Nicole Mattson, Indiana Education superintendent, is transitioning to a similar role in Arizona.
“Nicole has served many years in the Lake Union, both as a teacher at Battle Creek Academy and the Indiana Conference superintendent,” said Linda Fuchs, Lake Union Education director. “She has a hundred ideas to keep Adventist education strong and the energy to implement them! She will be greatly missed!”
Mattson penned this farewell letter for our readers:
I became a believer in Adventist education because – in just the scope of one year’s time – my life was changed. I was blessed when I was able to attend Cedar Lake Academy, now known as Great Lakes Academy, during my sophomore year of high school. I can honestly say that it was there I met Jesus for the first time. It’s like remembering where you were when you heard that Princess Diana died; you just never forget where you were when something has a huge impact on you. Through a series of ups and downs, I would later absolutely decide that Jesus not only was my personal Savior, but that He had a plan for my life in Adventist education.
Fast forward to June 2016. I had been enjoying a wonderful life of teaching, mentoring and enjoying the beautiful geography of Colorado when God began tugging at my heart. I was missing family, but He also slowly told me that He had something else for me. Little did I know that the ‘something else’ was a position as the superintendent of Schools for the Indiana Conference.
The time has flown, really; three years seem like three months. But, in reality, it’s a stretch that includes a lot of covered ground. I don’t know that I’ve met all of my goals, but I know that God has used me to make a small dent in the way things operate in Indiana. I’ve had a heart to help support, nurture and mentor teachers, and I hope they all know how very much I appreciate their hard work, commitment, and the sacrifices that come with the teaching ministry.
Looking back, a large share of my efforts here have also gone into helping teachers gauge learning to meet the needs of the students and, very importantly, to innovatively teach the things that students ought to know, including Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Another area I’ve tried to address is helping to create positive, functional relationships between pastors, teachers and school boards. With God’s help and the help of other professionals, we’ve also created many promotional materials to give professional and intentional tools for advertising and marketing. The work is never finished, so it seems futile to look at accomplishments . . . yet it’s never a waste of time to recount how God has blessed!
The current looming issue is how to move forward with many of our schools’ involvement in the School Choice Program. The answers are not easy as funding our schools is always an issue, but I know the work here in Indiana is going to continue to be blessed. As I end my tenure here and embark as the new superintendent for Arizona, I am comforted to know that God always knows best and is answering prayers for my husband to have a drier climate to ease the pain of some health conditions. I do have peace knowing that God loves the Indiana Conference and will take care of our precious schools.
The Lake Union always has been home to me, and I know I’ll always feel welcome here. God has been so good to me as He, the Master Teacher, has mentored me through His Word, colleagues, administration and the very students we serve. My prayer moving forward is that all – no matter where we are or how we serve – will keep this important thing in mind: education is for eternity! The very best is yet to come.