Erika (Thiel) Jeffries
IT and Curriculum Specialist
UI Extension, Bonner County
208-263-8511, Ext. 25
University of Idaho Extension, Bonner County
4205 N Boyer Ave.
Sandpoint, ID 83864
Erika has a robust youth development career. She directs all things technology for Idaho's 4-H including 4-H Online and the 4-H website. She oversees all 4-H curriculum She supports teen leadership programming, is a trained art educator, former VP of marketing and has graphic design experience.
M.S., University of Idaho, 2014
B.S., University of Idaho, 1999
- Thiel, E. & S.D. Baker. "4-H Animal Science Lesson Plan — Livestock Ownership Records". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. & D.R. Gillespie. "Advanced Citizenship — Idaho 4-H Know Your Government Steering Committee Project Manual". 11005. University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E., R, Davids and D.R. Gillespie. "Power of the Press — Idaho 4-H Know Your Government Steering Committee Project Manual". 11006. University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Club Vice President". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Club Treasurer". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Club Secretary". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Club Reporter". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Club President". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "Working with 4-H Club Officers". University of Idaho, 2017.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Family Handbook". 201607. University of Idaho, 2016.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Animal Science Lesson Plan — Ethics: Consequences of Unethical Behavior". University of Idaho, 2016.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Animal Science Lesson Plan — Ethics: Sportsmanship". University of Idaho, 2016.
- Thiel, E. "4-H Animal Science Lesson Plan — Ethics: Pillars of Character". University of Idaho, 2016.
- Wittman, G., R. Lanting, R. Davids, D. Lowber, K. Monk, E. Thiel. "Idaho 4-H Clothing Construction Portfolio". University of Idaho, 2016
- Silkwood, G., D.R. Gillespie, E. Thiel. "Idaho 4-H Leadership Portfolio". University of Idaho, 2016.
- Thiel, E., B. Luckey, R. Davids, M.A. Stevens and C. Lockard. "4-H Exploring Citizenship My Government Project Manual" 11002. University of Idaho, 2015.
- Thiel, E., R. Lundeberg, C. Mobley, P. Ashford, R. Squier, J. Newman, J. Leach, P. Pehling and C. Stark. "4-H Driving Manual" PNW 229, Oregon State University, 2009.
I distinctly recall the first speech I made as an eight-year old 4-H member. A bright, glaring light focused on me, and I shared my worldly knowledge about cats to an attentive audience in Mauston, Wisconsin. Daunting for some but it was just the beginning for me — the match that sparked the flame, my passion and commitment to making the best better through my involvement in 4-H. After 34 years, I still bleed green.
4-H has been a constant in my life. I didn't know that my path would lead me full circle. I obtained my bachelor's in education (art K-12 and speech 6-12). I came out of school fully expecting to land a teaching position, but that was not the case. Substitute teaching does not pay bills, so I went to work for Waste Management of Spokane. I was exposed to totally different realms, but my degree worked for me as I was able to obtain a position in sales. When the opportunity opened for a 4-H program coordinator position at UI Extension, Boundary County, I jumped on it. Twelve years later, my work in Extension has taken me to my current position as 4-H Program Specialist at the University of Idaho 4-H Youth Development office.
Through my work in Extension, I have come to understand the landscape that shapes rural communities. A magic wand does not exist to "fix" the economy, create jobs or maintain a vibrant community. Small towns like Bonners Ferry are struggling with change and finding solutions to stay on the map. The key lies with education. Non-traditional and formal education programs have shared, communicated, but there hasn't been a deeper connection of programming. What I mean by that is that they do not have a shared vision as to how to work together; they have been working independently. There is an urgent need for capacity building — in my profession, community, and beyond. I value opportunities to learn, teach and lead. I recently obtained my master's in adult, organizational learning and leadership and have encouraged colleagues to do so as well.
Learning is lifelong and it takes more than just talk to make visions and programs a reality; one has to be willing to work hard and work smart. Vince Lombardi, former coach of the Green Bay Packers, was an effective coach because he coached leadership; "Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second."
I have a lot of head and a lot of heart. Thank you 4-H!
- 2016 NAE4-HA Distinguished Service Award
- 2014 NAE4-HA Western Regional Winner for Promotional Package — Individual
- 2012 NAE4-HA Western Regional Winner for Promotional Package — Team
- 2016 IAE4-HP Distinguished Service Award
- 2016 IAE4-HP Denise Miller Innovator Award — Team (Teen Task Force)
- 2014 IAE4-HP State Award for Promotional Package — Individual
- 2013 IAE4-HP State Award for Beyond Youth Leadership
- 2012 IAE4-HP State Award for Promotional Package — Team