Staff Spotlight: Mrs. Erickson sets bar for future of America

Maddy Wheaton, Staff Writer

South’s very own Dawn Erickson works both as a counselor and as one of the advisers in the College Career Center (CCC) and has many qualities that makes her stand out among the group.
Erickson earned a scholarship for basketball at St. Josephs College in Indiana where she got her undergrad. Then she got her masters at Lewis University and worked in the business office. Now Erickson uses her own college experiences to help students especially in the CCC.
“I think it’s a unique position to get to work with the seniors and to help them make sure they have a plan in place,” said Erickson.
Since she began working here six years ago, she has helped many students begin to explore the future.
“She is awesome,” said senior Olivia Malone. “I had a meeting with her [Erickson] at the end of last year to see the steps I had to take to keep going on my college search. It was really nice she took the time to see me personally.”
Of course Erickson cannot see everyone personally and help them plan and prepare for college which is why South has the CCC.
“It is a comfortable quiet space for students to just work on any kind of post-secondary plan,” said Erickson. Students can research colleges, research careers and more to figure out what they want to do. Erickson can even help students who don’t know where to start or what to do.
“Every student is at a different place. Some have known since they were five, [what they want to do] and other students come in not knowing.”
Even with all the resources the CCC has to offer, Erickson also uses her own college experiences having been through it all she knows how to help.
“I worked with all the financial aid that goes into affording school,” said Erickson. Working with the financial allows her to help students figure out if they can afford to go to the school they want.
Many of her coworkers enjoy working with her as well.
“She is great,” said Ms. Holden, who works in the CCC with Erickson. “She has helped me become a better counselor,” said Holden.
Erickson’s husband Tor Erickson, a math teacher and division chair at South, gets to work with his wife every day.
“I can probably count on both of my hands the number of times we see each other,” joked Erickson. “We rarely drive together to school because we have two kids, and they have different start and end times and so we have to juggle that.”
“From time to time we are involved on the same projects/committees, but we both of us have the mentality of staying on task and getting the job done,” said Tor Erickson.
Outside of school Dawn Erickson loves to read.
“When she has the time, her favorite way to relax is to curl up with a book,” said Tor Erickson. “Of course, with a three year old and a six year old, there is not always a lot of time for this.”
Dawn Erickson does though find time to help students and as this year comes to an end and seniors commit to schools for next year, Erickson hopes to get more juniors in the CCC. She is also preparing for the group of seniors to come through and is excited to work with them.
“I don’t know why I have a passion or what made me gravitate towards [this job], but it’s really fun working with the seniors,” said Erickson.