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Make art, then prosper: Award-winning Teacher Values Connections Most

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A Northview High School art teacher is getting ready to receive top honors at an upcoming conference with her peers.

When Tricia Erickson was a little girl, her mother found her drawing pictures of Yogi Bear and his cartoon friends Tricia watched on TV. Struck by how accurate the drawings were, her mom asked Tricia, “You drew these from figures moving on a screen?”

“That was the first time I realized maybe I’m good at something,” Erickson recalls with a smile, in her Northview High School art classroom.

Good at drawing, and as it turns out, very good at teaching. So says the Michigan Art Education Association, which has named Erickson both the Secondary Art Educator of the Year and Michigan’s 2018 Art Educator of the Year. She will formally receive the honors Nov. 4 at the MAEA conference in Detroit.

Her first impulse was to feel she didn’t deserve it: “There are so many great art teachers out there that are very deserving of this." But she quickly realized the award pays tribute to the support and assistance she’s received from fellow teachers, her family and others.

“By saying ‘thank you,’ I’m really honoring all those people who have helped me,” says Erickson, in her 11th year of teaching at Northview High.