INFLUENCER OF THE WEEK: Erin Crosby, SunRidge Middle School

The math instructor and coach has been at SRMS for 11 years.

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Erin Crosby is a math instructor and the math coach at SunRidge Middle School. As a member of the school’s leadership team, she assists with tutoring initiatives, teacher training, event supervision and anything else that is needed to keep SunRidge awesome, she said. She has been awarded Teacher of the Year twice — in 2017 and 2023 — while at SunRidge.

“Ms. Crosby is a well-respected longtime member of the SRMS family,” Principal Amy McHale said. “She is well known in the community for the care and love she provides all of our students. Even if you don’t have Ms. Crosby for a teacher, you know and love Ms. Crosby!”

What brought you to your school?

After teaching in the private sector for nine years, I was ready to take my passion for teaching to the masses — aka public school!

What do you love most about your school?

SunRidge Middle School has a beautiful campus, and it houses even more beautiful people. I love our teachers and staff, but most of all I love our students. Our students come from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, and this diversity makes SunRidge an amazing place to teach.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I love people! As a teacher, I have an opportunity to connect with and inspire students every day. The most rewarding part of my job is getting to build a rapport with students and as a result being able to be a light in their lives.

What would you be if you weren’t in this profession?

Teaching is my passion, and I am fortunate to be able to fulfill my passion as a profession. I can’t imagine waking up every day and doing anything other than teaching.

Who influences you?

As a believer, Jesus Christ is the most influential part of my life. My parents and siblings are also powerful examples of success and great influences in my life as well.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

My second-grade teacher, Valerie Plaisance, is the reason that I am a teacher today! She was the master of project-based learning and created an atmosphere of intrigue, excitement and critical thinking. In her class I really learned how to learn.

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

“Sideways Stories from Wayside School,” by Louis Sachar is my favorite children’s book. Every day in third grade, after recess, my teacher would turn off the lights and read a chapter to the class. It was the best part of my school day.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love music and reading. My nephew is a deejay, so I spend a lot of time with him, listening to music mixes from every genre. I also spend most weekends and holidays with my family.

If you could dine with any famous person, past or present, who would it be and why?

I would dine with pop star Michael Jackson because I think I could convince him to do an impromptu concert in the restaurant just for me!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like to be able to teleport from one location to another. This superpower would allow me to never again be impacted by traffic jams, canceled airline flights or long lines at amusement parks.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists, who would they be and why?

Janet Jackson, Usher Raymond and Chris Brown! All of these artists have great voices, popular hits and huge catalogs.

What was your go-to lunch and favorite snack as an elementary student?

My favorite school lunch was chicken fingers and french fries. Cheetos and Sprite made for the best snacks.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is Labor Day because my family has a huge five-day family reunion over every Labor Day weekend.

Who was your best friend when you were in school and why? Are you still in touch?

I’ve had the same five best friends since I was 10 years old. Now we are “seasoned adults” with families and careers, but we are still the best of friends.

What were your extracurricular activities as a student? Did you win any accolades or honors?

I played the saxophone in band through middle and high school. I was very active in our community service clubs and leadership organizations. I was class president every year in high school and SGA president in my senior year. My greatest accomplishment was being selected by the Leon County School Board as its student member. All of the school board members attended my graduation and presented me with my diploma.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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