From left to right:
Steve Zurek, associate superintendent; Beverley Bucknor, associate superintendent;
Teri Vasquez, secretary; Kathi Christenson, secretary; Don Dudley, superintendent;
Rachael Gil, admin. assistant; Mandi Staples, secretary; Bill Arnold, associate superintendent;
Robert Smith, associate superintendent
Our goal in the Office of Education is to assist in expanding the Kingdom of God through the ministry of teaching throughout the territory of the conference. The Office of Education assists our 19 schools and 4 early childhood education centers to be grace oriented, academically excellent, and distinctly Seventh-day Adventist Christian.
Highlights of the Last 5 Years
- To assist schools in the spiritual development of its faculty and students by being more intentional in integrating faith in learning and the implementation of a Character Education program.
- Set aside 25% or more of agenda time at Education Management Team (EMT) meetings to interact with and engage principals on topics that will impact their personal spiritual growth, and the spiritual growth of teachers and students.
- Provided a book for principals to read and share with their faculty members, “If My People Pray”, by Randy Maxwell.
- Provided a retreat once a year for principals to have time for spiritual renewal.
- Received reports from administrators on the Character Education programs on their campuses. This is in addition to the Bible curriculum.
- Coordinated a meeting with all Bible teachers’ grades 7-12 to focus on religious programming and curriculum goals.
- Assisted schools with weeks of Prayer, conference-wide Bible Conferences, worships and chapels.
- To continue to work on the concept of TEAM (Together Educators and Ministers… to evangelize our youth) activities to strengthen the ties between church and school.
- The Office of Education hired an education evangelist who focused on strengthening the relationship between school and church.
- Designated the month of April as a month to emphasize Christian education in churches to better connect the school to the church.
- To be more intentional about service learning.
- Emphasized service learning projects done by schools at EMT meetings.
- Established collaboration with the Youth Department and school administration to support schools in a joint school and church mission experience.
- To emphasize and provide professional growth opportunities for teachers and principals that will include the fall 2008 California Association of Private School convention and the 2012 NAD Teachers’ convention.
- SECC teachers attended the CAPSO (California Association of Private Schools) convention, 2008.
- Teachers were given $200.00 per year for two years to apply toward professional growth experiences.
- Sponsored administrators and teachers to attend the Differentiated Instruction Convention for the past five summers.
- Provided other professional growth emphasis in: Quality Schools and Choice Theory, Singapore Math, brain research and learning and subject area meetings.
- Over 300 educators from SECC attended the NAD Teachers’ Convention at the beginning of the 2012 school year.
- To nurture teachers toward leadership who express ability in education administration.
- The Office of Education is working with and is supporting schools in the development of administrators through the teaching principal and vice principal positions, and specialized committee work.
- a doctoral cohort has been completed and a masters’ cohort continues to be funded.
- To provide an ongoing best practices resource guide for the implementation of technology in the schools.
- A best practices document has been developed for expansion by the SECC Technology Committee with the intent of becoming a viable curriculum resource.
- To assist in the adoption of new NAD endorsed curriculum.
NAD adoptions implemented:
- Pathways language arts curriculum, grades 1-8
- Stepping Stones kindergarten curriculum
- By Design science curriculum, grades 1-8
- Go Math and Big Ideas curriculum, grades 1-8
- To explore ways to help multi-grade schools in the handling of finances and the development of a uniform financial statement.
- The SECC Treasury department has provided standardized accounting assistance to small schools.
- To work toward discovering new ways to provide scholarship assistance.
- The Office of Education assisted schools with seniors in jeopardy of not graduating because of delinquent accounts.
- An education stimulus package was developed which created a partnership with the Office of Education, local churches, and small schools to provide additional worthy student monies.
- To increase the Education Quasi Endowment, which is at 6.2 million in 2008, by $1 million.
- The Education Quasi Endowment Fund has received several large deposits because of a plan that matches deposits from schools and churches. This plan matched contributions up to a dollar for dollar from the Office of Education endowment. The endowment is now over 12 million dollars.
Future Plans and Goals
- To develop a strategic master plan for education in Southeastern California Conference which will include location of schools, enrollment strategies, subsidies, and other related demographics.
- To continue to work on strengthening the partnership between local churches and schools.
- To establish collaboration between the campus Bible teacher/chaplain with local pastors and youth pastors.
- To continue assisting schools in the spiritual development of its faculty members and students by integrating faith in learning and the implementation of Character Education programs.
- To continue to be intentional in encouraging service learning.
- To provide K-12 inservice for teachers and administrators that will address current teaching strategies and best practices.
- To nurture teachers toward leadership who express interest and demonstrate ability in education administration.
- To assist in the implementation of new NAD endorsed curriculum.
- To promote integration of technology in learning.
- To develop strategies to assist small schools with financial challenges.
- To assist schools with issues involving church school subsidy.
- To continue to grow the Education Quasi Endowment.
- To support schools in marketing initiatives that will make Adventist Education more accessible.