Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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Two Historic Elementary Schools to Merge

Story by Oksana Wetmore

With long and distinguished histories of their own, two Takoma Park, Md., Seventh-day Adventist elementary schools are merging to become one. John Nevins Andrews School (JNA), established in 1907, and Sligo Adventist School, established in 1917, will merge to become the newly named Takoma Academy Preparatory School. The merger will take two exceptionally diverse entities and form an institution that upholds the vision to prepare graduates to be scholars, thinkers, achievers and servant leaders. 

After a number of years of consideration, it became apparent that a merger would be in the best interest for both schools. This came after the relocation of key Adventist institutions from Takoma Park.

“The decision to shut the doors of one beloved school came with challenges and bittersweet sentiments,” says Josue Pierre, JNA chair of the school board. However, an agreement was finally made to relocate JNA’s student body and staff into Sligo’s current location, which sits adjacent to Takoma Academy (TA).

Current TA principal, Carla Thrower, will be the principal for both the academy and preparatory school. She is excited to begin this new chapter and looks forward to the new opportunities this merger will offer.

“Due to the increased enrollment, there will be two teachers for each grade,” Thrower says. “Now, they can collaborate, leading to the growth of new programs that fulfill spiritual and education needs.”

Over 260 students have already pre-enrolled in TA Prep and that number is expected to grow. The school promises a “second to none education” and will be ready to fulfill the promise of united faith and learning beginning in August.

A video that highlights TA Prep can be viewed at

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