Inspirational Faith: Overcoming Challenges and Emerging Stronger

New Life Academy is made up of a lot of unique people and many individual stories. One of these unique people is Louise Erickson. You can find her holding a teacup, teaching first grade, making a catchy comment, or hustling down the halls.  

Louise has been teaching at New Life Academy for 28 years. We’re featuring her because she was recently named Woodbury Educator of the Year. Nominated by our very own Lower School Principal, Nancy Washburn, Louise’s story is one you don’t want to miss. 

Louise was in her classroom when she got the call that she was nominated and had won Woodbury Educator of the Year. She remembers being so surprised: “I was in my classroom when the phone rang. The phone never rings!” laughed Louise.  

Overcoming challenges

Over the past couple years, Louise was one of the leading forces in implementing Minds in Motion at New Life Academy. After discovering research that proves the brain absorbs more while the body is moving, Louise knew she wanted to find ways to get her students more active. 

Now when you walk down the halls of New Life, you can see kids skipping, doing lunges, twirling, laughing, and running as they follow Louise. It’s evident how much she loves her students and how much they love her and want to follow her example. Our community is grateful for all the years Louise has taught first grade and all she brings to our students and families every year. 

Louise was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. However, she never gave up; she was at New Life almost every day while undergoing chemo and radiation. If you listen to her speak, her strength and her faith are inspiring. In her acceptance speech, Louise called cancer a “privilege” because it humbled her, strengthened her faith and caused her to rely on God. Overcoming cancer also allowed her to share her story with others and how God carried her through her impossible journey. 

Her oncologist is now a New Life parent. One day Louise was teaching “with my bald head,” laughs Louise. She looked up when a tour stopped by her classroom and recognized the lady visiting. Louise always talked about her job and how much she loved her students when receiving treatments and meeting with her doctor, which inspired her oncologist to check out NLA for her own kids. 

Louise’s distinct personality brings so much to New Life. We are so blessed to have wonderful teachers like Louise and to see the impact of all that she pours into her students.