WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT ERIK JOKINEN
“Erik has been instrumental in developing one of the most effective physical education programs in our state here on South Whidbey.
He has dedicated his life to kids, school and family.”
Rocco Gianni, school board member and former South Whidbey teacher/coach
“Erik lives and breathes physical education. He has built a top-notch PE program for our students at Langley Middle School. He is committed to lifelong fitness.”
Sue Terhar, South Whidbey School District administrative assistant to superintendent
“Since the day he arrived at Langley Middle School as a student teacher in 1990, Erik has never missed a beat. He is an exemplary leader and innovator who has constantly created rich learning experiences for his students. His love for kids and hard work have always served as a model. In addition to these amazing contributions to our community, the center of Erik’s life is, and always has been, his family.”
Greg Willis, former principal of LMS
“Erik Jokinen is a devoted husband, father, teacher, coach, and community member. His family comes first, always. He is a passionate teacher who raises the bar for all his students. He has a way of making those who are a bit less talented athletically feel like they can do it.”
Mary Eaton, SWHS office administrator
“Erik’s energy, enthusiasm, and humor capture students’ interest in learning, whether it is social studies or physical education. Because he believes in all students, they begin to believe in themselves and are willing to work hard to meet the high goals Erik sets. “
Lisa Bjork, former SWSD superintendent
“I have always been amazed by Erik’s selfless devotion to coaching. He never takes a season off. He makes sure that all the kids on the team get equal playing time. All the kids are “stars” on Erik’s teams, and no one gets special treatment. Erik stresses the importance of the team.”
Tim Young, an admiring friend of Jokinen’s
Just because our schools don’t have funding, it doesn’t stop Erik from providing a challenging PE program. Erik will go the extra many miles writing grants, etc.
All that Erik gives to his work he gives two-fold to his family. Erik has made the choice to put his family above all, and it shows in the happiness and beauty of his wife Colleen and their children Farriss and Dexter.
Sharon Edwards, library clerk at LMS
“Erik is an awesome family man and teacher/coach. He’s an absolutely true asset to our children, the middle school and the South Whidbey School District. All good things begin with a dream and ‘Mr. J.’ is not a dream. He’s for real.”
Gail Corell, former LMS parent volunteer
“Erik has so much energy and wisdom to share with our students. He is articulate, sensible, and passionate about helping students make healthy and positive choices. I love that he gives so much to our school, but he also gives so much to his family. He doesn’t just teach physical education in the classroom; he lives it daily.”
Jennifer Campbell, SWSD teacher
“Everything Erik does is a consistent message of hard work and positive attitude; he not only talks about it but leads by example. Erik always has his family’s and SW youths’ best interest in mind and gives of himself all the time.”
Shauna Davies, school volunteer
“Erik is a great co-worker and friend. His energy and enthusiasm for kids is contagious. Erik has been a mentor and an inspiration to me. Teaching PE with him is fun.”
Kathy Gianni, SWSD teacher
“Erik is a team player with a very positive attitude and not at all full of a big ego. Every day he hustles, works hard and makes physical education fun for kids. Besides being a teacher he volunteers and puts his family first. He models fairness and sportsmanship in his choices and actions. He walks his talk.”
John LaVassar, SWSD teacher
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
WHAT IS HAVING CLASS?
“Always trying your best, doing what you know is right, do what you know will have benefit to others, be humble.”
WHO WOULD I APOLOGIZE TO?
“The list is sooo long (laughs).”
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOURSELF?
“Become a morning person!”
YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY?
“Provide more positive inclusive outlets for youth activity in our community … A community pool!”
“Global Leaders to follow the Native American creed of making decisions based on how they will impact several generations down the road, especially when it comes to our environment.”
WHAT BORES YOU? “Serious people (and) gossip.”
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE IN LIFE?
“Faith in God, humor, to be able to laugh at yourself.”
WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU?
“That I sincerely care about all those around me and am always striving for that cooperative utopian feel.”
QUALITIES I ADMIRE MOST IN A PERSON?
“I greatly admire people who can shift paradigms and think about how their decisions will impact others … people who always stay positive even when the chips are down.”
MOTTO TO LIVE BY?
“Be a ‘clique-buster’ throughout your whole life … try to get to know as many different types of people (sincerely) as possible within your lifetime.”
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO AGAIN? “Spend a great amount of time in a different culture (my travels and teaching overseas have left me with a deep appreciation for other cultures).”
IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY?
“I would build a youth activity camp on a lake for impoverished children to get a chance to experience the outdoors and healthy activities they are not accustomed to.”
“Passion, work ethic, humor”
“Knees, ankles, sarcasm”
VALUES IMPARTED ON CHILDREN?
“Think beyond yourself, stay positive, exercise for fun, treat your environment (family, community, earth) with respect.”
ERIK JOKINEN’S Biography
BORN: Dec. 31, 1966 in Spokane, Wash.
HIGH SCHOOL: Shadle Park (Spokane)
COLLEGE: Washington State University (bachelor’s), Western Washington University and University of Washington (master’s)
SPOUSE: Colleen Jokinen, married May 29, 1993
CHILDREN: Farriss Josephina Jokinen, 13, and Dexter Erik Jokinen, 11
YEARS ON WHIDBEY ISLAND: 24
HOBBIES: Building, biking, gardening, windsurfing, hiking, skiing, boating, boxing, kayaking, skating
PEOPLE HE ADMIRES ON SOUTH WHIDBEY: Greg Willis, Jim Lindus, Henry Pope (recently deceased), Craig Stelling, Kevin Lungren, Pam Newman, Nels Bergquist, Rocco & Kathy Gianni, Chris Adams, Steve Jones, Jan McNeely, John LaVassar, Kent Ratekin, Lisa Bjork, Gerry Barrat, Jenny Campbell, Rachel Kizer, Sue Bigger, Jan Mahaffey, Sandy Gilbert, Rosie Donnelly, Gail Correll, Shelly Ackerman, Katrina Leski, Sue Terhar, Diane Richardson, Brian McCleary, Frankie Petitclerc, Carrie Monforte, Erin Mackie, and my family Colleen, Dexter & Farriss Jokinen, for putting up with me.