Campion Academy was proud to celebrate the accomplishments of the 39 members of its senior class with a drive-in graduation on Sunday, May 24. The ceremony included speeches, special music, awards, photos, diplomas, and all the traditional aspects of a typical graduation despite the fact that the attendees were mostly regulated to their vehicles. “Campion came through,” affirmed graduate Naomi Boonstra. “They gave us the best graduation they could under the circumstances, and it was amazing. Certainly a day we won’t forget.”
The class sponsors and officers planned out many details to make the event memorable. Entering on the west side of campus, the graduates were greeted by a large banner and staff members who handed them their caps, gowns, sashes and chords. As the vehicles formed a line around campus, families could pose together for a picture in front of their cars. Then the vehicles were directed into Campion’s RV park for the outdoor ceremony, parking the smaller cars in front so everyone could see the stage. The graduates were asked to stand in front of their cars as the traditional Pomp and Circumstance was played and they posed for an aerial group photo.
Social distancing was maintained as class members and staff went to the stage for speeches, songs, and to receive their diplomas. During his address, class president Nolan Eickmann said, “I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know how this was going to look, but standing up here, this looks pretty awesome.” Nolan’s mother and Campion’s interim chaplain Wendy Eickmann was the keynote speaker.
Campion Academy’s class of 2020 is a high-achieving class. Between them, they were awarded a total of $2,785,750 in scholarship money from Seventh-day Adventist universities across the nation. With 39 graduates, that is an average of more than $70,000 per student. Nineteen of the students received College-preparatory or Advanced College-preparatory diplomas. Twenty-two students graduated with honors with a 3.5 GPA or above, and nineteen were inducted members of the National Honor Society.
The weather forecast had called for a high chance of rain, but thankfully it held off until the very end of the ceremony as students were receiving their diplomas. Confetti cannons were shot off at the end of the celebration, adding more decor to the wet cars. As the vehicles exited, the attendees were handed cupcakes and juice boxes through their car windows, so even the usual refreshments were included.
“The drive in graduation was extremely organized and very well thought out by the staff,” commented graduate Megan Michalenko. “I can tell how much the staff members cared with the planning and execution of the graduation. Everyone had a smile on their face!”
Another graduate, Bela Cinco, explained, “Honestly, it was so much better than I had pictured. In some ways it was better than a regular graduation, it was unique and fun. It’s a graduation we’ll never forget, and one that will go down in history”
Valedictorian: Weston Humphries.
Salutatorian: Ashley Herber
President’s Education Award: Ashley Halvorson, Ashley Herber, and Erick Maldonado.
The requirements for the President’s Education Award include: Having a 3.5 GPA or above, receiving a 85 percent on either the Reading or Math section of the ACT, and having a composite score of 85 percent on the ACT.
Female Student of the Year: Madeline Jordan
Madi has served as class secretary her junior and senior years. This year she has served as our student Chaplin and done a wonderful job. Musically, Madi has been 1st chair violin in the orchestra, and has helped to lead out in many worship services in our school and church. Madi’s love for Jesus and others shows in her life. She is motivated, a good student, genuine, and has a character of gold.
Male Student of the Year: Erick Maldonado
Erick has been a leader on this campus in many ways. He has led out in worship with his singing and guitar playing; he loves playing soccer and basketball; is a good student; has served as an R.A. in the dorm and is a role model for underclassmen. Erick has been a spiritual leader on our campus. It has been fun to see him grow while attending Campion.
Principal’s Award: Jeremy Matondo
Each year the Principal selects an outstanding senior who typifies characteristics of honesty, character, hard work, and general contribution to the school. Jeremy came to us three years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo and quickly became an active part of our student body. Jeremy constantly strives to do his best in everything he does. He has been a quiet leader and served as an R.A. in the dorm this year. One of the most exciting moments was when we witnessed him giving his life to God in baptism. It is my privilege to give Jeremy a plaque and a reward of $100.
Caring Heart Award: Beverly Onsoe
The Caring Heart Award is given in recognition of leadership and personal commitment to witnessing and service activities. This award is sponsored by the North American Division and is accompanied by a Bible and a $500 voucher to the Adventist school of your choice.
Wednesday, May 20 was the last assembly of the year, and award winners were announced for music and athletics. Mr. Ottschofski put the event together and mentioned, “it has been an unfortunate couple of months, but I am glad that we can at least take time to recognize our athletes, even if it was just through an online format. Congrats to all the award winners.”
Ashley Herber, recipient of the girls Academic Athlete of the Year and girls Athlete of the Year awards, commented, “I am very glad all of the athletes were able to be recognized. Although it’s sad that my sports career at Campion is over, I’m thankful for all of the memories I’ve been able to make.”
Regan Brenna Garman
Campion Academy Outstanding Ringer Award
Campion Academy Orchestra:
Jeremy Mbuku Matondo
John Philip Sousa Band Award
Madeline Rose Jordan
National School Orchestra Award
Ashley Lynn Halvorson
National School Choral Award
Mountain Echoes Chorale:
MVP - Delanie Kamarad
Offensive Player of the Year - Julia Barber
Defensive Player of the Year - Kendra Eickmann
Most Improved - Bela Cinco
"Scrapper" - Ireland Anthony
Most Inspirational - Ashley Halvorson, Kylie Wehling
"Hustler" - Ashley Herber
Up and Coming - Regan Garman
MVP - Obed Barrera
Offensive Player of the Year - Erik Maldonado
Defensive Player of the Year - Austin Pedersen
Most Improved - Caleb Wehling
Heart and Soul - Jeremy Matondo
Up and Coming - Mark Zelaya
MVP - Ashley Reyes
Offensive Player of the Year - Ireland Anthony
Defensive Player of the Year - Fabiola Fabela
Most Improved - Lindsey Smith
Most Inspirational - Christine Eagan Savage
Best Manager - Obed Barrera
MVP - Obed Barrera
Offensive Player of the Year - Richard Bass
Defensive Player of the Year - Nolan Eickmann
Most Improved - Trent Kiefer
Most Inspirational - Cade Lukens
Hustler - Jeremy Matondo
Up and Coming - Nayblue Hser
MVP - Regan Garman
Offensive Player of the Year - Ashley Herber
Defensive Player of the Year - Milka Mendoza Sanchez
Most Improved - Madi Jordan
Spirit - Kayla Gonzalez
Christian attitude - Kylie Wehling
Up and Coming - Olivia Jordan
Female Athlete of the Year - Ashley Herber
Male Athlete of the Year - Obed Barrera
Male Senior Sportsmanship - Jeremy Matondo
Female Senior Sportsmanship - Ashley Halvorson, Madi Jordan
Chuck Cuny Memorial Scholarship - Nolan Eickmann
Male Academic Player of the Year - Weston Humphries
Female Academic Player of the Year - Ashley Herber
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.
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
Mrs. Eickmann stepped up for the position as Campion’s Interim Chaplain and Bible teacher even though she had never had a job like that before. Over the past year, Eickmann has planned assemblies, vespers, Sabbath School, Weeks of Prayer, and various activities for Campion staff and students. She also planned the annual Senior Survival. “Mrs. Eickmann did an amazing job making senior survival a very heartfelt experience for our class. I know that the planning must’ve been stressful, but the result was more than worthwhile,” says senior Naomi Boonstra. Mrs. Eickmann opened up her office to any student who needed advice or just someone to talk to. She made every student a priority and took the time to get to know everyone. Campion will greatly miss Eickmann and the impact she made on the entire campus.
“When Mrs. Eickmann called me over the summer to let me know that she was the new chaplain, I was so excited. I was excited that I would be working for such a caring, organized, and prayerful person. When we started the year I didn’t really know her that well, but after this year, I can truly call her my friend. Each morning, when I walked into her office, ready to work, she greeted me with a smile and hug. It has been amazing to work for her, and have her as a teacher and mentor. Every worship or talk she prepared for the students, was carefully planned out and matched the situation almost perfectly. Thank you Mrs. Eickmann for all you have done for Campion Academy this year, we have been truly blessed through your passion and creativity.” Madi Jordan, Student Chaplain
“My connection with Mrs. Eickmann has been developing for many years. Whenever she visited her kids during my LE summers, hosted us in her home on Friday nights, or became chaplain my senior year, she has always emulated Jesus’ love. She serves, prays for, connects with, and deeply loves every heart she is called to reach out to. Her empathy is healing while her fierce mama-bear character scares demons away. I am beyond grateful to have been part of her blazing trail of spreading God’s Word and I know she will catch many more souls on fire for Jesus, wherever she treads next.” Delanie Kamarad, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has done an amazing job as a chaplain. She is so kind and real and all of her talks are very relatable as well as applicable. I have loved Bible class with her, and learned many lessons that will help me succeed in life.” Ashley Halvorson, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has a heart of gold. Her loving and caring nature is shown to everyone. I am so thankful for her and the work she has put in to become the chaplain this year. I'll miss her encouraging words and the wonderful cookies she always made us!” Patricia Simamora, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has brought such a happy and positive attitude to our campus. She is a mom away from home for us. Mrs. Eickmann is always there if you ever need a one-on-one conversation!” Ireland Anthony, junior
“I want to thank Mrs. Eickmann especially for being so supportive to each and every one of us seniors and other students through the past years and now. Mrs. Eickmann has been more than a teacher to us. I will miss having the fun Bible classes she planned and having all the students over in her house to spend time and eat good food! We appreciate her and we will greatly miss her.” Jeremy Matondo, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has been an amazing chaplain. More than that, she’s been an incredible staff member. Always caring and loving, while being there to talk about God and life. She has been like a mom away from home for me and I am forever grateful for her ministry at Campion.” Ben Maxson, junior
“I want to thank Mrs. Eickmann for all she’s done this year. She’s been a big part of my first year at Campion and I am so glad to know an amazing woman like her. Thank you Mrs. Eickmann for always being willing to listen to some of my problems. I am really gonna miss her as a teacher and chaplain, but I know that God has a plan wherever she goes and whatever she does. Thank you for also dealing with our freshman class every morning, she is a strong woman for doing that. Mrs. Eickmann is very loved and appreciated by everyone around her.” Melody Mambo, freshman
“Mrs. Eickmann has been a huge blessing in my life. She has been there for me texting me at 4:00 in the morning telling me that everything will be okay. She always puts us first no matter what! I’ll miss her so much.” Sandra Marin, senior
“It was a really special opportunity to be able to work for my mom (Mrs. Eickmann)! It was the perfect way to finish off my high school career. I couldn't have asked for a better boss.” Nolan Eickmann, Student Chaplain
"Wendy Eickmann, my wife, is inspiring because she has a personal walk with God and has helped the students get to know God better this year." Steve Eickmann, staff member
Compiled by Megan Michalenko
Campion may have uncovered a new tradition worth continuing by allowing the senior class one last chance to make a lasting impact on fellow students. During the week of May 4th-8th, Campion hosted its last Week of Prayer for the academic year. This particular Week of Prayer was unlike any other, not only because it was held virtually through private zoom calls and was live streamed on Facebook, but because it was hosted entirely by the senior class. Chaplain Mrs. Eickmann and Technology Director Mr. Eickmann also worked very hard behind the scenes to make transitions between activities, speakers, and prayers seamless. Though current circumstances should have held the school back from gathering to learn about God’s Word, the message was clearly broadcast: focus on Jesus.
Mrs. Eickmann challenged the seniors to host all of the meetings from beginning to end. Responsibilities were distributed during senior Bible classes. Whether tasked with creating questions for Kahoot (an online quiz game) which brought many laughs to participants, sharing a favorite memory from years at Campion, or delivering a personal message reflecting Christ’s character, each and every senior had a part in ministering. Sydney Halvorson, a sophomore at Campion says, “Having the seniors host Week of Prayer was really cool. It gave us some insight into what their personalities are like, and it was nice to hear some of their favorite memories at Campion.”
Junior, Ireland Anthony, agreed that hearing from seniors was unique and a blessing. “I really loved the fact that it was all about the seniors this Week of Prayer because it’s their last one at Campion!” She continued to say, “something that stood out to me was that I have never heard some of the quiet seniors speak before, and they did a really good job.”
Mrs. Eickmann expressed, “I was super pleased with how Week of Prayer went. I was blessed every single day by those who presented. The seniors made me proud of how they stepped up, were real, and shared from their hearts. They inspired me! I loved having the seniors host it.”
Having seniors present the last Week of Prayer for the school year may become a new tradition at Campion Academy. The delivery of testimonies and memories allowed students to turn their eyes away from the worries, cancellations, and uncertainties this year has brought them and simply focus on Jesus.
Delanie Kamarad, guest contributor
Colporteuring, or literature evangelism, has dated back to the Waldensians in the 1200s, and it certainly can’t be stopped now. With doors being closed and people withdrawing, literature evangelism has gone online.
Robyn Quillin, a sophomore at Campion, says, “I was wishing I could tell people about God, but I felt like I couldn’t do anything because I was stuck at home. Then, I got the notification that we were doing an online, over-the-phone canvass. I thought this was perfect for the situation we are in.”
All Campion students, not just ones with previous experience, have been given the opportunity to take up colporteuring from home. They’re calling up friends, family, and acquaintances to engage entire communities in literature evangelism. People can buy “witnessing boxes” full of GLOW tracts (outreach pamphlets produced by Giving Light to Our World) or just donate to GLOW mailings to help fund the mission. Students ask to pray with everyone they call.
“People who worked on campus can’t do that anymore, and my team can’t go door-to-door anymore,” says Matt Hasty, the Literature Ministries director for the Rocky Mountain Conference. “I still want truth to go out to all of the little towns where nothing is happening right now.”
Naomi Boonstra, Student Editor
About two weeks ago, Campion faculty members, Steve and Wendy Eickmann, began to feel run-down with headaches and fatigue. When their daughter Kelby began to show similar symptoms, she went to a testing center and was surprised to find out she was positive for COVID-19. They had already been following social distancing guidelines as much as possible, but after the results, they went into a stricter form of self-quarantine for the next two weeks.
While each member of the family showed varying symptoms, all of them seemed to only have had mild cases. Throughout this time, they continued working from home, both teaching and attending their online classes. After about a week of symptoms, they began feeling better and are now back to their normal healthy selves.
Wendy Eickmann says that she most worried about the possibility that she could have unknowingly passed the virus to someone else before she started feeling sick. “I like to manage things, but in this situation, I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do but recognize that God is in control. God is on His throne and He is sovereign,” she reflected. “Knowing that we have our Creator taking care of us brought us peace.”
We are thankful for God’s healing hand as the Eickmanns and others in our Campion community have quickly recovered from illness. Our Campion staff continues to pray especially for our students and their families that may be affected by the virus.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
This past month, a few staff and student volunteers have been assisting the English Language Learning (ELL) students by taking time out of their week to have a Zoom meeting with the students so they can continue to grow their English skills. Sami Hodges, one of the student volunteers, described her meetings with Airi, who is currently in Japan, “Every Monday and Wednesday evening, I set up a Zoom meeting and we just talk for about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes we use sample conversation prompts, but other times we have just spent time visiting and getting to know each other more.” Despite not being paid anything for helping, the volunteers plan to continue to spend time faithfully with the ELL students over the rest of this school year.
Principal Don Reeder has been a part of this as well. “They (Victor and Yan) are improving their English language skills. It has been fun to talk with them even while they’ve been in Brazil. I am so glad technology can keep us connected.” Despite being thousands of miles apart, students can learn English with others as if they are in the same room together. This helps students retain their knowledge of English so that they don’t lose what they have gained over the time that they have spent in the United States.
Some of our ELL students only spent a few months in the U.S. before having to return to their home countries. Victor, from Brazil, is one of these students; “In the beginning I only understood what the teachers said, and I knew how to answer only the basics. With the conversation classes I learned to improve my English, and today I talk to students and teachers in a much more relaxed way.”
The Zoom meetings with volunteers have been essential in helping the students continue to make progress in English and will help them be ready for classes when they return to Campion in the fall. If you would like to volunteer in this program through the summer, contact Jill Harlow.
Theron Treat, guest contributor