Alumni Profiles

Liesl Erman ’77

“The tremendous growth and success of Crossroads since [the] early days is such a beautiful testament to [the] original founders/dreamers.”
When Crossroads first opened its doors in 1971, seventh grader Liesl Erman ’77 was one of the original 34 students to enter them. “At age 11, I don’t think I understood the significance of starting a new school,” says Liesl. “I knew it was going to be different; I didn’t realize just how different.”

Liesl fondly remembers two experiences that were rare in schools at that time: environmental studies, which took her to Yosemite; and community service, where she enjoyed conversing in Spanish with a resident of a nursing facility.

“Every day at school was unique,” recalls Liesl. “It was as if we were starting from scratch every day, kind of making it up, but in a good way.”

According to Liesl, the students embraced the innovative educational experiences: “In the first year, I’m pretty sure some of my classmates got credit for practicing their motocross skills on their Sting-Ray bikes in the parking lot. Yes, I’m talking about you, Miles Dale! At the same time, some of my other seventh-grade classmates were learning 10th-grade math. Needless to say, I was in neither of those groups!”

Music classes were taught by Liesl’s mother, Mary Ann Cummins, a faculty member to this day. Liesl herself is now a freelance symphony harpist and has performed with orchestras and chamber groups
around the country. She also arranges for and conducts small ensembles of students.

Those early days of Crossroads yielded Liesl many fond memories— some of which, she admits, can’t be fully described in a school magazine. She read Rabelais with Jon Rinander; acted out television commercials in rapid Spanish for Carol Nelson; and learned about the biology of human reproduction through detailed chalkboard drawings by Teri (Darrow) Redman. Liesl feels lucky to have been a student of the caring, ever-gentle Steve Morgan, whom she credits with her appreciation of Shakespeare.

Fifty years after she first walked through Crossroads’ doors, Liesl has a newfound appreciation for the School. “The tremendous growth and success of Crossroads since those early days is such a beautiful testament to those original founders/dreamers,” acknowledges Liesl. “I wish they were all still here to see it.”