When you step inside Mrs. Erin Slotman's fourth grade classroom at Hamilton Elementary, you will find a sense of family. Slotman, a 2001 graduate of Hamilton High School, makes it a priority to communicate daily plans and expectations with her students ensuring they're all on the same page each and every day.

Not only has Slotman fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming a teacher, she achieved it in her home district where she graduated in 2001.

"This is where I grew up, I went to Bentheim Elementary as a student and then middle school and high school and always wanted to teach," she added. "I consider it just a joy to teach in the same district that I grew up in."

18 years in to teaching in Hamilton, Slotman's goals have remained the same at the fourth grade level.

"I want to prepare them for the transition to middle school, fourth grade to fifth grade is a big jump, so I just want to equip them with the skills they need for when they get there."

However, it starts with relationships for Slotman, who is consistently checking in on her students to ensure that aforementioned family feel in her classroom.

"I would say that one of the best parts of my job is having the opportunity to connect with kids each day and build relationships with them," Slotman said. "Our students today have so many different needs, socially and academically, but making sure they feel safe and loved is one of the best tools to help them be most successful in my classroom."

Not only has she graduated from Hamilton Community Schools, but she also has three students attending in the district as well.

"It's the sense of community," she said, "I just love the coworkers that I have here and love the small-town feel. I truly feel Hamilton has the most supportive and caring staff and families, which is why I also feel blessed that my own girls are able to be a part of this community."