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June 30, 2022

Local teacher commended by state

WATSONVILLE—Chrislaine Pamphile Miller, who teaches middle school history at Mount Madonna School, was recently commended for her leadership and academic contributions to the Grade 6 Group of the California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP).

“Chrislaine was not only a thoughtful and energetic participant in the Grade 6 Group, but also one of the group’s leaders,” said Shennan Hutton, leader of the Grade 6 Group, CHSSP program coordinator and an instructor at the University of California, Davis. “She often presented lessons to the teacher-participants and led lessons. Her lessons were both creative and comprehensive, with special attention to the needs of students who read below grade level. They were characterized by methodical progression through scaffolded steps, which led to a result that was intellectually challenging and historically significant. Feedback from the group gave her presentations the highest rating…When Chrislaine worked with a group of teachers directly, the results of their collaboration were clear, thoughtful and substantial.”

The CHHSP is one of nine subject matter projects established by the State of California under the authority of the University of California Office of the President. The projects’ mission is to improve the teaching of history in K-12 schools through a collaboration of university historians and K-12 history teachers.

The Grade 6 Group began in October 2020, at the height of the pandemic and continued through this spring. The purpose has been to support teachers by providing rigorous and engaging history curriculum, using primary sources, inquiry and critical thinking, and suitable for remote instruction. 

“I am not at all surprised that Chrislaine is being recognized for her outstanding work and contributions to the project,” said Mount Madonna’s Director of Upper School Shannon Kelly. “She is a dedicated teacher with a deep understanding of how students learn best.”

“There is no question that the last two years have presented unprecedented challenges to teachers, as they have to all of us in different ways,” Hutton said. “Chrislaine rose above those challenges to help her fellow teachers. At the CHSSP, we believe that working with history teachers to improve their content knowledge and teaching skills is the best way to improve students’ knowledge, skills and engagement. Chrislaine is one of the finest teacher leaders I have ever met. Your school and her students are very fortunate to have her.”

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