Eric Rothschild (SHS 1954)


While the caption placed under Eric Rothschild’s name in the 1954 Bandersnatch yearbook no doubt ably captured his high school accomplishments, the Bandy editors could not possibly have known how perfectly their moniker for him, Wonder Boy, would serve to capture the breadth and range of his many achievements in the years to come.

After completing undergraduate work at Harvard and earning a graduate degree from Boston University, Eric began his teaching career at nearby Woodlands High School before coming to Scarsdale High School in 1964. Eric taught in the Social Studies Department and served as its chair from 1973 until 1998.

Throughout his career as a high school teacher and a renowned teacher of teachers, Eric perfected the art of having students “do history,” making history come alive as he bounced around the room, questioning, encouraging, even occasionally singing (off-key), and along the way inspiring generations of nascent historians and teachers. Eric championed the use of simulations as a teaching tool, developing games ranging from the Constitutional Convention, the Women’s Hall of Fame, Lincoln’s Campaign Manager, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson to the murder mystery “Who Killed Teddy Roosevelt” and much, much more. Students in Eric’s classes were true historians, becoming expert at the use of microfiche and microfilm as they pored over countless primary documents to unlock the secrets of the past.

Eric’s great gift to the teaching profession has been to share this expertise broadly, as he’s traveled across the country and internationally to lead workshops on the teaching of history. He has published numerous articles and presented many papers on innovative teaching practices for organizations and journals ranging from the American Historical Association, the College Board and the Organization of American Historians to The New York Times and The History Channel. He has co-authored several texts supporting enhanced history instruction, including The Chicago Handbook for Teachers and Teaching Advanced Placement U. S. History. His education accomplishments have been recognized by numerous organizations including the College Board, the Organization of American Historians, Harvard and Cornell Universities and New York State Council of Social Studies.

Beyond these many professional accomplishments, Eric has somehow found the time to play an active role in Scarsdale community organizations, serving on numerous boards and committees. His exceptional contribution to the life of the community was recognized in 2007 with his selection as the recipient of the prestigious Scarsdale Bowl Award.

Wonder Boy, indeed.