FCPS Names Suzanne Miller its 2018 Teacher of the Year

FCPS Names Suzanne Miller its 2018 Teacher of the Year
Posted on 08/09/2017
Dr. Sovine and Mrs. MillerFor Immediate Release
August 9, 2017
Contact: Steve Edwards, Coordinator of Policy and Communications
540-662-3888 ext. 88235


Frederick County Middle School English teacher Suzanne Miller was named Frederick County Public Schools’ 2018 Teacher of the Year during the school division’s annual convocation program this morning. Miller, who is beginning her 19th year as a teacher at Frederick County Middle School, has been among the finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award on four separate occasions (2003, 2006, 2012 and 2017).

Schools Superintendent David Sovine says, “Throughout her career, Mrs. Miller has given unselfishly to her students, her colleagues and her profession. She has been recognized by her peers as Frederick County Middle School’s Teacher of the Year on four different occasions and is an outstanding example of an educator who is committed to professional learning and doing whatever it takes to help students be successful. Her commitment to building relationships with her students and their families, supporting her co-workers and maintaining a positive attitude are evident in her daily work. She is a difference maker.”

After entering the University of Virginia as a pre-med student, Miller decided to follow what she perceived to be her calling and become a teacher. She says, “It is an atmosphere of community that, to me, is what drives education. It is about a community of teachers, parents, administrators, students, peers, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, secretaries, counselors- all working together to make a child’s life stronger, better and more full. Every one of my teachers, those that inspired me and those that challenged me, influenced my career choice. The memories of those I liked motivate me daily to offer to my students what my teachers offered to me.”

Miller adds, “I’m a firm believer in a positive attitude. It is the single most useful tool that I utilize every day. A positive comment, if genuine, can change the course of anyone’s day, and I’ve learned not to refrain from telling students or teachers about a job well done. Enthusiasm breeds enthusiasm, negativity breeds negativity. We are responsible for the education of the children we teach, and though we all experience those days when driving past the school instead of into the parking lot may seem more appealing, we cannot continue to increase our students’ enthusiasm and promote learning without a genuine desire and warm affection for the students and fellow faculty members we work with daily.”

Miller was one of three finalists for the 2018 Frederick County Teacher of the Year Award. The other finalists were Jennifer Wolfe, Orchard View Elementary School, and Karen Hott, Sherando High School.

The other nominees were: Tracy Benner, Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School; Linda Teets, Armel Elementary School; Jacqueline Zacarias, Bass-Hoover Elementary School; Olivia Wymer, Evendale Elementary School; Kathleen Franceschi, Gainesboro Elementary School; Melinda LeVan, Greenwood Mill Elementary School; Kimberly Blemle, Indian Hollow Elementary School; Elizabeth Ballard, Middletown Elementary School; Shannon Wyant, Redbud Run Elementary School; Rebecca Shollay, Stonewall Elementary School; Philip Carpenter, Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School; Marie Chavez, James Wood Middle School; Clare Norris, Robert E. Aylor Middle School; Chad Fisher, James Wood High School; Ben Ratliff, Millbrook High School; Kevin Popp, Dowell J. Howard Learning Center; and Jason Unger, Northwestern Regional Education Programs/Senseny Road School.

Frederick County Public Schools initiated the Teacher of the Year program in 1990. Each spring, every school site nominates one candidate for the Teacher of the Year Award. Each candidate is asked to complete an application which is reviewed by a committee of community leaders and educators. Three finalists are selected and interviewed to determine the Frederick County Teacher of the Year. The recipient of the award represents Frederick County in the Virginia Teacher of the Year program.

The Teacher of the Year runners-up receive a plaque; a $1,000 spending account to be used for instructional materials, supplies or travel; and a $250 Amazon gift card.

The Teacher of the Year receives a plaque; a gold signet ring featuring the school division’s logo encircled by the words “Teacher of the Year”; a $3,000 spending account to be used for instructional materials, supplies or travel; $500 cash and a $250 Amazon gift card. In addition, the winner's name is placed on a permanent plaque in the board room at the Frederick County Public Schools Administration Building.

The Apple Federal Credit Union Education Foundation and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield co-sponsored this year’s Teacher of the Year Award. The ring given to the Teacher of the Year is provided by Gregg Miller, the local representative of the Herff Jones Company. The Amazon gift cards awarded to the Teacher of the Year and the two runners-up were donated by BB&T Insurance Services. The $500 cash award presented to the Teacher of the Year was donated by Lisa McKee, the president of Give Back with Cuts, a non-profit organization that provides school supplies and haircuts to Frederick County Public Schools students in need.