Johnstown Independent

Searfoss' Miller earns LCF's educational excellence award

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Licking County Foundation director Connie Hawk (left) and Searfoss Elementary School principal Janet Smith (right) smile as Searfoss teacher Sharon Miller shows her class the glass apple she received April 9 for earning the foundation's Leaders for Learning Award.

Searfoss Elementary School teacher Sharon Miller was honored last week with the Licking County Foundation Leaders for Learning Award.

Miller was among more than a dozen teachers Licking County Foundation representatives surprised in their classrooms.

Each teacher was presented an art-glass apple symbolizing the knowledge and inspiration they impart to their students and the community's appreciation for their efforts.

Miller was selected to receive the award because she has "become an integral part of helping fourth- and fifth-grade students grow in their love of reading and their ability to read," according to a press release from the Licking County Foundation.

"She has dedicated much of her career to working with at-risk students," the release stated. "While she is highly effective in the classroom, she also continues to learn and implement new strategies. She has also volunteered for the past three years as a Battle of the Books coach, helping to encourage students in their love of reading. She is valued by her colleagues and her building administrator."

According to the release, the foundation created the Leaders for Learning Award in 1993 to honor public school teachers who exemplify excellence in their fields.

Each year, a teacher from each school district in Licking County is selected by his or her principals and superintendents for their belief that all students can and want to learn; for their desire to make a significant difference in students' lives; for their commitment to professional development; and for their outstanding classroom skills and leadership.

Leaders for Learning Award recipients can apply annually for grants of up to $500 to further their professional development or purchase materials for their classrooms.

The award is supported by the Lindorf-Warner Memorial Donor Advised Fund of the Licking County Foundation.