After serving 43 years in the Adventist education system, Joseph Allison, Iowa-Missouri Conference education superintendent, retired on June 30.
Allison has served in several conferences in various positions during his career. His first official job after graduating from Union College with his bachelor’s in elementary education was as an elementary teacher in Davenport, Iowa, in the Iowa Conference in 1979. After two years in the conference, Allison moved to the Illinois Conference where he taught and held principal positions for a few years. He then accepted the position as vice principal for Spring Valley Academy in Ohio. He remained there until 1998 when he accepted the position as principal for Sunnydale Adventist Academy. After serving in this position for five years, Allison returned to his alma mater, Union College, as a department head, professor and division chair. In 2009, Allison accepted the position of Iowa-Missouri Conference education superintendent and has since served in this capacity.
Simultaneously, Allison continued his education and holds a master’s in Educational Administration and Supervision, doctor of Educational Administration and Supervision and Education Specialist degree. Given Allison’s experience and education, Allison was asked to serve on several committees including the Adventist Accrediting Association, Nebraska Council on Teacher Education and North American Division Education Advisory.
Allison said he has enjoyed several aspects of his career. He said music festivals and teaching in one-room schools are among his fondest memories. In his role as education superintendent, he said one of his favorite things has been hiring elementary teachers whom he previously taught.
Administration in both the conference and union have expressed their gratitude toward Allison’s work in the Adventist education system and say he will be greatly missed.
“Dr. Allison has been an invaluable member of the Mid-America Education team… We will miss him and his insights but wish him God’s blessings in retirement,” said LouAnn Howard, Mid-America Union director of education.
Dean Coridan, Iowa-Missouri Conference president, said Allison has made an impact on the Adventist education system for both the North American Division and the Iowa-Missouri Conference.
“Joe has served in the elementary, secondary and university levelsof education which gives him a unique perspective of education that we will greatly miss. Under his leadership in our conference, our educational system has prospered,” Coridan said.
Allison said he is going to miss regularly interacting with teachers, students and conference staff. He said he will not miss having to get his oil changed every month.
“I travel about 40,000 miles a year. You know, getting to the conference office, visiting schools, going to school board [meetings], doing evaluations and those kinds of things,” Allison said. “The Jiffy Lube guys from my local chain—they know me well.”
In retirement, Allison said he plans to “do what I want to do when I want to do it.” This includes going on camping trips with his wife Cindy, visiting different states, and volunteering as God leads.