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With a shared vision for creating a school that focused on individual students rather than an "average" student -- which in truth doesn't exist -- it is our intent to provide a new approach that celebrates self-discovery, diversity, creativity, intellectual inquiry and academic achievement… MEET OUR FOUNDERS.



Dr. Paul Cummins, Co-Founder, and Senior Seminar English Teacher at TREE Academy, received his bachelor of arts from Stanford University, his MAT from Harvard, and his doctorate from the University of Southern California. In 1971, he co-founded Crossroads School in Santa Monica and built it into one of Los Angeles’ most successful educational institutions and a national model for innovative, independent schools. 

In 1995, Cummins stepped down as Headmaster of Crossroads and formed New Visions Foundation (now Coalition for Engaged Education) to offer opportunities for an Engaged Education to all youth. The first venture was New Roads School, a diverse, independent school in Santa Monica. He co-founded six schools in all, and has implemented a number of innovative programs in Los Angeles to help children at risk.


Cummins has published four books on education, including Proceed With Passion: Engaging Students in Meaningful Education (2004), and Confessions of a Headmaster (2015).


Cummins and his wife Mary Ann reside in Santa Monica. They have four daughters and five grandchildren.


​After graduating Cum Laude from CSUN and UCLA, Darryl Sollerh taught both English Literature and Ethics at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. An award winning teacher, Sollerh went on to co-create with Cummins an on-campus, individualized program to support student development and achievement.


Based on his over 25 years of experience in education working with students and families from every background and community in Los Angeles, Sollerh set out to create a new kind of school and model to meet the ever growing demand for an individually focused, creative and customizable education for today's students. The result is TREE Academy.  

Along with co-founding and serving as Director of School of TREE Academy, Sollerh has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. He has won numerous awards for his fiction writing, including Shadow Game, and also co-authored two, well-received parenting guides, Stop Yelling, Start Listening -- Understanding Your Middle School Child, and How to Be the Loving, Wise Parent You Want to Be…Even with Your Teenager!

He currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and son.