A feature story in the January 2021 issue of OUTLOOK Magazine, the official monthly publication of the Mid-America Union, details how our Adventist elementary school in Cedar Rapids overcame challenges this fall regarding both the pandemic and the devastating derecho that tore through the area in August. An excerpt is below. You can read the full story in the magazine or on OUTLOOK‘s website (link below). 

August 10, 2020, started out as an ordinary day for the people of east-central Iowa. Students, parents and teachers were eager to start school after five months away due to COVID-19. At Andrews Christian Academy—the Seventh-day Adventist elementary school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa—teachers Julie Olson, Ashley Schebo, and Kelley Glazier were preparing for the first day of school by taping X’s on the sidewalk to show proper social distancing for the students when they arrived.

No storms were forecast for the day, and no sirens were blaring to warn of the impending disaster. There was no apparent cause for concern when clouds suddenly rolled in—until winds began to blow so strongly that they caused a tree in front of the school to bend over and send branches flying, denting Mrs. Olson’s car and smashing her windshield. The teachers raced to the safety of the storeroom at the back of the school to wait out the storm and then fought to keep the door shut by pushing against it as the storm intensified.

The winds and rain roared and increased to hurricane strength. The storm, called a derecho, recorded sustained wind speeds of 110 to 140 mph.