Newly-launched Search Associates USA welcomes Senior Associate Eric Hieser, a veteran educator of 40 plus years who has held almost every leadership position possible within a school. Eric's mission as an educational leader has always been simple and effective: To help teachers and students become much more than they ever thought they could be. His new role will be to help the best U.S. independent and charter schools and candidates find each other. Eric shares his greatest experience in education:
"…leading Sturgis Charter Public School, an IB for All high school in Massachusetts. Over the past twelve years, the school has been challenging conventional wisdom about who can do rigorous work and has had an impact on transforming public education in the U.S."
The term IB for All describes a high school where all students, including those with disabilities, take all of their coursework in the rigorous International Baccalaureate program in Grades 11-12, and all courses in Grades 9-10 are IB prep. Starting in 2004, with Eric as Executive Director, Sturgis Charter became recognized as a leading IB for All school, both nationally and internationally.
Eric was raised in Illinois farm country, where he was inspired by teachers who developed a great rapport with students—students who didn't want to let their beloved teachers down. Throughout his life, Eric has been guided by what his family instilled in him: a focus on community, an emphasis on "we" rather than "I." He earned his B.S. from Illinois State University before teaching science and physical education, and then quickly secured his M.S. in Counselor Education. Eric next studied for an Ed.D. degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Oregon. Following his first five years in Illinois as a teacher, counselor, and athletic coach, Eric and his wife spent 26 years at international and American schools in Stavanger, Norway; Tokyo, Japan; Zurich, Switzerland; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Eric has been an active participant on several international school accreditation teams, as well as serving as a charter school application reviewer and on school renewal and quality review teams. He has led more than fifteen board governance workshops for charter schools and has taken leadership roles in charter school organizations. Finally, Eric has been a leader in the IB Educator Network by frequently leading IB workshops, school evaluation visits, school verification visits, and supporting schools in the IB Diploma application process as an IB consultant.
Although travel and exploring restaurants are hobbies Eric enjoys, his passion lies in service. He explains,
"My greatest interest is continuing to serve the education community, students, and schools… I have said many times that recruiting outstanding teachers and school leaders is the most important thing that I do."
At Search Associates USA, Eric will concentrate on just that: matching the finest candidates with first class U.S. independent and charter schools, assisting the wider school community on a grand scale. Eric's work will focus on supporting charter schools with head of school and other charter school leader searches, teacher and faculty recruiting, school leadership, and board governance consulting. Eric states,
"I am very excited about joining Search Associates and supporting its new Search Associates USA initiative. It seemed to be a great match to join the organization that I have used and depended upon extensively as a recruiter and also as a candidate. I look forward to helping charter schools recruit outstanding leaders and faculty as I firmly believe that recruiting the best educators is one of the most important things that great schools do."