Seven Campion Academy students chose to spend Spring Break serving in the Navajo Nation of Arizona. Led by Pastor Leandro Bizama, the group included about 30 church members who worked on the construction of a small home, hosted a Vacation Bible School for children, and provided health talks for the communities of Window Rock and Kinlichee.
“The mission trip was fun; I really enjoyed it,” commented senior, Jarrod Lang; “I did construction, and we raised a house from the ground up. The day I left there, I felt so proud that I was able to participate in something that will bring God’s word to the people of that land.”
The construction crew was tasked with building a tiny home for Bible workers, student missionaries or pastoral families in the near future. The three Campion students working on this project learned many skills from experienced builders using wood and power tools. The building’s framing and exterior, including the roof, was able to be completed within the week.
The other students focused on the Children's Ministry by preparing and hosting a Vacation Bible School which was attended by about 20 local children each day. The students assisted in every aspect of the program from leading music to acting in the various skits.
Marcela Zuniga shared, “For VBS, I was a doctor that played two roles, explaining guidelines on temperance and trust. I enjoyed getting to know all the kids and learning lessons that helped my relationship with God grow. I learned that I enjoy helping and seeing others smile and learn about God. The theme was to protect your castle (body/heart/mind) and it taught me that I want Jesus to sit on the throne in my castle.”
Mary and Steve Phillips, who are good friends with the local pastor’s family, were instrumental in bringing the group together. They led a health ministry for local adults which included a Health Fair, and nightly meetings. The meetings had eight consistent attendees and Mary shared, “We had very deep conversations which was wonderful!”
Bizama concluded, "I was blessed and proud to see both HMS Richards and Campion students, young adults, and church family members collaborating by spending their Spring break working and serving the Navajo Nation. It was challenging and tiring, especially because we were doing three simultaneous projects while staying in two different areas, but the end result of the service was beautiful to see. May we always choose a lifestyle of service and mission, no matter the cost; just like our theme verse for the trip says: ‘For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.’”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Last week, guest speaker Pastor Wayne Morrison delivered a powerful message on the unconditional love of God for Week of Prayer.
The daily meetings resonated deeply with many students. Audra Bennett, senior, reflected, “I was so touched by the message last week. I learned that I will always be a child of God, and that path was always chosen for me. It impacted my life by showing me that there is nothing I can do that would make God love me any less.”
Every evening Chaplain Carlos Santana hosted a panel with students, pastors, teachers, and other guests, to reflect on the daily messages. Santana commented, “The panels were such a blessing for me because many of the questions I received during the week were answered. These answers, especially from students, brought great perspective about the struggle of accepting God’s love. I am grateful that the panels allowed us to practicalize and reflect on Pastor Morrison’s message.”
Pastor Morrison visited different classrooms, answering various questions from students concerning his weekly message. Senior Daniel Moraes said, “The Q&A session was great. We had a wonderful discussion about the Bible and it helped me understand God’s love better.”
Overall, the Week of Prayer was a huge success, bringing a fresh perspective on God's love and the freedom that comes with being a child of God. Sam Walton, junior, shared “The week of prayer was so meaningful to me that I just had to keep talking about it to the people around me. My favorite message was that we have total freedom of choice, and no matter what we do God will always love us. I really needed to hear that this past week.”
Tiffany Mogaka, Campion News Team
On Saturday night, the juniors performed two original plays for the student body and parents portraying how the “American dream” is often a facade, hiding deeper issues. The American Literature classes were tasked with writing, performing, and designing each production.
One of the most challenging roles was coming up with creative ideas for the script, “We thought that because the American dream is usually portrayed in such an idealistic light, we should draw more attention to the negative sides of it in our plays,” said Lily Testardi, one of the playwrights.
The audience responded well to the plays although some of the topics were serious. “The juniors' plays were quite enjoyable because to me the topics chosen were interesting and they depicted the American dream quite well,” stated Pamela Lah, an audience member.
For many of the students, it was their first experience acting on stage and they had to overcome nerves and reactions as they acted alongside their friends. “The other characters were really funny at some points, so it was difficult not to laugh during my part,” commented Jovanna Maldonado, one of the actresses.
Reagan Rast, one of the set designers, reflected, “I really liked the creative freedom and how as a class we were able to work together.”
Haley Beckermeyer Student News team
This past Saturday night, the Men’s Club hosted its annual Ironman contest where students competed in a variety of athletic activities.
The competition consisted of many endeavors such as an obstacle course, pushups, jousting, dunking, chugging and rope climbing.
This year, boys and girls competed in separate categories. Dean Gann and Dean Dubini presented the top winners with trophies.
The first place winner of the boy’s competition was sophomore Rodolfo Segawa. Second place was taken by Dominic White, junior, and third was Sergio Enriquez, freshman.
The girls first place winner was Julia Da Silva, junior, the second place winner was Jovanna Maldonado, junior, and third was Aurelie Gschoepf, sophomore.
Everyone who participated got a medal and those who placed in individual events got candy.
One of this year’s contestants, Damaris Lopez-Morquecho reflected, “The funniest part was where you had to spin around with a bat on your forehead for 10 seconds because Ekenna (one of the men’s club organizers) counted slowly so people would get really dizzy and fall. Also, the rope climb was intimidating but fun.”
This year’s reigning Ironman, Rodolfo Segawa concluded, “All of the activities were fun, and I really enjoyed being able to participate in this event and win.”
Ciara Felix, Student News Team
To top off the season, the Campion Academy varsity basketball teams competed at the annual Union tournament over the February break. The girls varsity team emerged as champions, taking first place in the Clocktower Division.
Team Captain Lindsey Smith, senior, shared “I’m so glad I participated in my last tournament as a senior at Campion. It was so exciting to receive the trophy and celebrate with my teammates. I’m proud of my girls and the team we've become. I’m honored to have played with each of my teammates this year.”
Despite the challenge of traveling in cold and snowy conditions, the teams made it safely to the tournament, riding the new Campion bus. Both teams arrived at Union and played their first game on the same day.
Damaris Lopez, sophomore, stated “I was a little tired from the eight hour bus drive, but playing on the court gave me so much energy and excitement. I'm glad I got the opportunity to play again this year.”
The boy’s varsity team finished in fourth place in the Clocktower Division. Team Captain Ekenna Nwankwo said, “Even though we didn’t win a ton, the tournament was still really fun. Overall, I think it was a really good experience regardless of how the games went. There was still improvement in our play despite the outcome. It was great watching us grow as a team.”
Boys’ Varsity Coach Carlos Santana reflected, “I am very proud of this year’s team. Last year the varsity team didn’t win a single game. Yet this year we were able to have a winning season. This is a tremendous jump so I can only imagine what next year will look like. We have a young core where our starting five consists of three sophomores and two Juniors. This means that we have a foundation to build on for next year.”
Santana continued, “What I loved most was watching this team grow into what it is. Only they know how much work was done not only together at practice, but what each individual player did to get better. They really made my heart smile!”
Tiffany Mogaka, Campion News Team
Usually, boys aren’t allowed within a 20-foot radius of the Girl’s Residence Hall, and girls can never go up the stairway in the Hankin’s Hall tower, but this past Saturday night, mixed company could be found intermingling in both the boys’ and girls’ hallways. Campion Academy brought back the tradition of holding an open house where each group could explore the other’s living quarters.
Each residence hall has its unique features, and the students were surprised to find that they weren’t quite what they expected. “The guys' dorm smelled really good and the rooms were clean!” sophomore Damaris Lopez commented, “What was weird to me was that there are different levels in the dorm and they have to share one big bathroom while we have our own bathrooms.”
Keaton Drake, sophomore, shared his thoughts on the girl’s hall; “The girl’s dorm is all one level; it’s weird that they have four halls and the layout was completely different. It was neat to see how they had different layouts in their rooms and how their beds could be bunk beds and be raised. They also had their personal bathrooms and sinks which I’m very jealous of. It was also cool to see all the decorations of the halls,” he said.
Along with seeing how life is like in the other dorm, the students participated in a contest. For the boys, the contest was who had the cleanest and best room. That award went to Marc Winokan and Aaron Lumowa.
The contest for the girls was for the best hall, and each of the four halls was decorated in a different theme, including: cars, fairy tales, Pac-Man, and Marvel. Senior, and RA for the Marvel-themed hall, Faith Evert explained, “It was really fun and super surprising when we won because all the halls did really well. We went through a lot of work hanging things and then running out of tape. Overall though, it was a cute bonding experience with my girls.”
Toby Quillin, Campion News Team
This past Wednesday morning, 18 select choir students from Campion Academy joined with Mile High Academy students to travel to Union College’s annual music festival.
Upon arrival, after settling into their dorms, the students immediately underwent intense music rehearsals for the next three days. “Practices were rough because they were long, but what made it interesting and fun were the people I was around,” commented Dwayne Rey, junior.
Each school performed during the vespers program Friday night. On Sabbath morning, all of the schools came together and sang in front of the College View Church. Bella Fay, senior and choir accompanist shared, “It was a lot of fun being a part of the big choir, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to play the piano for such a large and energetic event.”
The students not only had a break from the Campion dorms, they also were able to create long-lasting memories. “It was really cool being able to see the creativity behind the performances of the other schools, as well as just getting out and being able to meet new people in a different environment;” senior Melody Mambo reflected, “It was definitely an experience to remember and I know that we, as Koinonia, got even closer as a group which was a great feeling.”
Ciara Felix, Student News Team
The senior class of 2023 was recognized over this past weekend in a special vespers and church service. On Friday evening, the staff members shared a tribute for each student in the class. The seniors led the worship service on Sabbath and Wendy Eickmann was the speaker for the event.
An audience of over 300 people were transported to New York City during the broadway-style production of the musical “Annie” in the Campion gymnasium this past Saturday night.
Sophomore Keaton Drake shared, “The play was fun to watch, and I think that all the actors played their parts very well. It was an enjoyable story and I liked it a lot.”
The main character in the play, Annie, was performed by senior Ruth Rawlings. “I didn’t really mind everyone watching me as the main character because I was prepared,” she reflected; “I knew all my lines and had memorized them for more than five months, so I was comfortable.”
The Campion Academy Orchestra accompanied the performance with an overture and a finale. Flutist Quiana Davis commented, “I was stressed because the pieces of music were hard and we only had two weeks to prepare. In the end though, it was amazing and incredible! I couldn’t even hear myself because of the applause! It was a great night overall.”
The performance benefited the senior class with most of the money coming from the sales of New York styled foods such as hot dogs, black-and-white cookies, and New York cheesecakes. Alexandra Cordoba, sophomore recalled, “There was a lot of good food at the show, but my favorite was the cheesecake because it was delicious, sweet, and creamy.”
Annie was the second musical that Drama teacher Erin Johnson has directed. “I am very proud of the drama class this year and the work they put into the show,” she explained; “I feel like this year there was a lot of excitement from last year’s production and our class time was full of positive energy and new talent. I am looking forward to the growth of the drama department.”
Toby Quillin, Campion News Team
This past Sunday, students, staff, parents, and alumni gathered together for the annual Scholar’s Brunch to recognize students’ hard work and dedication.
To start the program, scholarships were awarded to 12 students. Those scholarships are a result of donations from alumni that chose to support Campion’s Adventist education and give other generations the opportunity to attend.
Alumni or their families attended the event and presented scholarships to their recipients. They shared the stories behind the scholarships that their families had sponsored for years or even generations.
Darcy Force, Director of Alumni and Development remarked, “Working with the alumni and friends of Campion who have established these endowed scholarships is always inspiring. They all have such a spirit of giving; a desire to pass on their blessings.”
“We've added three new endowed scholarships this year,” Force continued; “Working with those families is lovely because they're seeking to honor their loved ones through helping others. I get to hear about that person and why they were so special. I know of no better way to memorialize a cherished family member.”
The endowed scholarships come to a total of $12,500 per year, not including other financial aid that a number of students receive.
In the National Honor Society (NHS) portion of the brunch, Campion Scholars were also recognized for their GPAs from the past term of school. Amongst the Scholars, fifteen students had a GPA of 4.0 or above. Students are able to achieve a GPA of above 4.0 due to the large number of options of advanced and dual-credit courses offered at Campion.
Tristi Ramos, Psychology dual-credit class teacher, commended the students with a speech, followed by four students who each spoke on the different pillars of NHS; Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character.
Colton Herber, one of the four seniors to give a speech commented, “I really appreciated being given the opportunity to speak on the National Honors Society’s pillar of Scholarship. I usually avoid public speaking, and it was something I had to push myself to do but having to prepare and give a speech was an experience that was really beneficial.”
13 seniors, of a class of 36, were officially inducted into the NHS, receiving red cords to wear at graduation, noting their achievement of a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.
Ana Segawa, Campion News Team
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