Principal/Teacher, Grades 5-8
I am an immigrant. I have always been a migrant. I was born a migrant. I am a Salvadorian born in the country of Honduras where my parents had migrated. In 5th grade I attended a little rural school in El Salvador where my life was changed by a teacher, a teacher who could see beyond my extreme poverty and overwhelming obstacles. He challenged me to dream. He said to me, “You should be a teacher. You would make a good one.” He was my earthly hero and I believed him.
In 1992, I graduated with a degree in secondary education from Canadian Union College in Alberta Canada. Since then I have dedicated my life to following the example of my 5th grade hero.
I love God’s language in nature and the outdoors. I also like reading my Bible and discovering new things each time. A huge highlight in my career took place in 2005 when International Children’s Care invited me to serve as director of a project for orphaned and abandoned children in El Salvador. We did that for four years. It is a privilege for me to serve the youth of our community through the ministry of Intermountain Adventist Academy.
Teacher, Grades 2-4
Jami was raised in Grand Junction. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Union College and a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She also has an endorsement in teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. She has worked at public and private schools in Colorado, Indiana, and Taiwan. She is very excited to have this opportunity to live close to her family and work in the community that has given her so much love and support. Jami enjoys reading, swimming, hiking, eating, camping, and traveling.
Currently Jami’s favorite Bible verse is: “But if from there [worshipping man-made gods] you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Her goal is to seek after God with her whole heart and to encourage her students to do the same.
Teacher, Grades K – 1
Sarah Gould was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Later, her family moved to the Nashville, TN area, where she attended high school at Highland Academy in Portland, TN. After graduating from academy, Sarah went on to Southern Adventist University for only a year before becoming a hair stylist. Another move brought her closer to Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology.
After graduation, Sarah accepted a position in the Ohio Conference, teaching grades 3rd-8th. After two years in OH, a call from a friend in 2013 convinced her to move to Grand Junction, and she has been teaching at IAA ever since.
Sarah’s parents now live in Iowa where her dad is a nursing home administrator, and her mom keeps doctors on their toes as a clinic receptionist. Her sister lives in Tennessee,
and is a radiology technician in downtown Chattanooga. Since most of her family lives in the Chattanooga area, Sarah travels there regularly.
You can almost always find Sarah with a book at bedtime, but she also enjoys camping, crafty things, hiking, Pinteresting, running, organizing and being with friends and family.
Dr. John Howard, our Music teacher, is a native of San Diego, California, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Christian Heritage College in 2002. In 2005, he earned his Master of Arts in Musicology from San Diego State University, and in 2011, he completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Dr. Howard currently holds the position of Director of Music and Worship Arts at The First Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction, CO, and has served in similar positions at other churches in California and Mississippi.
In addition to working in church music, he has taught and conducted at elementary, high school, and collegiate levels and held appointments with community choirs. He also maintains a private studio, teaching piano, voice, and organ.
Dr. Howard works with tireless passion and energy to promote excellence in sacred music for the glory of God and the enrichment of contemporary culture.
His life verse is “You shall be called a repairer of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12).
Pastor Nate was born and raised in southern Wisconsin. Before he heard God’s call to full-time ministry, he worked as a custom home builder. After completing his bachelor’s degree in Theology from Andrews University in 2011, he accepted a position in full-time ministry in Milwaukee, WI. While pastoring, he continued his education, completing a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry. He served multiple churches in the Milwaukee area before the Lord opened the opportunity for him to move to Colorado and begin serving as the pastor of the Grand Junction Seventh-day Adventist Church in the spring of 2018. Outside of enjoying life with his wife, Rachel, and their two daughters, Nate’s interests include scuba diving, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits.