Teacher of the year

Published: March 24, 2006 | 3842nd good news item since 2003

After two decades of teaching high school students, it’s understandable if Cindy Miller sometimes doesn’t feel like stepping into the classroom.

Not this Windsor High School teacher.

Miller, 44, feels like the luckiest teacher in the world. She said people will say to her, ” ‘You’re a high school teacher. You must be nuts.’ ” But Miller has never seen it that way.

“It’s a privilege to come into this classroom every day and work with these kids,” said Miller, who was recently named the 2005 Colorado Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year. “I honestly feel like I’ve never gone to work a day in my life. I feel very blessed to be in Windsor. We have awesome students, parents and a great community to teach in.”

Miller has a perpetual smile and a bounce in her step as she walks around her classroom.

A body works class, which combines nutrition and exercise lessons, that Miller and physical education teacher Laurie Balerud wrote the curriculum for 13 years ago was adopted by the Colorado Community College system last spring and inspired the state nutrition and wellness curriculum.

“The state program director said this is important enough to make it part of our funded programs,” Miller said. “It’s got Windsor’s mark on it, and any school can get funded by teaching this class.”

Miller’s students have picked up on her passion for teaching.

“She definitely connects with the students, and you just love every day you have her class because she’s always in a good mood,” said Taylor Choate, 18, who took body works and catering from Miller.

Ashley Grauberger, 17, said Miller brings joy into the classroom.

“She’s the nicest teacher I’ve ever had,” Ashley said.

Jake Hyland, 16, a junior who is in Miller’s catering class, said she puts a different twist on school.

“It’s not the boring, old classroom,” Jake said. “Time flies in her class.”

Principal Kirk Salmela said Miller is a wonderful educator and a terrific person.

“It speaks volumes to what she is made of, her value system and her relationships with kids,” Salmela said. “I don’t think her level of enthusiasm is surpassed by anybody in the building, and we have so many passionate educators in this building. Her passion for what she does and how she meets the needs of kids is outstanding.”

Published in Teachers
See also: www.greeleytrib.com
Inside Good News Blog