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Dr. Erika Klose (WV '17)

Director, Office of PK-12 Academic Support

West Virginia Department of Education
Charleston, WV

At the time of the Award, Dr. Erika Klose was:

Winfield Middle School
Winfield, WV

Subject(s) taught: Earth Science/Space Science
Grade(s): 6, 7, 8

Biographical Information

Science teacher Erika Klose is on a mission: to get more Putnam County kids, especially girls, thinking about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. She presents engaging, student-centered lessons in her classroom at Winfield Middle School (WMS), incorporating technology and focusing on hands-on experiments that encourage students to own their learning. Klose’s students won $10,000 for classroom supplies during last year’s Day of Coding and consistently bring home awards from schoolwide, county and regional science fairs. She recruited U.S. Senator Shelly Moore Capito and Toyota, a large local employer, to join the school for an assembly about women in STEM, then took a group of girls to a career center to encourage them to explore STEM career options often thought of as traditionally male roles.

A leader at WMS, Klose provides guidance and continuing education for the school’s science teachers, serves as president of the Faculty Senate, and started student clubs for mapping and coding. Colleagues look to Klose for guidance for science matters and beyond. She is a member of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and National Association of Geoscience Teachers, as well as president-elect of the West Virginia Science Teachers Association, and has served on several state science curriculum committees. Klose has presented at national NSTA conferences, the Esri Educational Users Conference and the West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference. A trained geologist, she worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, before entering the classroom.

Klose earned a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Smith College in 1997, a master’s in geological sciences in 1999 from Lehigh University, and a master’s in teaching in 2007 from Marshall University.

Press release: Rock solid success merits Erika Klose a $25,000 Milken Educator Award

Related Connections

Article: West Virginia: Letters to Future Educators

Article: Milken Educators Work Together to Make a Difference in West Virginia

Article: COVID-19 Diaries: “I Think I’ve Forgotten How to Learn”

Milestone: Erika Klose (WV '17) Wins 2019 PAEMST Award

Article: Spotlight: 10 Questions for Erika Klose (WV ’17)

Educator Quote:

"I knew that I wanted to teach middle school—I..." (read more)

Dr. Erika Klose In The News

Districts Are Hungry for AI Guidance. Here's How One State Crafted It
Education Week  |  Jan 11, 2024  |  Bethesda, MD

Former Winfield Middle Teacher Returns to Share STEM Know-How
Putnam Review | Charleston Gazette-Mail  |  Sep 19, 2018  |  Charleston, WV

Prestigious Teaching Award Goes to Woman Who Grew Up in Rhinebeck, Graduated from Coleman
Daily Freeman  |  Oct 31, 2017  |  Kingston, NY

Putnam Teacher Gets $25,000 Milken Award
Charleston Gazette-Mail  |  Oct 30, 2017  |  Charleston, WV

Putnam Teacher Receives 2017 Milken Educator of the Year Award in W.Va.
MetroNews  |  Oct 30, 2017  |  Charleston, WV

Additional Information


2023 Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Marshall University

2022 Ed.S, Marshall University, Curriculum and Instruction

2007 M.A., Science Education, Marshall University Graduate College

1999 M.S., Geology/Earth Science, Lehigh University

1997 B.A., Geology/Earth Science, Smith College