Educational Tour Visits the Good Ole South

This year the Educational class at Andrews Academy toured several southern states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. The students were told in advance the places they were going to More »


A decision that may have flowed the wrong way

By: Starr Davis In a city of over 90,000 residents, Flint, Michigan is struggling to provide its citizens with clean and safe water, causing many to suffer from different illnesses such as lead poisoning, autism, and More »


What is Bible Camp?

By: Kaily Iwasa Snow sparkles on the ground as 80 students approach the little chapel on the hill. They enter the tiny space and shake the snow off their boots. It is cold, More »


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 More »


Thailand Mission Trip in Need of Funds

By: Jessica N. On March 9th, Andrews Academy Silhouettes and String Orchestra will be boarding a plane to Thailand. After a 22-hour flight and a 3-hour layover in Dubai they will land in More »

Andrews Cardinals vs Kalamazoo Homeschool

By: Olivia Woodard

The AA Junior Cardinal basketball teams are half way through their season. All four teams (JVG,JVB,VG,VB) have gone to[gone to is weak- what about “competed”, a good, strong verb?] a tournament [date?]at our sister college, Southern, in Collegedale, Tennessee. The teams fought tirelessly, with little sleep and hectic schedules.

The Girls Varsity won the Championship for 1st place and the Boys Varsity brought home the 3rd place trophy. Each week every player on the teams works 6-8 hours in the gym preparing for our[their] upcoming tournament: The Cardinal (Newmyer) Classic. But before they get to that on February 4-6 there are several games ahead of them against some tough opponents. 2/4 of the game days there were this week were cancelled due to snow and hazard.

The games last night[date] were tight games. The night started off with the Junior Varsity boys, coached by Jim Dronen, challenging the Kalamazoo homeschool in a hard back and forth lead battle all night. Kalamazoo pulled ahead in the end for a tough loss of 47-51. The tough fight was helped by sophomore Nate Greenhaw’s 11 points, freshman Max Dronen’s 9 points, and junior Chris Nwoke’s 6 points.

Varsity boys, coached by Bryan von Dorpowski and Christopher Davisson, followed the JV game, competing against tough competitor Varsity Kalamazoo Homeschool. This game was a hard-fought battle, ending with a tied score of 34-34 at half-time. Seniors David Sherman and Joseph Bradley played fantastic defense, trying to pull the game back with two blocks. Varsity boys eventually fell to the Homeschool after the tireless fight, 47-60. Michael von Dorpowski, senior captain, scored the game high of 12 points followed by seniors Chelliot Osuntade (Captain) and Mutungi Menani with 7 points.

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.

Andrews Cardinals vs MCAC Wildcats

By: Olivia Woodard

Monday night the Varsity boys and girls team faced long-time opponents, the MCAC Wildcats. The cardinals have a history with this team in both the regular season and the Cardinal (Newmyer) Classic. For the past 10 years, the MCAC Wildcat Varsity girls have been undefeated against the Cardinal Women. They have also won the Cardinal Classic numerous times and are the reigning champions and number one threat.

Monday night’s double header started off with the varsity girls who charged into man-to-man defense right away in an attempt to secure a lead, then moving in to 2-3 zone D.

The girls showed hustle rebounding and scrapping for the stray balls, which is what kept them in the game, against the wildcats wide range shooters.

The Cardinal girls were tied at the half, 19-19. After a pep talk, they were ready to finish with the W. Going back into a shifting 2-3 zone secured the game. This exceptional defense is what shut down the usually unstoppable offense from the wildcats, who are notorious for hitting deep three’s.

It was a rough back and forth lead, foul-filled game, but the Cardinal Ladies were victorious against this team for the first time in 10 years, resulting in a score of 30-28.

This was a primarily defensive game but senior captain, Antoinette Cave, scored the game high of 9 points along with co-captain Taylor Ferris sinking 6 points, pulling 5 boards, and dumping 3 assists.

The triple header concluded with the varsity boys who started off solid and played exceptional defense.

The Wildcats had a great shooting night, which made the Cardinals step up their game once again.

In the end of the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were ahead 3 points, but a foul put the game on the line. The Wildcats were allowed two free throws, which were both sunk. Andrew’s attempt to tighten the defense succeeded and the Cardinal varsity boys took their first win at home.

Senior captain Chelliot Osuntade was on fire and scored a career high of 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 block. Junior starting point guard, Caleb Gomez, scored 11 points, and tossed 2 dimes. Senior, Mutungi Menani, contributed offensively with 10 points and Senior Joseph Bradley III helped the team defensively with 7 rebounds.


Andrews Cardinals vs La Lumiere

By: Olivia Woodard

Thursday night the Junior cardinal teams played returning competitors La Lumiere from Laporte, Indiana. The results varied dramatically, starting off with the Junior Varsity boys, coached by Jim Dronen and John Dronen, against JV La Lumiere boys. Our boys played a well structured, fast paced game and blew out the other team 70-33, giving all the player’s equal opportunity to get good playing time and score on ease.

The next game on this cold Thursday night was the Varsity Girls, coached by Anthony Cave, assistant coach Christopher Davisson and Cardinal Alumna Hayley Smoot. The Cardinal girls were lacking players due to many people absent due to bible camp, so they had to pull up a few girls from the JV. It was hard fought and back and forth the entire time, but the La Lumiere girls pulled ahead in the fourth quarter for a devastating loss to the Varsity girls, 30-35. Senior Captain Taylor Ferris had the game high of 14 points followed by senior Olivia Woodard, with 8 points and 4 rebounds and freshman starter Illiana Mun with 7 points and 7 boards.

The final game was the Varsity boys, coached by Bryan von Dorpowski and Christopher Davisson, against La Lumiere Varsity Boys. This game was exciting to watch with good plays by the Cardinals who were short in numbers as well.

The boys exercised fantastic Christian sportsmanship against the opponents, even in the end when it was becoming a tight game, it resulted in a 47-52 loss.

Senior captain Michael von Dorpowski scored the game high of 16 points with 4 three pointers. Senior Joseph Bradley III had his breakout game almost resulting in a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds. Senior captain Chelliot Osuntade came in with 9 points and 3 dimes. Overall the boys played very well taking into account circumstances, and it was a well played game.

How can we fix song service?

By: Patrick Miller

One of the many distinctive features of Andrews Academy’s student life is that a schoolwide chapel is held every day. Between the 8:00 and 9:20 class periods, a 20-minute block is reserved for all the students to gather for worship and praise together. Amazingly, the faculty sponsor is usually able to find a different speaker each day, and if an outside speaker is unavailable a teacher or student will step forward to give a spiritually themed talk.

While this could be a truly engaging spiritual time, it turns out that not too many people pay attention. When asked about the percentage of students that sleep during chapel and what percent are awake and listening, Andrews Academy junior Daniel Morant answers, “Depending on the speaker, I would say at least 30% of students sleep during chapel, and only 70% are awake and maybe listening to the sermon. But that’s on a good day.”

So what could we do to fix about our chapel? What will help wake students up and engage them?

One important thing I would change is the song service. Before the scheduled program begins, most days we have several students who go up front and lead the other students in praise songs. An effective song service will set the tone of worship and encourage us into a frame of mind where we will listen to the message. If we have people getting excited about the music, students might actually be awake for the rest of the chapel.

When I was a freshman, it seems to me that the seniors were very active in leading the praise service, and many students really participated in singing and doing the motions. However, as I have gotten older and become an upperclassman, there has been a prevailing culture to not sing in front of others. What happens when people get up front is that they end up performing a kind of special music for everyone in the audience.

So what can we do to improve the musical worship in our chapel? Senior Olivia Woodard said, “The singers who are up front need to be coordinated well, and sound good together. That way people won’t be focusing on their flaws and mistakes, and will focus on the music instead.”

Senior Sandra Mosimbwa said, “We should sing different songs that people like, and have song leaders that interact with the audience and encourage them to sing. It’s not like the audience is singing right now anyway, so song leaders have nothing to lose by being pushy and calling people out.”

All of this advice is good, but in order for it to work we need song leaders who are willing to use their talents up front for God. So I encourage you, readers, if you have a gift, step up. The rest of us are just waiting for someone to lead out.

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

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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.

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