Getting to Know Our Faculty and Staff – Joshua Pippin
Josh Pippin is a newer addition to our school’s family here at Canyonville Academy, but his impact upon the students and the school as a whole has been immense. We look forward to seeing God continue to work through him as the years continue. We are so happy to have him serving with us. Please enjoy this interview with Mr. Pippin.
What’s your name?
What is your job here at Canyonville Academy, and how long have you been working here?
This is my second year here, and I’m the dean of boys.
What does being «dean of boys» mean, exactly?
Essentially, at the base level, my job is to make sure that the guys are taken care of. The most basic part of my job is making sure the boys are safe, that they’re taken care of. But then there is helping them in other ways, and making sure they’re setup for success. Generally, on school days, I’m up early making sure that everyone is waking up as well to get ready for school. If there are some guys that need an extra push to wake up, I usually walk around knocking on doors to make sure everyone is moving. If anyone is sick, the guys would be calling or texting me letting me know that they need medicine, and then I’ll decide whether they should stay home from school that day.
After school, my shift starts again, and I’m available to the students for whatever they may need throughout the evening. Usually, there are no two days that are the same, as whatever the kids are doing is what I’m also doing. For example, last year, I was the assistant coach for Basketball during a big tournament. Regardless of whether or not it’s my day off however, I’m always the dean for these boys. During the game, one of our students got a severe concussion. So immediately I switched from coach to dean, and had to rush him to the hospital. Thanks the Lord he was OK and the doctors cleared us to head home. We still made it back in time to watch the basketball varsity game. So rarely are two days alike.
It sounds like you’re job is really «Be there when a student needs you always, at any time».
Yeah, it’s a 24 hour job. So that means if something happens at 2am, I’m there to help. Last year, another example, I got a message from a student very late at night, saying that their shoulder got dislocated. I ran over immediately, and we got him taken care of. I’m there for whatever my students need, no matter what or when that is.
What did you do before you came here?
I had a couple of jobs. I was a barista for a while, and I was a research analyst for a little company, where I taught programs how to run a certain algorithm. Those two jobs were mostly side jobs to sustain my career choice at the time, which was being a youth pastor.
Where were you when you were being a youth pastor?
Did you grow up in Virginia?
I did, yeah. I grew in Gainesville, Virginia.
How did you end up at Canyonville Academy?
Interestingly, I grew up knowing the Wead family. Myself and Camille Wead were good friends growing up. I remember later in life, specifically, when Jessica and Josh Wead were moving to Oregon. We were like «We’re never seeing them again, are we!?» A while later, I learned that Doug had been asking about me, trying to get me to come work at Canyonville Academy.
For a while, it just wasn’t the right time for me because I was very involved in my work as a youth pastor. We had felt that God was telling us to take a step back from ministry for a little while. I truly thought God wanted me to be a pastor. I didn’t know what to do, and asked God to guide us. The day Doug called and offered me a position here, I was like «Alright God, I understand you now, I know what my answer is!»
Do you find yourself missing Virginia, or are you happy in Oregon?
I love it here! I told my mom, she was really sad about it! I grew up in Virginia, but I feel like I was done with the east coast, I’ve been up and down it throughout my life. I love visiting every now and then, but I just love it out here.
Tell us about your family
I grew up with wonderful parents who loved God and instilled Christian values into us all of us, the importance of integrity. I was always raised to always have a healthy respect of treating people right, and with respect. I met my wife in Birmingham, Alabama.
What were you doing in Birmingham?
I went to a ministry school, which is where I got my degree. The school was called Church of the Highlands. It’s a super intensive, two year accelerated program. The idea is that you’re doing class, learning about ministry, and also doing ministry at the same time. You had days in the classroom and days doing ministry work in a church. It was a pretty unique experience.
What is your favorite movie or TV show?
I’m an action movie guy. The movie that comes to my mind is Sicario. It’s got little to no soundtrack, it’s so simple. It has the most intense and beautifully shot scene I’ve ever seen. I remember I couldn’t find anyone to watch the movie with me when it came out, so I watched it by myself! I really love the plot twists that you just don’t see coming. Related to that actually, I’m very active in the firearm community. I love learning about them, how to use them safely and for sport. So for me, Sicario had very good usage of guns and portrayed realistically. I really appreciate when a movie pays attention to detail.
What is one thing you would like everyone to know about yourself?
I’m a person who is an extroverted-introvert. I feel like I have a tank of energy, and once I use that energy up, I need to be by myself to rest. And it has nothing to do with me hating people, it’s simply me needing to recharge. People think I’m upset sometimes, or I feel like I come across as «being annoyed or angry», but I wish people could know that I’m neither of those things, I’m just tired.
What is something you’d like to say to the parents and students reading this now?
My greatest job while I’ve been here is seeing somebody that has a chip on their shoulder, or seeing a student that has struggled or that is having a really hard time, come out of the school year stronger. My job is to keep the students safe, but my goal and my purpose in life is to encourage and empower people to be leaders. One of the biggest things I’ve tried to do, is instill leadership values in my guys. I consider the students in my care like my sons, and that’s not something I take lightly. I’m fiercely protective of them and want the best for them. While they’re here, and while they’re in the world, I hope they know that I will always be there for them, and care for them.