Sitka Adventist School Meets Star Wars, Jurassic Park
Have you ever heard people ask, “Is this school only for Adventists?” or “What? There’s a Christian school in my town?” For the last six years as head teacher of the Sitka Adventist School, I have heard those questions repeatedly. This is amazing, since my school has been here for more than 50 years and, in this historic fishing destination on the southeast coast of Alaska, people tend to know your business better than you do. So I decided to show them what and who we are by focusing this year on marketing. It didn’t matter that I knew absolutely nothing about marketing. Perhaps all Adventist education majors should have to take a class in marketing after working through years of dead ends and failures with hard work, money and prayer, all of which take time.
Ahh … time. That thing that teachers and mothers of toddlers don’t have, that thing that pregnant ladies don’t have. I happen to be all three, but made time to market our school through boosting Facebook posts and hiring a professional to make a 90-second video. What better way to showcase the video than at the movie theater? People see it, some three or four times, if they get there early enough. During summer blockbusters like Star Wars and Jurassic Park, they heard about our school. As a result, more than 15 new students were interviewed as part of a new “scholar visit” program, where potential students come visit the school for a day without their parent.
This year God blessed us with a 140 percent growth in enrollment, growing from five students to 12 this year. My day now starts at 4 a.m. to prepare lessons, but exposure to alternate education choices was needed in this town. Taking the time to invite people to see the importance of Christian education was a first step in the right direction. I now understand the need to write our story on God’s terms to realize His full blessings: “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).