Head Dean of Women, Molly Santana has set aside time in her schedule as dean to lend her expertise in the classroom. With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Special Education, Santana is now the highly qualified teacher of Campion’s Academic Support and Pre-Algebra classes.
After Patricia Torres retired in the fall, Santana was willing to take on the classes because she missed teaching and recognized the need for academic support. “Students who struggle have a place in my heart, often those are the ones who fall through the cracks. Especially in our Adventist school system there should be no excuse for that to happen. There should be someone to take the time, and let them know that someone believes in them,” she stated.
In the past, Santana has worked for a program for adults with mental disabilities and in a classroom for autistic students at a middle school. Santana said, “I love that God created us to be all so different individually, I believe it pertains to our learning. I like to find the way that they learn, empower them to follow that way of learning.”
Her husband, Carlos has also officially joined Campion’s staff doing supervision and working part-time in the cafeteria preparing dinner while he is working towards a degree in theology online. Carlos explained that he is happy to be working with academy students and enjoys “making connections and getting to know everyone better.” He further commented, “I know what it’s like as a teen and can relate to them in certain ways. I also enjoy learning from students and I hope they can learn something from me as well.”
Bentlee Barry, Campion News Team
Levi Meszaros, husband of Chaplain Nancy Meszaros, has been officially hired as assistant chaplain to finish out this school year. Pastor Joe Martin retired from teaching Junior Bible this semester, so Chaplain Nancy took over those classes, giving her a full class schedule. Levi has been instrumental this whole year in assisting with music and the sound system for spiritual meetings, so it was natural for him to officially take on the role of assistant chaplain.
“I am glad that I can work at this school, and it’s a blessing for me that I can work with my wife,” Levi reflected. “My primary role is the behind-the-scenes work. For example, during the week of prayer, I was responsible for the speakers, sound, worship team, and slides. In the future, I would like to be able to help students’ spiritual growth with better and more uplifting programs.”
Jayce Treat, Campion News Team
Last Sunday evening, the students of Campion Academy walked the red carpet through the gymnasium doors into a glittering awards venue. The area was decked out for the Oscar-themed 2021 Student Association (SA) banquet.
For the activities, SA had to get creative due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Yves Clouzet hosted the event highlighted by kahoot and newlywed games, along with musical performances by students and the U.S. History teacher, Jonathan Boutot.
Airi Nomura, one of the student performers, commented that she fully enjoyed the evening. “It was better than I expected. I almost forgot about COVID because it was so much fun!” she exclaimed.
Oscar awards were handed out at the end of the night. Students voted on categories that included best dressed, most matching couple, and most cheerful personality. Kinsey Harrison, who won Best Dressed Female, said she was “shocked and surprised” that other students voted for her.
The SA team, under the creative direction of Erin Johnson and Darcy Force, put in many hours to transform the gym and began decorating Saturday night and continued into Sunday morning. Kylie Wehling, SA Spiritual Vice President stated, “It took forever to set up. I’m tired, but it was 100% worth it.”
The senior class, with the help of their sponsors, Teresa Johansen and Chaplain Nancy Meszaros, prepared the banquet meal. Seniors took shifts from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. “It was hard work, but we (seniors) were all together so it made it fun,” Carol Silva says.
Staff members also dedicated their time to working for the event by helping serve the meal and take down. Randy Ottschofski commented, “It was one of the best Campion Academy banquets I’ve been to yet. The creativity and time put into it made it great.”
Sharmaine Monreal, senior, guest contributor
Last week, Campion Academy virtually welcomed Pastor Janos Kovacs-Biro, who connected with the students from his home in England for Week of Prayer. The Romanian-born pastor taught students about strengthening their spiritual life and went deeper into the story of Abraham and his son Issac.
The meetings were held daily at the Campion Church. Senior, Francisco Cortez stated, “I was impressed with the stories that the speaker told us and I feel like he was speaking to us from the bottom of his heart, teaching us about God through Abraham and Isaac.”
The week helped students refocus their attention on Jesus amidst the unpredictability of the current world.
Each night, staff members shared their personal testimonies, showing how they grew and connected with God. Speakers included: Kent Kast, Teresa Johansen, Valerie Allen, and Jillian Harlow. Kast stated, “Sharing one’s own testimony is more impactful than sharing other people’s stories.”
Many would agree with this after witnessing how powerful each of the teachers' stories were. Blessing Simamora stated, “I felt closer to Jesus while I listened to the staff members speak. It helped me to understand how God has impacted each of their lives and can help me in my own life. I appreciated the time the speakers took out of their busy schedules to help us grow closer to God.”
The week ended with vespers deluxe, where after the main program, many students gathered to sing and enjoy snacks. Senior, Samantha Hodges stated, “The afterglow for this Vespers Deluxe was by far one of the most special nights this year. Singing in the chapel and listening to everyone praise God brought back so many happy memories of years past when we didn’t have to worry about COVID. During the evening, I was able to connect with a lot of people and it was a really good conclusion to our Week of Prayer.”
Brooke Eitel, senior, guest contributor
On Sunday February 21, Campion hosted the annual scholastic awards’ program, Campion Acclaim, following Senior Recognition weekend. The administration acknowledged students with excellent grades and awarded scholarships in front of classmates, staff and parents. Junior and senior students with GPAs of 3.5 or greater, who demonstrated qualities of scholarship, leadership, service, and character, were nominated into the National Honors Society. Seniors inducted into the NHS were given a red cord and gold pin to wear at graduation.
Campion's awards and endowed scholarships were also announced. These scholarships are often given in memory or appreciation of alumni and former faculty. Alumni and friends continue to give every year to recognize students, in honor of their loved ones, who exhibit good citizenship, hold a job to help pay for their tuition, maintain strong academics, have financial need, and demonstrate appreciation for their education experience.
One such scholarship is in honor of Viola Goldsmith Rhodus who graduated in 1943. According to her children, Ed and Venita, she had many wonderful stories about her time at Campion. "Her eyes would light up when she talked about Campion Academy to us," daughter Venita shared.
The whole event is an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Campion - hard work, excellence, and the network of support. Brooke Eitel, senior, stated, “It is a huge honor to be recognized for all of the hard work I’ve put into academics the past four years. Hopefully being a part of the NHS will help me get scholarships so I can continue my education at a college level.”
Kent Kast, Vice Principal of Academics and NHS sponsor, explained, “I believe it is meaningful to the students to be recognized for their achievements. When we are recognized it makes us want to be even better. It is also a good example to other students of the satisfaction that comes with a job well done. The students are also eligible for scholarships in college that they might not be able to get without a membership in the National Honors Society.”
Campion Acclaim was led by Darcy Force, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Sherry Hay, Registrar, and Kent Kast. Since COVID restrictions are still in place, the event was held in the gymnasium instead of over brunch in the cafeteria to accommodate social distancing. Although the pandemic didn’t allow for as many people to attend, each student being honored could bring two guests to celebrate their accomplishments.
During the service, the Campion staff selected four seniors to speak and light a candle symbolizing the four pillars of NHS. Tiffany Dien spoke about scholarship, Sami Hodges touched on service, Dominick Maldonado talked about leadership, and Andy Obregon finished it off with character.
“I never really thought about being part of the NHS until I came to this event,” said Dien. “It felt surreal to be actually lighting a candle, speaking, and getting our red cords and pins. It means a great deal to be recognized for my achievements and see my hard work pay off.”
Haley Enochs, Student News Team
The majority of the seniors were actively involved in the annual Senior Recognition Weekend activities from leading out in worship services to organizing the Saturday-night games. Even with uncertainties due to COVID restrictions, the seniors were able to bring two family members to celebrate the events together.
Friday night, staff members shared memories and advice for each senior. Class sponsor, Teresa Johansen, explained, “It was a night that some of the best advice was given to each senior from the staff at Campion.”
Saturday morning, Bentlee Barry, Tiffany Dien and Ireland Anthony led out Bible Bowl, an interactive Bible trivia game, during Sabbath School that riled up the gym full of competitive students. Senior Spiritual Vice President, Mark Zelaya, commented, “Even though we had to remain socially distanced, the Sabbath School portion of the morning service was really interesting. I noticed all the students were engaged and having fun, especially during Bible Bowl.”
Pastor Jorge Zelaya, father of Mark Zelaya, was the guest speaker and gave advice to the senior class on Sabbath. Sharmaine Monreal and Jynaya Wright performed one of the special music songs accompanied by Melissa Clouzet. There was also another piece sung in Spanish by Milka Mendoza Sanchez, Dominick Maldonado, Nelly Salinas and Andy Obregon. The song held a special connection to the four students because it was a part of their culture that they shared with the school.
On Saturday night, students released their energy and enjoyed each other’s company during competitions of Kahoot, Tic-Tac-Toe relays, Red-light Green-light, and dodgeball, a personal favorite of the students.
Danny Garcia, junior, was relieved to create this new experience with his fellow classmates and said, “After weeks of being apart it was a relief to have the whole school together for an activity and finally be able to spend time with friends and enjoy a night of laughter and excitement.”
Nelly Salinas, guest contributor
This past Sabbath, Campion’s church service was filled with colorful flags, greetings, and songs in different languages. Students and church members paraded in a variety of flags from countries all around the world, with many wearing traditional cultural clothing.
The congregation sang in six different languages and students read Bible verses in other languages, too. Airi Nomura, an international student from Japan, said, “It was very hard but fun to sing in many different languages. I really liked when everyone was trying to say “Jesus loves you” in Japanese.”
A group of Indonesian students performed for special music. “I loved how I could speak to God in another language and sing for Him. I was able to express my culture in a way people could remember,” commented Blessing Simamora. “This International Sabbath was definitely worth performing for and it’s something I will cherish for a long time.”
Continuing on the global theme, the academy’s international club created a special evening activity for the dorm students. Students rotated to four stations representing the home countries of the international students. In the gym, the Brazilian students organized a game of taco, which is a Brazilian form of cricket, and Carnival mask painting. Also, the students from the Democratic Republic of Congo held soccer games and hosted a drum circle.
In the Student Center, the Chinese students offered games of ping pong as well as learning to write the Chinese character ‘love’ for Valentine’s Day. In the chapel, Airi hosted Japanese karaoke and origami. Throughout the stations, students could win traditional Chinese red packets with a raffle number for their participation. Five winners received a free take-out meal. The night ended with sparklers and fireworks in celebration of Chinese New Year.
Sophie Baez said, “I really enjoyed how we could all come together and share our cultures even though we are from different countries. I liked the evening games because we learned new things and games from other countries.”
Tiffany Dien, Student News Team
Classes still begin at their scheduled times, but that is about the only thing which has stayed the same for teachers at Campion Academy. Having to jump back and forth from in-person learning to a virtual classroom, and sometimes a mix of both, teachers are having to adapt in more ways than one.
Campion teachers have had to keep up with constantly updating safety precautions and remain flexible with sudden changes to their everyday routines. One day they could be giving a lecture in the classroom, and the very next day, they may find themselves leading class from their kitchen tables.
One thing is certain: teachers have to be prepared for the unexpected.
Even when classes are in-person, with COVID precautions, there are usually students who have to join virtually due to minor illnesses or potential exposure. Jill Harlow, Spanish and English teacher, described a little bit of what her days look like: “When I walk into my classroom, I’m running around sanitizing the desks, trying to switch on Zoom while students are walking in, and thinking to myself, ‘Ok what am I doing in class today, and what can I do to engage those one or two students on Zoom?”
This pandemic has challenged both new and experienced teachers.
Cindy Santana, who has been teaching at Campion since 2005, has come across many obstacles in the jump between virtual and in-person education. “Just using Zoom was a learning curve,’’ Santana commented. “Teaching for nine hours, grading, and doing the prep on top of all that makes for long days. When everybody’s here, you are a team; you have readers and other teachers to bounce ideas off of, but when we’re all on Zoom, we kind of operate in a vacuum. Sometimes, you feel like you’re going it alone.”
Campion’s chaplain and Bible teacher Nancy Meszaros, in her second year of teaching, has learned to use a variety of presentation tools to keep students interacting, but still recognizes the challenge the socially-distanced classroom presents. “I feel like sometimes my creative juices are no longer there. I want class to still be fun and engaging, but with so many regulations that always change, it’s hard to keep track and can be really draining.”
As the director for spiritual activities on campus, Meszaros added, “Another thing that has been difficult with this pandemic has been trying to find creative activities and programming to reach students spiritually. A lot of activities require mingling and close interaction, so we can’t do those things anymore.”
In spite of all the challenges, Campion teachers have chosen to stay positive and try to make learning as engaging as possible. Harlow elaborated: “God has blessed us through everything. All of us have learned to adapt. Students are still learning, and we teachers are still forming positive relationships with them. Even online, we can laugh or have deep spiritual conversations that bring us together. And there is light at the end of the tunnel; we are all looking forward to being back on campus together in the coming weeks.”
Sami Hodges, Student News Team
Campion Academy has had to move to remote learning for a period of at least two weeks due to a residence hall student testing positive for COVID-19 last Friday, January 15.
Following protocol, the student and his roommate were isolated and then tested last Wednesday, January 13 when he first displayed symptoms, and the results came back on Friday afternoon. At that time, the administration completed contact tracing and isolated others who were close contacts. By Saturday morning, three of those close contacts had come down with similar symptoms, so the administration acted quickly to protect the other students and staff by sending all students home beginning Saturday evening and Sunday.
The students affected have remained in the residence halls under the care of the deans and school nurse and currently have mild symptoms.
Following Larimer County guidelines, after an outbreak of COVID-19, all classrooms have to move to online learning and quarantine for a minimum period of two weeks.
“It is unfortunate that we’ve had to send our students home for the time being; however, this is a situation that we have had to anticipate and plan for this year,” explained Principal Donavan Reeder. “Most importantly, we want to keep our students and staff safe, so we had to be proactive in preventing a further outbreak.”
The administration will be further monitoring the situation and is seeking out best protocols to bring students back to campus as soon as safely possible. The Thompson Valley School District Safety Officer and District Nurse Coordinator met with Campion's administration team on Wednesday to offer advice on how to increase our safety plan, conduct efficient contact-tracing, obtain rapid testing, and ultimately avoid another closure once students return again.
“We were blessed to have had a COVID-free first semester, and we trust that God will carry us through this experience as well and bring us back together soon,” says Reeder. “Please continue to pray for the ministry of our school.”
Campion Academy was once again rated the number one private school in Larimer County by Niche.com on the annual 2021 Best Schools ranking list. There are currently 32 private schools in Larimer County.
Niche.com, a nationally recognized education ranking site, based this ranking on a rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents. Ranking factors include SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, and data sourced from the U.S. Department of Education, Niche users, and the schools directly.
What makes Campion so great? We asked current students to share their perspectives.
“I love how it feels like a second home. When I’m here, I get homesick but my friends always cheer me up. They keep me going and are the reason why I came back. Campion is a school that's more than a place for you to learn, it's a family.” - Blet Htoo
“I like how it’s easy to get along with people and you can make a lot of friends.” - Tiffany Kolibu
“I like how Campion tries to make it possible for us to stay here (with in-person education during the pandemic) and I’m glad to live in the dorm because it allows us to be closer with our friends.” - Chrishella Kalawo
“I’d probably have to say the greatest strength of Campion is the spiritual environment, I just really enjoy how I can be in a place where people are my same age and who believe the same thing I do. They influence me to want to know God more and keep me consistent in my beliefs.” - Odalis Mata
“One of the things I really value about Campion is the inclusion of spirituality into everyday life. Teachers have worship and prayer before every class, which puts God first. Not only is spirituality incorporated into academics, but vespers and worship services allow everyone to grow closer to one another, and people form bonds here that will most likely last a lifetime.” - Sami Hodges
“For me, the best part about Campion is the amount of help the staff members give you. In other schools, some teachers don’t care if you fail or succeed, but here the teachers go above and beyond to make sure you succeed. They will give you their phone numbers, meet with you outside of class, and work with you when you are behind or struggling. It just goes to show how God is working through everyone on this campus.” - Haley Enochs
“I think a strength of Campion is the personal atmosphere. You can make so many connections here, and the staff really care about the students. I think what makes people want to come back are all the friendships they make here.” -Nelly Salinas
“My favorite thing is the dorm life because I love how my friends and I interact with each other and still hang out even with COVID policies and with masks. We still make it work and have fun!” - Mark Zelaya
“Campion excels at providing an environment where students can grow socially, physically, mentally, and spiritually.” - Jayden Anggormas
-Campion Academy Student News Team