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"Preparing Students for Heaven & Earth"

Tulsa Adventist Academy faculty and staff strive to exemplify the mission of their school by living it out loud!

Ruthie Vargas, the teacher for grades 7-8, takes the eighth graders on a mission trip each year. The last few mission trips have been to Texas to help residents whose homes were ravaged by recent hurricanes.

Last year's class did mission work in Orange County, Texas and this year's class returned to the same area. The group was accompanied by Jason Vargas, a former teacher for grades 1-2 at TAA.

"We painted two houses, put in ceiling fans, and helped pick up trash and stuff that flew around during the hurricane. For the fun part we stayed at a house on Crystal Beach that was a two-minute walk from the beach. We became closer not only through the work we did together but also through the fun times we had together." -Class President Cassidy Shaw

Another way TAA faculty lead by example is by their dedication to students. During the kindergarten and eighth-grade graduation ceremony, Larry Seery, a math teacher for grades 7-12, was surprised to hear his name called by Elder Apple Park, Oklahoma Conference secretary.

As Mr. Seery came forward, he learned he had been awarded the Southwestern Union Conference's "Excellence in Teaching Award." Besides teaching math, Mr. Seery is the Soaring Eagles' acrobatic team coach and TAA's worship leader. Congratulations, Mr. Seery!

The best way to end a school year is with accolades. TAA graduated kindergarteners and eighth-graders, then seniors, respectively, on May 19 and 21. Pastor Jim Landelius encouraged the kindergarteners and eighth-graders during their ceremony, and the seniors were inspired by Jason Vargas, their teacher in grades 1-2, who said it was both an honor and the last time he wanted to speak up front!

During the seniors' graduation, Elder James Shires, Oklahoma Conference president, announced that Smyrna Toews, M.Ed., will be leading TAA as the new full-time principal. Welcome, Principal Toews!

The students and staff of TAA are very grateful for interim principal Peggy Fisher's leadership during the last two years of her "retirement" and hope she really gets to retire now.

By Caroline A. Fisher

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