21 Apr

CAMPION Students depict the life of Christ to the community

By Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … More than 400 church and community members assembled on Campion’s campus on April 16 to experience a student-produced passion play, Journey to the Cross.

The event, a yearly celebration of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is held on Easter weekend.

Nine walk-through scenes from the life of Christ, beginning with his birth and leading to his death and resurrection, were depicted by more than 100 student actors under the direction of chaplains Nancy and Levi Meszaros and drama teacher Erin Johnson.

Isaac, a senior who performed in multiple scenes as the main Roman Centurion, reflected on the event. “As a Roman soldier, I got to imagine the crucifixion and resurrection from a different perspective.” He added, “I thought about how much of a nuisance this whole ordeal would have been to the soldiers at first, but then everything changes when the centurion looks up at Jesus on the cross and realizes that he has crucified the Lord of Lords. He then knelt before Jesus, which I think is the most humbling scene in the entire story.”

Playing the role of Jesus at the crucifixion was challenging, yet impactful, for senior student Jadon.

“When I got up on that cross during the first show, I was scared,” reflected Jadon. “I was in the modern-day equivalent of a loincloth, and so I felt very vulnerable and exposed. Jesus likely didn’t even have that, but he chose not to focus on that.”

Jadon added, “He [Jesus] focused on all of humanity, which he loved, and chose to care for others despite his vulnerability. It helped make the suffering and embarrassment Jesus went through more real, but even more, it made the love of Jesus real. It was an honor to play the role of Jesus, and I would remind everyone to keep his sacrifice in mind constantly in their lives.”

–Campion Academy News; photos supplied

24 Feb

Campion Academy earns number one ranking third year in a row.

Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy, for the third year in a row, has been rated the number one private school in Larimer County by Niche.com on its annual 2022 Best Schools ranking list. There are currently 21 private schools in Larimer County.

Niche.com also ranked Campion Academy as having the best teachers in Larimer County. This ranking is based on the measurement of all schools in Larimer County.

Niche.com, a nationally recognized education ranking site, bases its rankings 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.

“In my previous schools, there were too many students, which made the teachers not engage as much as teachers do at Campion,” said Blessing, Campion senior, when asked what makes Campion teachers distinctive. She added, “but once I got to Campion, I realized that the teachers actually care about my personal and academic life.”

The Best Teachers rankings are more specifically based on student and parent ratings of teachers, teacher salaries, teacher absenteeism, teacher tenure, student-teacher ratio, and the Niche academics grade for the school.

“What makes the teachers at Campion stand out is that they’re always available,” said Brisa, Campion senior. “They take time out of their day to help us no matter how small the problem; not only with school problems, but with issues that we have in our own lives. They are always there to give a helping hand.”

Additional 2022 rankings for Campion Academy include 4 Best Boarding High Schools in Colorado, 5 Most Diverse Private High Schools in Colorado, and 7 Best Christian High Schools in Colorado.

–Campion Academy News; photo supplied

17 Feb


RMCNews with Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … Campion students and staff joined Timothy Dien’s family and friends on February 11 to honor him, reflect on his life, and mourn the loss of their classmate and friend.

“While we are still mourning the loss of Timothy, the service provided an important opportunity for us to come together as a community,” reflected Don Reeder, Campion principal. “As we spoke of our fond memories of Timothy, we began the process of healing and moving forward. We were able to share the blessed hope that we have in the soon coming of Jesus and the reuniting of the Dien family.”

Tiffany Dien, sister of Timothy and Campion alumna, reflected on Timothy’s life during her eulogy, and Campion Academy’s select choir, Koinonia, performed for the service.

Timothy’s life will continue to impact and inspire the students at Campion Academy. At the Campion Academy Scholar’s lunch, February 13, the event was held in honor of Timothy. His family received the scholarship and awards that had already been selected for him. Darcy Force, director of alumni and development, announced that Campion Academy would have a new annual award, the Timothy Dien Award, given at graduation and honoring a student who shows academic excellence and the willingness to help others as Timothy did.

–RMCNews with Campion Academy News; photos supplied

25 Jan

Campion Student uses new-found confidence in witnessing

By Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … During winter break, Damaris, Campion student, was traveling back to Colorado with her family who made a short stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which had an unexpected consequence.

“We stopped at a Denny’s to get food. While we were waiting, I saw a homeless man asking for money,” remembers Damaris. Since she had spent the previous semester working as part of the literature ministries team at Campion Academy, she had gained confidence in talking to strangers about God.

“I remembered that my mom had the book “Happiness for Life” in the car, so I put money into it and gave him the book,” explained Damaris.

He said, “Thank you, but I don’t believe in God anymore,” not accepting the book.

Damaris asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, why don’t you believe in God anymore?”

The man responded, “Because my family told me that God did not exist.” He continued, “Do you believe in God?”

Damaris explained that she did.

He then asked, “Is it because your parents make you go to church, or do you go by choice?”

Damaris responded, “I go to church, and I believe in God because I always feel loved and always seem to be happier.”

She offered the book again, and this time the man welcomed it.

He asked if she knew of any churches nearby. Damaris took out her phone and searched for a nearby Seventh-day Adventist church, and she found one nearby. They parted ways, and as she went to eat with her family, Damaris prayed for the man to find a path to God.

When they had finished their meal, Damaris saw the man on her way out of the restaurant. He called out to her and said, “Thank you!”

Damaris asked, “For what?”

The man explained that while she was eating, he had gone to the church and spoken with the pastor there, and he had decided to attend Bible studies at that church.

Damaris reflected on the experience, “I felt amazing like something had just lit me up with joy. It felt so good to know that something so small that I had done had brought someone one step closer to God.”

–Campion News Team; photo supplied

04 Nov


By Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy has returned to in-person classes and programming after all the students and staff remaining on campus tested negative for COVID-19 last Friday.

“I am amazed and inspired by the resilience and determination of our staff and students to continue education while being faced with so many challenges,” commented Don Reeder, Campion Academy principal. “I am so thankful that God has helped us make it through the worst of it, and that we are back together!”

Michael Goetz, pastor of the Campion church, commented on Sabbath during the worship service, “We’ve never been so happy to be so negative.”

While a few students who did test positive are still completing their isolation time at home this week, the vast majority have returned to campus.

Students who went home also had to have a negative test to return to campus.

–Campion Academy News; photo supplied

12 Aug


By Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado … Campion Academy welcomed 155 students to campus on August 8, starting a school year highlighted by a return to nearly-normal activities, marking a stark difference from pandemic restrictions during the last academic year. Campion will offer a complete music program, varsity sports, field trips, and other pre-pandemic programming.

Students expressed their excitement with the easing of the policies. “When I heard about the lifting of some of the restrictions, my mood for the year drastically changed positively,” commented Noah Sturges; “I’m looking forward to this year!”

After being canceled last year, try-outs for volleyball and soccer began. Love Pickle exclaimed, “I am overjoyed that sports are back for my last year.”

The music program will include a large choir, select choir, bells, and orchestra, with more performances on the schedule than last year. “I am looking forward to seeing music events around and outside the campus,” said Jackie Kobagaya; “Being able to experience a more normal school year is a true blessing.”

The staff officially welcomed students back at the annual handshake event on Sunday evening, which involved shaking hands with students and staff and included a few hands sanitizer stations in-between. The handshake was part of a fun-filled evening planned by the student association officers that had worship and class competitions to ease the back-to-school jitters.

Kylie Wehling, student association spiritual vice-president, announced the theme for this year: radiate. “As Christians, we are called to not only represent Christ and reflect Him, but to radiate the message of His living water, hope, and salvation,” Wehling explained. “To radiate as a student body this year means to not only glorify God on this campus, but to let His light shine beyond the walls of this school, into our communities, our homes, and in the lives of those we meet.”

The Campion church pastors concluded the evening by leading a time of prayer and dedication of our campus. The circle of students and staff was notably larger than it has been in recent years. Principal Donavan Reeder commented, “We are excited that God has given us 155 students, which is more than we’ve had in the last few years and even more than we had anticipated. We look forward to seeing how God will touch the lives of each of these students this school year.”

–Campion Academy News; photos supplied

13 May

Campion Staff and students recognize retiring staff members

Editor’s note: Many staff transitions and retirements are happening at Campion Academy. Below are a few of the long-time staff members who have or are retiring this school year.


Sherry Hay, Registrar
Years at Campion: 1997-2021

Sherry Hay has announced her retirement after working as registrar at Campion for 24 years. Throughout her time at Campion, Hay has worked under six different principals and navigated changing technology as she created class schedules and kept students and parents updated on their grades and attendance.

Don Reeder, Campion Academy principal said, “Campion Academy will miss her in the registrar position. She is a master puzzle solver; I would challenge her with the class schedule, the calendar, and individual student schedules and she would always make it all work. She’s a prayer warrior for God and I will miss her.”

Hay has touched the lives of many students. Keziah Paduli, sophomore, commented, “She’s an amazing and sweet person and patient with me and other kids. I’ve noticed that she wants all the students in this school to succeed.”

“I have worked for Mrs. Hay since the summer before my freshman year,” explained Olivia Jordan, junior. “I have grown very close to her through work and time spent together. She has become like a grandma to me: always there to talk about any of the problems I have or listen to my struggles. She prays with me when I need it. She pushes me to dig deeper and go beyond my dreams and goals. Mrs. Hay has made an impact on Campion with her gentleness and kindness that I will never forget.”

Hay is looking forward to the many opportunities retirement brings. She will have more time to exercise, cook, and read. More importantly, she will have time to spend with her daughter when she has her baby in August, and travel with her husband, Bill, who works for Adventist World Radio.


Dan Philpott, Teacher
Years at Campion: 2003-2021

After 18 years of teaching at Campion, Dan Philpott is retiring. He has been the teacher of many classes over the years such as Algebra II, Geometry, and Industrial Arts, encouraging students to do their best academically. Philpott plans to work in a warehouse, building and designing cabinets.

He has encouraged and helped many students and made an impact on each of their lives in different ways. “I’ve always struggled in math my whole life,” stated Jynaya Wright, senior. “When I came to Campion that was actually one of my biggest fears: falling behind in math. But when I got to Mr. Philpott’s class, I wasn’t scared anymore, because I knew that no matter how many times, he had to explain something to me, he would never give up on me. One of the reasons that I have confidence in math today is because of Mr. Philpott.”

Staff members also appreciated working with him. Steve Eickmann, staff member at Campion, explained, “One thing I like about him is that he is a good teacher and he’s always calm and respectful with students and is patient with those who struggle in his subjects. He knows a lot of tricks and I’ve never seen him lose his cool. He’s been a good friend over the 15 years I’ve known him.”

Senior Ryan Bell has gotten to know Philpott a little closer than other students as he has been living with him this year at Campion. “I have enjoyed seeing the hard-working side of him, but despite the work, he always has a sense of humor that makes everything more enjoyable.”

“Mr. Philpott has made my school experience a lot of fun. Being in his geometry and industrial Arts class definitely has its challenges but, in the end, Mr. Philpott always helps us out and is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. I’m going to miss his still, quiet energy on campus next year and it’ll be weird without him, but what he taught me that I’ll always remember is to “GETTER DONE.” We appreciate you and we’ll miss you Mr. Philpott!” Melody Mambo, sophomore, exclaimed.


Joe Martin, Bible Teacher
Years at Campion: 1990-2021

After three decades at Campion, Pastor Joe Martin has stepped down from teaching. Known as “Pastor Joe” by the students, he was actively involved on campus. Martin worked as director of the Literature Evangelism (LE) program for 28 years and taught Junior Bible for his last three years at Campion.

“You could see his determination even in the way he walked down the street. No one on the LE team could keep up with him,” said Kelby Eickmann, a Campion alumnus who worked closely with Martin for two summers and two school years in Literature Evangelism. “Pastor Joe impacted my life by demonstrating what passion for Christ looks like. He put his love for God and other people into action. He didn’t simply claim to have a desire to serve God; he really lived it. He is relentlessly stubborn and can sell books to anyone,” Eickmann added.

Grant Velbis, who graduated from Campion last year, shared his experience in Martin’s Junior Bible class. “Pastor Joe’s class helped me see that there is so much evidence and reasoning behind the things we believe as Adventists. Just how he lived his life inspired me because he lived with such passion and conviction for Jesus. He didn’t just ‘talk the talk;’ he lived out everything he believed. That is something I would like to have in my life.”

Martin’s goal for the students he taught and worked with was to help them grow in their relationship with God. Shelby Waller, a junior this year, reflected on the impact of his Bible class. “He taught us directly from the Bible, and he encouraged us to build our own relationship with the Lord. It was up to us how much we wanted to learn, and that motivated us to take notes and to learn more.”

“Pastor Joe’s class influenced me a lot during my junior year; it was very interesting, and I just couldn’t help but pay attention,” said Susan Wang, a 2019 Campion graduate and international student from China. “I really liked how he taught Revelation in a way that we have hope after we die. Pastor Joe also reminded us to be thankful for waking up in the morning, daily life, and for receiving help from others. I was really moved by this and so I decided to get baptized. I did Bible studies with him on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before I got baptized, and even continued to do them into my senior year,” Wang added. ”He gave me a space to share my day and struggles, and he would encourage me with Bible verses and life advice.”


Patricia Torres, Learning Resources Director
Years at Campion: 2005-2020

After 16 years of teaching at Campion Academy, Patricia Torres retired this school year. She was the learning resource director as well as an ELL teacher, showing students strategies to be more successful and independent with their work. She hadn’t originally planned to retire this year, but she was needed by her family as a care-taker.

“I miss the students so much; it’s hard to express,” said Torres. After being away from campus since September, she reminisced on her experience here, “I knew God wanted me there and with every student, I would pray that I would be able to bring them closer to him.”

Torres taught study skills class to the freshmen class to provide them with tools they would need to be successful academically. Melody Mambo reflected, “She always helped me with my organizational skills and helped me stay on top of things. She had a contagious smile on her face that always brightened everyone’s day. I’ll definitely miss her presence, and know she beneficially impacted many students.”

Senior Amira Davis worked with Torres as an international ambassador, joining her in making the new students feel welcomed. “I loved her enthusiasm and passion for the international students,” Davis said. “She really looked out for us and cared about when we were struggling. I’ll always miss her smiling, kind face.”

Torres was most well-known for the time she would take to work with students one-on-one to meet their individual needs. “She never gave up on me even though it was hard sometimes. She always pushed me to go forward, always teaching me different strategies so that I could do better in school,” said Emily Gama, senior. “I would always talk to her as a friend and I miss that. She kept it confidential and gave me advice when I needed it; she was trustworthy.”

Torres shared some final words of advice for the students, “No matter what you do, ask Jesus to help you and keep your eyes on Him. Before you know it, everything you dreamed of will come true, that’s what working at Campion and Jesus has taught me.”

–Authors who contributed to this article include ​Bentlee Barry, Sami Hodges, Haley Enochs, and Tiffany Dien; photos supplied

06 May

Campion church adopts students, showering them with blessings

By Campion News – Loveland, Colorado … In a school year filled with reduced interactions, Campion church members took the initiative to connect with academy students by surprising them with the adopt-a-student program during the second semester.

Church members volunteered to randomly select students to bless with small gifts, such as favorite snacks, homemade goodies, and more, each week after church.

“It was the highlight of my week to go to church and see a gift waiting for me there,” said Campion sophomore Faith Evert. “I also liked that it was anonymous so it always kept me wondering and looking around the church to guess who had me.”

The church members’ small, yet thoughtful, gifts made a big impact on students. Jared Marcenaro, Campion junior, commented, “My adoptive family gave me my very first evening devotional and now because of them I am growing spiritually.”

The adopt-a-student program was created by a church Grow Group which hosted events to engage students with members throughout the year.

A leader of the group, Codi Jahn, expressed, “At the beginning of the school year, I felt disconnected from the Campion students. Usually our paths cross in church, but with COVID restrictions in place, I never saw any of them! I wanted to do something to let them know how valuable they were [are] to our church and that ultimately this campus is here because of them: this is THEIR church.”

Students shared the sentiment. “In previous years, I felt there always seemed to be this type of separation from the church and the school. It didn’t feel like we were truly connecting, at least until this year,” said Campion senior Mark Zelaya. “My favorite part of this program is really feeling that connection and feeling that someone in the church actually cares for you.”

Throughout the year, the group hosted events such as meals and game nights. The program culminated last Sunday, May 2, with brunch, inviting the families to introduce themselves to their adopted students.

Jenny Gann, Campion nurse helped to create the program. “I really enjoyed hearing students talk about how excited they were to meet the families who adopted them,” Gann reflected. “The meet and greet we had on Sunday, was a really fun way for our students and church members to get to know each other a little bit better, and [to] hopefully make some more connections, and build relationships.”

“It was really heartwarming to see faculty from the church actually care about students from Campion,” concluded Jayden Anggormas, Campion senior. “I would love for them to continue the program for next year and years to come.”

–Campion News; photos supplied

18 Feb

Campion student honored with Good Citizen Award

By Campion Academy News – Loveland, Colorado…Samantha Hodges, Campion senior and frequent contributor to NewsNuggets, was recognized with a Good Citizen Award by The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was nominated by Campion’s staff for demonstrating the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

“It was a honor to be nominated for this award, and a joy to earn the title of the Good Citizen Award as well as represent Campion Academy. It was a great opportunity to write an essay about our country and its heritage. It is my hope to inspire others through my writing and everyday actions by being the best person I can be,” Samantha Hodges said.

The Namaqua Chapter has hosted an annual Student Recognition and Patriotic Tea for 105 years, which Samantha attended online this year. Each of the selected winners from seven local high schools read a personal essay on the topic, “Our American Heritage and Our responsibility to Preserve it.”

The Thomson Valley School District Superintendent, county commissioner, and Loveland mayor were present to honor the nominees.

–Campion Academy News; photo supplied

07 Jan

International students find second homes for the holidays

By Campion Academy Student News – Loveland, Colorado…Even though most of Campion’s international students couldn’t return home due to COVID travel restrictions over the holidays, they were able to find comfort in welcoming host families.

Jarrod and Greg Lang, two brothers from China, haven’t been able to return home since they came to Campion in August of 2019. Jarrod explained that dealing with homesickness can be difficult. “I miss my family and the food they cook, especially my grandma’s cooking,” he said.

Brayan Martins, international student from Brazil explained, “I’ve definitely felt homesick, but it helps that I’ve been calling home every day and talking to my mom through FaceTime.”

The students mentioned that host families helped them have a positive experience despite being far from home.

“The families have made me feel really comfortable and the kiddos of the families loved me like their own; it felt like home. Throughout break, I got to know three new families, eat a lot of good food, and make new friends,” said Brayan.

Jarrod further commented, “My host families helped me do things that I never thought I could accomplish, like doing a five-foot drop-off on my [mountain] bike with Matt Hasty.”

Local families opened their homes over the break, enriching their family lives with young people from other cultural backgrounds

Campion Student News Team; photo supplied