It Is All About Jesus

Antonee Aguilar, Scappoose-St. Helens Church pastor, and his wife, Girlie Aguilar, Scappoose Adventist School principal, wonderfully demonstrate the principles of the “Together As One” church and school collaboration. The collaboration was initiated and promoted to Oregon Conference by Angela White, associate superintendent of education and former principal of Scappoose Adventist School. While at Scappoose Adventist School, White and Larry Gibson, former Scappoose-St. Helens Church pastor, successfully focused their efforts to connect with children and their families to strengthen relationships with Jesus.

Today, the Aguilars are spreading the love of Jesus in both church and school. The school’s motto is "With Jesus — we grow, we love, we lead." The school, with nearly 80 community students, includes many families who don't attend church at all. For this reason, a top priority in the search for great educators is that they have a missionary’s heart. The school strives to be an impressive school of learning, as well as a builder of students’ characters, teaching them to have strong relationships with Jesus and become leaders throughout their lives.

Girlie is a beloved, trusted mentor and helper to both the children and their families. Antonee is continually involved in school activities, teaching math and building relationships with the children as well as serving as school photographer and an important mentor. He is starting a mountain bike club for the older students.

On the third Sabbath of each month, the church congregation welcomes student families as the students present a portion of the church service. Students and their families are then invited to join in a potluck following the church service. Many church members regularly assist in classrooms and attend school activities, building relationships with families in this manner as well.

This year, Girlie is excited to add the Three Angels’ Messages curriculum. "It is such a blessing and valuable tool to support the message of God’s love, to strengthen our children's knowledge of America’s rich history and give them a better understanding to articulate their arguments against untruths, as well as spread the message of hope, the Three Angels’ Messages," said Girlie. "It is a timely addition to fill a great need and we thank those who brought us this. There is an intense battle going on between good and evil, and much of it is over our children."

To reach out to more children in the community, the school has a vision of a larger school, at a cost of $6.5 million, as it is not feasible to add on to the current building. The most recent fundraising effort was the school’s first gala event, which was held at Columbia County Fairgrounds in St. Helens, Oregon, on Nov. 13, 2022. If you would like to attend or support the next fundraising event, please contact Girlie Aguilar at 269-697-3136 or visit the website at

We must remember, our schools are so much more than educational facilities in the communities they serve.

Featured in: January/February 2023