Preparing the next generation

Preparing the next generation

Northwest Nazarene University
Jul 11, 2016

“Our job is not finished until we have prepared the next generation.” This anonymous quote has inspired Dr. Ray Lindley, NNU’s Alumnus of the Year Award recipient, and it defines his lifelong dedication to education. This love of education was fostered in Lindley while at NNU and has ultimately led him to his current position as executive director of American International Accreditation Association of Schools and Colleges (AIAASC).

Lindley, a member of the class of 1964, graduated from NNU with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a double minor in education and speech. “During my years at NNU, I had a variety of experiences that I had no idea would be used later in life,” commented Lindley. “The foundations I received—faith, high expectations and joyful living—served me well.”

“Our association is here to help schools advance—with the goal that student improvement will result in school improvement...”

After graduation, Lindley immersed himself in education. He earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration with a minor in English at Portland State University in 1968 while beginning his career as a high school speech and journalism teacher. In 1973, Lindley earned a Doctor of Education in Counseling and Guidance with minors in psychology and education while serving as chair of the Counseling and Guidance Department at Reynolds High School (Troutdale, Ore.) and as a specialist in counseling and guidance for the Oregon Department of Education.

Over the next 43 years, Lindley remained dedicated to the advancement of education. He held various positions that include superintendent, interim administrator at the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, principal, and director in the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Field Services at the Oregon Department of Education. Lindley served as an administrator at NNU for seven years and as a member of the Board of Trustees for 11 years, and he was the recipient of NNU’s L.E. Wesche Outstanding Educator Award in 2003.

In 2008, Lindley expanded his educational career by serving as director of accreditation for international and transregional schools for Northwest Association of Accredited Schools. This organization later merged with AdvancEd in 2011, leading to their partnership with 34,000 schools and school systems across the United States and 70 nations. Realizing international education was his passion, Lindley reiterates, “I love meeting people around the world and seeing the different cultures of each country—I love being an ambassador for Americans. It is gratifying to see how schools in other countries want to improve, and then to be able to facilitate offering tools for them to do that.”

This international role expanded even more when Lindley became the executive director at AIAASC in 2012. In this position, he manages the accreditation process for all schools and colleges in the AIAASC program by preparing reports, revising accreditation standards and visiting the schools.

When speaking of AIAASC and his own goal, Lindley explains, “Our association is here to help schools advance—with the goal that student improvement will result in school improvement. School improvement can best happen when the school is dedicated to maximizing the opportunities for all students to grow—to prepare them for the world that lies ahead.”

President Joel Pearsall added, “NNU’s mission statement reads that our goal is ‘to enable each student to become God’s creative and redemptive agent in the world.’ Ray is a graduate whose life has evidenced his activity as such an agent literally around the globe. Thus, it is fitting that the Alumni Association has named Ray as the 2016 Alumnus of the Year.”