Q and A With Auburn's Principal

October 25, 2016

Every new school year brings anticipation and excitement, and this is particularly true for the 97th school year at Auburn Adventist Academy. Principal John Soulé shares a few highlights in this beginning-of-the-year interview.

Who is new to Auburn’s team?

Brian Barnhurst comes from California and brings certifications in math, welding, industrial technology and automotive technology. This allows Barnhurst to train and certify students so they can be workplace-ready.

Bryce Sampsel comes from New Mexico to teach physics, physical science and two math classes at Auburn.

Jennifer Woody is returning from northern California to serve as chaplain and Bible teacher along with Karyle Barnes. Woody and Barnes are introducing the concept of “home vespers,” where many faculty and church families bring students into their homes for Friday night supper and Bible study.

Duane Hoori is the new director of the international student education program. He’s a local teacher with a master’s in English as a second language (ESL).

In addition, Auburn has several new nonfaculty staff members: Gordon Garner, property manager/maintenance; Gary Whittaker, grounds; Patrice Dunn, housekeeping supervisor; Suzette Maxwell, office manager; Derek Brizendine, business intern; and four taskforce deans: Stephanie Brito, Tiffanny Nelson, Cameron McConnachie and Xander Wirtz.

What’s new on campus this year?

We have a new media and art center in the former Loving to Learn daycare center. We hope to add a sculpture class in the future and offer studio space for advanced-level art students. This will give students more opportunities for artistic expression. We also have a new semester class in videography.

This summer, we upgraded our computer labs and library. In the library, we created a learning resource and career counseling center for our students. The majority of the space is dedicated to study group tables and includes nice furniture for reading and four research computers. The student study group model is growing in popularity at universities, and we want to help students get used to studying together.

What does enrollment look like for this year?

Our enrollment is sitting on an increase. Our growth and development department and volunteers worked hard all summer to recruit students and to help churches track where students are going to school. The volunteer-driven SEEKToday program is connecting donors with students who need financial assistance. Volunteers are an essential part of helping AAA grow.

We’re a family, and we want to nurture our school family. This year we have a variety of activities planned like a school picnic at Sunset Lake Camp and a freshman campout to help students get better acquainted with each other and understand that they are an important part of our school family. Auburn is a great place to be!