In 2014, the school board of the Garden City Adventist Church in Kansas was on a mission. The board wanted to re-open their school, which had closed six years ago. They had funds, students and dedication. What they did not have was a teacher.

They looked at several options, but the teacher they wanted had already committed to another institution for that coming school year. So, patiently, they waited.

One year later they accomplished their mission. I accepted the invitation to teach at the High Plains Christian School. A native Kansan, I attended Enterprise Academy and Union College before beginning my teaching career in Fort Wayne, Indiana, teaching grades 1-4 for five years.

In the fall of 2015, High Plains Christian School re-opened with 11 students in grades 1-6. Students, teacher and church members are working hard to make the re-opening a success.

This year is all about the students learning how a multi-grade school can work. There are students from Latino, Caucasian and Karen backgrounds, all who previously attended public school. They are adapting well and say that having worship and Bible class are two of their favorite things about their new school.

Jessi Whitson has returned to Kansas to teach at the newly re-opened High Plains Christian School.