Jayme Anderson graduated from Union College in May of 2013, and is the new head teacher at Oak Street Christian School in Brainerd. She is a familiar face because she formerly worked at North Star Camp and also assisted Peggy Johnson in the cafeteria at Maplewood Academy. At Union College she worked in Campus Ministries for Pastor Rich Carlson, UC Chaplain, who gave her highest recommendations. New to Adventist education, parents are already noticing how much more contented and peaceful their children are after a day at school with Jayme! The good word is spreading and Jayme’s enrollment has tripled!
Tralese Syvertson lived in Minnesota previously as the daughter of Elder Bill and Francis Wilson, both of whom are well known to Minnesota Adventists for their many years of service in the ministry and the Conference office, as well as coordinating volunteer projects at North Star Camp. Coming back to Minnesota as the wife of Paul Syvertson, Tralese formerly taught religion and Spanish I, II and III at Maplewood Academy. Son Jamie, attended Maplewood, graduating in 2010, even after the family had moved away from Minnesota. Daughter Melissa is a currently a sophomore at MWA. A project-oriented teacher, Tralese uses the classroom environment to create community in the midst of diversity. This thriving upper-grade community currently has 10 students. Her experience as a thoughtful Christian teacher has already distinguished her as a valued mentor among her colleagues.
Russell Bantin met his wife, the former Amy Purvis, while serving as fill-ins for Adam and Eve during a Minnesota camp meeting drama presentation. Russell and a courageous school board have re-opened the Thief River Falls church school, renaming it Thief River Adventist Christian School or TRACS. Students and teachers are on track with creative, interesting learning activities including science inquiry and classroom applications of technology. One mother reports that her girls jump out of bed in the morning so excited to get to school! Two of the Bantin children, Caleb and Sarah, are in the school, while little sister Anna is still at home with Amy. Russell’s jolly personality and his embrace of servant leadership are bringing new life and a great deal of joy to the Adventist community in Thief River Falls. Nearly one hundred percent of the church members participated in summer work bees to provide the school with a face lift and prepare it for ministry to children.
Russell is assisted in the classroom by Joan Freeman, a certified teacher from Middle River, daughter of Bonnie Dunston, a retired Minnesota Adventist teacher. Joan enriches the classroom by volunteering in Language Arts and Music, and by serving as a personal learning coach. Joan prepares for each day with prayer and the result looks like limitless patience!
It is wonderful to see evidence of God’s love in each of these classrooms. Welcome back to Minnesota, Jayme, Tralese, Russ and Joan! We hope you stay a long time!
By Connie McCormick, Education Director
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