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Education Welcomes New Associate Superintendent

Education Welcomes New Associate Superintendent

Jennifer Schmidt joins the Oregon Conference this year as a new Associate Superintendent of Education. No stranger to the Oregon Conference education field, Jennifer will transition from her current role as a teacher and vice principal at Columbia Adventist Academy in Battleground, Washington. In a recent interview with the communication team, Jennifer shared that she recognizes the struggles and hardships teachers have faced over recent years and wants to do all she can to support them. “In my [job] interview we talked a lot about supporting teachers,” said Jennifer, “And that’s really what I want to do–support our teachers. I want to know their stories and their classrooms, and to understand what they need. Coming out of COVID has been so tough for so many, and our teachers are really on the front lines. They’re doing such good work, but at the same time I know they’re tired. I just want to do everything I can to help support the teachers in this conference.”

Jennifer has been serving in educational spaces since her youth and has worked in classrooms internationally. “My mom worked as a teacher, and I would go to her school to help her. That was probably when I started to really think about working in education. I was also a student missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and part of what I did there was tutoring children. I think it was those things that led to me wanting to find some way to work with kids and help them–not only in achieving good academic outcomes, but also in bringing them to Jesus.”

Ron Jacaban, who recently joined the Oregon Conference as vice president for education, shared that, “Jennifer’s knowledge and expertise in all areas of Standards Based Learning (SBL) makes her a major asset to the Oregon Conference. She has been on the cutting edge for years and was practicing SBL before it became a focus in Adventist Education.”

In her interview, Jennifer echoed the strong rapport that the new education team has already been developing. “Recently I visited one of the schools Ron has worked with in Washington and they had such great things to say about him, how much they were going to miss him and all of that. I’m excited to work together because I think he really understands how to get to know people. Once you get to know people you can have such excellent conversations and you can build trust together.”

One of Jennifer’s top priorities, she says, is making teachers’ jobs easier. “I would like to be an instructional leader,” she says, “and to provide support as we map out our path for the future. I want to help provide those things teachers need to be the best that they can be; to go from good to great. I want to be part of helping them do well.”

Jennifer joins VP for Education Ron Jacaban, Associate Superintendent Kim Cornette, and the rest of the Oregon Conference Education team in their mission to create healthy, vibrant educational spaces for academic, social, and spiritual flourishing for every student.

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