Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Shenandoah Valley Academy teacher Gabrielle Geddis Griffin instructs two of her students.

2020 Prayer and Goals for My Dear Students

Story by Gabrielle Geddis Griffin

When it comes to Gabrielle Geddis Griffin, there isn’t much she hasn’t accomplished: Masters of Teachers; history and government teacher for more than 20 years at Potomac Conference's Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA); Class of 1986 alumna; Columbia Union 2013–14 Outstanding Educator of the Year; in summer of 2020, will have completed a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia; an instructional design practitioner; obtained specific expertise in learner-engagement and motivation. And, above all, she has a deep love for her students.

An open letter to my students:

When you walk through my classroom door, I see a person with limitless learning potential. In order to tap into that potential, I design everything with a specific purpose in mind. Every homework assignment, discussion and class activity are designed to help you master instructional objectives that align with these overarching goals I have for you:

  • Developing a relationship with Jesus
  • Understanding God’s purpose in human history
  • Applying morality and integrity in all aspects of your life

More than anything, I want you to develop a relationship with Jesus—in fact, that is the primary reason our school exists. My goal is to demonstrate Christ’s love for you beyond a quick worship and cursory prayer at the beginning of class. If you see any goodness in me, please know it comes through the power of the Holy Spirit, and I want you to experience that power in your own life. Begin each day by making the conscious choice to let the Spirit do its work in you.

By studying history, one can begin to understand the unwavering love that God has for humanity, as well as the unfolding of biblical prophecy. If you ever doubt how much God loves you, just look to the past to see how He is securing your future. History is a testament to the continuing triumph of God’s goodness over evil, and I do believe that we are living in the last chapter of this controversy. Please have peace in knowing that God will be faithful in whatever your future holds and that nothing in this world can separate you from the love of Jesus.

Remember our essential class rule: respect. When you respect your Creator, others and yourself, people will notice. While you can witness to others through your words or actions, sometimes the most powerful message may be the things you don’t do or say. If you choose respect and integrity over corruption and deceit, your life will be a powerful testimony to those around you.

Know Jesus, trust God and live a life that honors Him. My prayer this year is that you will achieve these goals and continue to apply them throughout your life.

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