Paul is Crossroads’ co-founder and was headmaster from 1974-1993.
Paul received his BA from Stanford University, his MAT from Harvard University and his PhD from the University of Southern California. He became headmaster at St. Augustine by-the-Sea Episcopal School in 1970, accepting the job on the condition that he could bring his progressive vision to the traditional school. With his assistant head, Rhoda Makoff, Paul transformed the School’s philosophy, creating a balanced, child-centered school with an integrated curriculum featuring the arts, social-emotional learning and community engagement alongside excellent academics.
Paul continued to serve as headmaster at St. Augustine while he and Rhoda founded Crossroads in 1971. When Rhoda stepped down as director of Crossroads in 1974, Paul became headmaster of both schools, merging them 1982 to create a single K-12 institution. Paul’s vision and leadership laid the foundation for the School’s philosophy and identity.
Paul stepped down as Crossroads headmaster in 1993 to become the President of the Crossroads Community Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the school that focused on serving the greater community. He left Crossroads in 2003 to become president of the Coalition for Engaged Education (formerly the New Visions Foundation), an organization he founded, which is committed to creating opportunities for all children to have equitable access to quality education. Paul has been the founder or co-founder of a numerous schools, including Pine Ridge Girls School, New Roads School, Camino Nuevo Charter School, New Village Charter School and Tree Academy.
Paul has published four books on education, a biography, three volumes of his original poetry and two children’s books.
He is the step-father of Liesl Erman ’77 and Julie Hansen ’78, father of Anna Cummins ’91 and Emily Polk ’94, and grandparent of Della Polk ’27, Dax Polk ’31 and Avani Cummins ’31. He lives with his wife, Mary Ann Cummins, in Santa Monica.