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Soo Chang Named Next Head of School

March 31, 2020 by Elaine Rottman

The Providence School Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Soo Chang will serve as the next head of school, effective July 1, 2020. 

Mr. Chang comes to Providence from West Hills Christian School in Portland, Oregon, where he has served as head of school for the past three years. He began his career in Christian education in 2003 at The Cambridge School of Dallas, where he served as director of admissions and chaplain. 

The Board’s decision to appoint Soo Chang is based on the unanimous recommendation of the members of the Head of School Search Committee, who embarked on a local, regional, and national search in the fall of 2019, after the interim head of school, Dr. Tim Loomer, announced he would not be returning after the current school year. (On multiple occasions, the Board has expressed their appreciation for Dr. Loomer’s steady and faithful leadership before, during, and after the 2018 merger of El Montecito School with Providence, SBCS and through the present-day pandemic challenges.)

Mr. Chang looks forward to this leadership role at Providence School, writing in a letter to the school community: “I have come to appreciate Providence’s clear mission, the dedication and talent of the faculty and staff, and the commitment of the board, current parents, and alumni parents. As Providence’s next head of school, I am immensely humbled and thrilled to be joining God’s work of preparing students to live purposefully as they are equipped with the knowledge, wisdom, and character found in God’s unchanging truth.”

Mr. Chang’s extensive accomplishments at independent Christian schools include casting fresh vision, developing and mentoring administrative teams, establishing strategic plans, developing an academic support program, facilitating the spiritual climate, increasing enrollment and retention, and leading fundraising efforts.

Born to Korean parents and raised in Paraguay, Chang and his family came to the U.S. when he was 13. He has had diverse cross-cultural experiences and is multilingual (fluent in English, Spanish, and Korean). Soo Chang and his wife, Cathy, are the parents of three young adult sons.

Mr. Chang earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration and finance from the University of Southern California (USC). After four years working in corporate banking in Beverly Hills, he returned to school to earn a master of divinity degree with an emphasis in Christian education from BIOLA University.

After serving in church ministry and founding an entrepreneurial business, he felt a strong call to Christian education and has served as a teacher,  administrator, and executive leader in that area for the past 18 years. He is known for bringing both pastoral and business acumen to the schools he has served. 

Mr. Chang comes with stellar references. One person stated,  “[For Soo], school leadership is not simply a passion, it is a calling. I can’t see him doing anything else.” Another wrote, “He wants to be part of an organization that is a change agent, one that affects the future.”

In a letter announcing Mr. Chang’s appointment to the Providence community, Matt LaBrie, chair of the Providence Board of Directors, stated, “We are grateful to God for providing an experienced, strong, enthusiastic new leader in Mr. Chang. …We look forward to introducing the Changs to our community over the coming months. We know you will join us in welcoming them to Santa Barbara and the rich life of Providence School.”