The Men’s Club led out in the annual Iron Man event last Saturday night, with over 20 participants competing in events such as the rope climb, slam dunk contest, jousting, obstacle course and more.
As the event began Dean Dubini announced that Don Reeder, who recently retired, would be hosting the Iron Man competition giving the crowd and the competitors the extra excitement they needed for the long evening. As former Men’s Dean and Principal, Reeder has been hosting the competition since its inception.
“It was so amazing to see Mr. Reeder at Iron Man. It wouldn’t be the same if he didn’t host it. Everything fell into place because without him it would’ve felt like something was missing,” expressed Damaris Lopez-Morquecho, junior.
First up was the slam dunk contest that included three different heights of the basketball hoops so a variety of people could show off their dunking skills with Izuchi Nwankwo dunking the regulation 10 feet height on his first attempt.
Next up was the run around campus, the obstacle course, and then the rope climb. These activities were timed and the fastest to complete the challenges got points towards their overall score.
Each event pushed the competitors to new levels because of the vigorous competition. Sergio Enriquez, sophomore, reflected, “I was happy when I was able to accomplish the rope climb because I wasn’t able to last year.”
A favorite event, jousting, is a high tension game with two participants each round. The objective of the joust is to push your opponent off a wood plank with a lance covered in duct tape. “The jousting is always my favorite to watch because it’s very suspenseful since you never know who will win in the end,” explained Elizabeth Shannon, senior.
“Having fun with my friends was my favorite part. They were my source of motivation during the games,” shared Marc Winokan, sophomore.
To wrap up Iron man the competitors came up in twos to chug as much ginger ale as possible in a short amount of time.
For the boys division the winners were Toby Quillin winning 3rd place and Sergio Enriquez and Mark Winokan tied for 1st place. The girls division was close with 3rd going to Lily Resz, 2nd to Sarah Molina and 1st to Damariz Lopez-Morquecho. Every person who placed received a trophy and the 1st place winners will have their names added to the official Iron Man trophy.
Eva Resz, Student News Team
This past Sabbath Campion Academy, HMS Richards, and the Campion Church came together to celebrate the diversity in our community with our International Sabbath. Students from both schools started off the program by dressing up in clothes from the countries they were representing, and carrying flags from all over the world. The students greeted the church in different languages.
Afterwards the praise team presented songs that had different translations. They sang songs in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Indonesian. Natan Fogaca shared “It was a good experience, I got to sing and praise God.”
Students shared several special performances, scriptures and prayers in various different languages. Julia Santiago and Beatriz Moraes sang a special music called Alem in Portuguese.
Moraes shared, “This song is important to me because it shows me that I always have someone I can trust and always do what's best for me. God showed me in this song that he is always with us, even in the storms. Believe and trust in Him that he will do what is best.”
“It was beautiful to see so many countries represented throughout the church,” Euan O’Keeffe expresed, “It really painted the church as what it should be - a great unifier, unrelated to language and culture.”
Vashty Segovia Santos, Student News Team
This past week, Campion Academy held a Week of Worship with Wayne Morrison sharing about the unconditional love of Jesus and how He transforms us to be more like Him.
The main point of his message was to help students understand the gift of eternal life, our identity as children of God, and our transformation in Christ. Morrison gave a clear message of how God is working in our lives and that He is love.
Davi Vieira, a new student this semester shared, “For my first Week of Worship at Campion, I really enjoyed taking some time away from classes and worshiping God with my friends this week. The way Morrison talked made me feel motivated and happy because we are not alone and Jesus is working in our lives. I can’t wait to have another week like that.”
In addition to the speaker, the praise team introduced the theme song “Champion,” making the message more impactful to the students.
Yngrid Silva, junior expressed, “I think the theme song for WOW was one of the best. It really impacted my thoughts about our salvation in Christ and I really enjoyed listening to the praise team singing it on the stage. It made me feel good and inspired by the lyrics.”
Piano player for the praise team, Shawn Ferguson shared, “Honestly, this week was one of the best we’ve had as far as music, in my opinion, and I really enjoyed the message. Overall the experience was great, and I can’t wait for the next Week of Worship.”
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
This past week, Union College held their annual basketball tournament from February 14 to 18. Eight academies, including Campion Academy, played in the tournament. After three days of both intense and friendly competition, Andrews Academy took first place for both boys and girls teams.
On Wednesday evening both Campion Varsity teams won their first game. Thursday, the teams fought hard, but unfortunately lost the two games they played. Union held shooting competitions on Thursday evening. From the girls team, Grace Garman and Catie Fairfield were chosen for the free-throw and three-point contest. Ekenna Nwankwo and Shawn Ferguson shot for the boys team.
On Friday, the teams played their first official bracket game. The boys game was extremely close until the last fifty seconds, where Sunnydale scored and pulled ahead. The girls were set against some of the harder teams there and lost as well. Overall, Campion players displayed some incredible skill, teamwork, and positive sportsmanship despite the losses.
That following evening for vespers, Union’s Black Choir performed songs before introducing the speaker. After the speaker, Campion students led out in a spontaneous Vespers Deluxe (what we at Campion have come to call an after-glow featuring worship music). Students from all of the different schools gathered together and worshiped God through their music, opening the Sabbath united as Seventh-day Adventist Christians after a hard day of games.
Grace Garman, senior, elaborated, “My favorite thing was singing around the piano for our own after-glow. It was not only a great way to meet new people, but we were able to connect with one another aside from the basketball court. It gave me the opportunity to talk to people from other schools.”
On Sabbath afternoon, Union hosted an Oasis community event consisting of snacks and board games. It was a great way to relax on the Sabbath and experience community in a college setting.
Saturday evening, the final games were played. Both Campion teams played exciting games against Maplewood and both won, taking 5th place overall. At the end of the night there was an awards ceremony where Dominic White and Catie Fairfield were both awarded the All Tournament Award for their teams.
While the teams may have gone into the tournament hoping to place higher, everyone still enjoyed their time spent at Union, both on and off the court.
Ekenna Nwankwo, four year senior, expressed, “I enjoyed the tournament because I was able to meet new people. I got to see a lot of basketball games that were close scores and I even got to play in some myself. It was a good last tournament experience with my friends”.
Watch the recorded games at https://www.youtube.com/@unioncollegeutv
Catie Fairfield, Student News Team
After 40 years of dedicated service to Campion Academy, Donavan Reeder has announced his retirement. Reeder has served as Principal for the past nine years and prior to that worked as a Men’s Dean for 31 years in the residence hall. He steps down as the longest-standing employee at the Rocky Mountain Conference. As an integral part of Campion Academy for so many years, he leaves a legacy of commitment and spiritual leadership to be honored.
Reeder’s Campion roots run deep; he was born in Loveland, Colorado while his parents both worked at Campion Academy. His family later moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where he attended Salt Lake City Junior Academy. He attended Andrews University and then transferred to Walla Walla University where he graduated with a degree in Communication.
He met and married his wife Donna while at Walla Walla. Donna also had Colorado roots, growing up in Denver and graduating from Campion Academy in 1980. After college, the couple decided to move to Loveland. As Don had studied communications, he obtained his first job with a video production company in Loveland.
At the time, Thure Martinsen was the chaplain at Campion, and he had been Reeder’s principal at Salt Lake Junior Academy. Martinsen invited Reeder to play on Campion’s faculty football team. After the staff had gotten to know him on the field, he was asked to apply as the Assistant Men’s Dean, and he began officially working at Campion Academy in 1984.
After just two years of working as an Assistant Dean and teaching Speech and World of Work classes, he took on the position of Head Dean of Men in 1986.
Reeder excelled as a Head Dean, maintaining the position for 29 years. Reeder shared, “I had originally desired to be a youth pastor. I saw that I could preach to the youth, but they needed examples of the Christian life lived in the real world. By being a residence hall dean, I would be living with the students and hopefully be a daily witness to God's working in our lives, just as Mark 3:14 tells us that Jesus lived with His disciples before He sent them out to preach.”
Donna Reeder also worked at Campion Academy as an Assistant Girl’s Dean and in the cafeteria and at Boulder Jr. Academy, until finding her fit in the accounting department where she has continued to work for the past 25 years. Their daughter Jessica (Reeder) Baker has continued her parents’ passion for Adventist Education and currently works as a teacher at the Fort Collins Adventist School.
Reeder served as a Vice-Principal in addition to Head Dean under Principal Spencer Hannah. In 2015, Reeder was selected to become Principal at Campion Academy.
At the end of the 2015 school year, Campion Academy was struggling with low enrollment, with around 120 students. Reeder was given a goal to increase that to 150 in his first year as principal and Elder Ed Barnett, President of the Rocky Mountain Conference even promised to shave his head if they reached that goal. In a memorable event, the goal was reached and Elder Barnett’s head was shaved.
Barnett commented, “He was a great leader and soon we were getting our enrollment back up. The thing that impressed me the most with Don was the spirituality on the campus,” he added. Don was a friend that Barnett will always cherish, “What a blessing he had been for the Rocky Mountain Conference!”
Reeder is well-known for keeping the mission and spiritual development of Campion Academy students at the forefront. As principal, he made the mission of Campion Academy clear, saying, “I wanted the students to be trained to go into the world with the message of Jesus.”
Under his leadership, Reeder expanded the Spiritual Life Committee to include the church pastors and HMS Richards principal which began to meet weekly. He also made sure Wednesday evenings were dedicated to spiritual programming (Fusion) to give more emphasis on spiritual development and training.
Other accomplishments included; creating security ID cards for secure entry to the Ad Building; creating new signage throughout campus and in the Ad building; adding a communication director, formalizing the international student program with Dean Helm, adding the Cougar statue to campus with the Stenbakkens and Bob McConnell, and creating the endowments for Student Legacy and Capital improvements.
In 2019, Reeder’s dedicated service to the ministry of Adventist Education was formally recognized when he was ordained by the Rocky Mountain Conference.
Reeder led Campion Academy through the challenging years of the COVID pandemic, leading with a balanced approach; keeping Campion Academy open for in-person instruction while instituting strong policies to prioritize health and safety.
Among Don Reeder’s friends is the conference’s former Education Superintendent, Lonnie Hetterle, who has been acquainted with Reeder for nearly 30 years. He recollects that “during that long span of time I have had the opportunity to observe and to work with him in a wide variety of circumstances and situations when he was a boy’s dean, a teacher, an academy principal and as a fellow follower of Jesus Christ. Faithfulness and consistency are two words that clearly describe Mr. Reeder.
“His desire to rightly represent his Savior has fully influenced all of his decisions. As a new principal he always was willing and in fact eager to take counsel and made every effort possible to arrive at the correct and best decision for each situation. His desire to be the very best leader he could be continued throughout his career. He did his best to look at every scenario from the student’s perspective, from the staff viewpoint, and from the school’s perspective but always with a redemptive mindset”. According to Hetterle, Reeder set the standard for “servant-leadership”.
“His willingness to listen, to encourage, and to lead with compassion was always present. He was an excellent example of professional leadership. I never saw a time when Don’s ego affected his decision making and I also am unaware of any decision he made without spending time in prayer and listening intently for leading from the Holy Spirit. Don loves his God, his church, his school and his family deeply. Campion is certainly what it is today in a large part due the influence of Don Reeder,” Hetterle added.
In retirement, as during his career, Reeder is turning to God for direction: “I am watching where God is leading for me to serve Him,” he shared; “I would like to camp more, golf more, and visit family and friends more.”
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Words of Appreciation from students, alumni, parents, and co-workers
“Mr. Reeder has always been a positive light in my life. I’ve appreciated him as a student, parent, coworker, and friend. I have known him since attending Campion Academy. Back then, he served as head dean. Though I had no classes from him, I always looked forward to having him lead worship. Listening to him sing and play his guitar, his music ministry was a highlight of my high school experience. Since being back on Campion’s campus, I have looked forward to him singing and having worships with students. It brings me back to my fond memories in high school. Mr. Reeder has a love for Jesus that runs deep. I pray the best for him but may his legacy of his love for Jesus continue at Campion and quicken the return of Jesus.” - Kari Lange
“Mr Reeder was the best principal anyone could ask for. He loved us students and was so friendly and happy. I will miss him!” - Clara Aakko
“Dear Mr. Reeder, thank you for demonstrating Christ’s love and truth throughout the years you sacrificially served at Campion Academy. Your loving care, dedication, and commitment to each student, parent, teacher, and staff member was consistently evident in your words and deeds. You will be greatly missed! “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. Numbers 6:24-26” - Tristi Ramos
“One of the biggest reasons that I moved to Colorado was because of you. I’ve never worked with a principal that encouraged and supported evangelism as much as you! You’ll be missed.” - Matthew Hasty
“Don Reeder is/has been the best Principal I have ever known. Don has a way of giving bad news in the most positive way. He cares about everyone, and that is shown in his genuine interest in each and every one of his staff, students, and everyone he meets. He is amazing at remembering names and listening. He never takes sides with issues and helps people see both sides of a situation. He lives a Christ centered life and he will be missed by everyone.” - Amy Kluchesky
“Mr Reeder always had a smile on his face and always greeted students by name. He was always willing to talk with us and always prioritized personal relationships with the students. He's also just a funny and likable guy, and I know I'll miss him a lot and I'm sad he won't be principal as we graduate.” - Lily Testardi
"Mr Reeder, thank you so much for showing a genuine interest in each of our children. Your smile and friendliness were felt by all of us. We felt very comfortable leaving our children at Campion under your supervision. May God continue to richly bless you and give you peace! “ - The Nwankwo Family
“I always admired his calm spirit and the peace that seems to irradiate from him. Humbleness makes a person great!” - Veralis Marroquin
"I always appreciated how Mr. Reeder would warmly greet me each day with a smile. He listened well to the staff members and was very considerate in his decisions. He was very encouraging to me as a teacher and made me feel valued. Most of all, it is evident that his faith is very genuine and he is a man of prayer. He is a wonderful role model of a disciple of Jesus to our students." - Jill Harlow
“Mr. Reeder is one of those people who is the happiest and the friendliest in the room. God's love beams through him in action and words. He lead Campion honorably, loyally, and excellently for decades. Mr. Reeder is THE principal to look towards as an example of the highest quality leadership in all areas. I have appreciated every Campion principal, but I knew that Mr. Reeder would offer the most genuine level of friendship towards parents and students at all times. Thank you, Mr. Reeder, for showing us Jesus and for creating a Christ-like campus for every student. In all my years knowing Mr. Reeder, I never heard a single soul, young or old, say anything but the highest commendations for this man of God. Thank you, Mr. Reeder! You served God valiantly, and because of you, many youth are following Christ daily.” - Jodie Aakko
"Mr. Reeder treated everyone like family and made Campion a safe place for students and staff." - Shannon Brown
“I loved working with Don for the past 8 years. He genuinely cared about people and especially about their spirituality. Anytime he met with students or staff he prayed for them and for the meeting taking place. That is the biggest impact he made in my life. He was genuine and compassionate and I know he made such a huge impact on so many lives. He still touches the lives of my boys and they are grown men with their own families now.” - Sue Helm
“My memory of Mr. Reeder is based on kindness and affection towards everyone at Campion, and even though we spent little time with him, it was great to see how Don Reeder is a dedicated person who follows God’s ways. Thank you.” - Julia Santiago
“I think of his smile, as he greeted me on many mornings in the office. I think of his laugh, when he called me by my real name, or when he pulled a joke on me, or scared me when I was intently working on a project. (He thought that was so funny to see me jump and scream).I think of all the times he prayed with me for various reasons. I always felt safe sharing with him and getting advice. I think of how we shared the love of running, and participated in some of the same races and shared stories on the after pain .I think of the man that I saw taking so much time to visit with students throughout the day letting them know they were valued and important. I think of the man that exemplified Jesus over and over to the students, and the staff. I think of all the mornings he dropped his young daughter off in my classroom and entrusted her to my love and care .I think of the time as a Boys Dean he and his RA's would come and sing and do worship for us. I think of this Man, Husband, Father, Dean, and Principal and I am so glad I have had an opportunity to work with you all these years. You will be very missed!” - Toni Odenthal
Don's smile has always uplifted me ever since I worked with Jessica at MHA. He seemed like a rock, a legend of God's youth ministry and education. I remember vividly when Don called me to ask me if I was interested in coming to Campion Church and honestly it was a huge sign from God. It was also a big affirmation for me that such a great leader in God's cause would remember little me. His passion and love for young people and God's kingdom is so inspiring. He would stop at nothing to ensure the "kids" had the best possible outcome on this campus. To me he sets the bar high for anyone going into youth ministry. Only after Jesus comes back we will know the true impact of his tireless service for God, the church, and the young people he ministered to. Thank you Mr. Reeder!! - Leandro Bizama
"I am blessed to call Don my friend, he has always supported the Alumni Association. It's been my privilege to work with Don for over 30 years. Campion has excelled and grown under his leadership, more importantly the spiritual growth at Campion is a direct reflection of his leadership. Congratulations, all the best in the next chapter of your life. Your friend, Kenny Gregerson."
"For as long as I’ve been here, I can only remember you being here. Whenever I see you, I’m met with a huge smile, and that makes my day. My favorite memories are when you used to come to my Mom’s class and read a story and play your guitar. My other one is when you would come in the business office and scare me so bad. :) You’re so amazing, and I’m going to miss having you around!" - Evie Lange
"We moved to Campion in 1986, and since that time, I've never known Campion without Reeder. I ended up working for him most of my academy years and summers. You were a great boss and mentor, Reeder! Long live the pig dogs!" - Jeff Boyd (class of '93)
“I've always regarded Mr. Reeder as someone I highly admire. During my time at Campion, I witnessed him lead the Men's Dorm with compassion, respect, humility, and humor. This made him very approachable and easy to connect with, regardless of the various individual backgrounds he encountered. Mr. Reeder led by example - showing us what it meant to be a good man who loves God and those around him. I hope you enjoy your much deserved free time, old man!” - Moses Arevalo
“There is nobody in my life, besides my dad, that has had a bigger impact than Don Reeder. He has been my mentor and my friend. Working alongside Don has created some incredible memories that I will never forget. I have learned so much from him and am so grateful he has been in my life.” - Daniel Force
The Campion Academy Orchestra traveled up to the Union College Music Festival to expand their musical talents and perform with other top student musicians from across the Mid-America Union.
Led by Campion Music Director Cecilia Simmons, 19 students were representing Campion Academy at the festival from Wednesday, January 31 to Saturday, February 3. Over half of the Campion students were first-time festival attendees.
According to Simmons, Campion’s Orchestra received high praise from the clinicians and section leaders for their hard work and dedication to their performances.
Simmons elaborated; “Sarah (sophomore, trumpet) and Leo (junior, oboe) both earned solos on one of the festival band selections. Jack (junior, violin) was named concertmaster for the festival orchestra and Ariana (sophomore, violin) was named principal for the second violins. In the neverending competition between siblings Caleb (senior, euphonium) and Addison (sophomore, trombone), Caleb won at least one round by being the only euphonium player at the festival.”
The students commented that they enjoyed learning new music and the chance to travel and spend time with friends.
Toby Quillin (junior, saxophone) shared, “I had a lot of fun at Music Fest both playing my instrument and spending time with friends as well as meeting new friends. I learned a lot about playing the saxophone especially when they brought in a teacher from Lincoln University and taught us more about how to play our instrument”.
Elizabeth Shannon (senior, trombone) shared similar sentiments saying; “I think I learned how to play my part of the music a lot better and how to sight read better. I liked hearing the progress we made from practice to performance. I realized that Campion has a lot of talented people! And my favorite part was probably just walking around the city and hanging out when we were on breaks.”
After three full days of practice, the students showcased their work at performances on Friday evening and Saturday evening. Videos of the performances can be found on Union College’s youtube channel.
Simmons explained, “One of the program highlights was getting to hear both the festival band and orchestra join together on a thrilling piece entitled ‘Resurgences.’ It was the perfect end to an incredible week of music making and camaraderie.”
Pedro Vieira, Student News Team
Students, staff, and families gather together to celebrate the academic achievements of those who received a 3.5 GPA and above last semester. Scholarships, graduation cords, and National Honors Society pins were given out.
Staff members honored seniors at a special vespers program where students received individual recognition last Friday evening. This event celebrated not only their accomplishments, but also acknowledged that they are on the last stretch of high school.
Many got a special Bible verse dedicated to them. Lily Testardi, senior, expressed, “Having this Bible verse: ‘Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans,’ Proverbs 16:3, served as a comfort in this upcoming chapter of my life.”
Following the vespers program was a reception with food and drinks.
In addition to the senior recognition program, seniors got the opportunity to lead out the church service. All of the seniors sat on the stage, and every aspect of the service was conducted by the class members .The service included special music by Ekenna Nwankwo and Shawn Ferguson, children’s story by Eva Resz and Elizabeth Shannon, a testimony from Sharon Vasquez, and prayer by Catie Fairfield and Sue Helm. Andrew Kramer presented the sermon, a message about trusting in God with your future. Many parents of the students came from all around to celebrate their children’s achievements.
These activities were a great way to recognize the seniors and their impact on Campion. Eva Resz, senior, expressed, "This weekend was really meaningful to me not only because my family came out, but also because I got to see the growth of the senior class since our freshman year. It’s awesome to see how God has worked in all of our lives.”
Catie Fairfield, Student News Team
This past Saturday night the Campion Drama Department put on a production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in the Campion Gymnasium. Parents traveled from as far as Texas, Missouri, and New Mexico.
Ms. Johnson, Drama Department Director, and the actors had been preparing for the performance since the beginning of the year. The play was a success because of the help from actors, set design, and the backstage crew. The costumes were donated and made by Mrs. Williams. Along with that, she played the piano during the performance. Additionally, the orchestra provided musical accompaniment for the play.
During the musical, there was a fundraiser where the senior class offered chili, pie, and other snacks. The audience had the opportunity to enjoy some Western themed food.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers takes place during the 1850’s in Oregon. In this drama, an unexpected love story unfolds between Adam Pontipee, played by Ekenna Nwankwo, and Millie, played by Abby Waworoendang. As Adam searches for a wife to help him manage his six brothers, he finds Millie and they end up getting married. Keeping true to the promise of the title, the musical ended with the seven brides marrying the seven brothers.
“At first, I was a little nervous, but it was really fun. I think we did a great job, and overall it was a good experience for everyone,” shared actress Claire Jorgensen, junior.
Not only did the actors learn and memorize their lines, but they practiced intricate choreography. They did cartwheels, line dancing, and acted out a lot of fights. “I really enjoyed learning how to do a cartwheel for the play and playing my character Gideon,” Keon Paez, junior, shared.
Waworoendang, senior expressed, “I’m so relieved that everyone enjoyed it, and it was so great to work with this team. We learned so much doing this presentation. It felt so good hearing everyone laugh at the jokes and have fun.”
Vashty Segovia Santos, Student News Team