Treasure Valley Sees New Day in School Advertising

January 10, 2019 | Education | Troy Haagenson

As the leaves blew across the grass in the fall of 2015, three pastors — Randy Maxwell, Don Driver and Troy Haagenson — sat down in the music room of the Boise Valley Adventist School to collaborate on a five-year spiritual growth plan. They had no idea God was about to reveal to them a way to advertise four church schools in the Treasure Valley of southwest Idaho using an integrated threefold marketing approach. The brochure coming off the press on Sept. 4, 2018, was proof the three-year dream had finally come alive.

The small committee of pastors had two questions that dominated their early conversations. Don Driver asked, “How can we change the narrative about our schools within the membership of the Idaho Conference and the broader community?”

Another question soon followed from Troy Haagenson: “Is it possible to market our local Adventist schools as a unified educational system?”

Key to answering these two questions was the creation of a central website. Randy Maxwell suggested the name “Adventist Advantage.” A generous gifting of the web domain AdventistAdvantage.org from a private owner nurtured the vision. Brochures and radio ads could now direct interested people in the Treasure Valley to the website so the advantages of Adventist education could be further explored. Each of the four schools retain their own website and personalized brochures, but www.AdventistAdvantage.org now offered a platform to advertise broadly with additional material that funnels interest to the local church schools.

Collaboration among the Idaho Conference board of education, local principals, board chairs, pastors and school boards solidified this new way to advertise Treasure Valley’s Adventist schools. Additional support for the vision came when the North Pacific Union Conference awarded the Adventist Advantage effort a technology-matching grant for creative outreach in 2016.

Parents commonly gauge reputation, spiritual environment and academics as key factors in selecting a private Christian school. Adventist Advantage creates a platform to share transformational stories, student achievements and educational advantages with the local community. Simon Chung, a sixth- through eighth-grade teacher at Boise Valley Adventist School, says, “I am excited about the opportunity the website offers my students to post class video projects.”

As 6,000 educators met in Chicago for the 2018 North American Division Teachers’ Conference and students began their summer migration into fall enrollment, Adventist Advantage moved forward with an exciting platform to let the local communities know that the Adventist schools in their neighborhoods are viable options for Christian education. The impact of Adventist education is a narrative worth repeating.