There’s an old saying that, “to teach is to change a life forever.” Students at Blanchester High School fortunate enough to take a seat in Stephanie Eriksson’s classroom have learned firsthand the impact a teacher can make on the lives of his or her students.
Eriksson began her teaching career at Blanchester High School in 1997 when she was a teacher in training aspiring to one day to have a classroom of her own.
Former teacher and now superintendent Dean Lynch recalls a conversation he had one day between classes with Eriksson’s cooperating teacher Joyce Kelly. “She’s going to be a good—a really good teacher,” Kelly told Lynch.
Impressed with Eriksson’s early work as a student teacher, BHS invited Eriksson to join its staff full-time in 1998, and she has remained a dedicated teacher and mentor to her students ever since.
Lynch’s sons were students in Mrs. Eriksson’s class and appreciated how much she cared for them as students.
“Today as graduates they will tell you how much they both appreciate Mrs. Eriksson challenging and supporting them in the classroom,” said Lynch.
A graduate of Wilmington College, Eriksson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and reading and a Masters of Education. She also holds National Board Certification in Early Adolescence English/Language Arts, an advanced-level educator license as a Master Teacher, and is an Ohio Department of Education Trained Mentor in the Resident Educator Program.
Having earned the respect of her students, colleagues, and district administrators, it came as no surprise when Eriksson was named the 2015 Ohio State Board of Education 10th District Teacher of the Year and was recently named as one of the top five teachers in the state vying for the title of Ohio Teacher of the Year.
Established in 1969 to honor, promote, and celebrate excellence in teaching and the teaching profession, the Ohio Teacher of the Year program recognizes teachers who serve as role models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in education.
Known for her ability to organize professional development events, mentor teachers, facilitate student-led classrooms, and collaborate with colleagues to plan and implement instruction, Eriksson shines as a leader among her peers and within her profession.
“To say that Mrs. Eriksson is a dedicated teacher is an understatement,” said Rick Hosler, principal of Blanchester High School. “She is constantly reflecting on her practice in order to better herself, and this is wonderfully apparent with every new, innovative project or teaching method she introduces. Her students and colleagues agree that her creativity, drive, and energy are one of the highlights of their school experience.”
Outside of the classroom, Eriksson has taken on leadership roles in professional organizations and published several articles that cultivate and foster research and best practices in the field of English/Language Arts education.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.