Staff Spotlight: Erica Tannhof - American Sign Language Interpreter at Irving

Every week, we’ll shine a spotlight on one Lincoln Public Schools staff member! Get to know the wonderful people making a positive impact across various areas within LPS. This week, meet Erica Tannhof, American Sign Language Interpreter at Irving Middle School in the Special Education Department. 

“Erica is a calm, kind and positive presence in Irving's school community. She supports classroom instruction for students who require ASL interpretation to access the learning environment. The students and staff enjoy seeing her smile around the building and in classes.” - Anne Marie Boose, special education coordinator

In a few sentences, briefly describe your role at LPS.
I am an American Sign Language interpreter at Irving Middle School. My job is to facilitate communication within a classroom. This can look like interpreting for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and their peers or verbal instruction from teachers. I also help lead an American Sign Language club for students after school.

How long have you worked for LPS?
I have worked for LPS for four years.

What inspired you to become part of the education field at LPS?
I have always loved working with children and knew I wanted to be an educational American Sign Language interpreter. When I graduated college in 2020, I was introduced to a job opportunity to work for LPS.

What has been your favorite part of working here? What aspect of your job do you find most rewarding?
It amazes me everyday that I get to work alongside other incredible ASL interpreters, teachers of the deaf and special education administrators. My favorite part is working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is such a joy to be a part of their educational experience.

Did you attend LPS as a student? If so, which school(s)? If not, where are you from?
I did not attend LPS as a student. I was actually born and raised in New Franklin, Ohio. I moved to Lincoln and started working for LPS in 2020.

What path did you take after completing your formal education?
I attended Kent State University and earned a bachelor's degree in American Sign Language/English Interpreting in 2020. This spring I am working on getting a Certificate in Educational Interpreting from Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

What do you enjoy most about the Lincoln community?
I enjoy that Lincoln is a big city with a small town feel. There is so much to do in Lincoln, but life feels simple here. Everyone is always so kind and friendly.

What is your favorite childhood book or a book that has influenced your life positively?
Growing up I have always loved the Harry Potter series. It's nice to escape into a magical world every once in a while.

Share a shout out to a former teacher who impacted your life.
Shout out to my high school band director, Mrs. Bagwell, who inspired me to become the best leader I could be and made me want to work in education.

Do you know a LPS staff member we should feature for Staff Spotlight? Fill out this form to nominate them!

Published: May 16, 2024, Updated: May 16, 2024

Erica Tannhof, American Sign Language Interpreter at Irving Middle School in the Special Education Department.