RANDOLPH, NJ- Fernbrook Elementary Teacher of the Year is Danielle Miller. Ms. Miller teaches 2nd Grade and has served the district since 2002. In addition to Fernbrook Elementary, she has taught students at Center Grove Elementary. Ms. Miller received her Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and her Master’s in Supervision and Evaluation from William Paterson University.
She is a dedicated professional with a commitment to student development both educationally and emotionally. Ms. Miller challenges her students by fostering student curiosity and interest through hands-on activities. She emphasizes social emotional learning and student-centered instruction in her classroom while also working to build positive relationships with parents and the community to extend learning in each child’s home. With more than two decades of experience changing the lives of students, the district is honored to recognize her as this year’s Fernbrook Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Miller was guided to teach after the tragic loss of her father during her childhood. “As a child I experienced the death of a parent. Going through this experience made me acutely aware of the compassion and dedication of the teachers around me each day. Our school community took our family under their wing, and we became part of a new family. Many teachers would check-in on my family, and rally around my brother and myself. I found solace and the ability to mend a broken heart. These teachers guided my path in life, and eventually led me to love not only the craft of teaching, but also the finesse of caring for the whole child. It was in these actions that I became aware of what a huge impact a teacher can have on a child’s life. These small moments with teachers feed my love of the institution, and the knowledge that education is not just about academics but the needs of the whole child emotionally.”
Through her experience, Ms. Miller uses her tremendous passion to create authentic learning environments where all students can thrive. She believes that every child deserves the chance to succeed even when faced with challenges. By focusing on creating flexible learning environments that meet the demands and needs of each student, everyone in her classroom is able to learn through positive support. “It is my distinct pleasure to help all types of learners reach their goals. Students can feel comfortable to make mistakes knowing their classroom is a safe and flexible environment. Learning is always possible. Sometimes it is learning how to treat others and yourself. Other times, it is learning a new skill or getting past a hiccup as part of the learning experience. These experiences and mindsets will transcend into the world around them and help them become the upstanding well-rounded citizens we all hope for them to become. I feel privileged to be a small part of that journey.”