At Campion, we were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death of a student at our sister-school, Mile High Academy, in Denver on Tuesday, January 14. We ask our community to lift up her family, the staff, and the students of MHA in prayer in the wake of this tragedy. The following is a statement issued by Mile High Academy.
It is with profound sadness that Mile High Academy confirms the loss of one of our students last night. Our hearts go out to this family. We want this family to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers. MHA has been working closely with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department as they continue to investigate this tragedy. Mile High Academy will have grief counselors on hand to help our students, staff and families with this loss. Prayers for our students and staff are appreciated. Thank you for respecting the privacy of our school community as this time.
Campion's school nurse will also be available for meeting with and counseling our students who have been affected by this loss during the day on Thursday.
“Growing up, the only family I knew were my parents and sisters.” Patricia’s family has always been very important to her, but all of her extended family live overseas in Indonesia. “Not being able to meet my family is a huge challenge for me. Every night I would pray to God to keep them safe because prayer was my only connection to them.”
A few years ago, her uncle died in a motorcycle accident. “My heart broke when I found out because I never got the chance to formally meet him. I had a lot of questions for God and went through a lot of grieving over someone I didn’t really know.” God found Patricia in her questioning, though, and called her closer to Him.
“This experience reminded me of faith,” she says. “I need to have faith in someone I can’t physically see.” Patricia learned how to care deeply for people who she can’t be near physically, and was able to find a touch of faith through a difficult experience.
During her time at Campion Academy, Patricia felt herself drawn closer than ever to God during a week of prayer. “During the Friday night vespers, the pastor spoke about how Jesus died on the cross for us. It really moved me and made me feel a spark of the Holy Spirit in me. It was a feeling I will never forget. That night, I chose to give my life to God.”
Last year, Patricia was faced with a new challenge. “I had back surgery to fix my scoliosis,” she says. “Surprisingly, this surgery helped me grow my faith in God. I was in so much pain afterwards and felt like God was not there to ease the pain. Later on, I realized that He was. He was there when the people who visited me prayed over me; He was with the hands of the surgeons who operated on me, and He was there with every hug from my family and reminder of how strong I am. Now, after having the metal in my back for a year, I feel like a brand new person spiritually and physically.”
Patricia Simamora with Naomi Boonstra, Student Editor
Last Saturday night the Campion varsity basketball teams headed down to Mile High for the annual game. This year, however, both schools decided to meet earlier in the day for a joint sundown vespers. Not only did the teams get to cheer each other on, but the whole school was bussed down to Mile High to enjoy the game. The girls varsity played first, trailing by only a few points in the first quarter but eventually losing to the Mile High team. Next was the boys varsity game, and although they lost, they fought hard until the buzzer and closed the gap significantly in the fourth quarter. Milka Mendoza, a junior and player on the girls varsity team, said, “Yeah losing isn’t fun, but I love how our team always brings each other up. Now we’re preparing for the next game!” This year’s basketball season is just getting underway; so far the girls are 0-3 and the boys are 2-1.
Ashley Herber, Student Editor
Growing up in a country plagued by gang-related violence, Francisco Cortez was eager to reunite with his mother in the United States. Even though he found out his new life in the United States wasn’t perfect, he learned to trust God through it all.
Francisco was born in a small town in El Salvador and was raised by his single-mother until he was nine years old. At that time, his mother successfully applied for political asylum in the United States, but had to leave her son behind. Francisco then moved to live with his aunt and uncle in San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador, known for having many dangerous gangs. In eighth grade, he shared that the gangs tried to get him to join. After a few hard months of interactions with the gangs, Francisco’s mother was finally successful in applying to bring him to live with her in Denver.
“I was happy to be here, but I missed my friends and family in El Salvador. Everything was different, the food, the language, the buildings. The thing that stressed me the most was the language. I couldn’t even say a sentence in English. I knew nothing,” Francisco explained.
Growing up, Francisco had many religions in his family that included Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witness, and Adventism. When searching out his own beliefs, Francisco appreciated the views his Grandma had about Adventism. His Grandma would share teachings of the Bible with Francisco which helped him to find his faith. In 2017, while he was attending the North Glenn Hispanic Church, a pastor made an altar call for baptism. Francisco felt the need to finally commit himself to God and raised his hand. Francisco shared, “I was struggling before I was baptized, and I felt like it was time to get back to Jesus.”
Francisco heard about Campion Academy through his church after he moved to Denver. He began attending Campion his freshman year, but despite the positive changes that had happened to him, Francisco soon found that his new life at Campion wasn’t without it’s challenges. When he arrived, he didn’t speak any English and struggled with the different educational system. During his first year, his English improved rapidly while primarily taking ELL classes, but he was hit hard by the full academic load his sophomore year.
In the fall of his sophomore year at Campion, Francisco was a starting player for the men’s varsity soccer team. Francisco has always loved soccer, so he was extremely excited to get to have a starting position. He shared frustration that when his grades began to slip, he wasn’t allowed to play and missed most of the season. “I did all my homework at first, but I wasn’t used to studying for tests that much, and I had some low grades. After they kicked me out of the team, I got so depressed that my grades just started going down more and more.”
Although this was hard for Francisco, it helped him realize that he needed to trust God. He shared, “I had bad communication with God my sophomore year. The only time I prayed was to question God. I never said thanks; I just asked, why me? Everytime I would question God with what I was going through, things just seemed to never improve. Now I have realized through the Bible, that I need to be thankful through the bad times and the good times.”
Francisco appreciates all the opportunities there are at Campion to worship God. He says that this has been something that has improved his relationship with God. Something else he appreciates is the love he can see through the teachers at Campion. He says that through God and his time at Campion, that he has found his purpose in life. He dreams of becoming missionary pilot. Francisco expressed his gratitude by saying, “I am very thankful to be here at Campion.”
This year has gone more smoothly for Francisco. He has been working hard in his classes and while academics can still be a struggle, he was happy that he never missed a soccer game this year due to grades. “The only thing that keeps me positive is God. That’s a big difference for me from last year. My Bible class this year has helped me a lot through journaling. Now I say thanks for what I have and just ask Him for help,” Francisco shared.
Megan Michalenko, student editor, with Jill Harlow, Communication Director
Photo credit: Bela Cinco
Last Sabbath, December 18, was a special day because the Campion Academy choirs, orchestra and handbells prepared a program where the students sang and played Christmas music from around the world. They also played in Campion Church on Sabbath morning, but the main program was in the afternoon.
The program started with orchestra playing a Spanish piece with three movements conducted by Yves Clouzet. They practiced that music for almost two months and they played well. “It was awesome! I loved it so much; I wanted to hear the last one again,” said Brizney Espino, a freshman.
The choir’s main song was a Nigerian Christmas carol which included solos, rhythm instruments, and movement. It was really African style because they used only three different drums and no other instrumental accompaniment. “I loved it because it was so culturally enriching, and it was fun to perform,” said Amira Davis, one of the choir singers and handbell ringers.
Orchestra finished the program with a long piece called Russian Christmas Music, and they were so good that the church gave them a standing ovation.
Yan Silva, International Student, Guest Contributor
Last Wednesday, the Student's Association organized a group of students to collect food donated by residents of Loveland as a service project. The week prior, students had handed out empty bags in a neighborhood with a note explaining the project. Then, they went with Mr. Marin to neighborhoods to collect the filled bags. Mr. Marin separated them into groups of two or three and each group went down a different street. “It was good; it was cool to help others,” said Theron Treat.
Mr. Marin drove around to check in on all the groups to see if everything was going well and to put the bags inside the van. “It was really cold, but a good activity,” said Grant Caviness. After that, they came back to the school and took all the bags to Mrs. Eickmann’s office. The students collected twenty-eight food bags in total and all of the food was donated to the House of Neighborly Service.
Daniel Moraes, International Student, guest contributor
Last Saturday evening the girls dorm held an open house; that means the boys got to visit the girls dorm. All of us freshman boys were excited, because we had no idea what the girls dorm looked like inside. At 7:00 p.m. all us boys from the second and third floors were in the tower ready to leave. “Ready, set, go!” Mr. Ottschofski said, and we pushed the tower door open and walked together down the path toward girls dorm.
When we walked in the front door, we were all amazed by how they decorated their dorms and their rooms. We visited every single room and enjoyed the snacks that both of the deans prepared for us. Some of us found out that the girls dorm has a work-out room. We were curious, so we went inside and tried out all the work-out equipment, especially the punching bags.
After the open house ended, we got to go to the gym. A lot of us went down to the gym to play some sports and talk with our friends, but some just relaxed in their rooms and reviewed for their finals. After 9:45 p.m. all the students started to go back to their rooms for a good nights sleep after a fun Saturday night activity.
Jarrod Lang, International Student, Guest Contributor
Last Sunday on December 8, Campion students had a Disney-themed SA Banquet. Both the boys and girls dorm offered afternoon snacks and the banquet started at 3:30 p.m. The boys went to the girls dorm to pick up their dates. We went to the new Fort Collins Christian School for supper, and to spend time together. The decorations were amazing; there were awesome lights and candles. Banquet dates got a good opportunity to talk to each other and take pictures.
For dinner, Noodles and Company catered in and we had a chance to choose what we liked to eat from the menu. The Campion SA group romantically served the dates. They had options like Korean noodles, Pasta, Mac'n Cheese and Penne Rosa and for dessert they had cheesecake. “Yeah, it was fun, talking to my date, we ate good food and I enjoyed the noodles,” commented Brizney Espino.
After that, everyone went to Colorado State University for a magnificent orchestra concert. Everyone got to choose their seats. They spent a good night together at the concert. “It was nice to go to the concert after eating at the school," said Clinton Anderson. The concert had two parts; the first part was the string orchestra, and the second part had a tenor soloist with the strings. On the way back to the dorm, dates and friends sat next to each other and talked about the day. At about 10 p.m. we got back to the dorm for a good sleep.
“It was very nice that students and their dates or the people that they invited had a good time taking pictures, and spending time as a whole school.” commented Ismael Jesus Diaz.
Gregory Lang, Freshman Guest Contributor, with Bela Cinco
On December 6, we had a different Friday here at Campion Academy. Our day was different because we went to church and listened to students and church members singing and playing Christmas songs. These songs were good and people enjoyed them. They made us happy, excited, and look forward to Christmas.
Right after the performance, we went to the fellowship hall. We were with our friends from school and the church people waiting for the Christmas lights ready for everyone to see. Then, when they were ready, the teachers called everyone to go to the center of campus where the Christmas lights were. When we got there, we counted down from 10 to 0, turned on the lights in the boys’ dormitory and another in the girls' dormitory. This was very cool, because these colorful lights get a lot of attention.
Rafael Goncalves, Guest Contributor
Last Sabbath, on December 7, we had International Sabbath. Many of Campion’s students and church families participated. The program started off with a lot of students carrying flags, and there were over 40 flags. Each student carrying a flag said a greeting in a different language. Some students wore their country’s clothes. “It was cool seeing different clothes represented by different countries, and I also liked the way the Japanese girl’s clothes looked,” said Audra Bennett, freshman.
The praise team sang a few Christmas songs in eight different languages. “International Sabbath was really fun. I really enjoyed learning new languages. It was hard learning new languages and I think the hardest was Swedish or French,” commented Kaddy Koroma, senior.
A few international students did a children’s story. The children learned to say “Jesus loves you” in different languages. Other international students read Bible verses in different languages. “I’m really interested in languages, and I like studying languages, so I really appreciated it. It was really cool to see all of the different languages being sung and read in,” explained Samantha Hodges, junior. We learned about different countries and had an amazing Sabbath.
Airi Nomura, Guest Contributor, International Student from Japan