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Farmington School District names 2018 Teacher of the Year

Erica Winters

FARMINGTON — Music teacher Erica Winters was voted as the 2018 Teacher of the Year for Farmington School District.

For the past 16 years, Winters has thrived working as a music teacher at Meadowview Elementary School.

Her colleagues commend Winters on becoming a teacher who is passionate about her work. She has built a reputation as a teacher who strives to see students enjoy music.

Winters recalled deciding to enter into teaching because of her own personal love of learning and school.

"As a student, I loved everything about school, even though I was quite shy," Winters said. "I am grateful for the high standards 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 he believed singing in front of an audience changed me and he was right — I wanted everyone to have the opportunity to feel the joy music gave me growing up," Winters added.

She is known to reach out and collaborate with colleagues across the district, preparing and directing yearly fourth and fifth grade honor choirs and facilitating multiple artist-in-residence programs.

She has taught music programs on African drumming, folk dancing, dulcimer building and Science of Sound Exploration.

One recent project she introduced was ukuleles. She was able to purchase these instruments with a grant for her Meadowview music students.

"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," Winters said.

For Winters, teaching music has become a greater calling.

"I truly believe the work that happens inside the music room goes far beyond teaching and learning the fundamentals of music, and I am thrilled to see the joy students share with each other as they learn and accomplish new musical skills," Winters said. "I love my profession most because engaging in music offers many social opportunities, which are invaluable for our students."

A music room is a place of expectation, laughter and inclusion, she said. It is rewarding for her to see students explore and find joy in musical endeavors.