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.