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Erin Prica Named 2022 Belton ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year

Southwest Elementary third-grade teacher Erin Prica says that writing is the best tool to get to know a kid.

“When they’re writing narratives it’s their most exciting moments, their sad moments,” the English, language arts and reading teacher said. “The things that really stick out to them are in those narratives. You just start building those relationships early on and you learn things about them.” 

Prica, who’s finishing her seventh year as a teacher, said it’s important that her students know she’s their biggest fan — for life. Even if that means she now attends eighth-grade basketball games.

“They know I support them academically, but I also support them in extracurriculars,” she said. “That could be piano recitals and art museums and everything — soccer, basketball, volleyball, all sorts of things.”

While she works hard to foster a love of reading in her students, Prica’s ultimate goal is just to love kids, no matter what.

“You welcome them every single day with a big hug. You tell them I’m so glad you’re here today,” she said. “Every single one of them knows that I love them outside of their reading levels and where they’re writing and how they’re doing in class. Any type of growth is a celebration, and they know that.”

Last week, Prica’s students celebrated her when she was named the 2022 Belton ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. 

“I’m from a long family line of educators. Ever since I was a little bitty girl I was inspired to be a third-grade teacher,” she said. “When I started my career at Lakewood Elementary here in Belton ISD, it was truly a dream come true. I was over the moon. To get Elementary Teacher of the Year was pure shock. It was a great surprise.”

Superintendent Matt Smith said he’s proud of the work Prica does every day for her students.

“Ms. Prica has an incredible heart for students,” Smith said. “It is obvious that they know how much she cares about them and the feelings are reciprocated. It’s an honor for us, as a district, to be able to recognize these efforts.”

Prica will continue to the Education Service Center Region 12 Elementary Teacher of the Year competition to be announced later this year.

Read about the 2022 Secondary Teacher of the Year.

May 23, 2022