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Teacher profile: Mr. Birkhead

Photo by Claire Duarte

Joining ERHS’ Individuals and Societies flock, one new bird on campus is Mr. Birkhead! With family members taking on jobs as teachers, principals, and superintendents, Mr. Birkhead has the blood of an educator.

But he didn't go down this route at first. After graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.S. in Diplomacy and International Relations, Mr. Birkhead went on to work as a political opposition research consultant for official campaigns. His work's primary objective was to prepare reports on the opposing candidates to highlight their downsides as a way to discredit them.

However, particularly following the January 6th insurrection, an event shrouded in political chaos and negativity, Mr. Birkhead felt that his work was "a bit more part of the problem than part of the solution." So his resolution? To better educate future generations on how governments and societies function and thrive. That way, we can better work together rather than against each other as our nation did on January 6th.

And so now that brings Mr. Birkhead to Eagle Rock, where he is grateful for every day he is with us. He admits that since he began to teach, he has been waking up many more mornings feeling genuinely happy and energized. A person with a strong sense of purpose and passion, he has a lot of hopes for his students. This can be seen at the front of his classroom where there is a poster that reads "The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way"—a Marcus Aurelius quote that embodies Mr. Birkhead's wish for his students to view overcoming obstacles as a necessary part of learning and of life.

Outside of the classroom, Mr. Birkhead may be burying himself in various nonfiction and fiction titles while sitting beside his wife, whom he met while working together on Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. Otherwise, you can expect to see him commenting on televised basketball, baseball, and soccer games to Thea, his beloved three-year-old baby girl, as they curl up together on the family couch.

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