Pastor Stephen Lundquist, Portland Adventist Academy (PAA) Bible teacher and Religion Department Chair, was honored Tuesday night, August 7, 2018, with an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Alumni Awards Foundation (AAF). He was recognized for demonstrating outstanding professionalism, creativity, and dedication in the classroom.
The ceremony took place at the North American Division (NAD) Teachers’ Convention in Chicago, Illinois where AAF recognized an additional four Adventist educators from the NAD. Each received a $2,000 prize, a medallion, and a framed certificate of recognition.
Presenting the award was AAF Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn Proffitt and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Gordon Bietz, D. Min.
Joining Lundquist at the ceremony was Mechelle Peinado, PAA Vice Principal of Academics; Gale Crosby, Vice President of Education at the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; and Dan Nicola, Oregon Conference Associate Superintendent of Education.
“Stephen embodies the desire and drive for excellence,” says Peinado. “Not only does he care deeply about spiritually supporting each student, but he also invests time and energy, research and reflection into continually growing as an instructor.”
After several successful years in pastoral ministry, Pastor Stephen ultimately followed the call to education. Teachers make daily contributions to the Kingdom.
“It is no surprise that Stephen Lundquist is being awarded the Teacher of the Year,” says Jason Bibb, outgoing PAA Principal. “His classes are planned with intention and he cares deeply for each student. Our students and our staff are blessed by him and PAA parents are thankful to know he is here guiding their kids. Jesus is in his heart and it comes out in all he does at PAA. He truly deserves this recognition.”
“Stephen will tell you it’s not just him — that all of PAA’s teachers deserve this award,” says Nicola. “And it’s true. PAA has an incredible culture of nurturing young people in a genuine walk with Jesus. But the PAA staff would say that Stephen’s passion for Jesus is infectious. You can see this manifested every year through the students who choose to be lifelong friends with Jesus.”
PAA teaching staff at the 2018 North American Division Teachers’ Convention gathered for a celebratory photograph with Lundquist.
Lundquist sees his work as a sacred call and chose a teaching career even after serving in many successful ministerial roles. “I had so many teachers who made such a profoundly positive impact on me,” said Lundquist before his Commissioning ceremony in 2015. “If I can pass that gift on to my students than I have done my job.”
Lundquist is one of three current PAA staff members who have been awarded the Excellence in Teaching prize. Mark Smith was honored in 2011 and Mechelle Peinado in 2014 while teaching at Mt. Ellis Elementary in Bozeman, Montana.
Established in 1995, the AAF has recognized more than 110 Adventist educators in the NAD and has given away more than two-million-dollars in awards.