Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Freshmen Aerials Julianne Paris, Samantha Bitner and Karen Gomez learn a new move.

Highland View Academy is Educating for Eternity and Serving With a Smile

Story by Rob Gettys

When you visit Highland View Academy’s (HVA) campus or website, it’s hard to miss that the school is “Educating for Eternity.” In other words, HVA prioritizes the gospel blueprint, laid out by Jesus in Matthew 28:19–20.

HVA believes that teaching the importance of service and modeling it within one’s personal life is foundational. When you provide opportunities for students to both serve the local community and those nearby, teaching and modeling is exercised. When this is repeated weekly, monthly and over four years, it becomes part of who the students are.

This year, more than two-thirds of the student population has chosen to join a touring group, aka “mission group.” These groups—Handbells, Band, Choir, Highlanders (select choir), and Aerials (gymnastics team) will travel throughout western Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region. The goal? To fulfill the great commission. Yes, Jesus said to baptize, but He also said to teach others to “observe” the things He has commanded. When they serve others, their actions tell others to “look closely” at what, or Who, makes them different. In today’s world, we need all the “different” that Jesus can provide.

“Educating for Eternity” isn’t only for those who join a group. Each year, in early March, the academy dedicates a week to service. During this week, the campus stops traditional classroom education and provides “Service with a Smile,” in which every student and staff member chooses a project to serve others.

This year, our projects include assisting local community members, service-oriented nonprofits, local families in need, local church groups and more. HVA also has a group headed to Chile to assist and minister to that community, and another group headed to Mount Pisgah Academy (N.C.)—our sister school—to minister at their spring Week of Prayer.

In April, the Music Department will travel to Costa Rica to help spread the good news of Jesus and His soon return. Students and staff will be able to spend time in ministry and relationship-building, hopefully forming bonds that will last for eternity.

Ultimately, HVA leaders hope other members will join them in this goal to give “Service with a Smile” by going into your communities and sharing Jesus with others.

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