In my years of work in Adventist schools I have tried to keep focused on the basic goals of Adventist education. This has sometimes been a difficult matter because parents send their children to our schools for a variety of reasons. Some want a safe place where their children can be protected from the rough and tumble life of a public school. Others want the academic benefits found in Adventist schools with smaller class size and teachers who give individual attention to their child. Still others value the spiritual atmosphere of the Adventist school. These are just a few of the things Adventist parents look for when selecting a school for their children.
While the mission of an Adventist school is indeed quite complex, Adventist educators must never lose sight of our primary reason-to-be: to bring our children and youth into a personal relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. As Larry Blackmer so eloquently stated in his recent article in the Review, we must maintain high academic standards in our schools, but first and foremost we must inculcate “distinctly Seventh-day Adventist values in our children.”
Trying to meet the multiple goals set for our schools is sometimes a daunting task. But success can only come as we keep the main goal in constant sight. I am very pleased to see that the educational leaders in the North American Division is giving renewed focus to the Adventist distinctives in our schools. Their effort in this will be a great service to Adventist teachers and administrators as they focus on the complex mission of our schools.