February 23, 2017

In Mexico City, Adventist School among top 20 primary schools

Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division

An Adventist school in the district of Benito Juarez in Mexico City, Mexico, was recently declared one of the 20 best primary schools across the federal district. Miguel Angel Asturias Adventist School, a Pre-K to 9th-grade institution, ranked number 17 out of the 3,036 primary schools in the capital city. The results stated that the Adventist school is considered as a Primary School of Excellence from an online grading system.

The high marks were published on several news outlets in Mexico City and brought great pleasure to school administrators and teachers of the 33-year-old Adventist church school.

“This accomplishment through the hard work of our teachers shows us that our Adventist education schools can shine no matter where they are located,” said Esther Ortiz Rocha, principal of Miguel Angel Asturias Adventist school.

“We believe that the success of the school has to do with the importance that each student is given in both the English and Spanish programs,” said Ortiz. “We follow a personalized study plan for each student with on-going evaluations.”

The Adventist school carries a comprehensive bilingual program in English and Spanish and integrates technology in its teaching. Image courtesy of Esther Ortiz Rocha.

The school, which has 136 students enrolled this year, gets their students involved in English spelling bees every year, said Ortiz. One of the 25 students who enrolled in the spelling bee last year qualified for the finals but did not take part in the final competition, because it was held on a Saturday. In fact, it’s held every year on Saturday but that, Ortiz said, “doesn’t stop our students from participating in the event knowing that they will not get to the international level.”

Two weeks ago, three 9th graders made it to the spelling finals, and will not be part of the final competition.

From 2007-2013, the school ranked among the best 200 schools based on the national tests conducted by the government, said Ortiz. In 2014, no report was released and just this year the results ranked the primary school as number 17, while the secondary school is considered among Secondary Schools of Good Education Level, ranking 221 out of the 3,269 across the city.

The news of the school ranking drew praise from the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) education department.

"We believe that the success of the school has to do with the importance that each student is given..."

“The Asturias school is one of our best schools across the IAD territory,” said Faye Patterson, associate education director overseeing primary and secondary schools in Inter-America. “Their quality education, the latest use of technology and their bilingual program have placed the school among the top schools in our Division territory.”

Patterson has visited the school several times and stated that it has carried accreditation by the Adventist Accrediting Association and has an exemplary curriculum that is ahead of the more than 1,000 primary and secondary schools in Inter-America.

Ortiz, who taught preschool education for five years before becoming principal ten months ago, credits the direction and hard work of its former principal Arminda Valles who led the school for more than 16 years.

“The Lord has blessed us, and we continue to strive to impart a higher quality education in our school, seeking His direction, wisdom and Holy Spirit to reach His purposes,” Ortiz said.