Five years ago, Ashley Kear Miller began interning at Dogwood Elementary in Knoxville, TN, working towards her master’s degree. Fast forward to today and she has not only earned her M.S. in education and become a full-fledged fourth-grade teacher, but she has risen to become a certified mentor teacher. In a very brief period of time, Kear Miller has become an effective educator respected and admired for her remarkable classroom results and tireless dedication to closing the achievement gap.
At Dogwood Elementary—a Title I school where 90 percent of students qualify for the federal free and reduced-lunch program -- Kear Miller greets all of her students with a high five every morning to start the day with a positive attitude. She pairs her upbeat momentum with a strong foundation in data-driven differentiated instruction and project-based learning. Kear Miller never misses an opportunity to be a cheerleader and a mentor to her students. She always stays after school for additional tutoring and to attend her students’ extracurricular activities, both to show support and to get to know her students’ families better. She always makes sure to fit in a few words of advice to parents on how to extend learning from the classroom to the home. With her strong support system, students have made significant gains in achievement on state assessments and valued-added scores, one being a 27% increase in reading accuracy.
Kear Miller's commitment to her school doesn’t stop there. She volunteers for several organizations, including Project GRAD, an education reform program that targets schools with academic needs, at a shelter for abused women and a government-funded housing project where some of her students live. She also serves as the Knox County Education Association Building Representative, advocating for policy improvements that benefit students and teachers. Currently, Kear Miller is taking some time off from her teaching career to raise her two young boys. She looks forward to returning to the education field in the future!
KCS TV | Knox County Schools | Oct 22 , 2010 | Knoxville, TN
KCS TV | Knox County Schools | Oct 13 , 2010 | Knoxville, TN