Educating the Whole Student

June 30, 2023

ALVARADO, TEX. – Education is so much more than reading, writing and arithmetic, and Adventist Education is so much more than adding a Bible class. Lives are changed in classrooms, mission trips, outreach opportunities and special events. Being a part of something gives students purpose, a feeling of belonging and of making a difference. Throughout the Texas Conference, school staff at our 22 schools work hard to educate the whole student.

The Texas Conference Office of Education assists this process by organizing special events, such as Bible Camp for freshmen, a Music Conference for seventh and eighth graders, and Outdoor School for fifth and sixth graders. These events offer a special time for students to come together. View pictures on the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Flickr account at

“It is especially helpful for our smaller schools,” said Kisha Norris, vice president for Education. “These events provide students with opportunities they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise because of the number of students at their school.” 

Focused on the spiritual aspect of the students, Texas Conference Ministry and Evangelism is helping to fund a chaplain at each Texas Conference academy campus to encourage biblical conversations and Bible studies. 

“Thirteen to 18 is such a critical age for students,” said Nathan L. Krause, vice president for Ministry and Evangelism. “We want to make sure we have someone on campus available to help them with the most important decision of their life, their relationship with their best friend, Jesus.”

“Serious mental stress is a fact of life for many American teens,” Drew DeSilver shared in an online Pew Research Center article titled, “The Concerns and Challenges of Being a U.S. Teen: What the Data Show. “In the new survey, seven-in-ten teens say anxiety and depression are major problems among their peers.” 

“We must be talking about more than just their GPA,” shared Ellen Thomas, principal of Burton Adventist Academy (BAA) in Arlington, Tex. In recent years, BAA has added classes to its Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) curriculum to guide student discussions and critical thinking, helping to process some of the mental stress they are feeling. “Not everyone is a great test taker, but everyone is an important member of society. We need to find each student’s gift and encourage them.”

South Texas Christian Academy (STCA) in McAllen, Tex., celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2022. Houston Adventist Academy in Cypress, Tex., had a tremendous increase in students since it was flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and offered online school during the pandemic. 

“We are so proud of all our students, staff and schools!” Norris added. “Most of our schools have seen an increase in enrollment since COVID-19.”

See if you have an Adventist school near you. Click “Find a School” at the top left of the website for the list of schools. Contact the school for a visit. Consider sponsoring a student or volunteering with meals, tutoring, field trips or whatever needs the school may have to help educate the whole student. 

“As the expression goes, ‘It takes a village,’ said Elton DeMoraes, Texas Conference president. “We must work together to provide the resources our young people need. The Determined campaign is designed to create a $1.5 million education endowment. When we reach that goal, the interest will provide scholarships for students desiring to attend a Texas Conference school but need extra financial assistance.” 

Join us in making an eternal difference for our young people.

View other pictures at

By Tamara Michalenko Terry

Associate Director for Communication & Public Relations