At a raucous end of semester assembly at Big Sky High School on Friday, The Missoula Education Foundation awarded their annual Educator of the Year.

“This teacher has gone above and beyond for her students every day,” said a member of the MEF Student Board. “She is loving and kind and always holds her students to a high standard. The winner of the 2019-2020 Educator of the Year is, drum roll please, AMY MILLER! (cheers)

Miller, an English teacher at Big Sky for the last 22 years, said she was shocked but delighted to win the award, especially after all the nominees had been announced.

“I was absolutely blown away,” said Miller. “They rattled off the list of all the people who were nominated and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s such a great group of educators here and I’m just lucky to work with all these people, and then I felt honored just to be on the list, and I about fell out of my chair when they named me at the end.”

Miller, who is in a wheelchair and accompanied by a service dog, reflected on what she has tried to do to help her students.

“I really work hard to make connections with students,” she said. “I feel that they need people in their educational world that they can trust, and I really try to make every kid feel valued and to let them have that place, whether they’re in my classroom or not. I welcome all the students to be part of my Big Sky family and I think that’s what helps me connect with all of them.”

Students are invited to nominate their teachers and the MEF Student Board goes over the entries and chooses a winner, and this year it was Amy Miller.

Miller received a $1,000 check from Stockman Bank as well as several gift cards from businesses throughout the community.