2014 will be remembered as the year in which three experienced educators serving in the capacity of superintendent of schools retired from Atlantic Union Conference education team. In addition to their length of service in their respective conference offices, they will always be remembered for their dedication and commitment to improving Adventist education. Their legacy will live on, not only in their conference, but also in the lives of the students and teachers they served.
David Cadavero, Greater New York Conference superintendent of schools—Mr. Cadavero is synonymous with excellence! His desire to promote quality education was not limited to sponsoring conference-wide science fairs, junior Olympics, and activities promoting student academic distinction; he initiated an award for schools that met criteria to earn the title “A School of Excellence.”
He authored countless booklets for teachers and administrators outlining how to surpass mediocrity. Cadavero will be remembered for his punctuality and support of colleagues at all levels—not to diminish his passion for the New York Yankees. His sense of humor could not be hidden under his armor of professionalism. Often he would lighten a tense moment by inserting a quip that would immediately result in laughter. He leaves with us the legacy of a consummate educator.
Sheila Holder, Ph.D., Bermuda Conference superintendent of schools—Mrs. Holder’s calm presence spoke volumes. Even though she never voiced her opinion in loud emphatic tones, when she did voice her opinion, it was always well thought through and evoked reflection. Earning her doctorate while working full-time as superintendent of schools and communication director is evidence of her determination and persistence. Under her leadership a countrywide Education Sabbath was introduced—a designated Sabbath on which every church promoted Adventist education.
Sheila Holder leaves behind the legacy of being a caring person—for students, teachers, and administrators. She made herself available to listen to those who needed to share or vent. It was not uncommon for students to run up to Holder and give her a hug as she walked the Bermuda Institute campus, expressing appreciation for her loyalty, understanding, and the deep commitment to Adventist education she communicated by her actions.
Trudy Wright, Northern New England Conference superintendent of schools—Mrs. Wright’s talents far outweigh her petite appearance. She worked tirelessly with passion and enthusiasm to enhance Adventist education in the Northern New England Conference. She designed Outdoor School to immerse children in nature and increase their awareness and value for God’s creation. Each session was thoughtfully planned and always left an enhanced compound at Camp Lawroweld. The Music Clinics Wright organized were known beyond the borders of the Atlantic Union Conference. Her intent was to immerse students in music—instrumental as well as vocal—as they lifted up praises to God.
She has a passion for art. Art Clinics were truly a combination of art and literature. Her themes alternated between biblical and historical. She leaves behind the legacy of having a passionate desire to introduce students to Jesus and set them on the path to heaven. Her sincere desire is for the teachers she worked with to feel that she helped them to succeed and gave them a reason to press forward through difficult times.
Astrid Thomassian is the Atlantic Union Conference education and children’s ministries director.