New Staff

An OAA welcome to Beth Zeiss.

An OAA welcome to our new Vice Principal for Academics, Mrs. Beth Zeiss. Beth comes to us from Georgia-Cumberland Academy where she has served the previous six years in Development and Alumni Relations. Prior to GCA, Beth developed professionally within the classroom and as a businesswoman in Real Estate. Mrs. Zeiss will serve the position well with her attention to detail, in-depth knowledge of Adventist Education (and boarding academy dynamics) and commitment to excellence. Yet, it is her ability to connect with people that our faculty, parents, and students will appreciate most.

“In praying for the right candidate to bring our academics to the desired level of excellence,” says Dean Waterman, OAA’s principal, “it was important that our Vice Principal for Academics have the ability to know the intricacies of Adventist Education standards, but more importantly be able to develop and coach educators within the classroom and challenge our students as well. With God bringing Beth to OAA through much prayer, we our confident we have the right person for the position!”

Zeiss graduated from Southern Adventist University with dual degrees in Education and Psychology and completed her M.Ed. after several years of teaching. She and her husband Michael will celebrate twenty-five years of marriage this month and have three teenagers (12,14 & 18). Their oldest begins college this coming semester, with their middle son beginning his freshman year at OAA.

Beth begins her new position at OAA on August 15th, having previously committed to being part of the Pathfinder Camporee scheduled for early August. We look forward to her and the family joining us very soon!

We welcome Brad Simmons, our new OAA Bible teacher!

Brad was born in California, raised in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he and his family became fast friends with numerous professors from Andrews University. These neighbors, without knowing fully, influenced Brad’s interest and future work within Adventist Education.

Brad attended Adventist academies, including a partial year where he crossed paths briefly with our current principal, Dean Waterman (Brad was so quiet Dean had to find a yearbook to place him!). Southwestern Adventist University was next, where he met his wife, Carla, and completed his Bachelors in Social Science and Education, eventually competing an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Brad has been an educator for three decades, sharing this passion with Carla, who will be teaching at OAS while he teaches Bible at OAA. His vast experience of teaching and serving as a principal has solidified his love of the classroom, and the amazing students he interacts with. Whether serving on leadership committees, Potomac Conference Board of Ed, or seated behind a principal’s desk, Simmons loves the students first and foremost. The best part, he says is, “Sharing his love for his best friend, Jesus, with students and watching them build their own relationship with Jesus.”

Brad and Carla enjoy traveling, adventures, and have two large and happy dogs, Bonnie and Clyde. Brad also loves loud shirts. Very loud. It’s all part of his extroverted personality, which will likely make him a favorite part of the OAA family quickly. The Simmons are already here, with Brad getting his classroom ready for our new school year.

Welcome Brad, we are excited you are part of the OAA team.

Welcome Lena Nappi and Jessica Chitura!

Ms. Lena Nappi, OAA’s new Dean of Women, is an Air Force veteran with thirteen years of boarding academy experience. Lena has three adult children (two daughters, one son), and just recently became a grandmother to Beckett, a beautiful baby boy! Lena has numerous interests, but the one our young ladies will likely appreciate often is her culinary expertise!

Mrs. Jessica Chitura, new Associate Dean of Women, comes with vast education and boarding academy experience overseas in Zimbabwe and Honduras, as well within the United States. She and her husband, Johannes, have three children (one son, two daughters) ages 3-9, all whom are excited to come to OAA (provided there are no poisonous snakes). Jessica will also be teaching Spanish I & II, as well as French in the future.

Both of our new Deans bring sincere love for God, and strong desire to share His amazing love and grace with the ladies who will live in the residence hall. Their gracious leadership will provide a safe place for young ladies to grow and explore life, friendships, and continue (or for some, begin) experiencing their lifelong relationship with God. Ms. Nappi and Mrs. Chitura are committed to a partnership that will provide strong leadership on campus, and give parents the peace that their daughters are in an environment that is like home while away from home.

We welcome these two amazing women to OAA!

Welcome to our 23rd principal for OAA, Dean Waterman

Dean brings a passion for Adventist Education and a vision to lead our school forward to even greater heights. Dean has an MBA and vast experience in business, pastoral ministry and recently served as Head-of-School in British Columbia prior to accepting the call to lead OAA.

Dean and Jody have been married 26 years and have two young adult children. His hobbies include reading (with a huge library his wife would prefer to be on a Kindle), photography, astronomy, technology, outdoors and writing (and recently published his first book, Leading a Congregation to Relevance).

“Ozark is an academy with a special reputation and history. It’s an honor to serve, lead and vision into a more incredible future to the school,” says Dean. “The first goal to reach shortly is 150 students at registration this Fall, and an increase each year. I am confident we will do this with God’s leading!”

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Ozark Adventist Academy please contact us at 479.736.2221 or at [email protected] via the link below.

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