Two Seventh-day Adventist academies in the U.S. state of Colorado are exploring ways to innovate and extend their influence in their surrounding communities and beyond. Mile High Academy in Highlands Ranch, and Campion Academy in Loveland recently shared some of the initiatives they believe will help each institution to gain a greater presence in their area.
Satellite Schools in China
In early 2017, Mile High Academy principal Toakase Vunileva was approached by an organization in China called Red Rocks and asked if she was interested in working with them to organize a satellite school. After talking with her local conference administrators, she decided to explore this possibility.
In June 2018, 12 seniors who fulfilled requirements for a general high school diploma from Mile High Academy graduated from this satellite school. The school, which is located in Shunde, in Guangdong Province, China, has 40 students and four Adventist teachers, and it operates under the same philosophy of education used in the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) church region in the U.S.
A dual diploma program ensures proficiency in writing, reading, and speaking English, giving students the opportunity to attend colleges in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. The diploma given by Mile High Academy is an official General Diploma issued only when a student meets all the required standards and all classes have been passed.
Another satellite school is opening in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in the fall of 2018. It will offer grades K-5 and eventually grow to K-12. Nearly 100 students are expected to attend. Yet another satellite school will open in Vietnam in the fall of 2019.
“We can be proud to see schools overseas wanting to be a part of our Denver school,” said RMC president Ed Barnett. “May Jesus shine on each of our campuses around the globe.”
Agricultural Program Added
Located an hour north of Mile High, Campion Academy has introduced an agriculture class called Acquainting Agriculture. This program has a unique emphasis on pointing students from creation to the Creator through direct contact with His handiwork. It is offered as an elective vocational class available to students in grades 9-12.
Anna Perea, the wife of Campion’s chaplain, Esequias Perea, is the instructor for the course. “As students begin to see the incredible design, purpose, and beauty of each plant — spoken into existence so long ago — we believe hearts will be revived in response to this evidence of His exhaustless love,” Perea said.
The agriculture program shows students how to garden year-round with a simple, low-cost approach. Perea explained that instead of using expensive greenhouses, the program incorporates mobile caterpillar tunnels built of inexpensive materials from a local hardware store. The program is also conducted without the use of electricity, a major expense to growers.
The school cafeteria will be supplied with fresh produce throughout the school year. In addition to supplying the school’s food needs, students will have the chance to earn money toward their education.
School leaders reported that as part of the class’s final project this year, students are required to sell their crops to a local customer, a restaurant, or a farmer’s market. “And most of the proceeds will then be returned to the students to use toward tuition costs,” they said.