Katie Fagundes
Special to the Sun

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April 15, 2014
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Teacher of the Year | Truckee Hometown SEARS - Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza select sixth finalist

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — Truckee Elementary teacher Jane Miller has been selected the sixth Teacher of the Year finalist. Miller was recognized for her passion and inventiveness in the classroom.

“What makes Jane stand out from the crowd is her true passion and her heart for the children in her class,” wrote one parent nominator. “There is no doubt when you speak with her about her students that she loves them and wants to provide the very best for them.”

“Mrs. Miller is a caring teacher who puts her students first,” said Truckee Elementary principal Valerie Simpson. “She is creative and has fun teaching and preparing her students for third grade.”

On March 6, program sponsors Charlie Riley owner of Truckee Hometown SEARS, Michael Gelbman publisher of the Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Dave Wilderotter of Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards, Doug Wright of Mountain Hardware and Jeff Ridgel of The Office BOSS presented Miller with a finalist award certificate and gifts from program sponsors.

“It is great to have another opportunity to spotlight one of our community’s many excellent teachers,” said Gelbman.

As a child Jane Miller loved to play school and visit the teacher supply store. She always thought it would be fun to be a teacher.

After high school, Miller went to work for a biomedical company. While working as a laboratory technician she attended college at California State Fullerton at night. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and saved enough money to attend school full time to earn her teaching credential.

Miller taught in Germany and the Bay Area before moving to the Tahoe in 2003. She worked as a substitute for five years and learned about Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s schools, students and needs. Visiting different classrooms allowed her to witness multiple teaching styles and gather new ideas.

While substituting Miller started work on a master’s degree in education from University of Nevada, Reno.

She has now worked as a full time teacher in TTUSD for five years, teaching kindergarten, fifth, seventh and now second grade at Truckee Elementary School.

“I love Truckee Elementary and am really happy to be teaching here,” said Miller. “It is an amazing school, I love the diversity and that the teachers have high expectations for all children.”

Miller also loves the enrichment opportunities the community offers her young students through funding like Measure A.

Although happy to teach wherever needed, Miller loves the opportunity teaching younger grades gives her to express her own creativity. Her classroom is filled with colors, text, and music. Her second graders inspire her and add to their learning environment each day.

“The kids love to learn and are excited about everything,” said Miller. “When they make connections, they are excited to bring it back to the classroom and share with me.”

Miller credits her success to supportive colleagues, fantastic students and dedicated parents.

“We have wonderful, extremely supportive parents who believe in the school and support the teachers,” said Miller. “The parents are friendly, caring and concerned with the whole student body.”

Parents recognize Miller for her dedication.

“I am so grateful that my son has Mrs. Miller as his teacher, and I’m happy for each parent that will have the opportunity to have their child learn from her,” wrote one nominator. “She is an asset to the educational system and to our community and I think she truly deserves the honor of being nominated as Teacher of the Year.”

Miller was excited and honored to hear of her nomination.

She is grateful for the Teacher of the Year sponsors offering another way for teachers to be recognized.

“I was so excited, it really boosted my self-confidence, I thought, wow, we all need this,” said Miller. “I am so grateful that SEARS does this, it gives us the opportunity to share our love for the job and the success of our students.”

The Truckee Hometown SEARS-Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Teacher of the Year award is made possible by the following sponsors: Mountain Hardware & Sports, Tahoe Truckee Brokers, Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards, The Office BOSS, Sierra Nevada College, McDonald’s Truckee, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts.

Next time you are in one of their stores, businesses, or resorts, please be sure to thank them for their generous support of the Teacher of the Year program and their commitment to recognizing some of the many outstanding teachers in the North Lake Tahoe Community.

To nominate your teacher for the Truckee Hometown SEARS-Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Teacher of the Year award email tahoetruckeeteacheroftheyear@gmail.com or bring nominations to the Truckee Hometown SEARS store 12047 Donner Pass Road.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 16, 2014 09:54AM Published Apr 15, 2014 10:00AM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.