New English Teacher, Emily Ericson

12 years ago, Emily Ericson’s car broke down in Durham, NC. Now, she’s fallen in love with the community and is teaching English at Riverside.

“Ms. Ericson has already made her mark on Riverside” said Principal Tonya Williams, “She has shown herself to be a leader. When I interviewed her, I immediately knew that she was the perfect person… as a lot of our visions align.”

Ericson was born in Florida but grew up in Illinois, where she went to Northern Illinois University to study English, history, and women’s studies. She also got her masters in education from St. Ambrose University in Iowa.

Kate Mester, the Library Media Specialist, describes Ericson as intelligent, passionate, and excited. From the moment they met this summer, Mester has seen how much Ericson cares about kids.

“She came early to get a laptop and was already ready to jump in and start working,” said Mester, “She’s here. She’s dedicated. She wants to get a jump on it. That’s how she’s going to approach everything.”

Ericson taught English and creative writing at Northern High School for the last three years. During her time there, she was also an intern for the EPA, where she focused on a project that created diverse outdoor spaces at Northern. Her project involved her partnering with the Hub Farm, an outdoor education center in Durham.

“With Northern being as close as it was to the Hub Farm, I worked to design an outdoor educational curriculum to get students, specifically students of color outside,” said Ericson.

As a child she went camping a lot, so naturally, she grew up to appreciate the outdoors. Some of her hobbies include planting, hiking, and watching TV. Additionally, Ericson is the club advisor for the Environmental Club.

Ericson was led to Riverside as it was often highlighted in the Durham community.

“I had heard amazing things about the administrative team at Riverside,” said Ericson, “and I heard really great things about programs at Riverside.” 

She said she has never felt more welcomed, than the Riverside community has made her feel.

Like most teachers across the country, Ericson has had to adjust to online teaching this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s changed a lot because I love young people’s energy,” said Ericson, “But now with online teaching that is the biggest struggle.”

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