When a teacher like Mrs. Gem Miller retires, thoughts often turn first to the number of students she taught and nurtured over her 36-year teaching career. For Gem, that number is well north of 1,000—until you begin counting the students she has influenced indirectly or through her encouragement of other teachers.
“Gem has been one of my mentors throughout the years,” says colleague Mrs. Sarah Price. “When I was in middle school, I would love when Gem would drive (twin sister) Meghan and I to and from school. Hanging out in her classroom is what prompted me to consider a career in education.” Gem’s classroom “has always been focused on providing the most successful spiritual, academic, and social atmosphere for every child,” she adds. “She helped children develop their relationships with one another, and nurtured them as peacebuilders.”
“Gem is an encourager to her students and fellow teachers,” says another colleague, Mrs. Bev Guengerich, who taught with Gem for 20 years. “She has an artistic flair to take any classroom and make it come alive with color and student work. She unselfishly shares her ideas and her hand-outs—not to mention the wisdom of her experiences collected during her many years of teaching.” Mrs. Guengerich remembers many fun adventures with Mrs. Miller, like Dock’s annual 100th day of school tradition, where students and faculty dress according to the styles of yesterday. But even the adventures that weren’t as fun at the time—returning from a field trip and sweating out a two-hour accident delay on the Pennsylvania turnpike with 60 students—become unforgettable memories.
“Dock has been so blessed by the gifts of Gem Miller,” says EC-Grade 8 Campus Principal Mrs. Bronwyn Histand. “She has built countless classroom communities where each child feels loved and nurtured, where students learn together and support each other. She is a beloved mentor and colleague who has teamed with many teachers and staff over the years to make teaching and learning a rewarding experience for everyone.”
It has been an honor to work with you, Gem, and we pray God's rich blessings on this new season of your life!
More photos of Gem