There are myriad options when it comes to receiving an education these days. One of those options, of course, is our own Seventh-day Adventist school system. Begun in the 1870s, it has grown to more than 1,000 institutions worldwide that offer a quality, Christian take on what it means to learn.
However, with the competitive spirit of current society, the question persists, “So why Adventist education?” Why choose a smaller educational environment? Why pay tuition prior to college? Why choose the local Adventist school out of the many other schools nearby?
At Puget Sound Adventist Academy in Kirkland, Wash, we believe that these very aspects are what present students with unique opportunities to learn, to interact on campus, and to serve their community. When asked what words came to mind to describe PSAA, students supplied the adjectives “family,” “comfortable,” “connected,” “lively” and “interactive.” To illustrate, the annual Spring Concert and Student Art Exhibition on May 25 was a special evening on campus when these character traits were vividly shared.
Through the hard work of directors Craig Mohr and Elton and Anika Zebron, PSAA’s music program has become one set apart locally and beyond. With this in mind, students, staff and parents alike had been anticipating the show. In the words of parent Troy Perry, “This is always the best!”
Featuring musical selections from classical, gospel, modern and world genres, it was an evening that displayed the students’ dedication throughout the year to achieve exceptional sets. More profoundly, the concert also demonstrated the spirit of community and creative talent inherent to PSAA.
This same spirit and creativity were made all the more evident by the Student Art Exhibition, also a part of the evening. Begun several years ago by English instructor Anika Zebron and thanks to the Don Keele Excellence in Education Award, the show consisted of projects conceived by students on this year’s theme, “Vocabularies: Multiculturalism in Our Community.”
Students created works of art personal to their heritage. With the diverse student body of PSAA, it proved to be a colorful and inspired show. Students also supplied personal rationales to accompany their art. Freshman Dariana Badillo wrote, “One of my dreams is to live in a world with equality for all people ... . My piece shows kids from seven different nations in their native clothing being happy together as friends.”
So, why Adventist education? At PSAA, the answer is found in what we do here. This year’s Spring Concert and Student Art Exhibition is a reminder that “smaller schools” mean more interaction and personalized programing, setting them apart and making them worth the investment. When one night helps answer “why Adventist education?” it validates what we work to accomplish together and is truly something to celebrate.