Located 10 miles north of Pasco, Washington, Cypress Gardens School (now Country Haven Academy) was founded in 1978 by a group of Adventist lay people who desired to create a learning atmosphere in a rural setting.
Academically, Country Haven Academy (CHA) offers a full college-prep curriculum for grades 9–12 and is a Washington state-approved Christian high school. The success of CHA graduates, in the variety of careers they have chosen, reflects their adherence to the high standards of education by which they were taught.
Two such alumni are Anthony Stahl and his sister Shirlene who attended the school in its earliest beginnings. The Stahl family lived in Hermiston, Oregon, about 50 miles south of the school. Since their parents believed so strongly in the benefits of a work-study education, Anthony and Shirlene lived, with their mother, in a travel trailer located on the campus in order to attend Cypress Gardens.
After Anthony completed elementary school, his parents and others, wanting the same type of education for their children during their high school years, urged that a secondary school be established. This spurred the board into developing what is now called Country Haven Academy.
God has truly blessed CHA since those early days. A beautiful chapel/cafeteria building, four comfortable dormitories to house 50 students, an educational complex with five large classrooms, staff homes, a shop, and many greenhouses now comprise the campus.
An ASI (Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries) member institution, CHA is nestled amidst the rich farmlands of the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington. CHA provides students with a balanced Bible-based curriculum that not only provides a solid educational foundation but provides for the individuality and creativity of each student as they advance at their own rate.
The goal of Cypress Gardens School/Country Haven Academy since its inception was to provide practical arts training for students which would equip them with a trade. While students receive training in various industries on campus, there is not time for them to achieve the skill level necessary to master a trade in a specific area. To remedy this situation, the board has voted to expand the offerings of Country Haven Academy to include a post-high-school certificate training program beginning with the 2005–06 school year. Programs to be offered include landscaping, greenhouse/nursery management, food service management, house keeping, dental assisting, and farm/garden/orchard management. More trades will be added as the demand requires. College credit courses are available for advanced students. Generous work-education scholarships are now available.
Another new program is the summer school touring class. This class will provide students with the opportunity to improve their English and math skills along with the unique opportunity of traveling to the pioneer settlements of the west and scenic sites of natural beauty in a comfortable 50-passenger tour bus. The students will also be taught practical arts in gardening, cooking and food preservation.
Anthony, the great grandson of Fernando Stahl, pioneer missionary to Peru, graduated from Cypress Gardens in 1985 with the second high school graduating class. He has demonstrated the value of his missionary heritage, Christian upbringing and Christian education in his career, working for Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Anthony, who earned a BS in business administration from Walla Walla College in 1990 and a Master of Science in Administration degree from Andrews University in 2000 with an international development concentration, says that the schooling he received at Cypress Gardens had a great impact on making him what he is today.
Since 1992, Anthony has worked for ADRA in various capacities, first in Nicaragua and then in Peru where he served as ADRA executive director. On September 1, 2004, he was appointed bureau chief for program management at ADRA International, headquartered at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland. Upon his appointment, Anthony stated, “Although ADRA has an enormous mission to complete, I am motivated each day by remembering the hungry and those in poverty for whom ADRA is their only hope.”
Anthony's sister, Shirlene, is a missionary in her own right—having served in Japan and Guam and having led many mission trips to Peru and other locations abroad.
Country Haven Academy commends all loyal alumni and dedicated staff for their support of the school and their contribution to the Lord’s work and to society.
For more information about Country Haven Academy, go to: www.countryhaven.org.