Faculty Spotlight - Dan Freeborn

Read about one of our incredible Philosophy and Theology teachers, Mr. Dan Freeborn!
Dan attended Northwest Nazarene University and graduated with a B.A. in English. He then attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico to pursue their Great Books curriculum in liberal arts, studying mathematics and natural science, philosophy and theology, political philosophy, and literature, and graduating with a Master of Arts degree in liberal arts and philosophy. 


Dan with his daughters Sveta and Sasha

His experience at St. John’s was a species of heaven. Wrestling with primary texts across the disciplines and centuries in the company of fellow learners, all in the context of the inescapable, fundamental questions of human life, and with an express aim at the good life, was the real beginning for Dan of a life of the same continuous activity.  It activated his sense of wonder and gave him a humble confidence in his ability to learn not just new facts, but how to see differently, better, more. As one of his teachers at St. John’s said, “There should be no realm of human endeavor that you feel yourself excluded from.”  Dan wishes that kind of confidence for all of his students.

After completing his Masters degree, Dan took a teaching job in Italy at the American School of Milan, where he lived and taught for two years before moving to the American School of Madrid, where he taught for fifteen years. Returning to the United States, Dan taught for two years at Emek Hebrew Academy in Los Angeles and then at Haynes Family of Programs. Here, he had the wonderful experience of teaching literature and mathematics to seniors on the spectrum of Autism.

Dan’s interests have ranged from martial arts to falconry, and as he approaches the age of 50, he finds himself drawn to the arts of serenity.  He loves riding motorcycles, especially in the hills and canyons of California.  He loves the meditative quality of fishing and calligraphy. Dan enjoys cooking on a daily basis. He finds rest and peace in the various Saturday evening vespers services and Sunday morning liturgy, and always enjoys participating in reading groups and shared study.

There is not a teacher at Pacifica whom Dan does not admire.  Their knowledge of their content and ability to inspire students is second to none. It is a genuine pleasure to work with colleagues who impress, reports Dan.

But it is the primary goal of Pacifica, its very ethos, that Dan appreciates most.  Students are certainly learning the content and skills to succeed in university and in their chosen careers, but what sets Pacifica apart is its emphasis on human flourishing, on the good life. The genuine care for every student, from administrators to faculty and staff, is evident in the endless conversations had about students by name, not just as an amorphous “student body.”  It is especially evident at each year’s senior chapel, when teachers speak publicly about each graduating student in celebration of their growth and achievements.  More often than not, teachers are recalling specific anecdotes, inside jokes, and challenges from a student’s freshman year, and tracing the story of their life at Pacifica all the way to that moment in senior chapel. It is evidence of a shared life together, a life of difficulties, challenges, growth, and victories. Pacifica teachers know these students and strive to guide them toward their best selves.  It is truly inspiring.

Pacifica Christian High School

A college-preparatory, Christian, liberal arts high school in the heart of Santa Monica.