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Skyridge senior wins and wins

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Erin Daniels, daughter of Laura and Jared Daniels, recently won the state “Educators Rising” speech contest and will compete later this spring at the national level. “Educators Rising” is a career and technical student organization (CTSO) with intra-curricular learning opportunities integrated into existing education and training programs organized to motivate students to enter education as a profession. Erin hopes to teach in an elementary school someday. “I just love kids,” she said in arecent interview.

“Erin has always loved kids and competition,” said her mother.“As a youngster she was always organizing the neighborhood kids and playing games with them. The kids liked to play with her, and she liked to play with the kids.” 

“Erin has always loved competitions as well,” explained her mother. “When she was in the sixth grade, she decided she wanted to enter all categories of the “Reflections” contest. She did and won all the categories for the school. She went on to win in four categories at district and two in region and state.”

“At the age of 12, Erin volunteered at Thanksgiving Point. She would work wherever she was assigned and loved it,” added Erin’s mother. Erin currently works at the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. She has a gift and enthusiasm for interacting with children.

Erin’s abilities and are not just in her interaction with children, but she is an accomplished musician. She plays the oboe in the Skyridge High School band and Lyceum Orchestra. She plans on minoring in music. She often plays her oboe at senior centers to entertain the residents. She loves art and fills her home with examples of her work.

In the “Educators Rising” competition, Erin was asked to speak upon the topic, “What can school systems do to navigate learning losses seen from the pandemic?” Her speech focused on the fact that there is not a “cure all” solution for each student.She said, “One thing that all educators can do is to create a community. Having a community where every student is noticed and cared about is ultimately the biggest strength to combating learning loss.”

She also shared an experiment she did a few months ago. “I asked different people about why they came to school. Interestingly, very few of them mentioned learning as part of their decision to come to school. Their responses varied from clubs, friends, a specific teacher, their sport, and extracurricular activity, etc. She concluded that kids don’t come to and enjoy school because they’re forced to. They come because there’s a community and because they want to be there.

Erin’s philosophy on teaching is, “Create a community, form connections, and treat every student as an individual. I truly believe that as we all grow closer together, the learning gaps that we are seeing from this pandemic will grow closer as well.”

Erin will start her university experience at BYU where she will continue her journey to become an elementary teacher, which has always been her dream.

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