Erica Bunton has been a special education teacher at Heartspring since 2012. Her passion for special education began when she babysat her cousin who has a diagnosis of Down syndrome. They had a special bond that really made an impact on Erica. Erica then worked as a paraprofessional in the Sedgwick County COOP. She said the experience changed her whole life. She got to work first-hand with children with special needs in a classroom setting. Erica entered the para-to-teacher program and began working at the COOP as a teacher starting in 2009. She taught in an interrelated classroom and a functionally applied academics classroom.
After spending several years as a teacher there, Erica decided she needed a change and moved to Heartspring. She says that now she can’t see herself working anywhere else. She truly enjoys working with the students, and you can see that every time she is in her classroom. The support and training she gets at the school really allows her to make a difference in children’s lives. She was able to attend the KSDSE TASN Summer Leadership Conference, where she learned different skills and methods to become a better leader for the paraeducators in her classroom. Erica serves on a number of committees including the school improvement team and needs assessment committee and is the head of the testing and assessment committee. She is also the test coordinator. As part of that job she goes to workshops and trains on assessments and supports others teachers in their assessment needs and concerns. Erica also helps keep the campus and its employees upbeat by being a member of the Celebration Committee.
Erica has a master’s in functional special education at Wichita State University and bachelor’s in elementary education from Newman University. She also coached Miracle League Softball for five years. She loves animals and has three dogs, three cats and a pig at home! She says if she wasn’t a teacher she’d be working in animal rescue. She also played golf for Newman University.