Principal Erickson Stresses MHS Values

Jeff+Erickson+poses+with+National+Merit+Scholars.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Principal Erickson Stresses MHS Values

Jeff Erickson poses with National Merit Scholars.

Jeff Erickson poses with National Merit Scholars.

Twitter//@tonkaprincipal

Jeff Erickson poses with National Merit Scholars.

Twitter//@tonkaprincipal

Twitter//@tonkaprincipal

Jeff Erickson poses with National Merit Scholars.

Alia Arellanes, Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When looking to summarize the 90-page “Skipper Log” which details the school’s vast policies, rules, guidelines, and values, Principal Jeff Erickson chose to coin the phrases “1. Do the right thing and 2. Represent us well” as the school’s core values.
To many, these core values may seem like common sense or a touch redundant, but according to the principal, that’s what makes them unique to MHS. “Simpler is better,” Jeff Erickson states as his reasoning for the brevity of MHS core values. These phrases are catchy, easy to remember, and easy to follow.
“I never, or rarely, go on the morning announcements and read from a handbook,” Erickson claims, and according to MHS administered polls, over 95% of sophomores agreed that Erickson makes his expectations clear.
Erickson heavily relies on feedback from the students to understand what changes need to be made, and how he can be a better leader for our school. “I have a high level of trust in our students,” Erickson disclosed during our Wednesday interview. By upholding these values, every student has a responsibility to be a model of rectitude. Undeniably and inevitably, the pressure to be an outstanding student at MHS is beyond question, but some students seem to work better under the stress.
Jacquie Dickson,‘17, finds that the highly-esteemed high school’s reputation “helps the student body stay motivated and involved.” Also admitting that “while [maintaining MHS reputation] can be stressful at times, I would rather be pushed to my best ability than not.”
While helpful and impressive, the school’s high test scores and academic successes are not the defining factors of their students’ characters, but neither are their mistakes. Even with all of the pride he takes in Minnetonka High School and its students, Erickson “recognize[s] that high school is a series of mistakes.”

Jeff Erickson, @TonkaPrincipal on Twitter, became Principal in September 2013.

In recent years, through school-wide posters and Beyond 140 videos, our school has begun to reinforce the idea that we all have this responsibility as the bystander to fully promote respect among our student body. Moran believes that oftentimes students don’t step up in fear of becoming the victim themselves, which is why Erickson always affirms, “It takes to courage to stand up for respect”.
In deliberation, our attitudes, behaviors, and reactions are the defining factors that dictate our character. We must aim to be respectful and kind to one another; that’s the Minnetonka way of doing things.
Erickson stresses the importance of visibility and ensuring that no one student is unknown, especially as the principal of over 3,000 teenagers. Erickson is always looking for students that personify these core values, and although student gov’t representatives only show a small fraction of our students and diversity, he ensures that they encourage others to take pride in the school as well.
Jeffrey Erickson credits the success of the school to its values and the students that follow them, “[the MHS core values] [are] not lip service. We have a really amazing place and it’s the students that do that.”
Senior Representative Jessica Larsen exhibits the purpose for her representative position after confessing her inclusive personal values, saying “I value helping others become the best they can be. No one student is alone, we are 100% in this togethe
It is this sense of community created by the student government and other school-wide leaders that Mr. Erickson attempts to build when he instills these values into our day-to-day lives.
The simplicity and cohesiveness of these values are so applicable to other parts of our lives; we can take these same values, to do the right thing and represent us well, and mend them into our home lives, our work lives, our post-high school lives, our social lives. It’s not necessarily about upholding ours, or any, reputation, but rather bettering ourselves, helping those around us, standing up for respect, and in result, being proud of what we have accomplished. We may not realize it, but as we spend more and more time at Minnetonka High School, these values become more and more of an institution throughout our lives in and out of school.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Login