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"Teaching is not a job. It's a joy!"
Ellen Frazier Miller, Lake County Schools Rookie Teacher of the Year
Fruitland Park Elementary School's Ellen Frazier Miller was recently named Lake County Schools' Rookie Teacher of the Year at a reception at Lake-Sumter Community College. The Educational Foundation of Lake County, Inc. with Office Depot as the signature sponsor, hosts the celebration.
Other finalists this year included Kevin VonMaxey from Tavares Middle School, Amber Grabowski from South Lake High School, and Kelly Beach from Eustis Elementary School. The honor, named the "Sandy Gilbert Award" in memory of a deceased former teacher at Tavares High School, recognizes a teacher with three years or less of experience in the classroom.
Miller earned a degree in elementary education from the University of North Florida in 2002. She has taught third grade for two years and believes the first and most important step toward becoming an effective teacher is to establish a rapport with students.
"A fruitful learning environment is built upon a sound foundation comprised of trust, respect, and love," Miller remarked. "If my students know that I love them, they will trust and respect me and they will not want to disappoint me," she added. Miller also said that having patience, and faith in students, is crucial to success in the classroom. "Teaching is not a job," she said, "It's a joy!"
Miller, a 1998 graduate of Leesburg High School, is also very involved in her hometown community. She is a member of the Renovation Committee, a volunteer leader of the Middle School Youth Group and vacation bible school, as well as hostess for the "Hospitality on the Patio" program of the First Presbyterian Church in Leesburg. She has twice been on a mission trip to the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf in Jamaica, and on a home repair mission trip to West Virginia.