Category Archives: Academics

Quit Your Whining

By: Jessica

Today’s forecast consists of partially cloudy skies, some wind, and a whole lot of complaining. The room is too hot, now it’s too cold. Your hair is too curly and now it’s too straight. You didn’t get to play for the whole game so that’s the reason your team lost. We complain about everything: the weather, our clothes, our family, how we don’t have the newest phone yet, etc.

So why do we complain? For one, what better way to start up a conversation than to complain to your friends about all the homework the teachers give you or how your parents are always getting on your case. We complain when we are jealous, when we are unhappy, or when we need an excuse. We love to complain. It’s easy, so easy we often forget that we do it so often.

Sometimes we need to vent and get the things that are bothering us off our chests, but there is a time for everything and complaining all the time can get old. Soon your friends won’t want to have conversations as you find more and more to complain about. Complaining too much encourages laziness and assists in procrastination. Dr Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology at Clemson University, states that “They’ll take hours of your time telling you their problems-then they reject your help and don’t take one piece of advice you give them.”

Excessive complaining may cause more problems than it fixes. Using complaints to try and solve all your problems won’t get you anywhere. Sometimes you need to take action for yourself instead of waiting for someone else. What you say and how you act can also have an affect on others. Your negative attitude may begin to rub off on your associates. Our peers and children take note of the things they hear and see, and you may start seeing your own behavior reflected in them

A few ways to help you complain less is too try and stay positive, look for the good things in your life. When you feel the urge to complain about something, search for something to praise instead. Make a list of all the things that make your school, job, or home enjoyable.

When starting a conversation with a friend, try to start with something positive instead of heading straight to the gloomy department. Make it a habit to look at the cup half full instead of half empty. For example, when you realize it’s too cold to go outside, figure out all the relaxing things you can do inside. If someone cuts in front of you in traffic, consider the fact that they may be late to an appointment. Try to see things from another person’s point of view. Be open to knew ideas and opinions. This will help you be more empathetic. Make sure you are getting plenty of good food, water and sleep because this can affect your mood. Your outlook on life has a lot to do with how you react to things so try to stay positive and don’t forget to smile. :)



Superheroes vs. God

He can fly. He has laser and x-ray vision. He protects. He sacrifices for others. He has super strength. He never ceases to do the right thing. He has a cape. He wears a symbol of hope on his chest. He defeats evil. He is our hero. “Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound … It’s Superman!”

The iconic character of Superman has been around for a long time. In early 1933, high school student Jerry Siegel wrote a short story about a villain who gains psychic powers from an experimental drug called “The Reign of the Superman”. Later on, Siegel decided to make Superman a hero, so he would be more marketable. He published the comic and “The Superman” instantly became popular. Eventually DC Comics bought the rights from Siegel, creating the modern Superman that has completely taken over the media and seemingly everything else.

So what makes this character so vastly popular in today’s society? We believe that his popularity stems from the original sin. People are always striving to be better. They want to be special, to be in control, and to have unlimited power. They want to be like God. This longing is a scary thing because this is exactly what caused Lucifer to fall in the very beginning. He wanted to be like God. He thought that he could do things better. He convinced himself that God was being unfair. He thought that he himself could make a better God.

“Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

And so, being banned from Heaven, Satan cast his eye on God’s most treasured creation: humans. We fell for the same temptation that drove Satan to his doom: that God is a liar who is keeping glory and power from us. We should be our own gods. We should form our own destiny.

It is no wonder why Superman is so alluring. He stems from the desire of the original sin. The Great Controversy is engraven into us, and anything that is even close to it is hypnotizing.

The interesting thing about Superman is that the movies purposely create him to look like Jesus. In the movie Man of Steel, Superman is sent down from Krypton to earth as a baby. Jesus was sent from Heaven to earth as a baby. Superman grew up being bullied and mocked, and yet didn’t retaliate. Jesus was misunderstood, bullied, and purposely ignored, and yet didn’t react. Superman found his purpose in life when he found his father’s conscience in a ship from his world. He was 33 years of age. Jesus was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended on Him, marking the beginning of His ministry, His purpose in life. Scholars believe that He was also around the age of 33. Superman was told by his father’s conscience that he was the bridge between the supernatural and mankind. Jesus is our mediator, our bridge from God.
The similarities are endless.

As Christians, we need to be aware of these similarities. Satan uses any means necessary to distract us from what is really important, even if we are enjoying ourselves watching a movie. It doesn’t matter so much if we are happy or sad, just as long as we don’t have our focus on God. If Satan can distract us, then he can capture us.

If we keep fixing our eyes on God, however, Satan’s power disintegrates. And, honestly, if you really think about it, which is better: having fun for a couple of hours, or spending eternity in Heaven?



Students celebrate international diversity


By: Patrick Miller

Every year Andrews Academy has a special tradition of holding a celebration to appreciate our cultural diversity. Being a part of a large international university campus makes our students members of a very broad ethnic community. Kids hailing from China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Cuba, Colombia, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, The Philippines, and many other places walk our school’s halls. Once a year we host an International Appreciation Week and Assembly to celebrate this diversity and make dishes of food that are typical of our cultures.

The students also take part in a fashion show that presents the styles of dress popular in their home countries. There are a variety of internationally themed skits, comedy and otherwise, and some special musical presentations.


This year’s international day was made especially notable by the appearance of the “Bridge to China Dance Troupe,” a dance group composed of women from China who live in the area. Ms. Chao contacted them and they agreed to come, but would not accept any money as they do not consider themselves a “professional” dance group.

AA_ChineseI’m sure that any student that watched them would beg to differ, as their fan twirling performances were elegantly and beautifully choreographed. Also, when their leader found out that there would be a potluck after the assembly, she insisted on bringing traditional Chinese food for the students and once again would not accept any money for it. Ms. Chao said, “Even after they came they would not stop saying ‘Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for having us!’ and I tried to say ‘No thank YOU for coming!’ but they kept on saying it.”

Also of note was the hysterical act involving Mr. VanDenburgh’s 8:00 newswriting class. Four students, namely, Sandra Mosimbwa, Starr Davis, Ben Gerrans, and Patrick Miller, picked up the AA tradition of having a mock International Newscast. They presented various humorous news stories, supplemented by their ever-ready wit and sharp commentary, and they got the audience laughing in no time.

AA_NewsA crowd favorite was the weather segment of the newscast, which was presented in a video done by Kaily Iwasa and Jessica Newkirk. They pretended to be newscasters of different countries commenting about how the respective climates behind them closely resembled a Michigan winter, which of course they did, as the video was filmed at Camp Au Sable in Grayling, Michigan.

There were several other notable events during the assembly, one of them being another Chinese festival presentation of a choreographed confrontation between a man and a lion. The man dances with the lion, dodging its attacks, and eventually tames it.


Several Chinese exchange students were involved in the act. There were Seniors Will Wang and Joven Wu manning the elaborate and beautiful lion costume. Other members of the skit were Gary Yang as the lion tamer, and Stella Zhao providing the instrumental accompaniment.

“We all practiced together only a couple of times, but I know that Will and Joven put in a lot of time and effort practicing the movements of the lion,” said Stella when asked about the practice for the skit, “and they watched videos on YouTube to make sure they were doing it right.”

The biggest item of the assembly was the international fashion show, with styles from Jamaica, China, India, Papua New Guinea, and many other places. Ms. Chao made an appearance dressed in her traditional chinese costume, reinforcing the Chinese flair that the assembly had been taking. Also, the Newkirk sisters in their traditional Chilean dresses, as well as the Caballero sisters in Panamanian outfits, elegantly graced the stage with their presence. Two groups represented the American contingent, with Olivia Woodard and Josiah Everett as corporate American business people, and Connor Scott and Jared Goolsby represented the American Wild West in their plaid shirts and cowboy hats. Claudia Applewhite single-handedly represented Japan in her flowery kimono and, after she had traversed the runway, she stopped and sang a song in Japanese for the students. After this the students were dismissed to go and dig in to the feast in the commons.

The First to lead the way : Jeannie Leiterman

On February 12, Andrews Academy Board Chair Alayne Thorpe and the Andrews Academy Board announced that they voted to ask Jeannie Leiterman to serve as Principal. “Mrs.Leiterman has been serving as Interim Principal and all who have worked with her have come to appreciate her competence, her dedication and energy, and her loving, team-building leadership style,” says Thorpe.

Although Mrs. Jeannie Leiterman’s new role has been officially named, she has been doing the job for 7 months. Her leadership has been accepted, respected and appreciated by students, faculty, and staff, and parents. But the question is, what’s in the job of being principal?

I wanted to dig deeper to discover who Mrs.Leiterman is and what she thinks. I had a one-on-one talk with our new principal about her life, experiences, and advice.

Why did you choose teaching as your career?

“I had always known that I wanted to be a teacher. My mother said I did well in leading others. Though, along the way, I was studying to be a doctor – but as we can see, that didn’t work out.”

What is your vision for Andrews Academy?

“My vision for the academy is to make sure that it is a place where kids know God and have a personal relationship with him. A place that each student feels safe and secure. A place that students actually enjoy coming to school.”

What do you enjoy about working here?

“I’m grateful to be able to go to a job that I enjoy going to. The students, coworkers, and parents make it all worth it.”

How does it feel to be the first woman principal ?”

“Honestly, it hasn’t even occurred to me. I don’t feel like I’m making history like Barack Obama or even Hillary Clinton.”

Why do you bake for co-workers and not for students?

“I do bake for students. You just gotta come to my office. But it’s nice to treat my co-workers as well.”

Would you ever teach a baking class?

“I would , but it wouldn’t be healthy.”

What’s the hardest thing about being principal?”

“The hardest thing is where to draw the line. Some people have different situations, and knowing how to deal and decide can be tough.”
If you had to choose another profession or your dream job, what would it be ?

Since I love baking, I would love to own a bakery named Leiterman Mom’s Goods.

Will you ever hire/interview someone to have your old position or will the school just carry on without a vice-principal?

“The decision is not in my hands. The decision is decided by the board. Financially,where the school is now, one administrator is enough. If enrollment increased, then maybe a second administrator would be needed.”

What advice do you have for the students of AA?

“The most important thing is to know God. Always live to represent something bigger than you. Our lives will be drastically different if we do.”

Since we know a little bit more about Mrs.Leiterman, how do the students feel about Mrs.Leiterman? Students opinions matter. It encourages students to come back and to feel apart of the Andrews Academy family. To get an insight on how students feel, I asked Sarah Almeter  and Illy Mun on what they appreciate about Mrs.Leiterman?

Sarah Almeter, a senior at Andrews Academy, says, “I appreciate that she is more than an authority figure. She is a friend. Her office is a place of solitude and it’s a place where I feel welcomed.”

Illy Mun, a freshman at Andrews Academy, says, “She can relate and she talks to us like she has gone through similar problems before. And she is funny.”

It’s one thing being a student, but how does it feel as a teacher to work with her and to be under her leadership?

Mrs.Keila Sanchez, Spanish teacher at Andrews Academy, says, “She is a people person and approachable. I feel comfortable to be around her. And she is a great team leader.”

By these three interviews, I can truly say that “Mrs..Leiterman is appreciated and most welcomed by students and teachers. And that she has made an impression on people’s lives that she has interacted with.”

We are blessed to have such a humble person to lead this prestigious Adventist institution. Not too many schools are privileged to have such a leader that cares about the students, faculty, and staff and their well-being. As we continue to move forward in the years to come, we are putting our trust in God to lead Mrs. Leiterman and the school in the right direction.

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.”

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!

Upcoming: NHS Induction, February 23

feat_NHS induction

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 at Andrews Academy. Inductees must have a 3.5 cumulative GPA, and demonstrate significant commitment to leadership, service, scholarship, and character. The inductees are Will Allen, Sarah Baxter, Robert Benjamin, Michael Bryson, Hazel Byeon, Chelcie Coleman, Claire Covrig, Starr Davis, Talisa Gonzalez, Avia Lowe, Kundani Makimu,  Brendan Mutz, Alayna Rishaug, Ivette Ruban, Jacqueline Weiss, and Julia Westfall.

AA to Produce Biennial Play


Andrews Academy’s very own Literary Interpretations class, taught by Mrs. Sari Butler, will be producing the school’s biennial play late this fall. Entitled, Words by Fanny Crosby, this play offers a very good historical account of the life and spiritual journey of the famous hymn writer and poetess. “It’s definitely my desire to have the audience become part of Fanny’s hymn-writing experiences; to feel the depth of her words and to experience how the Holy Spirit moved her – to be challenged to be moved in the very same way,” expressed Butler. Because of the musical nature of this play, quite a number of Crosby’s hymns will be performed throughout the production by way of piano, organ, and voice. With the coaching of local teacher Mrs. Carrie Van Denburgh to guide them, a number of the class students will be serving as musicians, along with their acting parts. Despite the presence of music, Mrs. Butler firmly reiterates that “this play is not a musical.” In fact, music makes up less than one half of the entire production, intermission excluded.

With a cast and crew of only 10 students to match the 14 characters needed, the class is confident that their production of this play will be quite the success. Interestingly enough, Literary Interpretations is made up of female students mostly, with only one male student. Because of the amount of male roles in the script, Mr. Ben Shelley has taken it upon himself to act the parts of the 3 male characters alone. “I’m sure that I’ll be able to memorize all the lines in plenty of time, so long as I spend time working on it. But it isn’t just lines that I memorize: it’s adapting myself to fit the personality of each separate character. God has given me a very deep love for acting, so I’m positive that I’ll enjoy most all of it!” says Shelley.

The Andrews Academy School Play will be held during the evenings of Saturday and Sunday, November 23 and 24. With just over three months to prepare sets and memorize lines, the Literary Interpretations Class is pushing ahead full-throttle to ensure that their performance is as well-prepared as possible. In a short interview, Kayli Mattson gave her opinion of the play, “I’m glad that Mrs. Butler will be serving as our director. She seems to be a very musical person and it’s always nice to have another female’s perspective on things.” Even though most acting roles have already been filled, Mrs. Butler welcomes any non-acting help, such as stage and wardrobe management, scene artists, etc. Both Mrs. Butler and her students hope to see all AA Students, including people from the community, at either of the weekend productions and are eager to assist their audience in reliving the life of Fanny J. Crosby. More details concerning the play are to be announced.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: diet | Thanks to lasik, online colleges and seo