In this series on Home Grown Teachers you will meet all of the teachers in Lake Stevens schools who graduated from Lake Stevens High School and have returned to teach in their home town.
This feature story will spread over the course of the next few months, and, by school, will highlight each teacher’s educational background, what motivates them and what they love about teaching.
The interviews are being conducted and written by Lindsie Bussian, a Lake Stevens High School graduate who is currently serving as an intern in the district’s Communication and Community Services Department. Bussian is set to graduate from Central Washington University this winter and is majoring in Public Relations.
Resource Room teacher
When you walk into the Resource Room at Highland Elementary you are transported to a land of Dr. Seuss, complete with the Cat in the Hat and the rolling hills from The Lorax. One other thing you will find in the resource room is Mrs. Erickson.
Growing up in a military family, Jaquie (Hardin) Erickson moved around a lot. When her family moved to Lake Stevens the summer before her freshman year of high school, “it was the first place that felt like home,” Erickson said. That is also the reason she came back to teach in the Lake Stevens School District.
When asked if there was particular teacher who influenced her decision to become an educator, Erickson answered without hesitation that her third grade teacher was her inspiration. She explained how her teacher made all of the students feel like they were welcome and like it was their home.
Her love for working with children with special needs developed while working in different classrooms in high school. One classroom in particular that influenced Erickson to go into special education was Mr. Shepard’s study skills class.
Erickson is now in her ninth year as the Resource Room teacher at Highland Elementary. She works with kids at all grade levels who have special needs. “I have the best job in the building because I get to play with kindergarteners and then I get to joke around and teach fifth graders,” says Erickson. She works with 35 to 45 students a year who have special educational needs.
Erickson graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1998. In 2003, she received her bachelor’s degree in special education from Western Washington University and then received her master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University in 2009.
Fourth Grade Teacher
Work hard. Be nice. These two small phrases are what fourth grade teacher Kim (Crawford) Majors tells her students will help them to be successful in school and in life. Majors tries to instill the virtue of kindness in her students and teach them how important is to be kind to everyone because in life they will meet and work with people who are very different from themselves.
This school year is Majors’ 12th year in the Lake Stevens School District and she loves the sense of community that the school offers. “Everyone I work with has a desire to help kids and I think that is huge.” She also loves how her classroom becomes a community and then a family. When this happens, she sees her students helping each other and being kind to one another.
Many of Majors family members were educators, but her aunt, who also taught in the Lake Stevens School District, was the one who inspired her to become a teacher. “She was a huge inspiration and was very helpful,” Majors explained when asked why she decided to go into teaching.
Majors moved to Lake Stevens from Kuwait when she was in eighth grade. She attended Lake Stevens Middle School and graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1984. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English with a certification in education from the University of Washington in 1989.