A Clover Park School District story.
Our CPSD Staff Spotlight this week features Thomas Middle School eighth grade science teacher Eric Fredericks.
He has been an educator for 28 years and is in his sixth year with CPSD. In addition to eighth-grade science, he also teaches sixth-grade AVID and is the chair of the science department. “I love when I can teach students about the way something works that they take for granted,” he said. “Doing demonstrations that look like magic but are really based on science fascinates them, and I get to explain why that happens.”
Eric didn’t always know teaching was his calling but was naturally inclined to educate from a young age. “In first grade I would go down to kindergarten and help kindergartners, and in second grade, I was the reading buddy to first graders, so it’s just something I’ve always done,” he said.
Eric knows firsthand that not everyone’s path travels in a straight line. After struggling through high school and taking time to realize his passion, Eric earned four degrees – two bachelor’s degrees in geophysics and education, and two master’s degrees in Information Science & Technology and Administration – and two certificates from Harvard University and UCLA.
“If I can do it, I know that they can,” he said. “I see a lot of me in a lot of them, and I have patience for that because of my experiences.”
When Eric’s out of the classroom, you can find him freeing his mind on a boulder somewhere. “Rock climbing is the purest form of mindfulness that I find because there’s nothing else on my mind but the next hold and the next move.”