Profiles in Leadership: Paul Hoelscher


Paul Hoelscher stands in his history Classroom. Hoelscher is a history teacher at CHS and the social studies coordinator for the district (Photo by Gwyneth Henke).

Marina Henke, News Section Editor

History teacher Paul Hoelscher has worked at Clayton for 14 years. He is the K-12 social studies coordinator for the school district and runs CHS’s summer school program. Hoelscher is currently working on attaining his PhD in educational leadership.

How do you communicate the ‘why’ of your classes to students? I think about those things a lot. I can never come and just say, “Here’s five things to learn about World War II, and now let’s move on.” To myself I constantly have to create meaning. To share something with a class it has got to be meaningful to me, not just in the short term, but it also has to fit into the big picture.

What is your role as coordinator? I am the K-12 coordinator for social studies, which oversees the curriculum at the elementary, middle and high schools. Coordinators in a lot of different discipline areas advocate for their discipline in district level budgetary conversations. In light of STEM, I have to be a proponent of the social studies, really the humanities, and make larger curriculum decisions. I do some mentoring for new teachers. My primary responsibility is to make sure that new teachers know the curriculum, and I work to make the content effective in the classroom.

What is the importance of your own education that you are pursuing?  I have gone back to school to study educational leadership, not to be a principal, instead it’s more about curriculum development … Sadly across the country we probably lack some educational leadership. We lack some people that are trying to take on some problems I’m responsible for this Clayton community, but we are going to get nowhere as a society if we don’t start seeing the broader things. This program is designed for that.

Hoelscher is one of the 20 people to be profiled in the Globe story, “Profiles in Leadership.” Check out the rest of the website to read about more leaders in the Clayton community.