Submitted by The Rotary Club of Lakewood.
Lakewood Rotary’s Educators of the Month for February 2019 are Erin Willcox from Steilacoom School District and Brianna Kersh of Clover Park School District.
Accompanied by their respective Principals, Joanne Fernandes of Pioneer Middle School for Erin and Patricia Stallard of Cluster Elementary School for Brianna, the two teachers were recognized for their work by the Lakewood Rotary Club at the club’s weekly meeting on Friday February 1st.
Erin Willcox is Pioneer Middle School’s Health Room nurse. She has been an invaluable resource since joining the school in the spring of 2017. As an RN, she has served students with significant medical needs, particularly students with diabetes. She is a positive force of connection with students and builds trusting relationships with students. She knows their stories and life circumstances, and she supports them to be at school and be successful.
She is also a parent of a 7th and 8th grader at Pioneer, so she wears that important hat, too. Nurse Willcox and her family will be leaving Pioneer in the spring as her husband is moving on to a new opportunity in his military career. According to Principal Fernandes, “We will miss her dearly, and we want to her to know the positive impact she has had on our school community!”
Brianna Kersh teaches students with moderate to severe disabilities in a self-contained Life Skills classroom at Custer Elementary School. She has high expectations for students and collaborates with her colleagues in the program, as well as colleagues in general education classrooms, to ensure all of her students can reach their full potential. Brianna’s persistence in reaching all students is evident when you walk into her classroom. At any given moment, you will see students learning communication, literacy, math and social skills that will help them in gaining independence as they progress through school.
She is a lifelong learner who is currently working on her master’s degree and focused on expanding her skills to best serve her students affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder. She always looks for and implements new and creative methods and shares her knowledge with her team so that all students in the Life Skills program at Custer can benefit.