Gascho’s appointment strengthens our supportive and nurturing environment for middle school students during a time of significant change and growth, both physically and emotionally. We recently caught up with Erika as she shared some of her educational philosophy.
EMS has become a place of belonging for me. As a child, I spent hours teaching my siblings the ABCs on a little chalkboard in my basement. That love for teaching never faded and only grew stronger as I majored in education in college, and then as a special education teacher. I discovered that my passion is to make school a place where students want to be by striving to address their needs. We try to meet students where they are.
But why middle school? During my first four years as a fifth-grade teacher at EMES, I learned that this age group is full of critical thinkers who ask hard questions and engage in deep conversations, while still enjoying recess and being fun-loving people. As the new principal at EMMS, I am thrilled to continue engaging with the formative developmental stage of middle schoolers. What sets my role apart is that I will still be teaching 50% of the time. This will allow me to connect with students on a more personal level and maintain a hands-on approach.
My goal for EMMS is to be a place where middle schoolers can connect with each other and find a sense of belonging. I share a passion with our teachers for project-based learning and developing a unique middle school identity. We plan to continue to take learning outside of the classroom to experience our wider community. The EMMS teachers and administration have big goals for middle school this year! One goal is to help students further develop and practice these gifts of character: leadership, integrity, respect, empathy, and accountability. At EMMS, we don’t do things alone. Our team of teachers and administrators work alongside amazing families to support student success.
We are thankful for Ms. Gascho’s contributions as principal and eagerly anticipate the success of EMMS students under her guidance and alongside our gifted team of middle school teachers.