I am very pleased with our decision to send both of our children to Westwood. The spiritual component was the number one priority to us. Our kids received morning worship, prayer, Bible class and training that was interwoven throughout the school time. We liked the small classroom to teacher ratio which gave our children a real sense of community. The older students looked out for the younger ones and the younger ones looked up to the upper grade classmates. Our children both excelled in this class environment and were prepared for higher education. Westwood was the best future that we could have given our children.
As a parent, I was most impressed when the teacher knew what my children had been praying for. It didn’t really matter that she knew the what; but that she had encouraged my children to pray. The teachers’ morning worships were inspirational and not something you’d hear in a public school. Westwood had something public school never could have. I would send my kids there again in a heartbeat!
Westwood Student, grades 2-10
When I examine my life and review what has fortified my Christian walk, I believe there are four key elements or pillars: a Christian home, regular church attendance, SDA education, and a SDA spouse. Each of these pillars has been essential for me, but in light of my reflection on Westwood Junior Academy, I would like to elaborate on this specific “pillar”.
I was home-schooled for first grade; however, I attended Westwood from 2nd - tenth grade. I look back on those formative years as being positive and hugely impactful to my character and values. Each day was started by a worship and prayer. Our classes were small, which made it easy for my teacher to keep a close eye on my progress. The things I learned in the classroom were reinforced at church. I looked forward to seeing my classmates at church, Sabbath school, and Pathfinders.
I loved learning about the history of the SDA church and the Bible at school. It was very affirming and exciting to be in church and hear the pastor preach on a topic that I had “just learned about in school”. As a young person, this consistency really helped to solidify my walk with God.
The students, being a smaller group felt like family to me. I felt valued by my teachers, the aides, and volunteers. I looked forward to events like Music Festival and Academy Days. It was fun having school plays, events, or other activities supported by my church family. It made me feel like part of a bigger whole. I remember being sponsored by people at church for school events like the Walk-a-Thon and Mad-Minute. When I saw those people at church – it made me feel even more valued and cared for.
As an adult, it gives me peace knowing something that played such a significant part in my life was grounded in strong SDA values. I am blessed to have found a SDA spouse, at church, while attending an SDA school. It wasn’t luck, but God’s providence through the direction of my parents who valued a Christian education from the very start!
I didn't have the privilege of attending Church School as the town I grew up in did not have one. I decided when I was in eighth grade that I wanted to attend a SDA boarding academy because it was becoming more and more difficult to keep the Sabbath while attending public school. My parents agreed and I attended Academy for all four years. It was the best decision; I loved those years at Academy!
During the time I attended Academy, I noticed some of the students had a greater Bible knowledge than other students. I asked one of my classmates how he knew so much of the Bible, and he replied, “It’s because I went to an Adventist elementary school!” After he said that, I noticed that indeed he was right. Those who went to an Adventist elementary school were the ones with the greater Bible knowledge; something I desired. I determined then that if I ever had children they would attend an Adventist school from first grade on.
After Academy, I attended Union College where I met my wife. We both were in agreement and when we had children we put them in Adventist schools. It was a huge blessing! I noticed when we made a commitment to Adventist Education, no matter what short coming may come, God is faithful and made up the difference. There was NO lack academically and our daughters both graduated from college with degrees in Nursing.
I am thrilled that both of our daughters and their husbands followed our example and sent all of our grandchildren to Adventists schools - beginning with our local elementary school, Westwood Junior Academy. Every one of them, our children and grandchildren, is active in the church today! That is a huge, AMEN! Truly the commitment of home, church and school held true for us. I cannot underestimate the value of Adventist Education and strongly recommend it!