The Face of a Remote and Necessary School

July 01, 2010 | Sharon Nguyen

Nearest Adventist School: Billings, Montana, about a three-hour drive from Glendive.

Enrollment: 9 In grades: K, 1, 3 and 5.

Staff: One teacher, one aid, one parent volunteer.

Remote Value: In a smaller school setting, a teacher gets to know her students and their families intimately. We get to spend time together outside of school, which actually helps increase the student/teacher bond while in school. This also helps me develop a deeper Christian relationship with them, as well as helps me understand how to meet students' needs because of a more fully developed sense of their backgrounds.

Remote and Necessary Fund Recipient: Without conference monies and the remote and necessary fund, our school would not exist. My answer about the benefits of conference aid would not be complete without speaking about the aid given by Archie Harris, my superintendent. In eleven years of teaching, I've never seen someone who is so completely into the students who attend his schools.

Local Community Impact: We live somewhat close to a Native American reservation, and two of our students are Native American. Recently, I had the opportunity during a Native American camp meeting to make connections.

Remote Goals/Needs: I'd like to do more community outreach. Next year I want to visit the local VA hospital bi-monthly, adopt a business each month where we will visit and pray for them, continue ringing bells for the Salvation Army, and get together with non-Adventist home-schooled families and try some activities together.

Necessary Gem: God created me to be a teacher. I sometimes ask Him why He made me for this purpose. Yes, teaching in a one-teacher Adventist school is very difficult, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. I taught in public schools for six years, being limited in what I could say, watching incorrect ideas like evolution being taught and being unable to hug a child who needed hugging. Here we can discuss openly the differences between the world and what we demonstrate in the community.

I can teach what God teaches in His word; I can freely give a student a hug when needed; I get to watch my students grow over the years and be an influence on them; and most important, I can help guide their loving relationship with Jesus.