Kettering College Math Professor Continues to Answer the Call into Retirement

June 26, 2024—Daniel Schoun has been a teacher his entire career, which is surprising to him, considering he always envisioned himself working in research. But he learned early on to trust God and to obediently go where he felt he was being called.

Mentors during high school and college saw an ability in Dan to reach others and convey knowledge in a way that students would understand. Without realizing it, those mentors helped Dan fall in love with teaching and pursue that career after working as a student missionary in Japan for a year during college teaching English as a second language. (Little did he know this skill would resurface over 40 years later as Dan has taught Ukrainian students who are studying at Kettering College.)

A unique aspect of Dan’s 42-year career is that he has only taken jobs that have come to him. He says, “I’ve never gotten a job because I applied for it.” His driving force in life is listening for God’s voice. He admits he sometimes might argue with God, but Dan ultimately patiently listens to where he feels he is needed and acts on it.

He was asked to teach at the Spring Valley Academy, where he thrived for 17 years. Always being fascinated with science and medicine, he started to feel the nudge to become a physician assistant. He started to investigate it as his next career move and even submitted his transcripts to enroll in Kettering College’s program to be a student.

God surprised him again, and a faculty member and dean asked him if he would instead be interested in being a professor at the college. Dan remembers saying, “What’s happening, God?” when this new job opportunity came to him.

Dan teaches Ukrainian students in 2022.

Always flexible, Dan agreed to think about it with his wife. It was something he was certainly interested in, and within two weeks he found himself standing in front of a class of Kettering College students, teaching, rather than being a student, which is what he assumed would be his next step.

Dan admits he was wary of teaching at the college level because he cherished being able to connect with younger students in high school. He could see the impact he was making on them by digging into deeper questions about life and God.

He has been pleasantly surprised the last 25 years at Kettering College to see college students have been open to that same connection and conversation. As is witnessed by the fact he cannot walk down the hall without being stopped by a student who wants to chat, it is apparent he has done this with deep intentionality, focus, and faith.

Shortly after Dan started teaching here, Anna May Vaughn, one of the founders of the college, encouraged him to always work towards God’s purpose to be fulfilled in the lives of all our students. Dan says those powerful words are what he has gone back to time and time again during his years of teaching here to guide him. He says Anna May’s words reaffirmed he was where he was meant to be.

Dan taught chemistry, physics, and math at Kettering College, and most recently was named the director of academic advising, as a result of faculty and staff seeing how easily and profoundly he connects with students. It is yet another job that came to Dan, as he moved forward in faithfulness and willingness.

Dan says, “Every phase of the way, I’ve felt God has led me.” The next phase is now retirement, and he admits, “I’ve argued with God about this, too,” but he and his wife feel it’s time to see what God has planned next.

Between being a grandfather, possibly being an adjunct here and a substitute teacher at the academy, Dan feels writing a book geared toward college students might be what God is calling him to accomplish next. He would like to write about his journey of following God and surrendering to answer any call that has come his way.

He says, “I cannot tell you how God speaks to me in my mind, but I’ve never once in my life doubted God was leading me. I wouldn’t change anything about my life because I’ve learned from everything I’ve been through. If you listen for a still, small voice, God is there. You just have to be open to it. I don’t know God’s plans, but I know it will be interesting. I don’t let grass grow under my feet.”


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