Hadland takes on cross country and chemistry
Minnehaha students knew new physics and AP Chemistry teacher Erik Hadland long before he started teaching here. For the last two years, Hadland has been substituting at MA and assistant coaching cross country and track.
“I think Hadland is a very caring coach,” sophomore Catherine Dustrude said, “He’s very encouraging and supportive. He’s always willing to listen to you and push you harder than you think you can go. This makes you feel really good about yourself.”
Hadland is equally passionate about pushing athletes and students to their full potential.
“I hope my students would remember me as a teacher who believed in them to do something hard and really convinced them that they can be really good critical thinkers and active participants in the world,” Hadland said.
Born and raised in Eden Prairie, Hadland and his family moved to the North Sonoma County of California when he was 17.
He attended Wheaton College in Illinois for his undergrad and since then has lived in Boston, Guatemala (for a stint in a public health clinic) and finally, Minneapolis.
He got involved at Minnehaha in January 2010.
Hadland had just quit his job as a business analyst for the Target Corporation, when he called up Spanish teacher, Senora Anne Calvin, a friend from his church and days at Wheaton, to see if any of her students needed tutoring.
It was then when she asked him to be her long-term substitute while she was on maternity leave.
Although Hadland didn’t always want to be a teacher, he considered for a long time a career in the medical field as a doctor or dentist, he instantly fell in love with it and after subbing for Calvin, he enrolled at Hamline University to get his Master’s degree in teaching that summer.
This being Hadland’s first year as a permanent teacher, he wants to make sure that he remains “relational” to his students.
“I want learning to be more of a discussion rather than a one sided conversation,” he said, “I want students to get to know me and why I’m excited about science and I want them to find their own voices as scientists.”
He credits his teaching inspiration to one of his high school English teachers from his Californian high school, Maria Carillo High School.
“I knew I either loved her as a teacher or hated her but I knew it wasn’t just in between,” Hadland said. “When I got to college, I was like, ‘that was really good [that] she pushed us as hard as she did.’”
Hadland believes that he has some big shoes to fill but not only Chris Thompson’s, who has recently moved to Haiti, but the whole role of being a Minnehaha staff member.
“I feel that there are high expectations at Minnehaha and that it’s not set forward by any one person,” Hadland said. “Minnehaha as a whole has high expectations for everyone including me. And I have high expectations for myself.”