OK, hands down, no doubt, the Verde Valley hero of the week is Nancy Erickson.
With the realignment of schools in the Cottonwood-Oak Creek District and school board approval of a principal-assistant principal model for the down-sized school system, Superintendent Steve King was left with the unpleasant job of having to demote one of two existing principals.
It was obvious from the very beginning that should it come to this, the choice for demotion was between long-time Daniel Bright Principal Nancy Erickson and her upstart counterpart at Cottonwood Elementary, Jessica Vocca. It was equally obvious that King was agonizing over this as his first proposal called on Erickson and Vocca to serve as co-principals of the newly aligned K-8 school.
But in the end, King was off the hook. It was Erickson – the more experienced of the two principals – who stepped forward and asked to serve as assistant principal to Vocca.
Whew, talk about catching a break. As King phrased it, Erickson “took one for the team.”
Hopefully, the students in the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District have paid close attention to how this one played out. If they are paying close attention, Erickson just taught one of the most valuable lessons about servant leadership that could ever be taught. Parents take note: when you’re looking for a role model for your children to emulate, point them in the direction of Nancy Erickson.
Heroes seem to be in short supply today, but we obviously have one in the Verde Valley. By taking a step down, Nancy Erickson has never stood taller.
Good job. Thank you.