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Paul W. Erickson
Inman Elementary School
USD 448
Inman, Kansas

After five years as principal of Inman Elementary School, Paul W. Erickson has already left a legacy of leadership that is benefiting not just his students and school but the entire community. Using the DuFour Professional Learning Community model as a school improvement framework, Erickson was able to greatly increase collaboration among staff and create a tiered system of intervention and enrichment that has resulted in unprecedented levels of student achievement on benchmark tests. Erickson also worked collaboratively with teachers and district administrators to implement a technology initiative that has transformed the prekindergarten through sixth grade school into a model technology school. With iPads, SMART boards, Apple televisions, document cameras, and one-to-one environments in third through sixth grades, Inman earned the title of Apple Distinguished School in 2012. It now conducts an iPad Summer Summit which 400 educators statewide attend to learn best practices from the Inman staff. As a result, student engagement has “exploded,” the staff has had opportunities to shine among peers, and new and talented staff have been attracted to the school. Erickson also worked cooperatively with a town committee to pass a bond financing the addition of two new kindergarten classrooms, a four-year-old preschool, and a three-year-old preschool. Erickson calls the new construction, “a 10,000-square-foot demonstration of the strong commitment our teachers, parents, and patrons have toward our students’ education.” Erickson’s credentials include a B.S. from Fort Hays State University, an M.A. from Emporia State University, and a District Level Leadership from Wichita State University.