The Campion Varsity boys beat Heritage Christian in their first home game with a final score of 3-0. Brayden Marroquin scored two goals and Pedro Vieira scored one goal.
Photos by Eva Resz
Photos by Eva Resz
Campion students united in prayer and praise for a Sabbath youth service in the chapel led by Chaplain Carlos and Student Chaplains Eva Resz and Jovanna Maldonado, after Mountain Church at GVR had been canceled due to weather.
The Youth Church was centered around this school year’s theme: God’s Will. It included worship music, prayer, activities, a sermon, and time to discuss. “It was awesome to hear all the different takeaways and reflections across the group about how each person viewed the story and how it impacted each individual’s walk with Christ,” said Ekenna Nwankwo, senior.
The students also enjoyed center campus by hanging out with each other, laughing, and playing games in the afternoon. “Youth Sabbath was filled with spiritual happiness. Not only did I feel connected with God but with all the students as well. Hanging out with friends, singing songs, and having Bible studies. Such an amazing sabbath!” shared Mabel Cabandon, senior.
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
Freshmen Scramble and SA Picnic
Sophomores Scramble and SA Picnic
Juniors Scramble and SA Picnic
Senior Scramble and SA Picnic
Campion Academy students showed off their class spirit at the annual Class Scramble and SA Picnic last weekend, creating a fun start to the school year.
The students were separated into their classes and participated in challenges that required team work. At Class Scramble, the seniors won by a tiny margin over the sophomores, making the event more exciting. “It was awesome to finally win it this year, even if it was only by 5 points,” remembered Ekenna Nwankwo, senior, “Those sophomores really gave us a run for our money”.
Marc Winokan, sophomore, expressed, “Class Scramble was very fun. Our class was really organized and showed great class spirit. We were so close to beating the seniors, but either way it was still really fun.”
The junior class came in third place, but the freshmen weren’t far behind them. A new freshmen student, Abigail Brown, commented, “I felt very intimidated doing class scramble at first. Our class didn’t have as many items, and we didn’t know what we were doing, but as the game went on we started getting the hang of it and doing somewhat well, leading the juniors for a little bit. In the end we lost, but it was fun working together with my class and getting to know them more and building class spirit.”
On Sunday, students again divided into their class groups for more competitions at the SA Picnic. The first activity was tug-of-war, and in a surprising turn of events, the sophomores beat the seniors.
“Winning tug-of-war was very exciting! Our class was ready to give it our all and our motivation to win drove us to victory,” explained Lillian Resz; “it was so much fun to experience winning against the upperclassmen”.
The final event was the traditional bus push, where students had to join together as a class to push one of the school buses up the Campion Academy drive. Toby Quillin, junior, expressed “The bus push was a great way to get closer to our class, some people pushed the bus up the hill while the others cheered on, and eventually, through lots of pain, we won!”
Finally, the students had time in the afternoon to enjoy relaxing on center campus and cooling off on a slip-n-slide.
All these competitions had two common goals: to help students grow closer with their classmates and to create fun memories for the beginning of the school year.
Julia Santiago, Student News Team
Campion Church and Campion Academy students worshiped together on Sabbath for the first time this school year. On this dedication Sabbath, Pastor Rodlie Ortiz had his first sermon at Campion Church’s lead pastor.
In his sermon, he encouraged the audience to let go of their personal burdens and go to God for rest. Ariel Patterson, senior, commented. “I really like the new pastor. His sermon spoke to so many students. He explained how we must go under God’s yolk and He will help us.”
Students in the Music Department helped lead worship, which included a performance from Koinonia, Campion’s select choir, after just two days of rehearsal. Abby Waworoendeng, one of the soloists in Koinonia, expressed, “I was nervous, at first, to sing because we didn’t have a ton of time to prepare, but once I was up there singing, I felt better. I knew God was there with me.”
During the service, the teachers and staff were invited to come forward and were prayed over for their ministry this academic year.
After church, all of the students and church members enjoyed food and games together on Center Campus. Students from Campion and kids from the church played friendly games of football and soccer together. The new pastor joined in, getting to know students and families. Ortiz shared, “I love being around young people! The students have a buzzing energy. I’m so excited to be here and get to know all the students.”
Vashty Segovia Santos, Student News Team
Campion Academy rang in the new school year on Sunday, August 13, welcoming 122 students at the annual Handshake event.
The Student Association officers played a scale on the handbells to introduce themselves and the theme of the year: Harmony with Him, Harmony Within. Following, Student Association Spiritual Vice-President Samuel Walton shared a worship thought explaining how he focused on improving his relationship with God this summer while working Youth Rush, and he was able to have better harmony in other aspects of his life.
Eva Resz, senior, reflected, “The worship thought gave me perspective on the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ; if we cannot have harmony in our own lives how can we have harmony with others? The testimony Sam shared gave me that extra motivation I needed to start this school year!”
Students were divided into their class groups for a few competitions to break the ice. The sophomores and seniors dominated the games while the juniors took more time to work together as the school’s largest class of 43 students.
“One game that stood out to me was doing the human knot,” explained Catie Fairfield, senior; “I remember the intensity and pressure to finish first. It was a good bonding moment because we had to use teamwork, patience, and communication to untangle ourselves.”
Sticking with tradition, the staff and students formed a huge line to shake each person’s hand, welcoming each other back to Campion.
A new junior from Brighton Adventist Academy, Vashty Segovia expressed, “Seeing everyone being so welcoming and open with me helped ease my nerves about leaving my family and coming to Campion for the first time.”
To conclude Chaplain Carlos Santana offered a prayer of dedication for the school year where staff and students prayed over each other.
Eight Campion Academy students spent their summer vacation knocking on doors throughout Colorado, selling religious books, praying with people, and increasing their reliance on God as part of the Rocky Mountain Conference Literature Evangelism Program: Youth Rush.
Pastor Matt Hasty led the group of 24 high school and college-age students. The group spent time working in Denver, Colorado Springs, and various smaller mountain towns including Alamosa, Vail, and Aspen.
The students raised over $209,000 in book sales, 75% of which goes directly to the students to help pay for their school tuition, an average of $6,000 per student. They ended their work by successfully campaigning to raise enough money to donate at least one book to each of the 7,000 households in Cañon City, Colorado.
Beyond the financial benefits, the students expressed how working through the program helped them grow closer to God. Following, each of our Campion Academy students shared a short testimony from their experience:
Izuchi Nwankwo, sophomore: “Youth rush was the best experience! I really enjoyed satellites (when they split into groups to visit smaller towns) because I had my highest books days and grew closer to God. Doing Youth Rush increased my faith!”
Samuel Walton, senior: “I loved the experience at Youth Rush, and the most impactful moment for me was when I met a man who just recently started reading the Bible and he signed up for Bible studies. The spiritual environment is so rich, and we hit a world record for the highest summer in Youth Rush history. 10/10 - highly recommend.”
Jayden Angormes, Campion graduate: “It was an amazing experience! As a former Campion student who participated in LE during high school, I am grateful for the experience. My favorite part of the summer was van leading for the first time instead of canvassing. It was amazing being able to contribute to the spiritual environment and spending hours in prayer. God blessed greatly this summer, and helped us make colporteur history. Recommend to everyone to try once!”
Gabriel Balbin senior: “Before Youth Rush started, I felt discouraged in my faith, and I didn’t want to go. However, I felt impressed to go and work for God, and ultimately, it was a huge blessing. The biggest experience that showed me God’s character was when I knocked on a door and the guy donated a large sum of money. Living in an environment like that with people who were genuinely close with God, inspired me to get closer to God. I connected with one of our leaders, Nick Lesch, and he really helped me see God through the spiritual talks we had.”
Lillian Resz, sophomore: “This summer I was amazed by all the people that God sent my way. While knocking door-to-door a lot of people quickly say no without knowing what we are sharing. But I know, either way the Holy Spirit was moving upon many hearts. As an example, one man quickly shut the door, but he still took one of our glow tracks. After I had gone to the next door, the same man walked out and approached me and said that he had read the glow track I had left with him. He explained that his church had very similar beliefs and he wanted to help support what we were sharing. Ultimately, he bought The Great Controversy and The 28 Fundamental Beliefs. Being able to spend time with God at every door and feel His presence helped me to grow spiritually. Every person in program also encouraged great growth in my walk with God and it was a powerful summer.”
Luca Lu, sophomore: “I went from a shy person that didn’t dare to talk to anyone at the door to a colporteur
that reached about 100 people every day. God really changed my heart through this program.”
EJ Woy, junior: “I met so many interesting people. I had crazy experiences and many divine appointments. Doing Youth Rush helped me learn to just lean on God way more.”
Eva Resz, senior: “This summer has truly been a blessing. It has helped me grow closer to God and realize the importance of talking to Him everyday. While going door-to-door you face many struggles, which can be discouraging. There were moments where I felt like I could no longer continue working, but every time I felt like giving up, I would turn to the Bible which always gave me encouragement. The Bible says in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Holding onto the promises God has given me in the Bible has helped me grow spiritually! One of my favorite experiences this summer was leaving Steps to Christ with a man that was longing to have a closer walk with Jesus. Overall, I would recommend Youth Rush to anyone who’s interested in doing ministry.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
The Campion Church Pastoral Search Committee has recommended the name of Pastor Rodlie Ortiz to fill the position of lead pastor. He and his family have visited us, and they have accepted the Campion Church’s and Rocky Mountain Conference's invitation to come fill the position.
Pastor Ortiz has been on the pastoral team of Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University since June of 2011, serving as outreach pastor, leader of the grow groups, a member of the interfaith committee, and the community engagement council among other assignments. He also created and led Hope Trending, a North American Division sponsored evangelistic series.
During his time at Pioneer Memorial Church, he provided leadership and direction as a member of the North American Division (NAD) Young Adult Ministry Advisory, supporting young adult ministry in the NAD. He was also a member (in fact, president) of the Berrien Springs-Eau Claire Rotary Club.
Ortiz graduated from Southern Adventist University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology in 2002, a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in 2005, and a Doctor of Ministry, Missional Leadership Cohort from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2019.
Pastor Ortiz grew up as the son of an Adventist Navy Chaplain, so is used to living in many different places and cultures. He is married to Iveth Ortiz, a special education teacher; they have two sons, Jonathan (15) who will be a junior at Campion Academy, and Daniel (13) an eighth grader at HMS Richards School.
The Ortiz family plans to be here for the start of school next week and his first Sabbath will be August 19 for our campus dedication service.
Pastor Micheal Goetz and family concluded their ministry at Campion in May and have moved to Kettering in Ohio. There remains one position open for an Associate Pastor at Campion Church which was previously held by Mike Taylor who moved to Wyoming in March.
Campion Connections Newsletter
After four days of heart-moving speakers, practical workshops, and time to connect with colleagues, the Campion teachers and staff have returned from the North American Division Teacher’s Convention in Phoenix with fresh inspiration for the new school year.
Teacher Lindsey Santana found particular inspiration from the variety and quality of speakers that were there, stating “So often as a teacher it’s easy to get lost in the to do lists and the fear of not being the perfect teacher. But the talks this past week have reminded me that all I need to do is rely on the power of Jesus and the product will end up being something ten times better than anything I could have asked or imagined on my own. I can’t wait to keep that at the forefront of my classroom this year.”
Over 5,500 people attended the convention from across the United States and Canada. The teachers agreed that one of the greatest benefits of the convention was the chance to meet and collaborate with other teachers of the same subjects. Carlos Santana shared, “I really appreciated getting to meet in a group with other school chaplains. We exchanged contact information and will be able to connect with each other for ideas and advice throughout the year.”
Despite the temperatures in Phoenix exceeding 110 degrees, the teachers stayed cool moving from session to session in the air-conditioned convention center. The schedule was full, with up to 12 hours a day of meetings, but the Campion staff took time to share ideas and laugh together, growing as a team.
The convention ended with a speech from NAD President Alexander Bryant that encouraged teachers to focus on following God’s plan in their classrooms. To close the meeting, the teachers gathered at the front to recommit their lives and their classes to God.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Campion Academy is pleased to announce that Cherie Gruesbeck Haffner has accepted the position as our Assistant Dean of Women. Haffner has been working in Adventist education for over 30 years and has taught in almost every grade level from preschool to university. Haffner will also be teaching Independent Living at Campion.
While this will be Haffner’s first experience as a dean, she explained that it is a job she has always wanted to do, as she feels it will allow her to connect and mentor young women in a meaningful way. Haffner has worked for years as a teacher-trainer and student-teacher mentor besides her years in the classroom.
Haffner currently lives near Loma Linda University in California where her husband, Pastor Karl Haffner is the Vice-President for Student Experience. Pastor Haffner will not be moving with his wife to Colorado, but they will be traveling back and forth during weekends and breaks to spend time together.
Despite the upheaval, Haffner felt God was leading her to the dean position. She explained, “I have followed my husband as a pastor all my career, and now that our kids are grown, I was looking for an opportunity that would be fun and meaningful for me personally. I absolutely loved dorm life both in academy and college and always thought it would be so fun to be a dean. I raised two girls and we always had a house full of their friends. I enjoyed getting to be a support and a mentor in their lives.”
Developing positive relationships with students has always been her favorite part of teaching and is especially important in a residence hall. “I love listening to people’s stories and just spending time with people. I look forward to hanging out with the girls and being there with them through everything they are going through,” she shared.
One thing she wanted to share with the girls that will be under her care and their parents is that: “I try my best to love people the way Jesus would: unconditionally and without strings. While I’m not perfect, I will always try to treat you with respect and honor you. I’m often called a cheerleader of people, and that’s what I hope to be with the girls. I will be your cheerleader and your biggest fan.”
The Haffners have two adult daughters, Lindsey, Youth Pastor at Redlands SDA Church, and Claire, a Social Work major at Walla Walla University. For fun, their family loves to play pickleball, cook meals together, and play table games. Haffner also mentioned she is a habitual organizer, so much so that she considers organizing a past-time. Finally, she is an avid reader, and their family enjoys discussing books together.
We look forward to welcoming Cherie Haffner to our campus in August!