School has new man in charge

Once a student teacher at Ocean View High in the 1990s, Dan Bryan wants more community involvement at school.

August 13, 2009|By Britney Barnes

Dan Bryan is back at Ocean View High School, the place where he got his start, as the new principal — and he is feeling pretty “stoked.”

After 15 years as head honcho, former Principal Karen Gilden retired, and while Bryan said it is impossible to measure up to Gilden, he is ready to step up to the plate.

“It’s truly, truly the dream job. I loved it when I student-taught here,” he said. “It’s the first place I ever had a chance to try to teach a kid something in the classroom about something that was important to me . . . I was able to help them feel that it was important to them. So it means a lot to be back here.”


Bryan started off his career as a part-time English teacher and assistant varsity baseball coach at Ocean View after spending a semester as a student teacher in 1991, when Bryan said he learned his craft.

While working as a vice principal at Westminster High School, Bryan said he applied for the position at Ocean View. His enthusiasm for the school and teaching is just one of the reasons the Huntington Beach Union High School District chose Bryan for the job, said Deborah Coleman, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources.

With Bryan’s new step into leadership, Coleman said the school is turning a new page.

As the head man, one of Bryan’s plans to improve the school is to open it up to the community.

With the hope of reaching out to the community, Bryan said he wants community members to know he is committed to upholding the values of the school.

“I know that there is a culture of the staff believing in the kids, and I want the community to know and our teaching community and our student community and then our community at large, the people of Huntington, to know that I absolutely believe that,” Bryan said.

For now, Bryan said, he wants to see how the school runs and let the changes come naturally. Part of getting to know the school will be meeting the students.

Whether he sees them on campus or off, Bryan said it is another chance to make a student connection, and he knows that opportunity is bound to happen while he is surfing at Bolsa Chica. He just asks that students let him have a wave or two.

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