After 43 years of service in Adventist Education, South Pacific Division (SPD) education director Dr David McClintock has announced his retirement at the end of this year.
Throughout his career, Dr McClintock served as deputy of three schools, and a principal of six schools in Papua New Guinea, WA, Victoria, NSW and Queensland Conferences—three of those boarding schools. He also served as education director at conference, union and division levels.
Having graduated from theology before studying teaching at Avondale University, he also worked as an assistant pastor in Gizo, Western Solomons, as a student missionary before starting his 43-year-long career in Adventist education.
Reflecting on his career, Dr McClintock says his passion has always been Bible teaching and seeing students’ lives be transformed by God. “I think the highlights for me are not the roles in senior administration so much as when I have been used by God to touch lives for Him,” he said.
“The real moments I look back on with a sense of the presence of God are when students opened their hearts to Him; when a student tells you they are still a Christian today because of the influence one had in their lives a decade or more ago.
“For me, the highlights are not position but people. I think of a struggling school that my wife Glenda and I both worked at, that by the power of God and a committed staff and school board, turned right around and has now grown to be a thriving ELC to Year 12 school today,” he added.
SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend affirmed Dr McClintock’s contribution to the Adventist education system in the South Pacific. “David is a quintessential educator with a heart for Jesus and His mission. He shares characteristics from his background—the Pacific and Australia. He is well organised, efficient and effective in working through agendas and projects, always getting things done on time. His main focus has been on Adventist identity, mission and ethos in the education system across the SPD,” Pastor Townend said.
“He also has time to sit and relax, tell stories, listen, communicate and reflect. This process has given him wisdom. I will miss David’s spiritual insights he shares and his insightful cross-cultural perspectives and wisdom.”
Following Dr McClintock’s retirement announcement, current Fulton Adventist University College principal Dr Malcolm Coulsen was appointed the next SPD education director on July 13 during the Division’s Executive Committee quarterly meetings. Dr Coulsen will start in the position early next year.
“Succession planning is something that is important. I am so delighted to be able to pass the baton on to such a capable and experienced administrator who is deeply respected both in Australia and across the Pacific. Malcolm and his wife Marcia have made a wonderful contribution at Fulton and he will now provide outstanding leadership from the Division,” said Dr McClintock.
As Fulton principal for the past three years, Dr Coulson joined the college in what Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga describes as a crucial time, guiding the school through the challenges of a pandemic.
“N-one really knew what to do, but Dr Coulson, with his godly wisdom, guided Fulton during the uncertain times—the college continued to operate, enrolment was still high, students still met their academic requirements and we still graduated our students,” said Pastor Kaufononga.
Pastor Townend said Dr Coulson’s vast experience in the education sector will be an asset. “He has served as teacher, principal, education director, university lecturer as well as university administrator in his career in government and mainly Adventist institutions. He is a spiritual leader who has the ability to focus on priorities that matter.”
With Dr Coulson leaving his position at Fulton, the TPUM has appointed Fulton’s current head of department of theology, Dr Ronald Stone, as the new principal from 2023.
Dr Stone has held positions as church pastor, chaplain, lecturer and senior lecturer, as well as administrative roles in Fiji Mission and the TPUM.
“The real bonus is again further succession planning with Dr Ron Stone now being appointed as the new principal of Fulton Adventist University College for 2023. He, too, brings a wealth of experience to this role. I leave with a sense of peace that this is the right time for me to step away—and know that we have wonderful leadership stepping up,” said Dr McClintock.