Familiar Face, Unfamiliar Job


Emi Pope, Reporter

Full Disclosure: Ms. Ervin is a faculty sponsor of The World.

The Grand Canyon trip, offered to rising 9th graders, is a Burroughs tradition many students have experienced or know well. English teacher Maggie Doyle Ervin accompanied the group last year, and the combination of pre-teen sweat, sunburns, and interactions with the younger students acted as the catalyst for sparking her interest in a new position: Principal of the JBS Middle School.

While leading the 7th and 8th grades will be a new role at Burroughs for Ms. Ervin, educational administration is an area in which she has many years of experience. Fresh out of college, she discovered that her desired profession as an English teacher was an oversaturated field and turned to administration in search of a stable job. She was hired at community colleges in the Chicago area, and for several years assisted with community relations, curriculum development, and managing transfer and articulation classes. Eventually, she returned to college to pursue another degree. After her graduation, she was yet again faced with the daunting task of finding a job. Shifting her focus from working with college students, she began to work at Nerinx Hall High School. While the success of finding a teaching job was exciting, Ms. Ervin was busy searching for a school that shared similar values and would foster thriving programs in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Burroughs was just the place.

Now, after four years of teaching English, Ms. Ervin was appointed in October to succeed Julie Harris as 7th and 8th-grade Principal when Harris departs to become head of The Biome School at the end of March. Adjusting to a new community is a familiar feeling for Ms. Ervin, and she has plenty of empathy and advice to share with the incoming 7th graders. A goofball at heart, Ms. Ervin is sure to bring out the silly side of all her students and show that a new school may not be so daunting after all.

Additionally, the current student body enthusiastically supports Ms. Ervin. Nina Zhu (‘21) says, “When I found out, I was excited. If there is anyone capable of fulfilling the job, it’s her.” Sydney Williams (‘22) agrees, remarking, “She is nice and understanding. I can meet with her about literally anything. And she also gives us candy!” Ms. Ervin’s caring nature and relatability are widely recognized throughout Burroughs. As Amanda Roth (‘20) says, “She just gets it. She’s in with the times.”

The student body may know Ms. Ervin simply as an English teacher, but she is much more than that. Ms. Ervin, a self-proclaimed weirdo and flip-phone enthusiast, is the type to draw outside the lines. At some schools that may be odd, but at Burroughs, she fits right in.