Adventist education revived in Hunter Valley with school reopening

Principal John Venegas, NNSW president Pastor Cristian Copaceanu, Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison, NNSW education director Paul Fua and students at the ribbon cutting ceremony. [Credit: Henrique Felix]

Keep family and friends informed by sharing this article.

After years of planning and overcoming numerous challenges, The Heights Learning Community in Galveston Heights (NSW) officially opened its doors on May 2, reviving Adventist education in the Hunter Valley.

Originally opened in 1984 with 20 students as Maitland Adventist District School and later known as Valley View School, the institution was closed after a decade of operation. The local church continued to use the site as a community centre, hosting several community programs and services. The dream of reopening the school was nurtured over the years, leading to the successful reopening in 2024.

The opening ceremony included speeches from students and special guests. Among the attendees were Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison, NNSW Conference and Education representatives and Adventist Education national director Dr Jean Carter. 

The newly reopened school hosts nine learners and is supported by a dedicated team comprising an educator, a teacher aide and the principal. Reflecting on the challenges overcome to reach this point, including navigating a global pandemic and local regulations, principal John Venegas expressed relief and joy at the school’s reopening.

“The community’s response has been incredibly positive,” said Mr Venegas, emphasising the active and enthusiastic involvement from residents. The school’s focus is to provide a Christian-centred education that not only fosters academic growth but also builds character among students.

Future plans include expanding the school’s facilities and student body to offer a complete Kindergarten through Year 12 educational program. They aim to initiate the construction of a primary campus within the next three years and gradually introduce additional grades.

Related Stories