Spotlight on Katrina Miller
Katrina Miller dons the slightly lighter shade of orange that Tennessee fans affectionately call “Tennessee Orange” and Florida fans call “Wait! That’s not Gator Orange!” If a Tennessee Volunteer like Katrina can collaborate with so many Gators, then we have high hopes for collaboration between stakeholders in states and universities across the United States. The CEEDAR Center involves collaboration with many people who have never partnered with each other. That is the beauty of the size and scope of the CEEDAR Center, and Katrina has embodied such teamwork throughout her career. She brings to the table tremendous knowledge and valuable experience in reforming teacher education programs. Katrina currently serves as a senior program associate in the Education Workforce division at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Prior to her work at CCSSO, she worked with the Tennessee Higher Education Consortium (THEC). As part of THEC, she helped write the state of Tennessee’s Race to the Top application. She also concentrated on increasing Tennessee’s competitiveness in recruiting applicants to teach in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. Katrina was interested in the STEM field from a young age, and she joined the Technology Student Association (TSA) while she was in seventh grade. The TSA is the premier organization for young people to explore the use of STEM principles in competitive settings, leadership development, and much more. Katrina loved TSA so much that she became an advisor and eventually the national president of the organization while she was in college. During her tenure as president, she was one of the students on the national committee that helped to found the U.S. Office of Education Technology (OET). Like many of our team members, an idealistic young Katrina wanted to grow up to be a teacher. While she was in a teacher preparation program, however, her past interests surfaced, and she pondered what she could do to improve teacher education programs. That is how she began her work with THEC. She believed she could help improve the state of teacher education, especially for teachers in the STEM field. Attention to daily excellence marks Katrina’s work. When asked about her career aspirations, she takes a present view of excellence rather than a future view of aspiration. She says, “I just want to do good work. I want teachers to make a positive impact on kids from the first day they step into the classroom.” This daily commitment to excel has worn a path from her early days in the TSA to the Education Workforce division in CCSSO. Now, she takes her experiences in developing quality STEM teachers in Tennessee and applies them to a national scale. Katrina also loves to travel. Her goal is to visit six continents. She recently returned from a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. She does not have any tickets booked for her next adventure, though, so she is open to suggestions.