It is hard to imagine Campion Academy without Kathy Binder as a full-time staff member teaching English and Family Science (Home Economics), but after 30 years of dedicated service at Campion and 43 total years of teaching, her retirement is well-deserved.
Binder is a Northern Colorado native and graduated from Campion Academy in 1972. She studied at Union College and has been teaching in Adventist academies ever since her graduation in 1976. She began at Campion in 1989 by teaching Home Economics soon after her son was born. Over the years, she continued to add on more classes until she was full-time. In addition to teaching, Binder has been a Student Association sponsor for over 10 years, helping student leaders plan many fun activities throughout the years.
Binder’s care and concern for each student has been the basis of her career as a teacher. “The best thing about working at Campion has been getting to know all the students,” she explains. “I enjoy developing relationships with the students and also with my co-workers.” She continued by advising our current teachers hoping to follow in her footsteps to “take time to enjoy the people and students. Don’t get so wrapped up in the grading and planning that you don’t take time to enjoy the people.”
Her dedication to Campion Academy has been made obvious throughout the years, and along with her husband Kevin, she plans to continue to be an active member of the alumni association and will serve on the school board during retirement. She says she is proud to have been a part of Campion Academy: “We have a solid educational program to prepare students to make the next step in their education and future careers. Also, Campion staff and students are caring; people look out for each other and care about what is happening in each other’s lives. It is wonderful to see the students so connected to God spiritually,” she explained.
Life is coming full-circle for Binder; just as she started at Campion teaching one class and caring for her young son, she plans to teach one class of Independent Living next year while having more time to care for her aging parents.
We are creating a memory book for Kathy.
If you would like to participate, please send your message
and photos to Darcy Force at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appreciation from students:
“Thank you Mrs. Binder for all your hard work and for dealing with so many students. Because of you, I started to enjoy poetry and writing. You’ve helped and inspired so many, and you’ll be deeply missed at Campion.” - Blessing S.
“Mrs. Binders worships at the beginning of each class really impacted me this year. Her worships almost felt like they were directed to me and the people in the stories had relatable experiences.” - Haley B.
“Mrs. Binder is a really fun-loving person as I’ve seen from river trip to SA. Also she is really clutch when you need a recommendation letter.” Weston H.
“Mrs. Binder has impacted my school experience by helping whenever I needed it. She wasn't just a teacher; she was a friend. She always loved being a part of our lives. We would ask her a question and she would always try to make it clear and simply answer.” - Lizzie P.
“Mrs. Binder has always been a positive influence. I always looked forward to coming to English class in the mornings just to see her smiling face because it always seemed to bring joy to all of her students.” - Jordyn D.
“Mrs. Binder is an amazing teacher. She so sweet and she always ask how we’re doing.” - Blet H.
“In the English classes I took from her, Mrs. Binder started each class with a time for students to share prayer requests. She would wait to continue with class until each student who had something to share had the opportunity to speak. I remember coming into Campion as a freshman confused at some of the events, and not only was Mrs. Binder willing to take our prayer requests, she was willing to answer and discuss any event that was coming up and show genuine excitement with and for us. This personal connection was very important to me and it showed me how much Mrs. Binder cared for me. Mrs. Binder, you will truly be missed!” - Madi J.
“Even though I only met Mrs. Binder this year, I enjoyed the daily morning devotions she would read.” - Emma C.
“I love Mrs. Binder because she is always super understanding and sweet, I love how she teaches and she will definitely be missed!” - Faith E.
“Mrs. Binder has been a very good teacher, I will miss seeing her and going to her class. I will miss you Mrs. Binder!” - Audra B.
“When I was going through a lot of stuff this year she was able to be there for me. She is such a great person. She is loving, kind, and can always find a way to make people laugh. - Sandra A.
"Having Mrs. Binder around was so fun. I would just be walking around the halls and she would always greet me to ask me how I was. Class was also fun too because she was always interested in what a person had to say and that's something I appreciate about her. I'm really going to miss her presence here, but I'm glad that I got to call her one of my teachers." - Melody
“Mrs. Binder was the teacher of my very first class at Campion. She made a fantastic SA sponsor, teacher, faculty family member, and so much more.” - Sami H.
“Mrs. Binder was always such a sweet teacher. I could tell she cared about each one of her students and was always asking how we were doing. Mrs. Binder will be greatly missed!” - Megan M.
“Mrs. Binder has taught me the fundamentals of English and has challenged me to find a balance between school and other aspects in my life! I appreciate her advice and I’m thankful that I was one of her students.” - Regan G.
“Mrs. Binder made us think, and think deeply. Her classes required us to examine how we looked not only at grammar, but at society, social issues, and ultimately our own spirituality.” - Kean J.
“Mrs. Binder has impacted my life by helping me to see, through her assignments and through her character, that I need to open myself up to others and to myself so I can truly figure out who I am.” Anonymous student
“Several of my family members have had Mrs. Binder as a teacher and she is one of their favorite teachers. Same goes for me! She is a very talented teacher and I enjoyed my time in her class!” - Kaileigh C.
“For me Mrs Binder was one of the most compassionate teachers. She showed mercy when I didn’t deserve it.” Carla R.
Appreciation from staff members:
“Kathy has always been such an even-keeled, pleasant person to work with. I love how she can remain calm and keep the students going even when it gets chaotic. She knows how to display strength in quietness.” - Kent Kast
“The friendship we have had for many, many years is unforgettable. You have been an inspiration to me through your marriage, work ethics, teachings, charitable acts of kindness, and love for God. Blessings to you and Kevin. I am proud to call you both my friends.” Dean Helm
“I appreciate how Kathy helped me during my first couple of years as a teacher. She always had the best advice on how to handle situations that were all new to me.” - Erin Johnson
“I have enjoyed how Kathy has brought excellence to education. Her classes set the bar high. What makes her a great teacher is not only her knowledge, but her care and concern for students. She recognizes that education is preparing the student for the future and she would give as much of her time and life to help.” - Don Reeder
“Kathy is definitely a team player, always willing to help out where needed. She is very pleasant and positive, always wearing a smile, and goes the second mile to help her students be successful.” - Sherry Hay
“Kathy is delightful as a colleague. "Mercy" she has a great, positive personality.” - Dawn Fagan
“Kathy is the perfect mix of no-nonsense and compassion. She is resilient and demonstrates the ability to do what is needed though things may be difficult. I also admire how even though this was her last year, she didn't shy away from learning new ways to teach and utilize technology. She will be greatly missed by staff and students.” Wendy Eickmann
“Kathy has been fun to work with. She is patient with the students and I have always loved hearing her say "Mercy Child" when a kid is doing something ridiculous.” - Steve Eickmann
“I’ve appreciated working with Kathy because she was always willing to collaborate and share ideas. She has included many thoughtful and creative projects into her curriculum and she is a great team player!” - Jill Harlow
“Kathy is consistently kind, gentle, caring and gracious to her students and staff. What a joy and blessing it has been to work with her.” - Patricia Torres
"While I only got to work with Kathy for one year, I'm certainly glad she was here as I began my career at Campion. Kathy served as a mentor to me as I jumped in to teaching the Senior English classes, and through her guidance I was able to navigate some of the initial challenges that I faced as a new teacher." - Jordan Dubini
“I've always appreciated working with Kathy because she never had anything negative to say--she was always upbeat and positive. She worked hard and was always willing to try out new things--which impressed me for someone who had been working there for 30 years! She's really going to be missed and I wish her the best on her next adventure.” - Lindsey Santana
Campion Academy welcomed home close to 800 people over alumni weekend, September 20-22, 2019. Honor classes included all years ending in nine or four. The most experienced attendees came from the class of 1944, celebrating 75 years since graduation. The weekend began with a vespers concert featuring Southwestern Adventist University's and Campion Academy's Music Departments.
Current students, alumni, and church members came together to worship in Campion's gym on Sabbath. They enjoyed performances from Campion's Music Department, and inspirational messages from Carl Dupper, '09, and Dr. Neil Nedley, president of Weimar Institute.
New this year, several alumni were honored with Alumni of the Year and Hall of Faith Awards. Above, Principal Reeder presents the Hall of Faith award to the daughter of Frank Page, the first principal of Campion Academy for the impact he and his family have had on Campion over several generations.
At the annual Saturday night alumni games, many Campion graduates who had played varsity sports came and scrimmaged against the current teams. In soccer, the current team beat the alumni, and in volleyball the alumni beat the current team.
Catch up on all the events in the photo story below.
Driving the Seward Highway into Anchorage, Alaska, the scenery is majestic and awe-inspiring, with the strength and beauty of the mountains and trees softened by the Gulf of Alaska lapping at the edges of the highway. The view is not always serene, however. The traffic along the highway, at its peak during the months of April-June, is also the scene of wildlife-related accidents. Between 500-700 moose are killed on Alaska highways every year, many of them leaving orphaned moose calves behind.
The day can start like any other. However, when Dana gets a call that a moose calf, sometimes twins, just lost its mama and is in need of rescue, the day’s priorities quickly change. Usually the call comes from the public. Grabbing an intern, because they never go alone, Dana will handle prepping for the rescue, giving the Fish and Game a heads up, and off into the Alaskan wilds at a moment’s notice.
Running Moose Mamas Rescue is a full-time job for Dana Dunn DeBernardi, Class of 1994. The Rescue is a non-profit and Dana (pronounced DAN-a) runs it while supporting her three children. It is quite a commitment, though one she seems to have come by honestly. Growing up, Dana was constantly exposed to nature, hunting, fishing, and her family is “really, really into conservation.” Throughout her childhood, her parents, grandparents, and uncles would talk about elk, moose, the local wildlife population, and conservation. Her uncle worked hard to re- establish the wild turkey population.
Dana was also taught that if something is broke, you fix it. The moose population in Alaska was drastically declining geographically. The orphaned calves most often died when they lost their mothers to vehicle accidents. So Dana took action. She went through miles of red tape, secured her permits, and founded Moose Mamas Rescue.
Caring for a moose calf is intense. Sometimes the calf is 2 days old and only 35 lbs. Or they could be 2 months old and they’re 200 lbs. April through June is the busiest time of year, due to the influx of tourists and traffic. As the only release program in the state, these months can be extremely busy with as many as 10 calves at a time. A group of 5-6 interns stay with Dana over the summer.
Because moose aren’t grazers, but browsers, Dana has to gather tree limbs to hang around the pen to provide food in addition to the formula. An adult male will eat about 60-70 lbs. a day so one calf can eat up 50 lbs. Moose calves grow very fast, up to 5% of their own body weight a day, so they need a constant source of nutrients. Formula for the little calves is the program’s biggest expense. A schedule, complete with alerts and alarms, is set up to make sure each calf gets their 8 feedings a day.
Moose Mamas Rescue keeps the calves for about three to four months. By the time the calves are big enough to be on their own, they are about 350- 400 lbs. Dana and her interns tranquilize the moose, fly them across the inlet, find a remote lake, land on the lake, and then put them in a temporary pen.
Before the moose are released, they are fitted with collars. They say a prayer over each moose and then let them go. The moose are affixed with a collar to help provide statistics for research on the population. The collars are specially designed to expand with their necks for about 12-15 months, until the collar falls off.
From the beginning, Dana felt like her involvement with Moose Mamas was a God thing. Many days have dawned where there weren’t enough resources to continue the rescue and support her family, or where just the volume of work was daunting for one woman and 3 months of interns. Dana says that God always provides, He always comes through. Now the program is growing, with new opportunities presenting themselves.
One of the opportunities includes teaching conservation and responsibility to local elementary students. The students collect water bottles for the Rescue to use in feeding the calves. The bottles are then double- recycled. Another huge blessing came when three of her interns dedicated their lives to Christ this summer. Two of them were atheist and they’ve all gone home to share their experience with their families.
“I feel like God is working on a bigger picture with this project,” Dana explains. “The path is being shifted to connect the program with people who need help, giving them a chance to interact with animals. The human to animal connection is amazing. We’re praying hard over these opportunities.”
Moose Mamas Rescue is getting ready to release the eight calves raised this summer. Learn more about Moose Mamas at moosemamas.org.
Director of Alumni & Development
“They just don’t make things like they used to”. I hear it a lot; about houses. Tools.
Furniture. You name it. It seems like no matter what it is, it’s just not built the way it used to be.
You know, back when things were built to last. Built solid and with real materials, not the cheap
stuff they’re using today. Doesn’t that make you wonder if the same holds true for the youth of
this generation? Do they know the value of a dollar? Do they know how to work? Are they kind
and polite or are they so attached to their phones that they don’t even notice others around
My family had the privilege of hosting two Campion Academy sophomore students from
Brazil this summer in our home. I wondered how they would be. How are Campion students
built? Are they flimsy like cheap furniture? I’m thrilled to report, I couldn’t have been happier with
what I saw from these boys. The students we had in our home were kind, polite, helpful,
hardworking and generous. They were all the things I would have hoped our students at
Campion to be. A summer was enough time to see their true characters come out. I was so
proud that the Campion students of today are still built as solid as they were in the good ole’
days. Come see for yourself this alumni weekend how the students at Campion Academy truly
are. You’ll be glad you did.
- Codi Davidson Jahn, Class of 2001, Campion Alumni Association President
If you missed alumni weekend this year, you missed a good one. I watched as friends reconnected, hugging and laughing with each other, even if they hadn’t been reunited in decades. I observed their children becoming friends. I watched with sadness as the class of 1953 remembered their fellow classmates who are no longer around to celebrate occasions such as these and was reminded that there’s a heavenly alumni reunion coming soon when we’ll all celebrate together.
The entire alumni weekend was filled with worship. Friday evening we listened as Richard Lawry (‘73) reminded us that if we miss Jesus, we miss it all. For Sabbath School, we heard reports on mission trips Campion students have recently been on, as well as the student-led evangelistic crusade called Wildfire. It was inspiring to hear how Campion students are not only participating in but leading out in evangelism.
For church, a quartet from the class of 1968 blessed us with special music. They were followed by our featured speaker Harold Alomia’s sermon, reminding us of the value in community. And really, isn’t that what Campion is all about?
On Saturday night, Union College led us in worship with a variety of musical groups and selections. Their music was fabulous.
Throughout the weekend, Campion students led out in praise and worship. I am always in awe of what a great job young people will do when given the opportunity to lead. Campion’s musical groups sounded wonderful all weekend; bells, choir and orchestra.
Thank you to all who came and reconnected this past alumni weekend, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Alumni Board President