Erica Rutherford is a kindergarten teacher at Cullman City Primary School. A fourth-generation teacher, she was inspired to enter the teaching field by her grandmother and the life-long bond she shared with her own kindergarten teacher. Since 2011, Ms. Rutherford has dedicated herself to providing young students with a solid academic foundation as well as a positive outlook toward learning and school. Ms. Rutherford strives to develop her students’ own personal talents and increase their self-esteem and personal achievement.
Ms. Rutherford is passionate about conducting classroom research to continuously provide students with unique and challenging learning opportunities. Ms. Rutherford’s primary areas of research include building on constructivist principles to increase student communication in the kindergarten classroom. Her past action research projects include analysis of a school-wide board game initiative to increase student communication and reasoning skills and using student writing partnerships to develop high-quality communication and literacy skills in kindergarten students.
Ms. Rutherford has also spent a large portion of her career collaborating with colleagues to create a new standards based assessment system at her school. Ms. Rutherford has presented her school’s standards based reporting system to teachers and future administrators in conferences and lectures in North Central Alabama. As a doctoral student at the University of Alabama, Ms. Rutherford has received numerous scholarships and academic awards. Her future plans include working in administration or higher education to help current and future educators develop teaching skills and techniques that will increase students’ communicative abilities and literacy achievement.