Erik grew up in Detroit, Michigan. His educational background includes Southern Methodist University, Oberlin College (BA, Government), the University of Denver College of Law, and the University of Colorado (MA, Curriculum and Development). In his first career, he managed a commodity trading firm for a major Chicago brokerage firm and was a national sales leader. He traded on the floor of a Chicago commodity exchange.
When his sons were born, Erik moved into his second career, teaching. He taught English, math, science, and civics over a twenty year career. Erik was a teacher of the year in one of the nation’s most prestigious school districts.
Now in his third career, Erik brings his unique experiences to empower teachers to change. He focuses on oral communication: showing educators how to help all students become confident, competent oral communicators and showing adults how to improve their speaking skills. He has worked with schools and districts in the United States and around the world. He has given keynote speeches for educational organizations and conferences. Erik is the author of Well Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students (Stenhouse Publishers, 2011), Teaching the Core Skills of Listening & Speaking (ASCD, 2013), Researching in a Digital World (ASCD, 2104), Good Thinking: Teaching Argument, Persuasion, and Reasoning (Stenhouse, 2016), and Own Any Occasion: Mastering the Art of Speaking and Presenting (ATD, 2017). He is an author on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s into Reading and into Literature programs.