“This is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I, along with thousands and thousands of other teachers, work very hard and I’m one of few people that gets to be recognized,” she said. “I respect and appreciate what other teachers and educators do every single day for our children. This is a very exciting honor.”
Miller, who was named the 2013-14 Jefferson Parish Middle School Teacher of the Year, is both the assistant principal and an eighth-grade science teacher at Ruppel Academy for Advanced Studies in Gretna. A New Orleans native, she is in her 14th year of teaching and her fifth at Ruppel Academy, since earning her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from LSU. She also received her national board certification in early adolescence science.
Miller, who grew up in Baton Rouge but was born in New Orleans, moved back to the Crescent City after graduating from LSU.
“A New Orleans girl always comes home,” she said.
Of all of her accomplishments, Miller is most proud to continue her parents’ tradition.
“I’m a legacy educator,” she said. “Although I can’t tell you I dreamt of being a teacher, I can tell you that the moment I accepted education as my future, that I knew it was where I was meant to be. It was like coming home – I knew it was the right decision and I knew it was something I’d be good at. I knew that’d I’d be continuing something that my parents instilled in me. They’re amazing.”
Miller remains vigilant in teaching her students how to apply the basic concepts of science and encourages them to be investigative thinkers. She is also a part of the school’s leadership team and facilitates various professional workshops for her colleagues.
“I take what I do very seriously. I think that building students and providing them with an education is the best gift we can give them,” Miller said. “My students think I’m a little nutty; they think that every year when I start getting excited for Saints season.”
A lifelong fan of her hometown team, Miller’s husband has season tickets and her grandfather has been a season-ticket holder since the Saints’ inaugural season. Her daughters, Ella (6) and Lucy (4) are huge Saints fans and were excited for their mother – however, they did have one concern.
“They were very excited except they were both concerned about my proximity to the ‘dirty birds,’” she said. “They were both worried I might be a little too close to the Falcons side of the field.”