A Mid-Plains Community College instructor has been recognized at the national level for work in the field of adult education.
Renee Miller, of Sutherland, was named as a runner-up for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award by the Coalition on Adult Basic Education.
Robin Rankin, MPCC area director of Adult Education, submitted the nomination, which was supported by letters from Miller's colleagues.
"Renee is an inspiration to her students," said Rankin. "She works tirelessly to make sure they have every opportunity for goal completion and advancement. We are thrilled that Renee made the final round for this prestigious award."
In her letter of support, Vicki Bauer, state director of Nebraska's ABE program, said it has been refreshing to see Miller learn and grow as an outstanding staff member.
"Her energizing and uplifting personality makes her a favorite among her students and colleagues," the letter reads.
Bauer said Miller's experience provides the background needed to work with diverse populations - an element crucial to a successful and productive ABE program.
She commended Miller for her initiative and strong organizational skills as well as a willingness to try new things to improve both the MPCC and state ABE programs.
Miller volunteers for pilot projects, serves as a "sounding board" for the planning and implementation of policies and procedures and presents at state and regional conferences.
Over the years, she has also recruited, trained and reported on numerous volunteers for the adult education program.
"Renee is always learning and using what she learns to improve her teaching and her colleagues," said Andy Long, MPCC area vice president of student affairs. "She is willing to invest herself in the education of our students. Additionally, her enthusiasm, ability and knowledge has helped develop instructors across the state."
Miller was both excited and humbled by the recognition.
"The only way I can do all of the things I do is with the support of my family, my in-laws, the college's adult education team and God's guidance," said Miller. "I'm grateful to Robin and Kristy Volentine [also an ABE instructor]. Without their support, encouragement and diligence in putting together this nomination, I would never have had the chance at this award."
The Coalition on Adult Basic Education uses the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award to highlight excellence and inspire other educators so that adults succeed and communities thrive. More information about the organization can be found online at http://www.coabe.org.