Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Negrete’s Care Reason for Increased Students

Posted on June 11th, 2013
El Dorado Adventist School | Northern California Conference
Seventh and Eight Grade

Guadalupe Negrete_4For the past eight years, the retention rate for bringing eighth grade students into the high school program at El Dorado Adventist School (EAS) was 50 percent at best, but because of Guadalupe Negrete’s gift of loving and connecting with the junior high students, the retention rate for eighth grade increased from 50 percent to 90 percent, and the high school has doubled in size over the last four years.

Her care for her students, parents and prospective new families, as well as the eighth grade Appreciation Dinner, are just some examples of her commitment and attention to the school and her students. (more…)

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Barizo Transforms Quality of Education at Local School

Posted on June 6th, 2013
Highland View Academy | Chesapeake Conference
Chair of the Science Department

IFStudents usually look forward to field trips because it gets them out of the classroom. But the excitement Ophelia Barizo brings to her students at Highland View Academy (HVA), including learning outside the classroom, helps catapult them into thriving academically in her courses.

“One of my desires as a teacher is to inspire learning in my students, and to model the excitement which comes from learning and discovery,” says Barizo. “I need to set high standards and expectations and encourage students, by example and positive reinforcement, to reach these expectations, and to be the best they can be.” (more…)

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Morada’s Hands-on Lessons Makes it All Worth it

Posted on May 29th, 2013
Thunderbird Adventist Academy | Arizona Conference
U.S. & World History, Government, Economics, and Vice Principal of Student Life


Oliver Morada_1It’s not unusual to find Oliver Morada standing on a chair, getting his students’ attention as he excitedly shares an important concept.

“Clear the classroom and place all desks and chairs to the sides,” he says with excitement.

Morada’s unique style of teaching is one of his most significant attributes as a teacher. He has the ability to take an ordinary subject and make it come alive to his students, making a lecture-based class into a hands-on history lesson at Thunderbird Adventist Academy (TAA).

“He intermingles direct instruction with student-centered activities,” says Principal Richard Maloon. “He encourages a high order of thinking and leads discussions with questions and contemporary, relevant content that stimulates reflection.” (more…)

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Minty Makes a Positive Impact on School

Posted on May 16th, 2013
Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary School | Potomac Conference
5th and 8th Grade

Jim Minty_1Jim Minty is known for how involved he is at Shenandoah Valley Adventist Elementary (SVAE). Parents, other teachers and students appreciate the extra time he spends taking care of the school, teaching extra-curricular classes like band, choir and handbells and also making sure his classroom is a safe environment where every student feels accepted for who they are. Specially, Minty goes above and beyond to fight bullying in his classroom by talking openly with students and parents about teasing.

Joe Fralick, the SVAE’s principal, said that he’s had numerous parents, teachers, and board members approach him with a desire to see Minty receive the Excellence in Teaching Award for the outstanding contributions that he has made to the school and the community. “His standards of excellence help others strive for the same,” Fralick added.


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Have You Seen Our April Newsletter?

Posted on May 14th, 2013

The AAF April 2013 Newsletter should be arriving in your mailbox any day now! This issue announces the growth of the Renaissance Network and gives details about the partnerships with Hinsdale Adventist Academy and Madison Academy. If you would like more information about the Renaissance Network or how your school can join feel free to contact us!

To read the entire issue, click on the newsletter below.

April Newsletter












If you would like to receive a hard copy of our newsletters, please email your name and mailing address to

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Renaissance Network welcomes two new schools into the program

Posted on April 25th, 2013

The Renaissance Network is growing! We at the Alumni Awards Foundation (AAF) are proud to announce that we are adding two more schools into the Renaissance Network: Hinsdale Adventist Academy (HAA) in Chicago and Madison Academy (MA) in Nashville, Tenn.

RN Pull Quote_Bob

The Renaissance Network is a new school-management program that seeks to build a strong network of respected, influential Adventist schools that elevate the standard of the entire education system. The Renaissance Network achieves this by providing K-12 schools with outside resources and management expertise through long-term partnerships.

“On behalf of the entire AAF Board of Directors, we are pleased to be working with Hinsdale, Madison, the school boards, the Illinois Conference and the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference in our journey to develop a Division-wide network of viable model schools,” said Dr. Robert Summerour, AAF board chairman. “Our vision is to make Renaissance schools among the most respected and influential schools in the country – raising the bar in their communities and in Adventist education, everywhere.”

Schools accepted into the program are connected with a powerful support system that encourages excellence in the spiritual, academic, social, and physical development of students. HAA and MA in collaboration with Thunderbird Adventist Academy (TAA) will receive external management expertise, comprehensive school planning services, and other resources through partnership with the Renaissance Network. (more…)

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A Day in the Life of Thunderbird Adventist Academy

Posted on February 19th, 2013

Have you been wondering what has been going on at Thunderbird Adventist Academy? The latest addition of TAA’s newsletter, The Thunderer, describes the typical day for the students and staff. Going through the entire day, including after school hours, this issue describes a day in the life of TAA. Click here to read the entire issue.

Thunderer #2-12-r-1_Page_1

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Make a pledge by Friday for your donation to be tripled!

Posted on January 8th, 2013


We have a group of generous donors who have offered to give $2 for every $1 that is given or pledged by this Friday, January 11. Although 2012 is behind us, you can still show your support by making a pledge for 2013. Your gift will be tripled by our matching partners if you pledge by this Friday, January 11. Here is how:

  1. Visit our secure donate page.
  2. Call our office directly: 423.308.1855
  3. E-mail your information.

Our matching partners have challenged us to raise $100,000. We still need $30,000 by this Friday, January 11, to reach this goal. Please join us now while we still have this opportunity to give $300,000 toward improving Adventist education.

We would like to extend our appreciation to those who have already donated toward our Matching Program. Your donation will help AAF build the Renaissance Network, which gives Adventist schools the people, systems, technology and practices needed to become centers of excellence. Follow this link to see where your dollar goes. Our first school in the Renaissance Network, Thunderbird Adventist Academy, has seen excellent results and is looking forward to advancing even more in 2013.


Do you know an amazing teacher who deserves recognition? There are only a couple of weeks left to nominate a teacher for an Excellence in Teaching Award. Each recipient will receive a $2,000 cash gift, a certificate of excellence and public recognition throughout the North American Division. Help us recognize the best teachers in our school system by submitting a nomination here. Make sure that the completed nomination form is postmarked by January 22, 2013.

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2012 Year in Review

Posted on December 18th, 2012

A year and a half has gone by since we launched the Renaissance Network at Thunderbird Adventist Academy. Without God’s guidance and the support of generous donors and like-minded organizations, none of the progress would have been possible.

The accomplishments at Thunderbird have generated a lot of interest to join the Renaissance Network—more than our capacity allows as we are funded solely by donations. But with a new year nearly upon us, we are looking forward to expanding the Network to two more schools for the 2013-2014 school year.

Below is a quick review of milestones reached this year.

January – Dormitory renovation preparations began at Thunderbird. The Commonweal Foundation contributed $300,000 for materials and Maranatha Volunteers International gathered a group of talented volunteers.

FebruaryMore than 60 Maranatha volunteers descended on Thunderbird’s campus and completed more than $70,000-worth of labor. Watch a video about the project here.

March – We launched AAF’s first-ever print newsletter.

May – After assisting Thunderbird in a year-long search for a permanent principal, Rick Maloon accepted the offer for the position. Maloon came with a successful background in teaching, administration and business.

June – We honored 10 outstanding teachers with an Excellence in Teaching Award and $2,000.

July – With such successful first-year results, Thunderbird signed on for a second year of partnership with the Renaissance Network. We wrote about it in AAF’s summer issue of our print newsletter.

August – We joined thousands of teachers and principals in Nashville, Tenn., for the NAD Teachers’ Convention. We met with over 1,500 people at our booth and hosted two breakout sessions about the Renaissance Network.

September – Thunderbird experienced a nearly 30 percent increase in enrollment since the school originally signed on with the Renaissance Network.

October – The AAF Board of Directors met to discuss the expansion of the Renaissance Network in 2013. It was decided to take two more schools. We published the fall issue of our print newsletter.

November – Our peer-reviewed article on enrollment, funding and governance was published in the Journal of Adventist Education.

December – On Giving Tuesday we launch our 2012 matching program. This year we had a group of generous donors come forward to match every $1 that comes in with $2 – even pledges for 2013! All of the dollars that come in will go directly to growing the Renaissance Network.

​As we plan for 2013, we ask for your continued prayer and support.

Did you miss the progress of our first Network School?

  • Read specifics on Thunderbird Adventist Academy improvements through their education and business plan here.
  • See Renovation Phase 1 photos here.
  • Learn the ins-and-outs of how the Renaissance Network works here.

Filed under News, Uncategorized

Where Does Your Dollar Go?

Posted on November 30th, 2012

To principals and business managers who want to see results
Each school is paired with a management team of education professionals that vision, guide and provide accountability. These professionals help create business and education plans for the school.


To teachers desiring professional development
Renaissance teachers are provided the resources and opportunities to learn, grow and become exceptional in their field. Which in turn, brings greater excellence to the school and system as a whole.


To students desiring an Adventist education
Schools we work with will track the progress of individual students and use data to improve teaching. Rigorous and relevant coursework will afford students the best college-bound educational experience available.

To school communities needing to kickstart their fundraising
Each school receives an in-depth analysis and guidance writing a capital-campaign program as well as matching funds for special projects.


To changing the way we “do” Adventist education
The Renaissance Network will demonstrate best practices in Adventist education to improve the system as a whole.

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