Teacher of the Year

2018 Farmington Teacher of the Year: Erica Winters
Posted on 11/28/2018
Erica WintersEvery year teachers in District 192 take a vote for who should be the Farmington Teacher of the Year. This teacher is always someone passionate about teaching and dedicated to serving students, a person who stands out to colleagues as going above and beyond. The 2018 Farmington Teacher of the Year is Erica Winters! 
     Ms. Winters has been a teacher for 17 years and spent the last 16 of those years teaching music at Meadowview Elementary. She wanted to become a teacher because of her own love of school, a love that doesn’t seem to have diminished: “As a student, I loved everything about school, even though I was quite shy.... I am grateful for the high standard of excellence that was expected, and the confidence I gained by perhaps being excessively involved in every possible school activity!  My dad once told me that he believed singing in front of an audience changed me.  He was right.  I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to feel the joy music gave me growing up,” said Ms. Winters. 
     In addition to teaching general music classes, Ms. Winters regularly collaborates with colleagues across the district preparing and directing yearly 4th and 5th grade honor choirs and facilitating multiple artist-in-residence programs including African Drumming, Folk Dancing, Dulcimer Building, and Science of Sound Exploration. One of her most recent projects was introducing ukuleles, which were purchased with a grant, to her students at Meadowview. “When thinking back on all the grade level programs and musical performances, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful students and staff over the years,” she said.
     As much as Ms. Winters loves music, she sees being a teacher as a greater calling. “I truly believe the work that happens inside the music room goes far beyond teaching and learning the fundamentals of music.  I am thrilled to see the joy students share with each other as they learn and accomplish new musical skills -- but I love my profession most because engaging in music offers many social opportunities, which are invaluable for our students.  The music room is a place of expectation, laughter and inclusion.  Students who struggle in other areas throughout the school find success in my classroom,” she said. 
     Ms. Winters’ dedication to her students is especially impressive to those who know some of the challenges she and her family have faced outside the classroom. “The biggest challenge in my career is continuing to find a balance between teaching and the demands of our everyday home life,” she said.” While she loves to spend time camping and being outdoors with her husband and two children, her time away from school is also filled with doctor’s appointments and medical procedures. 
     “Our oldest son was born early 11 years ago weighing 15 oz. with a complex heart defect. He’s had over 40 surgeries and procedures, and he has been cancer free for 10 years!  A true miracle,“ said Ms. Winters, “Carson has taught me more about life than anyone I know.  He has forever changed who I am in and out of the classroom.  With little sleep under my belt and 700 students waiting for me at school, my son has taught me to never underestimate a child or the power of music.  I truly have the best job in the world.”

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