A Keene school was recently recognized for its academics and participation in the community.

The Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists named Keene Adventist Elementary School the Texas Conference School of the Month.  

The TCSA is the administrative headquarters for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the eastern two-thirds of Texas.

Kisha Norris, TCSA education vice president, said recognizing the school is part of a new initiative that celebrates schools both internally in the classroom and externally in the community.

“KAES staff has gone the extra mile to grow their students as leaders, recognizing our young people are more than our future, they are what helps us thrive today,” Norris said. “It is imperative that communities are invested in their local schools to help them succeed. At the same time, we are committed to instructing our students to be responsible citizens and active participants in their communities. 

“A simple task of visiting a nursing home may not seem like much, but to the individuals it can be powerful. For KAES, helping at the Adventist Community Services depot and the monthly community park clean up days are essential in the instruction of their students.”

The school received the Community Improvement Award in October from the Keene Chamber of Commerce, which honors businesses for contributing to the beautification of the city through new buildings and/or well manicured grounds and landscaping, thus presenting a positive image and improve the quality of life.  

School officials broke ground on its new gymnasium last April, which will include a full-size basketball court and concession stand for both the school and other community members to use.

KAES Principal Todd Coulter said it’s exciting to be recognized by the TCSA. 

"There are so many great schools doing so many wonderful things throughout out greater community,” Coulter said. “Each school is doing their best for these kids and to be recognized for the efforts being put forth is encouraging. 

“I’m proud of our teaching staff at KAES. It’s our teachers and staff that make the difference in our school. Each teacher is determined to make sure that our students are successful and prepared for their life’s journey.”

We’re doing a lot of things that you see in other schools, he said.

“One advantage we have that allows us to provide a variety of extracurricular activities along side our strong academics is that we have a strong network,” he said. “Parents, teachers, pastors, retirees, undergrad students [and] volunteers are all coming together to make things happen, showing support for our school so that we can provide additional academic opportunities, sport teams, gymnastics, music lessons, tutoring, etc.”

What you may consider unique is our mission, he said. 

“While we are working hard to develop the whole child, we have one underlying factor that drives us,” he said. “We desire each of our students to have a saving relationship with Jesus. On top of academics we offer Bible classes, special weeks of worship, opportunities for church involvement, community service projects, music ministry [and] worship leadership.

“Attending KAES gives great opportunities for spiritual and academic growth. It is a place that allows you to see how the skills and knowledge gained through academics grows you to be a leader, serving God and man.”

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