by Bethany Spencer / firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the summer, Pella Christian faculty and students attended many conferences ranging from musical to political.
Spanish teacher Jason Noble went to the University of Minnesota for Immersion 101 to learn about methods of immersion education. “I liked networking with other teachers, and there was a really good Korean restaurant right across the street that I ate lunch at every day,” said Noble.
Family and Consumer Science instructor Pamela Vande Voort attended the FDA Professional Development Program in Food Science held in Washington, DC. The seven day program covered topics such as nutrition, safe food handling, and food safety issues. Attendees learned from FDA and USDA officials, and toured FDA headquarters in Maryland. “One of my favorite parts was seeing Julia Child’s kitchen at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History,” said Vande Voort.
Choir director Tim Van Voorst attended the Choral Director’s Institute at The University of South Dakota and the Iowa Choral Directors Association, or ICDA, Summer Symposium held at Central College. “At USD, I learned from Sophia Papoulis, director of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. A lot of her sessions were focused on teaching younger adolescents (middle schoolers), new ways to engage singers, and new approaches for teaching music literacy,” he said, “At the ICDA Summer Symposium, I chose to attend sessions that would be more applicable to my high school teaching. I learned some new exercises for ear training (intonation work), learned about new brain research on how young people learn, and sang through a lot of music.”
Sophomore Carson Breon also went to a music conference, Summer Choral Institute at Kansas City University. “I learned a bunch of singy stuff,” he said, “The people were super fun and we all had a great time.”
Sophomore Brayton Juffer went to a camp near Estes Park, Colorado. The program focused on what leading a Christian life should look like. “One of my favorite experiences of the trip was being able to hike during free time,” he said, “In a matter of one week, I got to hike over 3 different mountains. My favorite was called Eagle Cliff. I got to hike with my friends to the very top and got to see God’s amazing creation from one of the best views I’ve ever gotten.”
Juniors Kennedy Patterson and Emma Dunsbergen attended High School Camp in Tennessee. “I learned so much about myself and about God on this trip. I learned that God’s timing is beautiful and that He has the perfect plan for each of our lives,” said Patterson.
Seniors Josh Adkison, Ryan Lauterbach, and Bethany Spencer attended The Family Leader’s LEAD conference in Des Moines. The five day event focused on Christian Leadership, with an emphasis in politics. “One thing that I really took away from the week was that a biblical leader leads by example first,” said Adkison, “They are the ones that go before, accomplish the hardest things, and take the blame. As a biblical leader, I would never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do first.”
Senior Lindsay Breon went to a similar event, called Princeton Political Institute of JSA, in New Jersey. The camp was attended by teens from across the country, and even Pakistan. “I learned a lot about politics and the process of making and establishing policy,” she said. “Since New Jersey is a very Democratic state, it was neat being able to go into an environment that I wasn’t used to for a limited amount of time.”