New Principal Named for Mount Ellis Academy

The Montana Conference Board of Education has named Michael Lee as the next principal of Mount Ellis Academy (MEA) in Bozeman, effective July 2014. He replaces Bruce Lane, who will return to retirement after generously giving a year to MEA as interim principal.

Lee graduated from MEA in 2001. He will be the second graduate to serve as principal and is a third-generation alumnus of the school. Lee comes to MEA from Hawaiian Mission Academy (HMA), where he teaches choir and religion and serves as the campus chaplain. Before joining HMA, Lee taught English in Thailand, received a Master of Art in Teaching and Bachelor of Arts in religion and biblical languages from Walla Walla University.

“We are excited to welcome Michael back home to Mount Ellis,” says Merlin Knowles, MEA operating board chairman. “Being a native Montanan himself, he has an extra enthusiasm for the young people of this Big Sky state. He brings a youthful energy to the position, and most important he has a deep love of God.”

Current MEA principal Bruce Lane taught Lee at MEA and in subsequent years was an educational colleague of Lee’s in Hawaii. Lane says Lee is a great choice for the position of principal. “He brings the love and passion for MEA that is so needed in an environment like this,” says Lane. “A smaller school needs that passion to continue going the way it is, and his experience as an educator as well as his years at MEA perfectly [suit] him for this transition.”

Knowles adds, “We believe that he is the right person for Mount Ellis at this time as the school moves on to the next level.”

Being an alumnus of MEA, Lee says this opportunity has extra import. “To be back in Montana gets me really excited. MEA is my home — my alma mater. I know the people, and I know the school. The school not only gave me the opportunity to serve in a world I hadn’t known before, but it gave me the encouragement to keep going and keep trying — to keep pushing. Not just staff members, but the local community and church members were instrumental to my development through the years there. I’m excited to give back to a place that has meant so much.”

Mount Ellis Academy is a fully accredited private high school, operated by the Adventist Church and open to students of all faiths. This Christ-following community seeks to help young people discover reality of their Creator, develop their God-given gifts and serve in His kingdom.

Featured in: May 2014