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Education with a lifetime return on investment

April 16, 2014

Growing up in Kuna, Idaho, Northwest Nazarene University alumnus Ron Curtis dreamed of attending NNU. When that dream became a reality, he had no idea how that decision would transform the rest of his life. 

“My senior year of high school I was torn between attending a school offering me a substantial scholarship and attending NNU. NNU was the school I had always wanted to go to because it offered everything I wanted: a place to explore my walk with God and grow in my faith. My parents told me the choice was mine. They also said you get what you pay for. I couldn't agree more. I chose NNU and would do it over and over again.”

Ron began taking classes to complete his bachelor’s in music education, which he did in 1994. During that time he found himself learning more than just music theory, composition and directing, he found himself learning about life. “The hard work and often long hours spent with me by my professors was staggering. It was a sign to me that I could be even better than I ever thought I could be as a Christian and a teacher. I have never had an experience like that since leaving NNU.” 

Talk to Ron today and he’ll give you a long list of accolades for each professor he encountered in the music department, crediting them with lessons about contagious teaching, emotional vulnerability as a strength rather than a weakness, grace in relationships, passion for your profession and the list goes on. He’ll also tell you how his relationship with NNU did not end at graduation.

As a music teacher at a high school only a few miles from the university, Ron has daily opportunity to maintain his relationship with the school both on a personal and educational level. “NNU continues to shape the way that I teach and run my classroom today, and it has been instrumental in the success of my teaching career. My professors helped me get my first job, then during my first few years, loaned me materials I didn’t have to support a school that was struggling to establish a music program. I was able to borrow robes, risers and music from NNU to provide my students with the basic materials necessary to have a successful program.”

“Today NNU professors visit my classroom to work with and challenge my choirs’ levels of performance, and in turn, continue to expand my knowledge of where I might challenge them next. In fact, this is my 20th year of teaching and NNU continues to be my partner in music education—that is quite the investment!”

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