Category Archives: Community

Raymond Spoon: A life spent in mission work

By: Charity Ogoti

Many students at Andrews Academy see Mr. Spoon, the building supervisor, working constantly to keep Andrews Academy a neat place. Others, who have jobs at the school as teachers’ assistants, get the opportunity to work side by side with Mr. Spoon. However, only a few actually know that Mr. Spoon was involved in missionary work before he began working at the academy.

For more than nine years, Raymond Spoon was involved in mission work. He spent more than six years on the island of Palawan, Philippines, and then another three years in the deep jungles of Papua New Guinea.

In 1991, Spoon, his wife Dawn, and his daughter Amber, went to the Philippines to start a new project in the mountains. Their main goals were to teach the Palawano people about God, meet their health needs, teach them about agriculture, and to start a school.

When they first arrived, they weren’t very familiar with the language. However, they were lucky to meet someone who spoke English and served as their guide.

In Palawan, the people were animist, meaning that they believed that there were spirits inhabiting different areas in their village like trees, and woods. They were very fearful of the spirits and believed that if  it was misty and they were outside, they would ran back to the house if they heard the call of a certain bird. As a result, it was Spoon’s calling to comfort the people and tell them they shouldn’t be afraid because God was with them. Spoon says that once the people saw that God was strong and powerful, they accepted the message. Spoon said they had two baptisms between 1995-96, and in 1998 there were 15 baptized church members.

Spoon and his wife also needed to meet the health needs of the Palawano people. When they first arrived, Spoon says that there was a 50% mortality rate because the people drank unsanitary water from the creeks; the same water they used to wash their clothes, utensils, and also to bathe. If someone was to catch a disease from this water, it was 95% fatal without medication. On one occasion, Spoon says a man came to them with a swollen tongue and his wife had to check to see if it was malignant or nonmalignant. The man could barely speak or swallow. His wife gave the man ibuprofen to prevent inflammation, and asked him to come back in a week or two for more medication. Usually, when asked to come, he says, the people would fail to return. However, after about two months, this man came back, thanking them for healing him, because he could now talk and swallow.

Another goal of theirs was to teach the people about agriculture and contour farming. Spoon says that the Palawano’s way of farming was slash and burn, meaning they cut down and burned off existing vegetation before new seeds were sown. However, he says, this was not sustainable because erosion and landslides would occur. As a result, he taught the people how to correctly plow and how to plant their beans and rice. On top of that, he adds, many of the people suffered from malnutrition because they didn’t eat any other foods but cassava, which was not very nutritious. Together, Spoon and his wife taught the people to rotate their meals.

At the end of Spoon and his family’s work, he says he was almost fluent in Palawanun and he can still recall some of the phrases he had learned. What was ironic, he says, is that upon returning to the states, his daughters were more fluent in Palawanun than in English.

“The most challenging thing about staying in the Philippines,” Spoon says, “was when my family members got sick with Malaria and almost died. Amber, my oldest daughter, spent weeks in the hospital with stage four Malaria and it was so severe. It was nearly as bad as having stage four cancer because there wasn’t so much hope to survival.”

“Even so, I recommend going to mission work because it turns your focus away from depending on temporary things, to depending on God. You begin to see how Satan is working in those peoples’ lives to turn their focus away from God, which is different from what your accustomed to at home. You begin to see how people struggle between good and evil. And then its really exciting to see God working on your behalf to change their hearts. As we were in Palawan, the Palawano people opened their hearts and began to trust us. My family and I always prayed they could see that it was really God who was working for them.”

In July of this year, Spoon plans on going back to the Philippines for two weeks because there will be a reunion for all the missionaries who worked there.



Incoming Freshmen Visit AA

By: Jessica N

Walking into a new school as a new student can be a terrifying experience. You have to navigate your way around groups of people you don’t know, trying to find classrooms. You fumble with your locker because the combo the office gave you isn’t working, and you scan the cafeteria for what seems to be a lifetime trying to find someone to sit with. Could there ever be a solution to first day jitters?

One solution provided by Andrews Academy is hosting Academy Day, an event directed to incoming academy students. This day is designed to help students become familiar with classrooms and teachers in hope it will drive away first day fears. Eighth graders from Village SDA, Ruth Murdoch, Niles SDA, Eau Claire, South Bend, and homeschoolers join AA students for this event. Schedules are rearranged and classes are shortened as the students visit each classroom. Chapel is filled with songs as each music department performs. Teachers hold games and contests. Eighth graders try to get signatures from all the teachers in the hope of winning a prize. At the end of the day everyone comes together for Assembly which consists of the Student Association having eighth graders play a team game. This year as a special treat the Intro to Gymnastics put on a performance for everyone. [Picture]

“Academy Day is a time to give incoming freshmen the experience of what a day of Academy life is like” says Principal Leiterman.

Isabella Ball from Niles Westside and Nathan Fernandez from Village SDA said they both enjoyed Mrs. Chao’s classes the best and they liked doing the fun experiments.

According to Giovanni Leonor, a student at Village SDA, “All the teachers were nice” and he enjoyed both of the Bible classes.

Academy Day and Graduation Bash are the primary PR events responsible for the enrollment of the next years students. A lot of work is put into this day as staff and administration make sure that schedules and classes are up to date. Before the end of Academy Day emails are sent to all eighth graders and their families so they can start the registration process.

Administration aims to have 80% of each schools’ eighth grade class attend next year. About 69% of last year’s eight grade graduates now make up this year’s freshman class.

Band and Bells Tour

By Kaily I

The whole room was dark except for the blue glow emanating from everyone’s backpacks. No one spoke as they moved to take their positions. Musicians from Andrews Academy had transformed into soldiers, holding guns, anxiety rising in anticipation. Adrenaline rushed through every student. The countdown began. Three…Two…One… Chaos erupted and lasers lit up the darkness. The epic game of laser tag had begun.

Laser tag, a game in which players wear laser-sensitive vests and gain points by shooting the opposing team members with laser beams, was one of the most popular events of Band and Bells Tour 2016. Nathan Buck, Senior baritonist at Andrews Academy, said “I really enjoyed the challenge of working with my friends to win the game.”

The group also went to an NBA basketball game, explored Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati, attended a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra concert, and toured the Air Force Museum in Ohio. Brianna Moore, Senior clarinetist at Andrews Academy, said “I liked the Cincinnati Symphony the best because I got the signature from the guy who played the piano. Also because it was cool to get to see a professional group perform.”

When asked what the purpose of band tour is, Byron Graves, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band Director, said “(The purpose of band tour is) to perform and share musical talents with people around the country and to have a fun time bonding with fellow band members.”

Mr. Graves works very hard to make the tour fun for everyone while also balancing play time with performing. He first “sets performances, usually one or two per day. Then once the performances are planned then I look at places around the performance places and see what things there are to do that appeal to a variety of people.”

This being the case, Band and Bells Tour wasn’t all fun and games. The group performed at Indiana Junior Academy, Spring Valley Academy, Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church; six performances in all. At all the performances, band played a composition called ‘The Light Eternal’, a moving tune after which the tour was named.

The piece was based upon the story of four chaplains that sacrificed themselves for others. The USS Dorchester, a convoy ship carrying supplies and approximately 900 men, was heading towards Greenland when they were alerted that a German U-Boat had been spotted by Coast Guard sonar. On February 3, 1943, the Dorchester was torpedoed by the Germans. Panic struck the ship as the electricity suddenly cut out. Lifejackets were passed out, but the supply ran out before every man had received one. The four chaplains that were aboard offered their lifejackets to others and helped as many as they could get into the lifeboats and safety. They themselves went down with the ship, praying and singing to God.

‘The Light Eternal’ was a favorite, both among the performers and the audiences. One of the teachers of Spring Valley Academy spoke about the piece saying, “You guys are very talented, but you had my heart with that song. It was amazing.”

Performances, while they can be stressful, are the most rewarding parts of Band and Bells Tour. It gives the performers a chance to spread God’s message through music and it gives audiences a chance to enjoy beautiful songs. Everyone comes away with a unique experience that they won’t soon forget.

All in all, Band Tour


How to make Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

Prep time: 15 Minutes

Total  time: 1hr 5 minutes

Servings: 12



Ingredients  (What You Need)

2 cans (8 oz. each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. To make Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars you need two cans (8 oz. each) of Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, two packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese (softened), one and a half cups of sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla, half of a cup of butter ( melted), and one tablespoon of ground cinnamon. All of this takes fifteen minutes to prep but the total time it takes to do all of this is an hour and five minutes, and the serving is for twelve.
  2. You want to heat the oven at 350 degrees before you start meal prepping
  3. Unroll one can of dough and place in the bottom of an ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) preferably, but if not you can use any pan that will fit all of the dough. Instead of using just a pan I used wax paper, then I stretched the dough on the pan. And because the dough is from Pillsbury and its crescent dinner rolls it will have lines, you want to pinch the seams together.
  4. In a bowl you want to pour one cup of sugar and one tablespoon, and two packets of cream cheese. With all of those ingredients you want to beat them with an electric mixer either on medium or high speed.
  5. Next you are going to evenly spread the cream cheese over dough in the baking dish. Then unroll the second can of dough onto the layer of cream cheese in the baking dish, you want to do this carefully. Once this step is complete you want to once again pinch the seams together.
  6. Then you want to pour melted butter on top, and half a cup of butter. And a stick of butter made up a half a cup of butter. I placed the butter into the microwave and for about two minutes. It doesn’t matter how long you melt it for just get it melted and do not over cook it.
  7. You want to place the melted butter evenly on top and half a cup of sugar with the cinnamon on top of the melted butter. But I noticed that it was a lot of butter so I eye balled it and made sure I just poured enough to pour evenly on the top and just a little bit on the sides. And I substituted the cinnamon and sugar with brown sugar. I evenly sprinkled the brown sugar on top, but very lightly. I did this because it seemed like a whole lot of sugar in this recipe, and I didn’t want to over do it.
  8. After all the prepping you finally put the bars into the oven which is on at 350 degrees. You let this bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set. And when done let it cool for 20 minutes either out or inside the refrigerator. Personally when it was warm it tasted really sweet and it was still soft after 20 minutes. And when it was soft it made it difficult to cut into pieces. So what I did was leave it in the fridge over night, and it honestly made a difference in the texture and taste. It is really tasty, so if you have a sweet tooth I would suggest this to you. Don’t forget your glass of milk !
  9.  Enjoy!

Andrews Academy greets another talent show

By: Charity Ogoti

Every year, the students and faculty of Andrews Academy get to see the amazing talents that some of their classmates possess at the talent show.  This year, on the 24th of February, the Andrews Academy family experienced another spectacular talent show.

Starting of, the Master of Ceremony Brianna Moore, warmly welcomed everyone to the talent show and then introduced the first performance which was Sandra Mosimbwa and Jemila Greenridge singing a song from Empire, entitled Powerful.

Next, Claudia Applewhite kicked off the stage with a breathtaking poem she had composed.

Followed by that was Sandra Mosimbwa singing I’d rather go blind by Beyoncé.

Then, Taylor Ferris performed an acoustic song entitled Just Like a Star.

After that, Jamison Moore, Johny Schneep, Jonathan Woolford-Hunt, and Joshua Huslin, did an instrumental piece to the song See You Again by Wiz Khalifa.

Later on, encomponied by Siwon Choir on the guitar, Caleb Gomez and Kerianah Matson sang a song called Scarecrow.

Patrick Miller, a senior, and his little sister, Nicole Miller did a duet to the song called Duck Song. The Duck Song is a famous children song written by Bryant Oden about a duck that continuously annoys a lemonade stand owner by asking if he has any grapes. Ms. Miller played the role of the duck, while Mr. Miller, who was also playing the piano, played the role of the lemonade stand owner.

Next, Autumn Dodge and Sandra Mosimbwa changed the mode of the show by doing a Makeup skit. In this skit, we could only see Ms. Dodge whose hands were folded to the back while Ms. Mosimbwa used her hands to do the makeup on Ms. Dodge. What was interesting about this performance is the fact that Ms. Mosimbwa couldn’t see Ms. Dodge’s face and was using her hands to feel where parts of her face would be. This was entertaining to the audience since Mosimbwa would sometimes do makeup on the wrong part of her Dodge’s face.

To wrap up the show was Olivia Woodard singing Thinking out Loud accompanied by Jacob Momdak playing the guitar.

After all the votes were turned in and counted, the top three nominees were for the talent show were announced I’m Chapel. Coming in first place was Olivia Woodard and Jacob Mondak. When asked about how she felt while singing the song, Woodard said she thinking about how it would feel to fall in love with someone and then spend the rest of their lives together.

In second place was Caleb Gomez, Kerianah Matson, and Siwon Choi.

Coming in third place was Talylor Ferris.

Compared to other years, according to SA officer, Kaily Iwasa, this year’s talent show had fewer students who were willing to share talents. As a result, instead of taking place on a Sunday as it usually is, the talent show had to be moved to Assembly. Not only that, but also the day the talent show was scheduled, was also Super Bowl Sunday and therefore the participants would have a very small audience since many peopld watched the Super Bowl. Therefore, by moving the talent show to the Assembly time, also gave then participants a larger audience.






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.

Hodgepodge 2014 by Bobby Cecil


On Tuesday, August 12, Andrews Academy held its first school event of the year, called Hodgepodge. It is an annual event planned and prepared by the school’s Student Association, to kick off the school year with a “non-scholastic, but rather social” orientation. Hodgepodge is a very appropriate name for the event, being a synonym for “confused mixture”. It is meant to let all the new students get formally introduced to their classmates, and to let returning students get reconnected with old friends. All four classes were able to mingle, play games and enjoy each others company over a slice of pizza.

This year the event was held inside the school, due to stormy and humid weather. Among the food served was Silver beach pizza and Mimi’s cupcakes, along with fresh fruit smoothies.


The activities started on the food tables, with students being able to color on the tables themselves and answer fun questions, like “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” and “what did you do over the summer?”. Since the weather prevented any outdoor activities from happening, all the games were played in the gymnasium, including “the human knot” and “the birthday game”. Bouncy houses also were also rented to be a fun addition.


As previously mentioned, two main games were played during the hodgepodge activities, The birthday game and Human Knot. The birthday game involved having students find people born in the same month, competing to see which month formed fastest and letting kids socialize with new people born in the same month as them. The human knot allowed students to rediscover their love of getting pulled back and forth into awkward knots.

Overall, while not being as action packed or wet as its predecessors, this Hodgepodge turned out a moderate success to introduce new students into our family.

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 through music.

Students who plan to attend the trip are responsible for raising $1,000. Director Hector Flores expects everyone in the two music groups to attend, so the group will be doing fundraising to offset the costs. Currently, students are soliciting financial support through letters to family and friends.

Flores says, “This is the first mission trip for the two music groups at AA.” He also says, “I wanted to plan this trip not only for the people they’re going to perform for, but also for the students at AA.”

Hector Flores seems to be pretty excited about this trip for all the different experiences they will have through their music. As for the students their looking forward most to meeting people, gaining a better relationship with Jesus, and of course sharing the gospel with others. For Raquel Cecil and Ben Shelley this won’t be their first mission trip, but for Jordanne Howell-Walton and many others this will be a first.

Jordanne says, “I want to share the gospel to Guatemala, but I also want Guatemala to show me the gospel.”

Ben Shelley said, “I want others to gain a blessing as well as myself.”

The main goal for the AA students attending this mission trip is to change their own life as well as the lives of others. This trip will show the beauty of the hearts of many students at Andrews Academy.

Andrews Academy hosts Academy Day

​ February 25th is Academy Day, a day when eighth graders from local schools can come and experience what it’s like to attend Andrews Academy. This day is a PR event designed to encourage enrollment for the next school year; it’s an annual tradition that’s been going on at AA for quite a while now.

​ Many of the students here at AA, who once attended nearby elementary schools such as Ruth Murdoch and Village, were once participants in academy day just before their freshman year. When asked how she felt about academy day during her eighth grade year, Junior Ashley Randolph said, “Playing jeopardy in Sherman’s class was really fun!” Each year during Academy Day, Sherman and all of the other teachers pause their daily class schedules to accommodate and plan fun activities for the eighth graders.

​ Some students that were once the recipients of Academy Day, now help out in many different ways to make Academy Day fun for the eighth graders. When asked about his involvement in Academy Day, Junior Eduard Breja, who is a video yearbook staff member, said, “Having a video due in 6 hours without any footage is very difficult and insane. I feel quite stressed during academy day. But hopefully this time we’ll get through it and make an amazing end video!” All of the activities that take place during Academy Day are digitally recorded by Kaleidoscope members and put together in a slide show for everyone to watch at the end of the day.

​ Not only do students get to see what the Academy has to offer, parents also have an opportunity to experience the school. In the evening, after academy day is over, there is an open house available for all of the parents. The open house provides parents with a meal, a tour of the facility, and an overview of student life at AA.

Overall, Academy day is a great opportunity for Andrews Academy to provide a great example towards the younger generation and welcome them into our school with open arms.

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