“The Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding”— Testimonies, vol. 6, p.126. If we believe this, then we should indeed be the head and not the tail. If we believe this, then our schools should be places where wisdom is gained and where students are the head and not the tail. Seventh-day Adventist education is certainly a journey to excellence.
An example of this is found at the Greater New York Academy, whose motto this school year is “A Culture of Godliness, Excellence, and Leadership.” The students and staff demonstrate this culture of godliness by impacting their local community through the “Impact Woodside” initiative. Students go out into the streets of Woodside, Queens, and share God’s love by delivering care packages, visiting the elderly, praying with and for people, and touching their community with the universal language of music.
They demonstrate excellence by scoring high on national exams. This school year, six students from the sophomore and junior classes scored in the 90th percentile or above on the PSAT. In fact, two of the six students scored higher than any other student in the nation.
Additionally, a student was chosen to take part in the Minority Introduction to the Health Sciences (MITHS) program, which chooses 15 students nationwide each year. The MITHS program, sponsored by the Loma Linda University and Black Alumni of Loma Linda and La Sierra University, is a challenging three-week program designed to introduce Black Seventh-day Adventist high school students to careers in health sciences.
The following six students scored in the 90th percentile or above on the PSAT: Sebastian Ramos, ’20, scored in the 90th percentile. He serves as the junior class representative in the Student Association. Michaella Blemur, ’20, scored in the 90th percentile. She serves as the vice president of the junior class. Nathaniel Frederick, ’20, scored in the 91st percentile. He serves as the chaplain for the junior class. Austin Powlette, ’20, scored in the 97th percentile. He serves as the treasurer for the junior class. Josiah Deonarine, ’21, scored in the 98th percentile. He serves as an active member in the National Honor Society. Moises Reyes, ’21, scored in the 99th percentile. He serves as the vice president of the sophomore class.
In addition, Gabriella Bizzaro, ’20, was accepted into the MITHS program at Loma Linda University. She serves as the president of the class of 2020. Greater New York Academy is creating a culture of godliness and excellence, as well as a culture of leadership.
Greater New York Academy and the students are to be commended for their achievements. “We pray that they will continue to put God first as they excel in their studies and serve as leaders in their schools, churches, and communities,” said Marlene Alvarez, Atlantic Union Conference associate education director. “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children”—Education, p. 18.
Greater New York Academy English Department
This article first appeared in the July 2019 issue of The Atlantic Union Gleaner magazine, page 8.