Campion Academy is pleased to welcome our new head dean, Michael Gann, and his family to our campus community. Gann comes to Campion with 15 years of experience as a dean in Seventh-day Adventist boarding academies. Serving alongside Gann is his wife Jenny, an occupational therapist and an RN, and his three children, Caleb (13), Addison (10), and Nolan (8). “We are truly excited to be at Campion,” Gann commented. “It’s an institution that we’ve always seen as a special place to be a part of, and we feel that God led us here.”
Principal Don Reeder was also impressed by how God led in the journey to find Michael Gann and his family. “It is evident that Michael is a team player and understands how Residence Hall life can be a great support for students in their walk with God and in achieving a high standard of Academics,” he remarked. “I am excited to work with him and the deaning team at Campion Academy.”
As a dean, Gann’s primary goal is to help the young men form a relationship with Christ. Secondly, he desires to help build positive comradery between himself and the guys to create a unified dorm. Finally, he states, “I hope that we form a bond strong enough that we are able to learn from each other and hold each other accountable.”
When asked what he enjoys most about being a dean, Gann elaborated, “It’s the impromptu interactions with the students. I love it when someone just comes in to talk in the office. It seems that often on Friday evenings after vespers guys tend to congregate and we are just able to talk about life. Most of the time it leads to spiritual things and we are able to engage in spiritual topics and talk openly about our faith journeys.” Of course, Gann enjoys having fun with the guys too. “I think it’s important to meet the guys at their level and have fun and be goofy with them,” he commented.
Gann has a diverse background and has called many parts of the United States home. He was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, but spent most of his childhood in Massachusetts. He completed high school at Shenandoah Valley Academy and went on to Andrews University for three and a half years before ultimately finishing his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education at Columbia Union College.
His first job was at Dakota Adventist Academy as the athletic director, but early on, Gann felt God calling him to do something beyond P.E. “When I first brought up the idea of being a dean to my wife, she thought it was a crazy idea,” he remembered, “but I felt God calling me to it. As a student I was greatly influenced by my deans and saw how they made an impact on my peers as well. I saw what an opportunity being a dean was to have an impact on young men and as something God could truly use us to do.”
Gann’s first year as a dean was at Broadview Academy in Lafox, Illinois which had recently closed and was attempting to reopen. “That first year as a dean was trial by fire,” he reflected. “There were so many challenges and it seemed that everything that could go wrong, went wrong. However, it was a learning experience and prepared me for what was to come over the next 15 years as a dean.”
He continued on to serve as head dean at Fletcher Academy for five years, and most recently at Ozark Academy for the last eight years, where he also taught some P.E. classes and was the assistant coach for the Varsity basketball team.
Coming to Campion Academy wasn’t exactly a part of Gann’s personal plan, but he found out that it was part of God’s plan. “It was totally a God-thing,” Gann explained. “We thought we were going in one direction and God threw a curve-ball. But we are so glad that God’s in control, and we are excited to be here.”
When Gann talks about working as a dean, he consistently uses the plural pronouns of ‘we’ and ‘us’. “One of the cool things about working in the deaning field is that my family has totally embraced it,” he explains. “The kids love being part of the dorm family, and my wife really takes on the role of the dorm mom. She takes the time to connect with the kids and does a lot of baking, which the guys always enjoy.”
In their personal time they enjoy spending time as a family and watching and playing almost any sport. They are big fans of Chicago sports teams, (“Bears and White Sox not Cubs,” Gann clarified). The mountains and outdoor pursuits are draws for them here in Colorado as they enjoy camping and hiking.
One of Gann’s favorite verses as a dean is, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,” Psalm 133:1. “I like to remind the guys that we get to be a part of something special. This is a unique community of young men and we can learn from each other and mentor each other,” explained Gann.
Jill Harlow, Communication Director