[By Mica Bernhard]
Not to be confused with 2013 Miss North Dakota Stephanie Erickson, Mrs. Stephanie Erickson joins the La Cañada High School faculty as an Algebra 1 and Pre-Calculus teacher this year, ready to bring the math classroom into the 21st century and maybe spread a little world peace, too.
Mrs. Erickson previously worked at one of our many rival schools, Glendale High, for five years, but, when given the chance to teach at LCHS, she “wanted to take that opportunity and see where it could go.”
Luckily, she knew some of her future colleagues, including Ms. Lee (who she knew for seven years prior), before she came to LCHS, which helped her make the normally difficult transition run smoother.
As a native Californian, Mrs. Erickson attended California State University, Channel Islands, back when it first opened, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She was admitted to University of Southern California, where she received a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education. Somewhere in the midst of her educational career, she got married and moved to her current residence in Altadena.
Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Erickson thoroughly enjoys playing beach volleyball, which she practiced throughout high school and even into her collegiate years. She also owns two dogs, a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Cockapoo.
She wasn’t always destined to be a math teacher. In fact, she had her sights set on becoming an actuary (a statistics analyst).
“A professor of mine, who knew me pretty well, sat me down, and said ‘you’re pretty good at tutoring and interacting with people, so I want you to consider teaching.’ I then visited a couple of math classrooms and fell in love with it,” explained Ms. Erickson.
Despite her somewhat complicated professional history, Mrs. Erickson is now ready to take on LCHS in all aspects. So far, she has been made to feel incredibly welcomed by both her fellow colleagues and students, more so than she expected.
Our campus also surprised her in the sense that “it feels a little bit more like what kind of campus you would see on television or the movies.” Go figure!
Aside from attending football games and her students’ various activities, Mrs. Erickson has both academic and personal goals she hopes to fulfill by the end of this school year.
“Over the summer I participated in a three-week math camp for mathematicians called the Park City Mathematics Institute (PCMI), and that experience really spurred me on to make sure that I’m filling my own cup and desires to be a learner. So, I am going to continue my association with Math for America, which gives me the opportunity to do professional development once a month on Saturdays. It also helps me keep myself current by associating with others who have the same goals.”
She continued, “This year, in terms of the classroom, it’s important that I’m communicating as much as I can through various networking sites. I want my students to know what’s ahead of them and set up my classroom to be more 21st century-minded.”
Mrs. Erickson admitted that she had never been to a high school dance as a teacher during her five-year tenure at GHS. With our encouragement, she will hopefully attend that integral high school activity before the end of this year.
With her upbeat attitude towards learning and the energy she brings to the classroom, we have no doubts whatsoever that Mrs. Erickson will make a truly beneficial addition to our LCHS family.
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