Heidi Milner

Heidi Milner of Rockton has been teaching Kindergarten at Ledgewood School for 11 years. To show her concern for the wellbeing of everyone at Ledgewood, Heidi serves on committees focused on nutrition, climate and safety. Golden Apple Academy member Katherine Koehler who worked with Heidi shared that in her classroom, “you will see that each child not only matters but is loved and a part of a family. She goes above and beyond to meet individual needs of students, provides accommodations for student needs, and creates an environment that is fun, loving and enriching.” Because of the desire to support a student who had alopecia, Heidi helped her class learn about the disease and how they could help; they raised 600 for the Children’s Alopecia Project and now do different class philanthropy projects every year. Heidi commits to her students, job and school 365 days a year: preparing lessons, grading papers, emailing parents, attending events; taking courses; researching teaching strategies, writing students, collaborating with others, working on school projects and collecting items for the classroom. She has even organized summer playdates at area playgrounds for her previous year’s students to have fun and catch up with each other. Heidi says, “It could be said that teaching is my career during the school day, and it is my favorite hobby during my ‘free time.’” Heidi finds collaboration essential because it “provides me with a wide range of perspectives and helps me explore ideas outside of my own personal experiences.” She collaborates with teachers she studied with, special education teachers and both teachers within and outside her school and district. This year, she is partnering with a second grade teacher who brings students to Heidi's classroom to read books with her students. All differences in culture, health, economic status and more are acknowledged, discussed and celebrated. Heidi uses projects in class such as puzzles that have uniquely shaped, colored and sized pieces to help students build bonds as a diverse “class family.” Several years ago, a student commented that Heidi is the children’s school “mom” because she loves them, keeps them safe and helps them grow. Heidi also knows how important it is to involve actual family members to support a child’s educational success. She keeps them informed and invites them to participate in lessons. In the nomination submitted for Heidi, a parent wrote, “She sends reminders to us of special activities the kids need to dress for or items that need to be brought in. She really helps keep us parents on the ball for our children’s success. She even posted a video to read the students a bedtime story. She has been a true gift to our children and us parents. She is kind, warm and a true example of what an AMAZING teacher is.”