Stephanie Erickson <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Stephanie Erickson

Stephanie Erickson is wearing her para water sox.

"I am starting out as a para to get my feet wet," said the new Chatfield Elementary School preschool and third grade paraprofessional. "I graduate in the spring and plan on finishing a four-year degree in early childhood education so I can teach kindergarten."

Erickson, who has always wanted to be a teacher, graduated from Smithville High School in Smithville, Ohio, in 2004, then attended First University of Akron in Ohio, then Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, Hopkinsville Community College in Kentucky, and is now finishing her education at Rochester Community and Technical College.

"This is my first job as a paraprofessional, but I have also taught conversation English in South Korea for eight months in 2006 to 2007," she explained. "Chatfield is a nice town and the school is beautiful, so I thought this would be a great place to start my career."

Erickson said she looks forward to being a part of the Chatfield Elementary School staff. "I think being a member of the staff will bring me great experience with intelligent individuals to look up to and model in my teaching career."

She plans to challenge herself to make a difference in a child's life. "I think children should learn independence and self-esteem," Erickson explained. "Along with learning academics, children need to be ready for the real world when they graduate. Children should be given the opportunity to make choices and learn from them. This is how children grow and become responsible adults. I hope to help someone see their potential and never give up."

Erickson lives in Preston with her daughters. "I have two beautiful daughters who are 5 and 2. Savannah is my 5-year-old, and Annabelle is my 2-year-old. In my spare time, I like to play volleyball, go for walks and play with my girls."