Gem State Gymnastics Team Shines for Jesus

July 01, 2008 | Jacquelle Boone

Gymnasts at Gem State Academy use their talents to do more than cartwheels or a bar routine. They use gymnastics to show how Jesus can shine through them.

This spring, they traveled to different schools giving them just a taste of Gem State Academy. Schools visited included Salmon Adventist Elementary, Payette Adventist Elementary, Eagle Adventist Elementary, Boise Valley Adventist School and Caldwell Adventist Elementary.

Every year students alternate between three locations for an annual tour. The locations are Reno, Nev.; Pendleton, Ore., or Salt Lake City, Utah. This year they went to Reno. On the way, students performed two outdoor shows at Fallon Adventist Elementary and Carson City Adventist Elementary. The two final shows were held at Silver State Academy in Reno.

Most of the tours are over a weekend, giving students an opportunity to participate in the church service. The students have the special music, children's story, praise music and even the sermon.

Stan Nelson, the head of the math department at Gem State Academy, coaches the gymnastics team. This is his 16th year at Gem State and his 14th year coaching the team.

Helping Nelson are several students. Melissa Setterlund, sophomore, is the student coach. Nelson says, "Melissa is just too valuable to not have a title on this team."

Nathan Miller, junior, was nominated by the rest of the team as mens' team captain. Jacquelle Boone, junior, was nominated as ladies' team captain, and Danielle Hagood, junior, is the ladies' team co-captain.

A distinct feature of Gem State Academy's team is that teens coming to school without any special training may join and learn as they go.