While in just her 2nd year as the Special Education Resource Teacher for 6th graders here at Ashland Middle School, this is Erika Williford’s 24th year as a special education teacher. Erika grew up in the Oakland hills and attended UC Santa Cruz where she majored in art. Having a mom as a teacher, Erika fell into tutoring after college. One night her mom suggested she might enjoy teaching as a profession and before she knew it, Erika had her Special Education credential from Holy Names University. After her parents moved from the Bay Area to the Rogue Valley in 2018, Erika and her family found themselves entranced while visiting and followed her parents up here in 2020. 

About teaching, Erika says, “The best part of my job is watching students improve their confidence and learn to enjoy learning. The students I work with have that in them, but they sometimes don’t get to show that off in the regular education classroom. I get to see that and I love it!”

Outside of school, Erika loves spending time with her family hiking, cooking, and listening to music. She met her husband, Scott, who is a working musician at a club in San Francisco in 1999. James, their son, is currently a student at AMS, and Olivia, their daughter, is at Walker Elementary. You can often find her walking in Lithia Park (she lives nearby) or out on Table Rocks. Her favorite band is her husband’s band, Williford, and her favorite music store is Biscuits and Vinyl in Talent. She also loves playing with make-up and finds her artistic expression through make-up artistry.

About AMS, Erika says, “What strikes me about the staff is that they really care about kids and see them as individuals. I haven’t always seen that at other schools. Also, there are a lot of people here who have a wonderful sense of humor which makes this such a fun place to work.” And it's no joke; we’re so happy she found her way to Ashland Middle School.