Mrs. Eickmann stepped up for the position as Campion’s Interim Chaplain and Bible teacher even though she had never had a job like that before. Over the past year, Eickmann has planned assemblies, vespers, Sabbath School, Weeks of Prayer, and various activities for Campion staff and students. She also planned the annual Senior Survival. “Mrs. Eickmann did an amazing job making senior survival a very heartfelt experience for our class. I know that the planning must’ve been stressful, but the result was more than worthwhile,” says senior Naomi Boonstra. Mrs. Eickmann opened up her office to any student who needed advice or just someone to talk to. She made every student a priority and took the time to get to know everyone. Campion will greatly miss Eickmann and the impact she made on the entire campus.
“When Mrs. Eickmann called me over the summer to let me know that she was the new chaplain, I was so excited. I was excited that I would be working for such a caring, organized, and prayerful person. When we started the year I didn’t really know her that well, but after this year, I can truly call her my friend. Each morning, when I walked into her office, ready to work, she greeted me with a smile and hug. It has been amazing to work for her, and have her as a teacher and mentor. Every worship or talk she prepared for the students, was carefully planned out and matched the situation almost perfectly. Thank you Mrs. Eickmann for all you have done for Campion Academy this year, we have been truly blessed through your passion and creativity.” Madi Jordan, Student Chaplain
“My connection with Mrs. Eickmann has been developing for many years. Whenever she visited her kids during my LE summers, hosted us in her home on Friday nights, or became chaplain my senior year, she has always emulated Jesus’ love. She serves, prays for, connects with, and deeply loves every heart she is called to reach out to. Her empathy is healing while her fierce mama-bear character scares demons away. I am beyond grateful to have been part of her blazing trail of spreading God’s Word and I know she will catch many more souls on fire for Jesus, wherever she treads next.” Delanie Kamarad, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has done an amazing job as a chaplain. She is so kind and real and all of her talks are very relatable as well as applicable. I have loved Bible class with her, and learned many lessons that will help me succeed in life.” Ashley Halvorson, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has a heart of gold. Her loving and caring nature is shown to everyone. I am so thankful for her and the work she has put in to become the chaplain this year. I'll miss her encouraging words and the wonderful cookies she always made us!” Patricia Simamora, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has brought such a happy and positive attitude to our campus. She is a mom away from home for us. Mrs. Eickmann is always there if you ever need a one-on-one conversation!” Ireland Anthony, junior
“I want to thank Mrs. Eickmann especially for being so supportive to each and every one of us seniors and other students through the past years and now. Mrs. Eickmann has been more than a teacher to us. I will miss having the fun Bible classes she planned and having all the students over in her house to spend time and eat good food! We appreciate her and we will greatly miss her.” Jeremy Matondo, senior
“Mrs. Eickmann has been an amazing chaplain. More than that, she’s been an incredible staff member. Always caring and loving, while being there to talk about God and life. She has been like a mom away from home for me and I am forever grateful for her ministry at Campion.” Ben Maxson, junior
“I want to thank Mrs. Eickmann for all she’s done this year. She’s been a big part of my first year at Campion and I am so glad to know an amazing woman like her. Thank you Mrs. Eickmann for always being willing to listen to some of my problems. I am really gonna miss her as a teacher and chaplain, but I know that God has a plan wherever she goes and whatever she does. Thank you for also dealing with our freshman class every morning, she is a strong woman for doing that. Mrs. Eickmann is very loved and appreciated by everyone around her.” Melody Mambo, freshman
“Mrs. Eickmann has been a huge blessing in my life. She has been there for me texting me at 4:00 in the morning telling me that everything will be okay. She always puts us first no matter what! I’ll miss her so much.” Sandra Marin, senior
“It was a really special opportunity to be able to work for my mom (Mrs. Eickmann)! It was the perfect way to finish off my high school career. I couldn't have asked for a better boss.” Nolan Eickmann, Student Chaplain
"Wendy Eickmann, my wife, is inspiring because she has a personal walk with God and has helped the students get to know God better this year." Steve Eickmann, staff member
Compiled by Megan Michalenko
Campion may have uncovered a new tradition worth continuing by allowing the senior class one last chance to make a lasting impact on fellow students. During the week of May 4th-8th, Campion hosted its last Week of Prayer for the academic year. This particular Week of Prayer was unlike any other, not only because it was held virtually through private zoom calls and was live streamed on Facebook, but because it was hosted entirely by the senior class. Chaplain Mrs. Eickmann and Technology Director Mr. Eickmann also worked very hard behind the scenes to make transitions between activities, speakers, and prayers seamless. Though current circumstances should have held the school back from gathering to learn about God’s Word, the message was clearly broadcast: focus on Jesus.
Mrs. Eickmann challenged the seniors to host all of the meetings from beginning to end. Responsibilities were distributed during senior Bible classes. Whether tasked with creating questions for Kahoot (an online quiz game) which brought many laughs to participants, sharing a favorite memory from years at Campion, or delivering a personal message reflecting Christ’s character, each and every senior had a part in ministering. Sydney Halvorson, a sophomore at Campion says, “Having the seniors host Week of Prayer was really cool. It gave us some insight into what their personalities are like, and it was nice to hear some of their favorite memories at Campion.”
Junior, Ireland Anthony, agreed that hearing from seniors was unique and a blessing. “I really loved the fact that it was all about the seniors this Week of Prayer because it’s their last one at Campion!” She continued to say, “something that stood out to me was that I have never heard some of the quiet seniors speak before, and they did a really good job.”
Mrs. Eickmann expressed, “I was super pleased with how Week of Prayer went. I was blessed every single day by those who presented. The seniors made me proud of how they stepped up, were real, and shared from their hearts. They inspired me! I loved having the seniors host it.”
Having seniors present the last Week of Prayer for the school year may become a new tradition at Campion Academy. The delivery of testimonies and memories allowed students to turn their eyes away from the worries, cancellations, and uncertainties this year has brought them and simply focus on Jesus.
Delanie Kamarad, guest contributor
Colporteuring, or literature evangelism, has dated back to the Waldensians in the 1200s, and it certainly can’t be stopped now. With doors being closed and people withdrawing, literature evangelism has gone online.
Robyn Quillin, a sophomore at Campion, says, “I was wishing I could tell people about God, but I felt like I couldn’t do anything because I was stuck at home. Then, I got the notification that we were doing an online, over-the-phone canvass. I thought this was perfect for the situation we are in.”
All Campion students, not just ones with previous experience, have been given the opportunity to take up colporteuring from home. They’re calling up friends, family, and acquaintances to engage entire communities in literature evangelism. People can buy “witnessing boxes” full of GLOW tracts (outreach pamphlets produced by Giving Light to Our World) or just donate to GLOW mailings to help fund the mission. Students ask to pray with everyone they call.
“People who worked on campus can’t do that anymore, and my team can’t go door-to-door anymore,” says Matt Hasty, the Literature Ministries director for the Rocky Mountain Conference. “I still want truth to go out to all of the little towns where nothing is happening right now.”
Naomi Boonstra, Student Editor
About two weeks ago, Campion faculty members, Steve and Wendy Eickmann, began to feel run-down with headaches and fatigue. When their daughter Kelby began to show similar symptoms, she went to a testing center and was surprised to find out she was positive for COVID-19. They had already been following social distancing guidelines as much as possible, but after the results, they went into a stricter form of self-quarantine for the next two weeks.
While each member of the family showed varying symptoms, all of them seemed to only have had mild cases. Throughout this time, they continued working from home, both teaching and attending their online classes. After about a week of symptoms, they began feeling better and are now back to their normal healthy selves.
Wendy Eickmann says that she most worried about the possibility that she could have unknowingly passed the virus to someone else before she started feeling sick. “I like to manage things, but in this situation, I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do but recognize that God is in control. God is on His throne and He is sovereign,” she reflected. “Knowing that we have our Creator taking care of us brought us peace.”
We are thankful for God’s healing hand as the Eickmanns and others in our Campion community have quickly recovered from illness. Our Campion staff continues to pray especially for our students and their families that may be affected by the virus.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director
This past month, a few staff and student volunteers have been assisting the English Language Learning (ELL) students by taking time out of their week to have a Zoom meeting with the students so they can continue to grow their English skills. Sami Hodges, one of the student volunteers, described her meetings with Airi, who is currently in Japan, “Every Monday and Wednesday evening, I set up a Zoom meeting and we just talk for about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes we use sample conversation prompts, but other times we have just spent time visiting and getting to know each other more.” Despite not being paid anything for helping, the volunteers plan to continue to spend time faithfully with the ELL students over the rest of this school year.
Principal Don Reeder has been a part of this as well. “They (Victor and Yan) are improving their English language skills. It has been fun to talk with them even while they’ve been in Brazil. I am so glad technology can keep us connected.” Despite being thousands of miles apart, students can learn English with others as if they are in the same room together. This helps students retain their knowledge of English so that they don’t lose what they have gained over the time that they have spent in the United States.
Some of our ELL students only spent a few months in the U.S. before having to return to their home countries. Victor, from Brazil, is one of these students; “In the beginning I only understood what the teachers said, and I knew how to answer only the basics. With the conversation classes I learned to improve my English, and today I talk to students and teachers in a much more relaxed way.”
The Zoom meetings with volunteers have been essential in helping the students continue to make progress in English and will help them be ready for classes when they return to Campion in the fall. If you would like to volunteer in this program through the summer, contact Jill Harlow.
Theron Treat, guest contributor
A secretive group has been inundating Campion’s campus with positivity. The Underground Encouragement System, the UES as they call themselves, has been doing “ding-dong-ditch” encouragement. They have been going to all the staff member’s houses on campus and leaving a little something for the staff to be encouraged by. There have been sidewalk chalk notes, notes on the door, and little bags of goodies. “It’s awesome, because they know who God is, and they know what God wants them to do. It's a spontaneous thing, and they have a good picture of who God is,” said Sue Helm.
This UES group has been going out two to three times a week to uplift people in this uncertain time. Some of the encouragements include sidewalk chalk notes that read “Thank you for your service, God cares”, positive notes on the door, and little bags of Hershey’s Kisses with notes that read, “Since we can’t do hugs, this is our social distancing hug.”
“It’s really cool to know that people are out there finding joy in helping others,” said Kent Kast. “I know it’s the little kids on campus and knowing that they are having a blast doing it is just blessing me as much as they are being blessed.”
Don Reeder shared, “It encourages me that the young people are looking for ways to do service. That is the main mission of our school. It’s exciting to see that what Satan thought was going to be bad, the young people are turning it into something good. And it feels good to be encouraged.”
Bela Cinco, Student Editor
Campion Academy is excited to welcome Nancy Meszaros as the new chaplain for the upcoming school year. Nancy was born in California but calls Ohio home, which is where she lived most of her life. She attended Andrews University where she started off as majoring in Pre-Med and Religion. During her second year, through the influence of her friends and family, she felt God was calling her to be a teacher and chaplain. Meszaros reflected, “Everyone was telling me that I was called to be a teacher and chaplain. I love the Bible and explaining it to others. I decided to switch my major, and I have never looked back.”
Meszaros comes from Armona Union Academy in California where she also worked as a teacher and chaplain. After visiting Campion, Meszaros shared, “I love how the student body was excited, energetic, and friendly. I could feel excitement in the air for learning about God.”
When asked about her goals as chaplain for Campion Academy, Meszaros explained, “One goal I have is to become a cohesive unit. I want to make sure we are all able to work close and well together. I want to see us all grow as a campus. I am excited to create events that bring solidarity and enjoyment for the students.”
She is married to Levente Meszaros who grew up in Romania. He is a professional opera singer and shares her love for ministry. They both are looking forward to moving to Colorado. “It has always been a dream for my husband and I to move to Colorado. The mountains are beautiful and the air is fresh and clean. I am excited to enjoy going hiking,” she said.
Some things Meszaros loves include music, being with youth, puzzles, and escape rooms.
Campion Academy is looking forward to having Meszaros as a part of our campus. Principal Reeder shared, “I was impressed with Meszaros’ desire to be a servant to other people. She loves to teach young people through Bible class, and we are excited to have her join us at Campion.”
Megan Michalenko, Student Editor
Nate Marin has announced he has accepted the position as principal at Central Valley Christian Academy in Modesto, California. Over the past 15 years at Campion Academy, Marin has taught Spanish, Geography, Personal Finance, and U.S. History, and he has served as a Student Association sponsor and Campion’s Guidance Counselor. His wife, Honali, also served in the cafeteria, assisted as an S.A. sponsor, and led small groups for students.
In a letter to students, the Marins shared, “My family and I are excited for the new opportunity and sad to be leaving all of you. It has been an honor and a privilege serving as your teacher here at Campion for the last 15 years. I have strived each year to improve and offer each of you the best education possible. I want to thank each one of you who have taken on the challenge of joining me in my classes. You have been and will continue to be more than my students; you are my friends.”
Marin’s forward thinking and passion for education has impacted both students and staff at Campion, and he and his family will be greatly missed. While we are sad to see them go, we also want to congratulate Marin as he moves into the administrative level in Modesto.
Several students and staff members shared the impact that the Marins had on their lives.
“I appreciated working with Nate Marin on so many levels—I admired his passion for the students, he cared that they did well academically, but more importantly that they left Campion knowing Jesus better. I admired his constant desire to improve as a teacher, always seeking ways to adjust and tweak his classes so they were better the next go around. I admired him as a colleague because he would seek me out, never shying away from asking for help but also willingly offering any help he could provide. He had my back, and that will be very missed. I wish him all the best wishes and prayers on this new chapter in his life.” Lindsey Santana, Teacher-Librarian
“Marin is not only a teacher to us, he’s a friend. In his classes, I learned so many lessons that I will continue to use my whole life. I learned about having a growth mindset and how to push through difficult situations and not give up. Most importantly, in Marin’s classes, I learned how to grow my relationship with God. I am so thankful to have had Marin for a teacher.” Ashley Halvorson
“Something I appreciated about Marin was that he always believed in me. In his classes, he expressed that he wanted me to do as much as I could without any of his help. Even then, he was always willing to help if I needed it. He had valuable life advice in every one of his classes. Outside the classroom, his door was always open. Some of the best memories I have of Campion are of playing strange card games with friends at Marin's house. To me, he was a teacher and a friend.” Erick Maldonado
“Marin has pushed me to take responsibility for who I am. He has challenged me academically and mostly how to look at my spirituality in a positive way. He will be greatly missed.” Jeremy Matondo
“Mr. Marin has not only been one the most influential teachers in my life, but also one of my closest friends. He has helped me learn and grow in my education and my spiritual life, and has taught me so much about working hard, challenging myself, and not giving up. I will miss him a lot next year, and am super excited for his new opportunity!” Grant Velbis
“Marin has been so much fun to have as a teacher. You can tell that he genuinely cares about his students in the way that he interacts with us and has fun with us. Not a month went by without Marin asking me why I’d never gone to his house for board games. He made Spanish one of the most spiritual classes I’ve taken. During weeks of prayer, he never gave us homework, he just gave us spiritual things to reflect on. Everything he does is so intentional. I’ve never had a teacher ask me my preferred learning style before Marin. Sorry for killing your praying mantis, Marin!” Naomi Boonstra
“Mr. Marin possesses an understanding of education that inspires me. He can see the big picture and every step to take to get to the big picture. He loves to collaborate with colleagues in planning and executing programs. But his most endearing quality is his care for each student. He has taken students under his wing to help them during their high school career and beyond. Mr. Marin has set a high bar for all of us.” Don Reeder, Principal
“Mrs. Marin shares her husband’s care and concern for each student. Her voluntary programs have been a great example of how to assist students in their journey. Her untiring support in the cafe will be missed as well. She is always willing to help Mrs. Fagan with food service for our campus.” Don Reeder, Principal
“Honali has been an invaluable asset to the cafeteria ministry, keeping students accountable and tasks running smoothly. Honali cares deeply for the students and their spiritual, emotional, and educational well-being (don't let her no-nonsense approach fool you). She has been a blessing to me, always willing to help where needed, and will be greatly missed.” Dawn Fagan, Food Services Director
Campion Academy is saying farewell to Melissa and Arlen Mekelburg in June. For the last four years, Melissa has been the Head Women’s Dean while Arlen has taught Algebra I and Anatomy and Physiology. They are taking jobs in the public school system in Kimball, Nebraska. Arlen will be teaching Junior High School Science and Melissa will be teaching Kindergarten.
Arlen has a passion for teaching science and was seeking out a full-time position; however, Melissa says she had no intention of moving until she clearly saw God opening door after door. “We truly have felt God leading us there, and we couldn’t say no to God,” she reflects.
The Mekelburgs have blessed Campion Academy during their time here, and they will be missed both in the classroom and the dorm. A few students and staff shared the impact the Mekelburgs have had in their lives.
“Having Dean Mekelburg as a dean for all four years of my high school career, I’ve learned many things. But one thing that will stick with me is how she put others before herself. Being a head dean for 50+ girls, you have to sacrifice a lot of time and energy into them. She has always been my family, away from family. I’ll always be grateful for Dean Mekelburg. I’m going to cherish the memories that we made together as a team.” -Patricia Simamora
“Mr. Mekelburg always made class fun by bringing us food at our morning labs and coming up with fun trivia questions.” -Megan Michalenko
“Dean Mekelburg taught me to always have a smile on my face because it brightens other people’s day.” -Duda De Oliveira
“Getting the opportunity to work in the dorm as an RA wasn’t something that I ever thought would happen because I had never lived in the dorm before. Dean Mekelburg taught me so much about how to handle different situations that I’d face not just in the dorm, but in life as well. Dean Mekelburg helped me flourish at Campion and for that I will always be appreciative.” -Abby Segovia
“Dean Mekelburg is one of the most inspirational women I’ve ever met and she’s taught me so much in my four years at Campion. Working for her this year has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ll always be grateful to her and I’m going to miss her so much but I wish her well.” -Kayla Gonzalez
“Mr. Meckelburg was one of my favorite teachers here at Campion. Mr. Meckelburg was always willing to stay later or help me with any questions I needed even though class was over. I’m definitely going to miss Mr. Mekelburg because he was a great teacher.” -Julia Barber
“Mr. Mekelberg loves to teach. He works diligently to prepare for each class. He is passionate about students' success.” -Don Reeder, Principal
“Dean Mekelberg loves her girls. She is dedicated to caring for each one. It has warmed my heart many times to see her reach out to troubled students to help any way she can. I have always loved how she has cared for the physical building. She was instrumental in getting new beds and mattresses in the dorms.” Don Reeder, Principal
“Melissa plays many roles in my life. She is my mentor, teammate, counselor, and friend. We have been through many obstacles together and she has always impressed me with her Christ like love and kindness towards all people. Only someone with that kind of attitude and heart can last 25 years as a Girl’s Dean. She’s one in a million.” Erin Johnson, Assistant Dean of Women
-Compiled by Jill Harlow
When I was young, I lived in El Salvador, where there were massive rain storms. Every once in a while, it would get so bad that church would be canceled, and we would have church at home. My family would put on our own mini church service with a sermon, offering call, and everything. Of course, that was before there was such a thing as online-church. Now, it’s a lot more convenient to have church at home. However, it still takes a lot of work to make it happen, and there are many dedicated individuals who have put in the work.
Many churches already have a media team and a live streaming system in place, but there have been other obstacles they have had to work together to overcome. Since outreach is such a huge part of the Adventist church's mission, it has become a major goal for pastors all over the world to make sure that they can still reach out and connect to their church families and the community. The church staff and members have been doing things like driveway visitations (while still respecting the parameters of social distancing), calling to pray with people, spirit weeks, and Instagram take-overs to name a few. Church leadership is encouraging people to get creative and find even more new ways to stay connected.
There are many volunteers who have also contributed and are making an impact. Sabbath School teachers record sabbath school lessons for kids. Whole families have joined together to provide music for Sabbath Schools and for the main service. Pastor Micheal Goetz of Campion church says, “We have seen an increase in individuals and families who are coming up with their own way to care and show ministry to other people. And that's really what the church has dreamed of being about.”
Many Campion Academy students have stepped up to help in their home churches. Ben Maxson, a junior at Campion Academy, says, “I run the video camera and help with sound and slides. I also help the associate pastor with the church’s social media presence. I also go with my parents when we visit people’s houses and just stand outside and talk. I love that I can stay active and help out my community.”
Many other students including musicians, Andy Obregón and Kylie Wehling, and speakers, including Robyn Quillin and Erick Maldonado, have all been involved in Campion Academy Friday night vespers. Campion Academy is also planning to have an online week of prayer the first week of May, hosted by the senior class.
Social distancing may have physically separated the church members, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still gain a blessing by worshipping together at a distance.
Ashley Reyes, Guest Contributor