Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Found it in Your Mailbox?

Posted on April 12th, 2012

Many of you have already received the first issue of our newsletter, but for those of you that haven’t we wanted to keep you in the loop.

Included in the newsletter are:

  • Progress reports
  • A sneak-peak at findings from our academy Principal Perspective Survey
  • Photos and details from the Maranatha Volunteers International project at Thunderbird
  • An inside scoop from Thunderbird English teacher, Rondi Aastrup

You can expect the newsletter in your mailbox every April, July and October.

For those of you that aren’t on our mailing list here is a link to the newsletter PDF.

If you would like to begin receiving the newsletter in July email Kaleigh Benge at Please include your name and address.

Filed under Uncategorized

Thunderbird Adventist Academy Improvements

Posted on October 7th, 2011

We keep talking about the amazing progress that is being made at the Renaissance Network’s first pilot school—Thunderbird Adventist Academy. Now we want to share some pictures with you. The master plan is a work-in-progress, but we are thrilled by the improvements that have taken place just since July!

Here is what has been going on…

The Student Center: Old furniture was moved out to make room for new seating and old carpet was replaced. One wall was knocked out and another wall was built to section off a new library and Media Center where the students can gather to study and work on projects.

Girls Dorm: Although the girl’s dorm is in need of renovation, for now, the lobby has been freshened up with new paint, décor and seating.

Classrooms: The classrooms underwent a complete re-organization and were freshened up a bit.

Landscaping: Color flower pots were placed around campus and filled with flowers.

You will notice the before pictures are in the left column and latest updates on the right.

old student centernew student center

old student centernew library

Filed under News, Uncategorized

8 Excellent Teachers Awarded – 2 More To Go!

Posted on June 7th, 2011

Posted by Melissa Cechota, AAF Communications Coordinator

Since 2003, the Alumni Awards Foundation has recognized and awarded over a hundred teachers for their outstanding contributions to Adventist education. These teachers are the heartbeat of our schools, as mentioned in years past by our Director Melanie Litchfield. Since joining AAF two years ago, I have had the privilege of coordinating the Excellence in Teaching Awards process – from sending nomination packets to participating in the selection of finalists. This year I was even blessed to visit a school and award a teacher! I agree firmly with Melanie. Teachers who make an impact on their students and colleagues are never forgotten. I can still remember the teachers who made a difference in my life.

For this very reason, our staff takes the selection of our finalists very seriously. Nominations poured into our Foundation this year. Narrowing down the teachers most deserving of an Excellence award was both challenging and rewarding. We are so very pleased with our final 10. Jim Marxmiller

Since the beginning of May, members of our board and staff have traveled across the country to present teachers with an Excellence award. The award includes a medallion, Certificate of Excellence and a $2,000 gift. Members of local conferences and unions have joined the celebrations, and students have had the opportunity to publicly thank their teachers for the tremendous impact they have made.

Full disclosure of all 10 recipients will be released later this month. Even though I am dying to share the news now, I cannot simply because two more teachers have yet to receive their surprise award!

Please join us in congratulating these Teachers of Excellence.

Photos from the first eight presentations have been posted in our Photo Gallery and also on our Facebook page. It is with “thanks” that we gladly share these teachers’ accomplishments. Adventist education is viable into the future in the hands and hearts of these awesome teachers!

Filed under News, Uncategorized

Leadership Team Gears Up for Pilot Program

Posted on March 22nd, 2011

The Renaissance Network is a program that partners with school administrators, local school boards and conferences to create the best possible educational experiences for students. The purpose of the Renaissance Network is to “rebirth” Adventist secondary education into a network of Adventist academies that delivers excellence in the spiritual, academic, social, and physical development of our students. Local school boards who wish to join the program would establish a partnership with the Network through a contractual agreement.

The leadership team for the Network is emerging, and thus far includes David Daniels and Dr. Greg Gerard.

David Daniels is principal of Takoma Academy (TA) in Takoma Park, Maryland. TA offers advanced placement classes. Special education and vocational/technical programs are also available at this school. TA was one of the first schools to partner with the Commonweal Foundation on its Seventh-day Adventist Capacity Building Initiative. The initiative supports K-12 partner schools through evaluation, resources, training, and best practices collaboration.

Dr. Greg Gerard has been principal of Georgia-Cumberland Academy since 2002. The academy, located in Calhoun, Georgia, has seen a 25% increase in enrollment under Dr. Gerard’s leadership, and is currently running at full capacity. He holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University and belongs to the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Dr. Gerard has served as a member of the AAF Board for five years.

The core leadership team will lead a turnaround in one pilot school for 2011-2012. The school will be selected by mid-April. The team has identified the following as objectives for beta schools:

  1. Generously support the personal spiritual development of each student.
  2. Improve the academic outcomes of each student.
  3. Provide an environment where students value relationships more than rules.
  4. Enhance the opportunities for each student to grow physically through work, exercise, health, and wellness.
  5. Establish sound business operations in each school through outside governance management and financial resources.
  6. Increase enrollment through additional student aid, improved school programs, and facilities that meet or exceed expectations.

Filed under Uncategorized

AAF Visits Schools for Review

Posted on March 22nd, 2011

The Renaissance Network proposal for Adventist K-12 schools has been presented numerous times in the last month in our travels across the country. Director Melanie Litchfield, as well as several AAF board members and the Network model leadership team, have visited five schools as potential candidates for the pilot program set to launch this fall. Additional schools of consideration are on the traveling agenda through month-end. One to three beta schools will be selected for the pilot program by April 15.

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Education Directors More Supportive than Ever

Posted on February 17th, 2011

Representatives of AAF met with union directors in San Antonio, Texas on February 17 for a discussion of the latest initiative developments. After several hours of dialogue, union education directors said they are more supportive than ever of the program and expressed their encouragement of continued progress.

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January 2011

Posted on January 1st, 2011

Leadership team assembles to define pilot program. Details to follow soon.

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Summerour Speaks at National Summit on Adventist Education

Posted on October 22nd, 2010

AAF Co-Chairman Bob Summerour presented on La Sierra University’s campus for the first-ever National Summit on Adventist Education, co-sponsored by the university, the NAD, and the Pacific Union Conference. The summit was entitled Crossroads of Peril and Promise. Visit La Sierra’s site for the full summit article.

Filed under Uncategorized

Union Education Directors Review Proposed Education Model

Posted on October 6th, 2010

AAF met with union education directors in Williamsburg, Virginia, to review progress of the proposed education model and discuss next steps. After the model was presented, time was allocated to exploring questions and concerns. The directors unanimously gave their blessing to pursue further development.

Filed under Uncategorized

Academy Principals Receive Perspective Survey

Posted on September 15th, 2010

AAF has been sponsored by the Commonweal Foundation to conduct a survey that assesses Adventist schools from the perspective of current leadership. The survey was sent by email to the 108 academy principals in the NAD.

The survey has been developed in partnership with the Commonweal Foundation, with input from the NAD Office of Education and AAF Knowledge Community members. The survey covers important topics such as school boards and local church support.

Filed under Uncategorized

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