenda Items – Frank Perez (background – center), chairman of the Spring Valley Academy board, effectively and efficiently led the members through agenda items including the approval of an early childhood learning center (to begin this upcoming August), review of the preliminary draft of a revised organizational strategic plan, and a review of financial position. The meeting was well attended and broke earlier than usual to allow for the forming of a nominating committee to select next year’s board officers. (Ridgeleigh Terrace; Kettering, OH; May 13, 2010)

Dr. Susan Glaser: Conflict Resolution – Dr. Susan Glaser, of Glaser Associates, works closely with her husband not only in making major presentations but also co-authoring many books and research journal articles. Susan’s offered keen insights into the various elements of four key Glaser models for communication and conflict management/resolution. Together, the Glasers held the attention of seminar participants quite effectively. The Glaser’s book , “Be Quiet, Be Heart: The Paradox of Persuasion” was provided to each seminar participant at the end of the day. (Chesapeake Conference Chapel; Columbia, MD; May 12, 2010)

Dr. Peter Glaser – Communication’s Importance - Using keen wit and humorous anecdotes, Dr. Peter Glaser, a graduate of Penn State University, introduced key concepts of effective and ineffective communication and how communications miscues often result in misunderstanding and conflict. The Glasers have conducted seminars in many countries, for many big business firms and are currently under contract with the United States Congress. Their presentations are built largely around the results of their Glaser’s own extensive research. (Chesapeake Conference Chapel; Columbia, MD; May 12, 2010)

Weigley Welcomes Seminar Participants - Elder Dave Weigley, Columbia Union President, welcomes participants to the “BreakThrough Conflict” all-day seminar conducted at the Chesapeake Conference office complex. Weigley first encountered the presenters, Susan and Peter Glaser while taking a post-graduate course at Andrews University. So impressed was he by what Glaser Associates had to offer, he made arrangements for this professional growth seminar to be available to a wide array of leaders within the Columbia Union. (Chesapeake Conference Chapel; Columbia, MD; May 12, 2010)

Safety First: Science Classroom – Well-equipped though small in size, the FAS science classroom for junior academy students offers a full-complement of instructional items and curricula necessary for effective junior academy course offerings. Pictured is one of several attractive, informative and guiding bulletin boards in the science classroom that provides students with safety expectations for labs and other science-related activities. Aquaria, experimental labs, etc. appear to make FAS’s upper-grades science curricula effectively supplemented. (Frederick Adventist School: Science Classroom; Frederick, MD; May 6, 2010)

School Status: Site Visit – Chaired by Dr. Ian Kelly, a six-member site visiting team (Chesapeake Conference and Columbia Union officials) arrived on the Frederick Adventist School campus to review the school’s application to move from an elementary school to a full K-10 junior academy for the start of the 2010-2011 academic year. Having prepared a detailed self-study for the visiting team to examine, the FAS school board and school administration did an excellent job in preparing for the team’s site visit and facilitating the team’s work. (Frederick Adventist School; Frederick, MD; May 6, 2010) 

A Dynamic Team: Quintana/Correia – Pastor Quintana, senior pastor of the Frederick Seventh-day Adventist Church, is a young, energetic, vision-driven leader of the Frederick congregation and is a strong proponent and supporter of the education ministry of Frederick Adventist School. Pastor Quintana has effectively teamed with Robyn Correia, principal of FAS, to make the school’s program an integral part of the church’s in-reach and outreach initiatives. Together, theirs is a formidable voice for promoting Adventist education at all levels. (Frederick Adventist School; Frederick, MD; May 6, 2010)

FAS Eighth Graders – When the Visiting Committee members walked into the eighth grade classroom, they were met with students’ smiles and curiosity. Students were told the purpose of the site visit and were greeted and thanked by committee members. (Frederick Adventist School; Frederick, MD; May 6, 2010)

A Grandson’s First Softball Game – Pictured here is Braden, my oldest grandson, up to bat for his first official softball game. My wife and I joined our children and grandchildren in Nashville for several days to celebrate birthdays of two of our three grandsons. Our time was most enjoyable though we also were able to witness some the incredible damage caused by a deluge of rain throughout the Southeast. Our thoughts and prayers are with those many families affected by the protracted, severe storms. (Baptist Church Field; Nashville, TN; May 3, 2010)

Oriole v. Yankees: A Brief Respite – Through the kindness of a trustee colleague of Washington Adventist University, a number of GC, CU, and local conference officials were invited to take in an Orioles-Yankees game. Though the outcome was predictable, the company was great. I do not often have the time to attend ball games but will confess that, on this evening, I was rooting for the O’s. After all, what 40+-year Red Sox fan would do otherwise? (Camden Yards; Baltimore, MD; April 29, 2010)

SAA Seniors – Photo Opportunity – An unexpected, brief and enjoyable experience was to capture a photo of the 2010 Senior Class of Spencerville Adventist Academy preparing for their official senior class photo. It’s a talented class with great young people! (Spencerville Adventist Church, Spencerville, MD; April 27, 2010)

StrengthFinder Experience – Capitalizing on strengths was the theme of the day. Officers of the Columbia Union, prior to Barbette Weimer-Elder’s presentation, took the Gallup/Clifton StrengthFinder 2/0 survey to identify respective strengths. Ms. Elder-Weimer provided an overview of the research that drives SF 2.0, and also encouraged all to use their individual strengths as well as to find ways to forge the best complement of strengths to tasks within specific departments. (Spencerville Adventist Church, Spencerville, MD; April 27, 2010)

Elder Lowell Cooper Speaks of Vision – Vice President of the General Conference, Elder Lowell Cooper, provided the devotional for CU’s team-building day. Formerly President of the Southeast Asia Division, Cooper spent many years in India. Cooper challenged the CU team to approach the future by building kingdom character, developing kingdom culture, and embracing kingdom vision – a powerful challenge indeed. (Spencerville Adventist Church, Spencerville, MD; April 27, 2010)

Weigley Welcomes CU Staff – Emphasizing CU office “tram-building,” Elder Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Preside nt, arranged for all CU employees to participate in a full-day seminar on building teamwork through identified individual strengths. Several very effective presentations marked the day and time was provided for each department to identify areas of strength and challenge. Each group was encouraged to explore remedies for each challenge identified. (Spencerville Adventist Church, Spencerville, MD; April 27, 2010)

Coordinating Committee Meets with Team – Members of the Richmond Academy Coordinating Committee, those responsible for assuring a thorough preparation of the academy’s self-study, met with members of the Visiting Committee to discuss the evaluative process. Coordinating Committee members also fielded questions from the Visiting Committee. The exchange was cordial, thorough, and substantive – time well spent. (Richmond SDA Church; Richmond, VA; April 26, 2010)

Haystacks and Other Tasty Goodies – With members of the Visiting Committee having traveled for a good part of the day, RA’s prepared “goodies” were greatly appreciated by all. Not only was the food delicious but there was plenty of it – more than enough to provide for all who attending the evening event. In every way, RA proved to be a gracious host to members of the Visiting Committee. (Richmond SDA Church; Richmond, VA; April 25, 2010)

Waters Thanks the RA Community – Keith Waters, Visiting Committee chairman, asked each of the Visiting Committee members to introduce themselves and shortly thereafter, offered insights into the evaluation process to those attending the evening banquet. Waters offered his personal appreciation to all those who went the “extra-mile” to prepare the hall and delicious food provided for the Visiting Committee members. He also thanked RA’s administration, board, and faculty for the fine job they did in preparing the RA Self-study document, the basis upon which the Visiting Committee does its work. (Richmond SDA Church; Richmond, VA; April 25, 2010)

Musically Talented Students – A small but growing academy band providing the evening’s entertainment, offering several selections, including one original score. For a smaller-sized academy, RA makes every effort to provide quality opportunities for its students in the areas of music, including the provision of private lessons. The students seemed to genuinely enjoy being the center of attention for the many guests and parents present. (Richmond SDA Church; Richmond, VA; April 25, 2010)

Principal Weems Welcomes All – Richmond Academy graciously hosted an evening meal for the NAD Visiting Committee members, RA board and faculty members, and a select number of families who assisted in preparing the meal and hall. Angie Weems, RA Principal, is in her second year of administration at the academy and was pleased to welcome all who were in attendance. Under Mrs. Weems’s leadership, the academy has made great strides in many respects. (Richmond SDA Church; Richmond, VA; April 25, 2010)

Keith Waters: RA Visiting Committee – Serving in the North Pacific Union as Associate Director for Secondary Education, Keith Waters (standing) takes time to provide an orientation to members of the Richmond Academy Visiting Committee. Seeking a six year term of accreditation, Waters was impressed with the stellar effort on the part of the Richmond administration, faculty, and board not only in the preparation of the RA Self-study, but also in how attractive and clean both the facility and grounds were for the visit. (Richmond Academy; Richmond, VA; April 25, 2010)

Perez Opens Constituency Meeting – Frank Perez, chairman of the Spring Valley Academy Board of Trustees, welcomes constituents at the opening of the 42nd constituency meeting of the institution. Required by by-law, constituency meetings are held annually at SVA and this particular session was well-attended. The first since the reopening of the academy after last year’s fire, parents, trustees, constituents, and others came to listen to progress reports in all aspects of the academy program. (Spring Valley Academy Gymnasium; Centerville, OH; April 22, 2010)

Principal Bovee: “Jesus is Blessing” – Jeff Bovee, completing his third year as principal of SVA, spoke of the many blessings the students, parents, administration, and faculty have experienced in 2009-2010; and the strong support of the constituency as evidenced in the shared results of the most recent parent survey. More than the many physical improvements SVA now enjoys, Bovee assured parents that the school remains focused on leading ALL of its students to “Know, Follow, Share Jesus.” (Spring Valley Academy Gymnasium; Centerville, OH; April 22, 2010)

Photo Op: SVA Award Winner – Kate Baldwin, math/science teacher at Spring Valley Academy, is the 2009-2010 Columbia Union Outstanding Secondary Education Award winner. Pictured here alongside Jeff Bovee, SVA principal (left) and me, Kate will be officially recognized at this year’s SVA commencement ceremony in late May. Kate is an extraordinary educator who seeks to effectively reach students of varying skill levels; using sound, contemporary methodologies to make her classes both productive and enjoyable. SVA is very proud and grateful to have Kate on staff. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; April 22, 2010)

Dr. Chand Enlightens Principals Council Members – Dr. Shirani Chand was invited by Dr. Ian Kelly to make a presentation to members of the Columbia Union Principals Council, speaking on the topic of leadership and motivation. Elementary and junior academy principals from nearby Adventist schools were also invited to participate in Chand’s seminar. Dr. Chand is a highly respected education specialist who has, in previous years, made skillful and substantive presentations to members of the Union Curriculum Committee. This Principals Council meeting was held at the request of our administrative practitioners. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; April 20, 2010)

Learning from a Practitioner – Alumni Awards Foundation 2009 Excellence in Teaching Award winner, Carrie Hess, who teaches English at Spencerville Adventist Academy and, who this year, has also assumed a role as part-time Vice Principal, shared with attending principals key concepts relating to differentiated instruction in education. While doing a fine job in her new administrative capacity, Carrie concedes that she still, at heart, loves teaching. Perhaps, she will grow to have as much love for administration over time. (Neal Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; April 20, 2010)

Gill Returns to Pine Forge – Conrad Gill (left), currently serving as Director of Education for the Southern Union Conference, is pictured visiting with PFA Vice Principal, Keith Holder. Conrad, many years ago, served as principal of Pine Forge Academy at the same time I served as principal of Blue Mountain Academy. In fact, we had the privilege of starting the inter-school group activities that now have become a tradition for both BMA and PFA. Gill was at PFA serving as chairman of the evaluation committee, representing the NAD. PFA is up for reaccreditation this year. (Wagner Hall; Pine Forge, PA; April 17, 2010)

PFA’s Visiting Committee at Work - Pictured are some of the nine-member Visiting Committee, engaged in discussion and writing of commendations and recommendations. Pictured from left-to-right are Donovan Ross (SVA), Davenia Lea (WAU), Brian Kittleson (SAA), and Keith Hallam (PO). Working under the facilitation of Conrad Gill, the committee produced an objective and thorough report of PFA; a report that is soon to be submitted to the NAD Commission on Accreditation. A final accreditation term will be determined in July the NADCA. (Pine Forge Academy; Pine Forge, PA; April 17, 2010)

PFA: Middle States Rep – Dunbar, religion teacher of Takoma Academy and member of the PFA Visiting Committee, also served as the official Middle States Association representative for the evaluation visit. To his left is LaVona Gillham, also serving as a member of the PFA Visiting Committee. Henri was responsible to complete the full MSA complement to the AAA document for the visit. The Columbia Union Office of Education has just signed a revised agreement with MSA, allowing for much closer coordination between the Adventist and regional associations. (Pine Forge Academy; Pine Forge, PA; April 17, 2010)

Elder Wilson Speaks – General Conference Vice President Elder Ted Wilson was the featured Sabbath speaker for the divine worship hour. Reminding all congregants of the “final exam” for the Lord’s faithful, Elder Wilson focused on the call to remain true to the Church’s teachings and sharing the gospel to all the world as the Lord’s faithful are commissioned to do. (Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church; Takoma Park, MD; April 10, 2010)

Spence Welcomes Alumni & Introduces Elder Ted Wilson – As one might expect, Dr. Spence played a key role in all homecoming ceremonies, including a welcome to returning alumni and introduction of the morning’s speaker, Elder Ted Wilson, Vice President of the General Conference and Columbia Union College alumnus. Spence’s opening remark – “We ARE Washington Adventist University!” (Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church; Takoma Park, MD; April 10, 2010)

Weigley Leads in Dedication Ceremony - Elder Dave Weigley, Columbia Union president and chairman of the university board, invited members of the board of trustees to join him on the platform at Homecoming Sabbath at Sligo to dedicate the newly-named university and its president, Dr. Weymouth Spence. Mrs. Weigley presented a bouquet of flowers to Mrs. Spence, who stood by her husband’s side during the dedication service. (Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church; Takoma Park, MD; April 10, 2010)

Youth Ensemble Performs for Homecoming – What a terrific opening to the divine hour of worship for WAU’s Alumni Homecoming Weekend! Having both national and international renown, Dr. Rittenhouse’s ensemble lifted the spirit of all who filled the Sligo sanctuary, offering symphonic sounds that prepared hearts for the message of the hour. (Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church; Takoma Park, MD; April 10, 2010)

Board of Trustees Addresses Agenda – Washington Adventist University’s board of trustees addressed a number of important issues, including approval of two new graduate programs, select restructuring of curricula programming, review of steadily-improving financial operation, and receiving a variety of vital reports. Dr. Spence also spoke of university goals for the 2010-2011 academic year. (Morrison Hall Chapel; Takoma Part, MD; April 9, 2010)

Historic Groundbreaking at WAU - Pictured are officials of both the local Adventist and public communities, with shovels and hardhats about to turn over the first shovels of dirt on the site of what will be a new music building on the Washington Adventist University campus. The new building will be erected on the site of the current music building. It is the first new building to be constructed at CUC/WAU in the past 40 years. (WAU Campus; Takoma Park, MD; April 9, 2010)

Mayor Williams In Attendance – Mayor of Takoma Park, Bruce Williams, spoke of the city’s unequivocal support for the university and offered the congratulations of the city’s administration just prior to the historic groundbreaking. Williams believes the WAU is vital to Takoma Park’s interests and is a higher education presence appreciated at the local, state, and national level. In particular, Williams mentioned the WAU is well-represented by the university’s musical organizations. (WAU Campus; Takoma Park, MD; April 9, 2010)

President Spence Honors Dr. Rittenhouse - Dr. Weymouth Spence, Washington Adventist University president, introduced Dr. Virginia Rittenhouse, conductor of the New England Youth Ensemble. The ensemble has been a vital part of CUC/WAU for well over a decade. Spence is raising $300,000 for the new music building, with the intent to honor the legacy of Rittenhouse in this new construction venture. (WAU Campus; Takoma Park, MD; April 9, 2010)

Peeke Wins 2010 Outstanding Administrator Award - I had the privilege of visiting with Marilynn Peeke, principal of Atholton Adventist Academy, to both inform her of the distinction and to provide her a certificate of recognition as the 2009-2010 Columbia Union Outstanding Administrator. This is the first year of this prestigious award and Ms. Peeke’s host of God-given gifts, effectively applied in areas of program growth, curriculum leadership, ESL, innovative leadership, effective marketing/recruiting, etc. make her an ideal leader to receive this award. The actual award itself will be presented at a special program at the school on May 13. (Atholton Adventist Academy; Columbia, MD; April 8, 2010)

BMA Administrators Meet During Evaluation – Craig Zeismer (far right) is principal of Blue Mountain Academy and a seasoned school administrator, pulls together his administrative team not only to consider weekly planning for academy programming, but also to remind his team of the implications of the on-going academy evaluation. In addition to dealing with these topics, Craig was kind enough to allow me to have a special season of prayer with his team of experienced and highly competent educators. It was a privilege, particularly given my fondness for the academy – a school of which I was formerly principal. (BMA Principal’s Office; Hamburg, PA; April 5, 2010)

A Trainee at Work - Jim Martz, Associate Director for the Lake Union Conference, joined Larry Blackmer, as a “mentee” co-chair of the BMA evaluation. Jim not only is learning of the process and instruments, but in this visit, was actually pinch-hitting with additional assignments. Jim’s granddaughter, McKenzie, has been the subject of prayers across the NAD and for many throughout the Columbia Union. Jim shared that little McKenzie is doing well. Praise the Lord! (BMA; Hamburg, PA; April 5, 2010)

Blackmer Chairs BMA Evaluation – Larry Blackmer, Vice President for Education of the North American Division, chose Blue Mountain Academy as the site to train Jim Martz in the processes and instruments of GCAAA evaluation. Though busy in all aspects of K-12 education, Larry chooses each year to chair at least one academy evaluation. A number of years ago, Larry served as principal of Takoma Academy and, as such, is no stranger to the Columbia Union. (BMA; Hamburg, PA; April 5, 2010)

Evaluation Team Members: Strengthening the Program - The work of this evaluation committee, completed over two and one-half days of on-site efforts, is to make certain that BMA’s academics, program, practices, ministries, etc. are consistent with its stated mission and vision, as measured through 10 standards and subject area metrics. Pictured here is some of the Visiting Committee (from left to right): Marilynn Peeke (AAA), Dorenda Dodge (SVA), Larry Blackmer (NAD), Tammy Smith (PFA), and Sadrail Saint-Ulysse (NJ). (BMA; Hamburg, PA; April 5, 2010)

Spring Has Sprung!!! – Indeed, the beauty of the blossoms has almost made the winter blizzards a distant memory. Spring’s splendor is evident nearly everywhere one looks here in MD, and it is not far-fetched to believe that everyone is pleased to see spring’s blossoms instead of mounds of snow that dotted the landscape for much of February. (Ellicott City, MD; April 3, 2010)

Happy Birthday Elder Weigley - At the very end of last week’s Columbia Union Executive Committee, the CU family celebrated Elder Dave Weigley’s birthday, giving opportunity for ExecComm. members to join in the experience. A birthday cake with only four candles left all to wonder how many should have actually been on the cake??? Elder Bardu (left) and Elder Harcombe (center) are shown here just before a prayer of thanks was offered for Dave’s ministry and good health. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 18, 2010)

“The Adventists” - Filmmaker Doblmeier- Martin Doblmeier, invited by Celeste Ryan-Blyden, to promote his film and give his perspectives to members of the ExecComm. shared of his own appreciation for and understanding of Seventh-day Adventists. Not only did he speak of his own personal encounters with Adventists, but also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to learn more of the work of Adventists in education, world-wide ministry, as well as well as in the fields of health and medicine. Learn more about “The Adventists” and when and where of its local media showings (PBS) at (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 18, 2010)

Elder Kibble Speaks of the Efforts in Haiti - Alvin Kibble, NAD Vice President, spoke to ExecComm. members of division-wide fund-raising efforts to assist the people of Haiti in the incredible challenge of rebuilding and restoring. As the NAD Coordinator for Haitian Relief, Elder Kibble not only thanked CU constituents for providing nearly $250,000 in offerings and gifts, rising to the NAD challenge to raise $1,000,000 division-wide, but their on-going work to promote the gospel commission to all people. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 18, 2010)

HVA Board of Trustees: A Challenging Agenda – Chaired by Elder Rob Vandeman, president of the Chesapeake Conference (not pictured), the HVA board met on Wednesday evening not only to approve a preliminary 2010-2011 budget, but also to address personnel, program, and marketing agenda items. The board also adopted a “Foundation for Our Product” document; outlining nine “non-negotiable” principles which it hopes will hallmark the HVA graduate and prepare him/her for service to God and fellow man. (HVA Library; Hagerstown, MD; March 17, 2010)

CU Presidents Council - Meeting for a full day of agenda, local conference presidents and the CU officer corps prepared for the upcoming CU ExecComm. Among items addressed were General Conference session planning; 2011 CU constituency session planning; candidates for ordination; and 2012 CU ministerium planning. Vice Presidents of the CU also provided reports of recent developments and future plans; including challenges education currently faces and will likely face into the future. (Administrative Conference Room; Columbia, MD; March 17, 2010)

K-16 CUBOE – Spring Session - As part of the “2010 State of the Union: Education” report, I offered perspectives regarding the current challenges faced in marketing and recruiting in the K-12 education arena across our field. The data used to formulate shared perspectives were secured from local conference superintendents; indicating dynamics believed to be driving enrollment patterns conference-by-conference. The brief PowerPoint presentation provided can be viewed on the Columbia Union Education webpage. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 16 2010)

Spencerville Adventist Academy Ringers - Directed by Ms. Jane Lanning, SAA Ringers provided an inspiring musical devotion to begin the K-16 Columbia Union Board of Education meeting. Demonstrating talent, commitment and a willingness to share, the Rangers’ 20 minutes of uplifting music not only entertained members of the board but also many workers from departments throughout the CU office. It is custom to begin each union board of education meeting highlighting the musical talents of young people from an Adventist school or academy: a wonderful reminder of how Adventist education does enrich students’ love for both God and fine music. Listen to one of the presentations by going to the video section of the Education webpage. You’ll enjoy what you hear! (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 16, 2010)

Grateful for Assistance – Greg Iverson and Lisha Weber, two indispensable IT technicians that assist Office of Education personnel often, are shown preparing my computer for the PowerPoint and on-line presentation I offered in my State of the Union: Education report. The Columbia Union Information Technology Department ranks among the best across the NAD; and is always willing to assist and, as necessary, educate not only CUOE team members but personnel from other departments. Kudos for work always well done! (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; March 16, 2010)

Front Cover Fame! – Pictured on the “front cover” of the periodical Educational Leadership are LouAnn Howard (Mid-America Union Associate, on the left) and LaVona Gillham, CU Associate – of what would seemingly be a tribute to significant accomplishments. Trust be told, what you see is a promotional photo provided by an professional exhibit at the recent Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development in San Antonio, TX. These types of keepsakes are enjoyable and fun to share – though both ladies shown have contributed to Adventist education ministry in significant ways throughout their careers. A number of Adventist educational leaders attended the convention for professional growth. (ASCD Convention; San Antonio, TX; March 2010)

Bovee Prepares for Upcoming Board Meeting – I always enjoy visiting with Jeff Bovee, principal of Spring Valley Academy; a visit I make sure to experience each time I’m privileged to visit the SVA campus. Though our meeting was brief, it provided the opportunity for the two of us to discuss several key agenda items to be discussed at the impending meeting of the board of trustees: personnel, early childhood education center plans, and proposed revisions to overseas travel policies were the main topics of conversation though the purpose of my visit was to vet a candidate for the 2010 Columbia Union Outstanding Educator Award. (SVA Principals Office; Centerville, OH; March 9, 2010)

Baldwin Motivates Her Students – Kate Baldwin, math and science teacher of Spring Valley Academy is very worthy of her nomination for the CU Outstanding Educator Award. Having occasion to visit this late morning Algebra 1 class, I witnessed Kate’s effective engagement with students; teaching methodology technological applications, and her strong commitment to assure that each of her students receive the assistance he or she might need. I observed two classes, with this one pictured focused on the mathematics of similar angles. (SVA Math/Science Classroom; Centerville, OH; March 9, 2010)

Always Be Ready! – Fire Drill – Pictured are students who quickly evacuated the building soon after the administration pulled a fire alarm as part of an evacuation drill. Students and teachers were observed doing exactly what evacuation protocols required, including the responsibility of faculty to make certain that each student attending school this day was accounted. Given the experience of the recent past, fire drills are essential to assure that students and faculty are ready at a moment’s notice in the event of a real fire. Policy requires that such drills are performed monthly at each school in the Columbia Union. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; March 9, 2010) 

Sullivan’s Devotional - Evelyn Sullivan, Columbia Union Associate Director for Early Childhood and Care, was invited by Jeff Bovee to provide the devotional for the Spring Valley Academy board meeting. Telling a story of a young student strong in faith, Sullivan reminded all present that there is no one who need fear even imposing challenges when one’s faith in Christ is unshakeable. Earlier in the day, Evelyn spent considerable time visiting with Ms. Cherie Hafner, a dynamic SVA volunteer and main coordinator of SVA’s effort to establish and ECEC center at the academy. Sullivan offered prayer to bring the board’s devotional time to a close and soon after provided the board with a history of the Columbia Union’s efforts to oversee ECEC programs both school= and church-based. (Ridgeleigh Terrace; Kettering; OH; March 11, 2010)

Velasco Facilitates the Board’s Work - Mark Velasco (center), Vice Chair of the board, is a local attorney and alumnus of SVA. Mark effectively worked the board through a lengthy agenda, skillfully focusing board members on each of the key items needing board consideration and action. Velasco serves the academy in several capacities, giving a good deal of personal time to strengthen his alma mater’s program. He also chairs the board’s strategic planning subcommittee. Mark is passionate about SVA and is much appreciated by administration, faculty, and students for all he does for “his” school. (Ridgeleigh Terrace; Kettering, OH; March 11, 2010)

ECEC Proposed Business Plan - Ms. Hafner provided board members with a proposed business plan to consider as the board ponders moving forward with opening an ECEC program. The report was a product of the Preschool Steering Committee and included proposed mission and vision statements, goals, logistical options, marketing plan, industry challenges and local market analysis, proposed services, and financial plan. Board members appreciated the information and voted to have the overall plan vetted by the Finance subcommittee. In addition, the board voted to authorize school administration to pursue ECEC licensure. (Ridgeleigh Terrace; Kettering, OH; March 11, 2010)

A Little Time for Family – A busy agenda brought me to Ohio for three days of professional activities, including a day-long presentation to school principals of the Ohio Conference focused on the strengths and challenges facing Adventist education, and the principal’s responsibility to provide positive leadership for change. Yet, notwithstanding the time demands, I was able to carve out very brief time to spend with my daughter, Bethany and her husband, Justin, who had just returned from a brief but enjoyable first anniversary celebration in Chicago. Both are students at Kettering College of Medical Arts in their first full year of the physician assistant program. Winter semester break afforded them the time to visit the Windy City. (Centerville, OH; March 12, 2010)

A Panoramic View from 30,000 Feet - The flights to Portland, OR via Salt Lake City were spent catching up on some sleep but largely working on my computer. I do not often take pictures while in flight but I was struck by the beauty of snow covered peaks and the wonder that still is evident in God’s love of beauty. (Somewhere Over the Mountains; February 28, 2010)

A Great Introduction to PAA - Upon arriving at Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) to chair an academy evaluation (joint NWACS/GCACU), I met with the 8-member evaluation team just prior to meeting with a joint PAA board/school gathering which provided opportunities for all to become acquainted. One of the programs provided for purposes of evening entertainment was a performance of the PAA Pan Band, directed by PAA instructor, Linda Neel. The experience was a delightful one, with PAA students giving the Visiting Committee just a “peek” at their wonderful spirit and talents. (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; February 28, 2010)

Starting Our Days with the Lord - The Visiting Committee was invited by Principal Gale Crosby to join the PAA faculty for an early morning joint worship. Led by Mrs. Linda Logan, worship focused on a challenging, thought-provoking thought from an article by Andy Nash (SAU). What was apparent to all committee members is the solidarity that exists between and among PAA administration and faculty and their joint efforts to make the evaluation experience both productive and enjoyable for all. (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; March 1, 2010)

With a Song from the Heart - Not only is the PAA faculty wholly committed to an educational mission that places students at the core of a “Christ-Centered, Character-Driven” ministry, but they are also involved in sharing their talents off-campus in local churches as well. Shown here are four faculty members whose contribution to worship was one in song – singing of their love for and faith in Jesus. This was truly a great way to start a day! (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; March 1, 2010)

Interviewing PAA Administrators – One of the evaluation protocols involves an extensive interview of on-site administrators. Pictured here is the committee meeting with PAA administrators, who fielded questions for over 90 minutes. Questions ranged across all ten standard areas, in addition to addressing marketing, recruiting, community outreach/penetration, relationships with local churches, student and parent survey responses, etc. Visiting committees use the administrators’ interview to gain better understanding of history, context, unusual circumstance affecting the self-study process - if any, and other matters or issues not typically thought to be a highlight of the evaluative process. Also, on-site administrators use this time to ask questions of their own of committee members. (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; March 1, 2010)

How Faculty Members View the PAA Program - The Visiting Committee makes it a point to meet with faculty apart from the presence of on-site administrators to give faculty an opportunity to express their views on a wide range of school-related issues or concerns. Moreover, faculty are also asked of their perceptions of administration’s effectiveness in advancing school mission and vision. In the case of PAA, faculty and administration have a strong commitment to both support and advance the school’s mission, through mutual respect, support, and prayerful petitions. (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; March 2, 2010)

Senior Projects - At PAA, all seniors are required to choose and complete a year-long project that gives tangible evidence of academic growth. The projects are guided through interdisciplinary cooperation among faculty, working closely with each senior. Pictured here are three seniors, each of which provided a capsulated version of their respective projects – as part of Tuesday morning worship. One of the seniors wrote her own book while another spoke of an impressive mission initiative. All three seniors presented impressive projects that each said really helped strengthen the bond with Christ. (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; March 3, 2010)

Working Away – Nearing Completion - In addition to taking on several assignments (Standards & Subject Areas), I took the responsibility for inputting all the report data – including commendations and recommendations. Here I am pictured entering data as the team neared completion of its work. I was both privileged and blessed to work with an outstanding committee; one that was, in all ways, diligent, friendly, and respectful of the opinions of colleagues. Among those on the team was Larry Marsh, currently VP for Education in Upper Columbia; formerly the VP for Education in Potomac Conference. It was a joy to reconnect with my good friend. (Portland Adventist Academy; Portland, OR; March 3, 2010)

NADECEC Advisory: Coordinating Processes - Meeting in Orlando, FL to further promote division-wide coordination in a wide variety of ECEC-related initiatives, i.e., curriculum, accreditation, etc., work of this group is essential to give direction to local unions and conferences in how best meet the needs of school- and church-based early childhood centers. Evelyn Sullivan (left) is CU’s representative on the NADECEC Advisory. The group is chaired by Dennis Plubell and Debra Fryson (center) of the North American Division Office of Education. (Springfield Suites; Orlando, FL; February 16, 2010)

Joint ECEC/UDOEC to “Pave the Way” – Hoping to review and approve a preliminary governance framework and structure for ECECs across the NAD, members of the Early Childhood Education and Care Advisory met with the Union Directors of Education Council to promote a more standardized approach to overseeing ECECs. Recognizing the need to allow for local union flexibility, a preliminary framework draft was approved and will be presented to local union education councils. The implications, re: a host of new education code policies and guidelines, is significant on a variety of fronts to assure that the ECEC/Pre-K element of Adventist education is built on a stronger foundation. (Springfield Suites; Orlando, FL; February 17, 2010)

OGC Provides Counsel, re: ECECs - Karnik Doukmetzian and Dionne Parker (GC Office of General Council) provided vitally important information regarding potential organizational, compliance, and tax issues regarding church- and school-based early childhood education/care centers. Matters relating to personnel, insurance, property tax, trademarks, and governmental regulations (state/local) and how best to assure compliance based on five scenarios helped equip educational leaders with a template of how to make ECEC reviews more diligent and meaningful on the local and conference levels. (Springfield Suites; Orlando, FL; February 17, 2010)

Blackmer Tells of Cameroon Adventure - Larry Blackmer, NAD VP for Education, shared with a joint session of the ECEC/UDOEC of his trials, tribulations AND many blessings during his recent trip to Cameroon. Sharing of trucks without breaks, armed guards at checkpoints, illness, etc., Larry’s greatest blessing in the experience was to experience the culture and especially to spend time with children in the northwestern part of Cameroon. His presentation was given for the morning devotional. I had the privilege of providing the devotional to the joint session on Wednesday. (Springfield Suites; Orlando, FL; February 18, 2010)

Kendall Hunt – Science Series Update - Joe Haverland and Lynn Molony (pictured) of Kendall Hunt Publishing are the primary contacts for the NADOE and UDOEC and who worked with facilitating the development and roll-out of the Kendall Hunt science series which will be the featured element of the new K-Gr. 8 science curriculum very soon. Haverland and Molony collaborated in providing UDOEC members with an actual science lesson, re: eco-systems. Our classroom teachers are going to be very pleased with the product, and suggested methodologies. Our students are going to love this contemporary, research-based science curriculum. (Springfield Suites; Orlando, FL; February 18, 2010)

Attending via “Skype” – For the first time, one of the UDOEC members joined the meeting via Skype, allowing Kelly Bock to “attend” the meeting and offer his insights, opinions, etc. on all agenda items. While many directors use Skype as a means for professional and personal communications, including yours truly, in this case it was essential to have Dr. Bock with the group as important decisions were being made. (Springfield Suites; Orlando, FL; February 17, 2010)

Not Quite Kilimanjaro, But “Close” - Youngsters in our neighborhood, not entirely unhappy with school closures, seemed as happy, if not more so, to enjoy the snow. Pictured here are three brave children who thought it was “cool” to climb the heights of the plowed “mount” of snow. (Brightmeadow; Ellicott City, MD; February 7, 2010)

Cars Anyone? - By the time the evening of the 6th rolled around, the snow accumulation was so heavy and drifts rather high that it proved difficult to find any vehicles in the Brightmeadow development that were not completely covered with snow. This photo was taken on one of our periodic trudges in our neighborhood through the days and nights of both storms. (Brightmeadow; Ellicott City. MD; February 6, 2010)

Shoveling at 4:00 AM - Knowing the importance of attempting to stay “ahead” of major snow accumulation, my wife and I determined that the best strategy to employ would be to shovel in shifts every four hours. Sometimes accumulating at a rate of 2-3 inches per hour, we calculated that a missed “shift” would mean much greater effort with the next shoveling effort. The wind and snow made each of the evening shifts challenging. (Brightmeadow; Ellicott City, MD; February 6, 2010)

Blizzard 2010 - In “whiteout” conditions, the first of two major snowstorms continues to drop early morning snow in significant amounts in Columbia, MD. In fact, Howard County will be noted as the MD county with the largest snowfall in Round 1 of what is now being called Blizzard 2010 by Marylanders. (Brightmeadow; Ellicott City, MD; February 6, 2010)

Cell Phones, Schools, and Privacy - Citing case law and offering invaluable insights into the suggested/required “do’s and don’ts” of student cell phones and the extent to which school officials can access information under various circumstances, Wally Carson (CU Office of General Counsel) equipped school administrators in how best to deal with a school’s need to know v. student privacy. A vigorous Q&A session after Carson’s formal presentation gave ample evidence that the information imparted was both timely and much needed. Carson provides a “Legal Eagle” presentation at each series of bi-annual meetings of the Columbia Union School Administrators Council. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 4, 2010)

Melashenko Reminds All of God’s Great Blessings - The morning devotional for the second day of CUSAC was given by Nancy Melashenko, Associate Superintendent of the Potomac Conference. Using “bowls” for purposes of illustration, Nancy challenged CUSAC members to consider not only how the Lord blesses but how such blessings are received and employed day-by-day. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 4, 2010)

Better Informed, re: Columbia Union Revolving Fund - Peggy Lee, Secretary/Treasurer of the Columbia Union Revolving Fund was invited by the Office of Education to make a presentation to CUSAC to facilitate greater awareness among CUSAC members of the vital work and ministry of CURF. A non-profit corporation that advances, in partnership with the Columbia Union the gospel mission, assists churches, schools, conferences, etc. through cost-effective financing. You can learn more about CURF by visiting the CURF page on this website. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 3, 2010)

OGC’s Parker Informs CUSAC of Transitions Ahead - Attorney Dionne Parker of the North American Division Office of General Counsel gave an hour-long presentation outlining the NAD’s strategies and projected time-lines to affect a new approach to local-hire employment. Ms. Parker’s suggestions and feedback to members during a substantive Q&A session were not only instructive but now allows CU educational entities to consider and plan for what lies ahead. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 3, 2010)

Tony Romeo Addresses Joint CUCC/CUSAC Session, re: School Marketing Strategies - Tony Romeo, an SDA public sector communications/marketing/design expert, provided an “ideas-filled” two-hour school marketing strategies seminar to 60+ attendees. Members of the two major union education forums were joined by a number of local school principals to gain invaluable insights, re: web-based, media-driven marketing techniques and enhanced communications strategies. Among guests who attended were members of CU’s communications department. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 3, 2010)

Curriculum Committee - Seeking Answers - Members of the CU Curriculum Committee met for an abbreviated session to receive reports of initiatives, re: reading, science, religion, etc. that will impact teaching content and methodologies in the short- and long-term. In addition, valuable time was used to brainstorm regarding the CUCC’s future direction, work, and format. Efforts to streamline the committee’s focus and work to optimize efficiencies and effectiveness were primary considerations. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 2, 2010)

Securing and Prioritizing Ideas - Sheri Tydings, principal of Highland View Academy and member of the CU Curriculum Committee, assisted in listing, synthesizing, and categorizing feedback from members. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 2, 2010)

Making Better Use of Standardized Testing Data - Paulet Persing, local representative of Riverside Testing, provided an hour-long presentation on how to make the best use of the new tool - “IRMs” (Interactive Results Manager), to more effectively analyze and make use of what testing data reveal. Teachers who use the IRMs effectively can better plan not only for teaching methodologies but how to better assist individual students. (N. Wilson Auditorium; Columbia, MD; February 2, 2010)

Planning for the Next Generation of Teachers - Local conference superintendents and associates are pictured here meeting with Ann Dunbebin (WAU Education), the university instructor designated to negotiate student teacher placements with conference officials. The conference and union offices of education help subsidize these placements across schools in the Columbia Union, to the benefit of student teachers, schools, and the university. These rotations and placements help equip these prospective educators with practical teaching tools and experience. (Education Conference Room; Columbia, MD; February 2, 2010)

ECEC Work in Earnest - Evelyn Sullivan, Associate Director for Early Childhood Education/Care programs, has started her work in a full-time capacity. She is working diligently to develop protocols, procedures, policies, templates, etc. to assure a successful launch in the careful, collaborative oversight of school- and church-based early childhood learning centers across the Columbia Union. (Columbia Union Office; Columbia, MD; February 1, 2010)

A Review of “Pathways” Reading Strategies - LaVona Gillham, Associate Director for Education, meets with Desiree Bryant (center) and Nancy Melashenko for a tutorial review of the Pathways reading program as implemented here in the Columbia Union. The whole language reading program has been well-received in our field and our CUOE team is always more than willing to assist conference education personnel with enhancing implementation strategies. (CU Education Conference Room; Columbia, MD; February 1, 2010)

Mount Vernon Academy Board Meets - Meeting in the Worthington SDA Church for the first board meeting of 2010, members were engaged in addressing a number of key agenda items including: (1) results of an independent financial review, (2) review of current financials, personnel, proposed 2010-2011 academic year calendar, upcoming recruiting efforts, and other items deemed essential for board consideration as presented by Principal Stevenson in his report. (Worthington SDA Church; Worthington, OH; January 31, 2010)

Stevenson Briefs MVABOT - Rob Stevenson, principal of Mount Vernon Academy, is shown presenting his report to the Mount Vernon Academy Board of Trustees. Among the items Stevenson addressed were those key activities on campus that took place since the last meeting of the board: Parent Weekend/Fall Festival, Christmas concert, Student Week of Prayer, mission trip to Peru (on-going), and a gymnastics team trip to Highland Academy (TN). Upcoming events were also presented including student participation in a WAU Band Festival (2/8-10), AU Basketball Tournament (2/17-20), and Student Association Banquet (2/21). (Worthington SDA Church; Worthington, OH; January 31, 2010)

Hafner Provides a Sabbath Blessing - Dr. Karl Hafner, senior pastor of the Kettering Adventist Church, gave a sermon entitled, “What’s It All About - Sanctification” as part of a sermon series on “Submission.” Using humorous anecdotes, illustrations, and other means by which to focus congregants on the heart of his message, Dr. Hafner spoke of the (1) adventure of sanctification, (2) its “how;” (3) how we are chosen for sanctification (Epistles of Peter); and, sanctification in real life. I was truly blessed by his message. (Kettering Adventist Church; Kettering, OH; January 30, 2010)

New Sign Greets Students at Spring Valley Academy - Recently erected and displayed, Spring Valley Academy is now able to post events, important announcements, etc. for people to see as they enter or pass by the academy property. The completion of the project also allows SVA to “check off” a recommendation made the last visiting committee that evaluated the school. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; January 29, 2010)

Eye-catching Art on Display - Painted by Mrs. Bovee, wife of Principal Jeff Bovee, this painting is now displayed in the main entry way of the academy. Colorful and detailed, the picture has been embraced as a part of the “new” SVA, a school that now shows clear, visible evidence of significant renovations and improvements now well over a year after the fire that resulted in the closing of the building and the relocation of the program to Ridgefield. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; January 29.2010)

A Warm, Kind Welcome - Jeff Bovee, (second from right) Principal of Spring Valley Academy, has a wonderful supportive administrative team. The Academy is also blessed to have a competent, engaging “front desk” team of administrative assistants, registrar, etc. I am always grateful for the warm reception and kind accommodation I experience when visiting SVA. Whether Ms. Swetnam or Ms. Ring and/or others - efficient and effective work is complemented by kindness. Glen Hawkins (far right), also included in this photos, teaches band at SVA. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; January 29, 2010)

New Technologies - New Methodologies - A brief visit to Ms. Jobson’s third grade classroom provided the opportunity to be shown how the latest technological advantages are fostering more effective teaching and learning. Joined by enthusiastic, friendly students, Ms. Jobson’s teaching gains the advantage of significant flexibility and multiple uses of this new technology; a takeoff, if not improvement, on white boards. (SVA Third Grade Classroom; Centerville, OH; January 29, 2009)

Piano Lessons Anyone? - Ms. Grodrian provides over 80 students private piano lessons at SVA. Lessons are provided to students in all the grade levels, including many academy students. The piano you see was a generous gift provided to the academy by Mr. and Mrs. Fritsche, kind and long time benefactors. Last year’s fire caused extensive smoke damage throughout the school, creating the need for a new piano. Ms. Grodrian is most pleased with the piano now available to SVA students for lessons. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; January 29, 2009)

Learning About Parabolas - Students in Ms. Baldwin’s freshman algebra class showed full engagement in learning key math concepts during my brief visit to Ms. Baldwin’s classroom. This came as no surprise to me as Ms. Baldwin has been nominated by both the academy and the Ohio Conference Education Department for the 2010 Columbia Union Outstanding Educator Award (academy category). Ms. Baldwin teaches math to students in the middle grades. She also teaches science at both levels. (Spring Valley Academy; Centerville, OH; January 29, 2009)

A Gift Much Appreciated! - This might seem like a meaningless picture, but what you see is anything but meaningless to the students and staff of SVA. New tiles now cover the gymnasium stage surface largely by the kind gifts of the classes of 2007 and 2009. Interestingly, there is not one small or large improvement that all students of which SVA students are neither proud nor grateful. (Spring Valley Academy Gymnasium; Centerville, OH; January 29, 2009)

A REAL Queen! - LaVona Gillham, CU Associate Director of Education, is well known for her sense of humor as well as her professional skills. Often, LaVona kids with her fellow colleagues about needing special considerations. Even our education colleagues in the field catch many glimpses of her humor. Well, now it can be said that she not only wants special consideration, but has the garb to “demand” it! (Columbia Union Office; January, 2010)