Mr. Erickson’s High School Experience

Irondale Yearbook

Maddie Blanz and Wyatt Singh

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While walking through the commons or the hallways, you have undoubtedly seen Mr. Erickson numerous times throughout your high school years. Although Mr. Erickson is well-known professionally, when it comes to the personal level, MHS students are less educated about their principal.
Outside of school, Erickson enjoys spending time with his three children. They love to attend events and watch movies together. In the summertime, they spend time on the lake at their cabin, which has been in the family since Erickson was born in 1971 and has given him “46 years of fishing and swimming.” In his down time, the MHS principal likes to read and spend time with his wife.
Erickson, who attended Irondale High School, never thought he would grow up to be a Spanish teacher or, eventually, a high school principal. As a student, he played the saxophone in his school’s jazz band and “enjoyed hav[ing] an opportunity to lead” as his student council’s president.
The only time Mr. Erickson ever received detention was for his “one bold move”: leaving campus to have lunch at Burger King, where he ran into the vice principal in the checkout line.
Mr. Erickson describes Minnetonka High School as a “special school” for many reasons, one of which is that he met his wife here. The two taught Spanish together for six years before their first child was born.
On the Ericksons’ wedding day, the photographer stopped by the north entrance to capture a photo of the bride and groom in front of their meeting place.
Erickson takes pride in his role as principal of MHS, noting “build[ing] connections with kids” as a huge piece of his job. In fact, the principal likes to think of MHS as a “relationship based school, not a rules-based school,” stressing the importance of interpersonal connections at Minnetonka. The recent Keith Hawkins events were “critical” in connection-building for the school.
Erickson has used Beyond 140 videos to emphasize the importance of relationships within MHS.
Erickson started making the videos because “we could easily say here are the five things you can’t do, versus what’s a medium people can connect to.” He says that the process of creating Beyond 140 is “as much fun as something that’s therapeutic.”
When asked what he would change within MHS, Erickson’s most important wish is for MHS is “to feel like a culture that you’re part of.” In the end, Erickson would only make changes to improve the experience of the students. He wishes for a community filled with connections, respect, and a positive learning environment. And, “maybe more parking spots would be nice.”

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