2020 Kansas Master Teacher Erica Huggard
Biology/Health Science Teacher
Emporia High School
USD 253 Emporia
“I have no clue if I would be on the path to success that I am currently working for if it wasn’t for the dedication Mrs. Huggard put into me,” writes a former student, now a pre-med student.
“As a nurse educator, I was incredibly impressed as most of (Huggard’s) students (during learning presentations) presented content that had a depth, accuracy and insight at the level that I typically see in my 4th year baccalaureate nursing students,” writes a colleague.
Erica Huggard received her bachelor’s in education in 2006 from Emporia State University. She began teaching in Emporia in 2007. She earned a master’s in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in ESL from Kansas State University in 2009. Her education continues, as she regularly takes courses in instruction and science – ranging from ocean climatology to astrobiology – from various universities and organizations, amassing 35 graduate credit hours beyond her master's.
“My curiosity has created a desire to amass knowledge beyond the level I am teaching and to be an expert in my field,” Huggard said. Once the knowledge was acquired and added to her courses she observed students were "inclined to memorize a list of steps and parts". To address this, she blended her knowledge of content with teaching strategies she gained from science modeling instruction courses. She pushes students to create models, which can be used as formative assessments as students explain their models. “It was truly the biggest ‘aha’ moment I have ever experienced!” Going further, now students use models in videos they create and she makes small video reteaches so students can be supported outside of class.
She has shown her peers how she – and they – can support teachers as well. “She stands up for injustices being done and celebrates teacher achievements,” states a peer. “(She showed me) I had to make more of an effort to fight for my profession, and nobody does this more than Mrs. Huggard.”
“For me, the reflection never stops, and in the world of education that is necessary because tomorrow will always bring a new challenge.”