Meet Dan Breuer '04
Principal at the Netherlands Reformed Christian School, Rock Valley, Iowa
— secondary education & social studies teaching major
Q. How did you choose Augustana?
A. Augustana was the right choice because of the size, quality reputation, the city of Sioux Falls, and previous family experience.
Life at Augie
Q. Favorite professor and why?
A. The school administrator in me hesitates to pick out any one professor or class that stands out. The care and quality of professors was excellent. Meals at professor's homes that took place during NSO/NSS during orientation and as an orientation group leader were great to build relationships. I liked the chances to get professors together in more informal settings, like "History of Economic Thought" and "Current Events." I like history with Christian application and I had meaningful evening religion class (I took with my wife) with Dr. Art Olson and Rev. Dr. John Christopherson, "History of Lutheranism."
More than anything I was thankful to fall into a work-study position with caring and inspiring staff (Jan Micke and Sandi Vietor) that helped me feel at home and grow in confidence at Augustana.
Q. Best Augie memory?
A. The amount of people I got to meet and information I learned while campaigning for ASA vice president was quite an experience. Choir tours (Italy, German, Ireland) were also were full of great memories as well!
Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana – first job, grad school, travel, etc.?
A. While student teaching, I accepted a position as a teacher and administrator-in-training at the school I still serve. I completed my Masters in Education with a leadership emphasis at USF in 2008.
Q. Tell us about your career – what’s an average day like?
A. In an average day, I usually work with a couple of staff members before the students arrive. One never knows if an early morning weather decision looms or substitute will need to be found. I try to make an effort to greet students coming off the buses. I teach one social studies class to 6th graders as a way to stay connected with students and teaching. Each day can bring a variety of different opportunities and challenges, but in a typical day classroom visits, work on staff evaluations and preparing for meetings as well as for the occasional late night board and committee meeting.
Q. Greatest challenges and best rewards of your current role?
A. Being the chief administrator of a growing school presents wonderful rewards, but having only been the second administrator in 35 years of existence means you must be careful with how you proceed with the change process. Our parents and church members provide nearly all of our funding, so growing while keeping financial means in check is a challenge.
Q. Greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
A. I have been thankful to have facilitated the start of a preschool program early on in my career, and recent accomplishments have been the ongoing task of redefining and growing a special education department and progressing through a recent $3 million building expansion project, which is nearing completion.
Q. What’s next for you professionally?
A. I feel there are still ways to grow professionally in my current position, and now that our oldest daughter attends the school, loyalty strengthens.
Q. If you could offer a prospective or existing Augie student some advice, what would you say?
A. Take advantage of being involved as much as possible in campus opportunities!
Q. Tell us about your family.
A. My wife, Ali, is a 2006 Augie graduate who serves the Hills-Beaver Creek Schools as a School Mental Health Social Worker. We have two daughters and one son, Jenaya (6), Brynna (3) and Henry (1).
Q. What’s given you the greatest personal satisfaction since graduating from Augie? And why?
A. There is no doubt that ten years of marriage and three children comes with challenges, but the personal satisfaction is beyond measure.
Q. A foundation for life at Augustana begins with our five core values – Christian Faith, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service. How did your time at Augustana help to ensure those values remain central in your life?
A. There had been a renewed quest to strengthen awareness of Augie's core values during my years at Augustana, and that awareness was meaningful to me. My time at Augie helped me to realize that getting to be part of an organization with similar values is worth more than the amount of the paycheck. I am very thankful that I can apply Augie's values to decisions I make in leading a Christian school.