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Alumnus Earns Top Ohio Teacher Award

Stephenie Paul Eriksson Selected as State's Outstanding English Language Arts Educator

March 27, 2013

Stephenie Paul Eriksson

Stephenie Paul Eriksson

Gloria Flaherty recalls Stephenie Paul Eriksson’s poignant, emotional reaction when her class studied the adolescent fiction story, Walk Two Moon, in her education course at Wilmington College in the mid-1990s.

Teaching Sharon Creech’s Newbery Award-winning novel and its themes of grief, love, death and women’s roles gave Flaherty, emeritus professor of education, insight into what kind of teacher her student would become.

Flaherty noted the “warmth, the empathy” Eriksson, a member of WC’s Class of 1997, exuded while learning to teach Walk Two Moon. “I think she’s one of the most empathetic and courageous teachers I’ve known.”

Eriksson, an English teacher at Blanchester High School, was named “Outstanding English Language Arts Educator” for Ohio’s high schools March 23 at the spring conference of the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.

Flaherty, who attended the awards ceremony, proudly called Eriksson one of the top students she’s encountered during her long career in education.

“Stephenie was an exceptional undergraduate student, always prepared, smart and she wrote well,” Flaherty said. “She learned everything we could teach her, but she has that extra something that cannot be taught.”

After teaching seventh and eighth grade at Blanchester for nine years, Eriksson moved to the high school in 2007 and currently teaches all senior-level English classes. She also co-teaches a class for struggling readers.

Eriksson earned National Board Certification in 2004 and is a recipient of an “Innovative Educator: Podcasting for Assessment” mini-grant and “Martha Holden Jennings Master Teacher Award.”
Through these grants, she has integrated iPads in her classroom and inspires her students to tell their stories digitally.

She and her husband, Markus, Class of 2000, reside in Wilmington with their son, Sebastian.