June 20, 2019

Donor Has Pledged to Pay Full Tuition for Adventist Academy Students

Debbie Michel, Lake Union Herald

As the school year came to an end in May 2019, the Holland Adventist Academy school board received some astonishing news — an anonymous donor had stepped forward to pay the tuition for any high school student for the upcoming school year. In addition, if that student was in ninth grade in 2018/2019, the donor would pay for the following year too.

“What a tremendous blessing!” said Rachelle Bergman, marketing director of the Seventh-day Adventist school in Holland, Michigan, United States. “Our church always has gone above and beyond to prioritize and support our school, with members insisting that no student be turned away due to finances.”

High-school tuition for the 2019-2020 school year is, including registration, $5,550 for Holland church members; $6,750 for other Adventist church members; and $7,250 for non-members. The anonymous pledge covers all fees, has no limit on the number of students it will cover, and does not discriminate by membership or non-membership.

Forty-seven students were enrolled in the K-10 junior academy in the last school year, but only five were in ninth and tenth grades. School leaders are hoping this generous sponsorship will cause those numbers to grow.

“The church and various donors have financially supported many students throughout the years, but this latest pledge couldn't have come at a better time,” Bergman said. “When Adventist schools are fighting to survive in an environment where commitment isn’t just a given anymore, our community in Holland is demonstrating the extreme value of Adventist education and our commitment to the future generation of our church.”

About the School

Holland Seventh-day Adventist Church has provided and supported a church school in the Holland community for 72 years. The history of commitment is rich and continues with many families seeing second and third generations attending the school, school leaders said.

Originally a K-8 school, the program was expanded for the 2016-2017 school year to junior academy status, offering grades 9 and 10 as well. That first year as a junior academy, the school relocated into the church building for classes while the current school facility was expanded on the beautiful 39-acre campus the church and school share. The new facility offers four large classrooms, a library, science lab, music room, cafeteria, gymnasium, conference room, and a loft for the church Pathfinder group. Enhanced safety features include key card access and camera monitoring.

The staff includes four full-time teachers, a kindergarten aide, a physical education teacher, music teacher, and secretary. All teachers hold a master’s degree and have a combined 67 years of teaching experience. A Bible Labs coordinator plans activities to regularly engage students in service within the Holland community.

The mission of the school is “to prepare for lives of Christian service by deepening our love for God, developing a Christ-like character, and broadening our academic skills and knowledge.”

Bergman said the school staff is excited to welcome new families to the school and support children in reaching their God-given potential. “As Jesus’ coming draws near, there could be nothing of greater importance than providing our children with a solid education that integrates faith and learning, helps them develop a lasting relationship with Jesus, and introduces and prepares them to be disciples for Him in their surrounding community. It is an investment for eternity.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Lake Union Herald news site.