Portland Adventist Academy teacher Linda Johnson recently took her Honors Anatomy and Physiology class to learn in a cadaver lab at Pacific University.
Dr. Sheryl Sanders, who has taught at the professional program at PU for 18 years and whose work has been highlighted in medical journals, helped the students explore the human body in a literal hands-on way.
“It was exciting for me to see my students interacting with Dr. Sanders,” says Johnson. “They reviewed the skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, and reproductive systems and she peppered my students with questions. She mentioned more than once that she was impressed with their knowledge. In fact, Dr. Sanders said she was even having a hard time stumping them!”
It’s no wonder why. PAA’s Honors A&P students are learning collegiate level material and earn dual credit. For the students interested in a medical degree, this advances their studies in college.
“A&P is a very advanced class,” says Blair Roessel, PAA Senior. “It requires a lot of time management and focus. You have to remove distractions from your life. But I’ve loved it. After taking the class, I know that I want to go into nursing.”
Even at home in the PAA lab, students get to explore animal organs and see God’s creations up close.
The visit to PU is one of many opportunities. Every year, Johnson takes her students to visit medical experts in their environment. In the past, students have viewed a joint replacement surgery as well as heart and brain surgeries by top surgeons in their fields.
These opportunities have earned PAA respect and trust from professionals. “I am so proud of our PAA students and appreciated their professional demeanor,” said Mrs. Johnson. “As they were exploring the cadaver, they were inquisitive, respectful, and appreciative. They represented PAA in a very positive light.”
Johnson’s Christ-centered and character-driven approach in the classroom is seen through her excitement about teaching. “I have to share this quote,” she says. “Albert Einstein said, ‘I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.’ Well, our visit with Dr. Sanders was one of those amazing opportunities!”
“We study the body for months and months,” said Roessel. “Then to finally be able to touch the different parts of the body…” she paused. “Oh wow! Those memories will be with me forever.”
“Students rise to the occasion time and time again,” says Johnson. “If you want to witness a thirst for knowledge, it’s in the classrooms at Portland Adventist Academy.”