Bolstering Adventist Education in Oklahoma
Adventist education provides children with incredible training, both for this life and for life eternal. In the Oklahoma Conference, we are bolstering this training through commissioning teachers, building a new school facility, hiring new school administrators and focusing on systematic prayer. We look forward to the new school year full of excitement and determination.
At camp meeting this year, four teachers were honored with Commissioned Ministry of Teaching Credentials. To receive this credential, selected teachers must demonstrate a lifelong commitment to the church's educational system. They must have at least six years of proficient service in education, in addition to holding denominational professional certification; a keen sense of Christian responsibility for nurturing and leading students to accept Jesus Christ as Savior; positive interpersonal relationships that help create an environment of social, spiritual and emotional stability; and consistently uphold Christ as the focal point of curriculum and instruction.
The Commissioned Ministry of Teaching Credential is the highest level of credential that an Adventist educator can receive and we are proud of the continued excellence that these educators share daily with their students. The four teachers were Charise Sandovol of Muskogee Seventh-day Adventist Academy, Amy Ward of Pioneer Adventist Christian School in Guymon, and Victoria Toews and Kimberly Bokovoy of Tulsa Adventist Academy.
In a time when many schools are facing challenges with student recruitment, Muskogee Seventh-day Adventist Academy is projecting a growth in enrollment. In fact, they're building a new school facility. And, once the new building is completed, the academy plans to add more grade levels to better serve their community.
Two new school administrators were introduced at camp meeting this summer as well. Shaun Lazarus is Tulsa Adventist Academy’s Principal and Annette Park is Parkview Adventist Academy’s Principal. Both have stressed the importance of making the spiritual component of Adventist education prominent this coming year. One way that TAA plans on making a lasting spiritual impact is through student-led evangelism. Annette Park plans to continue a daily prayer focus with her students highlighting, PAA’s theme for the year, “We Are Called.”
As Superintendent of Education for the Oklahoma Conference, there two things that I will ask the Oklahoma teachers to implement this coming year. The first is that teachers should find a way to pray systematically with each student. When students see teachers modeling a prayer life, and they witness the power of prayer in their lives, prayer becomes a powerful weapon in their arsenal for future use. The second important item: teachers need to share with students the importance of choosing God daily. There is no grey area; it is either God or not. As we prepare our students to excel in this world and into eternity, we need to make sure everyday, that we choose God.