This article can also be read on Southern Tidings: https://www.southerntidings.com/news/gaaa-has-a-more-excellent-way-the-gaaa-toolkit

“… Behold, I show you a more excellent way,” I Corinthians 12:31.

Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy (GAAA) in Atlanta, Ga., has embarked on a “More Excellent Way” program with its new kit of integrated and adaptable tools. Whereas one traditional tool has been the high school diploma in preparation for college, GAAA has now added an encompassing vision of preparing leaders who, by the end of 12th grade, can witness in non-traditional ways.

Sylvan Lashley, Ed.D., BCJA/GAAA principal, has coined the term “Toward Digital Evangelism.”

Students are combining academic scholarship, oratory, fine arts, legal studies, leadership, and technology in a new recipe. Grades 2-12 participate in annual, publicly held oratorical contests by memorizing speeches of great leaders and public personages, and delivering them at public events.

That oratorical tool has now been combined with legal studies and leadership, as recently evidenced when the legal studies class presented at a mock trial in an Atlanta courtroom featuring a full slate of student defense, prosecuting attorneys, witnesses, and jurors.

Next school year, GAAA adds a technology track where students can earn a certificate in technology by the end of 12th grade with Microsoft certification. This more excellent way is undergirded with character and spiritual development. Each student carries a toolkit with several compartments.

Recently, several students were inducted into the National Honor Society, with an emphasis on scholarship, service, leadership, and character — the main tool in the kit.

Along with a top-flight tour choir and basketball teams, GAAA is launching an entire digital platform. It is the integration of oratory, strong academics, fine arts, leadership, legal knowledge, and technology with the undergirding pillar of spiritual formation and character development that will make the difference in the lives of youth.

All must be equipped to carry the Gospel forcefully, cogently, and clearly, for the vision leads to where many are going, and the mission consists of what many are doing.

The National Honor Society (NHS) is a nationwide organization for high school students in the United States and outlying territories, which consists of many chapters in high schools. Selection is based on four criteria: scholarship (academic achievement), leadership, service, and character. The National Honor Society requires some sort of service to the community, school, or other organizations. The time spent working on these projects contributes toward the monthly service hour requirement. The National Honor Society was founded in 1921 by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The Alpha chapter of NHS was founded at Fifth Avenue High School by Edward S. Rynearson, principal in Pittsburgh, Pa.

National Honor Society groups are commonly active in community service activities both in the community and at the school. Many chapters maintain a requirement for participation in such service activities.

In addition, NHS chapters typically elect officers, who, under the supervision of the chapter adviser, coordinate and manage the chapter as a student organization.