Steve Baughman Enjoys the ‘Lifestyle’ of Education at Boarding Academy

Posted on July 5th, 2011

A PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM STEVE BAUGHMAN, 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

When I was in my junior year at Indiana Academy, I had two teachers who had the most positive, easy-going outlooks on life that I had ever remembered seeing in a Christian. The impact they had on me was so significant that I negotiated with my parents to allow me to work a second job my senior year so that I could afford to stay in the dormitory where one of those teachers was my dean. Up to that point in my life I was unsure of what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” Following that year I realized that whatever I ended up doing, I wanted to do it at an Adventist school; specifically, an Adventist boarding academy.

Upon nearing completion of my college degree and beginning to look for employment opportunities, I realized that I was at a crossroads in my life. I knew I wanted to teach at a boarding academy but was unsure of where. I went to God in prayer and laid the decision at His feet. I then sent a resume to every boarding school in the United States with the prayer that God would call me to where He wanted me. When I received a call to interview at Highland Academy, I knew that it was God’s leading. There may come a day when He calls me to another academy, or maybe even another line of work altogether, but I know that He brought me here and has been blessing me abundantly ever since.

Working at an Adventist boarding academy provides a unique opportunity to be involved in a “lifestyle” of education. Beyond just exchanging facts in the classroom, which can be important in learning, life at an Adventist boarding academy adds the benefit of naturally taking the educational process outside the walls of a classroom. Interacting with the students throughout the day, whether it is at meals or on the ball field, allows true relationships to develop and foster. Being at a school where you can come into contact with students in so many diverse environments enables a teacher to mentor students in ways that go much further than academia. This added element of being able to cultivate a unique relationship with every student allows me to hopefully have the same influence on another generation of young people that my teachers had on me.

The ability to interact with young people who are actively seeking and developing their own beliefs and perspectives of the world around them is a daily blessing to me. That I can strive to show and share God and what He has done in my life with these students every day, and it be considered work, is the best job I could hope for. Knowing that God opened the doors and provided the path for me to follow to a boarding academy only furthers my own faith and commitment to His work.

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