“It’s not just about having an impact on them; they have an impact on me too. Belonging to a community of little people, where we all matter to each other, brings a great sense of joy to my life.”Ms. Alicia
Meet Ms. Alicia Steiner, a lower elementary teacher at Highland Community School, who has been an integral part of the school community for over a decade.
Alicia’s initial attraction to Highland stemmed from her search for a school that offered more than just academics. “I wanted my children to grow up in an environment that was kind and loving,” she recalls. Witnessing the older students caring for the younger ones and experiencing the genuine camaraderie among the community members solidified her decision to enroll her children at Highland.
Now that Alicia’s children have grown, one off to college, she remains committed to the school’s mission of building a close-knit community for young learners. Being part of the classroom community brings her immense joy and fulfillment, and she thrives on belonging to a community of children. “It’s not just about having an impact on them; they have an impact on me too. Belonging to a community of little people, where we all matter to each other, brings a great sense of joy to my life.”
One of Alicia’s favorite cultural artifacts in her classroom is a Native American storyteller figurine. These figurines represent the central importance of stories in Native American cultural traditions. The adult storyteller, always depicted with an open mouth, is surrounded by children in different formations. This imagery resonates with Alicia as it reflects her role as a teacher. “The figures always give me the impression that the children are a part of making and telling the story, not just recipients of the story,” she shares.
For Alicia, Highland is the place where she feels most like the storyteller, right in the middle of a joyful community of children where she has the honor of sharing stories and creating stories together. “Highland is a place that shares my values as a human, where I get to tell stories in which all of the children can find themselves and see themselves,” Alicia expresses.
Outside of her role at the school, Alicia and her family are outdoor enthusiasts. They love camping, hiking, and exploring national parks, making cherished memories during their road trips. Utah’s stunning national parks hold a special place in her heart.