Miura is NMI Teacher of the Year


Dr. Dora Miura, an algebra and geometry teacher at Saipan Southern High School, was named this week as the CNMI Public School System’s Teacher of the Year.

Unlike previous years, when all public schools gathered for a field day for the surprise announcement of the honoree, PSS chose this year to keep the declaration low key.

Saipan Southern High School math teacher Dr. Dora Miura is named the CNMI's Teacher of the Year. She has taught for over 19 years and attributes her inspiration and passion to her friends, family, colleagues and students. (Daisy Demapan)

Saipan Southern High School math teacher Dr. Dora Miura is named the CNMI’s Teacher of the Year. She has taught for over 19 years and attributes her inspiration and passion to her friends, family, colleagues and students. (Daisy Demapan)

Better known to her students as Mrs. Miura, the 2016 Teacher of the Year has been a teacher for over 19 years. Her career started at Tobu Machi Junior High School in Japan. She then moved to Saipan and joined the Northern Marianas College, then later San Antonio Elementary School for nine years, and has been with Saipan Southern High School since 2007.

She received her bachelor’s from Georgetown University, her master’s from University of Hawaii at Manoa, and in May of 2014 received her doctorate at UH Manoa in curriculum studies.

Miura has been involved in numerous and notable professional conferences and mentorships such as the National Teacher of the Year conference on education policy. She also participated in the “Mathematics and Culture in Micronesia: Integrating Societal Experiences” project, which aimed to show teachers across Micronesia how to create math units that are relevant to the culture of their respective island.

She also serves as the CNMI Mathcourt administrator, the CNMI PSS learning community, and previously served as a math mentor.

“The National Science Foundation inspired my love for mathematics. I hoped to become a math resource teacher…but since that wasn’t possible, I asked to transfer to where I am currently employed so that I may teach math all day. In this project, I was a math mentor for several teachers at different schools. As a mentor, I conducted math workshops for them, observed them in their classrooms, and attended summer institutes that focused on math content and pedagogy,” she said.

Miura said her first group of students from San Antonio Elementary School, the 4th grade class of 1998, was the reason she fell in love with teaching.

Miura would like to thank the support of her friends, family, fellow teachers, and staff for the honor of being named the Teacher of the Year.

“My parents are the reason I place a high value on education. They always prioritized education in our household. Each of my siblings always knew that school came first and we were always challenged to do our best,” she said.

To the teachers of the CNMI, she says, “I am honored and humbled to represent all of you as your 2016 CNMI Teacher of the Year. I truly believe that each one of us has something unique to offer our students. Like our students, we are all different and it’s those differences that we must embrace and use to offer our students a varied and rich educational experience. [Albert] Einstein said, ‘I never teach my pupils, I only provide the conditions in which they can learn.’ Let us continue to provide our students with these conditions for learning.”

“To the rest of my students, including the ones sitting in my geometry classes now, thank you for continuing to inspire me to remain a teacher and to my Manta and former Octopus families, thank you for your support and allowing me to learn from you and to the [Commissioner of Education] and the State Board of Education, thank you for continuing to honor our teachers through Education Week. Your continued support is a testament to the value you place on the educators of the CNMI,” she said.

She also offered some insight to the students of the CNMI: “If you work hard, if you are gritty, know that you can accomplish anything. Failure is a painful necessity in life. When you fail, or when you fall, learn from it, get up and try again. This is grit. Fail forward. As Einstein said, ‘genius is 1 percent talent and 99 percent hard work.’”

This year’s selection process started with individual schools coming up with their respective nominees. The principals then determined eligible candidates from a specific criterion and the top teachers were then chosen system-wide, with classroom observations and an interview to determine the top honoree.


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