The Laker Anchor

Spring Lake High School's student-staffed publication

The Laker Anchor

The Laker Anchor

Seniors Dont Know How to Act - Graduation
Seniors Don't Know How to Act - Graduation
Lily Zuelke, Reporter • May 8, 2023

Welcoming Erika Valencia


The Spring Lake High School community has warmly embraced several newcomers including Erika Valencia. After graduating from Spring Lake High School, she is excited to be returning back to the same exact room where she had her first Spanish class, but instead of the student, she’s the teacher. 

Valencia graduated from Spring Lake in 2012 and was taught by many of the current Spring Lake Spanish teachers, including Sarah Peterson and Laura Westoff. She continued her education at the University of Michigan and then traveled to Spain for six years and worked with the Fulbright and government teaching programs to teach English to students of all ages, ranging from kindergarteners to adults. 

She took a few years off to earn her Master’s of Arts degree, all while private teaching, teaching extra-curricular English and teaching Spanish online. “I’ve done lots of everything, but this is my first official year teaching in the United States.” 

What drew her to Spring Lake was not only the fact that it was her hometown, but also the way the Spanish curriculum is organized in a much more storytelling way, rather than memorization. “It’s a lot like the natural way we acquire languages when we are babies,” she said. 

What makes her unique is her cat, Joey, that she brought with her from Spain. “It’s not easy to travel on a 10 hour flight with a cat,” she said.

Valencia is also the freshman Student Council teacher adviser, but she would love to become more involved in clubs as she continues her teaching career at Spring Lake. 

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Amaya Wiseman, Editor-in-Chief
Amaya Wiseman is the 2023-2024 Editor-in-Chief
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