Eric Irwin, from detention center to high school


Eric Irwin talks to Natalie Lloyd, ’17. Irwin makes it his goal to converse with and connect with students during his down time.

Nick Irwin and Joe Kronberg

At the start of the new school year, the administration hired additional hall monitor, Eric Irwin.

Eric Irwin is a former juvenile corrections officer who applied and was interviewed alongside Dannie Spann. Although Irwin’s prior experience working at a juvenile detention center in Kansas City has parallels to being a hall monitor, there are fundamental differences between the two jobs. “I’ve been called every name in the book and I’ve had kids punch me, bite me, kick me, spit on me.” Irwin said. “With this school, it’s a lot different, so I might see a kid that maybe I need to talk to and they’ll recognize me and they’ll maybe try to make it around a corner real quick, but I’m not gonna chase them down or anything,”

Though Irwin’s job may seem to be all about making an effort to encourage students to go to class, he doesn’t want either administration or himself to have to force a student to go to class. “With school, it’s on the student. If they don’t want to take advantage of the education they are getting, that’s ultimately their decision,” Irwin said.

Irwin lives with his wife and three kids and spends his time outside of the school driving his kids back and forth to their various activities, such as karate and dance classes.

Irwin hopes students will begin to see him as less of an intimidating force, and more as a resource for any student in need. “I just want to be someone they can talk to if they are having a bad day, have questions about class, or just need help in life,” Irwin said.