Jean Carter

They called, she answered

Friday, August 26, 2022
Brenton Stacey

Brenton Stacey

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Brenton is Avondale University’s Public Relations and Philanthropy Officer. He brings to the role experience as a communicator in publishing, media relations, public relations, radio and television, mostly within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific and its entities.

Jean honoured for serving and leading in Adventist education

Members of her local church are to thank for helping Jean Carter (DipTch, 1982) prepare for what has become a lifelong career in Seventh-day Adventist education. “I always wanted to be a teacher but couldn’t afford to go to Avondale, so my Thornleigh family helped pay for my tuition.” Jean enjoyed the experience—making forever friends, playing basketball [“go the mighty Bricks!”], working in the cafeteria.

With graduation came a significant call: as sole charge teacher at the Adventist school in Mount Gambier. “I said to God, ‘Wherever you send me, I will go,’ but I’d never ventured away from home except to go to Avondale, never driven a car, and never lived alone.” That would soon change. “I met my husband to be. What an adventure! And might I say, it has not stopped.”

Jean remembers moving to Invercargill, New Zealand, with less than two weeks’ notice and teaching within six days of arriving. “Now that was exciting.” Of course, Peter moved with Jean, too. “He’s changed careers so many times—as a carpenter, roofer, cook, wool press, teacher’s aide, farm hand, smelter worker, handyman, fitter and machinist, school maintenance man, and boat builder.”

Jean has worked as principal at eight schools, including as one of the first female principals of a K-12 school. She has lectured at tertiary institutions, including four stints at Avondale. And she has worked in educational administration for the church in the South Pacific, in Australia, in Greater Sydney (as executive director) and in northern New South Wales. Along the way, she has completed bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

In all her roles, Jean has served with a commitment to honesty and integrity and to “listening to the voices of and speaking up for children.” She still loves teaching and serving in children’s Sabbath schools and in the activity-based Pathfinder ministry. Her top professional accomplishment: seeing former students become church and school leaders.

The Class of 1982 honours Jean Carter for her willingness to serve where sent and lead when asked.

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