Row, Row, Row Your Boat: Students in new course build boats

By: Jessica N. A unique class has been added to Andrews Academy this year: Nautical Arts. The class is taught by Mr. VanDenburgh and gives students the option of earning both English and Applied More »


AA students join Andrews University in attempt to break world record

By: Kaily I. Wednesday, during Andrews University’s Health and Wellness Fest, Andrews Academy students participated in a sit-up challenge located in Johnson Gym in an effort to break a world record. Participants More »

Looking through the lens with Remington

Each person has his or her own story to share with the world – we only need to ask. Indeed, there are many interesting stories hiding within our very own hallways at More »


Music Groups to travel to Guatemala

This spring break, March 13-23, Silhouettes and Strings members will go on a mission trip to Guatemala. The trip is ten days long and the mission is to teach others about Jesus More »

feat_NHS induction

Upcoming: NHS Induction, February 23

This year’s 49th NHS induction falls on Sunday, Feb 23. Sixteen new members will be inducted during the service, which will take place at 6 pm in the Richard T. Orrison chapel More »

Enrollment holds steady past 5 years

By: Charity O.

Enrollment is always an important issue in private institutions. At Andrews Academy, where 90 percent of the tuition goes to the expenses for the school, maintaining a stable enrollment is especially important.

According to Mrs. Ivonne Segui-Weiss, registrar at the academy, “Enrollment this year compared to other years has been about the same.”

At the start of this school year, says Mrs. Ivonne, 225 students registered. However, even with a maximum of 233 students enrolling throughout the two semesters, there are currently 226 students admitted. This number is comparable to the previous three school years.

Last year, 236 students enrolled at the beginning of the term, and by the end of the school year there were 218 students. In the 2013-2014 school year, 238 students enrolled in August and 233 were still enrolled by May. The 2012-2013 school year began with 235 students and concluded with 226.

AA’s demographics play a significant role in enrollment trends. The transient nature of the Andrews University community means that most students who leave Andrews Academy before they graduate do so because their parents find employment in other countries or states. In other cases, students leave because their parents finish schooling in surrounding universities and are obliged to return to their homeland.

The administration makes constant efforts to recruit more students. From the 8th grade graduation bash at the end of the year to the Penny Arcade in the fall, administration consistently seeks to stabilize enrollment.  Several programs and school events help to boost enrollment: The music groups in the academy that visit different churches, the cardinal classic in February, and the annual booth at the youth fair, publicize the school to the surrounding communities.

“I’m happy about maintaining students,” says Interim Principal Jeannie Leiterman. “After Christmas break last year, we lost 17 students. However, after this past Christmas vacation, the number of students that left were as many as those new students who enrolled. Adventist Education is expensive and we try to find as many ways as we can to help students financially, and to make their experience worthwhile.”

What’s in a holiday?: Service to others

By: Starr Davis

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 8.39.28 AM

With the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, it is appropriate that we take the time to pause to reflect upon how this holiday started and what it means to us today.

The late Mrs. Coretta Scott King led the campaign for her husband, the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be remembered soon after his assassination in April of 1968. It was voted down many times by the United States Congress, but Mrs. King and those who supported her mission continued to lobby members of Congress and the President of the United States. It took nearly eighteen years for it to become a federal holiday in 1986, when President Ronald Reagan signed it into law. It is a holiday of service.

The question is what does Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day mean to us at Andrews Academy today?

Brianna Moore, an AA senior, said “It’s a day for us to reflect upon what Dr. King Jr. has done for equality and to remind us of how his actions have greatly changed America. Dr King would probably be very proud to see what he started if he were alive today.”

Malachi Regis, an AA junior, said “MLK day to me marks a day in history where one man started a movement that brought America closer to God’s will and what Heaven will look like.”

David Sherman Jr., an AA senior, said “MLK day is a reminder of the determination and strength that Dr. King had despite the obstacles and challenges that he faced. Dr. King had the courage to stand up for what he believed in, regardless of the consequences.

Brianna’s Malachi’s and David’s words help us to take a look at how our lives have become better for all of us, not only here at Andrews Academy, but all over this great nation.

As we celebrate the MLK Holiday this year, let us take the time to remember the opportunities and the privileges that we have today due to the work and sacrifices of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and the many people from diverse backgrounds who stood with him. And most of all, let us all do something to serve others within our community on the MLK holiday – and each day.

On-campus water line break prompts early dismissal

By: Colton Busch

In an attempt to fix a broken sewer line behind Garland apartments, plant services crews accidentally damaged a main water line, prompting a water shutdown at Andrews Academy, Ruth Murdoch, and Apple Valley shortly after noon on Monday, January 11.

With no indication of just how long AA and RMES would be without water, both school administrators made the decision to dismiss students early.

Crews put a temporary patch on the main water line to restore water to the schools and Apple Valley later that afternoon. Once the water was restored, however, Andrews Academy’s water had a brown tint to it, requiring the system to be flushed. It took approximately 24 hours to fix the main water and sewer lines.

Junior Ben Gerrans – like most AA students – said of the early dismissal, “I enjoyed the day off school and I was amazed by the quickness and efficency the crews had in fixing the problem.”

Teachers were slightly less enthusiastic about the shutdown. With an already busy curriculum and calendar, teachers will have to move a bit more quickly through their lessons.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat: Students in new course build boats


By: Jessica N.

A unique class has been added to Andrews Academy this year: Nautical Arts. The class is taught by Mr. VanDenburgh and gives students the option of earning both English and Applied arts credit. Brought to life by Mr. VanDenburgh, the class combines the two things he enjoys most: teaching and sailing.

Students in Nautical Arts will be building four 11’2’’ Shellback Dinghy sailboats over the course of the semester. After the boats are completed, the class plans to auction the boats and donate the profits to a local charity.

“I want the class to be fun, as the students to work together, but I also want them to learn how to give back to the community,” says VanDenburgh. He hopes that the students will learn teamwork and time management as well as appreciation for the nautical arts.

Designed by Joel White, the Shellback Dinghy is constructed of plywood and fiberglass.

Designed by Joel White, the Shellback Dinghy is constructed of plywood and fiberglass.

Each group, composed of 4-5 students, has created a blog to document the build process and their experiences. Jacob Mondak, a student in the class, says “I am expecting not only to gain more knowledge about boats but more practical knowledge such as following a plan, using common tools, and problem solving. The thing that interests me most about this class is that I absolutely love making things with my hands, especially woodworking.”

Each boat costs $1,500 to build and even with minimal lab fees VanDenburgh has had to solicit donations. Some challenges facing the class are lack of time, space, and tools available. However, with students working hard and diligently, the class will be a success.

Students are working this week to finish construction of the ladder frames, the backbone on which the boats are built.

Josiah Everett, Katalina Wade, Helen Johnston, and Tony Seok construct the ladder frame - i.e., the backbone of the dinghy.

Josiah Everett, Katalina Wade, Helen Johnston, and Tony Seok construct the ladder frame – i.e., the backbone of the dinghy.

“I’ve been very impressed with their focus and determination,” VanDenburgh said. “Even though we’ve lost a few days due to weather and holidays, I think they have the drive to get these boats done well and on time.”

AA students join Andrews University in attempt to break world record


By: Kaily I.

Wednesday, during Andrews University’s Health and Wellness Fest, Andrews Academy students participated in a sit-up challenge located in Johnson Gym in an effort to break a world record. Participants had to accomplish one minute of sit ups together in one location. The current world record is 503 people doing sit ups at the same time in the same place.

To the participants’ disappointment, after attempting twice, they were unable to break the record. 521 people attempted the challenge, but some were disqualified for improper technique. In the end, only 496 people performed the sit ups correctly.

Dynae and Jessica Newkirk, Megan Allen, and Zoey Caballero await the start of the sit-up challenge.

Dynae and Jessica Newkirk, Megan Allen, and Zoey Caballero await the start of the sit-up challenge.

The participants had varying feelings about the event. Some students, like Dawson Iwasa, a junior at Andrews Academy, didn’t like the event saying that “it was a waste of time.” Other people enjoyed it. Mrs. Leiterman, principal at AA said, “It was cool. How many times in your lifetime do you get to say my school tried to break a world record? Besides that, had we not showed up, not one sit-up would have been done. It was good publicity for the school and it was fun.”

Overall, spirits were high. Event organizer Dominique Wakefield, in an interview with WNDU, said “If someone wasn’t able to complete it, I hope it will inspire them to say, you know, maybe I can work a little harder or make some positive changes so when we do it again I can complete the whole set.”

AU Health and Wellness Director Dominique Wakefield receives sit-up stats from assistants.

AU Fitness and Exercise Director Dominique Wakefield receives sit-up stats from assistants.

Andrews may have not been able to break the record this time, but coordinators say that they hope to try it again in the future.

Community Service Day

Community Service Day


On September 18th, 2014, Andrews Academy participated in its annual Community Service Day, a day dedicated to giving back to the community and taking a break from classes to help clean up the neighborhood. The school split up into a few groups and scattered all over Berrien Springs, going from the Courthouse to the Highways to the Dam. Here are some of the things the students accomplished:


The Courthouse: The courthouse group was one of the few that reached their destination on foot. Once they arrived, they lost no time in proceeding to clean up every nook and cranny of the old cabin, forge, and courthouse. A lot of the group enjoyed looking at some of the historical artifacts and structures, like the giant cylindrical jail cell that housed many a villainous scoundrel. After they were finished, they had a good amount of spare time left and so proceeded to walk down to Wolf Prairie park and pick up any trash they could find, eventually heading back to AA. This group was led by Miss Yvonne and Coach Charis.

Warren Dunes: This group went with Pastor Glassford to the nearby beach of Warren Dunes-one of the few that is relatively free of tourists most of the year. Students testify their experiences all meeting the same basic pattern-walking down the beach picking up whatever litter they could find and collecting it in trash bags. After this was they then walked around the local Dam, repeating the process in that area as well.


Highway: This group went with Mrs. Whitley, Mrs. Chao and Mr. Graves to the local area’s highway. They worked very hard cleaning up the highway, never stopping once (except for lunch) from the moment they arrived until the time they left.

Andrews University: Ms. Wright split her workforce in two, sending some to clean the offices and windows of the buildings, while others went outdoors and planted flowers in the local gardens.

All in all, Andrews Academy had another successful community service day. This service day is a reminder to all students that anyone can make a difference in the world, even by doing small tasks for our community. Whether it’s taking a few seconds to put a Starbucks cup in Warren Dunes in the trash, or a single flower being planted in a little garden, the students at Andrews Academy school can still make a huge difference in somebody’s day.

Seniors Vs. School

Valerie Curtis


There are a few special events that take place during Senior Spirit week that give our graduating classmates a chance to make some final lasting memories. One of these is the annual Senior vs. School Flag Football Game. It’s an intense, usually fast game that pits the Senior class against various members of the junior, sophomore, and freshmen class.

Early on, volunteer players from the school signed up to be on the boys and girls teams. Practices were held after classes, and both sides worked hard to prepare themselves for the big day. Volunteers from the community, consisting of family members of students as well as staff, coached the teams and organized the selling of food at the event.

After school on September 9, the teams assembled in the football field behind the Academy. Parents, staff, and students cheered on their friends and family as the game went on. It was over all too soon.

The results were both wins for the School team. The schools girl teams won 8 to 6, and the boys team 20 to 16. Whatever the outcome, it was a fun experience for everyone. Audience and participants enjoyed themselves equally.

Senior Convocation

By Valerie Curtis


By Valerie Curtis


There’s no such thing as an ordinary chapel. But once a year in the month of September there is a special service dedicated to the soon-to-be-graduated class of seniors. Tuesday morning of September night had a typical beginning, but after students had filed in and found their seats, the seniors made a special entrance.

In neat order, they marched down the aisles to the front rows, a foreshadowing of their grander procession to be made at the conclusion of this year. Freed for a day from the burden of uniforms, the seniors had dressed up nicely for the occasion, joined by their parents. There was many a camera flash as Mr. Overstreeet started the service with a welcome and a prayer.

And it wouldn’t be a proper senior convocation without some excellent display of musical talent. Special music was provided by Grace Yoon, on the piano, and Grace Joo on the violin. It was amazing to see our own seniors showing just a fraction of their capabilities. This senior class is clearly gifted in music, and it blessed everyone in the chapel.

Anna Benko read the scripture, Isaiah 41:10:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

It’s a very familiar text to most of us, and that can make us overlook what a powerful message it is. We truly have nothing to fear-God has us in His hand, and He will protect us and shelter us.

This year the class motto is Bene in Christo, which means Success through Christ. Whitley Elzy had the honor of revealing the class of 2014’s banner. The motto was written out on the silver and navy blue banner, the class’s colors, along with their aim: He who is afraid of failure is afraid of success.

Our senior class is a very ambitious, promising group of young people. There is no reason to doubt that they will lead very successful lives. It has been seen by staff and students alike that this class can do anything they set their mind to. Their motto and aim express this very well.

Duane Covrig, a father of one of the senior students, was the speaker for the convocation. He talked about the class’s aim and motto. He gave encouragement and advice to the people about to take the next big step in their lives, reminding them that only through God can we truly be successful.

Carrie Chao and Steven Atkins, which much obvious pride, presented to the school and parents the soon-to-be graduating class of 2014. After the applause, Overstreet delivered his charge to the class. Joel Paea, the senior class president, gave his response to the class and the parents.

Daniel Ghisolf-Astacio, senior class pastor, closed the service with prayer.

SA Campout

By Valerie Curtis


Sixty-five Andrews Academy students shouldered their backpacks on September 5 to head down to Muskegon State Park. There they would spend the weekend worshiping together and growing closer to each and to God. The spiritual program for the weekend was coordinated by Joshua Hong, who invited a special guest that was familiar to almost everyone in the group-Brandon von Dorpowski.

The 2013 graduate led out in vespers, Sabbath School, and church. There was singing, charades on the beach, and the sermon was held at the top of the dunes. Every student that went was incredibly blessed by the events. It was a weekend of great fun and spiritual growth.

Saturday afternoon, after Sabbath School and church, the group had a chance to stretch their legs and run around the campsite in search of various items. The scavenger hunt was large and challenging, but in the end everything was found. The campers then took turns saying what spiritual lesson they had gathered from the object they found.

As the sun set, the camp grew dark but that didn’t stop everyone from enjoying a popular SA campout event-capture the flag. While the event usually takes place on the beach, there was an unusually high tide, and it was decided to have the game on the campsite instead. Campers had to use flashlights, but this did nothing to dampen their spirits. It only seemed to make the game even more fun.

Exhausted but happy campers returned to their tents late at night. They were worn out from all the running and tagging and generally long day, but they had made memories that will last them a lifetime. New friendships had been made, a closer bond with God had been formed, and they all felt renewed.

Early Sunday morning, everyone packed up and got on the bus for the long trip back. But there wasn’t a grumpy or tired face in site when the bus pulled up to Sherman’s ice cream-a famous stop on the trip back from campout. It was the perfect way to end a wonderful weekend.

Participants are very grateful to Joshua Hong, our SA pastor, and the guest speaker and spiritual leader Brandon vonDorpowski for giving them such a wonderful weekend. It was brilliantly planned and perfectly executed. There could be no better start to the school year.

Beach Day

By Valerie Curtis

Beach Day

By Valerie Curtis


Andrews Academy has several annual traditions, from the beginning of the year to the end, in which students take a day off of school and take time to bond with their classmates. This year on September 3, instead of packing books and taking notes, students happily tossed aside their backpacks and arrived at the school far past the usual 8:00am bell. An extra half hour or hour of sleep can be all the difference for a teenager.

After a long song service and a talk from Glassford, students headed out the door for the multiple buses needed to heard all two hundred plus people to Warren Dunes for School Picnic Day, also known as Beach Day. It’s always a gamble for good weather when planning a picnic in September, but the Academy was blessed to have beautiful, clear, warm weather.

The morning started off with a large majority of beach goers playing several rounds of volleyball, touch football, soccer, swimming (for those that remembered to bring swim suits), and this year, sailing! Mr. Vandenburgh was thoughtful enough to bring his boat, which a lot of the students enjoyed.

These activities were interrupted by the one thing teens don’t mind stopping play for-food. Lunch was provided by and served by the faculty, and the students were grateful for a good, free meal. There were also a number of volunteers that helped prepare and hand out the meal. A big thank you to these people.

Lunch was followed by much of the same that proceeded it for awhile until the scheduled events began. There was a watermelon relay race, in which different teams passed a watermelon down the line as fast as they could. A swimming race between the four classes was held, and while everyone was still wet they had a water balloon toss.

The two most anticipated events of Beach Day are the sand sculpture contest and the tug of war. Although the results of the sand sculpture contest between the classes remains undecided, all of the designs were incredibly creative and something for each grade to be proud of. It clearly displays the teamwork and unity in the classes to pull together such good ideas in only twenty minutes.

For what is now three consecutive years, the Junior class has emerged victorious in the tug-of-war competition. The size of the class is a great asset, but the encouragement of previous wins is perhaps what most spurred them-the desire to keep their title as reigning champions.

In second place came the sophomores, then the seniors, and lastly the freshmen. All in all it was a day filled with fun and activity. Thank you SA and SA sponsors for a wonderful day!

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