Auburn Builds Lifelong Relationships
Auburn Adventist Academy started out its year by getting to know students, connecting with church community and building relationships.
Student leaders led out in a traditional handshake on the first day of school.
“It’s a good way to meet people face-to-face,” says Christopher Ziegele, student body president and senior from Bonney Lake.
“You learn how to recognize people,” adds Destinie Stopsen, a senior from Black Diamond.
After the first-day handshake, students got into the routine of classes, met more classmates, understood academic expectations and got acquainted with class locations.
In a new tradition, Auburn students met the church community through The Longest Table, during which the Auburn Adventist Academy Church family served a collection of small potlucks to a long, outdoor series of tables.
“Every table is different, and you get to interact with a lot of people,” says Melanie Tsun, a senior from Taiwan. “The fun part is that you can hang out with your friends and make new friends too.”
Auburn also brought back an all-school picnic. The day started with breakfast for all dorm and village students before students departed for Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson for an activity-filled day including hiking, biking, basketball and volleyball.
“It was a mental health day to take a break from the stressful start of school,” says McKenna Butler, student body spiritual vice president and a junior from Buckley.
“I talked with people I don’t normally talk to,” adds Emily Brown, a senior from Federal Way. “I made new friends that I talk to now.”
Faculty and staff see the benefit of students building lifelong relationships at the beginning of a school year. “We want to build community because students who feel like they belong excel academically, spiritually and socially,” says Roxanne Wickward, vice principal for academics. “We’re not just here to graduate students from high school, but to heaven.”