Dakota Adventist Academy (DAA) cultivates a Seventh-day Adventist, Christ-centered life by providing academic and vocational education preparing young people for commitment to God, service to society, and citizenship in heaven.
Finals are coming up and we are here to give you ten tips for maximum success!
The most important thing to do for finals is get enough sleep; this is crucial for finals week. It is better to do all of your studying during the day and sleep at night so that your brain can absorb the material that you’ve studied.
The second thing is to not panic! Check and see how much the final is actually worth; if the final is 20% or less it should only bring your grade up or down just by a letter grade (eg. B to B+). Another tip is to not make too little of it either. Do the absolute best that you possibly can to maintain or raise your grade in the particular class.
Take breaks! Don’t completely avoid the things that you enjoy doing; set aside times in your study schedule to do fun, stress-relieving activities, but don’t let them over power your study time.
Use an effective study method; don’t try to cram because it doesn’t work to be quite frank! We would recommend to study intensely for thirty-five minutes with no distractions, followed by a seven minute break. This works because our attention span isn’t very long so doing this will help you not burn out.
Be on time and be prepared! If you arrive to the test room a little early, you will have time to make sure you have everything you need in order to take the test. This also boosts your confidence which makes you less nervous.
Don’t worry about people finishing the test before you; this could mean anything.
Eat well! A healthy diet during finals week will give you energy and keep you satisfied till your next meal.
Try your best to tune out of social media for that week. Not only is it a distraction, but it can ruin your study session flow.
Choose a good study space. This space should be quiet and free of distractions. Know what works for you and what doesn’t.
Lastly, test yourself! There is nothing better than testing yourself before the actual test; this will make you feel even more prepared.
We hope that these tips will lead you to finals week success!
There will be lots of new changes that will occur for next year, but we are very excited for the new opportunities they will bring. Change is something that everyone has to go through in life and we all need to learn to deal with. As students, there are a few ways we can cope with change. Finding the silver lining in any given situation is one of the most suggested coping mechanisms. Looking on the bright side of things can lighten the all-around mood. Another way to cope with stress is to accept the past but fight for the future. In doing this you can better your situation and keep moving on in life.
This coming year, we will be losing a few staff but also gaining a few. We are eagerly awaiting the ideas and perspectives they will bring. Changes don’t have to be a sad thing. Classes next year will be just a little bit different. Other teachers will be taking on the task of teaching our Bible classes. This is exciting because it will give new views and ideas on curriculums.
Another change that will be coming is the possibility of mission trips next year. The possible places are Peru, Africa, and India. If we have enough students, we will hopefully be able to go to Peru for a building trip. The Africa trip will also be a building trip but we would be joining Sunnydale on the trip. The trip to India would be an evangelistic trip during which we would be speaking to various youth and spreading God’s word. Another thing to look forward to next year is that our Acrolights team will be going to Southwestern for Acrofest for the first time in a while. At Acrofest our team will have the chance to learn new skills and improve on old ones. While we are there we will interact with other schools and make new friends.
We know that this next year is going to be different, and that change is hard to get through, but each year brings constant change. We made it through this year and we will continue to do the same for years to come.
There will be lots of new changes that will occur for next year, but we are very excited for the new opportunities they will bring. This coming year, we will be losing a few staff but also gaining a few. We are eagerly awaiting the ideas and perspectives they will bring. Changes don’t have to be a sad thing. Classes next year will be just a little bit different. Other teachers will be taking on the job. This is exciting because it will give new views and ideas on curriculums.
Another change that will be coming is the possibility of mission trips next year. The possible places are Peru, Africa, and India. If we have enough students, we will hopefully be able to go to Peru for a building trip. The Africa trip will also be a building trip but we would be joining Sunnydale on the trip. The trip to India would be an evangelistic trip during which we would be speaking to various youth and spreading God’s word. Each student going would have to raise between $2,000-$3,000. Next year our Acrolights team will be going to Southwestern for Acrofest for the first time in a while. These are a few of the changes that the students are excited for this coming year.
Jaelyn Pickett – sophomore & Jonathan Justino – junior
Fall picnic is always one of the most exciting parts of the year. But this year one specific part stuck out to me. One of the activities that we were doing this year was apple bobbing. Easy, right? Not quite. All the teams were lined up, ready to go, excited to start the event. Our team was slightly off to the side, shuffling nervously, trying to convince each other of who would go first. “‘You go first, your faster!’, ‘No no no, you’re lighter than I am!'”, were a few of the things called out. All of a sudden we heard Mr. Davis yell, “Ready! Set! Go!”
Jadyn and I scrambled forward, immediately forgetting about our prior quarrels. We made it to the pool and she dropped to her knees. I quickly reached out and grabbed her feet, anxiously waiting for her to retrieve an apple. All of a sudden it seemed as though her arms gave out on her and she dove face first into the water. The pool overflowed and people began falling in the mud that was made. Jadyn came out with an apple and we raced back to the team, her being drenched and me slightly muddy.
Picture is of Josh Bovee with a successful apple retreaval.
Our team drove on and by the end of the event our team and many others were soaked through with water and had muddy knees and feet. We eagerly waited as the apples were counted and it turned out that our team took second! We cheered with joy and happily congratulated each other as we laughed at what messes we were.
I will definitely remember this year’s SA Fall Picnic!
Hi. My name is Anthony Oucharek, and from the start, I must tell you that people intrigue me. All people of all ages have stories that shape who they are – what they value and what they believe in. When I finally get a chance to meet you – students, parents, and colleagues – I’m going to ask some of these questions:
Tell me a little of your story.
What brings you to DAA?
How is DAA different from other schools you’ve attended?
What’s important to you?
I think it’s only fair that you should know some of those things about me, too. Here, then, is my self-interview. Thank you so much for taking an interest in me so that when we finally get a chance to meet, you’ll already kind of know me.
Tell me a little about your background: family, education, etc.
I was born and raised on the Canadian prairies, 4½ hours north of Bismarck, an only son, sandwiched between two sisters… yes, middle child syndrome.
My early years were spent in the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox faith, but my parents had been searching for truth for some time. By the time I was starting school, they enrolled me in the newly started Junior Academy in the basement of the Seventh-day Adventist Church they would join soon after.
My parents were denied an education… dad finished 8th grade, mom 11th, but both valued education and determined their children would have one. In Saskatchewan, boys often miss school at seeding or harvest time to help put in or take off crops – my parents wouldn’t hear of me missing school; Some years, Spring and Fall, I was the only boy in our little church school.
I attended Yorkton Junior Academy through 8th grade. My 9th grade year, a local Catholic school had a property run-in with the public school district resulting in a decision that saw no church school students able to ride on the public school buses. We lived more than 30 miles into the country, so My parents switched my younger sister and I to a small town public school near our farm. I also completed 10th grade at a regional public high school – around 3000 kids in 10th through 12th grades – before heading out to the Adventist academy in Lacombe, Alberta for the last two years of high school.
I went to Kingsway College in Ontario, Canada, to do my student teaching and returned to Alberta to marry my high school best friend.
One year later, I graduated from Canadian Union College (now Burman University) in Alberta, Canada, with a degree in physical education and religion, but did not go into education right away as my plan was to attempt to get into medical school.
I wasn’t accepted into med school immediately, so my wife and I sold our car and rented out our home, taking off for South Africa to fill a student mission position at Helderberg College.
After coming back to Canada I taught at Red River Valley Junior Academy in Winnipeg, Manitoba for 3 years before moving to the north end of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, where for 9 years I taught English, Bible and PE and also served as principal at Avalon Junior Academy. As the school grew from 48 to more than 150 students, my role changed to teaching only one or two classes and doing more administrative duties.
From BC, I moved to Pasco Washington where I continued as the principal and taught English and technology or PE for the next 16 and a half years. During my time at Tri-City Adventist School, I completed my Master’s degree in Education with an endorsement in school leadership and supervision of instruction.
I left that to serve a short stint at Washington State University, Tri-Cities, where I was the STEM Project Manager. That year, I also left 12 years of coaching hockey for Walla Walla University to coach a year of Junior Hockey in the NORPAC.
Most recently, I am coming off of 2 years at the helm of a day school in the heart of Orlando, Florida. We have three administrators and 22 staff serving the needs of about 280 pre-K through 8th graders. I had come to Florida with the intent of perhaps working here until my retirement (still a long way off), however, even in my capacity as Junior Academy principal, my work in the past has predominantly been with the high schoolers – and I have missed working with that cluster.
My family consists of my wife Doreen and I, our oldest son, Quisto, his wife, Tyna and their almost three-year-old son, Koa, our younger son Quinell, and our daughter Quijuana, and her husband, Brian. Quijuana and Brian reside in Minot where she nurses, so that has been part of the draw to the Dakotas.
Doreen’s and my parents are alive and well, though they are aging, and the thought of being closer to them has helped us make the decision to come this way.
What drew you to the field of education?
I wanted medical school so I enrolled in all the maths and sciences for that; meanwhile all my friends on the hockey team and on the acrosports team were doing PE, so still loading up on the sciences, I switched my major to PE so I’d be better able to hang out with them.
At the time, I had not planned to stay in education, but it has been so much fun that before I knew it, more than 30 years had gone by; regularly, I have talked of applying to medical school. I’m starting to believe, however, that that ship has sailed.
I must say that through all of these years, I have been in the buildings that my children spent their days in… I have coached and attended their concerts, games, and other activities… I have been able to support many children as they have made decisions about life, about careers and about God. I have been truly blessed in education.
In our Adventist schools, I believe we have the opportunity to serve up quality academics. It is what I received from my Adventist schools and it is the one constant that we should be able to provide for as few or as many who will choose it.
How do you see DAA as different from other schools you have worked at?
I’ve never served as principal at a boarding school. Though I have had up to 40 high school students in my schools, so even though I’ve run an online service to support students who needed an alternative method of ensuring they would graduate, there will still be a steep learning curve as to what the full job entails. My own teaching has predominantly been to high school students. I have always tried to stay involved with teaching at least one class.
I am intrigued at all that there is for students to experience at DAA… the shop classes, horses, a room where the acrosports program can stay set up – just to name a few.
I am excited at the possibility that my home can serve as a place for students to drop in. Our children have been gone from our home for the past several years, but for about 28 years, there has always been someone living with us. We have had 5 other high schoolers live in our home with us from a year to 5 years at a time. It will be nice to fill that void again.
I have led out in at least a dozen mission trips. I am looking forward to being involved in that culture again.
I believe that I have not yet imagined what weekends on a boarding campus might look like.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will be to serve a constituency that covers such a vast area. In the past, I have made a point of visiting every student’s home… that could be a challenge.
What is the greatest potential you see at DAA?
There are so many things here, I find it difficult to select any one. I do especially like the shop classes and all the music. In my experience, so much of our teaching is either academic or entertaining. I am excited to be coming to a school where we recognize the value of vocational skill development. Even those who pursue academia in their futures are blessed by learning the skills that are taught in these types of classes.
I also see the vastness of the territory as a blessing. It gives us such a great area to serve in. The early Christian church spread the news of Jesus Christ as they were persecuted because it forced them to leave the centers and move to the outlying areas. We have that same possibility – without the persecution. Our students come, develop and practice their story, then go out and lead and share in their communities. Enthusiasm builds and more people want to “come and see” or “taste and know”… Our school should be ready to grow.
The staff seems to like each other and do things together… Jesus says, “By this shall all men know you are my disciples, by the love that you have for one another…” Nothing will further God’s work faster in the Dakotas than if we use this as our prime witnessing.
I look forward to getting to know what’s important to the people who have worked so hard to build and maintain such an impressive school. Those people are truly a huge part of what makes DAA what it is.
What do you see as the greatest challenges?
Often, the greatest challenges are best left unspoken. I solicit your prayers and support as we bring the students, parents, staff and community together into an even greater spirit of cohesiveness. I am anxious to promote through communication and practice, a spirit of unity that will cause those looking on to take a step back…
It used to be that Adventist kids went to Adventist schools – no questions asked. That isn’t the case anymore. There are so many choices for education, and unfortunately, students sometimes make decisions based on the sports or other programs we offer or don’t offer. Also, more families are opting to keep their children at home longer. To win people over to DAA we need to select those things we choose to offer based on the needs we can competently meet. We may already be an academic school, but if we are not, it is the first thing we must shore up so that our students are well-served in choosing us, so that they will have options wherever they choose to go after they have finished with us. This means that we may have to cut back on trying to offer too many extras, so that we can do the things we choose to do, well. I’ve not been involved enough yet at DAA to see whether this is an issue. I do know that as we water down soup, we eventually find ourselves spooning water into our mouths. That’s what happens too often when we try to be all to all.
Academic performance, athletic performance, spiritual performance… all are measurable. We need to review regularly and adjust to reflect that we have learned from the data.
Sometimes our schools get into comparison wars as to who does what better. I think that we need to share what we do well. If other conferences have students who need the classes we offer, let’s make DAA available to them. Sometimes we worry too much about territory. I want the students at DAA to be here because they want to be here, not because their options were limited. Inclusion, not exclusion, is the secret to a church that can shake the world.
Probably most dear to me is that we live in a world that is intent on sending a message. If it is not so already, I would like to see us institute a system of management that operates on a restorative discipline model rather than a punitive discipline model. This can be difficult to manage effectively but is integral to our young people developing a salvation-oriented mindset.
Is there a particular story from your own childhood of a teacher that made a difference in your life?
Though I do not remember it, I was in third grade before I really learned to read. Apparently, I had a great memory and I would recite stories so that the belief was that I was doing fine, but at the end of second grade, my teacher caught me. He ran several interventions, all of which I masterfully dodged, until he finally had me cornered. All of my books were painstakingly rewritten without pictures, page numbers, and in no particular order so as to make absolutely no sense. The logic behind this was that it would force me to sound out the words. He even wrote new “stories” and books for me throughout the year.
Now, I am so grateful. Today, I am a voracious reader. It is not difficult for me. How different my life would have been had he not persevered, had he not been a master of his craft, had he not seen me as worth the investment.
My belief system is that every person can learn, though I recognize that by high school, individual choice plays big into learning. As a teacher, I want to help students succeed.
Tell me some snippets about yourself that others might find surprising or interesting.
In my last year of high school, I was on top of three-highs on the acrosports team… 5’1’’ and under 100 pounds, I was worried I would never grow. In my first year of college, I was a base at 5’7” and 195 pounds. In high school, sometimes situations change rapidly.
I coached State, University, and Junior Hockey.
I pitched fastball for Western Province in South Africa’s National Softball program.
I played senior men’s football in what would go on to be a semi-pro league in Alberta, Canada.
I am a deep-water licensed SCUBA diver.
A side note… don’t know if it means anything, but in our schools, too often I have seen decisions made because they were the easier choices or because it was expeditious to make those decisions… I want to do the right thing for each student because it is the right thing for that student – not because someone might take notice or even because the time is right, but only because it is the right thing to do. I am especially frustrated with decisions of convenience.
College Observations: Tips on How to Get Through Your First Semester of College
Here is my list of tips for you!
Personally I found college to be a lot like DAA. DAA sets you up class wise for your first semester. You have either already learned the content or you had been given a summary of the content, but don’t let yourself slack off because of it. Your grades now mean 2x more than they did in high school. STAY ON TOP OF YOUR GRADES OR YOU’LL FALL BEHIND. You don’t want to fall behind in any class. You’re just asking for all-nighters, which are never fun, and way too much unnecessary stress.
You will probably want to eat all the food and snacks you can, but please don’t because the Freshman 15 is still a thing in college.
There are some classes where you have to take notes and others where you don’t. If you figure this out in the beginning you will be golden for prime studying.
Always listen in class. You’ll actually learn and learning in this case is a VERY good thing.
Get cereal and milk from the café the day before for the next day so you don’t have to rush your breakfast. Start your day off right.
I’m not just saying that because I’m an Exercise Science major. Exercising will make you feel better physically. It’s easier to get things done if you feel good.
Call your parents at least every other day. They miss you like crazy!
Do not spend hours watching Netflix or playing video games. Go take a walk, hang out with friends, or do some extra studying. You’ll be better off for it.
Get a job. The extra money is not only great but you can start paying off your loans. Getting a job also gets you off of the campus. If you do get a job, remember to budget your money. You’re going to need to learn that skill if you haven’t already.
Listen when people give you advice. You might learn something.
Just keep those tips in mind as you get ready to start this new chapter in life! I wish you all the best!
Energy is something most of us take for granted – we style our hair, surf the internet, heat and cool our houses, and power up our tools. With energy, the sky’s the limit and we didn’t understand the power of that statement until just recently, at the Energy Conference.
Our first order of business was to learn the basics of energy: what it is, where it comes from, and how closely it is tied to the environment. It is incredible to know that energy is a natural thing that needs to be harnessed in order for us to have electricity.
As a crash course, AC/DC isn’t just a band. It actually refers to two different methods of generating electricity. Edison = DC and Tesla = AC. Using their combined ideas on electricity, power efficiency won out and we are now able to send power (which is equal to current times voltage). In case you’d like a ditty to help you remember the equation for power, just think, “Power in the IV” (i=current if you’re wondering). You’re welcome.
Now that we were educated to the basics of energy, the Freedom Mine Company spoke about the importance of education, even if all you want to do is weld. Taking the time to get an education will garner you higher wages and increase your personal marketability.
The story of coal mining is told beautifully in the Freedom Mine Company’s video called “the Coteau Story.” They share the process of coal mining from one of the largest coal mines in the United States. From the acquisition of land and mining rights, through the mining process and all the way until the reclamation process, the company strives to return the land to the same or better condition as before it was mined. Throughout this process, we learned that it is so important to get as much schooling as is available and to not waste time because there is great mobility of workforce when entering energy fields. In the time we spent with them, we were reminded that electricity is all around the globe – you can work in North Dakota or Dubai and your skills will still be marketable. Their career advice? If you don’t know, pick a trade – then you’ll always have work and can work your way through anything else you decide to do.
So what is it like to work in the energy industry? The majority of entry level jobs start as apprenticeships and you work your way up to journeyman and then increase your options from there. Ecologists, geologists, engineers, and nurses are all on staff in the industry. Even ocean outposts are staffed with medical personnel and building the increasingly popular off-grid solar panels requires lots of labor. In the energy industry, you are almost guaranteed to have jobs available forever. Whether working as welders, electricians, mechanics, accountants, human resources, or advertising directors – you name it, the energy field needs it. Everyone needs electricity.
Our learning did not stop there! We were able to learn about lineman equipment, tools, and processes for putting up power poles and running wire. Then everyone got a chance to run the backhoe and welding simulators. Nyegai, a junior, got a 94% on her welding test, and all of us loved the hands-on learning!
As our time started to run out, we rushed through the trade show and saw so many cool products! Turbines, vehicles, pumps, drones, and a mock-up crane with blocks (video – Dropbox) were displayed for us to stare at!
Some of our students’ highlights were:
“free stuff” – Leticia
“the hydraulic pump that requires very little energy yet is very strong” – Richard
“the virtual reality simulator for an oil field – wish we could’ve stayed there longer!” – Robbie
“learning about diesel mechanics and how it is so much different than people think it is” – Jaelyn
“seeing Trevor in a suit” – Leticia
“learning about the lineman work because the guy was nice and how they work together to get the job done and trying out the excavator simulator” – Trevor
“going thru the exhibits and seeing the motorcycle… learning how pipes work… seeing how they use a boiler cleaning system” – Jasmine
It was amazing to see how many unique jobs are available in the energy industry and anyone who enjoys working with their hands in any way, shape, or form will always have something to do!
1. Explore the ship.
We got to, on the first day, spend the whole day at sea. We got to explore the ship and see all of its awesome amenities. Make sure you explore the ship right away so you know where everything is. Even after being on the ship for five days I was still finding new things. Some of my favorite places on the ship were the pool/hot tub, the balcony at night, the elevators (when no one is on them — we played tag), the fancy restaurant (Sunset Restaurant), and the comedy stage.
2. Food! Next is all the food you get to eat. Make sure to eat as much food as you can (see point #5); there is a huge buffet which includes many options including Italian, a steakhouse, and Asian foods. There are also other restaurants that you can visit. My favorite place, when you didn’t know where to eat or what to eat, was the burger place; they offered four different kinds of burgers and I loved the “straight up” option best. We also went to a very fancy restaurant every night and it felt really cool to be able to dine in a place like that. Also, I felt a bit like a hobo at a five-star restaurant.
3. The Adventure Awaits
Make sure to explore as much of the destination as you can but keep safe. We stopped in Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. The people in the Bahamas are very nice and proud of their country. Be aware, though, that they know that you are tourists and that you have money to spend and they will try to make you buy everything at their stand. There was a small child, right when we arrived in Nassau past the security point, that was trying to open our backpacks and steal our stuff but we kept watching him and he eventually left. If you want to attain cheaper souvenirs, go a little further from port to find the best deals. The Taxis are super cheap per person, don’t pet random dogs, make sure you go to the beach, and reject the alcohol salesmen! While we were visiting Freeport, we were taken to a private beach and after we got out of the water, we decided to play volleyball; some friendly strangers joined us in our game and we played for over an hour.
a) Make sure to puts lots of sunscreen on everyday so you don’t get sunburned and you aren’t able to enjoy the rest of your cruise.
b) Also, if you are planning on using a credit card or debit card, tell your bank you are leaving so you can actually buy stuff with it, unlike what I did. I had to become a beggar during the cruise.
5. Available but rarely used…
If you want to try to run off the extra fat you will inevitably gain, they have a very nice exercise area. The ship is outfitted with multiple weight machines, cardio equipment, a sauna, and a running track on the top level of the ship. There was also a mini golf course, but the wind made it difficult to get a hole-in-one.
I would heavily recommend going on a cruise. You get to experience the sea, other countries, and lifestyles. During the evening, when the hot tub wasn’t crowded, it was nice to be able to relax and just chill. Overall it was a great experience and I can’t wait to go on another one.
I love this school’s student association, all the students are cool and fun. SA is one of the coolest because they host parties like fall party, Christmas party, etc. Once you come to DAA, the students become your family and you will stay connected for eternity. The students can vary from different countries coming from Africa to China and more. You are able to learn about all the different cultures from them. This year the freshman have 12 students, 10 girls and two boys, I’m one of them. Fall fest is one of my favorite associations in the school, all the classes get to have three or less booths and they raise money for their class trip for their senior year. – Bryce, class of 2020
Student Association (SA) is made up of six students- Hannah, Richard, Robbie, Trevor, Lenaya and myself along with three faculty members- Mrs. Jeana, Mr. Schwarz, and Mr. Davis. It is our job as SA, to plan the school’s activities such as banquet, spirit week, fall fest, etc. We try to do the best of our abilities to make the school year as enjoyable as possible. Our diverse group, having four members being not of the American culture, helps come up with many different ideas and activities. We love students input and also try to base our group around God. One way we do this is by having a weekly prayer meeting and group where we pray for specific students and faculty. SA not only makes the school year more enjoyable, but is super fun for the group itself- I really suggest joining SA at least once during your high school years. -Leticia (SA Secretary), class of 2018
An Evening at the Beach Banquet 2016
When I was a freshman, Taylor Woodruff was the SA president. I looked up to her, and told myself that I too would become SA president. If you has known me as a freshman, you couldn’t have agreed less that something like that would be possible. I was really scared to talk to people, and when I did talk I was so harsh that I scared those I was talking to. I was a hermit, and all I did was homework. People literally wondered if I was mute. But thanks to the many awesome role models at DAA, I changed. I ran for SA president last year, not because of the promise I made to myself, but regardless I won. DAA has allowed me to make progress, to develop, and to grow in Christ. DAA changed my destiny (but only with my consent and effort). – Lenaya (SA President), class of 2017
Group Tubing, SA Christmas Party
Student Association or SA is the best. It is very to be a part of that group. This is my second year being an officer and I love it. The experiences and friendships you make are amazing. And when you put hard work into planning an activity and it turns out well, you feel very good about it and almost overjoyed. SA goes on trips and does so much more. If you are ever thinking about running for SA, I greatly encourage it. You start off the year by going down early to a camp and have fun and bond for three days. SA becomes a very strong team after that experience. If you want a fun way to get your ideas out there, then join SA, it will be completely worth it. – Robbie (SA Sergeant-at-Arms), class of 2017