CAA Alum Starts Different Kind of Revival

December 23, 2020 | Education | Larry Hiday

As a high school student at Columbia Adventist Academy in Battle Ground, Washington, a “few years ago,” Doug Schmidt, class of 1980, was heavily impacted and inspired by a series of classes he began taking as a freshman: general shop, welding, woodworking, auto mechanics and construction. Not only did he learn skills that he continues to use today, he found creative joy and positive mentors.

Growing up without a dad, Schmidt found Reavis Belin, Doug Dietrich and Herb Waters to be more than teachers. They were mentors in love with their craft and eager to share.

Fast forward to 2020. It is Schmidt’s first year back at CAA. After spending the last 15 years as a school administrator, Schmidt has returned to the classroom and shop full time as a math and industrial arts teacher. This semester the sawdust is flying in his woodworking classes and being filtered thanks to the ingenuity of Schmidt’s applied mathematics students, who have designed and produced additional air filtration units for the shop.

Over the summer, Schmidt started working on both short-range and long-range goals for the industrial arts program. As other alumni and community members heard about Schmidt’s plans, they immediately got involved. This has helped CAA complete some of the short-range goals like adding new safety equipment and tools to the shop and work on reviving the welding program. With continued help and input from stakeholders, long-range plans for electrical upgrades are being developed and partnerships are being formed with local contractors. CAA staff pray reviving and reinventing these life-changing programs will bless the lives of many current students and those they touch, as they have the lives of alumni in decades past.