Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Pennsylvania Conference Expands Education Focus

Although faced with economic challenges, the Pennsylvania Conference team is committed to continuing to build a strong school system and provide quality Seventh-day Adventist education to children and teens. “We believe that Adventist education can play an important role in the spiritual development of young people, and we are unswerving in our commitment to provide this opportunity,” says Jeff Bovee, vice president of education.

Story by Tamyra Horst

Conference leadership is helping two churches work toward opening schools in the near future, as well as working with Simplicity, an urban outreach ministry in Allentown, to start a mission school for the community—one of the first such schools in the North American Division.
To help further this goal, the conference leadership team announced that, starting July 1, Rick Bianco (pictured) will serve as education associate for mission and growth. Bianco served as the principal at Huntingdon Valley Christian Academy (HVCA) in Huntingdon Valley for the last four years and taught there for 16 years.

The Pennsylvania Conference Association Board recently allocated 20 percent of the funds remaining from the sale of the Richland school in Gibsonia to be used to create this new position. Eighty percent of those resources were divided amongst the churches that financially supported the school in the past 10 years of its ministry: the Pittsburgh church; Meridian Road church in Butler; and New Brighton church. Association board members say they desired to see the conference portion of the funds spent on strengthening and advancing education in a way that would benefit the entire conference, thus the creation of this new position.

Rick BiancoThe Pennsylvania Conference Executive Committee affirmed the association’s decision and voted the funds be used to retain Bianco for three years. They intend for Bianco to partner with Bovee to accomplish three goals:

    • Support the current development of the mission school
    • Focus on mission and growth
    • Develop and support sustainable and measurable conference educational plans

“I am looking forward to working alongside Rick to create an educational system in the Pennsylvania Conference that is mission focused in bringing students and families to the foot of the cross,” says Bovee. “And, I am excited about teaming up with pastors, churches, Pathfinders, Adventurers, the Pennsylvania Youth Challenge, Cool Camp, Simplicity and all ministries of the conference to create a unified focus on reaching out to the communities where we live to build His kingdom.”

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