New Faces, New Classes Come to CAA

December 03, 2015 | Larry Hiday

“Sing unto the LORD a new song; for He hath done marvellous things" (Ps. 98:1).

Each new school year offers the opportunity for new beginnings and Columbia Adventist Academy (CAA) in Battle Ground, Wash., is excited about the “new” things to celebrate — staff and classes.

We have a “new”-ly returning music teacher, Nita Yuros, who loves music, using gifts to God’s glory and sharing Jesus with everyone she encounters. She is particularly passionate about handbells and enjoys ringing for the Portland Marathon. She taught at CAA from 2001–2011, then attended graduate school at George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., where she completed her masters in family counseling. She especially loves working with teens and their families. In addition to music, her interest are diverse and range from container gardening to leading out in teen girls’ Bible study.

Also new this year is Debbie Parrish who will be teaching history and Bible. She is a graduate of Pacific Union College in Angwin, Calif., where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and religion. She has been teacher and chaplain in Modesto, Calif., for the last six years before realizing her calling to the promised land of the Northwest. As a member of the planning committee for the new Bible curriculum, she has been piloting that curriculum for the past two years and is excited about implementing it at CAA this year.

Other additions to the staff, Mark Westcott and Lindsey Earl, are also introducing new course offerings. Westcott is teaching a course in engineering and will be developing a robotics component. His background in engineering and ownership of his own design software place him in a position to share with students from an experiential perspective. He enjoys spending time with his family, which includes daughter Katherine, a freshman at CAA.

Earl is an alumna of CAA and Walla Walla University, having completed her Bachelor of Science in psychology this past June. She is teaching general psychology this year and is excited about being back at her alma mater. She is also developing a mentoring program to pair students who have been here before with freshmen and new students.

While not new to CAA, Aaron Payne, school chaplain and Bible teacher, will be offering a class called “Life With Christ.” It is meant to be an extremely practical class teaching about how to live an active Christian life and then giving the students opportunities to practice what they’ve learned. “In addition to teaching students about the value of Bible promises, I will be teaching them how to pray with others, how to encourage people in Christ, how to visit people in their homes or hospital, give a worship talk, etc,” says Payne. “The culmination will be having the class lead out in a week of prayer for Amazing Grace Academy in Palmer, Alaska. The students will be planning the entire week of prayer and will ‘adopt’ a classroom to intentionally connect with students and daily have a time of prayer with them.” 

Jeremy New is only “new” to CAA by virtue of his last name. He teaches history and directs the foreign student program. This year he is adding to that load and teaching videography for those who want to use their creativity in a learning environment. Students have already created silent film/comedy sketches and will be working to produce a video yearbook. Carl Wilkens, CAA’s week of prayer speaker, has produced a documentary of his time in Rwanda and will be sharing his experiences with the class.

Other new things to praise God for will be the first year of being debt free in the school's new building. That was celebrated Oct. 5. Staff hope you were part of the celebration and encourage you to drop by anytime and see what God’s doing at CAA.