Educator Profile    Educators

Tiffany Miera (CO '22)


Needham Elementary School
Durango, CO

Subject(s) taught: Mathematics, Science, ELA
Grade(s): 5

At the time of the Award, Tiffany Miera was:

Needham Elementary School
Durango, CO

Subject(s) taught: Mathmematics
Grade(s): 5

Biographical Information

Tiffany Miera helps fifth graders build the foundational math skills they need to succeed as they move on from Needham Elementary School in Durango, Colorado. Miera embraces innovative practices, always putting students’ needs first and encouraging them to take risks, try new things, think creatively and critically, and embrace a growth mindset. After students made significant strides when she piloted the Concepts for Learning Mathematics process, including “math congress” discussions that encourage students to talk about math thinking, Miera mentored other teachers to give more students access to her highly effective practices. She previously taught special education and is determined to provide appropriate access points to learning for all students, focused on grade-level proficiency. And Miera’s methods deliver. Needham’s fifth graders have risen from 25.4% proficiency in 2019 to 42.9% in 2022, outperforming both the district and state.

A leader in her building and district, Miera has served on Needham’s instructional leadership, math curriculum, cultural, and gifted and talented teams. She received a district grant to increase efforts around diversity and gifted and talented offerings at Needham. Miera has led professional development for elementary math colleagues, mentors new and student teachers, and welcomes district colleagues into her classroom to observe. Determined to close achievement gaps that resulted from the pandemic, Miera created a mixed-grade cohort for hybrid learning during the 2020-21 school year, providing rich in-person and online instruction to two different clusters on a complicated alternating-day schedule.

Miera is a Durango native with strong community ties—she was once a Needham student herself and has spent her entire career in education at the school. She builds relationships with all students and works collaboratively with families to meet each child’s needs, including those with individualized education and behavior plans. Miera lives down the street from Needham and welcomes students to stop by for help with schoolwork, even if they have not been in her class for years. Outside of school, Miera coaches jiu jitsu and kickboxing, and she waits tables at the same local restaurant where she worked as a high schooler—with delighted students and their families often visiting on weekends.

Miera earned a bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies and ESL in 2008 from Fort Lewis College, a master’s in special education in 2014 from Grand Canyon University, and master’s in educational leadership with a principal certification in 2022 from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Press release: Model Math Instruction Plus Mentorship Equal $25,000 Milken Educator Award for Durango Hometown Hero Tiffany Miera

Related Connections

Article: Spotlight: Tiffany Miera (CO '22)

Educator Quote:

"I teach because I love to see my kids grow and learn. When..." (read more)

Tiffany Miera In The News

Tiffany Miera (Interdisciplinary Studies, '09) was Honored with the Generous Milken Educator Award
Fort Lewis College  |  Nov 23, 2022  |  Durango, CO

WATCH --> Durango Math Teacher Honored with Milken Award
Yahoo! News (via KMGH-TV)  |  Oct 28, 2022  |  Denver, CO

WATCH --> Durango Elementary School Teacher Awarded $25K by the Milken Foundation
KOB-TV  |  NBC  |  Oct 19, 2022  |  Albuquerque, NM

Southeastern Graduate Tiffany Miera Receives $25,000 National Milken Educator Award
Southeastern Oklahoma State University  |  Oct 17, 2022  |  Durant, OK

Needham Elementary School Math Teacher Surprised with $25,000 Award
The Durango Herald  |  Oct 12, 2022  |  Durango, CO

Durango Teacher Wins Prestigious Milken Award
La Voz Colorado  |  Oct 12, 2022  |  Thornton, CO

Durango Elementary School Teacher Receives $25,000 Award from National Nonprofit
Colorado Springs Gazette  |  Oct 12, 2022  |  Colorado Springs, CO

LISTEN --> Durango Teacher Receives National Milken Educator Award
KSUT-FM  |  NPR  |  Oct 12, 2022  |  Ignacio, CO

WATCH --> Durango Teacher Receives Milken Award
KRQE-TV  |  CBS/FOX  |  Oct 11, 2022  |  Albuquerque, NM

Additional Information


2022 M.Ed. Leadership with Principal Certificate, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

2014 M.Ed., Special Education, Grand Canyon State University

2008 B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies, Fort Lewis College