04/15/2019 Press Release from Free Union Country School:

Charlottesville, April 15, 2019 – Free Union Country School is pleased to announce that Eric Anderson will serve as Head of School, effective July 1, 2019.

Eric brings to Free Union over twenty years of experience as an independent school leader, Virginia Master Naturalist, founder of a coalition promoting sustainability in schools, Education Advisor to the Center for Urban Habitats, and Board Co-Chair of the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville,

Eric is enthusiastic about joining a school that will support and defend the progressive philosophy that recognizes what educational research has confirmed: that young students thrive when they are known, when their learning is hands-on, cooperative, and experiential, when they feel safe enough to laugh at their missteps, when they explore and play with each other in the outdoors, when they can move about freely as a feature of their daily routine, and when the adults in their lives deeply believe in them.

Eric comes to us with proven success in all of these areas and more. Most recently Eric served as Head of the International School of Charlottesville from 2014 to 2018 when the school doubled in size and earned “Best of” recognition from C-ville Weekly and Charlottesville Family publications.

Before that, he taught science and led faculty development at Stuart Country Day School in Princeton, NJ. Earlier in his career Eric earned a Master of Arts degree in Cognitive & Biological Psychology at Columbia University and later trained as a Klingenstein Fellow through Columbia’s Teachers College. Eric brings demonstrated experience in how to effect change, nurture school culture, and focus on the future contributions of the school to students and community. 

Charged with deepening our progressive roots, fortifying our commitment to diversity, enriching our academic community, and leading the way to long-term institutional stability, Eric passed the first test of his interview, the chicken test, with flying colors. When students set about to see if Eric was willing to hold a campus chicken, they reported back that he asked to hold the bird even before they had the chance to pose the question to him – one more sign that Eric truly is ready to embrace the opportunities at Free Union.

Recalling his interview on campus, Eric said: “In almost no time, I was under the spell of that Free Union magic, that palpable, pervasive spirit that convinces you not only that you can do it, but that the world will actually be somehow better once you do.”