Alaska educators gathered during August at the conference office in Anchorage for their biannual teachers’ meeting. The new school year brought numerous changes to the teaching team, with five new members joining the conference and the introduction of a new student information system.
Teachers spent the first of the three days with Martha Ban, North American Division technology and support director. Ban provided training for Jupiter, the new student information system implemented conference-wide for the 2017–18 school year. She provided a clear understanding of how the system works in conjunction with the North American Division’s Dashboard to capture and track student information as they move through the Adventist educational system.
The second day was spent certifying teachers to teach Encounter, the newest curriculum that brings the Bible to life in Adventist schools. Lanelle Cobbin, New Zealand Pacific Union Conference curriculum specialist and Encounter trainer, led a lively, interactive presentation during which the teachers joined in hands-on training, sharing thoughts and leading out.
Encounter uses a holistic approach of teaching the Bible with the goal of building a lifelong relationship with our Savior. One teacher was so impressed with Cobbin’s presentation, she suggested bringing her back as a speaker for Alaska pastors.
The meetings closed with Patti Revolinski, North Pacific Union Conference elementary and curriculum director, who shared the latest updates on the Pathways integrated literacy program. Conference staff was also on-hand to help answer questions for the teachers.
The meetings are a critical way of bringing Alaska teachers together to bond and begin the year on a positive start. Because Alaska schools are physically so far apart, educators — particularly those in one-teacher schools — many times don’t have the luxury of speaking with a colleague in their community to brainstorm an issue. The fall meeting is one way to assist teachers in creating a support system with each other. The conference welcomes and lifts each teacher and student in prayer for God to richly bless them this school year.