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LEAVING AN IMPRINT Columbine Christian shares Christ in Durango, Colorado page 3 DISCIPLESHIP Students help older neighbors and share with local churches page 7 EDUCATION IN RMC Lonnie Hetterle shares the joys and challenges of Adventist education in RMC page 8 TOGETHER, WE CAN DO IT RMC President, Gary Thurber challenges readers to support a student’s education. page 13

rocky mountain conference


Journey of Helping: Changing their world now!

to this same family, who the year before had been homeless and spent Christmas in a hotel room.

Making a Difference – from Christmas trees to canned goods, the Spring Creek Adventist School students have made this their theme for the 2010–2011 school year. The Boy Who Changed the World, by Andy Andrews, Think Big by Ben Carson and The Christmas Jar by Jason Wright, have all helped students remember that they can have an effect on the world around them.

The spring will hold more opportunities for scheduled community service projects, but the students are creating their own moments to make a difference. With the knowledge that young people do not have to wait until they are older, they can go out with confidence to change their world now!

The students began their journey of helping this past fall by handing out hundreds of grocery bags in the neighborhoods around the school. A week later, they returned to those neighborhoods to collect the bags full of food which they then distributed to families in need. They did all of this with a spring in their step and “Should we knock on one more door?”

The month of November found the parents documenting all acts of kindness. Small ones like reading to a sibling to raking the neighbor’s leaves, were given a paper feather. Then for the Thanksgiving Day celebration, they wore the headdresses they made from their “feathers.” There were some pretty big headdresses! Again, it was reiterated that small things can make huge changes in their world, just like a small stone can create ripples in a large pond.

Michelle Caviness, Principal/Teacher

Spring Creek Adventist School Montrose, CO

December found the school collecting change to “pay it forward” as a way to thank God for the blessings He has given us all. On the last day before Christmas break, the Spring Creek students took a field trip to a local Christmas tree farm. They were able to pick out the perfect tree for a local family that would not have one that year. Then they also donated the jar of change and bills

CHRIST’S METHOD | Gospel Workers, p. 363. Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, “Follow Me.”


RECYCLE Laura E. Mason school in Cheyenne, Wyoming is busy cleaning up around their school while teaching students and neighbors to recycle.

Our 3rd and 4th grade Science class is stepping out to do something in their community. Chris Bridges has been educating our little ones on taking interest in their world that has been beautifully made for them. While studying about recycling and reusing goods, our students rolled up their sleeves and helped by picking up litter within walking distance of the school and by visiting a local public school. Each student has been dedicated to do their part in our community. Our students are picking up trash and reminding those around them to locate a trash container near them, rather than discarding garbage in the streets. Even at a young age, our little ones show interest in making a difference and believing in their efforts! Kate Kamarad, Principal/Teacher

Laura E. Mason Christian Academy Cheyenne, Wyoming

The Hands of Wood: Sharing His love! It has only been through God’s hands that Wood is here! Because of that, we use our hands to spread His love, His Word, and our thankfulness to be able to teach God’s children. It is our mission to help others, and share God’s love with our community. Because of the many wonders He continually works here at school, we give it back to others and give our praises to Him

And how beautiful these children are, and always willing to help! Our students are so diverse, thus, knowing needs from many different aspects of life. Once a month we focus on community service and how we can give back as thanks to God for His blessings. From the second day of school, for the past several years, we begin instilling in our students the importance of community outreach. We walk to our local park, picking up trash along the way. We close our year doing the same thing. Since one of our teachers is from the Philippines, we collect and send paper, pencils, school supplies, bathroom supplies, clothes, and even peanut butter, to her homeland, including packing and shipping it. What a blessing it is when we see pictures of her home, family, friends, and school students using the

supplies, wearing the clothes, and eating the peanut butter. From Operation Christmas Child to Pennies for Patients, we collect items for children with leukemia and lymphoma. Throughout the year, we support our local church in their outreach programs, whether it is collecting gloves, coats, and hats to give to the needy or donating socks and beans to help the refugees. We visit Adventist and non-Adventist churches, singing and giving testimonies of the miracles God performs for us. As we hand deliver individually-made May Day baskets to our neighbors, we sing songs and talk to people we pass. We gave out 200-300 baskets! Kari Lange, Principal/Teacher Wood Adventist Christian School Aurora, Colorado


CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, p. 51 | Knowledge harmoniously blended with a

Christlike character will make a person truly a light to the world. PROVERBS 1:7 | Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to

God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning. (Message) CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, p. 442 | In the days of Christ, the religious instruction

of the young was thought to be so important that the town or city which did not provide schools for this purpose was regarded as under the curse of God,


VALENTINE’S DAY CHEER Students in Buffalo, Wyoming, made 170 cards with messages such as “Be Mine” on the outside and “Love Jesus” and “Big Horn Christian Elementary School” on the inside. On Valentine’s Day the students gave their cards to customers as they entered the local grocery stores. The smiles and words of thanks included, “Is there any better kind of love?” or “Thank you for reminding me where love comes from.” One lady wiped away a tear as she said, Thank you. This will be the only Valentine I receive. We were blessed and surprised that such a little thing would have such an impact on people of all ages – from teenagers to senior citizens. Beth Petersen, Principal/Teacher

Big Horn Christian Buffalo, Wyoming

Leaving an Imprint in Our Community SERVING DURANGO At Columbine Christian School in Durango, Colorado, we value community involvement through service projects. Since we experience a gap between our intentions and our practice at times, we have asked the school board to hold us accountable each month to report what we have done to impact our community.

Our service can take many forms, and while this may sometimes seem like just one more thing to do, it is not. It is the thing to do. Students join together in mission while experiencing a kind of community that is hard to replicate. Not only do they model beautiful Christianity, they make an impact that is felt in our town. Both students and parents are actively involved in brainstorming the projects we do. Recently, we switched to a “Service Learning” model, which integrates service projects in various areas of the curriculum, such as reflective journaling, Bible, outdoor education, science, and math.

EXAMPLES OF SERVICE PROJECTS: 1. Kindling: We went to National Forest campgrounds to gather kindling bundles. After tying them with a burnable string/cord, we slid in a sign: It only takes a spark to get a fire going ... That’s how it is with God’s love. ENJOY YOUR KINDLING! – the children of CCS” 2. Cookies: Parents made three or four dozen cookies each. Students then placed a half dozen cookies in a baggy, wrapping them with calico and tying with raffia and a tag which read, “These cookies are a random act of kindness from the students of Columbine

Christian School.” The cookies were distributed while hiking a public trail and as we picked up trash at the skate board park. 3. Cinnamon Rolls: One class baked cinnamon rolls and delivered them to a road crew working near the school. 4. Trash: We gather trash along the trails that we hike as part of our Wilderness Program. 5. Wreathes: Seasonal Christmas wreaths were made and delivered to individuals and businesses that students admire and appreci-

ate. Owners of Bread Bakery, Maria’s Book Shop, The Bike Shop, and the Recreation Center have all been recipients. 6. Blankets: One class made several lap blankets by tying double layers of fleece. These were delivered to elderly members of the community with songs and a card. 7. Goodies:: Children filled a small gift box with valentine goodies praying that God would impress on each student the person they could give their box to. As the students, accompanied by their teacher, stopped the bus, they delivered the gift to whomever they were impressed to give the gift. Several

times, the astonished recipient shed tears of gratitude. 8. Bible Promises: One class used their Bible verse from their handwriting curriculum and mailed it to someone who would be encouraged by it, but was not a family member. 9. Chubs: Our 5th and 6th grade classroom partners with Fish and Wildlife to raise small, endangered, native fish called chubs. After living in the classroom aquarium for a year, students help release the chubs into the river where their chances for survival are much greater. 10. Cowboys: We enter into the motor-less parade during a local event called The Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Children ride stick horses, pretending to ride rodeo broncs, and then give copies of The Cowboy’s Prayer to those watching the parade. These are only a few ideas, but more important than each specific idea is the commitment to reach out with kindness and creativity at least once a month to those around us bringing reality to the concept: They will know we are Christians by our love. May Oles, Principal/Teacher Columbine Christian School Durango, CO


T-REX EXPRESS The Positive Activities Lift the Spirit (or PALS) Childrens’ Program of LaPuente helps homeless children receive positive experiences they might not otherwise have.

Sunshine Christian School collaborated with the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad and the PALS Program to take children, parents and teachers to a simulated dig site where participants dug for real bones – a prehistoric mammal found in the San Luis Valley. With the help of area churches, radio stations, newspapers, the railroad and even the Welcome Center of Alamosa, the event was a tremendous success as the two trains were filled to capacity. Ranger Patrick from the Sand Dunes National Park gave a program with stories and songs. The children got to pet a giant salamander, take pictures with Rex, the friendly T-rex, eat cookies, and enter to win prizes. Pastor Jim Moon even wrote a couple songs for the event . As the train rolled back to Alamosa, one child said it was “more fun than Disneyland!”

Take Apart Day: Engaging the imagination Sunshine Christian School in Alamosa, Colorado, put into reality an idea instigated by Ingrid Moon, mother of three home-schooled children and an active member of the Alpine Home School Alliance and Monte Vista Home School Co-op.

Her idea was to have members of the community and church donate old broken electronics and items that kids could take apart to see what was inside them and how they worked. A wide array of items were donated including computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, vacuums, hair dryers, toasters, lamps, and much more. The school invited parents to join in helping their child take apart the item of choice. Professionals who use these things in everyday life were invited to explain how they were used and how they worked. Kenny Burton from WSB Computer Consultants and a home-school parent, came to explain the parts of a computer. Bruce Morrison, a handy man, helped with toasters and phones.

Thirty six students, along with the nine students from Sunshine Christian School, filled the basement of the Alamosa Adventist Church. The place was alive with excited students immersed in being allowed to actually take something apart and not have to worry about putting it back together. A huge success, Sunshine School and the Home School Associations in the San Luis Valley are already looking forward to next year’s Take Apart Day. Sunshine Christian School is striving to become an externally focused school. By inviting the home school students and their parents, the school is making a valuable impression that, “We are here to support you and include you.” Sue Kanen, Passionate Alamosa Member

Sunshine Christian School Alamosa, Colorado


RESTOCKING LIFT-UP PANTRY SHELVES | Our community has a local food

bank called “Lift-Up.” We have collected nonperishable food for them for several years. We take paper grocery bags around to the community and then a few days later return and pick them up. We have always gotten a really good response from the community because it all goes back to the community. Lift-Up is always very appreciative, and it seems we bring the bags of food when their shelves are the emptiest. Pam Dupper, Principal/Teacher Columbine Christian School Glenwood Springs, Colorado



5th and 6th GRADES

Each month the fifth and sixth grade class present chapel to the residents of Porter Place, an assisted living facility next to Mile High Academy. Chapel begins with the residents teaching the students classic hymns of the faith, followed by the students teaching the residents one of their songs, such as The Coloring Song or Open Our Eyes, Lord. Music is followed by a variety of presentations including readers’ theatre, scripture, and special music. The students love the cookies provided at the end of chapel, but their greatest happiness is found in sharing fellowship with the residents. Their beaming faces are the result of knowing they have made someone’s day brighter.

Heather Blaire, 5th–6th Grade Teacher Mile High Academy Denver, Colorado

Educating the whole student PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL Brighton Adventist Academy offers a full range of academic opportunities for students. In pre-school through 10th grade, we have music classes in addition to the core subjects. But beyond all the academics and modern equipment, we also teach the physical, spiritual and social being.

For the emphasis on physical, we not only have an intramural sports program, but we also have outdoor school for all students grades 5-10. This year, the 5th – 7th grade classes explored the Rocky Mountain region while the 8th – 10th graders went a little farther out. The 8th – 10th graders had the opportunity to sail a three-masted tall ship in the waters around Catalina Island. This was a five-day trip living on board the ship, learning all areas of curriculum while having fun in the fresh, clean atmosphere of the Pacific Ocean. The students learned to sail the ship, sample water for harmful plankton, learn the history of the sea, study animals in their own habitat, take care of our environment, chart the seas using nautical charts, and much, much more. The students were having so much fun they forgot they were learning. They even learned something about physics while enjoying the ocean waves. Our spiritual training starts young as in all Adventist schools. We have added another dimension to our spiritual training which we call spiritual gifts. Starting in pre-k, we do a gifts inventory for

our students. Then we have mentors in various fields of interest guide the students so they can test first hand if this is truly their gift. There are three mentoring sessions

community in other ways such as ADRA and Operation Christmas Child. The 7-10th graders are involved twice a month in Teen Court where they help decide corrective discipline for their peers in the community. We also have taken groups on mission trips to Belize and Panama to broaden their world view. They always come back from these trips with a deeper appreciation for what they have and desire to do more to help others. God calls us to use the talents He has given us and not to bury them. Our goal is to teach our students how to follow Him.

and a year-end program. It is one of the more popular programs we have for both students and adults. Each person is a very social being, and God asks us to help those around us. That is why each year we have a community service day dedicated to the whole school helping the community. We have made lunches for the homeless, visited the shut-ins, cleaned up in the state parks, cleaned around local businesses, and many other projects. Throughout the year, each classroom is encouraged to become involved in the larger

Kent Kast, Principal/Teacher

Brighton Adventist Academy Brighton, Colorado


PENNIES As part of a social studies lesson, the 3rd and 4th grade classes of Mile High Academy participated in the “Service Learning Project in a Classroom,” led by Retired Lieutenant Rick Young.

Lieutenant Young gave a presentation to the class on the recent tragic wild fires in Colorado, explaining how dangerous wild forest fires can be and what the students can do to help prevent them. The students learned that many animals die or get hurt during these wild fires and were reminded of Genesis 1:28, that people have dominion over the animals and a duty to protect them.   After the lesson, the students decided to help the animals by collecting loose change in a project called Pennies for Pets. The students wrote letter asking their parents, family members, and friends for any loose change, or they offered to do a chore for a donation to this project. The students counted and rolled the collected money, raising $501.56 which was donated to the Boulder Valley Humane Society to help the animals involved  in the Fourmile Canyon fire. The class then took a field trip to the Boulder Valley Humane Society to deliver the check and see the animals. Cheryl Carlson, Parent Mile High Academy Denver, Colorado

HMS Richards: Witnessing for God! This year, it has been our goal to go into the community more to witness for God and represent our school and its mission. Each of the classrooms have done little things for the community or surrounding areas.

Our entire school decorated placemats for the children’s department in the hospital. The placemats go on patient’s hospital trays when they get their food. We were able to make over 200 placemats for the staff to give out to the children. The first through third grade classroom visited a nursing home for patients with extreme hospital  needs. The students made Thanksgiving crafts with them and put on a  “First Thanksgiving” play. The fourth-sixth grade classroom, as well as the seventh and eighth graders went to  the local nursing home in Loveland to play games, read books, and spend time with seniors living there. The older students help to shovel snow for our senior neighbors around the school. HMS considers Campion as part of our community. The first through third grades recently made cookies and cards to  hand deliver to the staff and teachers at the school. The community

around HMS Richards is a blessing, so many of the retired grandparents, teachers, or members of the church come back and volunteer much of their time in our school as well. We feel that we have

a great connection to our community. We hope to instill in our students the desire  to do  something special for others around them.  Brittany McLachlan, Teacher

HMS Richards School Loveland, Colorado

DELTA ADVENTIST SCHOOL SERVING DELTA | Located on the Western Slope of Colorado, the Delta

School is active in outreach to their community. Each month the students engage in serving the Delta community, both in and out of the church in a variety of ways They write letters or bake something to take to nursing home residents. Students help them make crafts. Sometimes they do a religious play or provide music with their recorders, bells and chimes. Not only are the students of the Delta school learning to give to their community, but they are learning to respect and appreciate the elderly in their community. Pam Butherus, Principal/Teacher Delta SDA School Delta, Colorado


HEART PRINTS After reading a book about kind acts leaving heart prints in the world, the Vista Ridge Kindergartners went to Boulder Manor and shared some valentines, songs and poems with the residents. Though shy at first, the residents enjoyed them so much the children soon warmed up sharing hugs, cards and making new friends. Next time, the first and second grade class is planning to join in, leaving more “heart prints” in our community.

Teresa Blankenship, Kindergarten Teacher Vista Ridge Academy Eerie, Colorado

Discipleship at Campion Academy SERVING OTHERS AS HE WOULD My dream is that when these students leave here and go back to their home churches, they will not just be members, but active participants in winning souls for Christ through discipleship, details Benjie Maxson, Campion Academy Chaplain. To serve others, Campion students participate in ongoing outreach opportunities.

Chaplain Maxson coordinated an all-school community outreach day last fall. Over one hundred sixty students pulled up their sleeves to volunteer for service projects with Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Hearts for Horses, Glacier View Ranch, HMS Christian School, Good Samaritan, Catholic Charities, House of Neighborly Services, and House of Abuse and Neglect. The entire community of Loveland, and beyond, was blanketed in Campion’s Christ-centered projects. In addition, Donavan Reeder, Campion Academy’s Dean of Men, opens opportunities for Campion students to serve as disciples for Christ. In March, an eight-member student team presented the church service for the Johnstown Branch Sabbath School group. Tyler Boutot and Ben Bush, Campion sophomores, each preached a sermon entitled, How God Has Helped Me. Tyler Boutot explains, It helped me with my walk with Christ. When we are open with others about how God helps us, it helps them to open up as well. Ben

Bush adds, I feel as though it frees me to tell my story. God can impact your life, in the hardships you face. He is going to be there! Dean Reeder’s boys’ club members may join The Brotherhood, aptly named for their dedication to outreach. Forty boys take turns assisting a nearby elderly lady. Projects include shoveling snow, completing yard work, and painting the house and barn. To top it off, Dan Philpott, Campion’s industrial arts teacher, helped The Brotherhood repair and hang her lighted rooftop Christmas star. She can hardly talk about how much she appreciates our help without getting choked up. She had been waiting for a long time to paint her house and hang a star at Christmas to represent Jesus. This project helps The Brotherhood because it shows us how helpful we can be for others, and how much it made her feel happy. She gives us all big hugs, reports Riley Sicher, Campion senior and leader of The Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is a chance for the guys to get together and work and have a little worship, concludes Sicher. Each weekday, Pastor Joe and Eva Martin lead a team of fifteen

students in literature evangelism (LE). Students walk door to door in neighborhoods to canvas books on healthy living and the spirit of prophecy. LE is so awesome because we get to see the different lives we touch and we meet new people. We talk about God with each person we see, shares Melysa Lefore, a junior at Campion. To reach God’s people on a global scale, seventy students went to Belize and Honduras to be Christ’s ambassadors during spring break. Clearly, for Campion students, experiencing Jesus Christ means serving others as He would. Outreach opportunities are at the very heart of discipleship. Jodie Aakko, Educator and Writer

HMS Richards School Loveland, Colorado


Adventist Education: The status in Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share with you the good news about Adventist Education in the Rocky Mountain Conference which encompasses 207,400 square miles including all of Wyoming, Colorado and the Northwest corner of New Mexico. Today, we have 1,200 students in our day care, preschool, and elementary schools and our academies. With 26 schools, RMC subsidizes 21 elementary, 3 junior academies, one day academy, one boarding academy and one online learning academy and one options program. All these are funded with 8% of the faithful tithe you give to the Lord’s work here in RMC.

The last few months have found the North American Division working with local Unions regarding the future of Adventist Education. In January, 25 leaders from the Rocky Mountain Conference joined with others from the 9 states that make up the Mid-America Union for this same purpose. A continuation of this MAUC Education Summit took place at the Rocky Mountain Conference K-12 Board of Education held on February 22. I would like to share some of the exciting plans and ideas that came out of these meetings. Across North America, student enrollment is down 27% from its peak in 1976. (see graph 1) In Mid America, student enrollment has seen a 37% decline in the last 25 years. (see graph 2) Rocky Mountain student enrollment has declined 18% from its peak in 1995 (not including over 120 students involved in our Options Program) (see graph 3). While our decline has been lower than that of the North American Division and considerably less than other conferences in our Union, still these figures, along with changing family dynamics, Laodicean attitude in many of our churches, and the very real economic factors, combine to present many challenges for the future of

Graph 2 Adventist Education. All education in the Rocky Mountain Conference is built on a foundation of spirituality. While we must continue to strive for excellence in academics (see the Cognitive Genesis website, we must also never forget that our mandate is to educate the “whole” person. We must include in our education process the very important areas of music, physical activities, art, computer technology and social skills. Yet in EVERYTHING there must be the

Graph 1

emphasis that we are actively engaged in this Great Controversy that pervades our society. It is imperative that our students learn on a daily basis that in spite of the devastations happening on such a regular basis, there is a God who loves them and desires a personal relationship with each one of them. They must leave our hallowed halls firm in their conviction that He is coming again and assured of their own personal salvation. To be mission minded is the greatest calling that any person can receive. As you read the following articles, you can see how your students are making a difference in the lives of others and, in turn, their own lives are enriched and blessed. From student- led evangelistic series and overseas mission trips to Meals on Wheels, honoring veterans, and in a variety of other ways, students are reaching out to impact and influence their communities for their God. As we look to the future of Adventist Education in the rest of the 21st century, Rocky Mountain Conference is re-examining all aspects of education. We have been given a rich heritage in the Adventist K-University system that has successfully expanded around the world. We have many areas of strength to embrace and develop,


INTERMOUNTAIN ADVENTIST ACADEMY Intermountain Adventist Academy (Grand Junction) is making a mark in their community. Two students, Jose Mendoza, left and Noah Gurule, right were the Mesa County winners of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Paul Revere Essay Contest for their grade level. They will represent Mesa County at the state contest. Also, the student choir recently sang for the Lion’s Club Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

Ed Harlan, Principal/Teacher Intermountain Adventist Academy Grand Junction, Colorado

but we also have, in this changing world, areas that need to be re-evaluated and dropped, adjusted, or added to in order to meet the needs of the 21st century student. Some of the areas currently being studied are: •

Utilize current and future technology to: 1. Share between schools, especially small, rural schools, the expertise of certified teachers in specific subjects, so that all students may have equal access to the highest possible quality of education. 2. Provide advanced college classes for those students in academy who are ready for greater challenges. 3. Build camaraderie and enable greater collaboration between teachers, schools and administrators as together we wrestle with both challenges and opportunities.

Look at all resources available to better utilize our finances to: 1. Make academics for all our schools of the highest quality. 2. Make Adventist education affordable and attainable for every one of our young people. 3. Reduce duplication in various areas of our educational programs.

Focus on options and solutions to reach all Adventist children, to provide greater opportunity for more children and young people to join us in our schools, and also to be a resource for those who choose to home school or for whom there is no local Adventist School in their area.

At times the challenges may seem almost overwhelming, but I am adamantly convinced that there are no problems too large for God. If the

cattle on a thousand hills are His, and if He has answers even before we have the question, then truly nothing is impossible if He is our guide. We are so very, very blessed to have among our staff some of the most dedicated and competent professionals in our classrooms. I am in awe of the way so many of these men and women of God stand daily in front of their classrooms and make Jesus real to our children. Rocky Mountain is blessed to have these individuals who change the lives of young people and inspire them for service to their communities and in preparation for high calling in this life and, most importantly, for their eternal destination. Adventist Education, I believe, will always require sacrifice by God’s people. It is only recently that I have come to realize that many unknown people supported the schools that my family was blessed to attend. It is only in eternity that I will know of the faithful support of countless Seventh-day Adventist members who had such a vital part in the education of my own three children. What a challenging time to be a young person. In this time of earth’s history, is there any other area that is in greater need of our investment than our own children? Thank you for all you do to faithfully support Adventist education in our conference through your tithes, offerings, involvement and especially your prayers. Only eternity will reveal the impact your commitment has made. May God bless you as you serve Him. Lonnie Hetterle, Superintendent

Graph 3

Education Department, RMC Denver, Colorado


CLEAN UP Home and School leader, Mrs. Angelica Muñoz, selected a littered section of sidewalk near the Colorado Springs Walmart, then rallied the school students, parents and board to help clean it up.

In place of their usual school attire, the students donned their field trip polo shirts, gloves and a large trash bag and began cleaning the walk for the entire community. With the help of a few parents, Mrs. Muñoz and Clint Sutton, principal of the school, there were plenty of adults for supervision and assistance in getting the area cleaned up Along the sidewalk area there were a couple signs posted saying, Clean up brought to you by the friendly students of Springs Adventist Academy. Parents supplied several batchs of cookies each which were given away to anyone who happened to pass by. Inside each cookie bag was a note saying, “From your friends at the Springs Adventist Academy.” Clint Sutton, Principal/Teacher

Springs Adventist Academy Colorado Springs, Colorado

Daystar School: Top 25% on Iowa tests! With ten students in grades 1–8, Teresa Sales, retired pastor’s wife, has stepped in to help teach on a part-time basis. What a blessing! With her help, Daystar School, in Pueblo, has provided a variety of services and projects for our community.

Recent projects include: • Collecting canned goods for food baskets • Sending gifts to an orphanage in Rwanda. Students ship cards, stickers, hard candy, school supplies and marshmellows along with one dollar for each child at the orphanage. When one of the children at the orphanage was diagnosed with cancer, the other children decided to pool their dollars to provide a private room for the girl for several days. • P r o v i d i n g funding and putting together hygiene kits for the homeless • Starting a garden for the students to raise food for their families and others. • Recycling is beginning at the school. We are contracted with a recycling company and the families can bring in many clean items to be recycled. The school has recently received the students’ results from the Iowa Tests of

Basic Skills (private schools in Colorado are not allowed to take the state CSAP tests). The Iowa testing is the largest testing service in the country. The tests are used by more public and private schools than any other tests in the country. Day Star again scored in the top 25% of schools in the nation. An average student in an average school should have about one year’s growth in one year. Our students averaged one and a half years’ growth in one year’s time. Our students are learning what is needed for our world today. Also, in March, the school kids will be having the church service. Thank you to all in our local church for the wonderful support, both financially and spiritually, that you have given to our school. Dave Walker, Principal/Teacher

Daystar Adventist School Pueblo, Colorado

DAYSTAR HELPS ... THE HOMELESS | On a monthly basis, the Pueblo Church feeds the home-

less in a local park. Students have put together and helped distribute 40-60 hygiene kits this year. FOOD BASKETS | In cooperation with the local Pathfinders, students collect

nonperishable food, create baskets and help deliver them during the holiday season. RWANDAN ORPHANAGE | Combining their efforts with the Greeley Adventist

school, students send help to Rwandan children orphaned after the wars in their country.


CORTEZ SCHOOL Under the leadership of DeeDee Franklin, the students of the Cortez school minister to the patients at the local dialysis center where they sing to those who spend hours hooked up to machines. The upper grade students crocheted afghans that were sent to Iraq and distributed to soldiers to let them know they are appreciated and cared about. Del Jean Butler, 5-8 grade teacher, works with a relative in Iraq to get these afghans to the soldiers. She also walks with her students to visit and bring birthday cards and cheer to shut in church members that live close to the school. Pat Chapman, Administrative Assistant Education Department, RMC Denver, Colorado

Thanking local fire-fighters EVACUATING THE SCHOOL The day began as just another day at Castlewood Christian School in Franktown, Colorado. Parents dropped off their children, teachers taught lessons and recess was enjoyed by all out in the beautiful sunshine.

The day ended quite differently and abruptly with a phone call advising us of the Burning Tree Brush Fire and the fact that Castlewood Christian School (CCS) was in the evacuation zone! Parents were called to pick up their children early, volunteers arrived to help the teachers drive students away in case the fire spread too close before parents could arrive. And the students? Well, they went outside to watch the helicopter, complete with dangling water bucket, fly by, looked for smoke rising above the ridge and counted emergency vehicles as they went by.

Needless to say, the event caused some excitement for us all. The students and parents, in appreciation of the efforts made by the fire fighters, took time to make thank-you cards and cookies. Students and parent volunteers then personally delivered the thank-you cards and cookies to three of the fire stations that sent crews to the Burning Tree Brush Fire. On Monday, three caravans set out and visited the main Franktown and Castle Rock fire stations and South Metro Fire & Rescue Station #46 in Parker. After delivering the thank-you cards and cookies to the appreciative fire station personnel, students were treated to a tour of the firehouse and were able to spend some time looking at the fire and rescue equipment and talking with members of the fire departments. It was a blessing to see the students reaching out to and thanking those individuals who had worked so hard to keep them safe. Castlewood Christian School also attempts to reach out to  both the local community and our church family by participating in several activities during the course of the school year such as the National Day of Prayer, allowing students the opportunity to mix with students and adults from different denominations while providing special music, recitations and prayer for the National Day of Prayer service.   CCS students combine their musical talent, drama and originality, writing their own plays and skits that help portray the meaning and historical importance of Thanksgiving and  provide a full drama/musical program focused on conveying the true meaning of Christmas each year.

CCS also reaches out to the local community through our yearly Fall Festival event. The students, parents and church members work hard to provide positive Christian fellowship to the local and school community.   Making connections between school, church and community is an outreach focus that most CCS students actively participate in on an on-going basis. It is rewarding to see “God’s Army” being equipped to finish His work! Perry Pollman, Principal/Teacher

Castlewood Christian School Franktown, Colorado


FRIENDS He said, “That you love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence—and that you love your neighbor as well as you do yourself.” Luke 10:27 (NIRV)

The staff and students of Rocky Mountain SDA Academy, have taken a special interest in the neighbors across from their school. After some initial reluctance, their neighbors began to welcome the friendship that was extended from the staff and students of the school. They would visit with flowers and the children would sing for them. When the Mother of the family passed away, the students were asked to sing for this non-Adventists Mom’s funeral service. What a valuable lesson in service these students have learned as they touched the lives of their neighbors during the time when they needed comfort and hope the most. Sabrina Leinberger, Principal/Teacher

Rocky Mountain SDA Academy Denver, Colorado

Greeley & Ft. Collins: Doing good! Both these northern Colorado schools are impacting their communities and making a difference – making their part of the world a better place because they are contributing and giving to others.



The staff of Adventist Christian School in Greeley, Jerry and Gayla Groeneweg, Kim Bridgeman, Teri Smith and their students have reached out to the community and their local church in doing community service projects. The students have been assisting with Meals on Wheels, visiting in the local nursing home to read the Bible with patients and talk with them about their families. They also help the residents with craft projects.

Keiko and Dennis Breese and their students focused on outreach this year by inviting community students to rehearse and join them in their Christmas program at the church and local nursing home. Several of these students will be attending the school at Fort Collins next school year as a result of their inclusion in this program.

The students were responsible for an entire church service and put on a special dinner at the school to honor grandparents and veterans. The students at Adventist Christian School are learning to respect and treat with dignity those whose years have caused their lives to become fragile.

Plans are already underway for next school year’s outreach program. The students will be making pillowcases for the Children’s Hospital. What a great way to learn compassion for their peers who are going through significant health issues.


LOVING OTHERS AS CHRIST LOVED US | The students at Mountain Road

Christian Academy concentrated their outreach efforts at Christmas time to help a needy family. Head teacher, Patsy Current, and aide, Jody Gage, led a fund-raising effort that allowed the students to buy presents for their chosen family. Serving others allows the students the opportunity to follow Christ’s admonition to love others as we love ourselves. Patsy Currant, Principal/Teacher Mountain Road Christian Academy Casper, Wyoming


Together, we can do it GARY THURBER I love our schools and I have been greatly blessed by them. It brings a smile to my face when I think about all the positive, influential, Christian teachers I sat under. All I can say is “praise the Lord” for each one of them!

There was Mrs. McDonald in Glendale, California, who helped me figure out I truly was a left-handed writer. Mrs. Richardson, Mrs. Harper and Mr. Cornell in Keene, Texas, who not only were wonderful teachers but they lifted up Jesus every day. In Charlotte, North Carolina, I made friends who have been a life-long blessing. I have a lot of great memories of teachers in high school, but by far the best memory was meeting Diane who today is my best friend and wife. At Southern, Dr. Bob Moore, my advisor, helped greatly to bring clarity to my journey and where the Lord was leading in my life. He, along with numerous other faculty members, prepared me for the real world with all its joys and challenges. Andrews University exposed me to a breadth of understanding of God’s Word through a faculty of world-class teachers. What strikes me is that none of this would have been available if there were not a lot of people who made tremendous sacrifices and worked together to make Adventist education a reality. Through the commitment of my parents, the sacrificial giving of my church families (sometimes more than 50 percent of their total church budget) and our sisterhood of churches support, it all became possible. To say that all is well with our schools is to have our heads in the ground, so to speak. With rising costs and changing demographics, a number of Adventist schools have struggled and some even closed. Addressing the issues we face is a must, to be sure our schools remain a viable option for our young people in the future. Recently, the Mid-America Union Conference (MAUC) hosted a summit on Adventist education where each conference was represented well. During our time together, we celebrated the incredible opportunities our young people are given at our schools (if you haven’t seen the statistics of both the academic and spiritual benefits

of our schools, they are off the chart!), and also looked at the threats and challenges we face as we move forward.

As I think about the concept, “all of us are responsible for all our children,” it reminds me of the lines from a story by an anonymous author: “An important job had to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did.”

In response, the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Board of Education met with the delegates of the MAUC educational summit and began planning and dreaming how to move forward with our education goals here in the RMC. There are more than 83,000 Seventh-day Adventists Areas such as making our schools more accessible from more than 34,000 households who are members and affordable, the use of technology and distance of a church within the Lake Union. We currently learning, reaching more of our young people not operate 93 schools with more than 3,500 students in attending our schools with Adventist educational grades K–12. If everybody took on the challenge of opportunities, maximizing the ways schools and educating somebody, then anybody could go to school churches work together, and enhancing the ways and nobody would be left out. All of us in partnership we communicate the blessings and advantages of together could educate all of our children. our schools to both our members and our communities were I believe his words are true. ALL OF US TOGETHER discussed. Let’s unite together so Adventist COULD EDUCATE ALL OF OUR Education can thrive in the CHILDREN – IF EVERYBODY Today, our schools are needed Rocky Mountain Conference. TAKES ON THE CHALLENGE more than ever. The worldly phiOF EDUCATING SOMEBODY, losophies our young people are This issue of our conference THEN ANYBODY COULD GO exposed to every day are more paper is devoted to Adventist TO SCHOOL AND NOBODY blatant and deceptive than ever. education. You will read much WOULD BE LEFT OUT. Our young people need a Christabout some of the topics I have centered, biblically-based classshared here. My invitation to you room with praying, dedicated teachers. Having is to pray and plan how you can play a part in makour own schools has never been easy, but together ing our schools the best they can be. with the Lord’s guidance, they can and will continue to be one of the greatest gifts our church will give its young people! I recently read some words spoken by Don Livesay, the president of the Lake Union, on how we can continue to provide the best educational opportunity for our youth. I am definitely in harmony with what he said: This past weekend my wife, Barbara, and I had the pleasure of worshiping with a wonderful group of people who have made a significant commitment to the children of their church. Although they do not have a church school nor are they a constituent member of a church school, as a congregation they ensure that all the children in their church who desire an Adventist education receive one. They have formed a partnership between the church, the school and the parents to provide a $125 scholarship for each child paid directly to the school. They also invite the students and each of the three schools where they attend to participate in the church’s worship program. And God is blessing.


FRESH AIR Students of Four Mile Adventist School find that much of their community service takes place outside where they not only get lots of fresh air but are able to add to the beauty of the area in which they live.

The school sits on 5 acres of land and so a couple of times a year the school cleans up around the edges of their own property raking gravel back under the fence and pulling weeds to make sure that the property is representative of God’s school. In addition they join with the local community on Earth Day to pick up trash and clean up properties around the city. They usually are assigned a park or the River Walk where they rake the paths, clean up the dog runs or whatever needs to be done to make the area look clean and inviting. In addition to the outdoor activities, the upper grades go to the Community Service Center and help fold clothes. The whole school goes to the local nursing home once a month and put on a program to bring the residents some enjoyment. Michelle Coe, Principal/Teacher

Four Mile Adventist School Canon City, Colorado

GOD: And the Power of One This was not your ordinary Bible conference; it was truly an experience to remember. This year’s attendance was up from last year – 227 vs. 97 – with young people from all over RMC attending.

From the praise time to the worship, we were drawn to God’s word and were filled with the living water. Our praise time was led by Aineo, a group made of students from Campion Academy, and the message was delivered by Pastor Willie Ramos, also known as The Ghetto Preacher. There were many activities from mixers to family groups for the students to interact and discuss their ideas and opinions about real life situations. Throughout the weekend, the youth were challenged to stand up and be counted for Christ. They were encouraged to live out their lives with God and to influence others for His kingdom. One person can make a difference, can you say “Amen?”

Pastor Willie shared his life’s journey and his renewed commitment to spreading the gospel. The highlight of the conference was on Saturday night when Pastor Willie shared the life story of Thomas the doubter. At the conclusion of the story he gave an altar call for those that wanted to come forward and make a commitment to be baptized this year. Praise God, Heaven rejoiced with us as one by one 29 young people took a stand for God. Our prayer is that each commitment is followed with up with action as the leaders of today are born in Christ. God is good, He has a plan for your life. Will you answer His call? Marlene Perry, Administrative Assistant Youth Department, RMC Denver, Colorado


The students at Pinon Hills Christian School in Farmington, NM have learned valuable lessons in giving, serving and life. For two years, these students have adopted grandparents at a nursing home near their school as they visit twice a month to play games, help with crafts and spend time getting to know their adopted grandparent. Since this is the second year for this program, students have also witnessed how some of their grandparents have gone downhill physically and some have passed away. What a lesson on sharing Christ’s love. Kathy Goley, Principal/Teacher Pinon Hills Christian School Farmington, New Mexico


BENJIE MAXSON – New Youth Director Benjie’s passion for youth ministry comes directly from God and his family. He loves being able to show young people a glimpse of an awesome God. Throughout his life, Benjie has had great mentors to direct and inspire him as he challenges young people to build their own foundation of faith and to always leave the door open to God. He believes in the commission God left for us to do and he loves to help young people begin to write their own stories with God in the center. Benjie and his wife, Kartini, met and married at Southern University. He began ministry in Washington as men’s dean, then took a position as an associate pastor in West Virginia, where their son, Benjamin, was born (now 8 years old). For the past seven years, Benjie has been chaplain and Bible teacher at Campion Academy.

Welcome to New Pastors in RMC

Fritz and Karyl Krieger

Matt (and soon Oksana) Gal

Phillippe Varlet

Montrose, Gunnison and Orchard Valley

Colorado Springs Central & Common Ground

Agape Haitian Company in Aurora, CO

Raised on a Lutheran farm in Southwest Ohio, Fritz Krieger attended college to become an electrical engineer, only to drop out and join the USAF. During his last year, he met an Adventist lieutenant who invited him to church and, after a period of time studying, was baptized.

Matt Gal is extremely excited to serve in the Rocky Mountain Conference! He grew up (literally, he’s 6’8”) in Denver, and seems to find himself magnetized back to Colorado even when he moves away for awhile. After completing his seminary training last December, Matt, and his talented fiance, Oksana, moved to the Springs.

Pastor Varlet has one passion: to serve God in ministry to extend His kingdom. He does this well using his many gifts in evangelism and Bible work. His extensive education includes degrees in theology, economics, education and family relations, which have broadened his perspective and enhanced his pastoral work. He speaks multiple languages, including Spanish, French and English allowing him to serve diverse communities.

Upon his honorable discharge, Fritz began working as a literature evangelist, then enrolled in Columbia Union College where he met his wife, Karyl, a nursing student. Since beginning ministry, Fritz has served as a pastor, church planter, building church and school projects and conducting evangelistic seminars. His other interests include woodworking, skiing and reading.

Matt is totally into sports, especially basketball and golf, hiking, playing one of his four guitars, traveling, and reading. He also enjoys eating healthfully and working out. His greatest passion in ministry is sharing the love and true character of Jesus Christ with others, and he’s focused on bringing the good news of the Gospel to the amazingly diverse people in the increasingly postmodern urban areas of our country.

Pastor Varlet’s work includes pastoring in Haiti, Mexico and many areas in the United States. Pastor Varlet has been married to Besline since 1999 and has two precious children, Agrilael (10) and Hadassalael (5).





MAY RMC Challenge: To read the entire Conflict of the Ages series in 2011. To find the entire reading plan by book, please check our website at and

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Western Slope Women’s Retreat – Montrose Women’s Leadership Seminar – Montrose Pathfinder Fair – Delta County Fairgrounds GVR Board at GVR (9:30 am) Mile High Commencement (8:00 pm) RMC Finance Committee (8:00 am) RMC Executive Committee (9:30 am) Hispanic Pathfinder Camporee Campion Commencement (10:00 am) Memorial Day (Office closed)

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Cowboy Camp Meeting – Silver Jack Reservoir Wyoming Camp Meeting (Mills Springs Ranch) NE Colorado Camp Meeting (Campion) RMC Finance Committee (8:00 am) RMC Executive Committee (9:30 am)

click on Download Documents.


10-12 Wyoming Women’s Retreat 15 Property & Trust Committee (9:30 am) 16-19 Western Slope Camp Meeting (Montrose)


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Teachers’ Convention – LifeSource Pathfinder Camporee – Glacier View Ranch GVR Board – RMC Office (9:30 am) Property & Trust Committee (9:30 am)

Note: Photos in this issue have been provided by a variety of schools and photographers. Not all photos are placed with their school’s story.

RMC Newsletter - Spring, 2011  

Education in the Rocky Mountain Conference