Originally published Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 11:45a.m.

CLARKDALE – Respect is a valued commodity in Erica Allred’s classroom.

The sixth grade teacher at Clarkdale-Jerome, said the school’s principal, has a “dynamic rapport” with her students.

“The mutual respect displayed between her and her kids is very clear to any administrator schooled in classroom management,” said Steve Doerksen, the school’s principal. “Ms. Allred has earned the respect of her students as they have earned the respect from her. The cohesiveness of the entire class is self-evident.”

Allred is another in the long line of educators who first attended college with plans other than teaching. At Northern Arizona University, Allred planned for a career in the medical field.

“I was lucky enough to get a job part time job with the F.A.C.T.S. program through Flagstaff Unified School District,” Allred said. “I was able to work at different campuses, before and after school, and help students. We conducted science experiments, tutored, and just had fun. I learned right then and there that I wanted to be a teacher. I loved helping these kids.”

Not only do Allred and her students respect each other, but the seventh-year teacher has made learning “captivating to her students,” Doerksen said.

“Ms. Allred has helped to plant the seeds necessary to prepare her students for the future,” Doerksen said. “The students are fascinated by the dynamic learning that goes on in the Allred classroom. Talk about learning; it’s happening right here in room 111. We, the students and staff at Clarkdale-Jerome School, are blessed to have her around.”

Verde Valley Newspapers: What do you like most about teaching?

Erica Allred: “I love to teach students something new. Nothing is better than to see the light bulb turn on after weeks and weeks of them struggling with a concept. Along with that, it’s fun to see their confidence grow. Watching them learn to believe in themselves is an amazing thing.”

VVN: Tell us about your teaching style.

Allred: “It can be challenging to motivate a sixth grader. To get students excited, I try to have as many hands-on projects as I can. I also use technology and game-based learning to keep their interest and attention. It’s important to me to have a positive environment where kids can feel safe and have a sense of belonging.”

VVN: Tell us something notable about you.

Allred: “I’m proud to be a mother of an amazing second grader. She is the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for.”

VVN: Do you have a favorite quote?

Allred: “Albus Dumbledore said ‘It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.’”

VVN: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.

Allred: “I was born and raised in Cottonwood. I graduated from Mingus Union High School and Northern Arizona University. I’m now in my seventh year of teaching.”

VVN: If you were not a teacher, then what would you want to do?

Allred: “I truly love my job. If I wasn’t a teacher, I would find something where I could be of service to others.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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