SIOUX CENTER—A new leadership team at Sioux Center Christian School is ready to begin the school year.
Joining school principal Josh Bowar is Brandon Haan as the new principal of the K-8 transition school.
Haan and his wife, Jill, moved to the Sioux Center in June with their three daughters: Makenna, 12; Jackie, 11 years old; and Addison, 8.
“I feel good for the start of the year,” Haan said. “The summer had its ups and downs, but I was always making progress one day at a time towards a better understanding of the school’s operating systems while meeting the staff. I’m personally excited to have students in the building to really see what a day, a week looks like here after all that planning.
Haan anticipates her role will be to greet students each morning, walk the halls and visit classrooms to help build connections and relationships this year in addition to her regular meetings, reports and of his disciplinary work.
“Each day will have a similar structure but will always be different,” Haan said. “I really enjoy investing in my teammates – encouraging them, supporting them, equipping them to help them continue to do great things, whatever their role. I also look forward to meeting students, learning to get to know them and their families as each has a unique story and journey and to see how can I help them in any way.”
Haan, the son of a pastor, was born in Sheldon and spent his elementary school years in De Mott, IN, before moving to the Sioux Center in 1998 when his father took a call to lead Faith Christian Reformed Church at the Sioux Center; it was just before he started high school. He graduated in 2002 from Unity Christian High School in Orange City and graduated in 2006 from Dordt.
“I feel like Northwest Iowa is my home; even though I didn’t attend Sioux Center Christian, I have a passion for this community and feel like I have roots here,” Haan said, noting that his wife, Jill, also has the family in Orange City.
Haan served 10 years at Sioux Falls Christian School and six years at Central Minnesota Christian School in Prinsburg, MN. There, he held positions as a middle school teacher, coach, and most recently athletic director and K-12 director.
“As Jill and I considered whether to move back to northwest Iowa, it was a perfect fit for our family,” Haan said. “We thought it was a very good school with exceptional teachers, located in a vibrant community that offers many opportunities. I also felt like a good fit for my career path as I was gaining experience in the administration of Central Minnesota Christian; it felt like a good natural next step and a great opportunity to grow.
The Minnesota center had about 350 K-12 students. Sioux Center Christian just over 500 last year.
“Sioux Center Christian is a really strong and healthy school,” Haan said. “It’s exciting to be a part of it because it’s big enough to provide lots of opportunities for students, but it’s also small enough for children to be close and to be recognized, appreciated and cared for. like a small school. It seems to be in this sweet spot where a lot is happening but also very united.
Haan was one of five nominees for the lead role at Sioux Center Christian, which, in part, continues the work done by former director of learning Lisa Mouw who teaches in the education department at Dordt University in Sioux. Center this fall.
Bowar said the renaming of the position came as the focus of the role changed over the five years Mouw held the position.
“The board made the strategic decision that the role of the headteacher should be more outward looking – connecting with community members, visiting school observers, being an active member of the community and oversee the school as a whole,” he said. “The board has also made sure the principal is inward facing – overseeing what happens inside the building on a day-to-day basis.”
Bowar said what really stood out about Haan was the leadership experience he had.
“Also his strong focus on building relationships, his deep core beliefs that align with what our school holds fast, and his ability to help people grow,” he said. “Another thing that really stood out for the recruiting team was their passion for children and their desire for the best for them, and their ability to communicate that.
“When we got to know Brandon better, he was someone people really liked and we felt a good fit in the culture at Sioux Center Christian and a good next step for our school.”
Bowar is excited to practice his leadership coaching skills.
“I really enjoy helping others succeed and live in the gifts God has given them; with Brandon new to the role, I have a great opportunity to do that,” Bowar said. “I also look forward to assessing how we can continue to provide accessible Christian education to any family that desires it. It’s always exciting. How do we help people see that the doors of Sioux Center Christian are open to Bible-believing Christian families who attend a church that supports what we do at school? »
Bowar looks forward to seeing all of the Christian school staff take up their duties during the school year.
“It gives me joy to see adults in their best positions, to see them flourish,” he said. “Having students in the building is also a highlight after a summer break. I also look forward to seeing what God is doing inside the school and having the opportunity to tell this story of what is happening to others in our community so people can see the impact that school has on children’s lives.