Erica Hiers is Impressed With the Class of 2017


Sara Beth Cimowsky

Senior literature teacher will miss the unique personalities found in the Class of 2017.

Erica Hiers knows a thing or two about the Class of 2017. And from what she knows, she’s impressed.

This school year the veteran literature teacher, now in her sixth year at North Atlanta and in her 10th year of teaching, teaches IB English and IB Theory of Knowledge. For both classes her students are completely comprised of seniors. From where she teaches on the building’s 10th floor, she’s had ample exposure to those who are soon to depart high school halls for a next life chapter. And the impressions her students have made on her are wholly positive and encouraging.

“This class is so good-natured and they are able to see beyond themselves and to reach out to those who are not like them,” Hiers said. “That’s my biggest impression of the Class of 2017.”

In her IB classes, Hiers said her classes frequently touch on issues that could make for divisions and this fall’s presidential election was a particularly noteworthy potential debate tripwire. “The election presented a platform for fears and divisions, but what gives me hope is that my students never lost sight of the humanity of the person next to them,” she said.

Hiers said she noticed that her students – who represent a broad spectrum of the school’s study body – are unified by the things that bring them together. “They hug in the hallway, cheer each other on in sports. They give me hope that future generations can move beyond physical differences.”

She said she has some advice for those who are soon to move beyond North Atlanta and the advice is rooted in her manner of teaching literature. Self-investigation is just as important in life as it is in a lit circle in Room 10159 during your senior year. “Know what you believe and why you believe it,” she said.

She said all academic classes she’s taught have been dear to her but she’ll carry a special place in her heart for the Class of 2017. “Some of my students have endeared themselves so much to me. Just seeing them makes me smile. They are so unique and even fun-loving. I will miss them terribly,” she said.

All will be sad to see the Class of 2017. None will be sadder than literature teacher Erica Hiers.