Ms. Erickson Puts Finishing Touches on a Colorful 22 Years of Teaching


Emma Herder, Staff Reporter

Most of us at La Salle have heard of Ms. Erickson. Some have even been fortunate to have a class with her. Although Ms. Erickson has been at La Salle for 22 years, it only takes a short amount of time to realize that Ms. Erickson and the work that she’s helped to produce has inspired many and holds great value.

On top of this, Ms. Erickson has lived quite the adventurous life. For instance, she’s lived in extravagant places such as Greece and Spain, and has traveled to twenty different countries. After this year, however, Ms. Erickson will be leaving La Salle and taking a new path: filmmaking.

When Ms. Erickson first came to La Salle, she instantly began helping the school. In a recent interview, Ms. Erickson said that she took the art teacher position in October after the school year started when the position opened up. Needless to say, La Salle’s current art program likely would not be where it is today without this brave choice.

Yet, Ms. Erickson, herself, has also changed over time due to La Salle. Ms. Erickson admits, “I think when I first started teaching, I walked into the classroom and it was about the teaching, and now I walk into the classroom and it’s about the kids and the teaching and the relationships in the teaching.”

If it is not clear already, Ms. Erickson defines how an art teacher should act, according to many of her students. She is someone that will never take short cuts and leads by example. A fellow co-worker, Ms. Kessler, states that “Ms. Erickson is a wonderful person who deeply cares for all of her students. She is so thoughtful and reflective not only in her advice on artwork but in her relationships with students.”

If all of this just sounds too good to be true, just let the students who have had Ms. Erickson prove you wrong. Niko Evans, a current junior, reflects on his experience with Ms. Erickson saying, “When I came into Ms. Erickson’s class, I didn’t know much about art and it showed. But as the year went on, I have gotten a lot better and that is due to Ms. Erickson pushing me harder to be a better artist and her showing me new techniques.”

Not many teachers can teach in the way Ms. Erickson does, and students’ admiration for her continue to show this. Cassidy Devore, a current junior, says that “I’ve had Ms. Erickson as a teacher since freshmen year, and she has taught me so much. She has taught me how to redefine my skills, get out of my comfort zone, and that painting is actually really fun. Ms. Erickson is an amazing teacher, and I’m sad that I won’t have her as a teacher for my senior year.”

Even though Ms. Erickson has made the decision to leave, this may not be the last time we see her work. In fact, Ms. Erickson might have an impact on more people than ever when she begins to study at the Northwest Documentary Film School. She continues with her normal, positive attitude as she comes to this new challenge and states, “I figure if somebody else can make a documentary, I can make a documentary.” With the support and respect of her family, friends, and the students and staff at La Salle, Ms. Erickson is going to succeed in any field she chooses.

Following her footsteps, we can listen to the advice she offers us and “keep challenging ourselves to be as creative and as intelligent [as we can be].”

We will all miss Ms. Erickson, but she will always have a place within the Lasallian community.

Thank you Ms. Erickson for everything you’ve done for us. Congrats on this next chapter!