Erica Hooks: From Temp to Teacher


Lizzy Breen

Erica Hooks is a recent addition to the Plant teaching family. Her involvement with the school is not limited however, being the sponsor of two clubs and substituting for almost a decade.

Lizzy Breen, Staffer

Erica Hooks is an English and reading teacher at Plant High School, but her story is far from traditional. Without an education degree, Hooks had to take and pass multiple courses, tests, and classes to fulfill her temp certification. This is only her third-year teaching full-time; however, she has been a substitute teacher for the school for around nine years.  

“I started teaching because I have four kids and they came from private schools, so I wanted to know what was going on in the public school system,” Hooks said. 

Once her four children graduated from Plant, and Hooks was more familiar with the methods of public-school teaching, she realized that she wanted to remain with the school long term.   

“My degree is in business marketing, so I was hired as a ‘Temp Hire’ in business. I covered Mr. Frank’s classes one semester and then Coach Meyers for the second semester. I knew I only had the job for that year, but when the new school year started (last year in 2021), they asked me to be a long-term substitute for an English teacher that took leave. That teacher ended up not returning so I was permanently hired, and here I am today!” Hooks said.   

Although Hooks is comparatively new to the school, she’s taken no time to get involved with the clubs and extra-curricular opportunities Plant offers.  

“As for clubs, Ms. Toothman is in charge of NEHS and asked if I’d co-sponsor with her and that was an easy yes! As for First Priority, Mr. Bush gave me a call and asked if I’d be interested,” Hooks said.  

Previous club sponsor Julie Moroney retired after the 21-22 school year and left the position of club sponsor open to be filled. At the same time, former principal Johnny Busch was retiring from Plant and requested that Hooks fill the spot Moroney left behind.   

“My youngest son Kenneth Walker was actually the president of the club, so with those two [connections], it was another easy yes! I love that this club is present in the public school system, and even more so, it’s a big club. Lots of dedicated, interested students that put Christ as a priority in their lives,” Hooks said.  

Teaching elsewhere isn’t of interest to Hooks, as she plans to remain at Plant for many years. Students from freshman to senior year may have the opportunity to be taught by Hooks and should discuss her untraditional yet successful approach to becoming an educator. 

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