“It felt nice to see how my work has paid off,” commented Erin Johnson, Campion Academy English teacher, after she won the noosa Full on Grant contest.

Johnson beat out nine other nominees for showing the “best example of bold, generous, ‘full-on’ efforts that go above and beyond in teaching” and a creative use of the grant funds.

She was not aware of the contest until receiving a text from a friend who nominated her. “I hadn’t even seen this competition before. My friend found this contest somewhere and filled out an entry for me. She texted me saying, ‘I’m nominating you for this award.’”

Stepping into her classroom, you will quickly find a teacher who incorporates unique and creative ideas.

“I really like literature to be as hands on as possible, so I try to take things out of the book and make them come alive. I want to make the curriculum applicable to the class, and I’m trying to find an awesome unit I can reuse every year, but it’s really just trying to see what works for the students. The world is always changing, so the classroom should always be changing too,” she added.

Reflecting on winning the contest and grant award of $2,000 Johnson said, “It was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me. It made me feel more confident because teaching is a career where we don’t necessarily get a lot of praise.”

Johnson credits her high school English teacher as a big inspiration for her teaching methods and how she still draws from some of his ideas. She plans to use the grant money for interactive projectors for each of the staff to use and for premium versions of online education tools.

Sami Hodges is a senior at Campion Academy.