Eric Grunden is one of the founders and the Chief School Officer of Research Triangle High School in Durham, North Carolina. He has a degree in chemistry and taught chemistry, physics, and astronomy for 18 years before becoming principal of RTHS. He is a 2011 winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. RTHS was part of the initial cohort of Summit schools, and the school is in its fourth year using the Summit model. He loves leading a school that is leaving traditional education behind and pioneering a method that helps students become independent.