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UC Senior Thanks a Special High School Teacher for Giving Her the Confidence to Go to College


Deer Park High School teacher Doug Miller will be honored with UC’s Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Award on Dec. 11.

Date: 12/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover

UC ingot   Emily Van Pelt says that back when she was in high school and had expressed an interest in becoming a nurse, it was her biology teacher, Mr. Doug Miller, who gave her the faith to pursue a career in the field. As a result to his heartfelt dedication to his students and their future dreams, Van Pelt is honoring the Deer Park High School teacher on Dec. 11.
Doug Miller and Emily Van Pelt
Doug Miller and Emily Van Pelt

Miller, a Berea College graduate and 29-year veteran of teaching, is one of three educators from around the Tristate to receive the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Award. The awards will be presented at UC’s Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 11, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center.

The Sharonville resident will be presented with a $1,000 UC scholarship to be awarded to a high school senior of his choosing who plans to attend UC in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Doug Miller
Doug Miller

He was one of two Deer Park High School teachers who were selected from nominations by soon-to-graduate UC students who wanted to honor a K-12 educator who supported their pursuit of a college degree. The nominations were reviewed by a UC committee that included representation from the Office of the President, UC faculty, staff and students.

“Mr. Miller was truly an inspiration to me during my high school years,” says Emily, now 21, who will be graduating with an associate degree in nursing from UC’s Raymond Walters College next June. Miller taught her sophomore-level biology class and her senior anatomy class at Deer Park High School.

She says those studies included field trips to UC, where students took part in UC’s Mini Medical College, a public, non-credit program that explores the functions of the human body. While a student at Deer Park, Emily and other members of Miller’s anatomy class attended the annual field trip to the UC College of Medicine to visit the gross anatomy lab and participate in a hands-on cadaver lab.

“If it weren’t for Mr. Miller and his confidence in me, I don’t know where I would be today,” she says. “I am eternally grateful for all that he has done for me and the type of teacher he is.”

Miller is dedicated to his students year-round, and has spent many summers working with UC’s Howard Hughes program in biomedical research, which has assigned him to work in several different labs at the College of Medicine over the past 12 years.

Emily Van Pelt
Emily Van Pelt

He says he remembers Emily, who was Senior Class President at Deer Park High School, as a very bright, focused, mature and compassionate person. He says honors such as the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Award are an acknowledgement of what teaching is all about – trying to make a difference in the lives of students. “It serves as a validation that you’re reaching some of them,” he says.

This December marks the sixth year that UC has presented the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Awards to recognize the lifelong inspiration of K-12 educators.

Read More about the Cincinnati USA Outstanding Educator Awards

UC Commencement website