Melody Snider, the teaching principal at Stanley Seventh-day Adventist School (Va.) was honored at the Stanley church just before the school’s annual Christmas program on, Dec. 10. Speaking to a packed church with members, school families and friends, Pastor Sam Millen jokingly said that Mrs. Snider is not perfect, quickly adding that, “She is definitely the perfect fit for this school and community. Nobody else could have accomplished what she has done.”
Etched on the apple-shaped plaque she received are the words, “Melody Snider, An Educator Who Inspires Children To Soar Higher, Fly Farther, and Strive To Do Their Best.” She also received a framed commendation written by Keith Hallam, Potomac Conference’s Vice President for Education, which stated in part, “Please know that we are so proud of you and your ministry. Thank you for sharing your love of Jesus with each of us. You are a testimony of how to live as a disciple of Christ.”
Snider came to Potomac in 2012. She taught in Georgia for several years before coming back to her stomping ground in Virginia. “I never intended on being a teacher,” she says. “I had intended on going into something fancy like bio-medical engineering or something rather –make the big bucks!” However, years later she became a high school teacher and announced that she would never teach elementary. Now she’s the teaching principal in a one-room class room of grades 1 -8.
“I finally let God make me an instrument,” says Snider. “And He led me to teaching.” It’s clear that her passion is connecting and building relationships. She’s focused on simply planting a seed to see what magnificent thing could grow. Potomac’s Education Department often refers to her as the “one-man band,” and are constantly amazed with the work she has done in that small, rural school. However, Snider is quick to say, ‘No, the credit doesn’t go to me. This is God just doing His thing! I’m just letting myself be that instrument.”
At the beginning of Snider’s first year, the school had an enrollment of 11 students. The following year, enrollment almost doubled and it’s continued to increase. This school year opened with 33 students and now has three teachers, a teacher’s aid and numerous volunteers helping. A school that was close to being in suspended operation. Those enrollment numbers are, no doubt, due to hard work and faithfulness to the cause and ministry.