I was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona and when we finally couldn’t stand the heat any longer, we decided to move to Oregon in 2009. I love the lush green landscape and we spent the first year being tourists in our new home. We hiked several waterfalls, visited Tillamook, Seaside, lighthouses and Mt. Hood.
I have always been an educator, even though I spent the majority of my parenting life being a stay at home mom. Prior to having children, I was a Title 1 reading specialist and a substitute teacher. While raising my children, I started my own preschool that allowed me the flexibility to be with my children and teach others. I taught 3 and 4 year olds for six years.
Once my children all reached school age, I went back to substituting. I was fortunate to substitute nearly every day at Trillium the 2012-13 school year. The following year I taught kindergarten in a dual immersion school. Then, I was overjoyed when I learned I would be joining the staff at Trillium full time.
In my free time I love to read, play games with my children, scuba dive, attend plays and travel.
My story is one that didn’t necessarily follow the typical path. That is nothing new for me. I like to find my own unique way through life. I may be a new teacher but have many years of experience under my belt.
I am native to Oregon. I was born in Eugene Oregon, but moved around a lot while young. Eventually my family came back to Oregon, and settled in the Central Oregon area. I lived in Redmond for nearly thirty years.
I believe that teaching is a calling of mine, despite the fact I got a late start on the official title. I have raised two wonderful sons. While my boys were young I was active in all their extracurricular activities including sports and Boy Scouts. I was a regular volunteer in their schools as well. My house was always full of children. Many were family but I also welcomed the neighborhood children who often considered my home, their second home. A house bustling with laughter and children was the norm for many years and provided an abundance of happy memories. As my boys became adults and started to pursue their own interests it seemed like a natural progression for me to go back to school and earn my Masters in Education and become a teacher.
I graduated from Concordia University in 2013 with a 4.0 and as a member of the honor society, Kappa Delta Pi. While in the Master’s program I also tutored struggling readers through the Concordia teacher’s corp. After graduating, I worked as a substitute teacher in several districts in and around Portland. I was very fortunate to become a substitute for Trillium charter School. It was through this experience I was able to discover an amazing school with a philosophy and mission that was very similar to my own. It is a school where I can feel I am truly helping students to become confident, and independent thinkers. It is a school where we can be creative and have fun while learning. I couldn’t ask for more. I am living my dream. I hope that I can inspire others to follow their heart and never give up on their dreams, no matter how long they take.
K – 1 Teacher
I grew up in Bellingham, Washington and Portland felt like a natural move for school and social reasons: there’s so much to do here! My passions include riding bikes and otherwise exploring outdoor places, creative writing, and amateur puppetry. I also enjoy watching live music and comedy acts. I studied Child and Family Studies at Portland State University and earned my Master or Arts in Teaching from the University of Portland.
I am thrilled to join the Trillium K/1 teaching team. This marks my first year as an independent classroom teacher, following two years of co-teaching alongside excellent mentors at independent schools in Seattle and Portland. I’ve always known that I wanted to work with people, for people, and I’ve developed a teaching philosophy that values play, creativity, student-ownership, equity, and divergent thinking. Trillium is a great match for me, and I’m glad for the opportunity to bring my experience to a public school, as I was always a public school kid myself.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the way people think and feel and I learn so much about this from my students– teaching makes me more kind, calm, patient, and curious and it helps me keep the twinkle in my eye!
Blog: Erika has a great blog through the Bloomz app, email her if you would like access.