Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Home and School volunteers help organize the international vegetarian food fair.

Volunteers 'Plug In' to Enrich Spring Valley Academy

Story by Angela Peach

Spring Valley Academy (SVA) is blessed with dedicated faculty and staff who treat their jobs as a calling. But with more than 530 students this year, there are myriad opportunities for volunteers to “plug in” and work alongside SVA faculty and staff to enrich and encourage the students and better the school.

An excellent example of this is the recent gala. Over the course of a few days, the gym was transformed into a beautiful banquet space, the vast majority of which was due to the creativity and effort of a team of volunteers led by parents Jennifer Bouz and Monica Sauser. The items up for bid in the silent auction were solicited and collected largely by determined volunteers organized by Christina Keresoma, and then readied for the event and displayed by even more volunteers. Jordan Steffen, Food Service director, catered the event, but with an army of extra hands helping to cook, serve and clean. More than a dozen students served food, filled water glasses and dismissed tables.

While the event reached its goal of raising $150,000 toward the completion of the Dean and Trudy Johnson High School Wing, the biggest success was the way it brought community together.

“I [was] so impressed by the way the SVA family rallied together to make this event happen,” says Spencer Hannah, interim principal. “Everyone rolled up their sleeves and contributed where needed, and the result was a wonderful, community-building event that raised a lot of money!”

This should come as no surprise, however, to the long-time SVA observer. This culture of volunteerism is present in every aspect of the school day. Parents and community members come in to read to students and tutor kids in math. Parents help coach sports teams and transport students to games and bring snacks.

The SVA Home and School Association has long been a powerful example of parent involvement. This year, Jennifer Hall, Home and School president, and her team provided even more opportunities to bring the community together. They formed a co-ed soccer league for students in grades 1–5, utilizing parents and community members as coaches and welcoming home school students to participate as well.

Earlier this year, they hosted an international vegetarian food fest with booths representing more than 25 countries, staffed by parents and community members. Many attended the event, and they raised more than $8,000 for Home and School projects across campus.

“It’s been such a blessing to serve with this hardworking team of parents to make exciting things happen for our students and families,” says Hall. “God continues to bless our efforts and provide outreach opportunities to our wider community.”

To learn more about volunteering at SVA, contact Angela Peach at

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