Sophomores from Cindy Santana's world history class and Kathy Binder's English class joined forces in presenting snapshots of life from the Roman Empire. As they studied Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in English and the Roman Empire in history, students collaborated in research, writing a newspaper, and presenting a satirical skit about characters from a particular class of Roman society.
"I liked it. [The project] had different ways of learning the same thing. We wrote a research paper and we did a satire about slaves," said Caleb Belleau.
Whether students wrote from the perspective of a slave, a plebeian, a soldier, or a head of state, Kathy Binder was happy with the results. "I think it went very well. Students saw life from a different perspective," she said.
Sydney Michalenko described how they wrote a newspaper with 2 articles--one factual and one opinionated. The editorial focused on requesting the Roman government to support them and their class situation. Sydney's group was given 'slaves' to write about, and they especially enjoyed presenting their satire. "We were all slaves [in our skit] and decided to visit the Roman Colosseum. They built the Colosseum, but weren't allowed inside. We all died."
A field trip to see local church member Dick Stenbakken's private collection of Roman artifacts provided further insights to Roman life.
Jenny Sigler teaches English at Campion Academy
photos: Don Reeder
Kathrin Klemm, a Campion Academy graduate of the class of 2011, graduated from Walla Walla University’s School of Engineering in June as one of seven females in a class of 44. Not only is Klemm encouraging other girls to pursue engineering, she’s taking her passion for engineering and combining it with her desire to serve others.
Klemm first decided to pursue civil engineering because she was interested in humanitarian work. “Campion’s emphasis on missions was a big thing for me. That helped me want to choose a career that I could use to make a tangible difference in the world,” she says. After her first mission trip to Belize with Joe Martin in 2009, Klemm has continued to prioritize service to others.
For the last two years, Klemm has been involved with Walla Walla’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), taking the technical lead last year in the international project. Working with the mountain community in Pampachiri, Peru (elevation 14,500’), Klemm and the rest of her engineering team designed and implemented a gravity-fed water system that ensures a clean water source for the entire community.
Because of her experience with EWB, Klemm has been invited to speak at Southern Adventist University’s TEAMS Forum (Transforming and Educating Ambassadors for Mission and Service). One of the goals of the forum is to encourage sustainability of the mission projects sponsored by the Adventist Church. “It’s something I’ve become really passionate about,” says Klemm. “I’m excited to start sharing this with the Adventist community. It’s such a conscious approach to mission work.”
Klemm credits Campion Academy with not only inspiring her mission-mindedness, but also giving her confidence in her field. “I was in Joe Martin’s Literature Evangelism program, which taught me how to talk to strangers. And, I took calculus from Harold Williams (now retired from Campion), and he encouraged us—never made us feel like women shouldn’t be a part of that class,” she explains. As a student grader for calculus, pre-calculus, and chemistry, Klemm says she became comfortable in the world of science.
Klemm also described Walla Walla as a haven and reported mostly supportive attitudes from her male cohorts, yet the greater engineering field can be much less supportive of women. Klemm remembers her first year in the engineering program was challenging, both because freshman year is a “weeding out” year and because students questioned her choice of field. “I met people who would say, ‘You don’t look like an engineer. You don’t act like an engineer.’ I think a lot of people, when confronted with that kind of attitude, would start second-guessing themselves.”
In 2015, Isis Wenger, an engineer at OneLogin, started a hashtag campaign #ILookLikeAnEngineer to address how people stereotype men and women. In the United States, less than 20% of engineering bachelor’s degrees are earned by women.
Before graduating, Klemm posted this appeal on her Facebook page: “Don't tell your friends, daughters, or sisters that they don't "seem" like engineers. Tell them that their perspective and skills are invaluable and that they can do amazing things for their world. We need them.”
Klemm will begin work in August as a naval architect with the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard where she’ll be working on barges that carry retired nuclear reactors to their disposal site.
Jennifer Sigler teaches English at Campion Academy
On Saturday night, May 21, 2016 at the annual awards program, Campion Academy recognized its 9 international students from 5 different countries (China, Japan, Nepal, South Korea, and Taiwan.) The international students were reminded, “At Campion Academy, we are a family. We want to make sure that you know that we consider you a part of our family, and we are so glad that you are with us!”
For the past 4 years, I have represented Campion Academy internationally by making 4 separate trips to South Korea and China with the intent of developing relationships with students, parents, and agents from those parts of the world. As a school we are developing an intentional international program to bring other students from around the world to our campus. We currently have 2 ELL (English Language Learner) staff members who are developing a strong program to support the international students, most of whom are coming to learn English.
In short there are 3 main reasons why we are actively developing this program:
1. An increased enrollment, which helps the financial aspect of the school.
2. An evangelistic effort to bring non Seventh-day Adventist students, and in many cases, non-Christian students, to our campus for 1 to 4 years, where they are daily exposed to Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and worship opportunities. A number of international students in the past have been baptized and go on to attend Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities. This is fulfilling one of the missions of our church and school to “go into all the world … “
3. An opportunity for our U.S. students to learn about other cultures and interact with other students from around the world.
On a Campion Academy sponsored trip during the summer of 2015, Campion ELL teacher, Patricia Torres and her husband, Mike, along with Chezney Barry (now current senior) and Gaby Joya (Campion graduate in May 2015) were able to go to China for nearly 3 weeks to experience the Chinese culture first-hand. While there, they were hosted by Shijiazhuang No. 24 High School, which has expressed interest in becoming a “sister-school” to Campion Academy. In addition to sightseeing opportunities, they lived, socialized, attended classes and made many friends with the local Chinese students. Mrs. Torres was also able to teach a number of specialty classes throughout their visit.
Chezney loved it and didn’t want to leave, but realized she needed to return to finish high school. However, Gaby Joya, who had just graduated from Campion a week before leaving for China, liked it so much that she decided to stay and continue her education there!
Gaby recently told me, “My experience in China has been life changing. It has opened my eyes how God has a specific plan for each and every one of us. I never would have thought I would ever go to China, let alone live and go to school here. My experience has been a great blessing, and a true testimony. I believe God has been planning this for a while. Every little detail was taken care of and I'm truly in awe. It has now been a year since I came, and my experience has been truly amazing. I have amazing Chinese parents whom I love and am truly grateful for. I get to help send students to Christian schools, and I get to learn and experience the Chinese culture. I believe God has a plan for everyone … we just need to say, yes.”
During my recent visit to China in March 2016, I was able to spend 2 days with Gaby and her Adventist host family and saw a spark in her eyes that was truly inspiring. Gaby has been studying Chinese for this past year and has been recently accepted into a leading business school in Shanghai. She plans to major in international business.
Plans are in the initial stages to send another group of Campion students to China in the summer of 2017 so that they too can be exposed to the same type of experiences that Chezney and Gaby enjoyed and are continuing to experience. Until then we will continue bringing other cultures to our campus to share with our students.
Dean Helm is the V.P of Finance at Campion Academy
“It was a blast!” says Campion Academy sophomore Janeline Kindangen after returning from a 5-day trip to Moab, Utah. She and the rest of the sophomore class traveled with biology teacher Cindy Santana on a field trip they’ll never forget.
The annual Moab trip brings all of Mrs. Santana’s classes together: earth science, biology, and world history. Students review the flora and fauna of the Moab desert during the long bus ride. Once there, they chart various plants for identification and then mount, identify, and describe one flowering plant of their choice for the Campion Herbarium, a collection of plants from the area. “We got to learn about plants, but we got to experience Moab, too,” adds Janeline.
Students view geological formations and learn about the development of arches in Arches National Park, and they see the history of the Ancestral Puebloans as they tour cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park.
Cindy Santana sees this trip as a chance to “connect the classroom learning with the real world. The textbook learning shouldn’t happen in a vacuum,” she says. In Moab, students achieved exactly that as they experienced God’s creation first hand.
After several days of camping, hiking, river rafting, and cliff jumping, the sophomores bonded with their class and had an unforgettable learning experience. Sophomore Damarys Nieto says cliff jumping in Mill Creek was her favorite part of the trip. She also liked hiking in Arches National Park. “It was a hard hike to see Delicate Arch, but it was worth it because the arch was really pretty,” she says.
Students from previous Moab trips still come back to Mrs. Santana and tell her they can never look at rocks and flowers the same way again. That’s what real-world learning does!
photos: Alex Fazio and Cindy Santana
Academy Days attendance climbed this year with over 90 potential students, promising greater enrollment for next year. Recruiter Jessica Rios, Principal Reeder, and other Campion staff advertised for the event by sending out fliers and personally visiting different schools to recruit for the event. "The teaching staff have been stretched thin in past years planning for the event," Principal Reeder commented, "and [now] having a full time recruiter has been a major blessing to this school.”
Campion's own students volunteered to lead out in the activities themed "Around the World." Angie Cedano, a visiting sophomore from Houston, Texas, said, "They took us around campus and we played Bible Pictionary, Apples to Apples, and other games. The activities and worships got us involved and excited to be at Campion." The kids had a blast. When Jordi Obregon, a visiting sophomore from Wichita, Kansas, was asked if he enjoyed Academy Days, he said, "It was a fun experience and I would recommend it to any of my friends." Both Jordi and Angie plan on coming to Campion next year.
The high attendance and positive feedback about the event shows promise for a higher enrollment number next year. Principal Reeder said, "We generally get 30-35% of who attend Academy Days, so with over 90 students attending, we are looking at about 30 potential students next year."
Jessica Rios, the school recruiter, said that she believes Academy Days was a big success. She said her favorite part was "Our S.A officers guiding visitors and taking them on tours. We used other students to help show people where the boys’ dorm was, etc. I also think our students interacting with them showed them the spiritual culture here as well. A lot of parents enjoyed that." Principal Reeder agreed, "I had a parent come up to me and tell me she had been to a couple of Academy Days in the past, but this one was the best she had been to." Jessica said that some parents thought that we were putting on a show, but when they realized that students get up front and talk about God on a regular basis, they were sold.
Madeline Uhrik and Benjamin Gueck are both seniors at Campion Academy
photos by Bryant Oei and Jennifer Sigler
Four teams made up of two students each head to HMS Richards School from Campion Academy each week to give Bible studies to 7th and 8th graders. These 7th and 8th graders, in turn, give Bible studies to the 4th through 6th graders.
The Campion students are members of Joe Martin’s junior Bible class where they have been studying the 28 Fundamental Beliefs since the beginning of the school year.
After studying one of the beliefs, Martin has his students choose seven Bible verses on that topic that are clearest to them and which they can use in their studies with the younger students. They are creating their own Bible studies.
“Although for many of these juniors giving Bible studies is out of their comfort zone, this group is thoroughly enjoying sharing their faith and praying with the kids, many of whom have never prayed before with strangers, says Martin. They are “enhancing their walk with God by sharing their faith,” he finishes.
All 43 of Martin’s junior Bible class students will have the opportunity to give Bible studies. In turn, all 14 of the 7th and 8th graders at HMS will have the opportunity to receive studies and then to give them to the 22 4th through 6th graders at HMS.
Ashley Halvorson, a 14-year-old 8th grader at HMS, has enjoyed receiving Bible studies from Campion students. “They did a really good job giving them to us,” she states. They had a lot of Bible verses for us to look up” [on] the Second Coming and what happens when you die,” she shares. “I think it’s fun to tell other people about our beliefs,” Ashley says “and to see God work through us.”
Christine Eagan-Foster, a 12-year-old 6th grader at HMS, received Bible studies from two girls in 7th and 8th grade, one on baptism. “It’s really fun that we can get taught about these teachings and interact about them. We even learn more than we learned at home. It’s nice to get a kid’s perspective on it,” she shares.
“By the time the HMS students have experienced this [give and take of beliefs] for a couple of years, they will be ready for baptism,” states Davin Hammond, principal of HMS. “We want every 7th and 8th grader to recognize that they can give Bible studies,” he adds.
Junior Bible students Cassie Carr and Natalie Boonstra, both raised in pastoral homes, believe the things they are learning in the class strengthen what their parents have taught them.
“The Bible class with Pastor Joe has helped me to know God on a more personal level,” shares Natalie. “Bible class has helped me develop in my Christian walk and to prove my faith.”
“We mark our Bibles with several verses to support each topic and cross reference them,” says Cassie. This gives us the tools to share with whomever we come into contact with. The junior class,” she says, “is coming closer to God because of this class and it is noticed all over campus.”
Martin has long had a burden to disciple young people and has worked with the student literature program for more than 25 years. A new federal law, however, that limits the age students can work to 16 and prevents them from working before 3 p.m. has made it more difficult to carry on this program with some students.
“The devil tried to close the door of evangelism” through this law states Martin, “but God opened a bigger door to evangelize our youth. Now we are placing the Scriptures in front of many of our youth who would never have opened them had the literature evangelism door not been closed. I’m having more influence with more kids in class than with LEs,” Martin enthuses.
Carol Bolden is RMC administrative assistant for communication
This story first appeared in Mountain Views, a publication of Rocky Mountain Conference of SDAs.
Robots and strategy games may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think library, but that’s what students find at Campion Academy. Managed by Lindsey Santana, who holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science, the Campion library is a place where students can get help with research, find a book to read, and study quietly, but it’s also a place where students can get creative, color, play games like Suspend or Gravity Maze, or play with Sphero robots. In sum, our new librarian is helping Campion facilitate inquiry and exploration.
In the past, students could visit the library, read a magazine, or find plenty of books and online databases. However, the library management was tacked on to a teacher’s class load, so students often searched on their own. Now, Lindsey has the time to be a reading advocate, research assistant, curriculum collaborator, and instructor of information literacy.
Teachers at Campion are finding their librarian indispensable, and they recognize what a rare resource they have. According to NAD policy, academies must allot $40 per student towards library resources. But, while the materials may be a standard investment, having an expert to manage those materials and guide students in their use is just as important.
English teacher Erin Johnson said, “Lindsey has great ideas and suggestions for my curriculum. She makes my job easier, and the students’ work is higher quality because she finds resources that I’ve never even seen before.” Kathy Binder, who teaches independent living and English, agreed, “She’s wonderful about ordering materials and making a display of the topic I’m covering in class. She also made the whole assignment, had a key prepared, and was there to teach students and encourage them. I had a team teacher for the period.”
Students benefit, too. Sophomore Juliessa Fernandez said, “I actually get stuff done when I come in [the library]. It’s a really big help with research and getting resources. I come to get help from Mrs. Santana a lot.” School Library Journal reports that student achievement levels are higher in schools that employ a librarian. Besides supporting Campion’s mission to expand minds, the library’s holdings on religion and spirituality—over 10% of the collection—provides students with resources to grow in their walk with God.
Campion recognizes that the role of the teacher librarian is growing even more important as students and faculty are met with new challenges as they use digital information. Lindsey explains her role the best: “Certainly there is a transition going on in the library world from the physical concept of books to ones that are digital. There’s also the mentality (especially among teenagers) that all you need is Google. But what people forget is that we are living in a world where knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. Virtually anyone can publish now, so finding reliable, quality information is like trying to find that one drop of water coming out of a running fire hydrant. It’s overwhelming. Especially for students. So that’s where librarians come in—we help you find just the information you need.”
She’s also an advocate of creativity, which students especially enjoy. At the end of March the library will host “Make & Create Week” where students can trying soldering, programming, and other activities. The creative process enhances the learning process. Whether students are programming Sphero robots, making their own Lego designs, or creating duct tape masterpieces, the Campion library is a place where students can engage in creativity and learn to be producers instead of just consumers.