Congratulations to Shannon Erickson, the Teacher of the Year at Mountainside Elementary!


Known for her energy, creativity, and the beautiful artwork she helps her students produce, Shannon Erickson has been named Mountainside Elementary’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year. Erickson has taught at Mountainside for four years as the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Grant art teacher.

For Erickson, the arts have been a big part of her life since she was young. “I was in the third grade and I couldn’t add, subtract, or multiply numbers without using my fingers,” Erickson explained. “Now that I am an adult, I know that the symbols of 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. did not register with a numeric value in my mind. My mom tried flashcards, I went to special classes, but nothing helped. What changed my learning experience was the arts. Taking art classes and learning to think differently through the arts changed my ability to learn.”

Erickson has been teaching art in the community for over 25 years but has only been working in public schools for the last eight years. “I love teaching because I feel like I can reach children through the arts,” Erickson shared. “The most wonderful part of my job is witnessing children's discovery process. When they create and learn through the arts, it is a similar breakthrough process that I went through as a child.”

“The true test of evaluating a great art teacher is not by what artistic talents she has, but by the wonderful art produced by her students. Our students are producing unbelievable art through all sorts of various media. Our students are artists!” exclaimed Mountainside principal Lynette Riggs.

Erickson’s impact is felt and appreciated by students, parents, and staff at Mountainside. “She goes far above the extra mile to contribute to an upbeat and creative school environment,” Riggs said. “We love Mrs. Erickson!”