• Connecting people to an abundant life with Jesus Christ and preparing them for His return


Lodi Schools Avert Disaster!

Lodi Schools Avert Disaster! 800 600 Ken Miller

The 22-day storm that recently bombarded California did not leave Lodi Academy and Elementary schools unscathed.

Lance Lemos, business manager, said, “We had about 35 inches of rain that completely saturated the soil. With that sogginess, the accompanying wind took down about six trees on the two campuses.”

The more significant trees included mature cedars and spruce that music teacher Jeanine Hanson remembers from the boarding school era – decades ago.

After the storm passed, cleanup started immediately. Volunteers and staff began cutting the trees into fireplace-sized wood to sell in a future fundraiser. The logs too big to cut were removed on trailers by volunteers.

Elementary principal Lisa Nuss said, “We hated to lose our beautiful trees out in front of the school. But God has a reason. What is amazing is that one tree fell just a foot away from our music building!”

Lemos concluded, “God sent all those trees in the right direction, thankfully avoiding building damage.”

Featured in Northern Lights, January26, 2023

Pine Hills Choir Wows Capitol Crowd

Pine Hills Choir Wows Capitol Crowd 1200 626 Ken Miller

December 6- Pine Hills Academy Choir helped Sacramento Capitol visitors ring in the Christmas Season by performing a selection of sacred and secular holiday music.

As part of the Capitol Holiday Music Program, the Choralaires performed in the Capitol Rotunda. According to David Carreon, principal, “It is amazing and satisfying to have our talented students perform in such a public setting.”

Carreon continued, “It is a privilege to be able to share the story of Jesus’ birth through song in such a secular setting. To see our young people minister through music and interact with the community is what Adventist education is all about.”

Featured in Northern Lights, January 5, 2023

Back From The Ashes With A Win

Back From The Ashes With A Win 1200 675 Ken Miller

December 9- Redwood Academy celebrated the opening of its new gymnasium by hosting a basketball game. The former gym was burned along with the school during the Santa Rosa Tubbs fire in 2017.

According to Lisa Paulson, principal, “Redwood has so much to offer our community, excellent education, our food farm program, and now our gymnasium with events lined up one after another. We are so blessed and ecstatic to have it ready!”

Receiving their occupancy permit on December 6, they promptly had their first basketball practice on Wednesday in preparation for a game on Friday. And play they did! The 7th and 8th-grade boys battled back from a 12-point deficit to win their game against a local undefeated team.

According to Matthew Beehler, financial chair, and coach, “We were definitely the underdogs in this game, so winning 42 to 38 may have been sparked by being on our new home court.”

Paulson concluded, “It’s been an extraordinary week, the end of a long wait. Winning this game was a great way to inaugurate our shiny new home.”

<em>Featured in Northern Lights, December 15, 2022</em>

Acts Of Kindness

Acts Of Kindness 1908 993 Ken Miller

On October 7, students from Chico Oaks school served their community in unique ways.

Each class team chose an act of kindness for someone in their community.

The kindergarten class collected donations for the Butte Humane Society and delivered them to the animals. Students in first and second grade gave out flowers and appreciation letters around the neighborhood. Third and fourth graders picked up trash, and grades fifth to eighth cleaned up a local park and wrote letters to local veterans.

Principal Leslie Bartsch said, “These types of service opportunities set Adventist education apart from the rest. When academics and acts of service show love to our neighbors, we can foster an atmosphere of quality instruction and spiritual growth.”

Featured in Northern Lights November 10, 2022

Academy In The Mountains

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By Rio Lindo Junior Kaia Miller

Almost 200 Junior and Senior academy students from Northern gathered at Leoni Meadows on the weekend of October 22 for an annual spiritual retreat.

Students enjoyed worship services, group discussions, and time outside in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains forming friendships and learning how to be community-relevant at their schools.

Rio Lindo Senior Isabella Wilmes said, “This weekend taught me much about who I am and how I best connect with God.” Lodi Academy Junior Madie Johnson shared a similar sentiment; she said, “The musical worship part of the event really made me feel the presence of God.”

Eddie Heinrich, director of youth ministries said, “The Junior Senior Retreat is a way to bring a personal relationship with Jesus into focus, nurturing contagiously kind students with a servant’s heart.”

Featured in Northern Lights November 3, 2022


Teachers Tackle Tasks

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Northern teachers met at Gracepoint church Monday morning for a conference-wide in-service.

According to Lodi Elementary principal, Lisa Nuss, “We have four new teachers this year at Lodi so quick team-building success and conference procedural help is very important.”

Education superintendent Albert Miller said, “Our territory is large geographically and spread out. We set up several of these gatherings every year to support our teachers, discuss important issues, and promote a flow of information going in both directions.”

The day’s activities include new employee orientation and many breakout sessions that offer continuing education credits.

One of three teachers in an eight grade school, Yreka kindergarten teacher Diona Lowery noted, “I was a walk-on teacher last year so these meetings are my crash-course in education management. I loved Keith Jacobson’s message at worship and God has blessed our fifty-student school. I can’t wait to see my little ones next week!”

Featured in Northern Lights • August 11, 2022

Lodi Academy Schools in Parade of Lights

Lodi Academy Schools in Parade of Lights 720 480 Julie Lorenz
On Dec. 2, Lodi Academy Schools again participated in the annual Lodi “Parade of Lights,” joining nearly 80 floats moving through Lodi’s quaint Christmas-decked downtown. Spectators started lining up in the morning for the evening parade, during which more than 15,000 people waved at the participants and enjoyed the holiday event.
Lodi Academy’s float was pulled by a bright-red 1947 truck decked out with a Christmas tree in the back! Covered in lights and shimmering tinsel, the younger students piled onto hay bales down the center of the float and waved bells while the onboard sound system played variations of “Joy to the World.”
More than 150 Lodi SDA Elementary and Lodi Academy students, family members, and friends joined the contingent, waving and wishing spectators a “Merry Christmas” from Lodi Academy Schools.
“Seeing that people enjoy seeing the truck and all the energy from the crowd makes this a really special event and worth the work,” said Kevin Haesche, Lodi Academy’s facilities manager. “Lodi Academy really gets to show people what we are all about in a very public way.”
Local churches and schools share the float fun of spreading Christmas cheer through other events as the joy of Christmas month continues! Galt SDA Elementary used the academy’s float as part of a parade they joined in Galt, and Lodi’s English Oaks and Fairmont churches will use it for caroling in the surrounding neighborhoods during the holidays. Members can join caroling groups on Sunday, Dec. 19 with English Oaks, and Wednesday Dec. 22 with Fairmont.

(Credit for first photo: Dave Marson Photography; Other photos: school supplied)

Resilience in the Classroom: When Students Take Ownership of Their Learning

Resilience in the Classroom: When Students Take Ownership of Their Learning 960 639 nccsadmin

By Rika Meyer and Nick Sigler

Teachers in all grades are observing varying levels of learning loss in students after an entire year of instruction online. At Rio Lindo Adventist Academy, new students who attended a public school the previous year have demonstrated that their knowledge is not at grade level. A record four new students are repeating a grade this year after not receiving credit for last year’s high school classes.

One surprising aspect of learning in a COVID world is demonstrated by Rio’s freshman class. This class of 25 students has overwhelmingly taken ownership of their learning and turned their challenges into resilience as they find intrinsic motivation that we haven’t seen before in a freshman class. The freshman class also has a record high number of students who had previously attended an Adventist school—with 22 out of 25 coming from Adventist education, versus about half of all other new students, who have previously attended a public school.

English teacher Nick Sigler (pictured above) explains:

“At the end of most units, I have my students complete a reflection survey. This wrap-up assists them in taking what they learned about the content, the educational process, and themselves and applying it to future subject matter. My hope is always that they will grow both in their knowledge and gain confidence in themselves as students. The comments usually run the gamut: ‘I wasn’t interested in this subject,’ ‘Assign less reading,’ ‘I think I did pretty good.’ This is all normal teenage perspective on school and studying.

“However, this year (and the previous 18 months) has elicited a new perspective from my students that I haven’t seen before. When I assigned the first unit reflection, the comments by and large exhibited a more determined tone than I have ever seen before in my years of teaching. Students commented: ‘I know I can do better and I want to try harder this unit,’ ‘I’m enjoying reading so much more now,’ and ‘I am going to spend more time preparing for class.’

“Two characteristics of this point of view jumped out at me. Number one: their comments were ‘I’ focused. Then took ownership of their efforts and acknowledged what they each individually had put into their unit. If they had not done as well as they could have, they owned their mistakes. Which leads us to number two. These comments exhibited a growth mindset. The growth mindset is an indicator of success because it demonstrates the person is looking at obstacles as opportunities. It is a brave resilience that shows their ability to grow in the face of struggle.

“I believe this resilience is a product of what all our students have gone through this last year and a half. Our Rio students faced school as they have never known it before; they have been ingenious about how to make their lives work in a quarantined existence; they have had to pivot at a moment’s notice. And yet through all of it, they can still see the possibilities for growth and improvement.

“I am hopeful. If a student body can see their own potential, take ownership of their mistakes, and set goals for themselves, then the future of Rio Lindo, our country, and our planet looks like a place we all want to be.”
Rika Meyer is Rio’s vice president of marketing, admissions & development.
Nick Sigler is Rio’s English teacher.

New Beginners Campaign Successfully Raises $77,000 Thanks to the Generosity of NCC Compassionate Givers

New Beginners Campaign Successfully Raises $77,000 Thanks to the Generosity of NCC Compassionate Givers 1200 801 Julie Lorenz

At the beginning of March, we set a goal of $47,000 to cover a portion of tuition for 172 new students in NCC kindergartens for the 21-22 school year. We also set a miracle goal of $30,000 to support an additional 108 new kindergarteners.

Thanks to the generosity of NCC compassionate givers, we have raised the full $77,000 for the New Beginners Educational Fund! With matching funds from the Pacific Union Conference, we have the ability to cover one month of tuition for up to 280 new beginners in our schools.

“This is a great way to introduce new families to our school system,” said Wayne Gungl, associate superintendent of education. “It’s one more reason for parents who have been thinking about Adventist education to say, ‘I’ll give it a try.’”

Parents appreciate the help as they make plans for next school year. “This support is truly a gift from God, and to know that one month is free is a serious blessing,” said one father. “I really would like to thank those who made this happen. You made a difference in the life of my family. Thank you!”

“I am humbled by the act of kindness and am privileged to interact with our compassionate givers,” said Laurie Trujillo, director of communication and development. “They are an incredible group of people who go above and beyond to help others.”

Students in Adventist kindergartens learn more than just the foundations of reading and math. They are learning to follow Jesus and care about others.

An education journal recently surveyed executives at top companies, asking what skills K-12 students need to be successful. “They said they wished kids would learn how to work in teams, how to problem solve, how to adapt when things go wrong – all kinds of things about learning to work effectively with other people,” reported Gungl.

Adventist education has been focusing on these skills since its beginning. “Our whole school system is based around the model of Jesus, who was the most effective collaborator – a great model for how to work with people,” said Gungl. “Our schools are teaching all the academic skills, but they are also teaching the relationship skills that are found in Jesus. When you build on that from kindergarten up, I think it makes a real difference.”

Bible Donors Engage Their Calling to Ministry

Bible Donors Engage Their Calling to Ministry 480 360 Julie Lorenz
When last fall’s Glass Fire burned the main building at Foothills Adventist Elementary School, the students in grades 5-8 (pictured) lost their personal Bibles, which they used each day in class.
When told of their need, a compassionate donor made it possible for each of the 22 students to receive a new Bible of their choice. The children excitedly chose their Bibles online from the Adventist Book Center. Another donor gave funds for each Bible to be personalized with its owner’s name engraved on the cover.
The students were extremely grateful for the donors. “I can’t wait for my new Bible to come,” said Savanna.
“Thank you to the people who are paying for this!” Kolten agreed. “I cannot wait to read my new Bible. Thank you!” he said.
“Do you know Bible plus Heart equals Life?” wrote Fatimah. “Thank you for this gift.”