Schools across the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) are in full swing, and as reported in the June issue of OUTLOOK, a new set of educational Core Values has been adopted across the conference.

The original Core Values were prayerfully chosen during the summer of 2012 by a group of leaders, administrators and teachers from around the RMC. Five pilot schools tested the Core Values last year. Teachers, students and parents alike greatly appreciated the emphasis on this collection of Christian values that represent the way we treat each other in our schools.

The Core Values originally chosen were Christ-Centered Living, Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Exploration, Courage and Service. In preparation for rolling out the Core Values concept to the entire RMC school system, the Education Department decided to reformulate the wording of the chosen values so they would form an easy-to-remember acronym. By substituting two of the original Core Values for words that had nearly identical meanings, they settled on the acronym CHERISH. The revised Core Values are Christ-Centered, Honor, Exploration, Responsibility, Integrity, Service and Heroism.

Colorful posters, postcards and buttons have been created to aid in sharing the CHERISH Core Values in classrooms and with parents.

“We wanted to make our Core Values a memorable, easy-to-grasp program that children from the earliest grades all the way through academy would be able to understand and embody,” shared Lonnie Hetterle, RMC vice president for education. “We ‘cherish’ our students; we ‘cherish’ our teachers; and with these Core Values as our guiding principles, we will ‘cherish’ each other.”

“I’m truly excited about the way these values will impact the day-to-day interactions at our schools,” said Gary Thurber, RMC president. “I’m also hopeful that this program will reach schools beyond our Rocky Mountain boarders. I would be thrilled to see them bless the Mid-America Union, and even the North American Division!”

To find out more about the CHERISH Core Values program or to locate the Adventist school closest to your home, visit


Author Mark Bond is communication director for the Rocky Mountain Conference.