Ventura Missionary School began its 36th year on August 15, 2016, with an enrollment of 388 students. From the beginning, the school sought to provide academic excellence and help students know and understand God. Those bold dreams have become a reality. Over the years, hundreds of students and families have been impacted for Christ. Each year, between 25 and 50 children have made first-time decisions to accept Jesus. Joel Wiggins, one of our present Elders, was on the honor roll during that first year of the school's existence in 1980. Katrina Stevens and Gordon Griffith, two of VMC's current missionaries, are VMS graduates. And Justin Baker, son of VMS' long-time administrator, Nancy Baker, is a pastor. These are just a small fraction of the examples of fruit God has produced through the ministry of Ventura Missionary School, in partnership with parents, Ventura Missionary Church and others.
This year, another bold move was made when a new leadership structure was created, and "The Dean Team" was appointed. Long-time VMS teacher, Amy Hall is serving as our Dean of Student Affairs, and Dr. Tammy Ennis, is serving as our Dean of Academic Affairs. Dr. Ennis says that accepting these roles was a leap of faith, but their hearts feel God's hand and call on their lives. Mrs. Hall, notes that even though there has been an incredible volume of activity, decisions and potential to be overwhelmed during these last few weeks, they both feel like they're in this "pocket of trust," not just "aligning themselves with God's will, but walking in it." It's obvious that they are at peace and thoroughly enjoy partnering together in this new venture. Their strengths blend together so beautifully, the children, parents and teachers they serve are bound to benefit from the new leadership configuration.
Dr. Ennis joined the Ventura Missionary School family in 2009. She has a master's degree in education with a specialization in reading, and a doctorate degree in advanced teaching and learning studies, K-12, with an emphasis on administrative leadership. In 2007, she was awarded Teacher of the Year for the East Texas Region.
Mrs. Hall has served as a teacher at Ventura Missionary for 19 years, with 9 years as Academic/Behavior Probation Coordinator, Student Council Advisor and Student Activities Director. She has been the Director of Student Life for the past 2 years. Mrs. Hall has a BA in Sociology and History and earned her California Clear Teaching Credential at Cal State Northridge.
Both of these seasoned teachers bubble over with stories of their experiences and love for this school and its students and families. Dr. Ennis says, "This is very happy place." Mrs. Hall enjoys watching the 6th-8th grade metamorphosis where students move from just knowing about God, to choosing Him for themselves. The Dean Team is blazing another chapter for VMS where they hope to nurture a vibrant culture of discipleship, exploration and community. They want all 8th grade graduates to be able to translate their faith into life. Mrs. Hall says that because we live in a sinful world, we can't protect our students from struggle and heartache, but we can empower them to enter society as peacemakers and courageous warriors. The deans will be implementing a comprehensive program to do just that.
There is still time to enroll at Ventura Missionary School. For more information, visit their website: venturamissionaryschool.com.