Oregon Conference Adventist schools have seen a dramatic increase in enrollment over the past couple of years, culminating in a 15-year high of more than 2,700 students for the 2022–2023 academic year.
Brandon O'Neal, Oregon Conference vice president for education, said, “Many families came to our schools during the pandemic because we offered more educational opportunities than public schools. Even after COVID-19 restrictions have eased, families have stayed because of the love their children felt in our school communities.”
The increase in enrollment has not only had an impact on students, but on their families as well. Megan Hall, principal of Rivergate Adventist Elementary, said, “Openness to community families has increased our enrollment significantly. One of these families took an opportunity to attend church with our school. I was told later that this was the first time the parent had attended church in 25 years. It has been amazing to see the opportunity to minister not only to students but also to families.”
Another critical part of the success of the 32 Oregon Conference schools are the teachers who have the sacred task of leading students to Jesus. Growth in enrollment has meant that school administrators had substantially more educator positions to fill for this school year than average. In spite of a shortage of available teachers, the schools were able to fill all 35 positions with quality educators — including bringing more international teachers to the team!
As this school year wraps up, we pray that Oregon Conference schools will continue to not only be centers of excellent academics, but also be spaces where students are loved and nurtured in faith.