Our Primary students spent an afternoon with Paul Ibsen, Interim Head of School, late in the week. With just a touch of encouragement, they started asking him questions, mostly about his favorite things. Throughout the dialogue, Paul included stories about his time growing up in California and his first career as a helicopter pilot in the United States Coast Guard. Not everything made it into our transcription for you, but the kids certainly loved every moment of their time with him.

Q: Why do you want to be a principal here?
A: I got a call from somebody that said Greensboro Montessori was a wonderful school, and they just needed somebody to be a head of the school for a short time to help the school find somebody to be a head of school for a long, long time. They asked if would I come and help out and I said, "Sure, I’d love to help out because its such a great school."

Q: Why are you here?
A: I’m here because I like being with children. I like to see what children do, and how they learn together, and how they explore. It's so much fun!

Q: What's your favorite snack?
A: Popcorn

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. You know what else I like to do too… I have two grandchildren, a granddaughter and a grandson. They live about three hours from where I live, and I love when we can get together and eat ice cream. My granddaughter is going into middle school and my grandson is in fourth grade.

Q: Do you have a cat?
A: I don’t have a cat, but I have a dog named McDuff. Have you ever read the stories about McDuff? There are some great books about McDuff, and I should come by and read some of those to you because McDuff gets in trouble a lot. We call [our dog] McDuff, and just like in the book, he is a white West Highland Terrier. When I go to bed I have to move him off my pillow because he's on my pillow when I get in bed. And he doesn't like moving very much...We have a lot of fun with McDuff.

Q: Is your dog bad?
A: He's very good, and he loves people. He won't bite people. You know what he'll do? He will lick your nose.

Paul's Cinnamon Candy

Paul's jar of hard cinnamon candies can be found on the desk in his office.

Q: What's your favorite candy?
A: You know, I like those little red, cinnamon candies. I have some in a jar on my desk.

Q: Which favorite popsicles do you like?
A: Wow, I haven't had [a popsicle in a while]. You know those orange popsicles that have the white creamy stuff on the inside? Those are awesome.

Q: What’s your favorite color?
A: Ooooh, I think blue. I have a little blue here [on my shirt]. I think blue, but it depends, sometimes I like red. I also have pink shirt that I really like...You know the color I really like? It's the green color of Greensboro Montessori School.

Q: What’s your favorite shoe, shoe to wear?
A: I don't know. Whatever I grab in the closet pretty much is fine.

Q: What’s your favorite tree?
A: You know I grew up in California, and one of my favorite trees was a tree called a Giant Sequoia. They were hundreds of years old, and they were huge. Taller than these buildings. There was one tree, and they made hole in the bottom of it. You could drive through it with your car. It was that big.

Q: What's your favorite animal?
A: Probably my dog. Yeah, I like my Westie.