Dan Kieling

Class of 1979

Dan Kieling may have only joined the King’s community in his junior year of high school, but the impact of those short years have reverberated through his life and into the next generation.

A Heart for King’s

Dan knew public school was not for him. He dropped out his sophomore year hoping to find a school that challenged him. His search came up fruitless, and he considered joining the military until he met a girl at church who told him about King’s Garden. After a summer tour and visit with the counselor, Dan knew he’d found the place for him. Even with a 13 miles drive each way, responsibility for paying his own tuition, and a job that had him waking up at 2:00 in the morning, Dan knew King’s was where he wanted to be. “What happened that August and rolling into the school year was nothing short of amazing,” Dan shared about his start. “Friendships took hold along with an outpouring of love from peers, parents, teachers, and administrators.” Dan had found his place.

He quickly dove into the King’s community by getting involved in extracurriculars, including football, basketball, and track in addition to drama and editing the Quill. But it was the relationships that created a memorable experience for him. “The friendships created among students and teachers were important and gave me a new perspective in looking at how good things could be,” Dan said. “Humor, practical jokes and pranks were always a part of the package and allowed me to get to know teachers and administrators in a way that shed a positive light on who they really were as individuals.”

A crowning accomplishment of Dan’s time at King’s was his influence over the school’s name. In 1979, King’s Garden became CRISTA, and the original plan was for each school to be named after the organization: CRISTA High, CRISTA Junior High, and CRISTA Elementary. This didn’t jibe with Dan, and he teamed up with fellow student Gary Malkasian to address the administration. After weeks of discussion and dialog, the students heard the administration’s decision: “The High School will be known as King’s High, the Junior High as King’s Junior High and the Elementary School as Dan Kieling Elementary!”  While the elementary school of course never took Kieling’s name, the schools we know today have their names in large part to Dan’s petitions.

Dan’s high regard for King’s also poured out to many of his teachers and administrators, of whom he said:

Mrs. Smith sitting down next to me in the first weeks starting school, placing her hand on my shoulder and asking how she could help me succeed and assist me with my school work.  I was blown away by this and her compassion.

Howard Inouye was indignant that I learn and stay awake in math class.  It was not unusual for me to nod off since I was getting up early to go to work and running on very little sleep. He placed me in the first row and would open the windows. He would pace in front of me as he taught from the chalk board and when needed, kick the bottoms of my feet to keep me awake.  He did not tell the other kids the real reason he had the windows open during winter, but I knew why. 

Judith Reilly in drama was the tough, “caring mother type” with a soft heart and would let you know that “You Will Succeed”.  She also taught us etiquette, such as how to properly applaud or clap hands.  

Larry Skogstad for Contemporary World Problems, Home Relations and Basketball Coach – taught me hard work and discipline.   “If you want to beat your opponents you have to put in more work and effort than them.”  We hated running lines, stairs and conditioning but were appreciative for this when game time rolled around.

Diane Peasley – Journalism, became an older sister to me and was genuine in her interactions, allowing me to have a confidante with a female perspective when needed.

Ruth Winquist – Vice Principal was always there for you.  She gave the appearance of a “Drill Sergeant” but always had your back and best interests at heart.   I enjoyed sitting in her office having a great conversation with her and learning something new about her or her family at the same time.

Ms. Monty – Linda Montgomery my sassy, sarcastic English teacher with her quick wit and intellect helped to keep me in place and on my toes. If you see her, be sure to ask her about the “mask episode”, where “I stepped over the line”. She said it would be in her memoirs.

Running Toward the Goal

After graduating King’s in 1979, Dan went onto college and spent a few years in security and law enforcement positions before entering the business world. He now serves as Vice President of Corporate Security for Wells Fargo, overseeing criminal issues and investigations and keeping staff, customers and assets safe for the company. “There is never a dull moment,” he said.

Dan loves adventure, and his post-graduate life has been filled with travels that get him outside. “My passion is enjoying anything in the outdoors,” he said. “Doing long remote hikes here in the northwest or exploring the Grand Canyon a week at a time. Mountain climbing has been a big part of life.”

And running.

Running has taken up residence in Dan’s life since 2005. He brought long-distance running into his regimen as a training tool for mountain climbing and soon completed his first marathon. “After having completed one it felt like it was just easier to stay in shape by running throughout the year and having another marathon on the calendar to keep the nonstop training going,” he said. “Then the goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon.” (He did!)

Over the next eight years, Dan completed marathons in all 50 states (in under four hours each!), and last month his 75th marathon was in the books. He’s reached his running goals, but the journey for him isn’t over, saying, “The best part of this journey has been to inspire others to join in to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Inspiring others with his journey hasn’t been relegated to the physical. His time at King’s awoke him spiritually, and that awakening has spread through the generations. “The experience of shaping my life, with influence from the King’s family, began as a 16-year-old and had lifetime impacts. Determined and with His Grace, I was able to reach out spiritually to my family,” Dan shared. As he reached out over the years, his mother, father and six siblings all embraced the love of Christ that he’d so warmly experienced and received as a student at King’s. “I can only imagine what could have been if not for the grace of God and if I had never heard of King’s Garden,” he said.

The impact of King’s was so great that at 18-years-old he made a vow that should he have children, they would attend King’s as well. With wife and fellow King’s alumna by his side, Dan is proud to call his four grown children King’s graduates. “As my own kids have grown into adults, I continually see the influence, inspiration and spiritual care they also received from their time at King’s and how solid their faith is when put to the test,” Dan said. “For that I am very thankful.”

Advice for the Senior Class

“You have heard it before that life is a journey. Prayer, goal setting and making moves in the direction you want to head are important to get to the desired outcome. Thinking just about the finish can be overwhelming, you want to have that in mind, but more importantly are those smaller steps and goals that make up the journey, taking you to the finish. Focus on the small continual goals with an eye toward the finish line. When I climb mountains or run a marathon, thinking about the summit or the finish line can be daunting. Focusing on the next hundred feet of ascent or running the next mile is not so overwhelming. Learning to enjoy each step along the way adds to the beauty of it all.

“The journey is yours to create and take. It can be an amazing journey! The ball is in your court, what are you going to do with it?”

Brey Noelle Nordtvedt

Class of 2004

Brey Noelle Nordtvedt is an actor, singer and model, splitting her time between Los Angeles and Nashville. But before spreading her wings in the entertainment industry, Brey was a King’s Knight. She spent some time talking about what her time at King’s meant to her and how it continues to shape the way she balance her faith and career in the spotlight.

What were you involved with at King’s?

Anything having to do with athletics, music, academics and leadership was my focus! I was on Varsity Basketball for three years and Varsity Track for four years. I was in Living Faith and traveled to Honduras and Costa Rica for music missions, and to New York City and Idaho Jazz Festival for performing and competitions. These experiences were life-changing and played a key role in shaping my heart for both music AND missions. I was on student counsel as Student Ministries Coordinator and led bible studies and multiple prayer meetings throughout my time at King’s. I was on Chapel Team and led the band for two years while in high school. I was very passionate about seeing God move in my fellow students and me.

What are a few of your outstanding moments at King’s?

I think the greatest honor I received was being crowned homecoming queen my senior year at King’s. I was actually nominated with a number of my best of friends! I remember crying that night because I had known all my imperfections, insecurities, faults, and had had a very difficult year personally. I was just very humbled by that experience. I did not feel deserving, yet I was so unbelievably grateful.

Another outstanding moment was when I was in 6th grade and sang a solo on the first King’s Album! I sang “Who Would Imagine A King” and was so, so scared!! But, it was the most exciting thing for me because I was doing what I absolutely loved MOST OF ALL! And I couldn’t believe I was selected to sing that song or on the album! It was a huge moment for me, encouraging me in my greatest passion.

The last outstanding moment that comes to my mind, was the moment when I won Triple Jump at State Track & Field. I completely surprised myself as a sophomore and jumped further than I had ever jumped before. I must have had the wind at my back, because it shocked me AND everyone else. It really was a surprise, but I am so grateful for that! It taught me that sometimes, perhaps, I have more ability in me than I know, and all I have to do is my BEST, and continue to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy the process of it.

Was there a teacher who really impacted you while you were here?

My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Haslam, had an absolutely huge impact on me, and I reflect on it to this very day. It’s hard, because every teacher really impacted me, but Mrs. Haslam revealed to me something that was really difficult for me to grasp. She taught me my value as a human, as a friend, as a student, and as raw Brey, apart from my “performance” and “perfection.” She taught me what it meant to know my value, and to stand up for my value when negativity wanted to come in and convince me otherwise. I always wanted to be friends with everybody, but when Mrs. Haslam revealed to me that I don’t have to win everyone’s approval, I didn’t understand at first until years later when the pieces came together. I had been in a cycle of unhealthy friendships that had a very negative affect on me. And I walked with this expectation to be “perfect” for God and everybody else. Mrs. Haslam was the first person who ever shed light on that. I am forever grateful for her in helping me understand how to love people and care for my heart as well. Thank you Mrs. Haslam!

Where has your journey led you after your graduation from King’s? What have you been up to?

My journey after King’s has truly been a whirlwind. I graduated from Seattle Pacific University four years later with honors as a result of multiple music scholarships. I majored in Communications and took a summer to study abroad in Spain. (Studying abroad was one of the best choices I could have made for myself in college!)

I moved to Los Angeles upon college graduation to pursue a music career with my sister. In the meantime, I worked for a non-profit that reached women stuck in the sex industry. I was Program Director and helped establish a support group for women needing healing from the trauma they experienced. I also helped facilitate trainings nationwide for outreach to women in the sex industry. It was a great experience.

I left non-profit work after three years when music led me to other areas of entertainment. I landed my first commercial shortly after for SONY Mobile, and was eventually cast on a Norwegian reality TV show which brought me to Norway for a summer of filming. Upon returning from Norway, I focused on modeling in L.A. and then for a year in New York City.

After a few years of this hustle, I took the summer of 2015 off to visit and stay with family back in Seattle before returning to LA.

Last year I started a YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/BreyNoelle) and now create my own content to release weekly. I love bringing encouragement, inspiration and entertainment through my story on my YouTube channel. It’s a new joy of mine!

I’m continuing to model here in Los Angeles while further developing my craft in acting. I work as a mentor/life coach for young, social media artists through Forever Cool Kids Management and have just tapped back into the music scene upon a management trip to Nashville with a fellow young artist. I will be releasing my first single by the end of February and am continuing to create! I travel back and forth between Nashville (for music) and Los Angeles for modeling and acting. I have a church home in both locations and love feeling at home in multiple places. I’m embracing the journey and unique process of it all!

How has your experience at King’s shaped your life since graduation?

I can’t begin to express the significance King’s has had on me since graduation. I am in an industry where compromise of personal values is extremely present and tempting. I also feel very called to the “gray” areas and have been navigating a lot of “gray” these last few years. It’s not easy for me being brought up in a very “church-based” culture, but my dependency on God has multiplied due to the saturated culture I am in, focused on fame, money, sex and power. The struggle is REAL! It took six years for me to filter through the messiness to what I have finally found to be the right people to work with, the true direction to walk, and my true voice. I am just at the beginning, and it’s different than I ever expected. But the Biblical-based education, righteous values, and life-giving experiences and relationships gleaned from having gone to King’s, has been foundational in the success of me navigating through truth and lies, right and wrong, the genuine and the deceptive. I haven’t done everything right, but I know God is with me and leading me still. Thank you King’s for the foundation of Truth you helped develop in me in addition to my family and upbringing…I will always be grateful for this!

Gale Zickefoose

Class of 1986

At King’s, educators work each day to inspire hearts and equip minds; as a former King’s student, Dr. Gale Zickefoose has been returning the favor to his own students for the last 27 years.

Gale joined the King’s family as a sophomore, jumping into sports and music activities and making memories along the way. From feeling welcome on his first day by Social Studies teacher Nick Sweeney to qualifying for State basketball and track competitions his senior year, Gale learned and grew during his time at King’s.

“Larry Skogstad was my basketball coach, and I learned a lot about the sport from him, like how to take a charge, rebound, pass, shoot a lay-up,” Gale said. “But I probably learned more about life from him, especially how important it is to have integrity, be honest, show respect, work hard, be a team player, take care of responsibilities, honor others, serve others, and love others.”

He took these values with him after graduation, continuing his education at Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho, a state he still calls home with his college sweetheart and three children. Gale studied education, and after graduation started his teaching career as a 6th grade teacher. His love of teaching and his passion for education has kept him in the education field for 27 years, seven years as a 6th grade teacher, two years as an elementary assistant principal, and now 18 years as a principal. And many of the skills he uses each day to guide his teachers and students can be traced back to his time at King’s.

“Many of the things that I learned in the classroom, and on the field, court, and track transferred to the college classroom and college life and beyond into my adult life,” Gale explained. “The most impactful thing that I learned at King’s that still plays a major part in my life today is the concept of team and teamwork. Many of life’s experiences require the ability to get along with and work well with others. The concept of team requires a setting aside of self for the good of the group. Teamwork applies to all areas of life: family, work and play.”

Gale brings these ideas into his career and life, and as he reflects on his own experiences, he leaves the current King’s senior class with this advice to continue inspiring hearts and equipping minds: “Be the positive change that your generation seeks.”