Faces of FOSS: Chad Erickson

Chad Erickson
Site Director
Chanhassen, MN

How long have you worked for FOSS?

Since early 2000—so over 19 years now!

What is your favorite part about working for FOSS?

We are all family here. If you are having a bad day, or if you are celebrating, we all share in it. The students that come here are part of that family. Fun times and hard work are a great combination to have in a school environment, and that is what we are all about.

What is your favorite FOSS memory?

I cannot recall the child’s name, but it happened at the local arboretum a few years ago. A child fell in the koi pond with his clothes on, and was able to flip on his back, swim to the side and climb out safely because of the skills he learned at FOSS. Safety Day is every day!

Tell a story about a student who experienced a major “lightbulb” moment when you were with them. 

I had a student that refused to put his face in the water for over six months. One day he decided to put his eyes in all by himself. That was all it took and in three more weeks, he was able to swim scooping and kicking over 10 feet by himself. It was the dedicated parents and the patience to build trust to get this win. We were all overwhelmed with joy. Being able to gain confidence to be comfortable in the water was well earned.

As a child, how did you feel about the water? 

I grew up in a swimming family, so respect for the water was ingrained at an early age. Learning how to swim with a current on the the river, or deal with big waves in the Atlantic, I have always given the power of water great respect.

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