Sandy Hodgson – Denver, Colorado … Four educators from the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) joined Mid-America Union Conference (MAUC) educators in Washington D.C. for the annual Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Conference, March 22-25.

Among the RMC attendees was Jennifer Angeles Mendiola, head teacher at Springs Adventist Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Reflecting on her experience at the conference, Jennifer said that “it was a very empowering experience and I learned programs and perspectives that I can apply at our school. If we want to be innovative and bring new ideas to our students, we need to embrace and consider change.”

Mendiola’s reflection echoes the overarching theme of the conference. Throughout the event, the educators were immersed in discussions, workshops, and keynotes that fostered critical thinking, collaboration, and adaptability. The ASCD Conference provided exposure to learning strategies that provide transformative experiences for children to thrive in their learning.

Karen Espinola, head teacher at Lighthouse Christian Seventh-day Adventist School in Fort Morgan, Colorado, found herself “rethinking my use of technology to provide the best learning experience for my students in a small school environment.” Karen commented, “I can better visualize a more interactive, inclusive, and innovative approach to my teaching and am already planning what I can do next year to strengthen the programming already in place.”

The time at the ASCD Conference provided breakout opportunities for the participants to connect and exchange ideas that are specific to the mission for education in the Rocky Mountain Conference.

Soriya Szilagyi, head teacher at the Laura E. Mason Christian Academy in Cheyenne, Wyoming, found that attending the conference was a great opportunity to connect with her colleagues. “We were able to exchange ideas and strategies for educating the whole student,” commented Soriya. “Through the sessions at ASCD, I was reminded not to get distracted by the highs and lows of teaching and focus on all the learning opportunities available throughout the year for my students.”

While not connected with the conference, a highlight event sponsored by the Mid America Union Conference was a Sabbath visit to the Museum of the Bible. Touring five floors of exhibits and rare artifacts spanning 4,000 years of history, the attendees experienced the Bible’s ongoing impact in our world.

Armed with fresh perspectives, the RMC educators returned home inspired to continue the positive journey in our individual schools. They also came back with the knowledge that they are supported at the conference and union levels to make a difference for the students they interface with.

—Sandy Hodgson is the RMC education assistant director. Photos supplied.