Two Schools Share One Principal and Friend

Two Schools Share One Principal and Friend Students can hear Doug White coming before they ever see him at Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA). He’s always humming a crazy tune or whistling and taking the stairs two-at-a-time. “He is the most high-energy man I know,” says Kellie Tompkins, PSAA journalism teacher. “He is energizing to work for and allows his staff the autonomy to work as individuals within the classroom.” White has the unique position of being the shared principal of both Kirkland Adventist Elementary School and PSAA. Since each school is run separately with different boards, this means double duty in every aspect. And yet White always has time for his biggest priority—the students. “When you think of a principal, you might imagine a supreme authority figure,” says Greg Matiko, PSAA senior, “but Mr. White is the opposite. He doesn’t like to give out discipline notices, and whenever he has free time, he’s always checking up on us and sometimes playing ‘sevens’ [a basketball shooting game] with us in the gym.” “He finds the time to play kickball with the elementary kids during their recess,” says Danielle Luce, PSAA senior, “even though it seems like he has enough work to be buried in.” With his open-door policy, students frequently find themselves discussing current issues and the latest sports scores in his office. Elementary students know his “Shark” cookie jar is always full of Jolly Rancher candies. White has been making a difference in students’ lives for more than 26 years. His goal for students is for them to be prepared for a life of service on earth and for life throughout eternity. “One of the advantages of the Adventist Christian school setting is the opportunity to connect and stay connected with students individually,” says White. In fact, during PSAA’s alumni weekend, the place to hang out between church and the evening activities is at White’s home. Over the past 12 years, White has planned and participated in seven mission trips. He believes that a short-term mission trip should be a part of every student’s high school experience and has worked to make fund-raising opportunities available so every student could raise the money to go. Besides serving as an Associated Student Body sponsor, each Thursday at lunchtime you’ll find him, as the sophomore class sponsor, in the kitchen, serving up haystacks as their weekly hot lunch fund-raiser. Students see White as not only their principal but also their friend. “He knows and cares about my whole family. He cheers the loudest at our games, plus he gives us students a lot of encouragement,” says Mary Vander Veer, another PSAA student. “Mr. White is a blessing to the Kirkland School and Puget Sound Adventist Academy. I’m glad he’s been my principal for 11 years!”

Two Schools Share

One Principal and Friend

Students can hear Doug White coming before they ever see him at Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA). He’s always humming a crazy tune or whistling and taking the stairs two-at-a-time.

“He is the most high-energy man I know,” says Kellie Tompkins, PSAA journalism teacher. “He is energizing to work for and allows his staff the autonomy to work as individuals within the classroom.”

White has the unique position of being the shared principal of both Kirkland Adventist Elementary School and PSAA. Since each school is run separately with different boards, this means double duty in every aspect. And yet White always has time for his biggest priority—the students.

“When you think of a principal, you might imagine a supreme authority figure,” says Greg Matiko, PSAA senior, “but Mr. White is the opposite. He doesn’t like to give out discipline notices, and whenever he has free time, he’s always checking up on us and sometimes playing ‘sevens’ [a basketball shooting game] with us in the gym.”

“He finds the time to play kickball with the elementary kids during their recess,” says Danielle Luce, PSAA senior, “even though it seems like he has enough work to be buried in.” With his open-door policy, students frequently find themselves discussing current issues and the latest sports scores in his office. Elementary students know his “Shark” cookie jar is always full of Jolly Rancher candies.

White has been making a difference in students’ lives for more than 26 years. His goal for students is for them to be prepared for a life of service on earth and for life throughout eternity. “One of the advantages of the Adventist Christian school setting is the opportunity to connect and stay connected with students individually,” says White. In fact, during PSAA’s alumni weekend, the place to hang out between church and the evening activities is at White’s home.

Over the past 12 years, White has planned and participated in seven mission trips. He believes that a short-term mission trip should be a part of every student’s high school experience and has worked to make fund-raising opportunities available so every student could raise the money to go. Besides serving as an Associated Student Body sponsor, each Thursday at lunchtime you’ll find him, as the sophomore class sponsor, in the kitchen, serving up haystacks as their weekly hot lunch fund-raiser.

Students see White as not only their principal but also their friend. “He knows and cares about my whole family. He cheers the loudest at our games, plus he gives us students a lot of encouragement,” says Mary Vander Veer, another PSAA student. “Mr. White is a blessing to the Kirkland School and Puget Sound Adventist Academy. I’m glad he’s been my principal for 11 years!”

July 01, 2003 / Washington Conference
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