After Two Decades Leading Georgia-Cumberland Academy, Greg Gerard Reflects on Adventist Education

Greg Gerard obtained a BA in religion and history, along with an MA in religion, from Andrews University. He also studied at Western Michigan University, earning an MA and EdD in educational leadership. His first teaching job took place at Shenandoah Valley Academy. He went on to serve as principal at Midland Adventist Academy and Great Lakes Adventist Academy before becoming director of development at Andrews University. Later, he transitioned into the role of vice president for advancement at La Sierra University and, subsequently, Olivet College. In 2022, Gerard retired as principal of Georgia-Cumberland Academy (located between Chattanooga and Atlanta) after 20 years in the role, and 45 years working in Adventist education.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/interviews/2023/after-two-decades-leading-georgia-cumberland-academy-greg-gerard-reflects-adventist
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His answer to retaining quality teachers is so spot on. Low salary, low priority by the church and massive parental issues killed my love of Adventist teaching.

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The remarks about salaries also apply to the public school system. Teachers are underpaid and when the parents in a tax district for a school no longer have children in the system they will vote down any type of tax increase. We put education on the low level of priority in this country and increasingly so.

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As in business, if a company is unwilling to close inefficient or unprofitable locations, then it will go into bankruptcy and irrelevance, even against its will. And so, it is with Adventist Education. If we can’t find the will to consolidate our universities and academies, slow deaths for all are inevitable. I hope the powers that be will become bold in their vision for Adventist education and make the adjustments that will forge a long, effective, and lasting educational system.