Extracurricular Activities At Portland Adventist Academy

August 01, 2003 | Lorraine Juberg

Students at Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) find recreation and enjoyment in a variety of extracurricular activities while learning to strive for excellence and giving joy and inspiration to others.

A new drama course emerged from PAA's drama club, which performed two major productions this year, C. S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Parents donated funds and made costumes.

According to Jeanne Johansen, director, the coming year will include spiritual plays, such as a revision of the drama "Laudamas," performed in area churches.

Johansen believes that practical Christian values, inspiration and Biblical principles can be better taught by adding action to the visual and audible word. Students also learn discipline as they gain performance skills.

Another example of excellence is the consistent achievement of the music department, headed for many years by Linda Neel. Year after year, the music groups take top honors in state competitions.

Records since 1988 show that the band earned state championships in their division for six consecutive years and in three succeeding years and placed second for six other years. In 2001 and 2003, the band placed fourth in their division, lacking only two points to rate in the top three, according to Neel.

The band played for noteworthy occasions such as the 1996 Olympic torch ceremonies and the 2002 opening of the Oregon state senate. Several individual instrumentalists have won state honors, and two or three musicians are selected to play in the biennial Walla Walla College Festival of Bands.

The PAA chorale placed in either second or third place from 1993 through 1999. Neel says the chorale will continue its outreach presentations, including performances in area churches and Christmas concerts at the Grotto and for grieving families at a Gresham, Ore., funeral home. They also sing for the East Portland Chamber of Commerce, at downtown Portland's Pioneer Place and at other public locations.

Both girls and boys participate in soccer, basketball, golf, softball and cross-country running at PAA. Besides having fun, improving their physical health and learning discipline and teamwork, they meet students of other small private and public high schools within the Northwest League.

This year, the PAA Cougars won the league basketball championship but did not play in the state tournament because no accommodation for Sabbath was made for them. The team was accommodated only twice in recent years, and they won the championship game played after sundown Saturday night one of those years.