Brian Harmon

B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Social Studies Teacher

Brian Harmon Photo


  • BA in History (Eastern Europe) and English from Stanford University

  • MA in Anthropology from Columbia University

  • PhD in Anthropology (China) from Columbia University 


Brian taught English as a Second Language in several Asian countries before pursuing his graduate degree in Anthropology. Upon completion of his dissertation on feasting practices in China, he taught anthropology part-time at universities in Connecticut and full-time at Shandong University, China for seven years. In 2016, pollution and special education needs there pushed Brian and his family to move to Taiwan, where he transitioned to teaching History at the secondary level. He also taught on the Zuni Reservation in New Mexico and at West Ridge Academy in Utah before coming to Gateway.  


Brian believes every person is not only capable of learning but also capable of enjoying learning. Getting better at feeling confident is the key to becoming a successful learner. However, this confidence does not come without a cost in effort and struggle. Brian believes that hard work in the basics of reading and writing exponentially increases one’s chances of learning successfully. His second major principle is the necessity of active learning to the health of our nation and our world. All the crises our nation faces at home and abroad are related to a lack of engagement by citizens. Conversely, Brian feels sure that this trend can only be reversed by getting students engaged in learning.


Brian grew up in Connecticut but spent many summers in Utah visiting relatives. He spent his immediate post-college years teaching English in Indonesia, Korea, China, and Taiwan, and studying in Egypt. He enjoys learning languages, writing, and hiking, and has an interest in house design and energy efficiency. He and his wife have two sons, and he is looking forward to bike trips with them once they are old enough.