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New principal at Mtn. View Christian School

Brian Gang was a physical therapist but changed careers to work in Christian education. He is the new principal and fifth- to eighth-grade teacher at Mountain View Christian School in Sequim. Gang said he was looking for an opportunity to spread his wings and create a more hands-on learning environment.  Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

 

Mountain View Christian School welcomes Brian Gang as its new principal.


He succeeds Lerry Arnott, who retired after serving the school for more than 30 years.

Gang and his wife, Sarah, an occupational therapist, moved to Sequim in June.

As principal, he joins Nancy Ley, who has taught at the school for 19 years.

He'll teach the fifth to eighth grades along with his administration duties while Ley teaches first through fourth grades.

"I'm excited to be working here," he said.


Resizing his career


Gang comes from Loma Linda Academy in Southern California where he taught fifth grade.

The academy has about 700 students in kindergarten-12th grade; Sequim's Seventh-day Adventist affiliated school has 20-25.

"It's quite a change to come here," he said.

The Gangs were looking for a less crowded place than Southern California.

"I was looking for a place to spread my wings a little because you might not get that at a bigger school," Gang said.


Refocusing his career


Gang, originally from New Jersey, earned bachelor of science degrees in anatomy and physiology and a master's degree in physical therapy. He started his career as a physical therapist but wanted a change.

He also earned a master's degree in school leadership and administration with credentials in elementary education and secondary biology.

He is familiar with Washington because his mother's family is from Bellingham. He used to ski at Mount Baker and still enjoys biking, kayaking and surfing.


Goals and excitement


Gang embraces the size difference between his old and new school.

"This allows me more of a say on how things are run," he said.

One of his biggest goals is emphasizing hands-on learning, with students getting outside and experiencing subjects such as science firsthand.

He also enjoys having students in social studies perform first-person re-enactments of people they've learned about from their studies.

"I like to see kids get excited about learning," Gang said.


Christian values


Staying within the Seventh-day Adventist school system is important to Gang, along with student achievement.

"I really believe in Christian education and focusing on character development," he said.

"I could be making more money in public schools but I believe in Christian education and what we do here."

Mountain View Christian School is accredited by the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is a member of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools. It receives guidance from the Washington Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, which oversees 95 churches and 23 Christian elementary and secondary schools in Western Washington.


School's approach

Subjects are similar to public school, i.e. reading, writing, etc., except with an emphasis on biblical teachings.

A few of the school's beliefs are based on biblical passages on salvation (Ephesians 2:8), scripture (2 Peter 1:21) and creation (Genesis 1:1).

Students wear uniforms and parents pay tuition.

Gang said a tough job climate has affected the school, along with other public and private schools, forcing families to move and/or reconsider where their children go to school.

"Parents are finding it tougher to meet tuition goals," Gang said.

"But they recognize the importance of education and are willing to sacrifice for their children's education."

Gang said attendance is about 50-50 with children of Seventh-day Adventist backgrounds and other Christian beliefs.

Mountain View Christian School was founded in 1950 and its current building at 255 Medsker Road in Sequim opened in 1959.

The school year is Aug. 26-June 3, and tours are available by calling 683-6170.



Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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