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John Isaacson '94
English Teacher
B.A. UC Santa Barbara
M.A. Portland State University
Appointed: 2015
Even when I was a student at Midland, the question came up, “Would you ever want to teach at Midland?” The idea was almost too much to consider: Here we were somehow living this idyllic dream of high school in rustic cabins, chopping wood, hiking the Indian Mounds, swimming in the res, in classes of eight to twelve students discussing Dante’s inferno, solipsism, or the biomass of the Midland School property. This alone was such a gift for four years of life. To one day return to teach at Midland was almost asking too much of life. And yet, when I married Jenny Petersen, another former Midland student, and we were both teachers, the question inevitably arose, “wouldn’t you love to teach at Midland?” Yes, we all love the idea of being able to return to our youth and of course it is impossible. When I looked up Midland again, the school had evolved into a truer realization of its infinite potential: a farm and garden program, solar panels, experiential week, the internet; all of these were non-existent when I was a student. The strong close-knit family-like relationships, and atmosphere of hard work, mutual aid, commitment, trust, respect, self-reliance, and responsibility make this a community that stays with an individual for a lifetime. I enjoy working at Midland for the sense of connection I feel to students, faculty, alumni, and parents alike. In addition to sharing my love of reading and writing with students, I am thrilled to be working in the Midland archives, bringing the lessons of tradition and change to bear upon the present as we continue to ask ourselves to distinguish between wants and needs, creating more depth, and richer lives, with less material goods.



Midland School

5100 Figueroa Mountain Road
PO Box 8
Los Olivos, CA 93441

p: 805-688-5114
f: 805-686-2470



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5100 Figueroa Mountain Road/PO Box 8, Los Olivos, CA 93441 | ph: 805-688-5114 | admissions@midland-school.org

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