AAA Welcomes Familiar, New Faculty
As Auburn Adventist Academy embarks on its 100th academic year, there are some familiar and new faculty faces on campus.
Alumni Brandon Richards, ’03, and Kilikina (Vega) Richards, ’02, are returning to campus this time as faculty. Brandon Richards is teaching physical education classes and working in the growth and development department. Kilikina teaches English literature and media literacy classes, a role that her mentor-teacher Mary Kobberstad filled for 30 years until her retirement last school year.
“Mrs. Richards really knows how to relate to us teenagers,” says Ashlynne Hawe, a junior.
Student Dannelly Boggs shares, “Mr. Richards is very inspirational. As my first teacher of the day, he always starts my day off on the right foot.”
Trevor Wister, ’96, and his family recently moved from Saipan to serve as vice principal for finance, coordinate campus industries, manage facilities and draft strategic plans.
"When I graduated from Auburn, I would have never imaged that I would come back to the Academy as staff, for no other reason than I had a plan for my future which didn't include Auburn. However, the Lord has better plan for me and led me and my family back to Auburn to join the team" says Wister.
David Kabanje joins the Auburn team as campus chaplain and Bible teacher for freshmen and sophomore students. Kabanje and his wife, Kiana, are coming to the Auburn community from Union College in Lincoln, Neb. Kabanje is coordinating campus ministries, setting a strong spiritual emphasis and arranging for community service outreach.
“Pastor Kabanje is so real with us,” says student Tinbit Yonas. “He doesn’t spoon feed us. He makes Bible fun and encourages us to study the Bible deeper for ourselves.”
Kabanje notes, “This campus has a sense of family, a sense of belonging to provide a truly friendly atmosphere. It makes my day when students say, ‘Hey, I have a great idea for campus ministries or vespers.’”
Steve and Krystalynn Martin are another dynamic duo coming to the Auburn community. Krystalynn is serving as vice principal for spiritual life and senior Bible teacher, while Steve is the academy’s athletic director.
The most remarkable feature Krystalynn has noticed about Auburn’s student community is their enthusiasm for singing. “The students sing, not just in general, but any time there is a worship time," she says. "Students don’t feel like they are too cool to sing.”
Krystalynn adds, “It’s been fun integrating into AAA. I love hanging out with the students and staff and see how God is working in the lives of the students. It is a humbling privilege to be a part of that. It will be exciting to see how God will continuing working throughout the year.”