Confessions of a Headmaster

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Confessions of a Headmaster takes the reader on a journey through one prominent California educator’s life and how he came to open his own highly acclaimed school that would go on to produce high-achieving graduates while taking a look back at where author Paul F. Cummins got his start and how his experience with his own education paved the way for a future generation.

Unlike the typical memoir, Confessions of a Headmaster doesn’’t start at the beginning. The book is broken into several different sections, part I entitled “Crossroads 1970 and Onward.” Crossroads is the name of the first school Cummins opened in Southern California and became the first of many successful ventures into education reform in the area. Cummins became the headmaster of St. Augustin’e by-the-Sea Episcopal School in Santa Monica in 1970. Knew nothing of elementary education, no credentials. But, as he writes, the board was desperate. From there, he paints a vague picture that he came from a hippie school background where kids play guitar and have long hair. But, apparently, the board was impressed with his background and mentions his PhD from USC, BA from Stanford, Harvard MAT. It’s not until part II in the book we’ll learn more about that.

Although the memoir describes itself as “working to achieve social justice through education for all youth: from children of celebrities to foster and incarcerated youth,” we don’t get to see the actual social justice part until the part III of the memoir: “New Roads and New Visions 1990 and Onward”. Confessions of a Headmaster is less of a “coming into one’s own” story of struggle and determination of bringing social justice to minorities, but rather just the story of a man from a privileged background and how he used that to his benefit. No doubt Cummins is well regarded in education community of Southern California, and it is exciting to see that he is branching out into using his connections in communities that could use his experience.

This page was created by an SFBR staff member.


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Author Paul F. Cummins
Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 181 pages
Publisher Red Hen Press
Publish Date 15-Sep-15
ISBN 9781939096401
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2016
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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