Regional Coordinator, Regions 1 & 2
Daughter, Teacher, Mom, Ed Sheeran fan
“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher,” Erika Moulton, the NDVS/SB Regional Coordinator for regions 1 & 2 in northwest North Dakota, says. “When I was younger, I wanted to be an elementary education teacher because I had some great teachers that made a lasting impression on me. When I was in high school, my mom, who was a special education teacher at a small, rural school, began working with a student who was visually impaired. Seeing her work with this student and how rewarding it was for her was inspiring to me. I attended a Family Weekend with her while I was in high school, and the experience that I had there was really special.”
Not only did Erika follow her mom’s footsteps into education, she also followed them to NDVS/SB. “My mom held this position [in regions 1 & 2] before I did, and when she decided that she was moving out of state, I decided that I would go for it and see what happens.” Six years later, Erika is still excited to come to work each day. “There is always so much to learn!” she says. “Each child that I work with is so different so that keeps things exciting as you try to determine what works best for each child.” Read on to learn more about Erika.
What is your educational background?
I graduated from Minot State University in December of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a reading concentration. In January of 2016 I started as a kindergarten teacher in Turtle Lake, and then when the position opened at NDVS/SB for fall 2016, I applied for it. I started at UND during the summer of 2016 and graduated in the summer of 2019 with my Master of Science degree in special education with a visual impairment specialization.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The best thing about my job is getting to work with all the kids and families that are in my region. It is so much fun watching these kids grow and learn new things each time I see them.
My favorite moments have been when I am working with a baby who has CVI and they start looking at certain objects. It’s not only amazing to see them starting to look at things, but I also love seeing their parents getting excited about their child doing new things that they thought they wouldn’t be able to do.
What are Outreach services? What exactly do you do in homes and schools?
In the homes: we work with the children, parents, and early intervention team to help the child learn about and navigate the world around them. When working with the family, not only are we teaching them skills for working with their child, but we are also there for the parents as they navigate the world of vision loss with their child.
In the schools: we work with the children and their educational team on different strategies in the classroom, adapting their environment to best suit their needs, and providing materials for the students and educators. We also provide information for any of the people that work with our students about vision impairments and tips and techniques for working with them in any capacity.
The assessments that we provide for our students allow us to make recommendations about ways that can help them use their vision more effectively in their day-to-day life. These recommendations are ones that can be used by anyone that works with them.
Tell us about your life outside of work.
TJ and I have been together for 9 years, married for 5. We share a wedding anniversary with my grandparents, and we were married on what would’ve been their 53rd anniversary. We got to have my grandma as one of the witnesses at our secret wedding that most of our family didn’t know about until afterwards. We have two children, Timmy, 12, and Marlie, 3. Being a mom is the most rewarding job title I have ever held. We have 3 dogs: Winston, Lily, and Daisy. They are all 7. We live in the country outside of Voltaire. I love spending time with family, going on trips, and going to concerts.
I love Ed Sheeran. I have seen him live 7 times and met him once. I can’t wait for his next tour to be announced! This year I have found my love of reading again. I have read 17 books and counting. I would love to travel to Western Europe one day!