Director: Eric Jacobson
Eric Jacobson founded the Progressive School in 1985, at which time he and his wife, Eva, administered individualized lessons to a single class of six students of kindergarten age.
Mr. Jacobson hails from Philadelphia by way of Monterey, California, and has culled his personal and professional influences from intensive travel, study, and dedication to self-improvement. He studied Education, Music, and Human Services at Antioch and Penn State Universities, after which an interest in eastern philosophy compelled him to travel extensively. During one of his visits to India, Eric personally encountered the father of Neohumanism, P.R. Sarkar, who asked: “Are you ready to to help every living being of this universe? Will you open 1000 schools around the world?” Contemplating this immense challenge, and seeking to build the perfect “sequel” to the Montessori model, Eric returned home and opened one school in Merrick, NY. With the addition of the the middle school in 2006, his total reached two.
He here sought to develop a unique system of education which could sensitively apply an appropriate social, academic, and environmental model to the community. Over subsequent years Eric has travelled upon invitation to Australia, Sweden, Germany, India, Mexico, Holland, and Oregon to contribute toward the development of sister schools in the Progressive model, but designed with respect to the particular “personality” of each new community. One country-community wherein this is especially relevant is Haiti, where Eric hopes to journey soon and begin assisting in the rebuilding of the national school system. He has helped dozens of school to get started and has advised scores more in the Neohumanist family, though he claims that the total is still far short of the 1000 he took on as a duty.
Eric stands for anything that brings people together, for unity and universalism. He is happiest whenever he sees any Progressive student doing something that “makes a positive ripple,” or when a graduate proves that they have assimilated the character traits that Progressive so actively nurtures.