Miller named Wisconsin Elementary Principal of the Year
For the City Times
MADISON — The Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA) has named Tina Miller its 2021 Wisconsin Elementary Principal of the Year.
Miller was presented with the award during a surprise ceremony March 25.
“Miller, who has served as principal of Howe Elementary School for the past five years, has grounded her leadership in equity and removing barriers to learning for all students. After the closing of a major employer in the community led to hundreds of lost jobs last year, Miller and her team partnered with local healthcare organizations to hold parent events on trauma-informed care, homelessness and self-regulation. This effort reflects Miller’s emphasis on building strong relationships with families and viewing parents as important partners in the learning process,” a school district release stated.
“Over the past five years, Howe Elementary has made great progress in shifting from a rewards and punishment mindset to one that acknowledges that social/emotional learning can be just as important as academic learning. To help foster this change, Miller developed a Positive Behavior Approach team that created a hybrid model based on the school’s behavioral data.
“Additionally, Miller has worked to address the needs of staff, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, by partnering with the Wood County Health Department to pilot its Trauma-Informed Care Toolkit. This resource focuses on caregiver capacity and self-care strategies.
“We are excited to announce Tina Miller as this year’s Elementary Principal of the Year, as her focus on equity and removing barriers to student learning has been truly impressive within the Howe school community,” said Jim Lynch, executive director of AWSA. “We are celebrating a school leader who understands the unique needs of students, staff and families, especially at a time when so many are facing enormous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tina’s ability to recognize and respond to the challenges in her community has made a real, positive impact in the lives of the people she serves.”
Each year, AWSA asks teachers, parents, staff and administrators to nominate principals for the award. The winners are selected by a committee made up of representatives from AWSA, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and the Wisconsin PTA.
Before becoming principal of Howe Elementary in 2016, Miller served as math coach and behavioral specialist at Mead Elementary. She has also been a charter school grant coordinator, professional development facilitator, Gifted and Talented coach, and second-grade teacher in Wisconsin Rapids Public Schools (WRPS.)
“WRPS is honored to have Ms. Tina Miller tirelessly serving the students, staff and community of Howe Elementary School and our district,” said Craig G. Broeren, WRPS Superintendent. “She is a consistent advocate for her students and staff and has developed and overseen numerous mechanisms to ensure that every student she is responsible for has their needs met to the fullest extent possible. Ms. Miller has had a profound impact on Howe Elementary and our district in a relatively short period of time and has grown as a leader among leaders in nearly every capacity. On behalf of the district, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you for her continued contributions to our schools and community.”
Miller holds a master’s degree in education professional development from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UW-Stevens Point. She received her principal licensure from Viterbo University.