Since its start as a one-teacher school in 1923 and its expansion 23 years later to offer grades 1-12, Los Angeles Adventist Academy (LAAA) has had a rich history. Over the course of 100 years, challenges have come up, as they inevitably do; however, through it all, the school has stayed committed to the quality, life-changing education it was founded to provide.
The centennial celebration this March consisted of an entire weekend packed with activities, kicking off with a career day and concluding with a golf tournament.
The Sabbath service was a time of reflection on God’s leading of the school for the past century as well as a time to look forward to His leading in the future. The program featured various musical performances, recognition of alumni in attendance, remarks from numerous elected officials, and a powerful message from Carlton P. Byrd, president of the Southwest Regional Conference.
“The founders who established these schools [LAAA and its predecessors] in this sector of Los Angeles envisioned serving the spiritual, economic, and physical needs of our boys and girls from our Adventist churches and from the surrounding communities,” said James P. Willis II, Southern California Conference (SCC) vice president for education. “We look around this room and see the fulfillment of their visions. And we are here to celebrate all of what God has done in answer to their prayers.”
As the program began, SCC leadership recognized the significance of this occasion. “On behalf of the Southern California Conference, we thank you for being home to thousands of students for 100 years,” said Velino A. Salazar, SCC president. “Your influence has been felt in the southern tier of the Los Angeles metropolis, across the conference territory, and beyond.” SCC Treasurer/ CFO Kathleen Diaz presented a gift of $10,000 to LAAA Principal Carol Todd.
Todd celebrated the school’s achievements, such as enhanced technology and continued support of both virtual and in-person learning. She recognized a significant increase in student enrollment, where “over 60% of our students come from the surrounding areas and may not experience Jesus in the homes or weekly church services.” Todd also shared initiatives in the works for LAAA in partnership with other entities.
Elected officials, including Maxine Waters, California congresswoman for the 43rd district, were in attendance to give support on this special occasion. Greg Mathis, star of the television courtroom series Judge Mathis and an Adventist education alumnus, was also present.
“I thank God for this institution that has prepared so many geniuses to make an impact around the world,” shared Anthony Paschal ’73. “We have seen attorneys, sports figures, doctors, and other professionals take off from the teachers that spent their time with us in this institution.”
If you wish to support the future of the school, follow this link to donate: https://scc.adventist.org/LAAA-giving.
To watch the Sabbath morning celebration, visit: https://scc.adventist.org/LAAA-100-years.
Watch the video highlight below: