Rico Balugo, Sports Ministry Director
Looking back over the many years Rico Balugo has enjoyed teaching at Fresno Adventist Academy, he states that he would not have changed a thing. In 1975, Rico had the privilege to graduate from his first SDA institution, Pacific Union College.
That same year, he was hired to teach PE at FAA and discovered that Fresno had many beautiful families that loved the Lord, and many sacrificed to make it possible for their children to enjoy a Christian education.
In 1986, Rico received his Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Loma Linda University. After an 8-year leave from FAA to pursue outside sales, God called him back to the career that He had originally called him to teach. God not only opened the doors to teach again, But He also opened the doors to a brand new facility, Ricchiuti Auditorium. God made it very clear through texts like 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God”, that God could use even a physical education-sports department to reach kids spiritually. The term “Sports Ministry” was coined as a constant reminder that God has no limitations; He can even use sports to impact lives for the kingdom. Over the nearly 40 years at FAA, accomplishments include not only teaching physical education for grades 5–12, but teaching classroom health, organizing the yearly summer sports camp, community service projects, class sponsorships, and music ministry.
As Rico looks to another chapter in his life, he believes God has called him and his wife, Nori, to ministry through music and the spoken word. Rico counts it as such a blessing to have had the privilege to spend his entire teaching career in one place. Fresno Adventist Academy for many is, and was a “second home.” Rico wishes to thank the alumni committee for allowing him the honor and privilege of speaking at the “FAAmily Reunion” today.