Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy (GAAA) provides an outstanding academic, spiritual, and cultural education built upon the foundation of excellence and upon the principle of integrating faith and learning. The Academy first opened its doors in 1981, and has been at its current location since 2004. At GAAA, there is always an expectation of excellence, and by God’s grace, the Academy was successful in reaching several milestones of excellence during the 2022-2023 school year.
The faculty, staff, students, and parents rallied together from the start of the school year with focused determination to prepare for the accreditation visit that was scheduled for March 26-28, 2023. Upon review of the programs, campus facilities, and prepared documentation, the visiting evaluation team, led by Ruth Horton, Ed.D., granted GAAA the maximum six-year term accreditation status. The only words of celebration were “praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
Driven by the vision of showcasing a school where students live by faith, strive for excellence, and serve with honor, GAAA also charted an academic course of outstanding opportunities for the students.
For the past three years, the Academy has offered the course “Introduction to Emergency Medical Responder” (EMR), as an elective. Students who have already completed the anatomy and physiology prerequisite will be introduced to training in critical life-saving skills which include assessing patients, handling medical emergencies, managing poison and substance abuse cases, dealing with behavioral troubles, and addressing bleeding, shock, and soft-tissue injuries, among other vital topics.
The course is taught by GAAA’s highly qualified science instructor, Tomesha Smith, who is a state and nationally certified emergency medical technician, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certified, holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, and is currently a doctoral candidate.
Upon the successful completion of this course and passing the certification exam, students receive the American Heart Association (AHA)/ Basic Life Support (BLS) healthcare provider training and CPR certification. With this training and certification, students are afforded the potential opportunities of earning an income in one or more of the fields of childcare provider patient sitter, lifeguard (with additional lifeguard training requirements), disaster relief/response volunteer, law enforcement (with further law enforcement training), and firefighter (with further firefighting training).
During the school year, two students were successful in enrolling, completing, and passing the EMR certification exam. Randy Sanders II, a rising senior, plans on attending Oakwood University or Clark Atlanta University, with the hopes of becoming a physical therapist. Sanders commented that he highly recommends taking the course and that it was “a great experience.” He further asserted that “most of the concepts learned in the EMR course were also taught in the pre-med/biology camp,” which he was enrolled for the summer of 2023. Upon receiving his certification, he stated that he can now feel that he can save lives. Elijah Brown, also a rising senior, plans to attend Oakwood University, with the aspiration of becoming a veterinarian. He also strongly recommends taking this course, and said and that receiving his certification caused him to “appreciate how all the hard work paid off in the end.”
The school year ended in the same manner as it began, with faculty, staff, and students pressing toward the mark of excellence. The culmination of their quest was realized on May 28, 2023, when the Academy and the members of “The Efficacious Class of 2023,” celebrated GAAA’s 40th commencement ceremony. The ceremony marked the fifth consecutive year in which GAAA achieved a 100% graduation and college acceptance rate.
As these graduates leave the sacred halls of their beloved alma mater, the Academy’s prayers are that they continue to live by faith, strive for excellence, and, above all, serve God and man with honor.
South Atlantic | November 2023