Brisa shares why she decided to return to Campion after leaving for a semester during her sophomore year. Now as a senior and student chaplain, she reflects on how God was guiding through her journey.
The Campion Academy family is mourning the loss of a student. Timothy Dien passed away from unexpected and unknown causes on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Campion Academy is in contact with the family as we seek to support them through their tremendous loss. The family is working with Campion on plans for a memorial service. A GoFundMe account has been established to help support the family through the unexpected funeral costs and can be found at gofund.me/bf2b8663.
Campion students and staff spent Sabbath School class on Saturday, as well as additional time in the afternoon, coming together to pray with each other and for the Dien family. Counselors were made available to students during these times. Special prayer times have been scheduled throughout the week, as well as continued access to counselors, to help the students and staff process this loss.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by this loss,” shares principal Donavan Reeder. “Timothy was a beloved member of our student body. His loss leaves a big hole in our hearts. We ask for your prayers as we seek to support the Dien family and our Campion students and staff.”
The cause of death remains unknown. Timothy was found unresponsive in his bed in the men’s residence hall. Emergency life-saving procedures were immediately attempted by the dean on duty. However, when paramedics arrived on the scene, he was pronounced deceased.
On Friday morning, he attended breakfast, where he was greeted by fellow students. He did not report any illness to staff. An accountability room check was administered in the evening due to his absence. However, when he was checked on at bedtime, he was found unresponsive. There was no apparent sign of self harm or foul play. The autopsy report is pending, though it typically takes up to six weeks to process.
Timothy, who was in his eleventh year of school, is remembered by his teachers and fellow students as kind and tender-hearted, with a willingness to encourage others. He was a gifted student, exhibiting dedication towards his studies. His sister, Tiffany, graduated from Campion in 2021.
“Our hearts break for the sudden loss of Timothy,” shares Rocky Mountain Conference Education Department Superintendent Diane Harris. “We pray that his family and friends are enveloped by the comfort of God’s presence.”
Details on a memorial service will be shared on Campion’s website and social media as the information becomes available.
We unexpectedly lost Timothy Dien, our friend, classmate, and student, on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Students and staff shared cherished memories of their time with Timothy and the impact he had on their lives.
“Timothy was the kind of person who was a silent leader. He was also someone who wouldn’t want to be in the spotlight. But once you got to know him, he was the most caring, funny, and selfless person. He would do anything to help others. I remember him making me laugh in PE class because we didn’t want to run and always complained about it. He always knew how to make people feel better. Even though he’s not with us here on Earth, I know that we will all keep him in our hearts and see him again in Heaven.” - Blessing Simamora
“The most memorable moments I have with Timothy I will forever cherish; from our afternoon soccer games to our stressful late study nights, Timothy was always there for me, and I’ll never forget the times we had together.” - Geraldy Marvel
“If we’re being honest, anyone who knew Timothy knew that he wasn’t the most fond of me because I always made him uncomfortable with my jokes. Although, in a way, those jokes made us kind of close. He was honestly a selfless person, and he was always humble. He was smart and sometimes quietly competitive. I sat next to him in AmLit and whenever his answer made it onto the TV screen, he always made sure that I knew because he wanted to compete with our answers to see who had a better one that pertained to the question. All in all, he was an intelligent guy that was a good friend with good morals. I’m gonna miss him.” - Melody Mambo
“Most of my memories with him are when I was in his room doing homework, hanging out, and playing sports with him. He was always willing to help me back into the dorm when I forgot my keycard inside. He was a very intelligent person and had an elite sense of humor. ” - Preston Sturges
“A great memory I had with Timothy, my last in person interaction with him, was just last month while taking him home from church. We were teasing him about having a girlfriend and giving him advice on updating his style. If you knew Timothy his go-to outfit was his gray zip up, cargo shorts, and his Nikes. And although we gave him so many options, he surprised me by saying ‘Nah, I don’t wanna change myself for anyone.’ Timothy was humble when it came to friends, education, and even simple clothes. It makes me want to become more comfortable with myself. Timothy didn’t worry about what others thought of him. And that's something we all could learn. I’m forever grateful my last memory with Timothy was a joyful one. I can’t wait to see him again.” -Abby Waworoendeng
From staff members:
“It was an honor to have been Timothy's Bible teacher. While 7:00 a.m. is an early start time for school, Timothy brought a consistent calm to the room. During our discussions in class, he would always have a wise answer to share. He had knowledge beyond his years, and was well versed concerning the Bible. Within one of his assignments, he had chosen the following as verses which resonated with him, and brought him reassurance and comfort: Joshua 1:9, Jeremiah 31:3, and Nahum 1:7. May these bring us comfort as well, as we hold onto our memories of Timothy and the hope of our Lord's return.” - Nancy Meszaros
"Tim was a quiet scholar. He was in my physics and pre-calc classes. These are hard classes. He never seemed stressed but just kept up a steady pace. Tim was a willing and helpful partner in the labs. In the evenings he worked as a tutor in the dorm for any students who were falling behind. Students appreciated his help in their schoolwork. Tim’s absence leaves a large hole in our hearts and school." - Kent Kast
"Timothy was a good student in my class. He did more than well. He was independent and got his work done. He also achieved the highest typing speed of any student that I have had in class typing 128 words per minute on the typing speed test we had in November. We will miss Timothy and his talent." - Steve Eickmann
“I hadn’t known Timothy for long, but I was privileged to be his teacher for a semester. He was an exceptional student who worked hard and was high achieving. Some qualities I noticed was that even though he was quiet, he was a good influence and a great listener. He led by example rather than words. He was respectful, kind and patient. He often tutored his classmates who needed help, and he was well loved by them for that. He could take a joke and was bashful, but that made for some fun moments in class. I wish I could have taught him more. He was a rare student and one who challenged me to be a better teacher. To all of Timothy’s friends, I know you will feel his loss in your lives. I want to send my love and prayers to all of you and to his family.” - Erin Johnson
After an accident left her hand damaged, Kylie wondered if she would ever play instruments again. In this video, Kylie shares the huge impact music has had on her life, and how being apart of Campion's music teams have brought her closer to Christ. Video by Hyacinth Cookenmaster and Jacqueline Kobagaya.
Campion Academy’s staff didn't shy away from the cheesy and embarrassing to provide some laughter and needed stress relief before finals at Saturday night’s Staff Talent Show.
Erin Johnson and Lindsey Santana got the show started with a hilarious comparison of British and American English language and culture.
Furthermore, the students enjoyed a magic show by Dean Helm, a.k.a. Helmdini, in which he made props spontaneously appear and disappear, and magically saved Lacy from the “lions”. The student involvement in Helmdini’s show created extra suspense and excitement among the students on stage and in the audience.
In a video episode of Miss Communication, Jill Harlow shared some erroneous advice on communicating with teenagers such as the use of proper punctuation in texts, lengthy emails, and keeping up with the latest musical trends. Miss Communication even danced to ska music in her video, to the great amusement of the audience.
After bringing the audience to their feet in a lively performance of an original rap song about Reeder’s mustache, McDiss (Carlos Santana) and Santana Hybrid (Dean Molly Santana) made an exciting announcement: the girl’s dorm population will increase by one because they’re expecting another baby.
“The whole show was really fun and full of laughs, but my favorite part was the Santanas’ announcement,” said Jovanna Maldonado. “I’m happy for them, and it was special that we all got to be a part of that.”
With deadpan delivery, Shannon Brown shared some very corny jokes with Jessica Rios during the show. Brown expressed, “I was nervous about my performance because I didn't know if people would enjoy my jokes but everyone was very supportive, so I enjoyed it very much. Overall the talent show was well done and made for a wonderful evening.”
Many more acts and talents were shown on stage such as Val Allen’s song about students’ favorite things at Campion, the pastors’ drawing contest, Clouzet’s “sheesh” harmonies, Don Reeder as the puppet in a ventriloquist act, and of course Jordan Dubini’s constant entertainment as the show’s Master of Ceremonies.
Elizabeth Jureckova, Student News Team
This past weekend, families gathered at Campion Academy for Parent’s Weekend. Parents had the chance to share in the accomplishments of their students at the musical and class performances. They reconnected with their teens over fall festival activities, including a basketball tournament Saturday night.
The weekend began with a Music Department Vespers Concert which included performances by all of the ensembles: El Shaddai Ringers (handbells), Golden Harmonies (advanced handbells), Mountain Echoes Chorale, Koininia (select choir), and the CA orchestra.
Gwyn Reeves, senior, exclaimed, “I loved having my parents here this weekend, and it was such a blessing for me to be able to perform our songs for everyone. It was a busy weekend but a ton of fun!” The CA Music Department also led out with the worship services throughout the day on Sabbath.
Saturday night was filled with activities such as cake walks, hay rides, and a chalk art contest. However, the highlight of the night was the 3-on-3 basketball tournament. Students, families, and staff members competed against each other for bragging rights.
“It was really fun to have my parents come for the weekend. I got to play in the basketball tournament with my Dad and we got 2nd place!” Kylie Wehling, senior, recalled. “I think the church did a really good job at creating a fun night for everyone with all the different activities they had.”
On Sunday morning, students and their families met in the CA gym for parent-teacher conferences along with presentations from the sophomore English class and A&P class. The English class re-enacted a shortened scene from Romeo and Juliet, showing off their acting skills. The A&P class presented their songs they wrote about the bones in the body.
Although not every parent was able to be at the school, they still were able to watch performances and join conferences online. Bahati Ayugi, a Campion parent, said, “Although I was not able to be there in person, I enjoyed being part of Parent’s Weekend through zoom and Facebook. I particularly enjoyed the music programs. A big thank you to all the students, staff and everyone that made it possible.”
Jacqueline Kobagaya, Student News Team
Campion’s gym was transformed into an enchanted forest by the Student Association (SA) for the annual banquet on Sunday. The walls were lined with lighted evergreens, sparkling lights draped with ivy were strung overhead, mist filled the air, and woodsy decor topped each table. Students lined up to capture their glamorous outfits at themed photo booths and enjoyed a catered Italian dinner with live music.
“I thought it was very pretty; all the decorations were very beautiful. The most fun thing about the banquet was just spending time with people,” Sierra Felix, junior, said. “I thought the live music was really nice; I liked it a lot. It was a great addition because it felt romantic.”
SA finished off the night with a scavenger hunt around campus. After completing all the missions, students jumped onto a decorated bus and went for a ride. Sophomore Seth Coe reflected, “I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed spending time with my friends on the party bus because we sang a lot of songs, and it was pretty loud which made me feel good.”
The SA officers worked very hard to put everything together even while COVID restrictions remained in place. Clark Cinco, SA President stated, “It went very well. We were able to set it up in a quick and efficient manner. Despite a few minor issues, it seemed like we were able to pull it off and make it fun for everybody. We stayed on task and focused, and all worked together as a team.”
Erin Johnson, the lead SA sponsor commented, “There were a lot of hours put into beforehand to get the look we were going for, and then it was hours of setting up, but the SA did a really great job. During the banquet, I heard positive feedback, so that made me happy. It looked like everyone was smiling and having fun and that’s what it’s all about.”
Airi Nomura, Student News Team
Photos: Jill Harlow & Gwyn Reeves
Video: Noah Sturges
Campion Academy students were filled with emotions and tears of joy on Saturday night as the volleyball and soccer teams closed off their seasons, winning their last home games against Mile High Academy.
The Cougars volleyball team had a long-overdue win in their game against Mile High with the score of 3-0. Even though the season was a little rough for the girls, they really came together and showed off their hard work in the final game. “I feel like what made us win as a team was the fact that it’s our senior year and we wanted to make it count! We wanted to make each other proud by winning the last game of the season and we did,” says varsity player Blessing Simamora.
The soccer team pulled off another win with the score of 4-1 and ended the season with confidence and pride. Varsity player Karson Lee states, “I really enjoyed playing the last game with my teammates. I feel like we worked hard and we had a very successful season. We really connected as a team and I’m really proud of every player!”
In order to support the cougars, the team’s mascot, Clutch, was seen on the field and in the gym running around and dancing, lifting the spirit of everyone around, especially the younger children who came to cheer for their teams.
The soccer goals were scored by Giovanni Silva, Collin Velbis, Nayblue Hser, and assisted by Bryan Martin. The team’s goalie Lacy Matondo says, “As a senior I’m glad I got to play my last soccer season with my team and close off the season strongly. Knowing we were playing the last home game together was kind of sad but we still had a good spirit and played well!”
Elizabeth Jureckova, Student News Team
This year with some COVID restrictions being lifted, Campion’s drama program is back in full swing. They are working hard, preparing to perform the musical, The Sound of Music, on January 29.
Drama and English teacher Erin Johnson is leading the program with many new ideas. She says, “It’s very exciting to have drama this year. I remember that Campion had an awesome drama department when I was younger, and I am hoping to bring it back to its former glory. I have always loved theater, so to teach it is a dream come true, especially since we are working on one of my favorite musicals. It’s a challenge but I have amazing actors who are committed to making a good show!”
The drama students come into class very energized and excited to be a part of the musical. Class members are not only actors, but are also grouped into different roles such as set design, sound, and lighting, to make sure everything gets done.
During class time, Johnson divides up the actors and gives them specific things to work on, whether it be learning choreography, singing, or just running through lines.
Lacy Matondo, playing the part of Rolf Gruber, says, “It feels really good to be part of the drama class and to be able to act and practice with my friends. We always have fun practicing our roles and enjoy each moment. Acting makes me feel kinda nervous and excited at the same time, but it also helps me to express myself.”
The musical will be held in the Campion Academy Gym during our Senior Recognition weekend January 29. Tickets will be available for purchase by anyone who would like to come, while students will be free of charge.
Gwyn Reeves, Student News Team
Decked out in flannel, Campion students kicked off the fall season with hay rides, face painting, pumpkin pie, games, and karaoke at the Student Association (SA) Fall Party Saturday night.
Freshman Kloe Kedzierski said, “It was definitely fun and very homey. I enjoyed karaoke the most: just singing with everybody all gathered around. It was nice because I didn’t feel self-conscious singing in the crowd.”
The SA officers worked hard to make the event as fun and entertaining as possible for students. “As an SA officer, I expected to be working all night, and I did, but what I didn’t expect was to have so much fun! SA had a blast setting up and had even more fun serving and helping,” SA Activities Director Edward Camas commented.
The night included the highly anticipated announcement of the banquet coming up in November. Another highlight was Camas asking his date to the banquet on stage. Camas reflected, “I asked, Kylie and I was very happy when she replied, ‘Heck yea.’ Overall, the Fall Party was a success and I can’t wait to help with the next event.”
To finish up the party, all the seniors sang the song, “See You Again” which has become an annual tradition at Fall Party. The seniors showed their spirit by jumping in unison and singing at the top of their lungs throughout the whole song.
“I really liked the fall party because of the time that I could chill with my friends and the pictures we took,” reflected senior Gabriel Barbosa, “These will be good memories that I will always remember because it's my last year at Campion.”
Airi Nomura, Student News Team
Photos: Josh Jackson and Jared Marcenaro