Meet Our New Superintendent and Elementary Principal - Brad Van Beek
Sunnyside Christian School is excited to introduce our new Superintendent and Elementary Principal! Brad Van Beek will be moving to Sunnyside in July and will start his duties then as well. Brad has spent the past four years teaching at a Christian school in Santiago, Dominican Republic. He and his wife, Ruth, have three children. Alan, who is 14, will be a freshmen at Sunnyside Christian High School. Their twin daughters, Genet and Rahel, will be 3rd graders.
We asked Brad why he feels called to the Principal position at Sunnyside Christian, and this is his response. "I have been a teacher for nearly 25 years and have loved it. I especially loved the relationships I was able to develop with my students. I know I will miss being in the classroom, but it was time in my career to move in a new direction. We have lived the past four years in the Dominican Republic and even though we have enjoyed our time here, we felt it was time to make a change. One of the things my wife Ruth and I were looking for when we began our search was a place that had a large Hispanic community. My wife is originally from Honduras, I lived there for 5 years and four in the Dominican Republic so I am familiar with the culture. We both speak Spanish so we wanted to be able to use that wherever we moved to."
One of the biggest changes for them will be the small-town feel of our area. "We presently live in Santiago in the Dominican Republic. It is located in the Cibao Valley with a total population of the Santiago and the surrounding area of nearly 1 million people. Moving to a town of around 20,000 will be the first change," Brad says. "Another difference will be the weather. After living 4 years in a country where it is summer all year, we will once again move back to 4 seasons. Our kids are very excited to see snow. Even though, Ruth and I are less excited about winter, we are looking forward to experiencing the changes of seasons."
"Washington was always a state I thought I would like to live in," Brad comments. "My wife and I have a bit of an adventurous spirit, and we know that Washington is a beautiful state, so we cannot wait to get out and explore."
Brad and Ruth visisted Sunnyside in January, but have since learned more about our area. "After getting the job at Sunnyside Christian, I found out that a couple people I know grew up in Sunnyside," he says. "They both went to Sunnyside Christian School. They had only great things to say about the city and the school. They both said it is a great place to raise a family. We are looking forward to be part of the Sunnyside community."
Please feel free to leave a comment of welcome and greeting for our new Principal and his family! We are excited to have you, Brad, Ruth, Allan, Genet and Rahel!