Who Is Joe Erpelding?
A Learner Just Like You
I’m a family man who learned about learning by being curious. Growing up in a large family (one of 10 kids - yep you read correctly) with brothers and sisters who finished college in two years, a Navy Officer, Engineers, full ride scholarships, and valedictorians, I had to fight to find my own way. I recall a family conversation where family friends were wondering if I was going to go to college. I realized at that moment that I am motivated by challenge. You can imagine, I was not much into doing "school" or being schooled in the typical manner. School for me was impersonal, routine and disconnected from reality. I would run home after school and spend hours in my backyard canyon creating forts, designing go karts and taking things apart. Learning . . . I would come to realize - It's Personal!
Being part of ten different educational spaces - with rolls from Instructional Assistant to Campus Principal - I have developed a deep passion for changing the way we "Do School" and ultimately Learning.
Like you, I have seen school and the world of education reform defined in numerous ways over the years - from 1:1 technology - PBL - The four C's - College and Career Readiness. They all have their shelf life as the pendulum swings. I wondered - there must be a different story?
With over two decades of real-life, in-the-trenches learning experience, my view is radically different. Transformation is about people and not about programs, fads or experts. State Departments, Districts and Schools buy programs because you can't buy culture. Transformation happens in learning organizations that fail forward, are audacious, and provide proof. It's how we should live our lives.
Joe Erpelding & Family
We were fortunate to hear from current Design39 Principal, Joseph Erpelding. Humble and at times soft-spoken, Joseph’s leadership looks a bit different than what you see in most K-8 school environments. While he doesn’t demand or cry for teachers’ attention, when he talks–you listen. His words are eloquent and genuine. He cares about this place and these people.