Erin Jacobson understands what it means to work as part of a team.

Whether it was being a student-athlete in high school back in Huron, S.D. or serving as a member of the National Guard, Jacobson recognizes value in working in concert with others.

So, in her new role as the director of teaching and learning for the Redwood Area School District, Jacobson has come ready to work alongside the other leaders in the district to achieve the common goal of helping students and staff grow.

Jacobson, who graduated from high school in 1997, opted to head east into Minnesota to pursue her degree in education. She earned degrees in elementary education and German from the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University. She has also earned a Masters degree in teaching and learning with an emphasis on data, assessment and technology.

Most recently, Jacobson was employed by the Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop School District where she spent several years teaching first-grade and third-grade students before serving in a teacher-leader role. 

Jacobson said she decided to pursue a career in education because it gave her the chance to be involved with helping others.

“I wanted to choose a career where I would be able to work close with others and help them grow,” said Jacobson. “I love kids, and so becoming a teacher was the best fit.”

Having served for more than eight years in the National Guard in several roles, including public affairs and communication, provided Jacobson with skills she believes are helping her as an educator, especially as she has stepped into a role in education on a larger scale.

Whether it was moving away from home to pursue a degree, enlisting in the National Guard, becoming a teacher in the classroom or stepping up to the position of director of teaching and learning in the local school district, Jacobson said she is always looking to take on that next big challenge.

Jacobson said she was able to work with teachers in the role of an educator through a literacy program known as Striving Readers. What she discovered is a new passion to help teachers develop the skills they need to ensure students see success as they grow in an optimal learning environment.

Jacobson said is still getting to know her new role and wants to build on the strengths of things already established.

“I’m still learning,” she said, adding she is getting great support. “I believe that coming here was the right decision."

Jacobson and husband, Ryan, who is a teacher at GFW, have two children, Cole and Marti.