Mr. Paul Errickson will be joining us as Middle School director in June 2024! Please watch for ways to warmly welcome him to our community. Take a moment to get to know Mr. Errickson and the wealth of experience he will be bringing to MPA. 

From what school/organization are you coming? 
I am joining you from The American School of Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland.

Tell us about your education and past experience. 
I spent my early years of education at the University of New Hampshire, earning a B.S. in environmental conservation with a minor in outdoor education and an MEd in secondary education, all while competing on their men’s track and field team as a hammer thrower. I also earned a MEd in independent school leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University. I have taught and led in six different schools in four different countries and have held roles ranging from camp counselor and learning coach to head of middle school. I have worked Croo in the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high mountain huts of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and I spent a year as an AmeriCorps member teaching about watersheds and stream ecology. I’ve always found ways to get involved with students outside of the classroom, from coaching soccer and helping out with musicals to leading outdoor trips—hiking, skiing, or ice climbing—in the mountains.

What did you find appealing about MPA? 
First of all, I was struck by the simplicity and conviction of MPA’s motto: Dream Big. Do Right. As a principled leader who believes deeply in inspiring our students and teaching them about servant leadership, I immediately connected to MPA’s aspirational motto. The more I learned about MPA, the more I loved it as I read through the stories on your website and saw your commitment as a school for “dreamers and doers.” And, then I got to visit the school and meet the people at MPA. From the moment I stepped into the building, I experienced a warmth and an ethos of learning, acceptance, and energy that I have not felt in many other schools. Filled with nooks and joyful students, MPA revealed itself to be a place that values relationships and connection—across all grade levels. I felt the energy from every student, teacher, and adult that I talked with on that day.

What lasting impact do you plan to have on MPA? 
As someone who believes deeply in servant leadership, I look forward to entering MPA with my ears and my heart wide open, looking for ways to connect and grow. I have a good deal of experience working with middle schoolers, helping them to grow their perspectives both internally and externally and always intentionally, to become more reflective learners and impactful community members.

When I think about the impact a leader can have on a school, I often think of this quote by Lao Tzu, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, the people will say, ‘We did this ourselves.'” My hope is that my lasting impact is an even more empowered and enlightened student body, ready to take on the world with vigor.

What’s your big dream? 
My big dream is to create places where kids can just be kids and where the perspectives we gain are from the things that we see, do, and experience; not from the screens in our hands. My big dream includes getting outdoors in challenging spaces. It includes vistas that you need to work for and ones that you won’t soon forget. I dream of creating transformative experiences that folks reflect back upon to draw both inspiration and confidence as they take on their next new challenge or adventure. I relish in those times when we circle up with students and ask them about what they learned about themselves, our group, and the places around them and they refill my bucket with wisdom and reflection.

What are you and your family passionate about? 
We are passionate about both traveling and weekend afternoons at home; exploring the Italian Dolomites and watching movies together; exploring Polish food markets close to home, and reading books. We end most days sharing our “best thing and worst thing” of the day, and more often than not, the positives revolve around time spent with friends and family (and our dog, Chase). I am passionate about getting outdoors—either on two feet or two wheels—and exploring the world around me. I love to immerse myself in new places; especially when that includes exploring trails or running paths and learning about the history of people and their places.

What’s a fun fact about you that our community would love to know? 
I was a true fluffernutter enthusiast all through middle and high school, eating a peanut butter and fluff sandwich every day for lunch (and I have the cavities to show for it).

Paul is a proven and innovative school leader with experience leading in three different schools; he is dedicated to creating inclusive and engaging experiences for all students within a school; and he has an extensive leadership and educational background.

Currently, Paul is a learning coach and MYP science teacher at the American School of Warsaw, Poland. With a quest for adventure, Paul and his wife, Lolly, moved to Western Europe to gain experience at an international school. Paul works to build collegiality, leads several school initiatives with peer learning labs and data-driven decision-making, and works one-on-one and with teams to build a culture of coaching within the school. Paul also coaches varsity girls soccer and enjoys all of the trips and experiential learning that comes when teaching and traveling in Europe.

As the Head of Middle School at Nichols School (Buffalo, NY), Paul’s duties included everything from teaching wellness (redesigning the 7th/8th grade curriculum) and coaching soccer in the Middle School to planning professional days and leading the whole school community in an effort to examine its culture in a thoughtful and inclusive manner. Paul also helped the school adopt a faculty growth and development model centered on peer coaching and self-reflection. He also helped to lead a curriculum review process centering the school on a set of Core Competencies with equity and justice woven within. And, he implemented a restorative justice program in the middle school, instilling these practices within their advisory and discipline work.

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