A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Mr. Thomas began his career in education as a high school Social Studies teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools. Eric later became the Coordinator of the district’s 8+ Program. In that role he developed and implemented programming for over-aged eighth graders.
Eric left the district briefly and was an administrator in the Middletown City Schools, a city north of Cincinnati. After four years in Middletown he returned to CPS as Principal at Aiken High School.
As Principal he was given the task of turning around a school that was rated by the Ohio Department of Education as “Academic Emergency”- the lowest of five possible ratings. Aiken had the lowest performance index score of any of the district’s 60 schools. In just three years the school met AYP and moved from "Academic Emergency” to the second highest rating - “Effective.” Aiken continued as an “Effective” rated school after his departure.
Eric became acquainted with the University of Virginia when he was asked to join the district’s turnaround efforts as a Turnaround Principal Coach. He provided support and guidance to a group of schools as they implemented a turnaround initiative in partnership with UVA.
Prior to joining UVA full-time in the summer of 2012, Eric’s most recent role in CPS was as the Executive Director of the Office of Innovation. As a member of the Superintendent’s Senior Management Team, Eric’s responsibilities included redesigning the district’s teacher evaluation system, overseeing the implementation of the district’s nearly $35 million RttT and Teacher Incentive Fund grants, facilitating the development of new schools, and launching a Principal Development Academy.
Along with his work in the district, Eric has been an instructor in the University of Cincinnati’s Educational Leadership Program and he contributed to the development of the Ohio Department of Education’s Urban Principal Licensure. Eric also has been a featured speaker, most often with a focus on developing a Positive School Culture, Leadership Development, Turnaround strategies, and supporting the needs of African-American males.
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