July 21, 2022

Adventist University Professors Teach High School Science Classes

Partnership with an Adventist academy is a win-win situation for academy students.

Jennifer Audette, for Southern Tidings
Nadia Edwin, chemistry professor at AdventHealth University, teaches chemical equations to students at Forest Lake Academy. [Photo: Scott Audette/AdventHealth University]

When her daughters arrived home from high school one day in April this year, Benita David could sense their frustration.

“Isn’t there anything you can do?” David’s daughters pleaded.

It so happens that there was something David could do to alleviate her daughters’ worries.

Two teachers were out on leave simultaneously at Forest Lake Academy (FLA) in Apopka, Florida, United States, where David’s daughters are juniors. One of those teachers is the instructor for chemistry, a more specialized class than general science and math.

With the blessing of AdventHealth University (AHU) leadership, David, chair of health-care administration at AHU, rallied her fellow AHU professors to cover the chemistry, honors chemistry, and environmental science classes at FLA through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. That’s six classes a day — in addition to the courses they teach at AHU.

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Forest Lake School for Advent Health University Thursday, April 21, 2022 in Apopka, Florida (AHU Photo/Scott Audette)

Thanks to professors Nadia Edwin and Carlo Semerzier, graduate students Katherine Gonzalez and Isobel Fitzhugh, and David, the students are completing labs, solving chemical equations, and preparing to pass end-of-year exams.

“It’s a challenge at the end of the year to get them to understand the concepts,” David said. She has been a professor of business, finance, marketing, and leadership at AHU for 13 years.

With a 100-year legacy of providing Seventh-day Adventist education, FLA is open to those in grades 9 to 12.

“It’s a different world teaching high school students, who are not there by choice, and college graduate students. I certainly admire what high school teachers are doing on a daily basis,” David said. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical zoology from Andrews University, her master’s degree in business administration from Valdosta State University, and her doctoral degree in business administration from Argosy University.

This is not the first time FLA and AHU are collaborating. The two schools, located in the same vicinity in central Florida, have partnered to offer dual enrollment classes for high school students wanting to earn college credit hours.

Administrators at FLA expressed appreciation for David stepping forward.

“It’s great that we have someone qualified to do this,” FLA principal Glen Baker said. “We’re very grateful to have Dr. David do that.”

The original version of this story was posted by Southern Tidings.